Hey All! I’m running a studio sale in my Etsy shop!

I’ve been cleaning up the studio and found some products lingering around that need a good home. Everything marked “sale” is 50% off or better! www.luteandharp.etsy.com

Just a few of the goodies added to the sale

Just a few of the goodies added to the sale


Here are the last two of my favorite quotes from my 2013 desk calendar. I have now cleared out my desk drawer of all the sheets that were torn off and stuffed into the drawer for future reference!

“Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used.” ~Richard Byrd, U.S. Navy admiral and explorer


“In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity.” ~Abraham Lincoln.


Hope you enjoyed this little series. Are there any quotes that you’ve found inspiring or helpful through the past year? Share them!

  • August 8 – “Hope is not a feeling of certainty, that everything ends well. Hope is just a feeling that life and work have a meaning.” Vaclav Havel, Czech president and writer
  • February 18 – “Half-heartedness never won a battle.” William McKinley, U.S. President
  • May 14 – “Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality the cost becomes prohibitive.” William F. Buckley Jr., American editor and journalist
  • June 28 – “It is the same with men as with horses: those which do the most prancing are generally the ones which make the least progress.” Baron de Stassart, 19th-century Deuth-Belgian politician
  • August 17

“Sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.” ~Edward Albee, American playwright

  • December 31 – “The best thing about the future is that is comes only one day at a time.” Abraham Lincoln
  • August 19 – “There are no happy endings. . . there are only happy people.” Dorothy Gilman, American novelist
  • January 8 – “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” Catherine Aird, pseudonymous English writer
  • July 23 – “Sometimes you eat the bear, but sometimes the bear eats you.” James Crumley, American novelist
  • June 21

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” ~Albert Camus

Locks of Love hair cut

The Cut and The Caps

2013 Goal #6: Donate hair to Locks of Love
Completed in August

Hair is a tricky thing. It just doesn’t grow as fast as you want it to when you’re hoping for it to grow. I was hoping to make a Locks of Love donation in late 2012, but to get the length I was aiming for took longer than expected. August 2013 rolled around, and it was finally time to make the cut! I was really excited to send my hair off and hope that someone is enjoying a wig made with part of that pony tail (or soon will be!).

2013 Goal #9: Donate caps or scarves to a good home.
Completed in Fall 2013

 The past few years I’ve donated scarves that I’ve knitted or crocheted to the local women’s shelter. Because of several friends’ difficult and diverse experiences, I was hoping to donate 2013’s needlework to a hospital through a local organization. It proved difficult to track down a group locally, but through my research I discovered Knots of Love. They provide caps for patients with traumatic hair loss across the country, including a hospital in my area. I was really excited to donate caps to them in the fall, and I hope to be able to donate again this year (hopefully some NICU blankets). My caps went to eight states!!, and I hope they have found good homes, keeping people warm and comfy and loved.

Five more favorites from the 2013 desk calendar:

  • November 2 – “Many things cause pain which would cause pleasure if you regarded their advantages.” Baltasar Gracian, 17th century Spanish writer
  • August 20 – “No great thing is created suddenly.” Epictetus, ancient Greek philosopher
  • May 16 – “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.” Edmund Burke, 18th-century English statesman
  • December 24 – “Never get to fascinated by the extraordinary that you miss the ordinary.” Magdalen Nabb, English novelist
  • January 21 – “Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Another post on my 2013 resolutions . . .

2013 Goal #2: Read 12 books again this year
Completed in July

I said again because this was also a personal goal I made in 2012. The intent in 2012 was to get back to something I loved—reading! I realized that although I loved reading, I just hadn’t been doing it at all for the past few years. I made a list and read just about everything on it and then some! It was so enjoyable that I made it a goal again for 2013 AND 2014.

I posted about the highlights from my 12 books, 12 months goal back in August. You can check it out here.

2013 Goal #7: Read Meaning of Marriage with Stephen
Completed in summer 2013

When our church started going through the The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller for a book study, S and I decided to read through it together at home as well. I discovered that digging into the study personally really helped me to gain more from the speakers at church. Reading the book also brought up a lot of good discussion at home. Win, win. Reading is awesome. So is this book!

So, I made a resolution journal for 2013, and I told you I made twelve goals. I probably left you wondering, how many goals did she accomplish? What were the goals? Maybe I didn’t leave you wondering at all, but I’m still going to share some of the goals over the next couple of posts. Hope you’re okay with that!

