For me, there have been two competing concerns: is this interesting to someone else and is this true to who I am as a person? I wish that these two overlapped more often, and they do more than I think, but the truth is that image and honesty are often at odds. I see so many bloggers who post perfect pictures of perfect houses, people, children, etc. and just bask in their perfection. It seems apparent to me that they don't really live that life, but then again, blogs are public spaces, not diaries. I know that a blog is really a projection, not a documentary. I sincerely appreciated Delirious Rhapsody's recent post on this subject, on faking it, because she articulated exactly what I've been thinking as I have navigated my way through Blogland. I admire her so much for her realness on her blog, and her example helps me to forgive myself for being a real person, who doesn't quite know how to operate a fancy camera and who sometimes has to clean cat puke off the floor.
But I digress...what I really want to say is thank you. Thank you for reading, for permitting me to post whiny, whiny entries, thank you for posting kind comments. I have enjoyed my first year of 'real' blogging more than I ever imagined I would. It is always a struggle for me to know what to post, and every time I receive any sort of feedback, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing that someone thought for a moment about something I wrote.
I love reading comments from random strangers, then heading over to their blogs to read about their lives. In fact, I've found some of my favorite blogs that way. Even though I have just a small following, I know that I have quality people who read what I write and who stick around even when I'm not particularly interesting. I even appreciate those who stop in for just a bit to see what this blog is all about.
So with that very long introduction, here are a few of my favorite posts from this year:
In January, I posted a tutorial for my handmade bridesmaids cards. Looking back, the formatting and photographs are just awful, but this post still gets some of the most traffic on my blog.
In March I was wrapping up my Art + Art History Workshop Series at the library, which left me and my blog a bit scatterbrained, but proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I didn't talk about it much here, but I made connections with library patrons through teaching them about my passions and learned a lot about myself and my abilities along the way.
You can see my practice Ink and Wash paintings here. That was probably my most successful class.
I completed and sent out our Save the Dates in April, using artist block, lino cut tools, Powerpoint and a little ingenuity. I loved learning a cool new subtractive technique, especially after my ceramics experience.
By May, I was struggling to design our invitations. My first concept was quite cool, but didn't quite fit with everything else. I'm still happy to have had the chance to learn a little bit about Illustrator, and I still love my graphic.
My invite re-redesign ended up being just what I never knew I wanted, and I began work on our paper rose centerpieces in July.
I got a bit carried away with those roses during the August Break, but it turns out they were just what the wedding needed. I've heard from countless people who have held onto my roses, whether they have a centerpiece on their kitchen table or just a rose or two on their mantle.
October was our wedding, and I went down a few days early to ready everything. I updated briefly when my Wish Tree came together, and got a bit stressed about the inclement weather leading up to our wedding day. But, the clouds cleared and everything came together.
Iceland turned out to be the perfect honeymoon spot for these two cat-lovers.
In November, I said thank you to all the special people in my life. It was the perfect moment to stop and reflect on the love and kindness of those around me. We shared a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner with The Literary Foodie, her husband and her neighbor, and each of us dared to try a slice of Sauerkraut Cream Pie after chowing down on some seriously delicious dinner dishes.
Last month, I power-sewed three stockings for my cousins' children and watched more bad Christmas movies than I care to recount.
I also hosted my very first, albeit small, giveaway and cooked the craziest squash dish ever.
Although I spent the first day of the new year shut-in with a relentless headache, I'm optimistic about the coming year: I'll be taking classes, playing with my new serger, and continuing to pursue the things I love doing. This year I'm not setting resolutions. I don't think I've ever set a realistic or achievable resolution for myself; they are always vague and unattainable. But I realize that simply by deciding I want something, I get it done, regardless of the time of year. In 2008 I just stopped and said to myself, "I'm going to start running. I'll probably lose weight." I never even said to anyone that I wanted to lose weight or be healthier. I just did it: over the course of 9 months, I dropped 25 pounds and started running every day.
The point is, I know what I want and realistically can attain. So this year, I'm letting myself just do instead of plan on doing.