Saturday 18 July 2015

All The Threes (33)

When I turned 30 a few years ago I had a nostalgic look back through old photo albums and chose a photo a year to make a "30 years of me!" collage. It was fun choosing a photo to represent each year and seeing the progression of haircuts and outfits as the years went by.

In fact, it was so much fun that I decided to keep going and choose a new photo each year to add to my collection. I picked one when I turned 31, one when I turned 32 and now it's time to pick another as I turned 33 last month. It's turning into a nice little personal tradition and a great opportunity to have a few quiet moments thinking about my year just passed, with all its ups and downs.

This year has definitely had its downs. I've not been in great health, which is always frustrating - not least because of the knock-on effect it has on my business. I've been working part-time for big chunks of the past year, taking on fewer new projects and earning less than I would have if I'd been working my usual hours.

Of course there are few things more important than your health and I'm very lucky that my job (and my current living situation) allows me to be flexible: to take care of myself while also continuing to work, just at a slightly slower pace and from the sofa instead of my desk. But it still sucks to be ill and to have to scale back my creative plans and press pause on so many things on my "plans for my business" To Do list.

On balance though, 32 was pretty great!

It was a year of family and friendship and meeting new people. Of travelling (near and far) and adventures (big and small). Of decluttering unwanted things and letting go of all the emotional baggage that went along with them. Of saying hello and yes please to some exciting new projects. Of being more confident (and of not being afraid to admit when my confidence has failed me).

I took a trip to Birmingham (which turned out to be so great I'm going back there for my summer hols this year) and another to Liverpool (which was also awesome - I really need to get round to blogging about it sometime!). When my health (and my deadlines) allowed I went on lots of relaxing, inspiring, de-stressing, energising and generally awesome Nice Days Out to parks, gardens, museums, palaces, churches, ships, galleries, exhibitions and more. Plus my diary was peppered with days jam-packed with crafty and creative goodness - at the V&A, the Festival of Quilts, the Handmade Fair, Blognix, Thread, the Knitting & Stitching Show, Renegade London, and London Craft Week.

It was also another highly enjoyable year of making and blogging (despite the odd patch of blogger's block!). I celebrated 8 years of blogging (woohoo!) and worked on lots of really fun projects during the year. Some of these I've blogged about - like these felt houses, these mini felt jumper Christmas ornaments and this happy box of sunshine - and others are still under wraps as I wait for them to be published. I got to spill the beans about some earlier projects though, like the Halloween designs I contributed to Felt-o-ween (such a cute book) and the retro cassette phone case I stitched for Mollie Makes (I still pinch myself sometimes that something I made was the featured project on the cover of a magazine).

And as if all that wasn't enough for one year, I am also now an aunt! Yay!

My chosen photo for the year?

This one, taken at the end of a long, hot shift planting poppies at the Tower of London for the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation.

The poppy installation was such an amazing thing to be part of.

I have to admit that it's also something that just a few years ago I wouldn't have been confident enough to sign up for. I would have wanted to do it, sure, but without anyone to go with me I wouldn't have had the nerve and I wouldn't have signed up and I would have regretted it. I was still a bit nervous about volunteering on my own (and it was a bit weird when almost everyone else was showing up in pairs or in big groups from their work) but it was, of course, totally fine! I chatted to people, they chatted to me, we all took part in this amazing thing together, it was all good.

So, this year's photo is me doing something awesome and a reminder to future me to not be scared and to say "yes!" to more awesomeness in the future.

P.S. I've not added the new photo into a collage/mosaic yet, but here are the photos from years 1-32 :)


http://thankfullga447 said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I love your idea of the photo, sorry to hear about your illness - time heals everything. I am happy you choose the "poppy". I have told my friends here in US about that adventure and how proud you must have felt. The site of all those poppy's were about saying thankyou.

Crimson Kettle said...

Happy Birthday, lovely photos a great way to celebrate. :-)

Sarah C said...

Happy Birthday! I love your photo collage. It is a great way to see how you have changed over the years and be transported back to that time in your life. So glad to see you chose the poppy picture. I am the same in regards to being uncomfortable going it alone, so it is nice to have that reminder that everything will be okay when you do! As someone here in the states I wish I could have seen the exhibit. I devoured all the pics of it that everyone posted and I love that you were a part of it! I hope you have a great coming year!

Katrin said...

Happy Birthday! 💐🎂🎈You're looking great on this photo.

Cream Linen said...

Happy birthday!!!
I wish you all the best for the future and lots of inspiration for lots of imaginative, lovely crafts.
Tina xxx

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks everyone! xxx

Rebekah of The Little Red Thread said...

That side ponytail gets me every time you put up this collage. It's so great! I know we did a family sibling picture and I was rocking the side pony as well. The 80's and 90's were certainly "something".

Ariadne said...

Many happy returns!AriadnefromGreece!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Rebekah - Side ponytails = the best! Not sure I could pull one off these days tho :D

Ariadne - thank you! x