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a year end reflection and gifts for you

In a few days we will celebrate the end of 2010 and the start of a new year.  It is one of several times throughout the year that I stop to reflect on what has passed and what I want for the days, weeks and months ahead.


This image is an all-time favorite:
A little boy, who lost one shoe, chasing a seagull on the beach.
I had a great time watching him play – carefree and in the moment.

2010 was a year of change and transition for me, with bittersweet endings, thrilling beginnings and unexpected adventures that playfully pushed my inner-child-out, front and center.

On this late December day I am empowered by the realization that each new dawn brings another chance to make different choices. And that is what I am doing, making different choices – learning to trust that the Universe will support me as I bravely move forward.

My gift to you as 2011 approaches is a mini calendar (PDF download) that I created with a few favorite pictures of the coast of Connecticut, where I have been staying for the last few months working as an apprentice to an artist and planning my year-long apprenticeship project.

From me.  To you.  Enjoy – and Happy New Year!

2011 Mini Calendar from daMuse

I printed my calendar on scalloped edge card stock, fastened the pages with a binder clip and tacked it to the wall. Easy. No Fuss. Low Tech.

Chance to win a custom image from daMuse!

I am taking a few days off to do what I do (see above) but I have one last question for you this year:

What word will you use to set your intention for 2011?

My word is ABUNDANCE…more about that later. Leave a comment. Tell me yours. Really, I want to know.

Custom TextMessage by Susan Lomuto (aka daMuse)

When I come back on January 3rd I will choose three people and create a custom image download for each of them using their word – a wonderful reminder all year long to stay focused on their intention. Need some help?

C’mon over to the comments area and tell me…what’s your word for 2011?

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59 Responses to a year end reflection and gifts for you

  1. I have two words actually.



    There’s the kind of faith that I have all the time. And then there’s the faith in myself. Sometimes to have that faith (for example, in my art or an art project), I just need to start and the rest follows.

    Happy New Year to you Susan! I’ve loved reading your blog throughout the year.

  2. I am not as eloquent as those who have already posted. my word is ‘peace’…with that achieved there is ‘order’ in my life and a sense of ‘contentment’. i guess that’s 3 words. Do you accept that ‘challenge’?

  3. My word is ‘Fruition’. The word popped into my head as soon as I read your post, Susan. After a long career in art, I feel as though all the time & discipline I’ve put into my work is coming to fruition. I hope to hold on to the momentum I’ve created these last couple of years. I hope to keep exploring & enjoying while drawing on all those years of technique & regimen, added to the excitement & delight of discovery.

  4. My word for the year is FOCUS in recognition of the need to concentrate my efforts on those things that matter most, rather than give in so easily to the distractions that are everywhere.

  5. my word is BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! our little dog ran off in the beginning of december and after 16 days of being lost in the woods, he was returned to us and my faith was restored. i had forgotten what i used to know: that i don’t know anything and EVERYTHING is possible. my altar is to believing in miracles!

  6. My word for 2011 is “growth”.

    I love your text messages, and love the use of the words “text messages”!

    Good luck with your apprenticeship…I’m waiting with bated breath for your reports.

  7. First, thank you for your daily contribution to my life. I truly look forward to your newsletters everyday. Brings me a little beauty that I might otherwise not have seen.

    I’ve had my hands full with a sick (but loving) husband, large family of awesome grandchildren (AND their parents), WONDERFUL friends (including my neighbors) and not enough hours in the day. I was going to make my “word” our last name to remind me to keep my focus on the things that truly matter, but my friends are as important to me as my family. So…as boring as this is, I think the word HAS to be F.A.M.I.L.Y to remind me of the points between the obvious letters! My friends are the punctuation in my life!!

    Here’s hoping you and your readers have a WONDEROUS New Year!!!

    Renee Sue

  8. Susan your website has always been so inspiring. I’m excited for you to start your new creative adventure. Can’t wait to see where it takes you.

    Thank you for hostessing such a fun giveaway!

    My word is: Commitment
    (commitment to projects, letter writing and learning new things)

  9. The calendar is lovely – but hopefully you know that your blog itself is a wonderful gift of peace, calm, and inspiration. 🙂 Just thinking about my “word” has been a few moments of welcome introspection out of the yuletide rat race.

    My word is FORGIVE; after a lifetime of sick perfectionism, I am trying to learn to forgive myself and not set impossible standards. The next step after that will be figuring out some way to be motivated, when self-flagellation is taken off the table. Sigh. 🙂

  10. PEARL is the word I have chosen for 2011. Like a pearl, I will take unpleasantness and turn it into something beautiful. I will learn from these moments and perhaps create a “pearl” of wisdom. Creatively, I will start with something insignificant, possibly even ugly, and build it up to something of beauty, like a pearl does. At the end of the year, I hope to look back at all the pearls in my life and delight in the warmth of their luster.

  11. Thanks for all of the lovely writing that comes my way and for the beautiful art and artists to whom I am introduced through your wonderful work. As I find myself always running, running…trying to meet deadlines and cram more into my days, I have chosen the word STILL for 2011. I am hoping to have more still time, for reading, for writing, for reflecting and for just observing the wonderful world around me.

