Sunday, August 15, 2010

You're Invited!

 
Welcome!

So glad you could be here to celebrate my First Blogiversary with me. A year ago today I sat at the computer and wrote my first post. I will never forget how nervous I was - and as I reread my thoughts from last year, I notice that the word "fear" was used on several occasions. I remember that my hands were literally shaking as I pushed the "publish" button for the first time: I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew that, after years of wanting a blog, I was finally going to muster the courage to try it. But I didn't do it for myself.  If it was just for me, I may not even be here today . . .


You see, you may not know this, but the reason I started this blog at all was to spread the word about our  hope to adopt again. Adoption can be a numbers "game," and I was looking for a way to let as many people as possible know about our desire to bring home another baby. I was really looking for help; and when my friend suggested I start a blog, I thought I would give it a try. But then came the big question: what would I say? And to quote a family member at the time, "uh, who's gonna read it?!" I didn't know. But I knew I was going to give it a shot. So, after years of being a faithful reader of the Stampington line of mags., including Artful Blogging, I decided to focus on my art and joined a weekly challenge site in order to get people to know I was here . . .


And this is where you come in. What I didn't know a year ago when starting this blog in an effort to find a baby, was that I was giving birth to a side of myself I didn't really know I had. For years I created art in my head (and for the occasional gift or two), but with the excuse of this blog, I was actually doing it on a regular basis. And with each new challenge from Mixed Media Monday, I forced myself to try something different, to do something that I'd never done before. I became hungry for knowledge and, as you started to comment and offer words of encouragement, I became hopeful for praise. I never knew how much it would mean to hear positive feedback - and from people who "get it." It can change a person. I found my art developing, becoming hopeful, telling my story and, especially in the beginning, becoming a vehicle to express my hopes and fears of being a Mother for the second time. 

And then, about half way into the year, when I was on a "roll" and feeling a bit more comfortable with my art, I joined The Artistic Mother's Group, an online group of women who are going through the projects outlined in Shona Cole's book of the same name. And there I found not only who I was becoming as, dare I say it, an artist, but I found friendship and camaraderie in fellow Mothers. And I started understanding that some of the excitement and frustration I felt being at home with Kendra was common. Gasp. I was not alone. I was beginning to understand that a lot of the things we feel as people,  artists and Mothers are universal. We all want to be happy and live fulfilling lives. We want happy relationships and happy children. We want new experiences and to be proud of what we have to offer. We want to leave our "mark" while at the same time celebrating the successes of others. I have found all of this with you, and in the last year. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Although I can't say that I found a Birth Mother this year, or that we are any closer to having a sibling for Kendra, I can say that I am positive that it'll happen. I just know it will. And of course, what started out as a way to find a baby, has become a path to finding who I am as a person. I have never been happier than in this last year: I have my beautiful family, happy as we are and looking forward to the future, and I have a sense of who I am among you all. So grateful to support and be supported by you as we are on our paths to find how we can make the most of what we are given. I have finally lived the words of the quote that I spent my twenties repeating: 

"The future lies with those who believe in the BEAUTY of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt


Now . . . on to the best part of a party . . . Prizes and Presents! There were over 61 comments left for the Big Blogiversary Giveaway, 60 of which wanted to be included. From that group, the winning number was split right down the middle . . .

(drawn this morning)

And the winner is . . . YOU! 

Now, because I want everyone to go away with something from the party, I have a goodie bag for you all! Please feel free to download the following images to use as you wish. There is everything from vintage French text to the cover and interior pages of a vintage children's book to a vintage school picture to, my favorite, a collage sheet of several vintage Old Maid playing cards. All are from my personal collection and most have just been acquired. They would be great for mixed-media projects, art journals, scrap pages, well, you know better than I do. I hope you enjoy them. . . 
  


Thank you for coming, and for your continued support of my art and life. I am honored to be on this journey with you and look forward to another year of laughs, love and fingernails covered in acrylic . . ..

Kristin xo

21 comments:

Elsina said...

Thank you for the goodiebag! Congratulations on your First Blogiversary!

peggy gatto said...

Congratulations!!!
I always have fun here!!

Julia Christie said...

Kristin,
What a moving post! Congrats on one year of a deliciously artful and productive journey, and on finding your path. It is so fun to meet other mother's as they try to balance all the aspects of family and life while trying to hold onto themselves at the same time. Encouraging to hear about your experiences over the last year!

