We Here Highly Resolve...

Well, happy 2011! This is my first official post of the year, since the last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind with more parties, errands, and getting my husband ready to get back into his PA school groove. I'm still recovering from all the festivities, although my home is looking a little more put-together than it was last week at this time. At any rate, I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas and ringing in the new year!

Are you a Resolutions person? I have decided to be one, at least this year. I have been formulating a list of goals for this year.... it includes:
  • Spending more quality time with my husband (when he's not studying!)
  • Reading more (post on this topic coming soon...)
  • Being healthier - both in what I eat and in getting more exercise (which will include walking my dog more often, so he'll be healthier - win/win!)
  • Being more disciplined in my daily schedule (i.e. curbing my night-owl tendencies and getting up earlier)
  • Kicking "Beth Stone Studio" up a notch.
Today, I want to focus on this last goal.... Since I began this little business, I have considered it to be a "part time" thing I do on the side. My goal for this year is to adjust my attitude towards it and treat it like my full-time job. I probably won't be installing a time clock on my studio wall, but I do intend to set regular business hours/days, give myself tasks to accomplish each month with scheduled deadlines, expand my product lines, and take definitive steps towards attaining a few goals (that I'm keeping to myself for now!) :o) In order to do that, I decided to make a little notebook to help keep me inspired and on my toes:

This is a little hardbound spiral sketchbook that I found at Barnes and Noble. It started off as plain black on the cover, so I decided to spice it up a bit. I used acrylic paints to dry brush a golden/off-white background, then used a darker raw sienna to loosely paint in a honeycomb pattern. I then used my hand-carved rubber bee stamp to add the bees, and finished it off by using Mod Podge for Furniture to decoupage a printed label (torn and inked on the edges) to the front.

I added a little touch to the back...

...as well as some home-made tabs to the pages to divide my book up into sections...

My tabs include the following:
  • Doodles - for sketchy moments and random thoughts....

  • 2011 Goals - for listing the things I want to accomplish professionally this year.
  • Blog Post Ideas - sometimes I think of post ideas, then forget them by the time I sit down to blog. This will help me corral those moments of inspiration into one "brainstorming" area so I'm ready to roll when I sit down to write!
  • To Do Lists - I am lost without lists. I plan to sew a little pocket into one of the pages, so I can keep my current list in the slot and replace it when I make a new one. This will keep me from running out of pages! To Do lists help me stay focused, get things accomplished on time, avoid overlooking important tasks, and give me a great sense of satisfaction when I cross things off of them!
  • Painting Ideas - I tend to think about and plan out most of my paintings for a long time before I actually start working on them. This area will let me keep my ideas/thoughts/sketches handy in one place when I get ready to work on a new project!
  • Craft Ideas - another brainstorming area.... sketches for projects, product ideas, inspirational clippings, etc. will go in this section.
  • Booking It Goals - I have chosen a list of books to read during 2011, and I plan to share them (and my reviews of them) here with you over the course of the year. Check back on January 10th for my reading plan and for the linkup party where you can get involved with your own selections!
In addition to keeping this little inspiration / idea notebook, I got a little pocket-sized day planner too. I plan to give myself assignments and deadlines and will schedule them IN MY CALENDAR, just like I did when I was in college. Hopefully, that will help keep me on track and producing regular work!

So, there are a few of my plans for 2011. I'd love to hear about your goals for the year! Feel free to link up your resolution posts, or simply leave your list in the comments section! I'd love to hear from you!

Happy New Year!



  1. Happy new year, Beth! Your journal looks great! I look forward to seeing more of your work in the months to come!


  2. What a cute way to decorate a plain sketch book. I'm still working on my goals and plans. In order not to get stressed out about it, I'm just doing a little each day. One thing I'm excited about doing this year is reading through the Bible in a chronological fashion. I found it on the net and started this morning.

    I love the painting I recently bought from you. My son is going to love it as he recently wrote about this little character on his blog http://tylerthinks.blogspot.com/ You're a very talented artist, and I'm glad you're going to be making plans to produce more. That benefits us all!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Katy and Debbie, and also for your kind comments... :o)

    So glad you liked the print, Debbie - I hope your son loves it too. I just checked out his blog - it looks good! Thanks for sharing the post about Reepicheep - he's my favorite too!


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