Normally, the pictures I select to accompany my blog posts relate directly to the topic I'm writing about. I'm quite certain that the majority of you are wondering how the picture of the quail relate to anything. Keep reading, and by the end of the post, the meaning behind the picture should be clear.
I find myself, at the beginning of each new year, reflecting on the past year and making plans for improvements in the year ahead. I've never really been one to make official resolutions, but do have what I like to think of as "New Year's Good Intentions". I feel as if I'd be setting myself up for failure to resolve to do something as things never quite go as I fully intend.
So, here I am, with January already practically past. I had intended to write at least one blog feature each week, but have been so busy with other of my New Year's Intentions that this is the first chance I've had to write all month. On the upside, my studio space is slowly taking shape, new art projects that had previously only existed in my mind (or as I like to call it "the other world I live in where the sky is purple") are steadily coming to life, and a dear crafty friend (Lynne of Charmed by Nature) taught me how to use silver metal clay. If silver metal clay was more affordable, I fear a new craft addiction may be forming, but for now I'm focusing on incorporating polymer clay sculpting into my work. Once I become more confident with working with clay, I'll return to the silver metal clay. Lynne wrote about it on our Etsy Pittsburgh Team blog after she first worked with it, so please check out her post if you're curious about working with this fascinating material.
Not only is January the first month of the new year, but it's also my birthday month and this year I hit a big one. On next Wednesday, the 28th, I will turn 40. I don't feel old, but the number is a bit daunting, and I know many people will tell me that I'm not old at all. I feel like I've finally begun to figure out what I want to be when I grow up though, so I suppose I can seek solace in that fact. I feel that I'm finally allowing my creative voice to be fully heard and am no longer listening to the little voice that tells me I can't do something. Instead, I choose to forge ahead and try. I figure the worst that can happen is a glorious failure, but from our worst failures come our greatest successes.
I feel as if I've achieved a small measure of success already this year. On Friday, January 16th, I was featured on The Handicrafter, a blog about the world of arts and crafts. My Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock Earrings were selected as one of the Top 10 Handcrafted Picks. I always feel incredibly honored whenever I am chosen to be featured, and am grateful to The Magickal Ewe for choosing one of my items for the Top 10 list.
Still asking yourself what the picture has to do with any of this? The picture is symbolic of fresh starts and resourcefulness, and serves as a reminder to stop to enjoy the simple beauty present in the world around us. Resourcefulness is a trait I admire, and something I strive toward. Quail, in my opinion, are a stellar example of this trait. When this picture was taken, my mother and I had been sitting on her couch, enjoying the view from her family room. Even though it had been a few days since the last snowfall had covered the ground in a blanket of white, everything still looked fresh and new. Suddenly, we noticed a large group of quail, making their way down her hillside, foraging for food. Shortly after, it started snowing and several new inches of snow soon covered the ground. The quail could sense the impending snowfall and knew they needed to forage for food while they could still find it. This is just one of the many miracles nature constantly reveals to us if we only pay attention. I use this image to serve as a reminder that fresh starts are possible and to make the most of each moment while being mindful of the future.