Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Many Happy Returns!

The writers here at Seven Magpies would love to wish you all a Happy New Year!

What do you have planned for 2014?


Well, 2013 was a very positive year of growth and expansion for me here at Tanglewood. My horseback riding lesson program grew to an almost unmanageable size, I travelled to England and learned to let go of some of my control-freak-travel-nerves by doing so all willy-nilly, and I started The Accidental Orchardist project!

While I had a few trying setbacks in the latter part of the year, I managed to maintain my positive outlook and plan to keep pluggin' away at any creative outlet I possibly can. I guess that's where the whole "new skills" thing comes in... :)

This year I plan to really apply myself to learning to:
1. Crochet well enough to pull off a vintage pattern or two.
2. Draft patterns from at least one piece of vintage clothing (though I have at least four getups in mind for this project).
3. Learn to graft fruit trees to expand my orcharding skills.
4. Improve my French language skills before I visit France in March!
Hopefully I'll learn some great new life lessons, meet some great new folk and go some great new places in 2014! I can't wait to share my year with you all.
- Emily

Here's a card I collaged a few years ago!

 If I'm being completely honest, I've never been one for New Years Resolutions. I am usually a huge overachiever in this department and don't know if I've ever really completed one!

This year, though, I am hoping to work on a few skills that I only hold on a very elementary level.
1. Learn to sew - better! I'm hoping to sharpen my skills on the sewing machine so I can make a few pieces I've been wanting for months!
2.  Make all of the cards I give to others! Especially Thank Yous. I am currently in the process of making my own stamps for a more put together look.
3. DIY a furniture piece! This is an awfully big one that might not happen - but I'll be moving into a new apartment soon and here's to hoping I don't buy all my furniture!

I hope your 2014 is incomparable to your 2013!



I'm not huge into "Resolutions" persay. To me that word smacks of failure resulting in me downing an entire box of donuts on February 1st. Rather I love the idea of setting a goal of learning new things. Because, boy, do I love getting skills. Here are a few things I would love to accomplish in 2014. 

1. Learn the chicanery of how to set a sleeve into a garment. (my recent sewing escapades w/ sleeves have left me near tears. ugh.) 
 2. Learn how to be a competent enough fencer to qualify for tournaments. (fake stabbing people with blunt sword is fun!) 
 3. And finally, learn at least 5 new stategies of food photography. (I like my photos but I want them to be more awesome.) 

Happy New Year to you all! May 2014 bring so many more possibilities and new things to you! 



I am right there with fellow author's at Seven Magpies in that I've never been a huge believer in resolutions, mostly because I have consistently failed at every single one I've ever made. LOL! Instead every year I try to do better than I did the year before. Be a better mom, a better wife, better business person, cook more new recipes, etc., etc. Just to be the best version of myself that I can be. I'm not perfect, but I think (I hope) that over the many years, I've improved slightly with each year. 

I've recently made some huge changes in my professional and artistic life in that I rented a little studio space in Old Village in Plymouth. The space is very small but it's all my own and I love every square foot. I'm learning to trust in myself when I paint, to take everything I am learning online and do my own thing. It's very exciting for me, because I'm starting to love what I create and that's huge. Here is a little mixed media painting I did on gessoed cardboard with my cheap Martha Stewart paints and it's become one of my favorite creations.

So in this New Year, I am "resolving" to continue on this path of self-discovery and creativity, vowing to remain authentic and true to myself and to what makes me happy and healthy. 

Happy New Year to you!