My life has been a bit like this photo I took while clambering around rocks at a recent photoshoot with fellow artist Cleo.
I have been making, always making. Crafting old army blankets, stitching the neverending bits of old white cloth from Asia Gallery to form a slowcloth project, knitting, crochet plus the odd writing gig and making stuff for my youngest lad.
Mostly though I have been involved in raising my kids and being the full-time parent in our family. Its all been a steep learning curve again and I've found a place in it where I'm comfortable just cruising along, being oncall for different one's needs as they arise.
Always making, always. There's always a few stitch projects in the creative corners of my home. I'm also involved in several craft groups, one of which I help co-ordinate. I've been fortunate enough to collaborate and also participate in exhibitions with my own work this year, mainly textiles and a couple of paintings.
The art of making oneself fit one's life is definitely my biggest learning curve this year. Learning to slow down down down and be available solely to serve my family, putting aside my bigger artistic aspirations for now has been fantastically liberating. I don't know if I want to go back and for now am grateful for a hardworking husband who together shares the passion we have to raise our kids up ourselves.
Mostly I am excited about the way each day is a clean page, upon which there is nothing there except what I choose. As a single income family, we do live within a tighter budget and don't own the home we live in. Frankly the gift of having one adult solely committed to the needs of everyone else is awesome. Its important this awareness of what I do and the value it brings. Don't we all strive to have work that is meaningful? Lives that are purposeful? And while we may wax romantically and lyrically about the importance of raising children, sometimes its just not obvious when changing the umpteenth nappy for the day, or staring at the neverending laundry and dishes, and the clock that reminds us another meal is required.
I value women's work. Whether it's in the home or balancing running a family with paid work. It's valid and its important that we can choose what works best for each of us. I value the men who continue to work for their families and marriages too. They tend to be a bit of a rare breed in this mid-life season.
I look forward to posting more often again. Thank you all who have contacted me. Yes, we are alive and well. Yes, I'm back. A bit rusty but looking forward to a new season of writing here and posting photos of my travels and adventures. x