Friday, December 31, 2010

year in review: 2010

it wasn't for nothing that i did a 365 photo project in 2010. i realized rather early on in the project that it was more about memory than about taking dazzling daily photos. tho' i also wanted to improve my photos and the constructive criticism in the blog camp 365 group helped a great deal with that. what i truly love is looking back on the photos and seeing all that happened over the past year. and it seems that it was indeed an eventful one - full of changes - of house, job, scenery, lifestyle - all of it chosen, tho' not all of it easy. so i used my mosaics to take a stroll down memory lane.
january 2010: blog camp 365 project
january 2010
january was cold and unusually snowy.  sabin turned 9. the last blog camp was held in the blue room, since the house was for sale and new jobs were already on the horizon for both husband and me. riding lessons were cold, but we persevered. i began weaving lessons, which made me feel like i'd found a place to rest my soul. i enthusiastically began a daily art journal. i noticed already in january that the 365 project made me so much more aware of my immediate surroundings - as i wandered the house, camera in hand, looking for interesting objects and light, i found myself really noticing where i was and enjoying it so much more. and i hit 1000 posts right here on MPC. (35 blog posts)

365 project - february 2010
february 2010
february saw an awful lot of creativity happening in the blue room. we shopped for old farm houses on the other side of the country. i continued my daily art journal. i bought a loom. we celebrated husband's birthday and our 11th anniversary. i kept rather faithfully to my avowed desire not to buy anything unnecessary in 2010. and i started making clarity birds. (31 blog posts)

march PAD (which i apparently forgot to make back in march)
march 2010
in march the house-hunting began in earnest. my weaving class ended. i got new multi-strength contacts since i'm getting old.  i knitted my first scarf and started a second one and spring began to appear in earnest, which was much appreciated after the snowy winter we had.  but mostly, march felt a bit like being in the liminal space...waiting in between for one thing to end and another to begin. (36 blog posts)

april PAD project
april 2010
in april i started my new job. it was a pretty good start, since it began with three holidays. and i can tell you from the safe vantage point of retrospect, it went downhill from there. i actually wrote a fairly funny post about the whole stress of moving (sadly, it may have been the last time i was funny). we said goodbye to living in the house we'd lived in for nearly a decade. my daily art journal practice fell completely by the wayside and despite my best intentions, i never did get back to it.  but it wasn't all negative in april - we did shop for a horse. (22 blog posts)

PAD: May mosaic
may 2010
may saw our official moving date. we went nearly two weeks without internet at home (oh the horror). sabin started at her new school and husband started his new job. i got acquainted with the new house and i shared both inside and outside of it. we discovered rhubarb in our garden and i invented my cocktail of the year - the rhubarb gin fizz. we also discovered a wonderful little viking harbor museum about an hour away from us. and i even indulged in a bit of creativity (funny, looking back, i thought that had pretty much stopped when we left our old house). our horse arrived! (25 blog posts)

June PAD (+ a couple to fill it out)
june 2010
at the beginning of june, i had no voice whatsoever after coughing for a week straight. some people thought that was just fine. with my camera, i chased light and lilypads and rain.  i celebrated the summer solstice with a list. i was already pretty miserable in my job, but didn't really know what to do about it. i attempted to crochet granny squares, but can't say i was very successful, maybe because i didn't really keep it up. we headed to the US for our holiday - our first trip there in three and a half years! and an impromptu blog camp in minnesota. (26 blog posts)

july PAD (+ a couple because i hate blank spots)
july 2010
in july, my own blogging mojo at a low, i did interviews of you, my readers. i sent out individual questions and posted the interviews. but i also antiqued in the US - which makes me very, very happy, tho' it does make it hard to get the suitcases closed. there was the blog camp of the zombie flies (thank you farmer guy for spraying the field across the road with pig poo at the height of fly season and exactly when i was having guests). my favorite professor from the university of iowa died after a long and full life. and we finally sold our house. (21 blog posts)

PAD: august - i made it through another month
august 2010
august was mostly about the interviews that i started in july (there was a rather overwhelming response to that idea). it rained so much our broadband cable drowned.  i began obsessively painting feathers on stones in a desperate grasp at finding balance in my life, which felt pretty unbalanced and unhappy during that rainy month. i wrote a pretty controversial post about the changes i saw in the US after three years away. and i met someone who was very enthusiastic about the wind and that helped. (41 blog posts)

