2020 Word of the Year: Focus

Home: Although it is number 7 on my list it is certainly not the least of the areas I want to focus on this year.

Do you start out your year with a word of the year? I have been doing this for a few years now. Last year my word was determination. I was determined to get certain things accomplished. I did get some things finished and/or started some I did not. But that is not going to stop me. I think almost everyone fails to accomplish all the resolutions that they set out to do. The trick is to just begin again and focus. Hence my word for 2020, FOCUS.

I have been attempting to brainstorm how I wanted this post to go. Particularity since it is the first post of the year and what I hope is a new start to this blog.

One of the blogs I regularly follow is Pretty Neat Living. A couple of days ago I received an email from Jen that was explaining her new youtube video entitled New Years Goals and Reflections/2020. She talked about her word of the year, her past words, and the areas in which her word would be applied and how it would help her grow in the these areas. Her video gave me the inspiration I was looking for in reference to my own word of the year and the areas of my life I am going to focus on.

I have chosen 7 areas in which to focus on; creative, memories, writing/reading, finances, relationships, spiritual, and home. I chose 7 because I perceive 7 to be the perfect number. God created the earth and man in 6 days and rested on the 7th day thus creating the number 7. These areas are not in any special order.

AREAS

  1. Creative: In this area I want to focus more on this blog and my various art projects. As far as the blog goes I want to post at least twice a week this year. I also need to add some pages and work on some of the legal aspects of the blog. Many of my readers are aware of the many art and craft projects that I am continuously working on. My goal in this area is to participate in a vendor’s fair. This is something I have wanted to do for quite some time.
  2. Memories: Are you into paper of digital scrap booking? I used to scrapbook a lot. I have made paper scrapbooks for 2 of my children for presents as they got older. Maybe you are more into digital scrap booking. I have done these also for various family trips, granddaughter’s birthday, and grandchildren. I want to begin doing yearly photo books with the pictures I take throughout the year. My husband is always complaining that he never sees the pictures I take any more. It all takes planning and focus to stay on top of this goal.
  3. Reading/writing: I used to be an avid reader. I have never lost my love for reading; I just lost the time while I was working. Now that I have retired I have begun reading again. You will see the book reviews of the books I have been reading. I have also joined an online book club that my sister started. I not only like to the feel of the paper book, I enjoy reading books on my Kindle app and listening to books on Audible while commuting. One of the biggest goals I have had forever is to write a book. I have a partial story line, the first few pages and the title done. Now all I have to do is focus on getting it written. In order to help with this endeavor I have joined a writer’s guild at our local library.
  4. Finances: I recently retired so my income has dropped by 50%. This has made money a little tight, but not unmanageable. In order to help in this area I use several couponing apps and am constantly looking for sales. I have cut out all impulse buying.
  5. Relationships: I want to be more focused in fostering good relationships with those around me. My sister and I along with our husbands are planning on taking a cruise together. I am planning on patching a broken relationship with my brother.
  6. Spiritual: Currently my husband and I are attending a small country church on Sunday evenings. Although we feel very welcome there, neither of us are really involved in the church. I have not been involved in extra-curricular church activities, which I really miss. I need to begin my own daily devotions again also.
  7. Home: Although it is number 7 on my list it is certainly not the least of the areas I want to focus on this year. I am currently decluttering and then I plan on organizing cabinets, closets, and my craft room/office. I have just today donated a trunk and back seat load of things. I have found a few more things that didn’t quite make it to the boxes.

These are the various areas I plan to focus on this year. A couple of years I composed a list of 101 thing to do in 1001 days. This was my 2nd list. I don’t get everything done on these lists but it has proven to offer a guide for life goals. Click here to read the entire list.

Acrylic Pours

This post my contain affiliate links from which I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Acrylic Pours

I found this art technique on Pinterest when I was searching for art projects for my Special Education students. When I found these I then went to the various You Tube channels to watch various artists making their art. My next step before introducing it in the classroom was to attempt one of the paintings myself. I was hooked. These are such fun to make and I recently discovered a new product that can be made with the leftover paint. I will briefly touch on that at the end of this post.

