On New Years Resolutions

For my first 39 New Years’ Days, I did not make any resolutions, unless it was kind of a silly one – like “get a haircut” or “buy new pants.” I intentionally decided against resolutions because I thought they were silly. If you are going to change something in your life – just do it. Don’t wait for a calendar change. Carpe Diem and all that.

In 2020, before the pandemic began, I did something unexpected. I made goals for the year. I shared them with a friend to make sure I followed through (or at least to make it more likely).

My goals were: finish the dollhouse I was building for my daughter, run consistently using a training plan, and make non-digital content for my Etsy store. THEN CAME MARCH.

In March, a long-time friend, and my running inspiration, passed away of cancer – not Covid-related. And the same weekend, the rest of the world shut down. So, feeling my mortality, I adjusted some goals. Specifically: I decided I needed to run a half-marathon. The furthest I had run before was 6.2 miles, and I had only done that maybe twice. A half-marathon is more than double that. I signed up for a September Dallas Half (which, of course, went virtual).

Guys – I did all the things. I finished the dollhouse in February. I trained for the half-marathon throughout the year and ran it (virtually) in September. I re-opened an Etsy shop in October with physical items.

Don’t get me wrong – a lot of stuff went wrong in 2020. Daily, there were small goals that I did not meet. There were lots of breakdowns and discouraging moments as plans changed and events were cancelled. Still, somehow the big resolutions worked out. I literally do not know how. I’m sure it was the grace of God because I cannot do all the things.

Now, my dilema. Do I make more resolutions? Do I tell my friends? What if they don’t happen? If it really was the grace of God, I guess I have to go for it because I know God is good, and he will help keep me focused on what needs to happen this next year. Check back next December and I’ll let you know how it went.

What’s the Bean reading?

My daughter is doing Ambleside Online Yr5 and one book that I’m thrilled she is getting to do this year is King Arthur by Roger Lancelyn Green. She’s only just begun. She can read most of her books on her own by now, but this book has been nice because she still prefers that I read it to her.

My oldest just finished Once and Future King, and while I didn’t read along, I did hear all of his narrations.

On the Nightstand- December 2020

This is what I’m reading and I’d love to hear what you are reading, too.

For December 2020, one of my current books is Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. The first time I read it was right out of high school. I remember thinking it was good that I was reading it just out of high school because if I had read it before I wouldn’t have liked it as much. I didn’t intend to read it again. But then…

An online book club that I love, Close Reads, read Catcher early in 2020. After 2020 blew up, I got behind and I’m just now starting/finishing the book.

This time around, as a mom of a teen, I just want to hug Holden Caulfield and tell him it’s all going to be alright. He could come over to our house and have a nice dinner with the family and hopefully he wouldn’t think we were a bunch of phonies.


My 1991 edition of Catcher in the Rye

The Wild Rumpus

The Etsy shop has been up for about two months. I have learned a great many things.

1. Use Pirate Ship for international shipping.

2. Lots of people like Where the Wild Things Are.

3. Butane torches really do take care of resin bubbles, but not 100%.

4. Sometimes it’s faster to drive a package across country rather than ship it. (But, for the record, the lady at our post office is super nice.)

Holden Caulfield thinks you’re a phony.

I’ve also found more efficient methods for making pendants. Check in often because lots of designs (that I can’t recreate) are selling out and I’m adding new ones all the time. Lots of Hymn inspiration coming this week, so watch for that.


Etsy Shop is Live

I do not normally do New Year’s Resolutions. For some reason, in January 2020, I decided it was important to run a couple of races and to finally set up a shop on Etsy.

Then – we all know how 2020 went. For our family, the pandemic meant that things were usually incredibly busier than normal. But there were a few periods of forced rest in the mix. The result has been that I ran a half marathon in September and today I opened my Etsy Shop.

Right now I’m focusing on pendants and will have some painted lockets coming along soon.

Come by anytime: Wonder Tales Studio

If you have a custom design you’d like to see, send me a PM!


I got help with this little guy.

I was still looking for ways to turn each prompt into a circle, and this is what I came up with. One of my son’s friends saw it when it was only partially done and told me it would be better in color. So I colored it in his honor. Thanks for the tip.

It’s also in honor of all the big brothers and uncles out there whose little nephews and brothers are begging you to swing them around in a big circle…but you can’t because you’ve been told you might pull their arms right out of their sockets. Will that really happen? I don’t know.


When we started homeschooling four years ago, I read Home Education by Charlotte Mason and felt hopelessly behind. She wrote about moms knowing all the names of all the trees so as to tell your children, casually, at the park, what type of leaf they had found.

At the time, I could only identify pecan trees because we had one in my yard when I was a kid.

Since then, we have been learning tree names, and for inktober I had plenty of chances to focus on leaves.

Here’s a frail pile of fall leaves from a maple, elm, and birch. Timing was perfect, too. Yesterday was our first day with a chill in the morning. My sister said, rightly, “The actual first day of fall is the first day direct sunlight feels good on your skin.”

Welcome, Fall!


I had no clue where to go with this prompt. After “build” I decided to work in knots and mandalas if at all possible. Without that caveat, I would have maybe tried a princess or something from a fairy tale. But plenty of fairy tales have roses, so this works, too.

In our school, we always have a book of fairy tales going. We just finished some Hans Christian Andersen. Currently working on Arabian Nights. Fairy Tales are good for a great many reasons.

Art wise, on this piece, I got to experiment more with letting the ink blend when wet. Still lots to learn there, but it was fun watching the darker ink spread.


Today’s prompt was easy in the sense that I knew exactly what I wanted to draw. One of my goals was to use this pretty cyan ink if i used color at all, so a pretty husky eye had to be it.

Unfortunately, ink doesn’t dry the same way as watercolor so I didn’t get the blending the way I wanted. It’s finished, not perfect, and that’s ok. It was fun to try to copy a picture somewhat realistically.

Shout out to my parents’ dog Sasha as well. She’s a good husky.


Build! This one was fun to do. I kept trying to work Legos into my idea but this felt better.

See the sheep? And the alligator?