PAD: september
september 2010
september largely lacked flow, but there were moments of it and i was grateful for those. i had a wonderful weekend in berlin with five amazing ladies and it restored me. i visited a magical place that was achingly beautiful in its decay. i updated my "my girl" post because i was feeling out of touch with myself. looking back at this month, a million signs were there and i didn't read them. i guess for whatever reason, i wasn't ready to read them, tho' frankly, if they'd been flashing in neon, they couldn't have been clearer. i met a fantastic artist and was enchanted by her work. and i saw those fairytale mushrooms - amanitas - for the first time in person. (25 blog posts)

PAD: October
october 2010
october found me pondering life lessons and the blogosphere. i confessed that it wasn't really going that well on the whole "not buying stuff in 2010." we visited frilandsmuseet in copenhagen. and hosted a halloween party for 28 4th graders - all of which showed up 30 minutes EARLY, much to my dismay! i had a four-day bout of the flu, but the fever seemed to give me some clear thinking. and i sewed some clothes for sabin. (29 blog posts)

November PAD
november 2010
in november, i despaired about our old, crappy house. i acquired a beautiful new macbook air (further underlining how badly that whole "not buying stuff" thing was going). i was fortunate enough to get to travel to manila twice in november. both trips were really a high point of my year, especially the second one, as sabin came along. and november ended on a very good note, with a great conversation that i badly needed at that moment with a very wise person who i love and respect. (23 blog posts)

PAD: december
december 2010

december was covered with the most beautiful snow and there were sunny days that gave us magical light. i started making things again. i participated in reverb10 - an exercise in reflecting and manifesting what's next. i finished my 365 project - taking a picture every day of 2010. most of important of all, i found my way back to myself - as is reflected in the increased number of posts, both here and on domestic sensualist. december felt like waking from a long slumber, a new beginning and i can't wait to see what 2011 brings. (44 blog posts)

* * *

and after taking a picture every day in 2010, we had to have a new group for 2011 - postcards to blog camp - because we didn't want to lose the sense of community we found on flickr. if you'd like to contribute an occasional photo that you're proud of, but don't want to take a photo every day, come and join us!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

impatiently awaiting 2011

gorgeous jewel-toned snowflake by lisa from pursuing art
part of the ornament exchange sponsored by elizabeth

i have grown weary and vaguely irritated with the reverb10 prompts. 
nothing against the fine and well-intentioned people who have written them, 
but i think i have to abandon the project here, 
so close to the end, 
because i feel like i'll just be repeating myself
if i talk about one more defining moment or gift that the past year has given me.

reflecting is a good thing - therapeutic, even.
but i want to look forward now. 
i feel butterflies in my stomach contemplating the new year ahead. 
i can't wait to get to it. 

it feels
like a new beginning,
tho' it's just a new page on the calendar -
there's something so unwritten about it -
a blank page on which to put my mark.
or my many marks.

so much i want to do in 2011:
words to write,
photos to take,
things to sew,
projects on which to embark,
paint to paint,
gardens to plant,
eggs to gather from chickens not yet acquired,
places to see,
people to meet,
magic to be felt,
sparkle to be sparkled.

i want it all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

design philosophy

apartment therapy has an interesting year-end wrap-up on design philosophies. which got me thinking about my own. i believe eclectic comes to mind.  here, a sampling from my flickr faves:

searching for my design style - 1

1. Winterizing the kitchen - step one, 2. This morning, 3. sgaminegg, 4. woolly blankie...

searching for my design style - 2

1. Castle School, 2. a nice winterday, 3. Work in Progress, 4. KW berlin

searching for my design style - 3

1. printed muslin, 2. Come On In, 3. Propsapalooza9, 4. friday morning

searching for my design style - 4

1. recently..., 2. finding focus, 3. hot pink house, 4. Pufe Abóbora. Como faz pra ficar com "gominhos"?

and stuff i've actually done myself, in our home, which may be the best indicator:

my design style - 2
the old kitchen
1. kitchen - finished, 2. kitchen - finished, 3. kitchen/family room, 4. kitchen

my design style - 3

1. tom rossau lamp, 2. from where i sit, 3. upstairs living room, 4. dining room

longing for my old blue room
my beloved blue room
1. new wood-burning stove, 2. studio shots, 3. studio shots, 4. studio shots

eclectic, wouldn't you say? other words that come to mind - colorful, laid-back, turquoise, red, retro, comfortable, vintage. and not really at odds with the inspiration from flickr. i think i've found my style, i'm not sure it has a name, but at least i know what i like.

