1.04.2016

my word for the year

Throughout the holiday season, I was constantly at work on projects...on my dining room table.  Whenever we wanted to eat at the table (thanksgiving dinner for example) I needed to clear everything off...only to resume my work a day or so later...thank god the Southern Man is understanding...

For those of you who have no other area for creativity, this is likely a common scenario...but for me...I have three other areas designated as work areas...my office with a small table, my workshop studio where I hold classes and my basement studio space.  Other than the fact that my workshop studio has no heat (and thus a little chilly during the winter) I really have no excuse to be commandeering the dining room table for my projects.

I seem to be in a perpetual state of cleaning up my spaces...but never seem to make much progress...this time I decided to dig in deep and vowed that I will get my basement studio space into a manageable condition...

I've started with the west wall of the studio, lined with shelves...I pulled out everything and cast a critical eye...

I'm assuming that I had some project in mind...but really...this many vintage graters...







































You know I have a soft spot for well loved metal...but its time to let it go...the flat graters have been slated for a future art party project (and put into a bin designated appropriately), the others into the box for giveaway.

More scrounging abounds...I find a horde of drawing circle compasses...yes, one is insignificant, more than one makes a statement...but this many is overkill...and this doesn't include the three I found after I took this photo...



























True, one of these would be a lovely addition to a future mixed media collage...a couple of them are rather unique...but its exactly that kind of rationalization that has led to this overpopulation.

Which leads me to my word for the year...rather than a list of resolutions, I have found it helpful to have a word on which to focus...to guide my actions throughout the year...some years, its been difficult for me to pinpoint the exact word to describe what I want to achieve...this year, it hit me square in the face about a month ago...







































I am overwhelmed...not just with a physical amount of extraneous stuff...but also with overly involved art techniques...and for that matter, complicated procedures in many areas of my life...

I want to take this tangled mess of materials, methods and madness and pare it down...

Now, believe me, this doesn't mean that I'll be living in a naked house with white walls decorated with one single feather...but I'm hoping...no, I am confident...that by the end of the year (if not sooner) I'll be able to work peacefully on my art...and eat at my dining room table any time I want...

Do you have a word for the year? I'd love to hear what it is...
and if you have a compelling story behind your word, maybe I'll send you one of my compasses...

21 comments:

  1. Amy, I could post this word for word on my blog...it is Me! Thank god for patient husbands! But at least you are constantly creating. I just collect! And can you imagine dragging all your stuff around the world?? I am still unpacking and unlike you... I can't toss ANYTHING!! But there is some peace of mind just knowing that others just like me are out there : ) Happy new year! happy simplifying!

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  2. and my word for this year is curiosity. curiosity to see "my old" in a new way.

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  3. Amazing, to dig into one's collections and see how many of one thing we do have. Last year when we started cleaning and packing (thought we'd move but didn't)...when I cleaned my sewing machine drawer with spools of thread which were organized...I found a small tote of spools! Simplify .... such a good word. I'm still working on that for 2016, along with "Free-Spirit" my new word.

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  4. Oh I've been there ! I downsized recently and spent time looking and shaking my head thinking, why oh why do I have so many pencils/pens/ribbon/paper ? the list goes on.....

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  5. Hi Amy, I don't have a word but simplify sounds good to me. I've also aready started to declutter. Lots of books are gone, I also sorted out Christmas and other decorations, bits and pieces from my creative stash and more. It feels good to reduce.
    Wishing you a very happy, healthy, creative and simplified 2016!

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  6. Well Amy, you are in good company as I believe we all go through this from time to time. Since I've reduced the number of creative endeavors down to three (photography, cooking, gardening), it's gotten better, but it still gets away from me from time to time. Maybe it is just the nature of the creative beast. I've decided to accept that simplicity and organization is more of a journey than a destination. I am thinking of a guiding word for this year, but am afraid to say it out loud!

