New Year, New Goals

Image: the Murmuring Cottage

I can’t help it. I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions.  It always feels so good to turn over  a new leaf.  Perhaps it is my optimistic mind set, but I can’t help myself!  Last year was a year full of a lot of change and adventure and travel, so this year I’d like to plan on changes closer to home and that focus on fun.

I like to keep my New Year’s Resolutions to three. No more, no less… And here they are!

Image: Fine Art America

I love museums. I guess we all do, right? I went to a pre-school where art history was a focus and I remember my young love of Miro and Van Gogh, which continued throughout my childhood and even led me to major in art history in college.  I even worked in a museum for awhile and planned on a career in museums until I finished my masters degree and moved on to SF and started doing PR. For some reason I’ve haven’t made much of a commitment to going to museums and I miss it.  When I worked at CBS, I was within walking distance of five major museums. Although I always had this dream of taking a long lunch and checking one of them out, for the eight years I worked there, I didn’t go to a single one.  And that broke my heart.  But not this year.

This year I’m going to try to rekindle my love of museums by feeding the beast and actually going to museums–once a month and making it a priority.  I’m so lucky to live near several world-class museums that have new exhibits every few months.  Like the De Young, SFMOMA, and the Legion of Honor to name a few. There is also the new Walt Disney Family Museum, which I’m particularly excited to check out.


It saddens me that I have not made as much time as I’d like for something that makes me so happy.  I don’t know why. I think it is because I get so overwhelmed at doing the project and believe that I need a whole day with nothing to do and then I remember that no one sews that way and if I just do a half hour a day of something I could actually make a difference and really make progress sewing!

So, what is different this year is that I’m going to actually START and FINISH some of these projects!  Oh and I have plans, folks. Glorious plans.  Like making those little shirts for the Peach! And finishing a quilt for her room that I started last year.

I received Gertie’s Book for Better Sewing this Christmas and spent hours over the holidays pouring over the pictures and reading it like a novel.  It is a very inspiring book and full of information I surprisingly already knew.  And I spent a lot of time wanting to make THIS dress. I have a bit of an obsession with shirt dresses.

My goal is to make AT LEAST one version of this dress.  And I hope to do it by doing something crafty for a half hour a day if possible.

Speaking of dresses…

Image: Kelly Go Lightly

I have so many darling vintage dresses thanks to years of hunting estate sales, flea markets, Ebay, Etsy and vintage shops. They deserve to see the light of day instead of growing cold and bitter in the recesses of my closet.  See… I have ’em!

So, I am going to try to get them out. I don’t know where I got the idea that being super comfy means having to pull on jeans or pants.  A dress is actually super comfy and makes me feel so much better than my black yoga pants and ratty black t-shirts.  I’m not saying that that look isn’t comfy and necessary at times, but why not pull on a nice dress on the weekends for errands?

I’d like to wear at least one dress a week. And maybe even some dresses I’ve made from vintage patterns or that wonderful shirt dress pattern you see above that I am completely gaga for.  Now that would be killing two birds with one stone!

So, that is my year.  I like to think of these not so much as resolutions but things to remember that I love—and to stop putting off doing!

Sometimes actual resolutions are too much to even take on. Sometimes, just a word can capture the mindset or goal or bigger thing you want to accomplish. My friend Mary and I have been doing that for 15 years.  Past years’ words have included: libertine, floss, hammer, enjoy, baby, and bridge.

How do you feel about resolutions? Have you ever tried the one word mantra?

15 thoughts on “New Year, New Goals

  1. Wear those dresses, Dottie! They, like you, are adorable (but feel free to just send them my way if you decide you don’t want them because I would wear the heck out of them). I like to keep my resolutions small and attainable – this year’s is to sew in a zipper. Last year was learn to make balloon animals.

  2. Aww, thanks, lady! Ha! I have to admit I think I might go for wearing two a week just to get them out! And I think your resolution is amazing! Sewing zippers can be terrifying! And last year, I too learned how to make balloon animals thanks to the Peach’s birthday party!