* * *

also of interest:

winter views - a study from two angles

sunrise - december 18
sunrise - december 22
sunrise - december 27
sunset - december 21
sunset - december 22
sunset - december 27
i think i have a new replacement for my troldebakken series - that was the tree-topped hill across from our old house. now, this is the view out front of our house. two views, really, one looking up the road and one looking directly across. in the first set, it's best when the horses are outside. and in the second, i especially love that wind turbine and the electricity pylon off in the distance. and the way a fog often settles in behind those trees. watching what the light and the weather conditions do is a really interesting process. so far, i'm pretty satisfied with the new subject matter.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

making lists

december 28 - achieve: what’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? how do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? free? happy? complete? blissful? write that feeling down. then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

independent/free is the word that comes to mind. or rather words. but they're related, aren't they? because when we feel independent, we feel free. or at least i hope that's the case.

to do:
  1. make lists
  2. discuss them with husband
  3. discuss them with jude
  4. visit godaddy
  5. order MOO cards
  6. website
  7. creative thinking
  8. read the newspaper
  9. send some letters - real, old-fashioned letters
  10. action not procrastination
doing all of these things might not make my goal of feeling independent and free today, but they will be moving me in the right direction. best part of all, i've already done several of the items on this list. (by the way, that's the best kind of list: one that includes something you've already done, so you can cross something off immediately.)

* * *

this is part of reverb10, a month-long exercise in reflecting on 2010 and manifesting 2011.

the golden hours

yesterday, late in the day, i acutely felt all of the holiday togetherness wearing thin. 
it happens every year. 
the merriment gets in the way of the daily writing and time to think. 
in the way of the solitude.
and it wears on my nerves. 

but the feeling passes.
cards are played.
cookies baked,
popcorn popped,
old movies watched.
and there's even a bit of time to curl up with a book.

and to remember that those are the things memories are made of. 
and there will always be time to think and to write when the being together is done.

Monday, December 27, 2010

new names, moments of bliss and food

once again playing catch-up on the reverb10. i got a bit stumped on the dec. 23 prompt and then christmas came and well, you get the idea.

december 23 – new name: let’s meet again, for the first time. if you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

this question stumped me. mostly because i feel like a julie (i use julochka because there are a lot of julies out there and all forms of julie are always taken online), so nothing else comes readily to mind. i've always disliked my middle name - kay - because i don't think it goes very well with julie and it just never felt like it fit me.

but when i asked my sister, she immediately rattled off "penelope, gwendolyn and chloe." which i frantically scribbled down. i said out loud, how do you spell penelope and husband answered - "it's like pineapple with more l's." which was very amusing, if not entirely true.

i also asked husband, because let's face it, jens-peter isn't really the coolest name ever. and he gave the odd response of "heinrich." i think hope he was kidding.

i guess if i had to choose something for me, it would be something with a russian flavor - natasha or sofia or anastasia.

december 24 - everything's ok: what was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? and how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

i have to say that it's fortuitous that i fell behind on this, because this moment came yesterday. we (and by we i mean husband and his eldest) cleared a skating rink out on our lake. they built a little fire beside the lake, where we could warm ourselves and some spiced apple cider. i made a batch of little bite-sized mushroom tarts and we ate them together with full mugs of spiced apple cider. we took along a bag of those lovely orange peel-able clementines and they got gorgeously cold waiting for us to eat them in the basket - their bright wedges springing cold and sweet in our mouths as we gobbled them up. we were out there for most of the afternoon - racing one another and then skating through the snow (new skates are sharp and the snow covering the lake was light) to the other end of the lake in the purplish-pink light of sunset. again and again, all afternoon, i was aware that this was exactly what we were here for. and that everything would be ok.

me, taking pictures. taken by my sister.
december 25 - photo: sift through all the photos of you from the past year. choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

photography was a big part of 2010 for me - my 365 project helped me notice my surroundings and live more in the moment that i think i ever have. it may be that a great deal of what 2011 is about for me is taking pictures, so i have chosen this photo, where i'm doing exactly that. taken last summer by my sister, during a 4th of july fishing derby at a lake near our hometown.

from the garden
december 26 - soul food: what did you eat this year that you will never forget? what went into your mouth and touched your soul?

we moved in may - a bit late to plant a proper garden, so we didn't have a whole lot of garden produce this year, but we did find, to our delight, that there were 12 rhubarb plants already on the property. and so we had rhubarb crumble and cake and i made a gorgeous pink rhubarb juice that was turned into a summery rhubarb fizz with the addition of a bit of gin. food from the garden has to be the best kind of soul food.

