What an amazing year it has been! Family wise, it’s been the year of Liam. He has worked really hard at his trombone playing for several years, and this year that work has really begun to pay off! He won some competitions, one of which was really high stakes at the Eastern Trombone Workshop. His touring with NYO-USA was an amazing experience as well, and the music they made was fantastic! He had his first college audition in early December, there are 8 more starting in mid January and ending March 15th. 10 really important, high stakes weeks start right NOW!
I’ve put together a gallery of pictures that highlight some great events over the past year:
Glendening Family 2014 Highlights
Yep, the year of Liam! And well deserved!
Here’s a glance at what went on in Candied Fabrics Land this year:
Candied Fabrics 2014 Highlights
A LOT of stuff happened in Candied Fabrics land in 2014! And of course, what’s not pictured up above is all the work I did on my book!
Which brings me to the sad news I received in early December: my book has been cancelled! 🙁 Ugh, it was quite the blow, it’s taken me quite awhile to absorb it. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this news a couple weeks ago, I posted a picture of my box of returned products on the 23rd there, as well as my personal Facebook page. Many of the art quilters and sewists I’m friends with told me that they had heard of this happening to other people as well in the same time frame. F & W Media, which purchased Interweave a couple of years ago, and they acquired Fons & Porter last year too. So with this new acquisition came re-alignment, and thus projects like my book didn’t have a home in the new alignment. Talking to my editor confirmed that the material I had delivered was exactly what I had promised in the contract, it really had nothing to do with my work, and everything to do with the new directions F & W is taking.
At the start of this year, writing a book was NOT on my list of things to accomplish. But a series of emails between myself and Vivika DeNegre last January ended up with me proposing the book, getting the contract, and working on it anyway! Crazy times! The reason I’ve not been very keen on writing a book is that I know that the amount of money one makes from such a venture does not in any way begin to compensate you for the time involved in its creation. So I’ve been concentrating on my online classes, which have generated some much appreciated income! What changed my mind was the fact that having a book published by a mainstream publisher lends a legitimacy to the author that I think down the line will be helpful to me. Plus, the marketing power behind that book would get more new folks to my website, which is a huge bonus!
So, I’m thinking about what to do going forward, and will talk a bit more about that in my upcoming looking forward post! But in the meantime, let me take a look at what my long term goals were for this year; here’s last year’s list with my comments about how I though I did with each of these goals in blue.
2014 Long Term Goals
My Word for 2014
As my work here at Candied Fabrics has turned from a hobby into a second career, I want to keep my eye on interacting with folks, even if we only meet online. This year I’d like to keep this personal interaction in mind as I work online! How can I do this??? Lets see what I can come up with in some concrete ways
I’m happy with how I managed to engage with folks this year! My monthly computer desktop calendars that I make for my online class folks have provided a way for me to engage with those students after they’ve finished the class (or…forgotten about it and are happy for the reminder!). Also very exciting has been my interactions with folks at my in-person classes at the Redlands Sewing Center. The FMQ classes have been incredibly successful, they’ve never had so much demand for a class before there! I’m really thrilled at that, and can see that in the future I may be teaching further afield!
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!
These goals are the same as last year – I see no reason to change them! They define who I am as a maker, and have served me well!
A lot of the work in this area got tied up in working on the book, except for the making things for fun part, that went by the wayside!
Long Term Business Goals
- Launch 2 more online classes. I only launched 1 and put the other on hold for the book. But the 1 was very successful, and I look forward to working on the silk class next year!
- Look into out-of-town in person teaching gigs – are they feasible/possible with my schedule at this time? Hah! Not really feasible now, but with the success of my in town classes, I know that I’ll be pursuing these down the road. Gotta get Liam into college first though!
Long Term Online Goals
- Try to remember a “One Moment” post each week – I miss these! I wasn’t as consistent with these as I had hoped!
- Pinterest: start pinning from my site and see what happens! Nope, I did nothing with this!
- Don’t get too hung up on stats. If you blog it, they will come! HAH! My blog traffic was up 70% this year, from a total of 50,000 sessions to 86,000 sessions! The biggest reason for that is my Quilt As You Go video tutorial! If I had something to sell on the blog related to this I’ll bet I’d be making some sales! As it is, I see a slight uptick in people subscribing to my newsletter or to hear about new dyeing classes whenever I get a surge of traffic related to this post, which usually happens when somebody mentions this on a quilting message board. This is a great example of “you never know”! Combine this with my success at teaching “regular old FMQ” at the Redlands Sewing Center and it should be a good lesson to me that no matter how many excellent books and websites there already are out there on this topic, it still is a viable one for generating web traffic!
- Work on interacting with folks on FB and Instagram I’ve really enjoyed interacting with folks on Instagram, Facebook is a bit harder because of how page content is displayed to folks (meaning, FB wants me to pay money for this, and I’m not ready to make that investment).
- Monthly emails to folks in my online classes. Yup, the desktop calendars were a very successful way to reach out to my students each month. I’m going to think about what I could add to this.
Pie in the Sky Goals
- Continue submitting to magazines. I had 5 articles this year, woohoo!
- What’s next after my second DVD/Downloadable Workshop gets released? Well, next was the e-book, which was a compilation of 17 projects I’ve published with Quilting Arts over the past few years, plus a new pattern just for the e-book. Then, it was a book, which is cancelled. Now, where does that go??
If you’re still reading, then congratulations!!! My navel gazing is officially over, now it’s on to next year!!!
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