Saturday, January 29, 2011

at it, but not in it yet

Not bad though. I woke happy.

Three, maybe four days ahead of me in delicious solitude!

Developing, refining, expanding, sizing and consolidating my new work.

In my own head, my own heart, my own space.

I dunno. I used to feel lonely a lot.

But then I filled in all the space with work.

It seemed like a much better plan than waiting, waiting, waiting for...

Some of it has become boring, granted.

In fact I am beginning to realize that a lot of my night work (second shift, as I call it) is getting pretty boring at this point. I realize I need to make some changes. Maybe a bit of a social life?

That's a radical thought.

But the creative phase, that's SOOOO not boring. It's delicious, like cracking through the sugar crust of a pot au creme and lifting the spoon to my lips as I salivate in anticipation.

Yep. It's that good.

Oh, I'm not saying it's not hard. Sometimes it's utter agony on every level: mental, emotional, spiritual. But sometimes it's absolute delight, on all those same levels.

But the luxury of the TIME. The time. The time...

Oh, that is the best. The very best.

And to have a purpose for that (this) time is a reason to be filled with gratitude.

And I am.

Good night!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I was so tired today,

that I felt cranky and all out of whack.

When I realized I was getting cranky with my wonderful helpers I went upstairs to rest and create a "melinda-free zone" in which they could work without the sharp little spikes that pierce through my own brain into others.

It felt better for me, and for them I'm sure.

Some days it's just like that.

And sometimes, even while I feel drowned by my own brain, others are gut punched by their own lives.

Kinda puts things into perspective, eh?

Life.

We've just gotta learn to surf, don't we?

Big waves, small ones.

It's all a dance.

May the music play well for you, for all of us, as often as possible.

Good night!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

working hard...

...and working very long hours, very diligently.

Trying to finish the representative samples of the regular lines so that I can have a few days to finish development of the new line(s).

And then call my great crew back to produce the samples to present at the show.

Arranged shipping today ($5000+), electricity for my booth ($300+), already got my hotel reservations ($1500=/-). Already paid the booth fee ($3800).

Need to buy my airline ticket, figure out where (for the next couple of months until the (hopefully!) massive number of orders start shipping and paying) the mortgage, insurance, and the money to pay my helpers (and all the other bills we all have) comes from. Thank goodness for a loan from my dear friend.

We are on track (barely, but with... tentative... confidence) to have it all done in the nick of time.

And I think the new work will be fabulous.

Or at least, the very least, good.

In fact, I've had little flutters of excitement that the collection in my booth this year might be the best ever.

This is the nitty-gritty of being a self-employed-single-artist-type-with-a-mortgage.

In a very tough economy.

It's not so pretty, or even (contrary to what I sometimes jokingly claim) glamorous.

But it's my life, and dammit, and I love it.

Good Night!

Monday, January 24, 2011

nice day

I woke fairly early for me, after not staying up too late.

Got busy, my crew arrived, I went for a run (two days in a row. Damn, it's so hard to get back into the routine, once I've let it go...). I feel SOOOOO much better when I do, and it really pisses me off that I let the "other" me take charge sometimes, and then I feel so much worse. I know this stuff inside and out. Really. But knowing is not the same as doing. Not at all.

Got home, worked while laughing and being clever and silly with T. and Rachel all day.

Nice.

Got an e-mail from one member of my team that I found through Craig's List 2 years ago to help set up and tear down my booth in Philly. Wanted to know if I could use help again. Wow! they are the BEST crew, and I really hope they will all be available again. I can't believe how lucky I was to find such a good group. Good helpers, and amazing people! I am so touched and grateful for the connection.

Then went to dinner at my (wonderful) brother's (+) and had a lovely time.

Now home, started to work, and then decided: "hey, why not an early night again? I'll wake up all fresh and ready for another very busy day."

So that's what I will do.

Good night!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

nothing of note

Working very late to try to finish production of the "regular lines" fast so that I can get back to work on the new lines.

I'll be asleep by 1:45 I project.

My helpers come in the morning at 10. I'll likely still be in my jammies.

It's pretty intense, and then again, just the usual.

Thinking about "stuff" as I work.

