Well hi! I'm just stoking up the fire in the Miss Beatrix sitting room and popping the kettle on. Welcome to 2014 in this here corner of the internet.
I should probably get the duster out too, because I've not been here myself for a while. I've been around, in the background, still keeping #PostCircle and Creatives Unite ticking over, still working on various projects, but I haven't felt fully present with this blog for the last few months of 2013. Don't worry, it wasn't because I suddenly fell out of love with blogging or craft or being creative, or standing on one leg on a chair in my tiny garden taking photographs. If I'm honest - and I've had time over Christmas to do a fair bit of reflecting on all this - I sort of, well, burned out. Took too much on. Forgot how to say no. Started dashing from one crazy deadline to the next and lost myself along the way. 2013 was a stellar year in many ways - I emptied my happiness jar of all its bits of paper goodness last night and it was like confetti - sooo many wonderful moments to treasure. But it was also one of the toughest years of my life. I'm grateful for the strength and the lessons brought by hard times, but let's face it, they can stifle one's creativity a little.
Anyway, a fortnight off the day job couldn't have popped up in my calendar at a better time, because it's made me realise how exhausted I've been, what I want to cut back on and what I want to focus on and make the best it can be. I've found time to read all those craft magazines, blogs and books I've been stockpiling for months, I've worked on craft projects for the first time since the summer, and I'm pleased to say that at the core of everything, I'm more in love with craft and creativity and sharing this with the world than ever before, so I'll be back blogging regularly from now on. I'll just be doing it in a less pressured, more deliberate sort of way. We have slow fashion - I'm advocating slow blogging. It's the future, folks.
I'm really excited about this year. I've been busy getting stuck into a new creative role for the past three months, and it's very nearly time to be able to tell you all about it (eeeep!). I have shed loads of craft projects waiting to be indulged in. #PostCircle is undergoing some big changes as I type this, which should mean I stop getting stressed about it and you get a faster turnaround when you join. And I've set some really motivating personal, professional and creative goals. (I don't do resolutions, per sé, instead being a staunch advocate of Leonie Dawson's Incredible Year Workbook. If you haven't heard of it, I can highly recommend it, it's magic stuff and really made a huge difference in how my 2013 panned out.)
Here are some of my creative goals for 2014 (because I'm also all for accountability!)
- Become a reader again. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I'm a bookish sort. I love stories, and the part they play in our everyday lives and our identities. I adore getting lost in a great read. The problem has been that I've not made enough time to read over the past few years, so I'll be making that a priority to recapture the reading magic, and for much-needed relaxation and learning. Backing away from the iPad...
- Give quilting a bash. Way back in June the extremely kind and thoughtful Hannah sent me some #PostCircle themed patches for my birthday. While I regularly take them out of my WIP basket and admire them, I still haven't got round to paper piecing for the first time since I was ten. Come on Anna!
- Crochet an actual thing, and keep on crocheting. I learned the basics in 2013, thanks to the patient and lovely Adele. Now she tells me I need to stop faffing about and make something, and I'm rather inclined to agree.
- Do two craft fairs. I've started preparations for this one - I'm currently making two signs for my new-look stall after being inspired by a day spent at The Button Tin.
- Bring new button designs to my Etsy shop. This one is also already in motion. I adore making and painting buttons, and can't wait to list new designs.
Of course I'll keep you posted on my progress! Stay tuned for news of the makes I've been working on lately, some glimpses around my new workspace now it's been crafted up (see the first peek above), and the latest edition of my newsletter.
Happy New Year! What creative goals have you set yourself for 2014?
P.S: In 2013 thank you all for... * Joining up to #PostCircle and making it a monster project far beyond my wildest dreams * Your cheery, supportive participation in Creatives Unite week after week * Your button purchases and hellos at my craft stalls * Reading this blog and leaving lovely comments * Cards and letters in times of need and celebration * Cheering me on through social media, even when I've posted one too many cute Instagrams of Beatrix (is there such a thing?!) * Your 'saw this and thought of you' tweets * x
PPS: I'm a day late in publishing #PostCircle Star of the Month - so you can guess what tomorrow's post will be!