I have learned a new art technique that I am totally in love with doing. It’s fun, messy, and most of the time, very pretty. It can be customized with any colors you like. And best of all, it’s hard to make a mistake.

Supplies needed:

  • Canvas: The size is optional. Just remember, the bigger the canvas, the more ingredients and paint you will need.
  • Sargent Art 22-8827 Pouring Medium Acrylic, 128 oz
  • Acrylic paint in your choice of colors.
  • Silicone (Click here): Acrylic Pour Oil for Art – 100% Pure Silicone – Large 6 oz. Size – Highest Grade – Magical Cell Forming Silicone Oil – Great Value
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic or rubber gloves: I used disposable gloves.
  • Craft sticks: You can use anything you have available to stir the paint. Just remember that whatever it is, it will be unusable after you finish your acrylic pour.
  • Measuring cup
  • Large thumb tacks or
    Hyde Tools 43510 Painters Pyramid (10 Pack), 1, Yellow
  • heat gun or kitchen torch

Measurements:

To accomplish this step, I use clear plastic cups although you could use type of small cup. I also use craft sticks to stir the paint after I have put in all ingredients. I use 2 oz. of the pouring medium, 2 oz. of paint color, and a few drops of the silicone pouring oil per color of paint that I will be using per canvas. I incorporate 3 to 4 colors into a painting within a single painting. This will adequately be enough paint to complete an 8 x 10 canvas. (With some left over paint for another project that I will explain later post.)

Directions:

Before beginning to pour the paint, you need to place your canvas on something that will elevate the canvas. At first I used extra large thumb tacks. The were just a little hard to remove from the canvas frame. Then I discovered the painters pyramids. These are available on Amazon.

After all paint has been mixed, I began this pour by pouring a little of the white onto the canvas. Then I chose the next color and poured it slowly into the middle of the white. It does not mix together, but layers the paint. I continued this pattern until I have used all of the colors.

You are now left with a colorful glob of paint on your canvas. At this point you can use the heat gun or kitchen torch to heat up the paint slightly. Be careful not to burn your paint or canvas. Only do this for a few minutes at the most. This will bring out “cells” throughout your painting.

Laying your heat source to the side, at this point it is advisable to wear some disposable gloves. You are going to get very messy. Take your canvas in your hands slowly tipping it back and forth to move the paint around the canvas. Make sure to let it drip over the edges creating a border. It is perfectly acceptable to pour more paint around the canvas in places that need more paint to cover the entire canvas.

It became obvious as I was maneuvering the paint around the canvas that I needed to add more paint.

As you maneuver the paint around the canvas make sure to cover the sides also. This is why it is advisable to wear disposable gloves. It does get very messy.

After the canvas is covered with the pattern you have coaxed it into making, place the canvas back onto the pyramids to dry. This may take 24 to 48 hours.

Have fun with your pours. I hope you will share yours with us.

It’s been an extremely busy life.

I am working on my goals. What are your goals?

The following post contains affiliate links in which I may earn a small commission from. This is at no additional costs to you.

Hello Readers,

It has been a few months since you have heard from me. It has been a very busy summer and an active first few weeks of school. I honestly can’t remember ever having so much paper work in years past. If you remember, I am a teacher for Special Education. Things are finally settling down into a more structured routine.

To begin again, I thought I would give you an update on my Second 1001 Things to do in 101 Days. (Click the title to read that post.)

No. 7 on this list was to increase the number of subscribers to this blog. I am pleased to report that this goal is progressing nicely.  In May of this year by subscribers numbered 2590. The first of this month, they numbered 4850. To say I’m pleased in an understatement. Thanks to you all!

No. 13 on my list was to finish the Koi pond. My daughter-in-law’s mother had given me a liner for the pond and we  had put rocks around it but had not actually set it up anymore than that.

I decided not to finish it and took it out instead. It would have taken so much money to get the electric to it for the pump. Not to mention stocking it with the fish and plants. I just could not justify adding that expense to the budget.

My 19th goal is to fix up the back yard area that is right off of our deck. I already had a Dwarf Pink Dogwood tree right in the center of this space. It is really beautiful in the spring when it blooms.