Not just ideas for the new work, not just the swirling reminders to myself like: "order more velcro, don't forget to make price cards this year, order more customer cards, do I still have my order clipboard? Oh yeah, we need samples of (this and that) of the new shapes, oh year, there are still some new shapes that haven't arrived yet so I have to remember to fit them in the the collection when they get here, oh yeah, don't forget you still need to book your flight and make a reservation for an extra night at the hotel, and, oh, you'd better contact your Philly crew so you can post something on Craigs List once you know how many people you need, and how would it look to do a willow vine with tiny blossoms in the delicate line? (and and and...)..."

And then there are other things I think about:

Like: am I going to be working this many hours, this late into the night, for another year?

Not that I don't like doing my work.

But: this many hours, every day, every night, for another year?

I dunno.

But I'm opening my (inner) doors for ideas.

But now is not the time for existential ponderings.

Now is the time to work toward another year of relative job security, such that it is. With the gratefulness that comes with (relative) job security in times like these. In a job I love, in a work environment that I love and am proud to share with my helpers.

But RIGHT now, it's time for sleep.

Good night!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

back in production

All the crew were here today, back at full throttle.

A little overwhelming given my past weeks of mostly solitude, but also good. Good to know I have help, good help, and although my brain is so full of millions of strands of things I need to attend to in order to be ready for The Show, I have help, and it will be done.

The new line is temporarily on hold while we get the other work well on it's way. Then I'll return to it. It still needs quite a lot of attention. But if the production of the current lines get completed quickly I will have the attention to give it.

I'm tired tonight, so bed early.

Sleep well!

Yes!

Woke up this morning, dismayed.

Then looked.

Looked some more.

Thought... huh, maybe a different approach to the color?

Immediately (jammies still on, coffee only half finished) got out the pallet and dabbed fingers in and worked away at it.

Yes!

The new line is indeed born!

T. came in for work today and confirmed. It's been born. After so long in solitary process I lose perspective, and at this point am ready for, and need someone outside myself to see and respond to it.

Still lots of development to do, and certainly a bunch of refinement.

Then some consolidation of the line, clarifying it's distinction from the other lines in my work, but it's been born.

The rest will be mostly pleasure.

That was, once again, a long haul.

And one hell of a ride!

Now I'm stepping back for a couple of days to make samples of my previous lines for The Show. My whole crew (T., Connie, and Rachel) come back to work tomorrow morning and I need to have some actual production for them to work on.

The past 2-3 weeks have been all about me flailing about here by myself in my obsessed and anxiety-ridden creative retreat.

I'll still be needing more of that time, but I also need to have a representative collection of all of my lines for The Show.

If you have been reading this blog recently you will have gotten the impression it's quite a love/hate relationship. I really do love it, bun damn, It is sooooooo hard.

I think there is tons for me to learn about how to make it less anxiety-ridden, but for that, at least in my current stage of evolution, I need the luxury of time to explore and be able to attend to the process with a subtle eye, ear, and energetic sensibility. This time was weighed down with a panic of time pressure.

No matter. It's always a process from which I learn.

aaaahhhhhhh....., that's the Big Sigh of relief you are hearing.

Good night!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

progress,

maybe.

I'll have more of an idea in the morning, in the light.

I tried some stuff out on actual vessels today.

Some I like, some I don't, some have potential.

But the potential part is good. It can lead me somewhere.

And that's the thing, isn't it?

Potential.

A little peek through the curtain, a tiny animal path revealed in the woods, a little glimmer.

I think, now that I have at least 2 or three new strong contenders, that I can begin to relax and settle and pay attention to those subtle signs.

I've been a more than a little crazy-stressed here lately, and couldn't settle down enough into a quiet place to hear those little whispers, follow the subtle signs.

I think, maybe, just maybe, I can a little bit now.

That's a nice thought to go to sleep with, and so I shall.

Good night!

Monday, January 17, 2011

my new work...

still stinks.

But if, NO! WHEN! (she says confidently) I break through I will post some photos of the start to finish process.

I have taken photos of most every day's progress to send to my helpers.

They have been polite.

And I appreciate that.

There's something in there,

but it ain't out yet.

I have a love/hate relationship with time pressure.

Without it, I could stay in the pondering, thinking, imagining phase for... ever.

With too tight a time constraint I feel so pressured I can't give myself the time and space to go as deep and far as I want.

And I am living here, closer to the latter, but glad I'm not adrift in the former.

And so it is this day, the what? The 17th of January?

Aw shit.

Tic tock tick tock tick tock....

An interesting thing to me:

When I am exposing the photo-sensitive mask to the UV light for 25 seconds, those 25 seconds seem to go by so very slowly.

And yet, the days, months, years all pass so quickly.

