One Little Word: November

OLWAnd let the rush of last year’s posts continue! My One Little Word class was one of the things that fell by the wayside when I was sick. And, truthfully, I am usually really slow with photo-based prompts. It takes me a while to go through my photos, and then I order them and have to wait a week or so for them to come. Still, I was/am really committed to finishing this course, since it’s been a really great one. The idea for November was to take a look through your photos from the last handful of months and choose ones that spoke to you of your word. I was kind of dreading it because I had hundreds and hundreds of photos to go through. But surprisingly, this wasn’t hard at all–the right ones just jumped out at me. I hope I’ll always remember what they signify. But in case I don’t, here is a fuller explanation of each one. (But first, a quick shout-out to Hillary, who taught me this awesome stamping and outlining technique!)

OLWThis picture is from the Spanish Village in Balboa Park in San Diego. It was a truly inspiring place, full of art studios and shops and galleries, and I loved those painted paving stones. I could seriously just live in there. We visited with Eric’s dad, and we saw the coolest rock and gem society at work shaping beautiful stones, followed by glass blowing demonstrations and a lovely pottery workshop. But the openness here is something more than just being in a place of inspiration and possibility–this is where we were when we found out Eric was being asked to go to Greece for a conference. I was ecstatic (how many times do you get the chance to go to Santorini with your husband and have all of his expenses paid?!), and to me, that embrace of the unexpected is one of the things I was most hoping to achieve with my word this past year.

OLWBut being open is not always easy. I know this looks like a ridiculous picture, but let me explain. What’s happening here is that I had just found out that day that a business partnership, which I was really hoping would work out, was not indeed going to work out. This is how I illustrated my feelings to Eric when he came home from work. At least he made me laugh! I spent a week feeling very glum about it, and then I turned myself in a different direction and got on with things. Being open means accepting the bad along with the good, being willing to change course when something unforeseen or undesired crops up. After that week, I got to work on what had been my Plan A anyhow, which I am sure will be a better bet in the long run. Things have a way of working themselves out like that. I just wanted to remember that moment, acknowledge that it’s not all sunshine and roses, and reinforce to myself the value of acceptance and recalibration.

OLWOne of the other things I think I will always associate with this word and this year is being outside. This is the year that I really embraced living in Southern California and started to learn the names of all the succulents and desert flowers. I missed all the lush greenery of the Bay area, but you know what? It’s stunning here too. My daily walks prove that to me all the time. Eric and I had a lot of fun on some easy hikes this year, and it was great to feel like I could do that (I am by no stretch of the imagination an athlete). This picture is from a little hike at the top of a mountain in Big Bear, where we were celebrating our anniversary. I just love to get out and explore new places with him.

OLWOne of the bravest things I did this past year was taking Flora Bowley’s Bloom True painting course. I was so nervous about the big canvases and whether or not I’d really be able to do it. And do you know what? It is some of the greatest fun I’ve had in my life. Flora is an amazing and intuitive teacher, and she encourages us to be open and intuitive too. Things have turned up on my canvases that I didn’t plan, but totally love. That’s magic, just letting go. This is a picture of me with one of my first layers. I love it. Even though it’s a good handful of months behind, I am so happy that I made this page. It’s done me so much good even just to type out these thoughts. Thank you for following along on my often tardy crafting adventures!

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