Inspiration art tray for my wall

My best friend Sandra gave me an mdf Art Tray from imagineif.co.nz for Christmas and some lovely wee things to go in it. In the end I kept the bits for my art journals, and used the tray to create something for my office wall as a reminder of what’s important to me. This has some tiny details in it, and I loved making it.

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My word for 2015 is …

Each year I choose a word that centres me, a word I come back to time and again when I need reminding of my focus and of what’s important to me. This year my word was kindness and, in some ways, my word for 2015 is aligned to that. In 2015 I will be concentrating on CALM. It may not seem the most obvious word, but I’ve put a lot of thought into it and think it will help align my actions with my intention to achieve with kindness.

When I am CALM:

  • I respond rather than react
  • I hear people out and think before speaking
  • I consider the consequences of my actions
  • I balance the urgent with the important
  • I get a lot done through being prepared and not rushing
  • I take life’s ups and down in my stride
  • I ensure I have art time to keep me balanced
  • I make time for Tony and I so we stay happy

I will make something for my new office that says CALM so I can glance up at it and refocus when needed. With a new job, a husband who is not always well, a busy life outside of work with national committees and working groups, and a paper to publish each month, CALM is going to be at my centre. How about you; will you have a guiding word for 2015?

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Did this year’s word work out for me?

Every year I choose a word that is my keystone. In previous years I have had – mapping, balance, determined and, last year, learn. Each has served its purpose, constantly bringing me back to what I want for myself for the year, both at work and at home.

2013 was not an easy year for us; Mum died in mid-December 2012 and then Tony retired in January 2013. We both had some health issues, mine caused by an accident with a drunk driver the year before. There is some hard stuff in 2014 for Tony and me, starting with major surgery for him on the 13th of January and, hopefully, a knee replacement for me later in the year. My job continues to grow, as do my professional commitments and, as always, I want to grow my art life.

In 2013 I took an online library MOOC through San Jose University which helped clarify my values and what drives me. The word I came back to time and time again is kindness. I even spoke about kindness in the workplace at our annual LIANZA conference in Hamilton. So that’s my word for 2014. Kindness: to myself, to my husband, to others in my personal life and in my professional life.

It has been exactly the right word for me this year. In my own time I have been studying the intersection between management, leadership and kindness. I am more and more aware that kindness is at the heart of my values. By kindness I don’t mean some woolly-headed ‘let them run wild’ softness, but an inherent concern with people, justice, personal development etc.

Have I been kind all the time? Heck no. Have I tried? Yes, usually. I hope over time that kindness becomes more and more entrenched in what I do and in how I think; in who I am.

So what will my word for 2015 be? I’m thinking on it…

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End of year cards

At this time of year I send some people a Christmas card. Others get a “hey, you’re awesome, thanks for being an inspiration” card – mainly artists I follow and people from my online professional learning network (mostly Twitter librarians). All my Christmas cards and letters have been posted so today I started on the thanks for being amazing cards. I used my Gelli plate, some old doilies we found while cleaning out a drawer to make room for all Tony’s meds, a Tracy Bautista stencil from Stencil Girl and my trusty Golden Fluid acrylics. Once I had done all my cards I covered the Gelli plate with medium yellow and let it dry, to pick up all the lovely leftovers off the plate – that’s the first photo.

Here’s a sample of what I made this afternoon:

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Making a small poetry book

I’ve been making a Christmas gift today – a small folding book, with a poem, based on their interests, on the tags. Huge thanks to Jessica Sporn for the inspiration for this project. I used envelopes, acrylic paint, Tim Holtz tiny attacher, ribbon, Stencil Girl stencils, and shipping tags.

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