Much more quickly than those 25 seconds it seems.

What's up with that?

Good night.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Never underestimate..

..the value of a good night's sleep.

I woke up this morning, drank my coffee, and assessed my messy, disappointing work.

And then came up with some ideas to improve it, to solve some of the things that weren't working for me.

And made progress!

I am getting closer, but have blown through 100 transparencies, ordered more last week when I realized what was happening but I will have to see what the estimated delivery time is in the morning, as if they aren't scheduled to be delivered by tomorrow I'll need to order some to be shipped next day, at more $$$$, because:

I'm under deadline!

I am happy to finally be in the thick of it.

It's miserable, exciting, scary, hopeful, and... very alive.

And I'm in labor apparently.

I hope I give birth to something wonderful, although this is where the metaphor ends, as actual children are all utterly lovable.

But what I'm doing, well, the fruits of my labor must be an expression of me, and a delight to others. And soon.

No pressure. Nope, none at all.

So I'm hoping a good night of sleep helps take the process another step further.

And I wish YOU ALL good night.

(Oh, and remind me to write about happiness and Bhutan and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I really, really want to write about this but I don't have the brain or focus for it right now.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

arrghhh

and that's all, really.

But since I've started, I may as well continue.

Nothing is as I had hoped. I think everything I was excited about stinks and I won't be able to break through and and and...

and I guess that's just the way it is at this stage.

It seems that I have always gone through this phase, but I have only a very few days left so this stage should please move quickly into the next stage, ok?

Yikes!

I'm going to sleep now to see if I have any muse visitations in dreamland.

Because being awake isn't helping.

Good night.

it's good!

First: my big kitten is better! He nipped me on the nose this morning to wake me up and has eaten and played and started attacking me again and being the adorable nuisance I love.

And then there's work: Progress! I sandblasted the first big trial run of new designs. I'm waiting until I'm fresh in the morning to start playing with the color. Then I'll actually know what the potential is.

So while waiting for morning, I've been making serious progress in photoshop.

Resizing, compressing, expanding, taking images apart and putting them back together with sizes and shapes of vessels in mind.

ooooo, I do love learning new things!

It's a brand new tool for me, and is already proving very useful.

Which begs the question:

How much of creativity is finding a tool to do what one envisions, versus finding a tool (or a material or technique) and considering what one could use it for?

I have to admit, materials inspire me a lot. I love thinking about what I could do with them.

But my work always has a certain quality, no matter what it is (and I've done many, many things, not just in the visual arena).

I'd love to ponder that and write more about it. But as I've been noticing, words are not where I am these days.

I have no doubt they will come back, as I really love to write stuff.

So:

I'd like to hear from you! For you, in your creativity, your art, where do you start? How do you experience the relative importance
of materials/tools versus a (perhaps) more "pure" creative impulse for which you then seek out the tools/materials?

Curious.

Good night.

I get to play with color in the morning!

Woo hoo!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

and still,

more of the same.

I'm working!

Who would have thought that working (while not boring) would be so boring when I try to talk about it?

It's full of details right now. Just details.

The boring stuff that doesn't matter, and yet matters ever so much to the end product.

There's the glance or a glimmer, an idea, the percolating, the considering, the more considering, the pondering, the letting go and letting it be, the wondering if there is something to be,

(and more of that sort of thing)

And then there are the experiments.

They are FULL of details.

Techniques, trial and error, ups and downs, yes's and no's, many, many maybe's,

second and third and sixty-fifth thoughts.

And of course the "technical difficulties" of a computer that is not up to the task, and losing 2 weeks of time in an attempt to avoid the unavoidable expense.

No to mention (although I will certainly mention it), I am burning through materials (ie. money) as if they cost nothing. Hanging back, not wanting to waste the precious, expensive stuff. But the experiments must happen, the tests, the re-tests. Cost be damned! It's really the only way...

Details.

But I like it.

I love it, actually.

It's not "fun" in the way one usually thinks of fun.

But it is engaging; like solving a puzzle or climbing in a cave or, well, digging a ditch.

But there's not much to talk about.

My kitty is sick, second visit to the vet. today, more antibiotics. He's young and sturdy and I think he'll be fine, but I'm sorry for him. He's doing nothing but sleeping and I'm actually missing him munching on my ankles and trying to take me down like a football player. I never thought I'd say that.

It's interesting.

I have more to say about the creative process when I'm not in the middle of it.

