2015 – a year growing up

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It’s that time of year where you look in the past, look ahead, learn from it and check what you’ve achieved so far.

And since these days, Woola Oops is also celebrating its very first birthday, let’s look at what happened in 2015 🙂

2015 has been an intense year, not an easy one to be honest and part of me can’t wait to be done with it, even if looking at my goals at the end of 2014, I realise that I’ve achieve some great things I wanted.

A slow year in terms of wedding photography for me  but a year to give myself some time to work on things, settle down, developp this knitting blog and my dyeing skills, improve my work tools, set up my goals and increase my contacts too. 🙂

In 2015 I have:

Seen more of Oregon, spent more time there, socialised there and really felt like I’ve lived there for good, being part of the landscape, as we say in France. I have friends there, have memories there and it was great !

Finally saw Crater Lake !

Crater lake

Met awesome knitters, dyers and yarn artist, in Portland, and at its yarncrawl

Team tricot !

I have learned how to spinn yarn and now own a spinning wheel and 2 spindles (among them, one of these gorgeous Jenkins spindle)

Rose CityYarn Crawl - Wool N Ware - spindle - fuseau

in 2015, I settle down in Auvergne, in central France. A bit by accident (or fate?). A part of France that I didn’t know, start to discover and start to really love actually ! 🙂

(these photos are from my  Instagram ) 🙂

Auvergne

Méandre de Queuille

I’ve created with friends #TeamAuvergne, to share, promote and meet people from this area 🙂

I get back to hiking and it feels goooooood (although I’m still trying to find my breath while dealing with difference of height) 🙂

Get back to my 4 agreements, it’s so much easier to deal with that when you don’t have to manage a cultural difference. I’ve improved my gratefulness and kindness skills and level and feel so much better these days. I also feel like I’m more and more surrounded by people like me, who also knows me and like me for who I really am. It feels really great and satisfying.

I am now able to follow a pattern, in French and in English, and I’m not even scared by it ! 🙂

and so, this year, I totally impressed myself out of my comfort zone :

I knitted my first shawl ! a beautiful Nurmilintu

Nurmilintu

But most of all, I made my impressive Begonia Swirl

Begonia Swirl - tricot chale - entete

I’ve seen Stromae in concert ! Not that I was a huge fan, but I had this opportunity to do so and that was one of the best evening of my year. Dancing and singing like I was 15 years old, and not giving a f… to what people around could thing about it –> AWESOME ! 🙂
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Volunteered more, and took responsabilities and management of things for a charity organisation ‘Les Petits Frères des Pauvres”. I already was volunteering for them from time to time when living in Paris but this year I have been more committed. and was in charge of organising the events for Xmas on the 24th and 25th of december (delivering presents in elderly centers, and hospitals, for lonely retired people). My way to share to the world; the kindness I received from others. 🙂

And in fact, I also launched knitting meeting at this place, creating a yarnbombing project to allow that charity organisation to be more seen, to be talked about, and to have people learn about it. Thanks to these meetings, I taught new people how to knit, and some friends even tried it ! 🙂

I did another Knitsgiving this year ! 🙂

A friend of mine, get back in my life. I’ve lost touch in 2014 because he was in a relationship with someone and decided to give up on some friends. He’s back now. Yep, silly victory dance was on the menu, but in the end, it’s all about learning not to be angry and bitter with ressentment, and leave room for gratefulness and kindness. It feels good and that’s what friendship is about ! 🙂

I knit my very first pair of socks (finished them yesterday evening !) 🙂

Last year, I’ve learnt how to knit socks, but didn’t pursue that thing that much, and not insisted on knitting the 2nd one. It will remain orphan, but now I’ve knitted a brand new pair of socks and love them ! (and will tell you about it on the blog very soon) 🙂

chaussette

I’ve joined the Gang de la Wool ! hoping to create some awesome piece of art in 2016 🙂

I had my minutes (days actually) of fame in Portland, thanks to my last yarnbombing, who became famous and made a huge buzz in town (and get me to be thanked by the city development comittee !)

yarnbombing Otters PDX small-3

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I have loved, not often, indeed, but very strongly. As if it was easier these days to identify who, or what can make me happy. What deserves my attention. As if my inner peace made things easier. And I assume it does…

To be continued then… 🙂

Oddly (because I wouldn’t have guessed), Auvergne area seems to be full of people who looks like me.

That area doesn’t stop surprising me. Even if it’s not Oregon, there is, here, an amazing playground, full of beautiful landscapes, and humans too.

