Tuesday, January 29, 2013

After the rain: Update

No matter where you are reading this, your news service has probably informed you about what's left of Cyclone Oswald and its effects on the eastern coast of Australia.

Here in Brisbane, the sun is shining now, and we've had one flood peak with another to come. This flood is not as bad for us here as the last one in 2011 and we personally have no worries about being inundated.

This time, rather than falling in the dams and river catchment areas, a lot more rain was dumped locally and we have a wall which sprang a leak in one room. (Still not sure exactly what the problem is).

Luckily for me, the room is not my studio, but no so luckily for my husband, it is his music studio. The carpet, which was absolutely sodden is filling our place with its stench, as it begins to dry. The feet and lower shelves of his many bookcases were also soaked. Not being family heirlooms, but modern chipboard pieces, they are bloating and warping. But happily, there are no losses of things he really cared about, like vintage or newer guitars, guitar effects, or any of those mysterious boxes with all those knobs for a-twiddlin'.

Example of box with knobs for a-twiddling

So all-in-all, apart from the smell, there isn't much to complain about. Normal art/book-related posts resuming soon!

P.S. Did I mention the smell?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Looking back: It's review time

 Just like Hilke, the Buechertiger I've been delaying the writing of this post, my annual review. Some of my reasons are the same (not feeling I've accomplished enough) and some are different.

This time last year I was in an optimistic mood, satisfied with the achievements of 2011 and excited at the potential offered by a brand new year, 2012.This time around I have not felt the same at all. 

My dissatisfaction  has come largely from not finishing either of the major projects I've been working on: my Book Art Object edition 4 contribution, and the wedding album for my friend. Both of these are now well-underway, but both also still have quite a long way to go. I'm annoyed with myself and cross that I can't start 2013 with that lovely blank slate, that I wrote about last year. It really feels as if these projects are infringing on 2013.

Summer /Christmas/ New Year is always a challenging time energy-wise. There is such a lot going on socially, people wanting to catch up and in high spirits, and its almost impossible not to over-do things.This year, I mis-managed even more than usual, by pushing myself hard in November and December to try to complete the BAO edition and the album.

Early in January, I soothed my self-disgruntlement by joining Michael Nobbs Month of Reflection and Planning.  (If you don't know Michael Nobbs, he also has ME/CFS and blogs at Sustainably Creative, where he focuses on ways to remain actively creative for people who are low on energy or time.) Taking a whole month may seem a bit of a luxury, but it is our summer here, hot as you-know-where, and I really do need to be taking it easy just now.

I have been using a couple of tools for my annual review for the last few years, and this year I am trying another one as well. That makes three! Hmmm! Lucky I have a month. 

I'm using (in my own fashion, of course):

  1. Alyson B Stanfield's Year End Review 
  2. Chris Guillebeau's Annual Review
  3. Susannah Conway's Unravelling 2013

   Alyson's review is totally focussed on artwork, and I discovered to my pleasure, that my list of works completed was in fact, not too shabby. I also found that when I looked at last year's review, there was an unfinished project then too, and what's more, I still haven't returned to that one! So maybe carrying projects over isn't so bad? At least the review process has shown me I need to consider that.

Chris's review is much broader in its scope. He covers every aspect of his life, and builds in quarterly reviews, which I have realized are a great idea. When I returned to mine, I discovered that in 2012 I had stuck firmly to my vision in some areas, but in others, quite different paths had presented themselves. 

A year is a long time, and while I love to have goals, I think the reason so many New Year resolutions fail is simply because things change. Perhaps Quarterly Resolutions or even Monthly ones would work better for most people. 

Finally, new for me this year is Susannah's Unravelling workbook.  Susannah runs Unravelling e-courses, where participants use photography to dig into their daily lives. I've never done one, but I do enjoy Susannah's photography and her genuine style of blogging. 

She suggests choosing a word for the year, identifying something personal, that you would like to work on in the coming 12 months. Last year, while I didn't complete her workbook, I did choose a word, and to my surprise I found that it really did colour my year.

 So, review is well-underway and looking pretty good after all. There's still nine more days in the month of reflection and planning, so next time I'll share some of the things from 2012 that pleased me most, and hopefully some Plans (note the capital "p").

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

New Year Reflections ....and Rest

Brisbane River, under the Goodwill Pedestrian Bridge

I'm taking a little time to reflect on 2012, rest up, and prioritize and plan for 2013.

I am loving reading everyone else's great plans - the blogosphere feels so full of energy at the moment. Your posts are a delight, but I'm finding it hard to reach out and comment just at the moment. I hope you'll understand.

Smoky Brisbane CBD today

Here, the sun's rays are pounding down on what's left of dry, brown grass and there are a few fires in bush outside the city.  The scorching temperatures they've had in the south of the country haven't reached us yet, but it still feels like a time to pause, gather energy/resources and think.

I'm hoping to be back blogging soon!