I like to do this every year, reflect on what I've accomplished, at least stitching wise.
I would grade 2009 as a C+/B-. Don't those kind of grades just annoy you? In college, one of my theatre professors, who was a thoroughly lovely man, very smart, good actor, brilliant Shakespeare scholar, used to grade us like that. He assumed we all started off with Cs and had to work our way up. It was a shock to little ol' me, used to getting stellarly good grades and not working hard to get them, to suddenly get grades with minuses in his classes. Even the pluses were a shock because they usually had Bs in front of them, not A's. And he wasn't the kind of teacher who let you make up the grades with extra credit on tests. Now, extra credit in and of itself was a pleasant surprise in college, since a teacher in high school told us there would be no multiple choice tests or extra credit in higher learning, and, let me tell you, there were plenty of both at the University of Kentucky. But his tests were different. Essays in blue books (and don't you dare make your own blue book with construction paper, crafty friends), and extra credit that had very little to do with what you were studying in class. I think in my years of having him as my professor, I got one question right, and that was because we read a play by Moliere in high school French class, and I knew the name of the play in the original French. I got the bonus point and a shout-out in class, but I did not get extra extra credit for having the accent marks in the right place, facing the right direction. BOOOGER. But, I loved having him as my professor. He had a strong BS meter and he graded accordingly. If you weren't giving 100% effort, you didn't get an A. I spent most of the first part of the semester balancing in a C zone, because I wasn't paying attention to my craft, and, when I focused in and committed, I got the coveted A-.
The reason I tell this story is that I don't know if I really brought my A- game to my stitching this year. I allowed myself to be sloppy in my finishing, at least up until the fair, when I got called on it by the judges--my finishing has been more on point the last two months or so than it was all year. That's an improvement, not a success. Also, I didn't have the success at the state fair that I'd been seeking. I know, I know, having the lions get honorable mention is a great thing, and having Halloween Fairy win her class and be up for the Special Award is an honor, but I can't help but wonder what I need to do to be Best of Show? What can I fix in order to do better next year? I am learning to let the judges' critiques roll off when they're, in my opinion, not logical, or too nit-picky, but I am absorbing the lessons when I can.
But that's not to say that I'm entirely displeased with what I accomplished this year. I finished my large geisha. That, in and of itself, is a BIG DEAL. Since I didn't manage to get it done any other year this decade. And I set some lofty goals for the fair, and completed them. My lions are gorgeous. I can't look at them and say, "I could have done this better." Likewise, it wasn't a small task to get the kitten throw started, completed and fully backed by fair-time. So I'm pleased with that. And I'm happy that I'm making some small progress on my UFOs. Not as much as I would like, but it's a start. I'd like to have several more finished by this time next year, if that's remotely doable. I am starting to wonder if I'll have time to enter things in the fair or even really stitch, with all the wedding planning that has to be done. But, we'll see.
I don't know if I'll be around the next few days. Thursday is HTB's birthday, so I've got a bit of coordinating with that. If I don't post back, I continue to wish you and yours a wonderful, healthy 2010. 2009 was a wild ride, but we made it through, maybe some a bit battered, with a few more grey hairs, but maybe we can focus on the moments of beauty and seek them out in the New Year.