You’ve now guessed that I don’t really miss Paris, even if from time to time I miss my friends there, and miss going for a walk in Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, or my beautiful Paris 🙂

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I went to a yarn event in South western France  (Lot et Laine) and loved it ! 🙂

I’ve discovered Cantal, Aveyron and Périgord county and really love these part of France (photos will be on the blog really soon) 🙂

Beynac

I yarnbombed a bunny  ! 🙂

I finally met my friend Lili Pixel, a good friend of mine, photographer and knitter too, living in North eastern France, near Metz ! 🙂

I also spent more time with my favorite llama !

moi et Rojo

I had pink hair and loveeeeeeeed it !

cheveux roses

But most of all : I stutied, worked really hard and created something that was very important to me : my very own collection of hand dyed yarn ! 🙂

ALTHOUGH, in 2015 :

I didn’t go to the feria in Andalucia, and I am not dancing sevillanas anymore, now that I live in Auvergne 🙁

I terribly miss that and hope to be able to dance in 2016

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I thought I would die, while stuck in a rental car, under a huge hail storm (size of tennis balls), in the middle of nowhere on the country side of South Western France. In the end I survived, but the car not really. The consequence of these awful 15 minutes has been tough on my plans, work, finance (and health !).

A good lesson for foresight, and managing like and money. But how scary ! 🙁

My health has been tricky while dealing with stress, with new things : eczema and a zona in bonus…

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US immigration gave me the worst time of my life to these days, and I’m still not over it.

These same immigration rules that, in France and elsewhere, are on the menu of politics and make people’s life so much more complicated. That event had the effect to calm me down, and made me understand that this will not work this way. It will just NOT BE POSSIBLE, no matter how hard I want it. It is too tough for me. No matter how frustrating this is. Immigration rules made me just too tired to hope, believe and try. 🙁 🙁 🙁

I understood that unless I earn a huge bunch of $$$$$$, or became smarter than I am and get a huge degree, I won’t be able to make it in US for a longer time than vacation. And actually, even vacations seems to be a problem, because that’s what happen that time. it made me understand that no matter where I want to spend my toughly earned money, I may not be able to do so, even if I respect the rules and play the game. Inhumanly treated, unrespectful, emotionnaly tough too and very intrusive for my private life. That’s what happen, although I was just someone who saved money to spend time abroad and knew I was allow to do so.

Turns out I love Oregon too much and went there probably too often on vacation for them and that gave them rights to treat me like shit. So I have decided to live in France, despite dreaming of being in Oregon, because that’s the only solution left. Anger will go away eventually, someday, but when looking at the news, politicians, and how people vote, it feels like the message these days is not matching with my vision of life and travels. So I intend to be an activist now, to make this world a better one, a more open, tolerant and welcoming one.

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This year, 2 friends that I knew and love very much died 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

Brigitte, a sevillana dancer friend, a smily, very nice and kind woman, a mother and great wife. Brigitte and her husband were for me a great testimony of a happy couple, loving and strong together. The sadness to loose her, and knowing Jean-François now alone, is a  hole in my heart, painful and burning when I think about her 🙁

and then, Olivier… an awful accident on the parking lot of his work. Olivier was as old as me. I havn’t seen him for a little time and learning about this on Facebook made the news even more strange and tough to deal with 🙁

I believe this is what happens when you get older… you loose loved ones 🙁

But my heart is broken everytime I think about Brigitte or Olivier 🙁 🙁 🙁

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Honestly, that year 2015 has been quite intense and extreme in many ways… a weird year 2015

In 2016 I want :

Sell my hand dyed yarn

To explore Auvergne and France, thanks to wedding photography if possible, and knitting meeting I’ll launch for the day after ! And when I look at my agenda, I already know few destinations will be checked on my list ! 🙂

Book my agenda with wedding photography  

Create more yarnbombing !

Keep balancing my life with photography and yarn, and develop these 2 jobs !

Keep spreading kindness around, and work on RAK. I have plenty of ideas for that (my challenge will be to work on this while developping my business, because now, I don’t have a job besides. I’ll be a full time entrepreneur. No security nest, no incomes, juste my own activity to live. it will be about yarn and photography.

So in 2016 I want to work on this to make sure I won’t have to get back to a job I hate instead, to pay the bills.

Go back to Portland, althought it seems unrealistic in terms of $. It’s heart breaking but right now, I think I’ll have to choose between vacations at the feria in Spain or Oregon in Fall. 🙁

Work more on my photo project about yarnbombing and knitting. The feedbacks from my last creation was amazing and I realised how happy my silliness can make people. I want to keep working on spreading smiles and surprise to people. 🙂

J

I want to work on being more happy where I am… NOW. Portland and Oregon are part of my life, and part of who I am, but unfortunately, immigration rules too. Living abroad and be an expat seems more and more complicated. Especially for an artist. I dare to think it is possible to be happy elsewhere, at least a little bit (a lot?), even if differently.

I believe “you have to create the world where you want to live”

So LET’S DO THIS !

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