Edit: Whoops, I published this before I took a look at my 2013 Long Term Goals! So, I decided to add that discussion to this post rather than make a whole new post!
Oh my Goodness, what a year it has been! I’ve just spent an hour looking through all the pictures I posted on the blog this year, trying to pick out the highlights, and I am amazed at all that has happened!!!
Like last year, I’m leaving the collages up to the gallery function of my website! Each of these pictures can be clicked to enlarge, and when you mouse over, a little caption comes up! Fun! (RSS readers you may have to click through to my site to see any of this!)
First up: Family!
I am so glad that I share moments of my life here on the blog – it is so great to look back and see the kids as they grow!
I think the biggest trend to this year has been how much Liam has been succeeding as a musician! From learning out that he was Principal Trombone of the CA All State Orchestra as a sophomore last January to him being Principal Trombone of the NAfME All National Orchestra this October, this year has been full of great events for him! And I look forward to a lot more great things, he finished up a lot of auditions last month, and will start this year’s festival concerts pretty quick now! This of course is all leading up to the biggest auditions of all that will start 1 year from now: college! He’s headed to a major conservatory or school of music, and those auditions will be next January- March, exciting and terrifying at the same time!!! (Because so much depends upon that 10-15 minutes of playing at the audition itself.)
Logan is turning into his own unique person! He is beginning to turn his talent for creating intricate stories in his head into comics on paper. He takes art lessons with a local cartoonist, and I relish how much he loves those lessons! He still is really into computer games, and the building and creativity of the game Minecraft is stretching those creativity muscles!!!! He plays cello in both the middle school and community school orchestras. Although he is determined to not be like Liam and be so driven in music, he actually is quite good and I’m interested to see where he takes this.
The other huge thing we did this year was our kitchen renovation! Although I’ve been dreaming about this since the day we moved in almost 10 years ago, it was quite a surprise when hubby gave me the go-ahead to plan it out with the Ikea software, which easily gives you a cost estimate, which led to him saying “let’s just do it!” WoooHoooooo! To say that it was an incredible amount of work is the understatement of the year, and it meant I had to postpone work on my Dyeing 103 class, but it’s incredible to both look at an more importantly work in, so the whole family has really benefitted from this!!!!
Next up: My Art!
This year I played with lots of 3 dimensional shapes, from stuffed owls to Easter baskets to pointy toe Christmas stockings! I continue to work with limited color palettes, and have really really enjoyed the colors of my Autumn Splendor palette! I’ve focused on just a few local art shows and a holiday studio tour and have really enjoyed each one. I continue to be inspired while working on one new creation for several others – although I wish I had more time to follow through on these, I am glad to notice that my process does generate these new ideas, and that my friends is most important! If I find myself not enjoying the making of something, and that making isn’t generating new ideas, I know it’s time to move one! (I’m not saying that I enjoy rinsing and ironing scarf after scarf, but because I get wonderful ideas for future work, I know that the making of these scarves continues to add to the growth of me as an artist, as well as the coffers of Candied Fabrics! Hurray!)
I’ve had some amazing success and growth in this area of my life this year as well! Folks continue to enroll and enjoy Dyeing 101 and Dyeing 102, and I was happy to launch a smaller, simpler, true introduction to dyeing, Dyeing 100. It was tough to put Dyeing 103 on the back burner this summer, but as a couple of my awesome students said to me: “we’ll take it when you’re ready. We want you to be happy and rested so you can enjoy the process of creating the class.” Oh, such wise students I have!!!
I’ve taught several Free Motion Quilting classes at the Redlands Sewing Center, all of them full of happy ladies having a great time learning/increasing their FMQ skills. I really enjoy these classes and have plans for lots more next year! I also got to teach a few patio classes in my backyard, and again, everyone really enjoys themselves and is thrilled with the results!
I had a huge thrill when seeing that my Jester Stockings were on the cover of Quilting Arts Gifts ’13. Being the cover girl for this magazine 2 years in a row is such an incredible honor!!! In this particular magazine I had a total of 4 projects – what can I say, decorating for Christmas as well as thinking up fun gifts to make for the holiday’s is incredibly inspiring to me! I also was happy to share a pattern for my hanging organizer baskets in Quilt Scene, their staging of the baskets gave me a great idea with something I’ll show you tomorrow.
While quilting my modulating squares quilt I shared a process picture on Instagram that elicited a question of what I was doing…this turned into a series of pix on Instagram so I could explain it to her. I turned this into a blog tutorial that got a huge amount of traffic, you never know what folks are going to find useful! I also make a video tutorial on Ombre dyeing with Logan, this was a lot of fun as well!
