Hello friends! I'm guessing many of you find yourself in these days between Christmas and New Year's wondering what happened to 2016 and thinking about what the new year might bring. I've got all of your typical goals on my list - eat healthier, get organized, exercise. You know, the resolutions that last two weeks! BUT the goals for my creative life are the ones I really want to make sure stick. I thought I would share some of those with you today in an effort to keep myself accountable, but also to maybe help you think through yours. You might be thinking that this task is easier for me since I have a creative job - I have to make time for this stuff. True. Doesn't mean it's always easy, but yes, it is true. However, can I just say that if you don't have creative opportunities in your everyday work that setting goals and making plans for creativity in your life is even more important. If you're reading this then I am assuming that you know the fun, the joy, the soul-soothing benefits that making brings you. So make time for it. It's important. Make 2017 the year that you really dive into it. Alright, stepping down from my soap-box here are things on my mind today that I want to explore in 2017. Bringing more handmade into my home. This is one of those things I procrastinate on a lot. Curtains, pillows, other handmade touches get bumped off the list when life gets busy. Honestly, it doesn’t always feel like the most fun or creative way to spend my time. But what I’ve found it does for me is huge. Adding a handmade element to a room brings me joy. Plain and simple. I love to see it when I walk in the room. This in turn makes me want to keep the whole room looking nice – take the few minutes to pick up the clutter. Run a vacuum through. Nothing major, but those small things help keep my brain uncluttered. Which helps me feel more organized, which means my day to day life runs smoother. Seriously! Who knew new pillows could fix all of my problems! But I swear it’s true. So I’m doing my best to add these simple touches, and to take pride in each room, regardless of it’s imperfections. Small steps can make a big difference. Just like all of you, there are things about my house that drive me crazy that I am in no place to change - Hello golden oak and brass everywhere - but maybe an awesome floor pouf or new coasters on the coffee table can distract me and make me smile until I'm ready to dive in with the paint can. Make my sewing space feel like it matters. I am very fortunate to have a designated sewing area. It's a little more open to the rest of my house & family than is ideal, but it's a space none the less that I feel lucky to have carved out. We recently added a second work station for my daughter that I think will help keep the peace in the sewing room! But it still can feel a little neglected. It tends to be the dumping ground for a lot of junk, gets unorganized on a daily basis and can be forgotten and neglected for a long period of time. I am a messy crafter. I know this about myself, but I think updating and upgrading some things in my sewing space would help me. New curtains, thread catchers, maybe a nice rug? I'm not sure exact details yet, but I'm going to count it as an important space and treat it that way. Maybe I'll take some pictures and bring you with? Try more handwork. Maybe it's the time of year? Hand stitching of every variety sounds like so much fun to me these days. Embroidery, hand quilting, sashiko, knitting, weaving....I want to do it all! The cozy idea of watching a movie or sitting in front of a fire while I stitch is wonderful, but the reality is that you have to do some prep work for this to happen! I'm going to try to carve out some time on the weekend to prep these projects so I have a little handwork to do on weeknight evenings. Maybe I'll be able to stay awake through a whole movie if I have something to work on! Don't stop giving. I made a handful of handmade gifts last year, including a few for Christmas. I would really like to do more of this. Simple things that I know people would enjoy. I have several people in my life that practice this sort of giving and I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart. It’s a great way to try new things and explore creatively too – small things that don’t take much fabric or much time, but are big in the thoughtful department. I plan to drag you all along with me on this one. So watch for more on this. And if you don't see anything in the coming months you should ask. I don't want to forget about this one. So those are my main goals. Of course there are a millions pins and bookmarks that correlate with all of these ideas, but I won't drag you through all of that today. For today I just want to say thank you. I feel as though I'm finding my own voice here on this blog and I just want to thank you for reading. For commenting on the blog or social media, or mentioning that you've read my latest post when I see you in the shop. It's really the best compliment to me when I know that I made you smile or chuckle. Seeing the projects you make from the tutorials and patterns we write is surreal. Who would have thought this would be my job? Now it's your turn! What are your plans for 2017? Make a list! Let yourself dream about the big projects! No clue how to quilt but it's all you can think about making? Follow those ideas. Jump in and see where it takes you. Dream of sewing your own wardrobe this year? Do it! Sketch the ideas, dream up the projects, try something new. Does the thought of all that make your head spin? Maybe that sort of dreaming can't work for your life. I get it. Start small. Think of the simple, small projects that can bring you joy and clarity and start there. Give yourself some time as we transition into 2017 to think about this stuff. Feel like sharing it? We would love to hear about your plans! Share it in the comments here, on our Facebook or Instagram post or email us! If some of these things have struck a cord with you can I make one more suggestion? Join us at the Winter Retreat this year. Gift yourself with that time to start your creative year off right. I know there are a million reasons not to, but you deserve it. Let the community of makers we are all part of come around you and inspire you. Signing up might be the first of many amazing things you do this year. Happy new year friends! I pray it brings you peace, joy, and more creativity than you know what to do with. -Roxanne P.S. We'll be back next week with a look back at Modern Textiles' 2016 and a sneak peak into our plans for the new year!