Tuesday, November 24, 2020

T is for chooseday the importance of space and thoughts on word of the year


this measuring spoon says a "smidgen"

this week I read a post on someone's word of the year and I remembered it's time to choose mine. 

Oh, none chosen yet... and last year's word fell apart for the first time since I started doing this years ago. I found out how important these words are, how much I learned each year by leaving myself open to the experience. 

I also discovered that I seldom learned or experienced what I thought I would. 

Back to my online friend's word... empty.( read her post here ) On first thought you might wonder why someone wants to explore emptiness. 

I told her, "this sounds like a Buddhist way of being to me, peaceful, empty, making room for the daily blessings"... adding....

"If a room is empty, any ornament becomes the focus "

Then I stopped to read what I'd written and realized how important this is.

Imagine being able to live with a bit of room, of letting go of some preordained concepts that do not fit, of making emotional space for new experiences, of making room for new friends, of clearing away things you no longer need making room for that which you now need. 

Anyway, she made me think and that is a good thing. I will be thinking about my word for the year. Last year I chose a phrase:

"open the door" and thought I would open myself to new things, experiences, places and people. Then the virus struck and it was not safe to open any doors. I began to hear people who live  around me saying idiotic things, dangerous things, hateful things because they believed the rhetoric of one man instead of looking for facts. They listened when he told them I was their enemy instead of being just another citizen with a different point of view.

I became increasingly isolated and depressed. 

When you choose a word, mostly you will learn sideways. I learned how others 'close their doors', I learned when to open my own and when I felt safer closing it. I learned why some people are closed off, and it had something to do with perceived safety. I learned a lot this year, from my phrase. 

We are approaching a time when we can make a fresh start. I hope others will empty themselves of preconceptions and old beliefs that are not based in facts, me too. I hope that word presents itself over the next month so I can start anew too. 

 For my friends at T is for Tuesday, where we talk about our creative lives and show what we're drinking  my  photo of assorted drinks in the fridge. 

new little beaded coasters

Creatively I am trying to be in the moment and notice what is around me. Colors, lines, repetition, balance. Nature is a great artist if we slow down to see. I used to have a great quote on my studio wall in Maryland, and cannot find it now, but it said something like

The artist paints mainly what she sees, but what she sees is what she looks for

I love color, saturated color and took on the challenge to use light neutrals as my focus this month. 

one block on top of another changes both of them

At first I balked... no way! I don't see the value in that! It's not exciting or colorful! Bah! Then..... I opened my mind to what neutrals were, and discovered a calmness and gentleness in using low contrast. I used enough contrast to see the lines of my art, and yet allowed my mind to make order of the lines. It's like a conversation where the viewer makes up their own minds about what is there. 

To come full circle it's like making space, like becoming empty so that we can start anew. 


  1. I like the idea to pick a word for a year... but meanwhile I'm afraid that my word for this years starts with a big f... sigh...

  2. My word for 2020 was Simplify and I sure did. I have been nowhere since March and I don't buy anything online. I've certainly simplified my life and my spending habits. I look forward to seeing what word you choose for 2021.

    I like your neutrals and I look forward to seeing how this quilt turns out. Your beaded coasters are quite unique. Different from any coaster I own.

    You certainly have your choice of drinks to choose from LeeAnna. Thanks for sharing your design wall, your coasters, and your drinks with us for T this Tuesday.

  3. Good thoughts I have never chosen a word for the year but I find it an interesting thing to do I also never make new year resolutions I try just go along and make each day a good day if that is possible.
    Happy T wishes Kathy

  4. Last year I skipped choosing a Word, but did pull my little "focus" pennant out front and center in my sewing room. I've been thinking about a new Word for 2021 however. Something positive and suggesting renewal.

    I have a low contrast project floating around in my head - based on a pattern I had purchased. I think it will be outside the box for me but I'm excited to give it a try.

  5. It's sad that you live in such a cruel community. I'm lucky in that respect -- our county was 72% for Biden, so we don't have a lot of nastiness to contend with. Unfortunately, as you say, the current political situation is so polarized that it's not something that can be resolved because the current president has destroyed goodwill towards men and women. I guess we are lucky that he didn't also manage to destroy peace on earth. We hope.

