Since it’s New Year’s Day, it seems like a good time to throw a quick glance to the year that was and look ahead to the next 364 days. I’ve been enjoying Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow’s year-end posts, so I decided to join in (albeit with my own adapted version).
Misses – Learning to sew
This was top goal for 2013. And an epic fail. Despite taking sewing lessons, I never got further than making a muslin (actually 3). I loved the pattern – Colette’s Crepe dress, but it was just not to be.
The pattern is well-used (more likely abused), but the fabric itself remains untouched by scissors. Although the instructor suggested that the pattern was too complicated to complete over 3 classes, I expect that it was probably beyond my sewing abilities. I did finish re-fashioning a dress into a tunic (started in summer 2012) and made a funky vintage apron for a friend for her birthday (love the birds!).
Hits – Bead blog challenges
This year, I pushed myself to participate in a number of bead challenges/blog hops. This was a bit intimidating for me since many of the people who participate in these types of challenges are professional jewelry designers. Each one was different and I created a number of new pieces of jewelry and experimented with a number of techniques. I was particularly happy with the bracelet and necklace I put together for Bead Soup, using beads and components I received from a beader in Serbia.
The jury’s still out on sewing. I think I may actually like the “idea” of sewing more than actually doing it. However, I’m not willing to give up on it quite yet. I think I need to focus on smaller projects and develop my skills before tackling another pattern. I bought a new computer early in the fall and I need a case/sleeve. I’ve been hunting around the web for options, but haven’t found the “one” yet.
Vintage towel sleeve from Vintage Chica
Quilted button-up laptop case from Amy a la mode
Or this funky laptop sleeve made from fabric scraps (Ars Technica). This one might be the front runner, since I have a pair of old corduroy pants of my husband’s that would make a sturdy outer layer for a laptop case. Plus, the pattern seems simple (famous last words).
I’m constantly inspired by the many amazing bloggers and artisans who share their work. A few of my favourites in 2013:
- Andrea from Stitch Parade, who sews and knits beautifully. Last year, she tried her hand a making jewelry, with impressive results;
- Rebecca Anderson, a Scottish jewelry designer, who has a blog and two Etsy shops. I was lucky enough to receive some waxed cotton thread from her just as I was figuring out my design for my Bead Soup necklace;
- Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing – I will never sew like Gretchen but being a fan of vintage clothing, I love her outfits. Her blog posts are very informative and she has a knack for explaining complicated sewing techniques in uncomplicated terms. Plus she has pink hair!
In terms of my goals for 2013, as I noted above, I’m still going to work on my sewing. I’d also like to get back into knitting. I used to be an active knitter and fell out of the habit a number of years ago. I have a new bright red winter coat and I haven’t been able to find a hat in a complementary style/colour. Since I live in Eastern Canada and winter tends to be long (last year we had snow until early April), I figure I’ve still got time to find a pattern and yarn and make a hat before the snow melts.
I don’t have any specific goals in terms of making jewelry, but I’d like to continue to try new techniques and designs. My beading supplies are a total mess and it’s hard to find anything, so the first step is bringing some order to the chaos. Organizing is not my favourite activity, so I need to figure out a way to break the job down into manageable steps. I did manage to bring some order to my scrapbook supplies, so I know it can be done.
My biggest goal for 2014 is to enjoy what I’m doing. While I often work better when I’m under pressure, rushing to get a project done by a specific date can be stressful and often takes the fun out of it. So for 2014, I’m going to practice mindful crafting. Plan a bit more and focus on what I’m doing.
Whatever your plans are for 2014, I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy new year.