  3. I tend to not make many resolutions — as far as a specific, articulated goal.s Though one year when I was a teenager I made a resolution that I would be able to get my foot behind my head by the end of the year. So I very diligently and methodically did stretches and limbered up and reached my goal by August. But other than that, I either ignore them completely or I set sort of abstract “mindstets” for myself. Which I guess is very similar to your one word mantras.

    Early in 2012, I decided that I was going to say Yes to things as much as possible — in my personal life, that is. I was already saying Yes to WAY too many things in my professional life and it was leaving room for little else. And I gotta say, this whole idea of “when in doubt, say Yes” has really made for one of the best years of my life.

    And I have been meaning to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum since it opened! A friend of mine even worked on it when it was being built. So if you’d like some company, let me know. I’m really good at saying YES now!

    1. Moe, I would LOVE company to go to the Walt Disney Family Museum. So, I’m asking you to go with me! Please say YES! And I think your YES mantra for 2012 is amazing!

      BTW, I love that you were determined to put your foot behind your head! AND you did it! Way to go, lady!

      1. YES! YES, let’s go! Look at how good I am at saying yes!

        And I totally can’t get my foot behind my head anymore. Maybe I should give it another shot this year (God help me). I’m a long way from 16 and elastic these days.

  4. These are good goals, Miss Dottie!!!! I am always sort of on the fence about New Year’s resolutions… I love the feel of a fresh start, a clean slate for a new year but I think we always fall into the trap of
    ‘gotta lose the lbs’ ‘gotta stop biting my nails’ ‘gotta hit the gym more’


    I love Wear More Dresses and Hit Museums!!!!!!!! I made one, and it’s simple. Watch more classic movies. I’m already off to a great start, having just watched Funny Face (HOW did I not watch that movie sooner, so fab!) and an old favorite: Young Frankenstein.
    (one of Henry’s favorite scenes:


    1. Jenny–that is my issue too–I went out of my way to make sure that my resolutions were about bringing fun into my life. I get so bogged down in the daily gring that I forget to add those little bits of wonder into the day, week or month!

      And I LOVE that you are watching more classic movies! Both Funny Face and Young Frankenstein are two of my favorites! Squee!!!

      I love that Henry’s favorite is Cloris Leachman’s offers of nighcaps to Gene Wilder. My favorite moment which I actually reference all the time is Madeline Kahn’s farewell to Gene Wilder at the beginning of the movie. “Taffeta!” What a great movie! I might have to watch that myself this weekend!

  5. Marvelous goals! I love them all. Museums is a good one….thanks to greg we manage to hit them fairly regularly. If you need a museum buddy, count me in!

    And I am DYING for you to make a shirt dress for yourself like on that book cover! That would look amazing on you. You wear more dresses than you think you do—I love seeing you dressed up for Dames and what not! But you’re right, it’s always good to find a few casual “throw on” dresses for town outtings. I find it’s easier in summer. As much as I love tights, they always seem more of an effort for winter months‚ and I’m still chilly! hee!

    1. I will certainly call you up for a run to the museums! I might hit the Oakland Museum this week to also pick up the White Elephant tickets!

      I’m so glad you think I wear more dresses than I think I do. You just happen to see me when I’m cutely turned out. You are certainly an inspiration to wear more dresses! You are always styling in your dressies!

      I’m really excited about these goals! I wore two dresses this week in SLC! I think knit dresses are my saving grace in the winter! I love a good knitted dress!

  6. I love resolutions, too and I would LOVE to go with you to a museum or two! It was sort of a “back-to-school” resolution for me so since Sept. I’ve been to the Berkeley Art Museum twice and to SF MOMA twice. I am ready to do more. Perhaps we can combine a walk AND cult-chah together! Happy New Year.

  7. My partner, son and I have been doing a lot of embroidery and cross stitch lately, its kind of cool how many old embroidery and cross stitch kits we keep finding at thrift stores dirt cheap. As well as how many retro/vintage patterns are out there on flicker and for sale on etsy. Its fun family time and really cheap to do.

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