    I've never thought about having a word of the year (or week or month or day). But I'll be interested to see what you choose and how it reflects your life.

    be safe... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  6. They'll never be open as long as their idol is talking like he is, and there's no indication he'll stop. I'm not feeling positive about that aspect of things :(

    The phrase "learn sideways" strikes me. I'm loving the beaded coasters. They remind me of some beaded pieces my mother and her cousin used to make back in the 1960s.

    Happy T Tuesday!

  7. I need a smidgen spoon. My current set stops at 1/4 tsp and I really miss the 1/8. Good luck finding a word for 2021.

  8. I love that spoon. Happy T Day, Valerie

  9. I haven't "known" you long but it seems to me you do open doors every time you quilt. I like how you picked a phrase. I haven't done a word or phrase for a few years when I realized that by March I couldn't even remember my word. But it is a good thing to do and strive for. Happy T day and Thanksgiving!

  10. What a thoughtful post about word choices, and "empty". I have been choosing a word the last maybe 6 years. I try and let it present itself to me somehow.
    Never saw a "smidgen' spoon:)
    Wonderful bead craft and your quilting patterns are always beautiful. Happy T Day, and happy Thanksgiving too!

  11. I enjoyed reading your essay. Liked the smidgen measuring spoon. That could come in handy. The bead coasters remind me of some dessert dishes my mother used for special occasions. The dish sat in a plastic lotus blossom. My mother would have used those dishes for the Thanksgiving holiday. Your bead coaster made me smile. Thanks for the happy memory. Happy T Day and Happy Thanksgiving.

  12. Choosing a word for the year is a great concept, I always write some goals at the beginning of the year which keep me focused - yay! Your new beaded coasters look amazing, so pretty 😀. Happy T Day wishes! Hugs, Jo x

  13. I have never chosen a word or made a new year's resolution. For me it feels like I have put myself in a box. I do know quite a few people who. I will be very interested to know what word you pick. Love art as always. Enjoy your evening.

  14. Love the measuring spoon that says smidgen. Made me smile.
    I have chose a word one year, but didn't really stick to it. So lost interest in doing that. Interesting post. Happy T Day.

  15. What an interesting blog post. I read it more than once as there was lots to think about and I needed time to let it sink in.
    I've heard of the concept of choosing a word for the year, but i have never done it. Perhaps I should try...
    Happy (belated) T-Day,
    A smidgen is a fun way of saying one eighth. It made me smile.

  16. Actually, I think you've already chosen your word - Anew. I've never chosen a word of the year, or made resolutions, or set goals. Perhaps that's why I don't get much done. Let's give thanks for the friends we have and wish for a better year to come. I'll try very hard not to be pessimistic.
    PS: I'm not getting email notifications again. Just letting you know. I pop over whenever I see you link up to someone. Fortunately you link up to a lot posts I follow. Happy Thanksgiving.

  17. I like the colors in that fabric block. I had 3 words for 2020, then forgot I had written them down. I didn't rediscover them until recently. I'm not good at doing a "word for the year" type thing. With regard to some of your other comments, I'm going to assume you live in the US. Unfortunately the US has become so polarized that some people on both sides don't even realize when they are doing exactly what they say they don't approve of "the other side" doing. I've tried to keep the political fray out of my blog existence. Happy T-Day!

  18. I have a friend who has “pinch” and other measuring spoons...maybe smidgen and dash? Cute.

    I’m with you on color. I know a quilter whose husband calls her colors (bright, saturated) “clown colors” (lovingly). I can’t restrain myself, but have seen some very lovely “low volume” quilts. I admire the quilter’s restraint.

    I think I remember someone, possibly you, who gave a lesson on “be careful what you wish for” when her word of the year was “change.”

    A sad thing this year has taught us is that there isn't always next year.

  19. Cute block! Wise words. I have those cut measuring spoons. Got them in Barkerville many years ago and actually tried recipes from my great grandmothers cookbook. The Recipe worked. 😉

  20. Beautiful thought-provoking muse, LeeAnna.

    My word of the year 2020 (phrase actually, "It's all good.") was a bust too in one way because of the awful events of this unforgettable year. On the other hand, I learned some lessons about gratitude and being satisfied with what I have.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy T-day! Hugs, Eileen

  21. Love the Smidgen spoon! I have never opted to have a word for the year - I'm sure I would change my mind several times! Your quilt looks great! Love your drink choices in your fridge! Belated Happy T day, Chrisx