art love, part 2.

One of the things I know I want to finish this year is adding an art gallery to the dining room. I have a combination of homemade art pieces (like this and this and this), things I’ve purchased as mementos of people or places (like this and this), photos – pretty much anything that makes me remember and smile when I look at it. Many things need frames, and then I can start working on placement.

Over the last year, I’ve become more and more committed to the idea of adding meaningful art to my home – things that tell the story of my life and the people who are a part of it. I don’t want to make or buy something just because the colors work, but because they mean something to me.

A few months ago, I posted several pieces of homemade art on Etsy that had caught my eye.

Here are a few more that I’ve pinned or marked as favorites lately.



Carnival swings are one of my favorite carnival rides – I love the feeling of soaring high above everything else. I love the perspective on this one, with the view of the sky.

Amsterdam Canal Boats, Laura Amiss


Okay, this one doesn’t really have any special meaning for me – I just love the style. And it makes me want to go to Amsterdam.

Though She be but Little She is Fierce, Raw Art Letterpress


This one makes me think of K, especially when she’s playing basketball. I also love this one: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.”

Rain Dance in Red, Karen Tarlton

rain dance

This one makes me think of my sister Katie and one of her favorite quotes: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm, but learning to dance in the rain.”

The Lion, Karen Tarlton


This one is my favorite, which is ironic because it’s also the most expensive. I like it because it makes me think of this book, which makes me think of Africa because I read it there. Also, because it reminds me of courage, which has kind of been the theme of the last few years and especially the last month. And lastly, because it looks like Aslan.

2012 in review.

So, it’s January. Actually, we’re more than halfway through January, which means 99% of the people I know have already declared their New Year’s resolutions, and 50% of them have already broken them.

But I don’t do resolutions – I do goals. Around 20 or so specific, measurable, but loosely held ideas of what I want to accomplish in a year. 2012 was no exception, and like every year, some I finish, some I start, and some I don’t do at all. And that’s okay with me, because how can we possibly know on January what a whole year will hold? I don’t know about you, but I’m still trying to figure out next week. Taking the time to think through the most important things in your life, making sure your everyday actions line up with those things, having a direction – all of those are important, I get that. But why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to declare some big thing that we will do or be by the time we roll around to the end of December? Isn’t there room for just living in this moment, for being willing to take each new bend in the road as it comes, and for allowing God to change the things that are important to us?

So, this is how I balance the two – I spend some time thinking about what’s important to me, what new experiences I want to have or skills I want to cultivate, what habits I’d like to add to my life and which ones need to be removed. Then I come up with a list, and I review it about once a month – not just to see how much progress I’m making, but also to figure out if that goal is even important to me anymore.

These were the goals I set in 2012, and my results on each:

  1. Create art with Jacob (done – one, two, three)
  2. Try 25 new recipes (done – one, two, three, four, five, six)
  3. Read 5 non-fiction books (partially done – one, two, three, four)
  4. Read through the entire Bible (partially done)
  5. Get eight hours of sleep a night for one solid month (not done)
  6. Start an herb garden (not done)
  7. Make meaningful art for my house (done – one, two, three, four)
  8. Explore downtown Frederick by trying six new restaurants (done)
  9. Take a yoga class (not done)
  10. Take a French class (done)
  11. Take Ally, Cam, and Jake to lunch for their birthdays (done)
  12. Cut my car loan balance in half (not done)
  13. Join a Bible study (done)
  14. See 5 (new) places from the book 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die (partially done)
  15. Walk the dogs four times a week for a month (not done)
  16. Set up a recycling center (done)
  17. Tile something (not done)
  18. Grill something (not done)
  19. Write random notes to the people that I love (done)
  20. Go hiking with my sisters (done – one, two)

I’m still working on the goal list for this year. Some were pretty easy, but I’m struggling to think through a few others. It might partly be because God turned my life upside down the last two months of 2012 and I think it’s likely He’ll do it again this year. It’s also because there are some big areas that I want to address in some way, but I haven’t let figured out how I want to do it.

Hopefully, I’ll have the list done by the end of the month.