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This year I decided to take quite a bit of time off in December to keep my stress levels down and to recharge my creative batteries for the new year. It’s typically a fairly quiet time of year, business-wise, given that most people are fully immersed in the holidays – shopping, baking, traveling, visiting. Taking some time off from designing products allowed me to channel a lot of my creative energy into other projects.

A lot of my down time this past month was spent knitting a chunky cable knit throw blanket as a Christmas gift for my mom, one that was similar to a photo she sent me via text message. When it was finished I liked it so much that I immediately started another one for myself and I’m enjoying working on this one at a slower pace now that the holiday gift giving deadline is not looming over it.

I also spent a bit of my down time this month organizing files, evaluating what worked for me this past year (and what didn’t), and making plans for the upcoming year. Making the choice to limit my focus and embrace a slower pace made December feel much more manageable to me than it has in previous years. Going forward I hope to be able to allow myself the same space to breathe around the holidays.

I’m easing my way back into my work days right now, becoming reacquainted with my usual tools and routines – because it’s time to get back to the business of designing new products, and I’m so excited to see what 2014 has in store for One Little Bird.

So welcome back, friends! I’ve missed you.