Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year, everyone! I didn’t buy a calendar this year because I was planning to make one. But Abby beat me to the punch. With the help of her fabulous pre-school teachers, Abby made a 2008 calendar for the family to display throughout the year. Each month features her handprint, or partial handprint, embellished to represent a holiday or weather theme. She came home with it neatly wrapped one day before Christmas and didn’t tell us what was inside. It was a great surprise to see what the mysterious package under the tree contained. I loved this gift because it’s practical and sweet, and I truly believe the BEST gifts are handmade.

OPERATION DIG OUT 2008. Last year, my big New Year’s goal was to get in shape. This year I want to maintain my fitness level AND whip my house into shape. For years I’ve been living a cluttered and disorganized existence and I can’t stand it. So this year I’m getting rid of the abundant stuff I don’t need and clear a path toward living a more organized and efficient life. In many ways this is going to be more painful than losing weight, but I know I can do it and will be thrilled when I finally attain this goal.

I’m going to attack the digging out process like a workout and plan to spend time purging and/or tidying up a corner of my home every day. I need to form some healthy organizational habits and believe the plan will stick if I make it part of my daily routine. I already have a bit of a head start. I started sorted five plastic totes of baby clothes and gave away a large garbage bag of clothes to my cousin this past weekend along with our high chair. The crib will soon follow.

Of course, I’ve stashed away some of the baby clothes that are handmade or were worn for special ocassions, but I’m trying to keep that too a minimum. It was hard for me to part with those clothes because I look at them and remember my girls as tiny babies and the pack rat in me wants to hold on to those clothes forever. But the rational part of me knows that would be ridiculous, so I let them go and survived. I’m so relieved to have this purging process underway. I’ll post updates on my progress here from time to time.

Personally, I hate spending hours sifting through my relics, but I have found ways to have some fun in this journey toward organization. A friend of mine just helped me convert the nursery into a home office, complete with a wall of built-in book shelves.

Now, I can sit at my old metal desk and see all my books on the shelves and feel inspired. The walls are blue and I just made curtains last night out of a great Amy Butler print. The space is shaping up nicely. And I’m learning that it really can be fun to get organized as I see a creative space start to take shape. I’ve never made it a priority to make my home look pretty and always felt like I was too busy to decorate and customize my living environment to be an expression of my personality. That’s all going to change this year.

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On the craft front… I’m going to make an effort to reduce my stash this year by giving supplies away that I’m not using and making as many projects and gifts as I can without going to the store. In the interest of full-disclosure, I did buy the fabric for the curtains in my new home office and some wool and silk to make a wrap skirt and two capes from patterns I found in my current favorite book ” Sew Everything Workshop: The Complete Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide” by Diana Rupp.” The deal I made with myself it that I must commit to completing these projects ASAP and not stash the fabric down in the basement.

The curtains are done and I plan to cut out my skirt and cape pieces tonight. I managed to get in shape without giving up chocolate, so I think I’ll be able to slim down my stash without depriving myself of new fabric every now and then. But these indulgences must be kept to an minimum and the projects I’m buying the fabric for must get done. I am going to hold myself to the one serious rule. NO BUYING SUPPLIES WITH NO INTENDED PURPOSE. This is the bad habit that created my abundant stash. I can’t buy fabric just because I love it. I have to love it and have a plan to make something with it within days. This is going to be a tough rule to stick to, but I’m going to have to do it if I really want to change my life.

So do me a favor and ask me how the skirt and capes are coming along in about a week. I’ll update you here to keep myself accountable. I don’t have have much experience sewing garments for myself, so this is going to be a new adventure. However, I have to say Diana’s book has armed me with the confidence I need to attempt to craft myself some personal style in 2008 and I’m excited about it.

I’ll be posting a more complete list of my goals for 2008, and I’d love to hear about yours. What do you hope to accomplish in 2008?

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