Not only is this night six of Kwanzaa where I get to celebrate my favorite principle of CREATIVITY, but it's also the last night of 2011 AND I've got my Word of the Year to guide me as I move forward in the new year. It's a TRIPLE WHAMMY of goodness I get to celebrate today!
Now, first things first - my review of the principle of Creativity from last year...
Sixth night of Kwanzaa - Creativity
Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
One candle left to light and then Kwanzaa is at an end...until next year!
Then and Now:
Here are my hopes from last year -
- One way I'd like to leave my Planet Earth more beautiful and beneficial is by using creativity in recycling old goods and giving them a new life in a new form. I do this when I make my t-shirt scarves and t-shirt skirts, not to mention the tote bag with the recycled t-shirt flower. I also recycle when I use old book pages for my collage work which keeps purchasing new craft paper to a minimum.
- I do hope to make some of the projects from the book "re-bound", which my dear boyfriend gave me as a Christmas gift this year! This book has great ideas for recycling all sorts of things and I was very excited to see a project on using old (empty) gift cards for small books since there were some gift cards I had been holding onto for their graphic art and I nearly threw them away last week! WHEW! I'm SO glad I can re-purpose them now and I'll be sure to share that project when I begin to work on it...
Here is how I did in my projected goals:
I'm always using old book pages when making my collage art and I had a fabulous t-shirt dress made for me by a recycled garment artist. I was so inspired by this artist that I made a recycled t-shirt dress of my own*! (And I might make a few more before 2012 is over!)
My own recycled t-shirt dress in teal, brown and chartreuse green - I like to think of it as my "Wood Fairy" dress ;)
I did not make the recycled gift card books this year but I have been making some little pocket-sized notebooks using outdated promotional postcards which I plan to list in my shop soon...
An example of one of my little notebooks made from a promotional postcard
Moving forward in 2012:
I plan on attempting one or two more recycled t-shirt dresses in 2012. Though it took me a few days to create my own dress (compared to the one day it took to have my dress made for me!) it was a wonderful challenge to create a dress of my own, adding some design elements that were a bit more advanced than the original, not to mention the challenge of figuring out the 'puzzle pieces' to create a fit and flare shape and a 'ruffle' hem...
A detail shot of the back of my dress with a hand sewn and embroidered twill tag at the hem
I do plan to create some hand bound books in the new year using some old books I've been collecting for the purpose, and use pages from other books to make new signatures for the hand-bound ones I've got ideas for. I'll be recycling books in one way or another with this project! I think it's fair to say I've got enough ideas for recycling projects to keep me busy well into 2012...
My Word Of The Year
As I began this Kwanzaa review and read of my hopes for making more money in 2011 I began to think that my word for 2012 should be "money", since I was not very successful with this goal, though being laid off from a job that had already cut my pay is hardly something I had any control over! I like to have a 'qualifier' for my words, so I thought "abundant money" could be my words to guide me in 2012, since this is a way to get specific with the Universe about what I need in my life.
Then, I began to see a pattern emerging of my desire for a circle of like-minded artists. I began to rethink the idea of "abundant money" and to think instead about "support" - I can give support, which I enjoy doing, and I can receive support in return which I sometimes need to work on! I then began to think that "mutual support" might be a guiding force for me in 2012.
After a session with my wonderful Life Coach Pete, we came upon the concept of "abundant support" as a guiding phrase to use in the new year. Pete then guided me through a lovely meditation and a word came to me out of this meditation: "plentitude"...I really liked the sound of this word as it felt like having plenty, as in "just the right amount" and not one bit more than is needed or necessary. After the many months of all the cleaning and clearing I've been doing in my humble home, I have come to respect the idea of "plentitude", of having just enough and not any more than is necessary to bring joy into my life!
However, after much thought and discussion, I've decided to go with this phrase moving forward in 2012:
To me, this phrase means that support can come in ANY form - gifts of cooked meals, gifts of art supplies, gifts of tools needed to move forward in my artistic career, gifts of travel, gifts of friendship and companionship, gifts of interesting and unique experiences. Gifts of Support can come in many ways, large and small, that can be helpful to myself or someone else that I can lend support to, such as offering encouragement in creativity or sharing art supplies with others.
Support can certainly include money when it's needed, but I like removing the focus from money since it does not always cure everything. After all, money can't buy true friends or true love. Also, it's time for me to exercise RECEIVING SUPPORT which can be hard for me to do sometimes...and I have a feeling that I'm not the only one who has trouble receiving support when it's needed!
I'm looking forward to seeing how "Abundant Support" will play out in the new year to come, as well as seeing how I accomplish some of the principles of Kwanzaa in 2012. I still have one more principle to review tomorrow and it's one that can be challenging - 'Faith'. I hope you'll check back tomorrow as I complete my Kwanzaa review, if you haven't been up too late celebrating the New Year! ;)
May we all have "Abundant Support" and a Prosperous New Year in 2012!
* - I planned on having my dress made for me to support the recycled garment artist, since I still had some hours toward another dress, but the artist and his wife have been busy settling into a new gallery space. I might ask him to create a special sweater coat though, if I have enough hours toward one =-)