New Years Weekend 2008

It’s time once again for my very self-focused look at this past year and the year we have just entered – 2008! I’m rarely so self-centered, but if you will indulge me for a few minutes, I hope that it will inspire you to sit down and take a few moments sometime this week to evaluate 2007 and set some goals for 2008. I gave up resolutions a long time ago and instead decided to focus on goals. Resolutions usually get all messed up by January 5th or 11th or somewhere around there, but goals are a little more fluid and therefore, there’s no guilt involved if it takes a couple of jump starts to really get going.

To get started, I’d like to take a look at New Years 2006. I love seeing progress over time. I’m convinced that half the battle is getting started. Whatever it is that you want to accomplish this year, get the wheels in motion! Even if that thing seems totally overwhelming and insurmountable if you get started on it you’ll see progress over time even if it is at a super slow pace. 2006 was a year of getting started for me. I changed some habits and got organized on certain things. My main goals for that year are still really important to me and after a busy holiday season I’m ready to get back on track with these. These goals were: to stop using credit cards, to take my lunch to work and to keep my apartment nice and organized.

So how did I do with these goals in 2007? I had a car emergency in October and had to use my credit card to take care of that, however it had been two whole years since I had used it prior to that. During the week that I used the card to pay for the car, I also purchased some craft supplies. I was in a true time vs. money crunch – meaning I had to make items for several shows that week, but didn’t have money for the supplies I needed at that exact moment. I ended up using the card for several transactions and it gave me a little scare. For a second, I could see myself slipping back into bad habits. I’ve worked way too hard to break the credit card habit and had to quickly reign myself in. As far as keeping my apartment clean goes, I haven’t been fantastic about it, but I’ve been better. I relocated my craft work area and really like how it is set up now, and we have some big plans in the works for new furniture and painting an accent wall in the living room. I think this will inspire me to keep that room clean.

my work space.

At the end of 2007, I got off track with taking my lunch to work. I was too busy during the holiday season, but I’m totally excited about getting back on track with this. My friend Shannon gave me an ecobento lunch kit by Glue & Glitter for Christmas. The lunch kit includes an adorable tote bag, a stainless steel lunch box, chopsticks and five clothe napkins. This adorable bag will keep me going to the farmers market every week so I can buy yummy stuff to put in it for lunch and please note, it is also a foreshadowing of one of my new goals for 2008!

Blackbird Lunch Kit

Blackbird Lunch Kit

Now for a quick review of how I did this past year. It really was a big year! I turned 30 – so far so good! I traveled more than normal (San Diego, LA, Pittsburgh, NYC, Chicago & D.C.). My new baby niece was born. I had my first two TV appearances ever – HGTV and local public television. I paid down a lot of debt. I worked really hard to grow the Indie Craft Experience. I had my first article published in a glossy, national magazine. I made major headway with a bardis products, packaging, displays, work space and web presence.

And in terms of my specific goals:

_ See more movies…I certainly didn’t go to the theater much in 2007, but I did frequent my neighborhood video shop a lot.

_ Write more. In fact, I keep telling myself I’m going to write two books in 2007!…Well, I knew I wouldn’t write two books – that was crazy talk! I did research on both book ideas though and decided which one to focus on first. And overall, I’d say I wrote more.

_ Make the Indie Craft Experience the best it has ever been—big ideas in the works here!…We finally found our two homes. The B Complex for the holiday show and Centennial Olympic Park for the summer show. We made a lot of headway in the way things are organized, things run much smoother now and I’m excited about the future.

_ Exercise more…I joined a gym. I exercised an ok amount but didn’t go a single time in November or December. I pondered quitting so that I could save the money, but then had a thought – I had never stepped foot in a gym before this past year (ever!) and so maybe I wasn’t a work out champ in 2007, but maybe I was just laying the groundwork. I went to work out yesterday!