brilliant pink rhubarb juice
rhubarb gin (or genever) fizz

december 27 - ordinary joy: our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. what was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

is it just me, or are these starting to repeat? i think i already answered this one. here.  and possibly also here.

that said, i find that i still have something new to say about it....those moments when i most often experience joy during an ordinary moment i'm cooking. that has been curtailed a bit by my depressing old kitchen, but i have gotten it back of late. as recently as making dinner this evening...squeezing an orange over the duck we had for dinner, peeling and chopping veggies, sipping a glass of white wine, sprinkling snow of flaky salt over it before putting it all in the oven those are the moments when i most consciously feel joy in the everyday.

and now, once again, i'm caught up - only a few days left of reverb10.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

out skating

we all got skates for christmas, and we have our own lake, and it's cold and beautiful with the finest dusting of snow falling, so i'm afraid i can't be bothered to blog right now. i hope you are all having a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

color palettes: what inspires right now

as christmas winds down (they think it's on the 24th here, you know, so tho' today is christmas, we have that post-christmas feeling) a girl's thoughts turn to decorating. we promised sabin we'd swap rooms with her and she wants loads of color in her new room. so i put together some inspiration from amongst my flickr faves.

decorating dreams - thinking about color 2

1. Winter Project, 2. old collage, 3. Good Folks Strip, 4. sticx

decorating dreams - thinking about color

1. days, 2. miss Evelyn..., 3. O ultimo / The last one, 4. new garlands

looking at my own photos, i am drawn again and again to the blue palette the snow has brought to us.

now to sit down with sabin and get her to choose.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the day before the night before christmas

they keep claiming major amounts of snow, but it must be elsewhere in denmark, as it doesn't seem to be here. these sunshine and blue skies pictures are from yesterday, as it was a bit windy and grey here today. but we're (and by we i mean sabin) still anxiously counting down to christmas. of course, in denmark, they think it's tomorrow, but in order to extend the fun, i won't tell them that it's really the day after. merry christmas one and all!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

traveling to my future self

december 21 – future self: imagine yourself five years from now. what advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (bonus: write a note to yourself 10 years ago. what would you tell your younger self?)

if there's one thing i've learned, it's that it's impossible to predict the future. you simply don't know where the choices you make in life will take you. and you will always be surprised. all you can do is be open and curious and on the lookout for new paths and opportunities and follow your heart. wherever it takes you. i'm certain that in five years, i'll be exactly where i'm supposed to be, but i have no idea where that might be.

if i could tell my younger self anything, it would be "be generous with the daily moisturizer."

december 22 – travel: how did you travel in 2010? how and/or where would you like to travel next year?

i've been slowly ramping down on the travel since the madness of 180 travel days in 2007 and 2010 wasn't a big travel year for me. only three long-haul flights - our family holiday to the US last summer and two trips to manila in november. i'll retain some frequent flyer status on KLM as a result and i even think sabin managed to go silver. i haven't flown SAS at all, so i'll be an ordinary member next year for the first time in nearly a decade. but i'm less upset about that than i would have imagined. travel is important to me, because the new experiences bring me an energy and inspiration that i crave, but i learned this year that i can get that same dose of energy in other ways - taking the train to berlin for the weekend, working with the horse, walking along the beach at the west coast, stomping around our own acreage. i don't need a long-haul flight to achieve it (tho' don't me wrong, one once in awhile is a welcome thing).

in 2011, i'd like to take more journeys by train. and because sabin's turning 10, she gets to pick where we will go on holiday and she has chosen new york city. she wanted somewhere that none of us have been. so i guess that means at least one long-haul flight in 2011.

* * *

check out the reverb10 site for more prompts and to see who else is playing along.

moving back towards the light

pink sunrises and sunsets.
clear, cold, sunny.
for now.
but promises of snow.

baking on the horizon.
and a bit of sewing.

the last day of school.
a year winding down.
and a new one on the horizon.
fresh and full of promise.

moving back towards the light.
* * *
a few beautiful, inspiring things...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

happy winter solstice!

the day of the winter solstice started with a lunar eclipse.  it was much cooler in person than it turned out in the photos. they say it was the first eclipse that happened together with the winter solstice in 400 years. i am happy to have had clear skies to witness it.

8:21 a.m. - december 21, 2010
and the shortest day of the year ended with a particularly spectacular sunset.

4:01 p.m. - december 21, 2010
i said i wanted to do some kind of solstice ritual, but the ritual of appreciating the light in the morning and in the afternoon, when it was here, seems to be all the ritual i need. it was a glorious day, but i will be glad to see the light returning.

how will you celebrate the solstice?