What better way to look back over the past year than through photos?
I take pictures almost daily, and while many are blogged and I can look back at them that way, I still prefer having books to leaf through and enjoy.
Most of my favorite photos get pasted into one of my art journals. A physical copy of a photo is very meaningful. And I always worry that digital pictures are only a dirty, cruel virus, or a silly mistake away from disappearing forever.
Plus, it just feels good to look through a book of memories.
I include some artwork, and other tidbits. Like the schedule I printed for Birdsong last spring.
And a painting that I'd done years ago and found in the bottom of a drawer. (It is mounted on paper that was dyed when I used it as drainage for some other hand dyed project.)
My books are a little of this, a little of that, and a LOT of grand fairies.
Here, I saved the tiny paintings I made to create the buttons on my blog. Next to it, is Dewdrop, snuggling a kitty both on vintage papers and tied together with ruffled ribbon.
While my books are quite a hodge podge, I do try to have adjoining pages look nice together, either by theme or color.
And I like to have different sized or shaped photos to add.
Sometimes, one photo is all I'll put on a page.
Other times, I'll fill the page up.
Often, I'll add cards that I was given during the year, and have pictures inside the card to see when it is opened up too.
And I'll add danglies, I love danglies. This heart was a "to-from" tag off of a gift given to me by my sissy.
This is the picture inside the card, along with lace and old images.
Sometimes I'll use inks or paints behind the photos. And on this page, is a tag given to me at Birdsong.
On this page, I've cut the people out of the photos.
Doodle pages always add interest.
Throughout the year, I'll toss little items I like into a journal box and save it up for a day when I feel like sitting down to make a page.
Not all pages are elaborate. This is torn pieces of old paper, with two photos on it. I've outlined the pictures with a marker.
But other times, I feel like doing more. Like these branches drawn onto the page and the "hinged" mat. When the mat opens up like a door, the branches are drawn underneath to continue on the full page too.
Some pages are just for fun. But they still hold memories for me.
Not only do I love having these completed books to linger over, and sometimes pass around at family gatherings, I dearly LOVE making them.
And they really are never quite finished. It isn't uncommon to go back and add a little charm or doodad years after the book was supposedly finished!
And they aren't usually chronological, either. This is a picture from the year before that slipped into this book.
The important part of the books I make, is the love that goes into them. Yea, I know very corny. But true. I adore working on them, and have to stop myself from obsessing over making journals.
I thought maybe my New Year's resolution should be to not spend soooo much time doing books, when I should be making things to sell....
I'll still have these books to pass down to great grand fairies someday. But if I made something to sell instead, I'd have spent the money on some little token and it would be gone by then.
So, maybe my resolution should be to not beat myself up over the time I take away from work to make books for myself?
These do bring me a lot of joy. And I am such a workaholic, I get plenty of other stuff done too.
Sugarwings has started her own art journal, plus is kind enough to make things for me to add to mine. Maybe I'll resolve to help her get her own journal habit going more this year.
As far as resolutions, those aren't bad. They are probably pretty doable.
I don't take resolutions lightly. The list's improvements for the year ahead are something I think about and try to uphold.
Last year, I worked hard on being more patient, and nicer. I think that helped, and I stayed aware of the issues I had to deal with. By doing that, I think it honestly made a difference in my attitude.
Vowing to enjoy the work in front of me, and not being impatient with myself for making what I want to make instead of what I think I should make, kind of echoes last year's resolutions. It is me being patient with myself, and not annoyed. Last year, I vowed not to get so annoyed with others.
And I felt the benefits of it, personally and emotionally. I guess anytime you work on being nicer to others, it comes back to being nicer to yourself too.
I think I'll also resolve not to keep apologizing for other people's perceived notions of what I meant when I said something as opposed to what I really meant.
That is a hard one.
All I can do is explain what I meant, apologize for possibly being misleading, but assure that person that I didn't mean it unkindly.
I can't be sorry for what someone THINKS that I thought if that is NOT what I thought, right?
Sounds simple, but this is a trap I've been caught in.
So, as long as I know my intentions are clear, I can't feel bad about how upset a person gets with me. I will do my best to be a nice guy, if another doesn't see that in me, then..... well, not my problem!
We can only control our own reactions, not other's reactions.
Ooh, that one really is hard.
So, here is my list for 2016:
1- Keep trying to be patient and kind, and be true to my own emotions, do not let others perceived notions effect me if they are not correct. Of course, part two of that means, looking deeply into part one to make sure that I have not been hurtful.
2- Enjoy the work in front of me, whether it is personal, or profitable. This kind of goes along with my life motto of "Use the Good Stuff"- if it is worth my time, it is worth using the best materials. The work is also worth using my best outlook too, right? If I'm going to do it, I'm going to let myself go, and let the guilt go too.
So, 2016 looks like a year with some effort ahead for me.
And some enjoyment.
I hope that your year holds some improvements, surprises, many blessings,and lots of enjoyable, creative moments.