Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 in Review

2014 was a different kind of year. My father's death at the end of 2013 meant a lot of firsts for us this year. We managed, but 2014 was a sadder, more reflective, and slower paced year. I didn't have the energy to tackle any major projects. I just puttered along. 

It was a miserable winter with snowstorm after snowstorm. I have endless photos (and memories too) of piles of snow, shoveling snow, sun on snow etc. The snowstorms always seemed to hit on weekends which thankfully meant we didn't have to drive to work in the snow, but did mean we were housebound. We just kind of hibernated and licked our wounds (and shoveled snow).

In the midst of all those snowstorms our dear dog Juno passed away.

At the end of February, we embraced the crazy snow and cold temperatures and went to Niagara Falls to see some of the best ice mounds I have ever seen.

We went to the cottage lots this year - beginning in the March Break; then for Easter; often in the summer; with a friend in September to paint clouds and water; with friends and family for Thanksgiving in October; and with my mom in November. Here's a years worth of cottage photos to scroll through.


I never really gave up blogging, but I posted far less often for the first half of 2014 than ever before. By September I had regained my energy and hit my stride and rediscovered the joy of blogging which I wrote a blog post about (here) (By the way, the husband thinks it is one of my best blog posts).

I did get a few things accomplished during the year - even some things that were on my 2014 New Year's resolutions list.  

I painted our dining room chairs navy and still love the colour.

I baked bread.

In the summer, I went on a fantastic trip with the husband and my mother to Newfoundland. We had perfect weather and saw such amazing beautiful sites. We all want to go back.

I painted a large painting (well large for me).

And finally, although I don't have a photo of it, I kept the stairs clear of clutter. all. year. long. (which is a complete first for me).  I decided it would be part of my fitness plan to actually take the items up or down the stairs rather than putting them on a step to wait for me to take them later. I love having the stairs clear and now can't stand having anything on them. Oh and speaking of my fitness plan, I did a little self-improvement and made some changes to my diet and fitness regime and have lost 10 pounds (more about that later).

I also got my crafting on this year - well a little bit anyway.

Kate was off at the University of Bath in England for the spring semester and did lots and lots of traveling (lucky girl). Since she was away for her birthday I made her a set of pop-up cards showing three of the places she had visited by that point.

I made little Hallowe'en treats to send to our son and daughter who were away at university.

I made personalized advent calendars for the same son and daughter (here)

 We made twig Santas at my annual Christmas craft party (here).

I decorated our mantel in a Scandinavian style (here).

We decorated our woodland Christmas tree with owls made from toilet paper rolls (here).

And I sketched and painted some scenes from my daughter's travels as a Christmas present for her (I also did one of the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal for my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas, but forgot to get a photo of it before they went home).

The husband had a significant birthday at the beginning of December which meant a significant present was in order.

And so we end the year with a new family member - the significant present and presence of Ruggles. 

I'm still pondering what resolutions to make for 2015. I can assure you that they won't be anything too wild, but I'll post about them later (when I know what they are, haha!)

I'm wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year, my friends!

Linked to Best Projects of 2014 party at Southern Hospitality


  1. Grace, I am sorry that the beginning of the year had so much sadness for you but it sounds like your year is ending on a more uplifting note. Your photography is beautiful and I am so impressed with your artwork and crafts! Oh, and that sweet doggie is just precious! Best wishes to you in 2015!

  2. I found you through the link party at Southern Hospitality. So sorry about the loss of your father but I am glad to see that you have made much progress working through your grief. Your artwork is very impressive. I especially like the advent calendars! The one in Chinese was particularly ambitious! I wish I had thought of that and been able to pull it off a few years ago when my daughter was studying in China for the fall semester!

  3. Grace, your paintings are lovely! I think it's very clever how you created travel paintings for your daughter. Happy 2015!
    Diane at

  4. Sorry for the loss of your other dog. But congratulations on your new puppy. Thank you for sharing your story and your pictures. There are picture. I enjoy your blog and will continue to read it. Thanks again and Happy New Year.

  5. Loved this retrospective. Your Joy of Blogging Post was one of your best btw. Looking forward to a new year and what is to come! Happy New Year!

  6. Grace, what a lovely stroll through the year of healing and strength. I grew up in Rochester, NY, so the Falls in winter was immediately recognizable (although I've lived in Florida for years). Even my husband saw your photo with your mom at the Falls and said, "I know that photographic spot." I feel we have a bond because of other events: my mom died this year, so I can understand how your world can be out of kilter. I loved the photos of the cottage and the family trip to Newfoundland. And your drawings for your daughter and son are terrific. You are so talented. I saw your link at Southern Hospitality party. Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey
    P.S. I just signed up to receive your email.

  7. I always enjoy reading your posts. It is great thay you have your creative talents and family time to help you through the losses that last year brought. Hoping that 2015 is a great year for your entire family. Ruggles is a cutie for sure.