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Winner Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2008
Shortlisted for Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2009, 2010
Longlisted for Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2011 Shortlisted Best Written Book Blog - 2010

What Will 2016 Look Like?

I have gone through immense loss and tremendous personal growth in 2015. It has been a difficult journey and, truthfully, one I am still traveling. The thing about grief is that it provides a rich environment for reflection. Yes, it is painful. But with a little help, I decided to dig deep, feel those emotions, and thus work on healing in a way which would leave me stronger and more complete than before my loss. I will always grieve for my sister – that goes without saying – but, I want to honor her life by living my life to the fullest.

LavenderFarm.WP012009-07-02For those of you who visit this blog, you will have noticed some changes. I barely posted in 2015 and I stopped reviewing all the books I was reading. I needed my space. I needed to think about what I wanted to share and how I wanted to share it. I knew that I did not want to feel like my reading was linked to the obligation to review. So the first big change in 2016 is that I will no longer accept any books for review. And I will not be reviewing every book I read. If the spirit moves me, I will post my thoughts on reading…but I have decided to release myself from the obligation to do so.

The creative life is something I have always loved. I started knitting when I was in Junior High School – my first project was a Lopi sweater. I spent hours doing counted cross stitch for many, many years. I dabbled in jewelry making. I tried scrapbooking. I hooked rugs. But in 2009, Paula and her daughter, Abby, came for a visit and I made my first quilt with Paula’s help. I loved it! I loved working with texture and color and watching fabric turn into a warm and comforting quilt. Thus began my quilting journey.

When Paula died, I inherited most of her fabric stash, and all of her unfinished quilts. I intend to finish all those quilts someday (it may take me awhile!) and I am using and loving much of Paula’s fabric. At first I was afraid that quilting would bring me sadness – it was one of the things Paula and I shared and loved. So much of what I learned about quilting began with her. We would talk several times a week on the phone, and 75% of those talks revolved around quilting and fabric and our next or ongoing projects. The photos below document our jump into collaborative quilting.

CollaborativeQuilt.Process30001CollaborativeQuilt.W&P.W'sQuiltTop0001Surprisingly, instead of feeling sad when I went to the sewing machine, I felt buoyed by Paula’s spirit. I felt closer to her. Creating became a “Zen” place for me, a place where I could work through emotions and heal from my pain. I experimented with Improv Quilting and my first improvisational piece reflected so much of my journey (you can read about that here).

Improv.HeartBeat.Label0001So the next big change you will see here on my blog is there will be more posts about the creative life and quilting. I want to share my experiments – the successes and failures, the ups and downs, but mostly the joy of “making.” I do not intend to have a “schedule” for blogging. I will write when I feel there is something I want to share. I hope you will stick with me even if there are days or weeks when I do not post!

When I first started my blog, it was a personal space to share stories and thoughts. It morphed into a book blog eventually, and although I still shared some personal stories, it was mostly a place to talk about literature. It seems right that things have come full circle and it will now be a personal space again, a place of reflections and creation and a glimpse into my life.

Thanks for taking the journey with me!

creativeliving quote

7 Comments

  1. December 29, 2015    

    I’m so glad that quilting has helped you feel closer to your sister; i know how much you both loved it and share when you collaborated. I’m glad that you are finding your way through the grief and finding a more complete you! I wish you luck with any project, and I’ll be reading when you post. **HUGS**

  2. Ti Ti
    December 29, 2015    

    I know we originally met through book blogging but I’ve always considered your blog more of a creative outlet than anything. I am very creative but lack the time to pursue my creativity so I’ve always enjoyed visiting your blog. Kind of like getting my creative fix for the day. I wish you the best of 2016 and I am looking forward to seeing what you create!

  3. Mary Mary
    December 29, 2015    

    You are a strong, beautiful, kind, wise woman who will continue to thrive in your creativity and make all our lives better for knowing you.

  4. Kay Kay
    December 29, 2015    

    Wendy, I’m just delighted with what you shared here. Really delighted. I know that you have had a hard 2015 and I’m so happy that you feel that you can share those thoughts with us here and that you can continue to show us the beautiful things that you make. You have such a gentle spirit. And there is just no telling what impact all this might have on someone else who is hurting and sad. So, let’s celebrate the fact that 2016 is coming. I feel like both our sisters would be cheering us on. Big, big hugs to you. I’ll be around to read whenever you feel like sharing.

  5. Cathie Cathie
    December 29, 2015    

    Goes without saying, I will be sticking right with you. You need to be proud of yourself how you have turned this great loss into something so positive and motivating. I know I am proud to call you my friend.
    Millions of hugs

  6. December 29, 2015    

    I’m so glad quilting has helped you with your grief. I’m sure your sister approves. However you blog, we’ll be along for your journey.

  7. January 2, 2016    

    It’s been a hard time for many of us, but I love that you have a connection to your sister through your quilting. May 2016 bring you peace.

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