Well what a weird start to 2023 it has been. I feel every year we kick off thinking life might go back to normal and then something “unprecedented” happens throwing us all off course a little bit.
After taking a solid summer break to focus on my health I was feeling excited about 2023 at the end of January. I had planned my year, set my goals, tidied up the studio. And then on Friday 27th January we came home in the evening to find water pouring into my garage, studio and office.
At the time it was fairly stressful, the rain was torrential, I was out in the dark trying to dig a ditch to divert the water and keep track of my 4 year old by myself.
But seeing how bad it has been for so many others I feel incredibly lucky that the damage was superficial. And so stoked with my past self for doing a big tidy up on the Thursday because things could have been a lot worse.
Grateful I had tidied up the day before!!
Then Cyclone Gabrielle started tracking towards NZ and I quickly had to try and flood/cyclone proof everything in case it happened again.
My dad dug ditches along the edge of the garage/studio/office. I did a major clean out which, to be honest, was long overdue but not how I had planned to spend the first part of my working year. Everything in the studio and office has been lifted up, shelving has been installed, things are now stored in big plastic containers. I discovered art supplies I hadn’t seen in awhile.
I made sure my insurance was all up to date because how heartbreaking has it been, hearing all these stories of people who have lost everything and don’t have insurance.
Thankfully dad’s ditches did the trick and we made it through Cyclone Gabrielle unscathed, which can’t be said for so much of the North Island. I will be having a big studio clear out sale of lots of stock and art I no longer have room for after flood proofing the studio. There is some stock that will be discontinued so it will be the last time to grab certain prints. I will be donating 10% off the profits to the New Zealand Red Cross to support the flood and cyclone relief efforts.
On my doctor’s orders I took an extended break this summer to try and heal from what is probably chronic fatigue/long covid. Things have improved a bit but I still operate at a much much slower pace, I regularly have to nap and I really have to watch how much I take on. I haven’t actually put a paint brush onto canvas in several months, and I’ve had the longest social media break I think I have ever taken. But I have had lots of little creative projects on the go throughout summer because without them I would probably go a bit nuts.
One of my goals this year is to slowly give my house a bit of a facelift. I love a bit of DIY and it is amazing what a can of paint can do when you don’t have much of a budget. I have added some pops of colour to our bathroom, I painted the outside of the studio with help from my little assistant, and I am currently working on revamping the corridor - watch this space.
Bathroom before (2020) and after (2023)
The outside of the garage/studio/office has had a facelift
I have also been spending my Thursdays with 10 other women learning how to use power tools to make and create things. Now I know what these tools do and they no longer seem scary, I have so many ideas for things to make from art projects and frames for my canvases to practical things for my house and garden.
And I got to fill my cup at SPLORE festival which was covid-canceled last year. Arlo came with me and we had a great time going through the dress up box and making some new headpieces.
There was some more “unprecedented” rain on the Friday night which made it a very very muddy weekend, but the sun shone for Saturday and Sunday. We were surrounded by colour, creativity, music and art, and were both completely exhausted and muddy by the time we got home.
So despite the rain and the slower pace of life it has been a nice summer. There are lots of exciting things in the works for this year and I will slowly be easing myself back onto social media to share more of what these are soon.
Have a great week and thanks for sticking by me while I took an extended break.