I wonder what that means?

So again, good night!

OH! and by the way, a wonderful writer & blogger featured my work on her blog today. If you read her blog I think you'll find her thoughtful, perceptive, and very articulate. She is a new discovery for me, go treat yourselves!

oh dear,

my posts are utterly repetitive these days, with nothing insightful or lovely.

It's because (at least I think it is!) I am deep in the trenches. I am working.

Sitting at the computer all day, which is something I've never done.

I'm working with a collection of photographs I've taken over the past year, with this project in mind.

And between learning Photoshop (no small feat for my impatient mind) and The Computer Issues of the past 2 weeks...

well, I'm waaayyyyy behind.

But! I think some good stuff is coming.

I'll do some testing on actual glass tomorrow, and know more.

But I sense it's gong to work.

I wish I had more time I wish I had more time I wish I had more time...

I'm grateful for all the time I have!

Good night, from my trench.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

good day today!

T. came in and got some stuff finished and shipped out (money to cover the overdraft!).

We are nearly done with the little in-between orders.

I will get back to (well, actually get started in) my creative retreat after tomorrow.

Lots to do, little time.

My new computer and printer and hard drive and keyboard and trackpad are working GREAT!

Photoshop actually works on this computer, and contrary to what the experts said, it really did not work on the other one. At all.

AND I'm gloating to say: it was not user-error.

I've started working in earnest.

And...

It's snowing in Seattle, and that makes me happy too.

And I'm more tired than usual and will be in bed before midnight for a change.

Not such exciting or interesting posts these days, but such is the glamorous life of an artist-type. I'm diving into the thick of it.

Finally!

Goodnight.

Monday, January 10, 2011

happy girl!

New computer, new printer, new back-up hard drive.

Broke (a little over-drawn unfortunately, but made a deposit today).

Haven't tested it on photoshop (have to buy a new copy as the license has been used up..luckily it's just elements and not the big one and costs only $99 instead of what, $800?) but I'll do that tomorrow. At this point $99 seems like small change. Weird how that works...

I am so excited to FINALLY get cookin' in earnest on the new line, I've been champing at the bit (and almost unbearably frustrated, as you know if you've been reading these posts for the last couple weeks).

But that's over! (knock wood).

Yippee!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Phone post!

Well I'm looking at it as a good thing that I don't have a computer tonight. I gave up and bought a new one today, so the two are in their honeymoon, merging. And should be ready to come home where we can live together in harmony.

I have GREAT hopes that I will be able to dive head first into my process on Tuesday, after my printer gets here. The muses need to move in with me for a while, not just visit.

Still regretting the loss of the past two weeks, but forward is the only place to go.

Can we hope my "technical issues" are past now?

In the meantime, I AM getting some productive work done, which will contribute to paying for the new computer. So.

Goodnight!

testing, testing...

is this on?

No, that's not really what I mean.

I tested a few things I'm working for my new line today that I had prepped before.

Some promising, some not so much. But that's the process. Process of elimination, process of following.

I'm going to be SO glad when I finally get my computer system working well.

In the meantime, I'm working on RED! It's a small line that we are doing at a great price for my wonderful galleries to offer their customers for Valentines Day.

So I'm breaking my cardinal rule that I don't touch a single thing that is part of my past work during this creative retreat.

But with all the computer nonsense of the past, what? week and a half? two weeks? I am setting the new work aside in order to finish this project. So that,

When I get my new computer, and my replacement printer gets here I can get back to the new stuff uninterrupted.

That's the plan.

I've pretty much decided I have to surrender to getting a new computer. I can't afford it. But I can't afford not to have new work for this next year either. And I did get an unexpected order today that will almost pay for it. And after a new hard drive, a new back-up drive, a new keyboard, dumping tons of stuff off my current computer (a 5 year old MacBook that was the smallest and cheapest at the time I bought it) to free up more memory, shutting down all other programs... Photoshop still won't work without hanging up, quitting without permission, and me losing whatever I'd been working on for the past 15 minutes or 5 hours.

I wanted to limp along with it until the proverbial cash flow was better, but it's not working.

I'm going to get a desktop. They are cheaper, and I have this little laptop for when I travel.

A nice story: the Fed Ex courier (who I gave my (new/old) printer to) checked out this blog and read that the printer he delivered to me was defective and I was stressed about my time crunch. He e-mailed me to tell me I could take the old one back if I needed. Wow. How thoughtful and considerate was that? People are good. And whenever people are good, and kind, and thoughtful it makes me happy, and feel more hope for this world. Thanks Curtis!