_ Get more digital photos printed—photos are the best reminder of good times!…I did this a little. I also got really active about posting on Flickr which is so much fun to me. More printing to come!

_ Totally redo my wardrobe. It’s gotten so blah and disappointing…I didn’t do much with this until the last weekend of the year. Over New Years weekend, I tried on all of my clothes and came up with new outfits for them. I’m in much better shape than I thought, I just needed to mix everything up. I also made a list of a few basic items of clothing that I really need (like a black cardigan and a brown pencil skirt … I work in an office!). I feel so much better now. I also bought a lot of really pretty jewelry in 2007 which really spices up even the dullest outfit. This Lizerati necklace was my Christmas gift to myself.

optometristnecklace

_ Meet more crafters from all over the country…I totally did this! I met Susan Stars, Cathy of California, if’n books, The Sampler, Sublime Stitching, Wolfie and the Sneak, boygirlparty, Made by Tess, re-conceived, The Small Object and The Black Apple and many more. Plus, I saw some of my old favorites as well. Crafters are the best.

Renegade Chicago Trip 2007

So what’s in store for 2008? In addition to continuing the great habits I’ve developed over the past couple of years, I’d like to :

_ Go green! It wasn’t a specific goal for 2007, but I made major headway in developing green practices. I’m very focused on recycling. Since I live in an apartment building the city doesn’t pick up recycling here, but I haul it to the market where I do most of the grocery shopping. I also like buying my groceries at the market because (among other reasons) there is so little packaging involved with fresh food. None of the food at this market is local so in 2008 I’d like to supplement this food with produce from the several local farmers markets that have sprung up around Atlanta. I’ve also gotten really good at taking tote bags to the store. I loooove tote bags and have a rather large collection which seemed really useless until it dawned on me that I should be taking them to the store with me. It takes about 6 or 7 totes to get everything home, whereas I used to come home with about 20 plastic bags every time I went to the market. I use the plastic bags for trash bags so it wasn’t like they were a total waste, but it feels much better to use the totes.

We’ve started buying green cleaning supplies as well as shampoo and soap. I use a glass and a mug at work instead of the plastic disposable cups in the break room for my water and coffee. And, of course, I continue to take the train or the bus or walk to most places. I’d like to get in the habit of taking a reusable plastic container with me when I go out to eat so I don’t bring home the bulky styrofoam boxes. I’d like to get a set of silverware to keep at work so I can quit using the plasticware there … and of course, I’ll be using my exciting new Glue & Glitter lunch kit!

_ Get back into thrifting! I grew up going to the thrift store and garage sales and I haven’t gone very much in the last few years, but I love the hunt as well as the concept of giving new life to old things.

_ Write a budget! I can’t believe I don’t have a budget, but honestly up until this point I don’t think I could have. I have such a better grasp on my money and my financial goals at this point now. Also, I’ve done a pretty good job of documenting how much I’ve spent on bills over the past two years so now I know what I need to allot for everything. In addition to writing a budget, I’d like to keep track this year of everything I spend money on in addition to the bills. One summer when I was in college, I wrote down every single thing I spent money on. It was enlightening! I want to get a firm grasp on how much I actually spend on going out to eat, on traveling to another city for a craft market or on gifts for Christmas.

_ Craftily speaking … I’d like to: participate in more local shows, continue looking for better ways to display and package my products, continue on the path I’ve started with creating better products that I enjoy more, continue keeping up with my website and write more articles for craft magazines.

To wrap this up, I’d like to share two quotes with you that I have displayed in my craft area. The first is clipped to a shelf and the second is taped to the top of my sewing machine. They’ve really inspired me and helped keep me from getting down at different times when I’ve felt like I wasn’t exactly where I’d like to be.

“Slow down you’re doing fine. You can’t be everything you want to be before your time.”
-Billy Joel (from the song Vienna)

“You’re constantly in the state of becoming.”
-Bob Dylan

Happy New Year 2008! Now, go get ‘em!

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