It is time. The time of year when many of us are thinking of next year, and of what our New Year's resolution will be. The promise that we will make to ourselves and try to keep. Something that will enhance our lives. Do you have one yet? Were you able to keep the one that you made last year? The year before that? Do you remember those resolutions? I thought I would share my New Years resolution with you. I have had the same resolution since I was a teenager...more than 30 years. And I have kept it every year. Curious? It is very simple. Each year I resolve to learn one new thing and make the effort to learn as much as I can about it during the year. For most of the years I have chosen to focus on a new craft. That is what I like to do...make things...be creative...experiment. For you it might be about books, or history, or the computer or even sports. You are free to choose anything you want to learn about. You don't have to select your topic at the beginning of the year. Many years I have not seen the spark of what I wanted to learn until the middle of the summer. But I still had time to focus on my choice and learn. I can often find a class on something interesting at evening adult education classes, or even on the internet or through a book. Often my friends have taught me something that they know...and are pleased at my interest in their activities.
Over the years I have tried things and enjoyed them. I chose to pursue them and continue learning about them now. Knitting, quilting, making penny rugs, applique, woodworking, making baskets, rug hooking and dying wool are all things that I resolved to learn about and continue to enjoy.
Other things I have tried but either wasn't very good at them or just stopped doing them to pursue other things. But I still have that knowledge. Cross stitch, needlepoint, latch hook, pottery, playing guitar, woodburning, needlefelting, punchneedle. Those lessons have fallen by the wayside, but at any time I could still pick them up. And sometimes I do!
Photography was one of the first things that I resolved to learn, and continue to enjoy (as you can tell by all the pictures that I take!). I did not have to spend a lot of time on it...just the basics. I cannot develop film and am not adept at changing the aperature on a camera. But I can compose a simple shot that will capture my image. I learned about lighting and shadows. I read about numerous photographers and feel I can carry on a semi-knowledgable conversation about the subject. This past year I learned about spinning. I am not very good at it!!! But I have leaned about ratios and types of fiber and breeds of sheep from Romneys to Corriedale to Lincolns. I know how to put together a spinning wheel and can name all the parts. I need to practice, and perhaps someday I will be adept at spinning. But for now I can say that in the past year I have learned something and have kept my resolution from last year.Again this year my New Years resolution will be to learn something. I don't know what it will be...that's in my future. Perhaps it will be to learn more about designing. I love to build and create, and there is a lot to learn on that subject. It would also work nicely with the things I already like to do. Last year this silly mat design came about from a Challenge called "New Life". I fondly call it the Sperm Mat (what was I thinking!?!). I learned to design a tongue penny rug in an internet group, and find relaxing pleasure in playing with circles of wool to make penny rugs. I designed a pattern for a class but the hooked rug is still "in progress". I like to design but find it intimidating. There is a lot to learn about creating a good design.