So. I guess that's all for now from me, the Very Glamorous Artist, living a Very Glamorous Life!

And so tomorrow is going to be: finishing most of the RED! collection and likely buying a new computer. And leaving this one there overnight so they can transfer all the data so I don't mess it up and need to make yet another trip to the store. Is it 11 trips now, or or is it my 12th?

Who cares. It's better to think forward, and just deal with the bumps in the road as they come up.

And now, once again, it's off to dreamland.

I'll share more of my glamorous life tomorrow I suspect.

In the meantime: ride those waves, baby!

Friday, January 7, 2011

setback..

yeah, again.

So. I ordered a new printer from Amazon (prime! 2 day shipping for free!). I needed it because my new/old one wouldn't print the size transparencies I need and, well, Kinko's won't let me print transparencies anymore because someone caused a lot of damage doing that in the past.

It came today, I asked the Fed Ex guy if he wanted my old one for free. He said he'd think about it. One moment later he was back. "Really? Free?"

"Yeah, but I'd like it if you'd buy all the ink cartridges I have for it."

He had no cash, but said he'd bring it to me next time he was by. I trust him.

So.

I took my time, unpacked the new one, got it set up on my desk, read the instructions (yes, in spite of my history of not doing so...) did everything right.

But. (yeah, you know what's coming).

So I called tech. support. We went through everything. "Defective, she said."

Ok. So I need a new one, right away.

"We'll get it out to you right away, it will take 7-10 business days."

I don't HAVE 7-10 business days!

I called Amazon. They were great. But I won't get it until Tuesday afternoon.

(clenched belly)

The Amazon-India division guy said: "I'm e-mailing you a return authorization, just print it out and give it to the driver when he bring you the new one."

Me: "Uh. I don't have a printer."

Oh well. We worked that part out. But I still don't have a printer until Tuesday afternoon.

So. A stress relieving run, and I made another strategy to continue to be relatively productive until I get the printer on Tuesday afternoon.

You see, the new work I'm exploring really needs not only a functioning computer but a large format printer. I need to run a lot of tests to see if I'm even on a good track.

What's up with all this computer nonsense?

My assistant T. says it's poltergeists.

I'm inclined to believe her.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well,

I know you've all been on pins and needles waiting to see if I honored my commitment to run today. (All one of you! ha!)

Yes! I did. And I felt MUCH better after.

It was a pretty successful day. I think I made real progress. I won't know until tomorrow. Who knows? It could be Walmart all over again.

But I KNOW I made progress in the learning of Photoshop. I managed to do things I had pretty much given up on learning. I didn't even think it could be done. Yippee!

I ordered a new printer. Anyone need an almost new one that is great but doesn't print the sizes I need?

At this point in my process I can't see how I'll possibly have developed and refined the techniques I'm working on in time to present them at The Show. Let alone have created some dazzling new work with them.

But I try to remember I always feel this way.

So I keep breathing and working away, and try to trust that everything is unfolding as it should.

And somehow, I always manage to pull it off.

I'm in the first third of the process I sense.

So I have to keep going, one step at a time.

Boy-oh-boy, I hope my history of always managing to pull it off repeats itself this year!

And now, in preparation for another day, I'm going to bed.

Not 2 am like last night.

But at midnight, or thereabout.

It's more civilized.

Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

For some reason,

I can't even remember today!

I know I spent time at Kinkos, finding out that they won't let me make transparencies anymore because some other customer caused expensive damage to one of their copiers doing that. And they won't even do it for me on their behind-the-counter machines.

Huh.

What I'm doing right now depends on good, dense black transparencies. And I need them to be at least 8.5x14 inches, which doesn't work on my current printer.

Researching printers. They aren't terribly expensive (certainly compared to the order I just placed with Dick Blick, which should earn me free shipping for life).

And then there's Photoshop. I'm actually getting better at it every day but there is SOOO much to learn, and why-oh-why did I not start learning this before I NEEDED it for this process??? (oh, right, because I was busy filling orders... never mind).

I felt all manic-racing-nothing-was-happening-fast-enough-for-me all day.

Oh yeah, I also placed orders for new materials, samples, and for stuff I'd run out of and need for The Show. That took quite a bit of time too. Not to mention money.

And still, didn't go running. My sprained ankle is becoming (if I'm being honest) a poor excuse.

