New Year's Day in the Studio

The Holidays are a little tough for me, so I always look forward to New Year's Day as a restart to business as usual. I don't make any resolutions or do any goal setting because that's a lot of pressure to put on January the first. I try to get in some creative "alone time" and just have a relaxing start to the year. This year was no different, and the planets were once again aligned in favor of me getting an entire studio day to myself. Awesome.

I started my festivities by cleaning up this lamp I found at Goodwill for $2.99 yesterday, including the shade! Then I got busy making myself a new roll-up for my knitting needles (below). The old one was getting pretty shoddy and I was hot to use some scrap fabric I had lying around for a small project.


After that, I got down to working on a paper-cut commission I recently received for a portrait of Johnny Cash. Yep, there were a lot of details in this one and, yep, my hand hurts.

All in all, an excellent way to start the year. Felt like I got a good, creative jump on 2010. What is your New Year's ritual, if you have one?


  1. Wowza! That Johnny Cash portrait is amazing! Beautiful work!

    I'm like you - I don't spend the last week of a year and the first day of a year with major goal setting or big resolutions. Mostly, I like to just kind of set an intention for how I'd like the year to look and feel. I may go so far as to designate a word for the year, but I rarely hammer out a big list of resolutions.

    One thing I always like to do on January 1st is something - even small - that relates to the things I'd like to do in, or an overall theme for the new year. For example, a couple of years ago, I was wanting to bring more craft writing in to my life. On Jan 1, I jotted out some ideas, and even pitched one to our dear friend, Diane, as something for CRAFT. That was the year I ended up starting to work for CRAFT and we had our piece in the magazine.

    If I'm wanting to bring more time with friends in the coming year, I'll make sure to schedule some kind of outing with friends on Jan 1. If I want to bring more cooking in to my life, I'll hit the grocery store for a just-for-fun shopping session. Make sense? ;)

    Today I hit the bookstore and purchased a couple of inspiring books about space exploration, had lunch with a few dear old friends, cooked dinner (sadly, a rarity for me) and spent time out at the family ranch with the kiddos and my new telescope. I didn't necessarily plan all that, but just felt inspired to do those things & was open to them happening today. Turns out those are just the kinds of things I'd like more of this year. Though now I'm feeling the urge to stitch something before bed .... :)

    Happy New Year, Paul!

  2. My New Year's ritual starts with the great debate of when to put the Xmas decorations away, I finally relent & put them away on the 2nd of Jan - after much sigh & bother - I hate doing it, so much so that I have declared that if Mr wants the decorations up next festive season then he can do them himself.... he agreed to this... and yes, it means I'll probably be doing them again next time too!

    BTW, you have scored 100% on the cuteness scale for making yourself a knitting roll - mine are just shoved into a jam jar!

  3. *gasp!* What a fabulous lamp! I am sooo jealous! Congrats on a full day of studio time. Seems you put it to good use. I hope to do that myself, before the year ends, lol.

  4. johnny looks great!!!

    what a find on the lamp too!

    happy new year!

  5. Rach - sounds like you started the year off right too. I like the idea of preloading things you'd like to have more of in your year by doing them on the first. Neat.

    Rie - 100%? Man, I must be cute.

    Smidge - I felt extra good about the lamp after I went to the flea market today, swung by the mid-century modern booth and saw one that was nearly identical for $150. The universe like s me today, I guess.

    Diane - Thanks for the comment and happy new year to you!

  6. No New Years rituals for me, but I did stay up until 5am finishing up a paper-cut: here. I am also intrigued by your tutorial and kept thinking how much easier it might be to apply your methods of "top down" instead of the layering chaos I go through. I'll have to try that out sometime :)

  7. We've dubbed our New Year's ritual "The Great Purge." It's essentially a spring cleaning that we do in January because it's a slow month for us and we live in California. :)

    We give stuff we don't need to friends or Goodwill, rearrange the furniture and dismantle projects we will never realistically finish so that they're not staring at us reproachfully.

    Removing all of the clutter from our physical space and having everything organized and new-looking helps cure mental stagnation and jump starts our creative thinking. It's our favorite time of year.

  8. Gail - Love the papercut! Thaks for the comment.

    bizmiss - Man, purging sounds good. Unfortunately, it was a high of 34 here over the weekend and outdoor activities were limited. Thanks for the comment!

  9. I clear stuff out and do some planning for next years holiday madness before I forget about the stuff that really made things easier and didn't work out this year.