Smiles and congrats to Faerwillow on her win. She is just fabulous too!

Smiles and looking forward to another great year of art and posts from you!

missy k said...

Congrats to Faerwillow..... she is going to have so much fun!

Thankyou for the 'party bag'.....it all so sweet.

I hope you have another brilliant year blogging and I look forward to sharing it with you. Wishing you lots of luck and love with your adoption hopes.

Karenx

scrapwordsmom said...

Kristin...I am so blessed to have found you and have been able to share this journey with you...even if it's only been for awhile!

I am inspired by you and your work.

Love,
Leslie

These images are AWESOME!

jenny said...

Beautiful post Kristin, congrats again on reaching the one year mark...look forward to many more of your inspiring blog posts and gorgeous artwork...thanks for the goodie bag...

Jenny x

indie grrrl said...

Happy 1st Anniversary Kristin!! Hope you have continued success and I believe your dreams will come true. Thanks for the goodie bag.. so thoughtful! xoxo

sotheywillalwaysremember said...

Happy 1 year! I am so glad you started this, you are doing an amazing job and you were meant to be an artist!
xoxo
Nina

Priya Zanil said...

Congratulations on your Blog anniversary.

Thanks for doing a Giveaway which was a treasure chest.

From what i read in your post it is true that maintaining a blog could have positive effects on us and each of the comments are encouragement to us.

Margaret said...

Congratulations on your first year Kristin, beautiful post! thank you so much for the 'goodie bag' love the game of old maid images! Margaret

Joyce said...

Happy Blogiversery! It's been a pleasure sharing the Artistic Mother journey with you. Love your work. Thanks for the lovely images.

Taryn said...

Wow fab goodie bag, thank you! Hoping your family gets to welcome a new addition soon, and hope you continue to enjoy your art and your blogging!!

Diana Evans said...

oh what fun!!! I thought I smelled cupcakes!!! Congrats on your Anniversary!!!! and how sweet of you to share you stash with us!!!

Hugssssssssssss
Diana

missy k said...

Kristin

Sorry to hear about your dog... you must be so sad.. 18 years .... lots of happy times and long walks to remember later I'm sure but so sad right now.

........

I am just about to print off the lovely images you shared :)

Yes, to your question! My family.... Woody my eldest (21) and Livi my youngest (just 17) Elliott my middlest (!) is 19 and didn't want to come and Barry was at work :(

Lots of love and a big hug ( )

Karenxxx

Mandy said...

wow...these re so cool...gee girl...you know me so well...i love them!!!!love the end one to bits...xxx

Amy said...

Congrats to the winner..luck you!
Oh my such an emotional blogiversary.
It's so nice you have reflected into the effects the blog has had on you. I do hope someday that baby #2 finds you!
I pray for that as I know you are truelly an amazing mother! I hope this new upcoming year for you will bring many new things of happiness your way!
I'm just happy we met online and formed an artful friendship! Hugs

Melinda Cornish said...

We are all so different, yet alike in a wonderful way too....Happy blogiversary and I wish you the best on your search....

faerwillow said...

~kristin...blogging is such an amazing journey to be apart of and on...i am delighted you mustered up the courage and pushed that publish button...you are here and we all get to be apart of your world...your words, art and life...getting know such a wonderful soul! i wish for what is meant to be to come forth in a beautiful way...sometimes we have to let time take the upper hand and hang on for what is to come....your heart is huge and it shows each day...and through such a wonderful giveaway and goodie bag! i l♥ve how you unveiled the winner...thank you so...now i have to remain patient!! can't wait...much l♥ve and light upon you and your always and brightest blessings aplenty~

dani said...

congratulations, my friend.
here's to many more anniversaries to come!!!

Nicole Austin said...

congrats on your blogaversary! :) thanks for the visit to my blog and kind words. it was so nice to read your story of how you started blogging. it is very inspirational. here's to another year of wonderful things to come!

Emakesart said...

What a beautiful post. And wow, look at all you've accomplished in a year, amazing! I'm so thankful that you have this blog and that we found each other through the Artistic Mother's group. You are such an inspiration...talented and sweet, and of course...your appreciation of all that is rusty and weathered makes you even more special..hee hee! So congrats on your first year of blogging!

xoEsther