Can I use you to be accountable here? For tomorrow? Either running or yoga, or both, if I want to feel a whole lot better.

Ok?

I'll report in tomorrow.

And the best thing of all, by far: a very dear friend agreed to lend me the money to do The Show. I tried so hard to have enough set aside this year to do it without being in debt when I get back but alas, not this year. That disappointment pales in comparison with the anxiety that was growing in my belly about affording everything though. The Show is VERY expensive for someone with a lot to ship from the west coast. It's expensive anyway, but add on $5500 shipping... Well, you get my point. I hadn't realized that I had stopped breathing a few days ago from my financial worries. I've been breathing again this evening! Thank you so much, and you know who you are. xoxoxo.

Good night, sleep tight, don't let... (oh, we won't talk about them as they seem to be gaining power in the world and I don't want them to think they are welcome here...)

So, just sleep tight!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

finally!

It's been frustrating.

I cried last night from the sadness of having lost a week of my precious retreat time to the nonsense of computer issues.

The sprained ankle was a mere inconvenience.

This time is so rare and precious (not to mention my business depends on it) that I felt real grief losing a chunk of it.

But things happen as they will. It's our job to surf the waves, eh?

But now, finally I'm on the (REAL, ha!) roller coaster!

It's a ride.

Excitement! What I'm doing is working! It's gorgeous! I'm so happy!

Oh. It isn't very good at all. It doesn't look anything like I imagined. It looks like Walmart.

Well, ok. Every year it's like this, and you always manage to journey through the tunnel into something new and good, so dig in, and keep going.

And that's where I am right now.

Assessing.

And the best way, now, at midnight, is to go to sleep and look with fresh eyes in the morning.

Good night!

Monday, January 3, 2011

progress!

(I think).

I'll know more later.

But I DO know this: I am LOVING my solitary retreat this year. Loving it. It reminds me of when I first started this whole thing: waking up every morning excited to face the unknown, the fact that I had The Whole Day to do nothing but work. No place to go, no place to be, no one to talk to...

Things have changed for the better in (nearly) every respect. I love the fact that things ARE really working these days, I adore my helpers (will you see me as a total loser if I tell you they constitute most of my social life?), I am SO grateful to not have to do everything myself, store every little thing in my brain myself, feel that I need to do seventeen different things all at the same time, and to have to endure the feeling (and the reality) of being out of control every single moment. To know that nothing was getting done well, as I couldn't attend to anything fully.

But this time, right now, brings back the best part of those days. It's the only part of "the olden days" that I miss. Although the very fact of it's scarcity is likely one reason it feels so precious.

And I'm relishing it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

small set-back

Well, small in the grand scheme of things but quite frustrating in present time. I had big computer problems throughout the past week. I started learning Photoshop Elements as a tool at the core of the new work I am wanting to explore. Things got tweaky and wouldn't behave properly even with loading the program so I knew it wasn't operator error. Suffice to say, after 7 trips to the Genius Bar at the Apple store (and yes, not only are they genius's but friendly, kind, patient and relentlessly helpful) I got a new hard drive installed. Then I couldn't retrieve any (any!) data from my external drive (which, after making the mistake of not backing up WAY too many times I now back up every week). Quite a lot of anxiety there, I must say. My entire mailing list (collected over years), all my financials (which I've been paying a bookkeeper to enter each week), all my photos; the professional ones I use to apply for shows, my catalog, etc., the photos I've collected all year for this new work AND of course personal photos. Music I was less concerned about as I have it on my iPod.

And then I sprained my ankle and it got really big and purple.

But it's all better now! I got my data back yesterday (one more trip to the genius bar in the next couple days as my back-up disk is not accepting more data), my ankle should be ready for running and yoga within a week if I keep up the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), and

I felt such relief yesterday that I was grinning at strangers!

I lost a week of my creative time, but what's gone is gone.

Now it's time to dig in.

I've made my first inroads with Photoshop Elements. And I've become aware of just How Many Options there are, and how many ways to use them, and how many ways to try to get to what I want. Yikes. So I have selected a few techniques I want to learn, and once I figure those out I am going to jot step-by-step notes as to how I did it, and, (note to self!) test my idea on some actual glass before I spend all my precious time lost in the virtual possibilities.

2010 kicked me in the ass here at the end, but I like thinking it just was mad it had to leave. I think fondly of the past year, and thank it for it's goodness.

And I welcome the blank slate of 2011 with open arms!