A new year, a new look, a few new goals

It's so funny that many of the blogs I've read lately have a list of goals for the new year, but start out by saying "I don't make New Year's resolutions" . . . I feel the same way. I don't like to make "resolutions" but I do feel compelled to start a list of things I'd like to accomplish some time in the future. They don't have to be complete by the end of the year, but I hope to make progress on at least a few . . .

Blogging and Online Forums:
  • I've managed to add a 2nd sidebar to my blog and learned how to change the header image in the past few weeks. Not bad, since I didn't have a clue about what html is, let along how to edit it last June. I'm not afraid of these things, I just don't know how to use them - yet. And it seems to take me a bit longer to get to that "aha!" moment than it used to.

    In 2008 I want to understand more about Flickr and start uploading images there. I've been using my Online Photo Filer account from GoDaddy and Picasa Web Albums in 2007, because they are free and I was able to figure out how to use those services easily, but it seems Flickr is the place to be for sharing. I already have an account and created an experimental badge for my blog sidebar; I still need to figure out how to get images linked to my blog entries.

  • I want to participate more in the blogs and forums I've been lurking in since last summer. I admit it, I'm a lurker. Why? In blogland, I guess it's because I still feel like I'm a newbie and didn't quite "get" the etiquette for commenting and rather than intruding on the conversation, I've remained on the sidelines. And I don't want to just add a "me too" kind of comment. Then there's the time factor -- some days it seems I spend way too much time reading blogs when I should be sewing, doing laundry or other important tasks. I've also been lurking at PatternReview.com. I've found lots of good information there, so I should at least leave a comment when I find something helpful. I have yet to review a pattern. So that's another thing I want to try this year.
Sewing:
  • I want to take an online sewing course at PatternReview. There were several classes offered in 2007 from which I think I would have learned quite a bit, but it always seemed like there wasn't enough time for garment sewing last year. And the more I hang around there, the more I realize how much of a beginner I really am. Which leads me to my next goal . . .

  • I'm going to spend more time sewing garments for me. Last year I decided I was going to make gifts for all the nieces and nephews birthdays, and I did pretty well accomplishing that. But there are 12 of them now, and it felt like I was always working on birthday gifts and had very little time to make anything for myself (except a few bags and a couple of simple blouses). So this year, I'm going to spend more time on learning how to adjust a pattern to fit me and make the items for which I bought fabric last year. That includes a pair of pants, a few jackets, blouses and knits. I'm still going to sew other craft and home dec items, but the emphasis this year will be on garments.

  • I'm going to use my serger for more projects. I've been using it on and off all year and am still really happy I have this machine. I feel comfortable with most of the stitches, but I want to spend more time learning about the coverstitch features and techniques. And, since I plan to make a few knit garments this year, I should have several opportunities.
Machine Embroidery:
  • I want to digitize more of my own designs. I bought that software, I better start using it to it's full potential.

  • I want to work on the projects for the designs I purchased in 2007 before I buy any more new designs. Of course, free designs are always allowed. But there are way too many un-started projects and I'm running out of storage space in my sewing room - again!
Personal:
  • Remodel the Kitchen -- we've been talking about this one forever. Two years ago, we delayed because of a job change (and potential move, which thankfully wasn't necessary) and then we had the solar electric panels installed; last year we had the solar water heater panels installed. So, with no other major renovations planned, this should be the year we finally make the decision to get the kitchen done. It's gonna be a major task since I want a new configuration, new flooring, lighting, cabinetry . . . which is another reason we've procrastinated so long.

  • Pay more attention to the garden and landscaping. Last year I was a lazy gardener and it showed. My pumpkin patch was a disaster, I hardly ever weeded, and there are still 10 bags of mulch sitting in the driveway. I never even did a fall cleanup so all of my perennial flower beds are full of dead leaves and stems. Even the vegetable garden is in disarray -- all of my tomato supports are still standing with the petrified tomato branches trapped inside. The spring clean-up is going to be twice as bad this year.

  • Recycle & Compost more. I want to reduce the amount of waste we create by re-purposing more paper trash. I shred most of the junk mail we still receive (which has already been greatly reduced since we signed up with GreenDimes). This year I want to separate the unwanted mailing labels and other coated papers from plain shredded paper and add the plain stuff to the compost bin. We need more "brown" items and shredded paper should help supplement the shredded leaves. I don't know if the labels and coated paper would be toxic to the compost, but I'd rather not find out the hard way, so I'll still have to put those in the trash, unless I can find a better use . . .

  • Brush Keli's teeth more often. Last summer she had her first dental treatment, and it was not cheap. When we were at the vet in December they chided me because she's already got more tartar. I've always intended to take better care of her teeth, but just never seem to be able to remember this chore until after I'm already in bed at night. I realize how important this is, so it's not a question of not understanding the health reasons. I just can't seem to remember to do it. Plus, I don't really like sticking my fingers in her mouth. So maybe if I put it in writing, I'll feel more compelled to follow through on this. She's not really uncooperative, and I'm in time maybe we can both learn to get over the fingers in her mouth part.
Well, that's a pretty good start to a list. I'm sure I've forgotten something, but these are things I've been thinking about a lot lately. Maybe I'll start a quarterly list of smaller projects that will help me accomplish some of these things and add others that may arise. I'll have to think about that . . .

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