Finally, I had a very exciting day in Cleveland in mid-September, taping 4 episodes of Quilting Arts TV Season 13 and my second Quilting Arts Workshop! It was a crazy day, and I had a LOT to do in August to get ready for the workshop (the other reason I had to put off Dyeing 103) but so worth it! I can’t wait to share the workshop with you, it’s slated for launch at the end of February, so not long now!!!
2013 Long Term Goals
I’ve grabbed my long term goals from last year’s post and I’ll briefly comment on how they went, I’ll use blue text for my comments.
My Word for 2013
Last year another aspect of my artistic endeavors really exploded (the online classes) and it helped me clarify a lot of things. I backed off a bit on the number of shows I did last year, and I think that was about right. I love interacting with folks at the shows, and I do find inspiration when making for them, but if I realized last year that making is not the sole way I want to create.
Working on “teaching”, whether it’s creating my online classes, in person, or writing articles, takes a LOT of time. So I’ve realized that “Balance” is what I need to seek this year.
I’ve tried to envision how I could achieve balance in a concrete way and set up some “inclinations”; I’ve never been a fan of resolutions, they set me up for failure. But “inclinations” help me focus without all the baggage that comes along with resolutions.
Although I think I forgot this word at some point during the year, I realize that indeed I have been working hard, and for the most part achieving, balance this year. This is something that I struggle with, but I keep reminding myself that my kids are getting older by the day, and I’ve got to make sure and not miss these days! This was the mindset that allowed me to take the time off and go to Nashville with Liam for a visit to Vanderbilt along with the NAfME All National concert. Although stressful at times, it was an incredible time, and the input and encouragement Liam received from the trombone professor there was invaluable.
My Inclinations for 2012
Create more Art!
Teach other folks!
If you don’t like to do it…DON’T DO IT!
Yes, Yes, YES! I have done these things, and it has been awesome! The”If you don’t like to do it…DON’T DO IT!” inclination has come in handy more than a few times. I want to go back in time and thank me 12 months ago for this! 🙂
Long Term Artistic Goals
- Continue to work more in 3 dimensions.
- Explore the shape/idea of house/home.
- Continue to work with restricted color palettes.
- Work on creating pieces that focus on a particular botanical type.
- Work with new fabric textures.
- Make things just for FUN!
I haven’t done as much 3 dimensional work as I wanted to, but all these other artistic goals have served me well! Making things for fun (like my hanging organizer baskets) have turned out to be great inspiration to me, I need to remember this!!! And working with LINEN! Gah, I love it so, and am so glad I went down this pathway!
Long Term Business Goals
- Keep on keepin’ on in the money generation department. Try very hard not to get hung up on the bottom line, but remember that contributing to the family coffers can bring joy and relief to all four of us. Do NOT get depressed if this years doesn’t live up to last year. (This will be very hard for me)
- Launch 3 more online classes.
- More in person teaching gigs
Indeed, my bottom line financially wasn’t nearly as rosy as last year. And I was expecting this, and because of this expectation it wasn’t as hard to swallow as I worried it would be. I am pretty sure this is because I had to put Dyeing 103 on hold, so I’m looking forward to launching it this month!!! My FMQ classes at the Redlands Sewing Center have been very successfull which is great.
Long Term Online Goals
- I’m in this for the long haul…so not having a blog post every single business day is NOT the end of the world! Although I’m not going to set anything concrete, I realize that with my need for balance, my blogging may decrease a bit.
- Pinterest: figure it out
- Don’t get too hung up on stats. If you blog it, they will come! 😉
Ok, so I give myself permission to blog less…and I actually blog more! 185 posts this year, vs. 167 the year before! Go figure! Although I’m not going to get hung up on the numbers, traffic increased to my site this year as well, it was up 20%. Although I’ve not yet really begun to use Pinterest, I have at least been consistently adding a watermark to my photos, which is something that was freaking me out about Pinterest. It is driving a lot of traffic to my site though, so I really need to keep an eye on this!
Pie in the Sky Goals
- Continue submitting to magazines!
- I’ve got a couple more submission types I’m gonna not share here, but I need to be working towards these.
Magazine submissions worked out really well this year, complete with a cover photo again, hurray! So, the submissions I was keeping close to my chest? I didn’t follow through on one but did the other, and ended up with some great ideas.
Looking back, 2013 was an amazing year!!! I really can’t be happier with everything we have all accomplished.