Saturday 26 September 2015

2014: A Year of Making & Doing, part 2

Back in February, I wrote:

"Almost every year since I started my blog (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, & 2008) I've done an end of year round-up, looking back at what I've been making and the ups and downs of the year. I'm never sure if anyone other than me is interested in these posts but I love them. It's great to get an overview of how my year has gone and to see just how much craftiness I've squeezed into 12 months - I am always pleasantly surprised by this!

However, I just didn't feel like doing one when the end of 2014 rolled round. "Who cares?" I thought. "They're such a faff! And no-one else is interested in reading them anyway! Why bother?" (I may have been feeling a bit burnt out at the end of December, can you tell?) So, I didn't do a year-in-review... but as the weeks have gone by I've started to regret not taking the time to pause and look back at what I'd got up to in the past year before I made a start on the new one.

So, better late than never, I am finally looking back on 2014!"

... and, well, that winter burnt out feeling might not have totally vanished by February because after blogging about the first six months of 2014 I totally failed to blog about the second half of the year. It's a time-consuming job looking through old posts for these round-ups and I was clearly lacking the necessary mojo to Just Get It Done.

Finally (finally) here's the long-promised round-up of what I got up to in the second half of 2014. This may be a weird thing to be blogging about in the autumn of 2015 but never mind! I'll be glad of it when looking back through my blog in future years and I hope you'll enjoy this trip down my crafty memory lane in spite of the weird timing :)

In July I did a bit more stitching on my cross stitch rose, started making a patchwork blanket with lots of mini moss stitch squares knitted from leftover yarn, and ummed an aaahed about how best to to arrange another patchwork blanket.

I wrote a guest post for &Stitches about my grandmother's sewing box, blogged at Oh My! Handmade Goodness about my Nice Days Out and the importance of scheduling some adventures, got a small mention in Craftseller magazine and celebrated Christmas in July with a felt penguin ornament tutorial.

I knitted more blanket squares, got caught up with my sky pompom making and got distracted from work by some visiting deer. I rediscovered the awesomeness of colouring in with a round-up of colouring books for grown ups, buying lots of colourful pens and pencils to colour with and spending some lovely lazy afternoons colouring. Of course I couldn't resist making some colour charts to test out all my new colours!

I shared some of the awesome things people have been making from my patterns, and started a new series showcasing the work of some awesome Crafty Ladies - beginning with cross-stitcher Sarah Fordham. I also blogged about my visits to the Handel House museum, a Hockney exhibition, MacCulloch & Wallis, St James's Park, the Guards Museum and the Making Colour exhibition at the National Gallery.

In August I felt a bit under the weather but had a pair of friendly kitties keeping me company while I put my feet up. I started stitching some gorgeous Christmas ornament kits by Alicia Paulson and started the third pattern in the trio of vintage floral embroideries I'd been working on (pansies!)

A couple of my projects (a sleepy kitty pincushion and a retro ragdoll) were published in Creativity magazine and snaps from one of my working days were featured over at Made by Mrs M. I shared some social media tips for makers, blogged about Crafty Ladies Georgina Giles, Mollie Johanson, Ginny Farquhar and Lucie Summers, and treated myself to a colourful Kona shade card to help me plan future projects. I also wrote about the many reasons why I love the Festival of Quilts, some of my highlights from the 2014 Festival and the yummy fabric and other bits and bobs I bought during my visit.

Making the most of the summer sunshine, I took some days off for Nice Days out - going to the &Stitches picnic, visiting Apsley House and Lucy Sparrow's awesome felt-filled corner shop, and doing some crafting at the V&A with Kirstie Allsopp to celebrate the launch of the Handmade Fair.

I also blogged about a trip to the amaaaazing Hampton Court, a very hot day in London (complete with bunnies!) and visiting the Grayson Perry tapestries at the Foundling Museum, the Matisse exhibition at Tate Modern and the Festival of Love on the Southbank

In September I confessed to having gone on a post-Festival-of-Quilts fabric shopping spree, and I ignored my To Do list (temporarily) to design and stitch a new embroidery pattern: Remember to be KIND to yourself.

I finished some of the Alicia Paulson ornaments, celebrated the one year anniversary of Super-Cute Felt Animals being published, slowly knitted more mini squares for my patchwork blanket and revealed the projects I designed for Felt-o-ween.

I was busy stitching lots of projects behind the scenes, including some autumnal tutorials. There were lots of scraps of felt and fabric piled about the place! I also finished stitching the pansies, completing the set of vintage flower embroidery patterns I'd been working on over the summer.

