2010 has just flown by, and it's been jam-packed with crafty goodness....
January was pretty quiet as I took some time off after Christmas, and then managed to get ill just as I was due to re-open my shops! Excellent timing, I'm sure you'll agree. I did find time to make a New Year's Resolution (more about this tomorrow!), drank lots of tea from these awesome "I love my local Post Office" mugs and designed my first tutorial of 2010 for some cute owl brooches.
In February I did lots of admin (this crafty business lark doesn't just involve sewing, more's the pity!), got excited about traditional crafts, listened to lots of Agatha Christie mysteries, and shared a bit about my creative process.
March featured lots of springtime crafting - tutorials to design your own flower brooches & butterfly napkin rings, and a custom project involving lots of pretty spring colours (plus some not entirely seasonal snowy owls). I also finally got around to ordering some colourful business cards to send out with my orders. I've got through quite a few since then!
April was quite busy - I joined a knitting club, made some political brooches, stitched a custom abstract mobile, was visited by my very first work experience student, and set myself the challenge to completely clear out my work-in-progress boxes (embarassingly, there's still a few things lurking in there unfinished but I did clear out almost everything!) I also bought some awesome pink shoes :)
It was lovely and sunny in May (we had a great summer this year - I've never had so many opportunities to wear pretty summer dresses!). Inbetween eating ice lollies I met up with some Etsy friends, was on the local radio talking about our knitting club, got a mention in Make Jewellery magazine, made another custom mobile, and made a summer skirt from a lovely-but-damaged vintage dress.
I made a real effort to take a bit of time off over the summer. It's hard to take proper breaks running an online business (the internet never sleeps!) but the summer is always a slow time, so I took the opportunity to work a bit less and get outside to enjoy the sunshine as much as possible... so things were a little quiet on the crafting front.
In June I reorganised my stash thanks to some new boxes, went to a knitting picnic, got inspired by summer flowers, and was totally thrilled when a customer of mine sent me photos of my corsages being worn at her wedding. I also had tea with the Queen! :)
In July I finally designed some proper packaging for my handmade items, oohed over some yummy vintage yarn and rainbows of felt, worked on some secret projects, 'fessed up to the crafty chaos taking over my lounge... and Fa La La La Felt was published, containing four projects by me (my mum is very proud).
August was filled with comfort crafting, some pretty dull mending, and more secret sewing. One of my projects was also published in a sewing calendar, and I went to a lovely exhibition of quilts by local crafters (so inspiring!).
In September I learned some new knitting techniques, wrote my first book review (I hope you've been enjoying these - I've got a few more fun books waiting to be reviews in the New Year!) and gave myself a DIY haircut. I also had an interview and tutorial published in Cloth magazine and wrote a tutorial for a felt argyle cushion, which is possibly my favourite thing of all the things I've made this year and still makes me smile every time I see it on our sofa!
I blogged about giant stamps in October and was delighted to discover it's not just me who loves the Royal Mail's new postal labels! I also sewed lots of buttons on a sweater, made a big pile of notecards, started a personal project to give away 100 things in the run up to Christmas, and tidied up my sewing supplies.
November was perhaps my best month ever for press with a mention in Sew magazine, a tutorial in Sew Hip and an interview in Popular Crafts (all very exciting!). The new series of Kirstie's Homemade Home started and I really wasn't too impressed (though I think the series got better as it went along), I wrapped gifts with yarn and baubles, photographed my collection of gorgeous vintage threads, ordered some thankyou notes to send out with my parcels, made lots of sparkly flowers, and added snowy owls to my range of ornaments.
Finally, in December I've been pretty busy meeting last Christmas posting deadlines and trying to keep warm in the coldest weather I've ever experienced. The spiky hoar frost was really beautiful but temperatures of -11 are no fun (especially when you're not used to them!) and the bad weather here in the UK has been playing havoc with the postal system, which is always stressful when you run an online business.
Inbetween packing parcels and wearing woolly hats indoors, I've stitched together a giant blanket, given my embroidery thread stash a new home in a yummy festive tin, worked on yet more secret projects, and finished my 100 things challenge. I also got an early Christmas present in the form of a surprise mention in the Metro, which was really rather thrilling.
Thanks so much to everyone who's supported my little business this year! If you've bought something from my shops or left me comments on my blog/Flickr/etc. thankyou thankyou thankyou you are all awesome xxx