It’s hard to believe it’s time to wrap up the year in our Blog Circle.   The topic “A Year In Review ” was chosen for December and I think is the perfect subject to close out the month. For those of you who have been following us along, this will be a great recap of  our individual and unique worlds.   It will be an interesting read, this I know for sure.

It’s almost the end of December and it’s been quite a year in my world.  I can’t help but sit back and see the events of the past 12 months roll out like watching a home movie.  I was so READY for this year. I had some lofty hopes and really high expectations of what my year ahead was going to look like and it did not start out well.

My handsome 6 ‘ 3″ perfectly healthy athletic 34 year old son who is the father of 2 beautiful little boys ended up in ICU for a week with a very sudden and serious block to one of his major artery’s just after Christmas last year.


This is what we looked at for 5 days while he lay immobilized , in pain and receiving treatment to clear the blockage.  It was a really tough way to start the year for my daughter in law, for me, for my husband, and for our whole family.

When I look back on that very dark time, I am so thankful now that it is part of the history of this past year, but that event did not define the whole yearHe is well now ( thankfully ) and it is a reminder to me now that we never know what waits for us in any given moment of any given day . I’m so happy to be facing the beginning of a new year with hope and optimism. I used my creative energy when I was in the hospital and was inspired to paint this picture for him late into the night after one very difficult day.


I would title this ” Hearts of Hope  “

It helped me……

Once the dust had settled on this surprise beginning to the year I picked up my ‘ to do list ‘,  asking myself ” where was I before this all happened”.

I belong to a  WOTY ( word of the year ) group and we pick a word that we feel will  define the upcoming next 12 month period.  My WOTY for 2013 was  ‘ ACTION ‘..It came to me over and over again leading up to the beginning of the new calendar year,  calling to be used.  It was perfect. My plan was to take ACTION with my art.  I had just finished an on line course with Kelly Rae Roberts. My hope and plan was to get down to business with my art in a serious and intentional way in 2013. I had,  and have been,  listening to the whispers of embarking with intention on my artful life and NOW was the time . DSC_1731

I was determined to start with taking action and carving out a corner of my physical space some how , somewhere to have all my art supplies in one place and finally be able to use the space to produce what had been calling to come out!!.  My plan was to be ready to jump in ( and out ) of this workspace when time and inspiration were aligned.   I’m lucky enough to have a garage with a bathroom ( of all things ) and decided this would be the perfect place to set up shop.  Ready access to water for cleaning up and a space to be messy.  I saved my pennies and installed new doors that would let in light and I have to say it was a highlight of this past year.   IMG_5135IMG_5136

Now I have a Room Of My Own

 I am so lucky ( and inspired ! to be looking out on this ………….


My garden, and the birds who come to visit are what I see when I look outside and I’m trying not to get distracted by this beautiful view !  And when it’s really sunny and warm enough next summer, my hope is to be able to roll up my doors and really let the light pour in. So I did take ACTION this past year and it’s been really good. I have been learning to blog ( big curve ) but I am proud of what I’ve accomplished. I want to keep pushing through my hopes and dreams to improve my skills and be better at what I’ve wanted to do since as long as I can remember.

I was gifted in Feb with this…IMG_3452 A beautiful baby grand daughter .  The 6th addition to my happy little brood of small people that continue to fuel my creative energy and make me thankful every single day. But life has a way of readjusting itself  as we move from day to day and just when things were settling into a calm normal , this happened.

IMG_3993 But I was ALL RIGHT which was my happy ‘take away ‘…

It could have been much worse ! It did slow me down for a few weeks as I sorted through the discomfort of a fractured sternum, but I eventually was able to get back to where I was before this all happened.  It reminded me again about the uncertainty of life and how when we least suspect it,  out of the blue, someone can make a mistake and we find ourselves an innocent bystander, in the wrong place at the wrong time ……….All is well and I look back on that incident in June as just another chapter in the story of my last 12 months. I feel good and lucky and I’m moving forward.

 I found time to create in my new studio space.IMG_3329IMG_3330 I’m pulling out all the stops to keep going and I’m excited about what the next year will hold .IMG_4584 I’m going to Kick Up My Joy , make more mixed media art, paint, sketch, work on my photography and savour the journey.

I want to do more of this………… IMG_5027        I loved working with PaperClay

And do more of this ……..DSC_2488      I love watercolours..

