It’s All Greek To Me…

Last night was the first session of my Greek language course…aie!

We learned and practiced pronouncing and writing the alphabet several times. It was interesting to me how the Greek pronounciation is very similar to the French pronounciation for many words, which is definitely an advantage for me.

For the first time in my life, I am actually having to put effort into learning a new language. I was lucky enough to be raised in a bilingual household, where I learned to speak English and French simultaneously. It wasn’t an effort for me to learn either language; it just came naturally. Learning Greek is a whole new experience: learning a new alphabet, new sounds, etc. is a bit scary, but fascinating noentheless.

I am lucky to live in Greektown here in Toronto, so I can already start practicing reading some of the Greek characters and words found on street signs and in stores. And for the first time in a very long time, I am having to memorize in order to learn – not such a bad thing after all, I guess.

I feel invigorated – and hopeful!

Opa!

Another Year with New Opportunities

It’s hard to believe that today is already Day 4 of 2009… Time continues to tick away, when there is still so much to do. I’ve spent the past several days just vegging out and thinking about what I want to accomplish this coming year. Although I haven’t posted on this blog in several months, I’ve been very busy creating in other areas of my life. In December alone, I:

·         Took part in a craft fair (while recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning)

·         Made no less than 6 custom books and 3 boxes for special commissions

·         Taught 3 bookbinding workshops

·         Wrapped up a weekly web design course I was taking

·         Made a bracelet as a Christmas gift for my mom and started a second one for myself (Found a new hobby – oh, joy!)

·         Made a painting (18”X24”) of Jim Morrison as a Christmas gift for my brother

·         Organized and delivered three events in three different cities for my pesky day job

I think I really overextended myself this time…no wonder I’m feeling so burnt out. For months I’ve been working long and stressful hours at my pesky day job, and on my crafty endeavours every evening and weekend.

Despite the current economic downturn, it is my greatest hope to start working for myself. Being a realistic person, I know it won’t be possible just yet. But in the meantime I have decided to set the wheels in motion so that when the timing is right, I’ll be ready. One example of this is the web design course I recently took – I started with the intention of learning to design my own website, but I can now see myself selling my services to others one day. With this in mind, I’ve signed up for a course to learn Adobe Photoshop, which will in turn help me to design better websites. I also signed up for a full-day workshop on Starting Your Own Business, so that when the timing is right, I’ll have the tools and skills in place to get things done quickly and correctly.

When I came back from my Christmas trip in Switzerland a year ago, I had decided I wanted to learn a new language (meeting so many Europeans who could speak several languages really inspired me) but I never did anything about it… Now one of my closest friends, Neil, is getting married in Greece this coming May, so I registered for a Greek-language course to keep me focussed on my goal of saving enough money to attend the wedding (and impress my friends by speaking Greek!). Living in the Greektown area of Toronto will no doubt help me learn the language more easily. I can’t wait until next week, when the course starts…should be fun!

Part of me feels that I’m again overextending myself by registering for all these course during my busiest time of year at my pesky day job (I will be organizing and delivering 5 events in January and 6 in February), but the other part of me feels that I really need to do this for myself if I want to improve my life in the long run. If I can get through the next two months, I can get through anything! I just need to stay focussed on my goals, get lots of sleep, and enjoy every free moment I have.

Here are a few photos of some recent projects:

artist-ribbon-notebook A notebook I made for a swap that never took place…

wedding-album-box A wedding album & box commission (I made 5 albums and 3 boxes for this couple)

bluenose-journal Another commission – a large journal for a Bluenose aficionado (like me!)

jim-morrison-painting The Jim Morrison painting I made for my brother

teal-bracelet The half-finished silver & teal bracelet I am making for myself (I made a similar one in gold & cream for my mom)

So tell me, what do you have planned for 2009?