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  7. Amy, my word for this year is "change". This is something I don't always embrace well. I like steady and predictable. I like a settled in feeling but there are some very big indicators that major changes are directly in my life path and they cannot be avoided. The funny thing us usually I balk at my apple cart being upset so to speak but I find myself oddly excited and ready to embrace the new and unknown, a wholly willing participant. I hope your goal to simplify is met and exceeded!

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  8. I haven't seen the surface of my dining room table for several years, every since we decided it was ok to transform the dining room we rarely used into a studio. Luckily my husband shares my creative passions (and one end of the very long table). I have a couple of ancillary studios in my house as well -- a sewing room and an office. I've started telling people that I live in a huge disorganized studio which also happens to be my house.

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  9. I just end up smiling every time I come to your blog. It is just fun to read what you have to say and see your terrific photos and to commiserate with what you say. :-)

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  10. I am a clean it all out or nothing at all kind of person. I will strip my Art Room down to the bare bones, purge some things, and then re-organize. Unfortunately, this only happens about every other year, and really needs to happen at least every six months. I think I have a word, at least it keeps chasing me...blog post coming soon.

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  11. I've been fighting the clutter beast for years ... I buckled down during the last part of December and did another purge and am happy to say I've got it down to a manageable pile. I simply need to keep it that way. I adore your word - but more so - the image you created - it's fantastic (I pinned it).

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  12. I love your word, Amy. I am trying to do this with my stuff, too, and am selling off some large lots. I'm with you...since I'm not doing shows anymore...who needs 700 game letter cubes?

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  13. Great word! I always look forward to your choice. I've been working on simplifying for several years now and I find it quite liberating. It's a constant process though, because I love 'stuff'.
    I came across 4 words recently that keep playing in my head --"always assume positive intent". I think I need that reminder in my life. Leave out the cynicism and honestly listen to the words. Can't yet think of a photo to accompany the words but I'll get there. Happy new year!

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  14. I like your choice and have thought about it for myself, along with explore and focus. I saw a quote on the blog "Magpie's Nest" that has me leaning toward focus, "Find your focus by seeking all that is good in your life." (Lorii Myers). So maybe seeking/exploring combined with focus? Sheesh, I even need to simplify my Word selection process! Happy New Year!

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  15. I went through all of my stuff last year (December until about April). My discards are sitting boxed up in the garage for a spring garage sale. It felt good to get rid of stuff we weren't using. We lamented the money we spend on it, then we put it in a box to go away. We just have to take the loss and move on. You'll find your way of moving on. We all have to — eventually! Best wishes in the new year. {And, I love your collection of vintage graters, although I wouldn't know what to do with them!}

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  16. I TOTALLY get the whole formal dining room scenario...That's all I got (insert sad face emoji) Oh to have a space all my own. My word for 2016 is MINDFUL. Like you, I tend to hold on to stuff...but more in the head kinda stuff, I'm letting go, learning to go to my journal more...releasing it to the universe and be done with it...moving on, living and being aware of the space around me...it's all here... http://kelly-justaclickaway.blogspot.com/2016/01/little-things.html

    I really hope I move up your way to take one of your classes!

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  17. My word for this year is 'REDUCE'! I'm a collector...I collect far too many things.

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  18. I love your compasses - they remind me of geometry class - the only math class I aced.
    My word for the year is focus. Pretty similar concept I think. "Simplify" of the mind.

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  19. Amy, I laughed out loud for a solid minute at your comment about not decorating your home with a white wall and a feather for decoration! Only because I know you well enough that this doesn't seem likely (for you or for me) - still, I do understand the desire to simplify. I've done the same here. Once I got the hang of it, letting stuff go got easier and easier, and my rationale for keeping - that I might need these things for art or making or picture-taking, just didn't turn out to be true. I've not missed a thing. Good luck with the simplifying year! Love your photo to illustrate your word!

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  20. I don't choose a word as I believe it could change often, ha! Cleaning out the basement is always on the horizon here. Little by little.

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