Thoughts

True North

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Long walks in the woods do wonders for the mind, body, and soul and bring remarkable clarity.  I was up in the mountains last week and had a lot of time to think about what I’d like this year to be about.  It’s common to set goals or resolutions for ourselves this time of year and the more I thought about it, the more I analyzed my dreams and the direction I need to take to make them happen, and to make my work even more fulfilling.   

path to true north

I confess I needed a break from blogging which is why I took the week off.  All those unplugged hours helped me focus on what I wanted more of here on the blog and today seems the perfect time to share those ideas, hopes, and dreams.  I’ll be staying true to most of what I’ve been posting about for years, but here are a few changes I’ll be making in 2013.

1.  Less Me, More You.  I love home improvement but there’s only a few major projects left around our place before the house is “done” and after that we’ve no plans to move!  Yet I absolutely love DIY projects on the home front, remodeling and sprucing will always be a passion, so I plan to tackle a few more of your design dilemmas and include readers in the conversation too.  I’ll still have a lot of creative DIY ideas of my own to share too but I don’t expect to do quite as many this year as I have in the past.

2.   Random Beauty.   I love to explore the world with my camera, heading out into nature, popping into local shops, and taking pictures of cool places and spaces.  I’m going to adventure and share more of what I capture with my lens this year.  

3.  Great Design.  My favorite topic is what constitutes good design, from architectural elements to color, fabric, and furniture choices.  I’ll be beefing up the Style Files with weekly articles on random topics this year, together with some Contributing Writers. 

4.  Weekly Encouragement.  I love the idea of starting off the week with an encouraging word or quote, so I plan to do a lot of that on Mondays, and offer some free printables to go along with it. 

5.  Fabric Design.  I’ve been hinting at this for a while but I feel it’s finally time to share.  After a year of dreaming, I have all the tools in place to pursue something I’m truly passionate about and that is textile design.  More samples of my work are arriving every day and I’m excited to be launching a line of colorful prints for home this spring. 

We’ve decided to convert the small unit above our garage into a design and sewing studio, and we’ll be starting the transformation later this month.  For me, this is the ultimate DIY project, and I’ll be working on a lot of textile designs behind the scenes over the next couple of months until the collection is complete! 

kates fabrics

 

In life, there is always uncertainty about what the future holds but I believe in taking a leap of faith and investing in oneself.  Finding the right path, my true north, is what this year is really about for me.  I believe we all need to focus on what truly makes us happy and not so much what everyone else is doing.  Life is too short not to pursue our passions! 

I want this blog to continue to be a place of inspiration and community and I’ll stay focused topic wise on inspiring you and me in the process of making our lives and homes more beautiful.  I love sharing the inspiring writings and projects of others so both the ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ and ‘Friday Finds’ series will continue this year. 

I know there are a lot of lovely blogs to read out there, I subscribe to so many too, and so I am grateful every day for your readership.  I welcome any of your thoughts on content or posts, feel free to suggest them in the comments or email them to me at [email protected].

I’ll be kicking off the New Year with an all star cast of tips on organizing tomorrow. 

Cheers to a healthy, happy, and productive 2013! 

kate signature image

 

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Merry Christmas + Happy New Year

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Hello everyone, it’s Christmas Eve!  I love this day so much, each year we bake cookies for Santa and spend the evening hours with family, and then Matt and I wrap the Santa gifts after the children go off to bed for the next morning’s excitement .  My littlest kids are 6 and 8 and still true believers, so we squeeze every ounce of enjoyment we can from watching their faces as they unwrap gifts on Christmas morning. 

Christmas is a time to focus on what’s meaningful and the older I get, the more I want to surround myself with treasures in the form of books and art.  In this digital world where so much of what we consume is online, it’s nice to turn the real pages of books, and savor up close the brushstrokes of artists. 

Last month, I commissioned my very first painting when I spied this image on Pinterest.  I visited the artist’s Etsy shop and learned the painting was sold, but Karen was kind enough to repaint it for me again and now a 16 x 20” twin sits in my living room, awaiting a new frame. 

I love this painting for everything it represents.  It’s a glimmer of sunshine on a cold winter’s day.  It’s that light at the end of a long path and if you focus on it, and travel toward it step by step, you know you’ll eventually end up surrounded by its warmth.  Like in life.  I love the colors too, the medley of blues mixed with whites, a dash of lavender, and a dose of tangerine. 

karens fine art

For me, this painting also symbolic of this time of year as we turn the calendar to 2013.  It’s nice to reflect on the new opportunities for a fresh start that January brings.  Soon enough, the sunshine will melt the snow and we’ll be anticipating the blooms of spring.  Until then, I’m happy to enjoy winter for what it is, a period of dormancy.  

Nature teaches us a valuable lesson, that it’s important to rest in order to again bloom and grow, and to make the world beautiful once more.  It’s time to slow down and live in the moment, which is what I’ll be doing for the following eight days.

I’m taking this week off and will be back to blogging in the New Year.  You can find me over at Centsational Style, and I do have one roundup post scheduled here for later this week.  I’ll try to Instagram and Tweet a little, and I do enjoy Pinterest, but mostly I’m offline.  Resting.  Sleeping in.  Spending time with family and friends.  Becoming an Auntie again (my niece or nephew is due any minute!)   And taking a quick trip to the snowy mountains to appreciate this winter that will soon melt into spring.  

Thanks to all of you for taking time out of your busy lives to visit here from time to time, I’m so grateful each day for all of you!  Wishing you all the Merriest Christmas and a very Happy New Year.   I’ll be back on January 2nd. 

  kate signature image

 

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So Much Sorrow

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

newtown candleYesterday was really hard for me.  I spent the morning volunteering at my kids’ elementary school like I do every Friday, loving their bright eyes and flushed cheeks so filled with the excitement of the season. 

On the way home I heard the breaking news on the Newtown shooting.  Horror and heartbreak do not begin to describe the feelings I have and I’m sure you all feel too.  I couldn’t concentrate all day, I couldn’t feel anything but shock followed by deep sorrow.  For the children, the families, the responders, their town, and our country.

I had planned to share some lovely things, links, and ideas yesterday, but they all seemed so trivial given the news of the day.  And yet I know we all have to get back to work, go back to school, get back to our lives, and do what we can to love one another and be a light in this world. 

I am the mother of elementary school children in a small town like Newtown, where the community is tight, the parents all know each other, and we care deeply for each other’s children.  The thought of the families that are suffering is overwhelming, and I can’t bring myself to talk about anything merry when there is such sadness.

I’m spending the weekend holding my family a little tighter, recognizing that loving them, and having their love is a million times more important than anything material.  Newtown, you are in my prayers.  May God’s grace bring healing and peace to us all.

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