I reviewed Woodland Knits and featured the work of Crafty Ladies Liz Smith, Carina Envoldsen-Harris, Flora Jamieson and Stacey Trock. I blogged about a summer day out in Oxford and my visit to the poppies installation at the Tower of London (Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red).

I also wrote about my visit to the Handmade Fair (where I tried lino printing for the first time - lots of fun!) and about my visit to Blognix earlier in the year, confessing to an attack of impostor syndrome and not feeling like a "proper" blogger (I'd felt very nervous blogging about this but it turned out that my post rang bells with a lot of people!)

In October I was working on a bunch of book and magazine projects and shared some snaps of the crafty mess left behind. I took part in the Halloween Crafty Tutorial Link-Up, with a tutorial for making Halloween-y geometric felt coasters. I also shared how tos for making Halloween party invites, felt candy corn ornaments, large plush candy corn and beaded felt dahlia brooches.

I started a Christmas embroidery project and tried some new-to-me embroidery stitches (including some fancy stitches involving two shades of thread!). I bought Liberty prints for a secret project (so pretty!), and finally came up with a plan for my patchwork blanket (I decided to turn it into a happy rainbow blanket!) On my blog, I reviewed Fresh Prints and featured the work of Crafty Ladies Kirsty Neale, Genevieve Brading and Aimee Ray.

Two of the projects from my book were featured in the Handmade Toys bookazine. I also blogged about a few of my projects for Creativity magazine (a fabric bow, a glasses case and some mini fabric envelopes), my projects for Aimee Ray's book Doodle Stitching: The Holiday Motif Collection, and about being Crafter of the Month in Essentials magazine.

I spent a Nice Day Out at the Knitting & Stitching Show, oohing over all the crafty goodness. I also blogged about my visit to Portsmouth Harbour and the Mary Rose museum (so amazing) and my morning planting poppies as part of the installation at the Tower of London (so moving).

November was a bit deadline crazy! I blogged about needing deadline charts to help me manage my to do list as I juggled lots of different projects, and created lots of piles of colourful scraps along the way. I did a round-up of more awesome colouring books for grown ups and shared some festive tutorials for poinsettia brooches, geometric Christmas coasters and minimalist neon cards and tags

I organised a Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up, and shared a how to for making retro photo Christmas cards. I also got to share some festive ornaments I'd designed for Tesco Living's website - Christmas candle ornaments, snowflake baubles and Christmas jumper ornaments.

I decorated my studio with some pretty postcards and blogged about a felt clutch and 3D floral picture I designed for Creativity magazine. I featured the work of Crafty Ladies Kaija Rantakari, Beth Foster and Ruth Singer and reviewed a 1000 Dot-to-Dot Book (which turned out to be enjoyably addictive and an excellent antidote to deadline-related stress!). I also blogged about buying some lovely Christmas fabric for a project which I started working on immediately and was stitching quite a lot during the rest of the winter (it's going to be a gift though so shhh, no more photos until it's finished!)

The deadline madness continued into December, and my blog got a bit quieter as I got my projects finished and posted and took some days off to meet up with friends and family for assorted bits of festive fun.

Two more of the ornaments I'd designed for Tesco Living were published (a felt poinsettia ornament and felt ice skates). I blogged about doing some teeny tiny knitting, and two recently published magazine projects: a crochet hook roll and felt swan collar clips.

I wrote postcards to friends (hurrah for proper post!), finished my mega-decluttering project Less 365, had a small panic about some new EU legislation (such a headache) and featured the work of Crafty Ladies Zeena Shah, Joanna Yeoman and Janet Clare.

Getting a headstart on 2015, I started a new crafty challenge: Use It Or Lose It - resolving to destash or use up as many crafty supplies as possible during the year. My first project to use up supplies in my stash? Making lots of lavender sachets for my sister to help her fight some pesky moths!

I also blogged about a visit to Dorney Court, the always awesome Renegade Craft Fair and Christmas shopping in London - including the joy of finding my book back in stock in my favourite shop in the world: Liberty! Yay! An excellent way to end the year.

Phew! That was a lot of stuff to cram into one blog post - 2014 was a busy year!!

I'm feeling quite inspired to go make some new stuff now...


Ariadne said...

I love reading those blogposts about your accomplishments!They give me courage to try more!AriadnefromGreece!

me2ak said...

Thanks for taking the time to write about your 2014 activities and projects. You inspire me!

bairozan said...

I do love those posts :) Blogging is hard work, especially when it is also related to your business. I learn a lot about many things and even relate to some of them. As far as the nice days out, they take me for a ride to new places and I enjoy it!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! It's great to know it's not just me who enjoys these posts (though I would still totally write them even if it was, haha).

Happy crafting xxx