My granddaughter and I have decided to plant a fairy garden around it next spring. She completed a 4-H project which was a fairy garden and through both of us working on it, we became very interested in succulents which we had used. On a side note, she won first place in this category at the county fair and she earned the privilege of completing at the state fair level.

My son moved and replanted a hydrangea bush in the back, in a corner and then I chose some yellow and purple perennials to go along the pool fence. I always try to choose perennials so I won’t have to keep purchasing flowers every year. I still have a lot to do out there though.

One of the biggest goals I had on my list was to increase my output of DIY and craft projects throughout this time frame. I can honestly say that although this has been a real effort, I have managed to spend more time in my craft room this past  year.

One of the first crafts I did was for my son for Father’s Day. His wife had pick it out and brought me the “D” for the project. She and their children painted it before I added the letters made with my Cricut machine. Each of the kids’ hand prints are on it. It was a fun project.

Next, I finally completed a large burlap, sunflower wreath that my oldest daughter had wanted for her front door. This was my first wreath of this kind and it took me some time to make it. But I think it turned out very well.

 

One of my granddaughters turned 13 in July, so I worked on a project for her birthday. My 11 year old granddaughter helped me tie-dye a t-shirt for her. Would you believe I had never tie-dyed before? After it dried, I used the Cricut to add images and writing to the shirt. I hear that she likes the shirt a lot.

This next projects were decorating a couple of t-shirts for the 11 year old granddaughter. I love working with my Cricut machine. (I have learned so much about the Cricut, but there is so much more I want to learn. I am no longer intimated by this fantastic machine. I guess that took care of goal number 51 on my list.)

I have finished a couple more of the cushions for our outdoor furniture. I only have a couple more to complete.

Now, I have several projects in mind for Christmas gifts this year. You’ll have to stay tuned to read more about them in a post coming up soon.

Goal no. 56 is to purchase new deck furniture. I did purchase two wicker swivel rockers with a matching table for the upper deck. Also, I bought a pool side box to hold various supplies that seemed to be always laying around. I still need to replace loungers by the pool but that will need to wait until next spring.

The next goal I was able to knock off the list was to make homemade ice cream. I remember sitting outside on warm summer evenings while my grandfather continually cranked the ice cream maker until we had delicious homemade ice cream. A couple of years ago my husband purchased a Kitchen aide stand mixer for me for Christmas. I love that thing. I have made so much in it including noodles. Yeah, me.

I bought this ice cream maker attachment to go with it about a year ago and had attempted to use it once. And that was a disaster. I ruined the wire mixing attachment and had to buy a new one. But, I finally conquered the task of making homemade vanilla ice cream and it was delicious. I can’t wait to try other flavors.

My next goal that I have accomplished was the one I dreaded most, potty training my grandson who turned 3 in February of this year. I hate potty training so maybe that’s why it always seemed so difficult.

Up until this spring, any time I would mention using the toilet he would say never. If I tried to put underwear on him, he would scream and cry like I was torturing him. I finally had decided to wait until warmer weather and it worked like a charm. Once I put underwear on him and repeatedly took him to the toilet, he was trained within 2 days. Not even diapers overnight now. It was a miracle! He was the easiest child I ever trained.

Three out of my 12 grandchildren live with me and between their mother, their parental grandparents, and myself we were drowning in toys.   First, I went through the oldest child’s room (when he was not home of course). That finished number 79 on my list, purging toys. I purchased a shelving unit that  could hold 8 bins. I only bought 6 bins and left 2 areas open for shoes. It makes the room look so tidy, when the toys are picked up of course.

The next goal on my list that I finished was painting the dressers in Shyla’s room.  The dressers and bed are all complete. The match the walls in her room. For Christmas, I am making her a bedspread to match the colors, curtains, and theme of her room. Her room is the prettiest one in the house. Number 93 has now been marked off.

Number 94 on my list was to replace the sheers in the living room. I knew that they would not survive one more washing. Instead of replacing them, I decided to take them down and see if I could handle not having my windows covered. We do not live right on the road so people seeing in will not be a major problem. We’ll see how it goes.

As of now that is all I have finished of my list. I had better rev up my efforts if I want to accomplish all of my list by November 28, 2020. I still have 84 things on my list to finished.

My life verse.