Friday 20 January 2017

2016 in Review: A Year of Craftiness

One of the great joys of blogging is being able to look back through your old posts and see just how busy your year has been!

I'll be sharing a round-up of my 2016 Nice Days Out sometime soon, but in the meantime here's what I got up to on the creative side of things...

In January I was getting ready to have a clear-out, photographing lots of crafty things in preparation for a destash sale. I also blogged about a faraway feature and the joys of Fuzzy Felt.

In February I revealed the three fun Valentine's Day crafts I'd designed for Tesco Living, did some paper crafting, shared some works in progress, and visited the yarn heaven that is the Unravel Festival of Knitting.  

In March I shared a tutorial for making a crochet hook roll, and an embroidery pattern reminding you not to compare your insides to other peoples outsides. I also finally finished blogging about the awesomeness that was the first London Craft Week (which happened in 2015; I am not the world's speediest blogger, am I?).

In April I finally got a smartphone and joined Instagram!

I shared tutorials for turning an ordinary tape measure into a cute hot air balloon, and for making a 3D floral picture from felt and fabric. Banners, Buntings, Garlands and Pennants was published so I got to show you guys the projects I designed for it (such a fun book!)... and I stitched the final flowers onto this cushion cover (which will hopefully become a tutorial later this year).

In May I blogged about the progress of my happy rainbow blanket, which finished soon after that but still need to take "ta-dah!" photos of to show off its full rainbow glory. Big stuff = so much trickier to photograph than things like felt brooches!

I also did some secret sewing, took part in the Day in the Life photo challenge on Instagram, and shared two more positive embroidery patterns: be the best version of you, and you are stronger than you know.

In June I did some more destashing and decluttering (so much photographing and weighing and measuring of things!) and held a sample sale of lots of old projects from my books and other craft books. I shared a tutorial for making a mug mat decorated with felt biscuits and wrote a list of 50 small ideas for cultivating kindness, happiness and positivity (which I think might be my favourite blog post from last year).

I also made recycled envelopes, played with paint and added lots of mini squares to my random blanket.

In July I reviewed The Origami Home, started a sea-themed project and shared tutorials for making phone cases decorated with ice creams and sewing a whole village of felt houses. I also knitted a tiny scarf for a polar bear and cut out lots and lots and lots of felt flowers.

Oh, and when the 69th issue of Mollie Makes came out I got to show you guys the fun projects I designed to accompany their felt-y cover gift.

In August I did yet more destashing (I think this might be the theme of my 2016?), I celebrated five years of Super-Cute Felt (my first book, and one I still adore). I announced that I'd be teaching some classes at The Village Haberdashery, which sadly didn't work out (boo) but later became some fun online tutorials (yay!), and I got crafty with lots of colourful supplies.
After many hours of late night stitching, I also finished my "Take to the Sea" embroidery inspired by The Toast - I really loved working on this, and (luckily) the recipient loved it too (phew!). 

In September I set myself a crafty challenge: to come up with 100 creative gift wrapping ideas. No time limits, just an ongoing creative project to work on when the fancy takes me. In a great flurry of enthusiasm, I'd shared 10 ideas before the month was out! I've got lots more ideas scribbled in a notebook; I hope I'll have the time to make and photograph them sometime soon. 

As well as the gift-wrapping ideas, I shared a snow globe embroidery pattern, and a tutorial for using it to make a snow globe ornament.  My cross stitch brooches got featured in Homespun magazine, and the partridge and pear wreath I designed for Mollie Makes the previous year got republished in Mollie Makes Christmas.

I took a journey down memory lane and blogged about a childhood sewing project, my Sylvanian Families collection and all the food, fashions and furniture I made for them as a kid. I finally bought the wadding and backing fabric needed for the Christmas quilt I'm making my sister, and I also bought a frankly ridiculous amount of embroidery thread which was being sold at a bargain price. I've been choosing just one photo per month for this post but I can't resist including these thread photos too - so much delicious colour!


In October I celebrated 8 years of sharing free tutorials here on my blog, I reviewed A World of Quilts (such an inspiring book), started a whole series of Christmas ornament tutorials and shared the kitsch Christmas stocking  I designed for issue 72 of Mollie Makes

I was also busy behind the scenes working on new patterns and most of my evenings were spent working on my sister's Christmas quilt - hand quilting is a labour-intensive business!  

In November I visited the Renegade Craft Fair, published the rest of the Christmas ornament tutorials, and blogged about two very different projects of mine ending up in print.

I also turned my autumn wreath design into a tutorial for The Village Haberdashery and finished hand quilting the Christmas quilt. It was hugely satisfying to get the final row stitched but sadly the quilt didn't get finished in time for Christmas as I'd hoped as December was just so hectic.

December was a ridiculously busy month in my "real life" and my blogging and crafting got a little neglected. I wrote a felt Christmas baubles tutorial for The Village Haberdashery, did a round-up of some of my favourite Christmas cards... but I mostly spent the month packing, moving house, and getting set up in my new place.

Of course, I made sure that I had all the essentials when I moved: I didn't have an oven or a fridge for weeks, but I did have a pile of handmade blankets.

I hope you enjoyed this look back at what I got up to last year!

You can follow along with all my new crafty projects here on my blog, of course, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Katrin said...

Wow! 2016 must have been a really busy year for you with so many nice and colourful projects... And I really look forward to your Nice-Day-Out review.

Amara said...

So busy! Very inspiring to read -I need to do more in my life!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks guys! :)