Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A New Year and New Goals

January is coming to a close and with it goes one/twelfth of the new year.
At the beginning of each new year I set some goals for myself.  Sometimes the goals have been a simple to-do list, sometimes it has involved more extensive dreaming, and other times it has been very focused on a particular area of life.  This time I have chosen to make goals that impact various areas of my life but in a way that is still loose and free-flowing.  I am committed to doing something intentional in five different categories at least once each month. 

 I am committed to doing at least one art or craft each month.  I have not created in quite a long time yet I have many supplies.  I can't justify taking up space in the house with all of my supplies if I am not using them.  So, I want to make or try to make at least one "something" each month and see if that re-focuses me creatively.  If it does not than I suppose a 2018 goal will be to purge my art supplies.

This month I found myself getting to the end of the month with no project even in mind.  After looking at my pinterest boards I found a quick project that I had all the supplies for - felted soap.  For years I have been wanting to try my hand at wet felting and I have done it!  An added bonus is that I have added a couple of items to my gift stash.  

I have also set a goal to doing something new in the culinary realm at least once per month.  This could entail trying a new recipe or trying a new technique.  

 This month I opted to try my hand at petit fours.  I had a discussion with my sister about tiny cakes which made me think about ways to make petit fours.  I had the SaraLee pound cake in my freezer from the Christmas trifle that I never made and go to thinking that I could slice it, fill it, cut it and glaze it for a petit four.  That's what I did.
 I used some jam that I had in the fridge and the chocolate buttercream that was leftover from Bishop's birthday cake.
 Although I would like to try my hand at an opaque coating for the petit fours, this time I made a transparent glaze (4 cups powdered sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon vanilla - I am pondering using different extracts in the glaze to elevate the flavor profile).
They're pretty cute, right?  I think that there is a certain appeal to the height of my petit fours but I don't think they are traditional.  Next time I will not use three layers.  They were yummy and the bonus here is that I only used ingredients that I had on hand.

Every month I would also like to focus on attempting to acquire a new skill.  The sky's the limit with this one.  It could be an art or culinary related skill (but preferably would be distinct from the above two goals).  It could be identifying more birds or mushrooms or learning to use my camera or my dremel.  So on and so forth.  This should be fun.

This month I tried my hand at making a drip cake, including making a chocolate sail.  You can find it on this post about Bishop's birthday.
It was not a bad first try.  I was proud of it.

Yet another goal for the year is related to family memories and their organization, preservation and presentation.  I want to make progress in at least one project per month.

For the month of January I took the time to photograph each of the kids ornaments before repairing them and packing them away.  My intent is to make a photo book of their ornaments arranged chronologically with pertinent stories included.  Every year I have given the kids an ornament.  Most often the ornament is related to something they have done or accomplished throughout the year.  Sometimes it is just a sweet ornament that reminds me of them in some way.  Throughout the years I have kept a list but I desire to record the information in a more readily accessible manner.  A book is my solution.

It is also my desire to tackle some home related project each month.  It can be editing or curating.  I can be a home repair or remodeling activity.  I just need to continue making progress in the area of creating the space I WANT to LIVE in.

This month we added Herb's household goods to our household.  A significant amount of his belongings are kitchen/cooking related so I worked to sort through our belongings, purging duplicate items, while making space for other items.  He has an enormous variety of spices so I had to relocate the spices which really meant that I had to shift almost all of the food stuffs.  I cleaned out and reorganized all of the pantries.

I think that this approach to goal setting will be fruitful this year.  It gives me some structure to help me be more deliberate while giving me a lot of flexibility.  I am, thus far, satisfied.

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