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Goodbye 2011, I'll Miss You

I still can't believe that this year has flown by so fast.  It seems like only yesterday that I wrote up this post about my resolutions for 2011.  As I read back through it now, I'm glad that nobody really even knew I was blogging at that point (since I was just building some content before I released by site address in April).

Now, it's a different story...and I'm starting to feel the pressure.

2011 Resolution 1--Finish What I Start

My goals for last year were easily stated, but were not easily accomplished.  The first goal was to finish what I start...well, I think this pin on Pinterest just about sums that up...

Yep.  Pretty true.

Sure, I finished several projects throughout this year, but I also have several projects that are still hovering over my head in project-limbo.  Like the baby mobile that I started for my friend's daughter, Brin--haven't touched it since.  At this point I might just have to wait until another one of my friends has a little girl since Brin will probably be a teenager by the time I finish.

But, I don't want to neglect the fact that there were several projects this year that made it all the way from the idea phase to the completion phase.  Here are some of my favorites...

An easy-sew table runner, made with leftover materials from another project...

...$5.00 thrift-store lamp makeover...

...A "Penny for Your Thoughts" Mother's Day thought book...

...Mini Topiaries...

...and a mirror makeover...

I also made some art and some decorations for my friend's bridal shower, tinted some glass, made a chalkboard, painted some spoons, blinged out some pumpkins, made a tutu, rescued some bottles, made some ornaments and some centerpieces, and some gifts (here, here, here, here, and here).

I guess I did get a few things done this year, so maybe having a few unfinished projects lingering in limbo isn't all that bad.  Now I'm just trying to decide if I should modify the resolution for this year to be "start projects you haven't started yet," since that's where things are really starting to build up.  With all of the great deals I've found at Savers this year I have about a million projects that haven't been touched.  We'll talk more about that when I start working on my studio, since all of the goods for these projects are currently being stored in my spare bedroom.  ha!

2011 Resolution 2--Tackle "The List"

My second resolution for the past year was to tackle what I call the "stupid little things list."  It's basically the list of tasks that are fairly simple to complete, yet go untouched for years.  Well, guess what???  My stupid-little-things-list is still basically untouched...

Yep, I still need to change out the hardware on the roll-top desk.  Still need to add some length to one of the sheer curtain panels in the family room (seriously, this project is 75% done...3 out of 4 completely finished...what the heck happened?).  Still need to reupholster the two arm chairs that go with my dining set...and the list goes on.

2011 Resolution 3--Own What I Love

Though I took a few moments to dream about a home listing I stumbled across on Realtor.com  my house, I really do love all of the hidden potential in my very own house too.  Slowly, but surely, Mark and I are beginning to clear out out our hand-me-down stuff.  You know, the stuff all newly-wed couples end up with when they're just starting out...well, it's taken us six years to really start the process of filling our home with the things we love.

The guest bedroom is the perfect example of this.  When we moved into the house we were strapped for cash, but we suddenly had more bedrooms than we needed for just the two of us...which meant our place could finally be viewed as a place for company to stay over.  But, we had no furniture and no bedding for the guest bedroom, so we took in a hodge-podge arrangement of hand-me-downs.  Even though everything was functional, nothing matched...so the room looked like a big-ol-mess (here's a look at where we started).  But piece-by-piece we've started to bring in things that fit our style, like this duvet setwriter's desk and storage ottoman.  

The same has been true with the master bedroom (we started here).  I even sold my bedroom set because I decided that I'd rather have an empty room so I could bring new pieces in as I found them.  Luckily I did, because I happened to find this fixer-upper bookcase with drop-down-desk for $7.50 at Savers...

...and this side table for $40.00 at Ross...

...plus, I've found a great new item on Craigslist just this week that I haven't shared with you yet (details coming soon).

In the breakfast nook, we replaced our old table with this $75.00 dining table we found on Craigslist...

...and in the main dining room we grew impatient waiting for the piggy bank to fill up, so we made a knock-off chandelier similar to West Elm's version.

I'd say we're getting there, but it's definitely a slow process.  Hopefully we'll continue to make more progress in this area throughout 2012.

2011 Resolution 4--Add Some Color

I think I fell a little short in this area since I only got around to painting the guest bedroom.  On a positive note, I did choose the color for the studio, and I am planning to get the paint up on the walls within the next few weeks if all goes well.

Other than that, the only real color that was added in our home was the cheery yellow of our Thanksgiving table...

I guess this resolution will most certainly remain on the list for 2012--but I'm just fine with that!

2011 Resolution 5--Organize and Simplify

Though I found some inspiring ideas on Pinterest, I'd have to say that I haven't made much progress in this area.  In fact, I think when I show you pictures of my studio "before" you'll see that I back-peddled slightly in the organization area.  But, one thing I always like to do at the end of each year is take some time to sort through my belongings and tidy things up.  In fact, that's what I've been busy doing this past week since I've had some time off of work.  I've already got a huge pile of things to donate, but it's been taking a lot of time since I'm really trying to simplify.

I'm very hopeful that tackling the studio will help me in this area too (since most of the clutter in my home is related to one project or another).  It will be nice to finally have a place to work, craft, and brainstorm, without dragging all of my supplies throughout my entire house.  My design plan for the room includes a lot of room for storage bins, and I'm planning to revamp the closet into more storage as well.  I'm very excited!

So overall, when it came to my 2011 resolutions, I think I did alright.  I mean, it's not like any of these items are things that you can officially cross off the list.  I plan on keeping all of them as goals for 2012, but I'm also adding a few more...

2012 Resolution 1--Bring in Some Art

My walls are stark-bare!  I need some pretty things to look at.  I'd like to really place focus this year on hanging some art on the wall, and adding decorative accessories throughout.  It just makes a house feel more complete when there is art around.

2012 Resolution 2--Refinish Some Furniture

Now that I've started finding furniture pieces to fill my home, I've got to find some time to fix them up. Most of the pieces I've brought home so far are the perfect shape and style, but they're old, scratched, and have definitely seen better days.  I want to make them look new again.  

2012 Resolution 3--Treat Some Windows

This one is for Mark.  He's been asking me to make some Roman shades for the dining room for several months (since we don't have any blinds in two windows), but I just haven't buckled down to figure out the process.  He finally got to the point where he taped up some extra wrapping paper in the uncovered windows so that nobody could see inside.  I can't blame him, but I also can't accept having paper window treatments either!  So...Roman shades have got to happen sometime soon, and other window treatments would be nice too.

2012 Resolution 4--Finish the Site Redesign

It drives me crazy to browse through this site since nothing is consistent anymore.  I've worked on a few site redesigns throughout 2011, but since this is my first year of blogging it's taken me a while to figure out how I want things to be presented.  Plus, I've constantly been stumbling across new features that I can do on the site to make things better, so I'm always revamping one thing or another.  But the goal is to create a consistent look throughout the site, with easy to find content and features.  Your help is always appreciated too!  If you have any ideas for content, or if you've noticed anything on the site that could be improved, please let me know.  You can leave me a comment, send me an email, or leave a post in the suggestion box.

2012 Resolution 5--Write an E-Book or Newsletter

If I can get the site content to a consistent state, I'd love to spend some time in 2012 writing an e-book, or producing a monthly newsletter (or both, time permitting).  I know it would be a lot to take on, but it's something that I've wanted to do for quite some time.  

So there are my resolutions for 2012, but I'd love to hear yours.  What goals have you set for yourself this year? 


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