Monday, 31 December 2012

So That Was 2012...

As it comes to the end of a year, most of us look back.  What was good about it, not so good - and what did we achieve?  And please do read on, because I want to hear from you too!

So, my own 2012 was probably better than I thought:

This Blog...


I started this blog in March this year.  It's had over 93,000 visits already, which has completely blown me away!  I'm amazed that some of my posts have been shared on blogs and forums around the world, sometimes even in languages I can't understand.  The power of the internet (and blogging in particular) never fails to amaze me.


Sewing...


I finally dug out my long-neglected sewing machine earlier this year, which was promptly spotted by a visiting child!  Reacting to her enthusiasm, I started teaching my now 10-year-old granddaughter to sew - she was really excited about the idea of using a sewing machine and it's sparked a brand new interest for her, which is lovely.  We've made lots of cushions together, among other things, and she now has grand plans for bag making.  2013 may well be the year of the bag!


Writing for Magazines...


Both Sewing World and Craftseller asked me to design/write for them on a regular basis after I submitted some ideas to them!  I've even had projects featured on the front cover of both, which is really exciting!


I must admit, this particular issue was the most exciting, when my little upcycled travel sewing kit took centre stage!  It was pretty unbelievable, especially as the sewing kit wasn't actually designed with a magazine in mind to begin with.  It was just one of those projects that started with a bit of upcycling (in this case, an old hardback diary).

Sewing Patterns...


I made a (very slow) start in the world of selling downloadable sewing patterns.  Some of the projects which have been in magazines this year will be available to download in 2013 (if all goes to plan, that is). Each magazine has its own rules as to how long must elapse before you can sell the pattern, online or otherwise.


This sewing machine applique cushion 
is one of the few patterns already in my Craftsy shop.


Blog Sponsorship...


I have been privileged to receive some fabulous free stuff (much of it in the form of yummy fabrics!) in return for blog mentions and as giveaways for my readers.  I think I've come to rather love this aspect of blogging, and it fits in very well with this blog.  Yes, it's sponsorship, but I am OK with that - it allows me to do more.  It probably goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway!) that I wouldn't accept sponsorship or freebies from anyone if I didn't think it was relevant to what I'm doing and and from anyone who wasn't a good value, good quality supplier.

It's a win-win situation, because the supplier gets links and visits from each mention and I get gorgeous fabrics like this:


fabric from Abakhan

Writing Books...


I made serious inroads into writing books.  Yep, that's plural, I couldn't just start one book and finish it before starting another, could I?!  I have plans to do a bit of e-book publishing, but I kind of fell at the last hurdle...

I think two things slowed me down, pretty much to the point of stopping altogether:

1. an unrealistic aim for perfection (I know as well as anyone that perfection is never gonna happen.  Why does it bother me so much?) and...

2. a downright fear of the whole idea of self-publishing: What if nobody buys it?  Worse, what if someone buys it and slates it?  Could I honestly live with a one-star review on Amazon?  Aargh!! How does anyone ever publish a book?!  If ever there was a case to illustrate the self-help book feel the fear and do it anyway, this is it for me.  I really must do some finishing off and actual publishing in 2013... (yikes.  I've said it publicly now)


Nah, that slim little thing posing for the camera with a laptop isn't me.  
Sorry to disappoint!


Phew! 


I think maybe I achieved more than I set out to do and I'm glad I wrote this post - beforehand, it didn't actually feel like I had achieved much at all (possibly because in my head I was focusing on what I hadn't achieved ... yet.  If that's what you're doing, do remember that little word "yet" - it changes the whole focus of lack of achievement into something altogether more hopeful).

More importantly than what I've achieved in 2012 though is this: I think I have some strong building blocks which I hope will make good foundations to start building my 2013.  I'll be back soon with some of my plans and hopes for the brand new year.

What about you?  How was 2012 for you?  I know I said we'd have a break from Handmade Monday, but perhaps if you've done an end of the year post, you could link up here as a one-off?  Or leave a comment?

13 comments:

Mumaroo said...

Happy New Year!!!!!

Creazioni di Tiziana said...

Happy new year, by Tiziana

Sewing Directory said...

Wow you have had a very productive year Wendy, well done!

Funnily enough mine is kind of similar to yours, making good headways in building the website traffic & content, writing for magazines (peaking with 3 seperate features in 1 magazine in Nov) and now writing a book. My plan for 2013 is to try and get my book published, do more sewing and keep building my site.

Best of luck with your plans x

CHRISTMAS PIE CRAFTS said...

A great year, Wendy, and I hope 2013 is even better for you. It has been an interesting year, learned lots, made new friends along the way, enjoyed my business and really looking forward to an interesting 2013. Happy New Year.

knitnrun4sanity said...

Congratulations on an amazing year. Thank you so much - I have picked up so many tips from you. I also wish to thank you for hosting Handmade Monday - I have really missed it as it has become such a major part of my week :) Hope you have a super 2013 :)

Ali said...

How an earth do you find time to do so much. It sounds like you've had a wonderful year and I'm not surprised your writing a book. Your a wealth of useful information. Your perfection comment made me smile. It's the one thing that stops me from doing things which it crazy because then I don't get anything done. All the best for the New Year and thanks for hosting Handmade Monday.
Ali x

Sue said...

I'm so pleased you did start this blog - it's given me such a lift being part of Handmade Monday! My new year's resolution has got to be getting my stuff prepared earlier on a Monday Morning and then allowing enough time to browse and reply to everyone else.. Thank you! Here's to a great 2013!! Sue

Ginx Craft said...

I find it amazing you have done so much in a year - well less than a year. I started blogging about the same time, and love linking to Handmade Monday, as it is so mutually supportive.

I am trying to make a list of targets for 2013, as although I have done a lot of the things I planned for this year I am not very focused. I tend to get side-tracked and dabble in things that are not at all commercial.

Free Spirit Designs said...

What an amazing year!!! Well done Wendy :) and thank you, it is very inspiring to read about all your achievements!

Wishing you a wonderful, creative and joyful 2013 xxx

Lyn said...

I think I'm in a minority. I rarely look back on the year just ending but instead I get excited about the year just starting. It's like being back at school and getting a new exercise book. All those crisp, new pages to fill...............

Handbags by Helen said...

sounds like a great year with lots of exciting prospects in 2013. As for me I discovered something amazing in 2012...people really do like my stuff enough to want to buy it. Happy New Year.

The Seat Bottomer said...

You deserve all of the success Wendy, long may it continue!! Have a brilliant 2013. Kim x

Adaliza said...

Congratulations on all your achievements, Wendy - you're an inspiration! Happy New Year x