I officially accomplished six of my twelve goals. I also made strides toward accomplishing a few others—such as researching new art techniques, how to refinishing furniture, where I can truly recycle a computer, etc. Some goals I had to move to 2013. Today I’ll share about the first goal I accomplished in 2013.

2013 Goal #5 : Run four 5K’s this year.
Completed in June

S and I started running in 2012 as part of an effort to live healthier lives. I knew that if I wanted to keep running, I had to start out with a plan and a goal. The plan was the Couch to 5K running plan. The goal was the Spinx Run Fest 5K in October of 2012. I also knew to keep running in 2013 that I would need goals for 2013. Hence goal number five listed above.

I ended up running three 5Ks, one 8K, and a 10K. It takes a lot of discipline to start running. When I started in 2012 I could barely run 60 seconds together. Now, even when I don’t feel like accomplishing much on a run, I remind myself of my first few weeks of training. A 5K seemed impossible, let alone a 10K! It still is difficult to find time to fit running into the schedule, but I know it’s good for me and allows me to experience race day. I’m a big fan of race days! My favorite race day of the year was the Spinx Run Fest 10K in October. It was the anniversary of my first race, and a whole group from our church ran it. The music, the hype, the running with friends, meeting everyone at the finish—it all added up to one great experience! The finisher’s medal was just icing on the cake.

Race Medal Running Group from Church

Resolution Journals

My journals from 2013 & 2014

January’s just begun and so has the resolution making for 2014! Do you usually make resolutions for the year? I think most people really dislike making resolutions. The arguments usually go as follows: You can’t keep them. No one remembers them past January 2. You can probably fill in the blank with a lot more reasons not to make resolutions than to make and keep them. However. . .

I have come to enjoy making resolutions. 2012 was the first year I made a list of resolutions and really took it seriously, and I feel like I accomplished a lot! I like to think of my resolution list as more of a long-term to-do list. A few goals, written down, to work on is never a bad thing. I didn’t wind up completing all twelve items on my 2012 to-do’s or even my 2013 list, but I did complete many of them and was encouraged to do so simply because I remembered what they were! How did I remember? I made a resolutions journal, which I wrote about some time ago.

Here are my tips for creating your own:

1. Get a small journal or notebook you can carry with you. This past year I used a Jotter from Wit & Whistle. A small 3×5 notebook with a cute design works perfectly for me. I can carry it around and mark things off as I accomplish them.

2. Pick a number. Any number. Start small. For 2013 I did 12, and I am scaling back to 10 for 2014. Might I suggest starting with FIVE? Five goals to accomplish this year. You can totally fit that into your schedule over the next 12 months.

3. Decide on what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. Reading, volunteering, cleaning, hobbies, whatever.  Designate one page of your book to each goal.

4. As you write out the goals, make them attainable and specific. Say you want to read more in 2014. A goal of “Read more” will have you making excuses all the way to December about the meaning of “more” (i.e. “Does one word more count?”). Saying you’ll read every best seller from last century will have you feeling overwhelmed. Think of what you normally do, and set your goal slightly ahead. If you read three books last year, you might formulate your to-do item as “Read six books by December 2014.” Follow it up with a list of possible books, and check them off as you finish them. To-do? DONE!

5. Leave space on each page to make notes about your progress or to fill in the date you completed the goal. Looking back to see what you’ve done will be more inspirational if you have a little of the story behind it.

Finally, remember that these goals aren’t set in stone – You made them, and you can change them! I make a note at the end of my list not to feel bad if I don’t get every single thing on the list accomplished. Focus on what you DO get done instead and reevaluate the incomplete items at the end of the year as you think about your next year’s list.

What do you want to accomplish this coming year?

Quotable Year Image

Every year, for as long as I can remember, my dad has gotten me a calendar for Christmas. Wall calendars, desk calendars—every year it’s something different based on current interests or hobbies. I love the tradition. For 2013, dad got me a quote of the day desk calendar, and I’ve enjoyed pulling off each page and reading the little blurb of wisdom before I buckle down and get some work done. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll share some of my favorites.

Starting off:

  • December 14 – “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” C.S. Lewis
  • August 12 – “Sometimes you work for wages, sometimes not, but what does anybody make but a living?” Henry Ford
  • January 10 – “Lick ’em tomorrow” Ulysses S. Grant