Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 in Review

Firstly, I'd like to make a small announcement. My blog used to be hosted on a different site (Live Journal), but over the course of this year I've been transferring all of the posts over to this site. You can now see my entire blog right from the beginning, in one spot! Just go to the 'Archives' section in the right-hand sidebar. There are over 700 posts going back to 2004, so it's quite an achievement. And yes, here is the obligatory link to the first post, though I doubt it will make any sense to anyone!

Now, on to my review of 2018!

There were a few firsts -- and seconds -- this year. I finished my first magazine-style zine, Intensely Introverted #1, and took it to the Festival of the Photocopier Zine Fair.

I've written zines before, but this was the first one that I want to turn into a series, like a magazine. Work has started on Intensely Introverted #2, but you know what, I'm not sure that I'll return to the zine fair. The amount of anxiety and stress I experienced before and during the Fair wasn't really worth it. I just can't be in a room that full of people for that long. Or perhaps I'll skip a year and only do it every second year.

I went in three (!) art exhibitions, all at NOIR Darkroom: their first anniversary exhibition, Stay Safe, and A Very NOIR Christmas. I feel incredibly lucky to have had these opportunities, and I hope I'll have more in 2019!

(Mine is the one at the top.)
Also at NOIR Darkroom, I did two workshops: Painting with Bob Ross and Screenprinting. Both are highly recommended! Since then, Husband and I have started watching Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting on Netflix when we want to relax. Though we now know that creating those paintings isn't quite as easy as he makes it seem!

Early in the year, Husband and I became re-acquainted with a foodie friend, and we decided to have a monthly lunch date together. I've been to many places that I wouldn't have gone to otherwise, and had a chance to dress up (Or even just get dressed at all quite frankly. Leaving the house voluntarily isn't really my thing!)

In June, I finished my first 101 Things in 1,001 Days cycle and started my second one. I did NaNoWriMo, went to the Melbourne Planner Market, and spent much more time outside.

Last but not least, in April I got to wear the Birthday Hat:

Now for the customary stats (last year's stat in brackets):

Books finished:
full-length: 19 (19) . . . . It's not a typo, they're the same!
short & manga: 16 (13)
currently reading as of today: 10 (14)

Blog posts: 46 (57)
Instagram posts: 285 (284) . . . . There may be more this evening!

Craft items started: 2 (2) . . . . (It seems like I never do any craft, but I've been working on my blanket a lot!)
Craft items finished: 4 (4)
Craft projects in progress as of today: 42 (42)

Zines started: 0 (1)
Zines finished: 2 (1) . . . . (if mini zines count! harhar)
Zines in progress as of today: 1 (1)

I hope everyone had a good 2018 and will have an even better 2019! I'll be back soon with my plans for the coming year!

Friday, 28 December 2018

Instagram "Best Nine" for 2018 and What's Important

This is the second year that I've participated in the Instagram "Best Nine" phenomenon. By plugging your Instagram name into this website, you can retrieve the 9 photos with the most 'likes' for the year, packaged up into a handy mosaic. While it seems vacuous, I found last year's exercise to be thought-provoking and even a little inspiring.

Here is this year's result, with thoughts below:

I'm pleasantly surprised to see that my art features in my most-liked photos. Middle-left was an entry for Tara Leaver's 21 Days in My Art World challenge (which I'm pleased to see will be happening again in 2019), so that explains its popularity. Top-left was done for the Art Maker Circle challenge by Nicole Piar. Unfortunately I never finished that challenge.

I have to scratch my head as to why a barely-started painting (bottom-centre) was so popular, though.

I posted very few photos of myself this year, but two managed to make it into the top. I'd like to explore my style more in the future, so this result is encouraging.

And as for the food ... I really don't know! Perhaps there was something about the composition or the filtering that was appealing to people? I'll probably never know. Social media is, in the end, a mystery.

The thing that strikes me about this year's collage is that it's basically a summary of what I'd like to do more of in my life. What's good for my soul. Making art, having meals and spending time with friends, and expressing myself through fashion and (admittedly overly-filtered!) selfies. May there be more of the merry stuff in 2019!

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Happy Festive Season!

I hope you receive everything you wish for!

I didn't quite reach my goal of blogging twice a week this year, but I have lots of plans and hopefully now that I'm on holidays I can bring some of them to life. Here's a sneak peek of a few topics coming up soon:

❄️ My new art project
❄️ Growing potatoes in a bag
❄️ Sewing adventures
❄️ Podcasts I'm loving
❄️ My planner sticker collection
❄️ Cooking fun

Have a happy and safe holidays (if you're on holidays!).

Sunday, 2 December 2018

My November, including End of NaNoWriMo 2018

November this year seemed to have a bittersweet taste. As Spring moved into Summer, everything heated up. Yet there were also quite a few thunderstorms, which I always enjoy. I've been busier as the holiday season is getting nearer, but my job is finishing just before Christmas, so I have some quiet time to look forward to. It's been hard to motivate myself to do anything that doesn't have a deadline -- anything just for myself. Maybe that's something I need to rediscover.

What I've been writing ...
My NaNoWriMo story was mostly finished before the 30th November deadline. That's a nice way of saying that I didn't finish it! I won't say that I failed though, because I'm close enough to see the finish line, and I think I'm able to and want to get it made. So I'm setting myself a deadline of end of December to finish the story, edit it, create a cover image and publish it. I haven't decided where I'll publish it yet, but iBooks and Smashwords look most promising. I'll be sure to post links to it when I do!

What I've been painting ...
I created a painting for NOIR gallery's Kris Kringle party exhibition, but I forgot to take a photo of it at any point before I handed it in for the exhibition yesterday, oops! I'll be back there in 2 weeks for the closing party and artwork swap, so you'll have to wait until then to see it on the blog. Or, if you're in Melbourne, I hope you'll check out the exhibition at NOIR Darkroom in Coburg.

What I've been dreaming of ...
A few months ago I posted about how my garden is a mess. Well, we're getting that sorted out! Below is a 'Before and After' of the passageway behind the house. The 'After' looks very barren right now, I admit, but we're planning on building some raised garden beds and hopefully growing some nice, lush things.

What I've been playing ...
Happy World Ocarina Day! I've taken up my ocarina practice again this month. Seeing other people online becoming enthusiastic about learning and playing live instruments has been inspiring. Plus, I enjoy learning Christmas carols because the tunes are so familiar, and this is the time of year for it!