Okan Arts, Wauconda WA

white space : the sequel

By Patricia Belyea

WAUCONDA WA  On this date one year ago, I shared my plans and hopes for the new year. My blog post outlined upcoming changes at Okan Arts—switching the store to online sales only, and no longer hosting workshops and retreats. These shifts in our business were designed for me to find more creative time.

Wow! I was foreseeing future adjustments that our small business would need to make due to COVID-19—before anyone knew about the pandemic or the stay-at-home mandates.

So, how did my year go? Bittersweet describes it best. 

The losses were huge—two of my family members died. My brilliant, charming, and generous nephew Ben took his life. And my elderly mother succumbed to COVID-19. Those were the jumbo events that painted a gray wash over everything.

All the same, I took on some big challenges in 2020: 

I set up an indigo farm—an endeavor I hope to expand in the coming year. 

Okan Arts Website

I updated the Okan Arts website—something I’ve wanted to do for years.

Okan Arts Video Studio, Republic WA

I created a video studio—so now I can give Zoom talks to guilds anywhere and teach quilting techniques to students around the globe.

2020 also brought a transformation in my location. Last February I headed east to our cabin in the Okanogan Highlands. Since then, I’ve sheltered-in-place with Michael—in the forest and rangeland of Wauconda, Washington. I’ve found great joy in my simple life here. 

Dare I make any predictions for what’s next? You bet not. 

These days, life seems suspenseful. No longer can I take anything for granted. I’ll have to wait and see as this freshly minted year reveals its twists and turns.

And what about the White Space I longed for? It’s all around me—12 inches of clean white snow on the ground, frost in the evergreens, and a low blanket of clouds in the sky. That’s what I wished for and that’s what I got!

Happy New Year!

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  • Claudette

    I’m so sorry to hear of your losses this past year. Heartbreaking to hear of your nephew, and also your dear mom. May the God of all comfort draw near and bring His comfort and His peace (as only He can) to sooth you (and your families) hearts. I’m grateful to hear that you are enjoying your white space, and your new home. It’s sounding as though you have much to look forward to as well. I trust you will be encouraged by the love and support being poured out for you now. 😢❤️

  • Sharona Fischrup

    Thank you for sharing your 2020 experiences Patricia. I am so sorry to hear of your losses. May the new year, and the new life you are leading bring you joy and peace…you deserve that…given what you provide to ALL of us. Keep creating and sharing and growing and loving…you are such a gift to us all, thank you.

  • Cindy

    Beautiful post, Patricia. Thank you


    My deepest condolences for the loss of your mother and nephew. I hope you are finding comfort in memories and the beauty of your new home. I’m so sorry.

    I’m so sorry.

  • Nancy Hower

    I just read about your I do journey. Is it due yet?

  • Carol Strum

    I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your mother Patricia; and your nephew too, sooo sad.
    2021 will bring new and positive changes for us all. As for me, I’m dreaming of Japan!
    Wishing you and your family a healthy and prosperous New Year. Carol