I started 2014 with a handful of objectives:
- dedicate more time to creative activities (I have already “bought” some extra annual leave at work that should allow me to spend 1 day every 2 weeks dedicated to felt making and other creative interests)
- create at least 50 good quality pieces for sale
- find alternative sources for selling my works, including at least 2 craft fairs and improve marketing of my work
- complete my City and Guilds felt making course before August
- post at least once per week
Here’s how I feel things went (with a few pictures of my favourite pieces to break up the text):
1. I haven’t really spoken about this on my blog but mounting stress at work combined with a family bereavement and months of legal battles trying to get rid of the tenant from hell led me to have a bit of an emotional wobble in the middle of the year that saw me signed off work for 4 weeks. I am more grateful than I can express that my employer also let me take a couple of months of unpaid leave, especially given the rest of my department have been leaving in droves and there is a hiring freeze. Long story short, I spent 3 months almost exclusively being creative and making felt. It was heaven and just what I needed!
2. Taking 3 months off work was a bit of a cheat here but I was doing pretty well on this one, averaging 2 or 3 pieces per week. Towards the end of the year I set myself an additional goal of listing 90 items on Etsy by Thanksgiving, it was close but I did it and my sales have increased in the last quarter but I can’t be sure if that was due to the Crimbo rush or my increased presence on the site.
3. I did scout out a few craft fairs and was shocked to find that fair organisers will charge upwards from £20 but provide very little or no advertising (they apparently expect the stallholders to do that for them!). I felt really sorry for the handful of jewellery sellers at one fair, quietly waiting for customers to arrive. Needless to say I didn’t sign up to those fairs. Of the events I did sell at, those I attended with my local Guild of Spinners and Weavers were the most enjoyable and lowest risk (they just ask for 10% of any sales, so no sales = no charge).
4. Regular readers of this blog will already know I did achieve my C&G qualification and received my certificates in November. It was an interesting course and I learned a lot and did some strange things with paper and card that I am sure I would never have done if left to my own devices. I also feel blessed to have spent 3 days with Yvonne Habbe in May and 6 weeks with Fiona Duthie in October her online SDO course. Both are excellent and generous teachers, and come highly recommended. I would like to study feltmaking further but think I would benefit from more face to face teaching.
5. July was a struggle with only 2 posts but most other months my enthusiasm for blogging has shone through and this blog reached its centenary just a few weeks after it’s first birthday (that’s an average of nearly 2 posts per week). This goal has had the unexpected benefit of pushing me to make time to be creative, even when I feel overwhelmed by the rest of my life and just want to curl up into a ball, knowing that I needed something creative to share on my blog has proved to be a useful tool to drag myself out of self pity. On a related note, and after much encouragement from friends I finally set up a Facebook page too. So now I have 2 portals to keep me out of the doldrums 🙂
The New Year is just round the corner, I need to put my thinking cap on and decide what goals I would like to reach in 2015. What are your goals? Where would you like to be in 12 months’ time?