My list of hopes and aspirations is long for the year ahead but I feel in my bones that 2014 is going to be the best year yet. I’m proud of what has transpired in the last 12 months and can hardly wait for 2014. My WOTY is already jelling around in my brain, and I think will sum it up perfectly….

As December draws to a close I look back on this past year with amazement.  I watched the documentary Indie Kindred that was done by Jen Lee and it inspired me. If you’re curious or have never heard of it, you can check it out here . I found it ( and her ) so inspiring.

So glad you came by to read about my Year in Review . Don’t forget this is a blog circle . Now it’s time to move along here to my friend Monica and read all that she has been up to in 2013 .

And if for some reason the loop has some gaps in it … here is a list of all the contributors in our circle and I know that every read will be a good one.

Happy reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR …

11 thoughts on “a-year-in-review

  1. Girl, You don’t have a Thing to Worry About! Your “baby blog” is fabulous!!!!

    I agree with you 100% about life taking sudden changes and sometimes difficult reminders about how fragile life can be. I’m happy to hear that your son is okay and doing well as I know that must have been really hard for you!

    A new baby! Woo Hoo! I just have one granddaughter and a grandson due in less than a month so I know exactly how you feel. The greatest feeling in the world is being a grandmother to me. : ) Tonight I finished up all my shopping and I had to really reign myself in or I would have bought one of everything. Stella is 19 months old so not really aware of Christmas yet, but she is going to be a lot of fun none-the-less.

    Your studio space is DEVINE!!!! I would kill for that much space… WOW! And your art you are producing is wonderful so I hope you are truly inspired by your surroundings in 2014.

    So very wonderful to learn so much more about you and I’m excited for what lies ahead for all of us.

    Hugs, Kathie

    • So glad you came by Kathie. And thanks for your supportive words about my blog. I keep having to remind myself that everyone had a ‘ starting point ‘.I thought this year in review was such a great exercise.! So fun to watch everyone grow. XX I’ll be watching for news of your new addition BTW..

  2. What a year of trials and good happenings it has been for you. A mixed bag indeed! First of all, I am happy to have connected with you more this year. Second, I am glad to hear your son is doing well, your newest granddaughter is precious, and your art has truly helped you through every step of the way. My wish for you in 2014 is that you keep doing what you LOVE and what brings you the most JOY possible!

    • So nice to see you hear Monica, thanks for stopping by. This year in review was such a good exercise I thought to ‘look back ‘ and so interesting to see what 2013 looked like for everyone in our group.
      BTW I love seeing your IG pics and knowing you and I are using the same art supplies .So fun.
      Hugs to you and all the best for your art in 2014. You are well on your way for sure !

  3. Wow, you are a FIGHTER! You make my woes look like toast crumbs on the counter. Good to know all is better with your son and your ever-expanding family. Blessings to you and yours!

    • Thanks for coming over to read my post Robin. It did make me realize when I was writing it that a lot had happened last year !! But how even the hiccups of the year ( as in life ) are events we move through and away from ….. adding a protective layer like the rings of a tree.
      Hugs to you and all the best to you in your world for 2014.

  4. Hi Sandy, It feels like I’m sitting down for tea with you when I read your posts, love that 🙂 Your optimistic outlook and gratitude for things others might only perceive as negative is truly inspiring. I LOVE your new garage/ studio doors – that must be glorious to sit down to create in that light-filled space. I’d definitely say you were true to your word for the year, Action! Well done. I feel like my word for 2014 will be along those lines. So new friend, cheers to handling a challenging and wonderful year of ups and downs elegantly, and wishing for a joyful and abundant 2014 for you. xox

    • So great to see you here Ginger. Your beautiful post started this circle and I really loved what you had to say. It inspired me !! And I love knowing we share the same landscape. Looking forward to seeing what comes to your world in 2014 after your amazing 2013.
      Hugs from across the pond. XX

  5. Pingback: Word of The Year | sandymairart

  6. Hi Sandy! I am finally taking a moment to go around our last circle before our kindness mission one next Thursday. What a roller coaster your year has been. I wish you lots of serenity in 2014, with the hope that we get to meet for real! xo Laly

    • Oh so sweet of you to take the time to read my post when I know you’re crazy busy Laly. Fun to do the rounds don’t you think ? Always inspiring to see what the class is up to. And YES, aiming to connect in June … We can blog about it 🙂

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