I hope your New Year’s Eve celebration was fun and memorable. Since Steve had been sick, we hung out at Kevin and Valerie’s house watching movies and eating pizza. Not bad, but not exciting. As we enter 2007, I thought I’d take a moment to look back at the highlights of 2006. Here they are, in no particular order:
* Attended class at [Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts](http://www.arrowmont.org/) in March. Steve drove me to Gatlinburg, TN, spent the night, drove home and did the same thing a week later to pick me up. Now that’s love, people. My experience at Arrowmont was amazing. I spent a week doing nothing but working with metal all day. It was creative, fun and inspirational. I hope to return again this year for another class.
* I turned 40! Thanks to Steve and my sister, I had a great party with all my friends. Turning 40 was a bit scary (it sounds so old) but I’m over it. Besides, everyone says I look much younger and I feel younger so that’s what really counts.
* I became an aunt again. My sister and her husband create the cutest kids! Lydia is such a sweetheart. She’s really coming into her personality now that she’s almost 1.
* I lost my job. On July 31, I had my last day of employment at AdBuilders. About 6 weeks later, the business closed for good. It was a sad situation, but I needed to get kicked out of there and spend more time creating jewelry. While I hated to see the business fail, I’m really glad I was let go.
* I became a juried member of [Best of Missouri Hands](http://www.bestofmissourihands.org/redbeedesigns.htm). This made me feel like a legitimate artist and introduced me to a whole new group of artists around the state.
* Steve got a new job – hooray! He’d been wanting to leave Nuvox for some time and an opportunity arose at Dazzee, a local Cisco engineering company. He’s now received several certifications in the industry. I guess the best way to sum up his job is that he’s a professional geek!
* I went back to school – again. After leaving AdBuilders, my friend Sarah suggested I take her fall class at MSU. I learned raising and casting. While taking a fall class was stressful during my busy holiday season, I loved every minute of being in the classroom. I’ll be taking another class this spring.
* As the saying goes, “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” A “silver” friend of mine turned out to be silver-plate and her true color came through at the beginning of last year. The experience made me appreciate my “gold” friends even more. I also welcomed new friends into my life with Mick, Carrie and Paul.
* We took a trip to Chicago. For the last couple of years we’d been talking to our friends Duane and Prudy about traveling together. In November, we all drove to Chicago to see the King Tut exhibit at the Field Museum. While the exhibit was a bit underwhelming, the trip was a blast. We all got along so well and discovered we’re very compatible travelers. That’s a rarity.
* My business expanded. At the beginning of the year, I was in three galleries. Now, I’m represented by six in three states. I have three here in Springfield, one in Parkville, MO, one in [Des Moines, IA](http://www.from-our-hands.com/) and one in [Memphis, TN](http://www.metalmuseum.org/). Woohoo! Looks like I need to hire some studio help.
* Steve and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. And they said we’d never make it…
Happy New Year everyone. May your 2007 be wonderful.