I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve, I prefer to stay in with a glass of champagne and a good takeaway and watch the fireworks on TV. However, despite the cliché of it, I really like taking stock of my life at the new year; taking the time out to review the year that’s just been and think about everything you’ve achieved and then planning for the year ahead.
As always the year has had it’s ups and downs. The downs mainly coming from some illnesses in our families. In terms of my own personal goals though the year has been pretty positive overall. As you may know if you have been reading my blog since I started, I was a bit lost at the beginning of the year. I had a tough Christmas period with my jewellery business last year, culminating in a spectacularly bad craft fair where I sold one item over two days and left me with terrible back pain. I told myself that I would just step away from it completely and come at it again, refreshed, in the new year. When January rolled around however I just couldn’t find the motivation to get back into it. I made a few pieces out of necessity but I just could not come up with anything new.
Instead of pushing myself and attempting to plough on with it, which would have just made me more miserable, I decided to give myself permission to play and do other things. I started doing some art again and got back into baking. I had been doing my ceramics for a while but I started to see it as a creative outlet and not something that was taking up time when I should have been doing jewellery. Basically I started enjoying myself!
Although I was enjoying myself, I still felt guilty that I wasn’t doing my jewellery and I began to think about how I could bring all of these things together so that I didn’t have to stop doing any of it. Then one day I had a shower moment! What if I created a blog that explored living creatively, making things because you felt like it and learning new things all the time? I liked that idea a lot and came back to it over and over again. Once I started giving some structure to my blog and my Instagram feed I felt driven to create more and then one day I went down to my shed and created some new jewellery! I decided to go back to basics and stop trying to do fancy stuff that wasn’t really me. By going to back to how I started in jewellery – in polymer clay – and allowing myself to just play with it I became excited about my new ideas once more.
I certainly feel I have achieved a lot this year. I have been to so many amazing workshops and completed some great craft kits that I receive through the post and pick up when I’m out and about. I’ve been to some really interesting events and exhibitions and overall this year I would have to say that I feel inspired.
I’ve rediscovered a love for sewing. I did a GCSE in Textiles but was somehow discouraged from taking it further to A Level. I feel now that if I had I may well have gone on to do it at university as well. My favourite skill that I have learnt this year is definitely punch needle and I’ve now reached a point where I’d like to plunge myself further into the world of fibre art and not only complete craft kits but start to create some original work of my own.
So what do I want to achieve next year? Well for Christmas I received some gift vouchers for two of my favourite craft venues; The London Craft Club (https://londoncraftclub.co.uk/), and Tea and Crafting (https://www.teaandcrafting.co.uk/), so I will definitely be booking up some workshops there in the next couple of months. I also plan to continue with my subscription boxes. I have two main ones that I receive; MakeBox (https://www.makebox.co/), a monthly box, and Craftpod (https://www.craftpod.co.uk/), a quarterly box. I really like that they bring new projects to my home, things that I might not otherwise have tried. Some projects haven’t been for me at all and I probably wouldn’t repeat them, but I’m pleased that I took the opportunity to give them a go. Other projects I’ve enjoyed so much and will definitely be using the skills and techniques in future projects. I’ve also been eyeing up a short course in embroidery at UAL, which I am thinking of booking.
I am also very excited to be attending Alt Summit (https://altitudesummit.com/) in Palm Springs, California in March 2020 as well. I think this will really test my networking skills as it is a week long conference and I can be quite shy, however I think it will be good for me and hopefully I will learn loads of helpful things and hang out with other creatives who are at the top of their game. I’m hoping that it will help me to focus on the direction I would like to take this blog and my own work so I can start to shape a future doing something I’m passionate about – creativity!
If you have any recommendations for workshops or crafts you think I should try out in 2020 I’d love to hear about them!