  12. CELEBRATION! Every day I celebrate my craft– polymer clay– it’s flexibility, it’s vibrance, it’s ability to make anything my mind can conceive. I celebrate that I have finally found the medium that let’s me express myself completely. Polymer is the shape-shifter of artistic media– it can incorporate almost anything into itself–color, texture, finish. I celebrate that I am full of ideas, an endless river that never runs dry. I celebrate a like-minded community of others out there who share my passion to create and share that passion with others. Life is good! Happy New Year! And thanks for your wonderful blog, Susan!

  13. For over 2 years my word has been balance. I continue to get closer to retirement from my 30+ year career as a social worker and expanding my work as a fiber artist. Most times it is difficult to create personal time and to put my needs first.

  14. My word is WELLNESS. I want to be sure that everything I do is contributing to my wellness – the food I’m eating, the activities I pursue, the people I engage with – everything. I will be on the hunt for doctors who I can trust and have my interests at heart. I need to support this body that has been so good to me and this is the year.

  15. My word for 2011 is MAGIC. I want to help others believe in magic. There is so much real magic and so many little miracles around us. I think as an artist I am open to perceiving the world in this way, and if anything I create, or if only by my example as I dedicate my life to my art, can help others see the world the same way… well, that would enrich all our lives.

  16. Beautiful photos on your calendar – thanks for sharing!
    My word for next year is: FORWARD
    Need to move forward with my life, my art, just about everything. I once read a great line that sums up my life until now: “I’m just sitting here waiting for my life to begin.” Well, I’ll be 50 next year and I think it’s about time to start living my life, so I’m going FORWARD.

  17. My word for next year is “Pause”. Life is getting so frenetic that I need to remind myself to pause to really listen to what people are saying, to really see the beauty around me to assess and adjust – my view, my heartbeat, my breath, my thoughts, my assumptions and my response. Thanks again for your generosity and commitment to the creative spirit in all of us.

  18. The word I have chosen to set my intention for 2011 is APPRECIATE. Spend more time appreciating the talents I do have and not worry about the ones I lack (at this time) but come to understand that we are all constantly growing and evolving and learn to appreciate where we are today.

  19. Beautiful photos. My word is fulfillment. That I should look back on each week and feel fulfilled about at least one personal artistic achievement. Not to let everyday life take me over and lead me away from my goals. No more side-tracking!! Happy New year to all.

  20. Jay GRATITUDE is fine, great, wonderful in fact. It doesn’t matter how many people choose a word – no worries! The reason it didn’t show up right away is that I had to approve the comment – just the way I have the comments feature set up. Once I’ve approved your first comment then future comments should appear immediately when you submit them. Cheers!

  21. I should have read the comments before I put in my word. GRATITUDE had already been submitted. Sorry. I should have known something was wrong when in my first attempt the word was omitted. Happy Holidays

  22. Thanks for the great images.I reflected on a memory with each one. My word is GRATITUDE. I have it written on a rock I carry in my pocket to remind me each time I see it. Gratitude for the blessings of the past, the bonus of another today and the hope of a tomorrow. But mostly gratitude for NOW, because that’s all we really have anyhow.

  23. thank you for the beautiful calendar! the images are amazing.

    my word for 2011 is “WONDER”. . . i want to be filled with it everyday. at times, all of us are sidetracked with our share of life’s challenges, there is no getting around that. my goal for 2011 is to remember to get back to the sweet wonders of life as soon as i can.
    thank you! happy holidays, and keep creating!

  24. I could also happily pick ABUNDANCE, but I also love EASE. 2011 will be a year of ease, resting in the knowledge that the Universe is perfect and all is well. Best wishes and thanks so much for your wonderful contribution to my life.

  25. I love the calendar and am a big fan of your blog. “Trust” is my word for 2011 as I’m making some big changes in my life and am trusting the Universe to support me along my journey. Happy New Year Susan and thank you for everything you do!!

  26. Beautiful photos. My word is fulfillment. That I should look back on each week and feel fulfilled about at least one personal artistic achievement. Not to let everyday life take me over and lead me away from my goals. No more side-tracking!!
    Happy New year to all.

  27. My intention for 2011 is to “explore”: myself, the various art media that I love, this country and hopefully a few other places on the planet. I hope to do this playfully, not taking life too seriously and with a spirit of adventure that enables me to play at my edges.

  28. My word is RESILIENCE. I have a lot I want to accomplish in 2011. I want to be able to focus on their completion and in order to do that I need to be able to overcome any “speed bumps” that might hinder me.

  29. I’d like to approach 2011 with a goal of SIMPLIFYING my life. This means clearing out things I don’t need or won’t use so that I can focus my time and energy on the things that are most meaningful to me. This process begins in my studio.

  30. My word for this year is INTENTIONAL. I want to make the things that I do each day be things I have thought about, chosen, and value. No more “accidentally” letting entire weeks go by without doing the things that really matter for me and my family. The unexamined life is, in fact, not worth living, so I have examined mine and INTEND to make some changes. I have decided to live INTENTIONALLY.

  31. Lovely calendar images, Susan. Thank you for your generosity. I haven’t chosen my word for 2011 yet. I have a few in mind and need to sit with them and listen to the one that calls to me.

    Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.


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