Monday, January 4, 2016


2016 has dawned on our little woodland cottage with quiet, cold, frosty mornings.  Finally, a little bit of winter after the warmest and wettest December in recent memory.  The crisp air feels fresh and clean just like the new year, and I am filled with hopeful expectations for the future.  I love, love, love the month of January.  It suits me to a 'T'.  I love the silvery outlines of the bare winter trees against the sky.  I love how the morning frost coats everything in diamond glitter sparkles and makes the most humble objects seem magical.  I love mornings like this one when the day dawns clear and cold and the scores of birds that visit my feeders chitter and chatter happily to their neighbors as if to say, "Morning! isn't it a fine day?"And most of all, I love the feeling of having a fresh start - a new beginning.
I have made many goals for 2016! I have to set specific, attainable goals rather than generalized ones or I don't usually make much progress.  So, I have decided to set a goal of practicing my drawing and sketching at least 3 times per week (a couple of examples from this week shared above).  I broke ground on a new butterfly/cutting garden back in October, and I plan to finish stage one before spring arrives mostly by preparing the ground for planting sun loving annuals and a few perennials that the fluttery beauties find attractive.  I also want to enlarge the vegetable patch and herb garden and experiment with new ways of cooking and eating what comes out of them.  I'm not aiming to become a vegetarian, but instead, adding lots more whole grains and vegetables to our diet while reducing the amount of meat gradually.  All of these goals will be accomplished incrementally - slowly, gradually, with baby steps.  That's the only thing that really works for me.  Being specific and setting comfortable, attainable goals helps me make significant changes over time.  There are many more, and happily a lot of them are just a continuation from the resolutions made this time last year.  I have made great progress this year in de-cluttering our tiny little house, and it has been so liberating!!! so that will continue with increased zeal for creating s-p-a-c-e to breathe and to think.  My motto for last year was "every object must earn its space".  If it isn't functional and used regularly or if it isn't cherished, it does not earn its space and is therefore passed on to someone else who can use it or love it more.  Now, there is still the matter of the 10 pounds I had hoped to lose.......  at least I didn't pick up any new ones! I lost a few here and there, but gained them back eventually, so hopefully I can change some of those old die hard habits that prevent me from making lasting progress in that arena.  And so many more!  How about you? are you like me? excited to think about making positive changes in the new and coming year, or are you more like my husband who thinks New Year's resolutions are silly and a waste of time?  (in fairness, I must add that he's the type of person who doesn't wait around for the new year to make positive changes - he's always striving to improve!)


magnoliasntea said...

Great post, Starr. I enjoyed reading about your goals for 2016. I have some similar ones in the weight department. ;)
Love, love, love your watercolor of the little gourd. It's just perfect. All things nature are so beautiful.
Have a great week!

Jeri Landers said...

Starr, You write so nicely.
I think winter has it's own beauty. The silhouette of a dozen trees, a wintry mist hanging over the hills... just the sight to enjoy from the window with a hot cuppa tea.I call January the Quiet month and find that I accomplish so much more in the way of art, garden/ building plans, needlework and story writing in the depths of winter than any other time. It is a perfect time for creative people like us to zero in on our goals. My husband does make resolutions, but I make a lot more of them. I look forward to seeing all your plans come to fruition this year.

Tammie Lee said...

do you like that book by C. Johnson?

i love frosty mornings also. magic in the mundane is so enjoyed.
lovely to see your photos.

I am attempting art each day, unless i can't ;-)
and cleaning something each day, yesterday it was the oven.
as well as finding new, light, magical ways to address things that are hard, so opening to new insight.

wishing you a beautiful new year.

Valerie Gardiner said...

I so agree with you about January, a quiet month for planning and painting and looking forward to the warmer days of spring. Your garden ideas are good, you'll have so much to inspire your drawings when your flowers bloom and the butterflies and birds arrive. Good luck with the diet, I'm on one too or I'll never get back into my summer clothes!

Jules Woolford said...

Beautiful depiction of the gourd, Starr. What a lovely post, so eloquently expressed. I don't make resolutions, but I do use the change of year to focus on what I would like to achieve. In 2016 I'm planning to have a word for the year - which I will try and act on! (Lovely to see Cathy's book there btw).xxx

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I like your idea of items earning space in your house...How does that work with dust? LOL
Seriously, concentrating more on your art is always a great idea.

Happy New Year

Wynette Vass said...

Love your watercolor of the gourd! Wonderful post and pictures as always. I have decided to make monthly small attainable goals this year. Hopefully the more specific and small ones will be completed each month and will keep me on track for the year. I finally picked up my crochet hook this weekend and worked on a project that I need to complete. Happy New Year!!

susan hemann said...

lovely drawings. enjoyed reading your blog

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

Love your watercolor of the gourd! So beautiful! I loved this post Starr and wish you the same happiness you feel now through the entire year. I love fresh beginnings and I love making attainable goals. Yay for you!

handmade by amalia said...

I so enjoyed this post, Starr. This 2016 really is full of possibilities and your drawings and photos are so wonderful. For me, resolution-wise 2015 was not a success. I did not stick to mine. I hope to do better this time around.