Looking Back on 2011

Happy New Year! I hope you had a lovely time ringing in the new year. We had a quiet night at home, playing trivial pursuit and watching a movie. I find that low key New Year’s Eve celebrations are just what we need to recover from the craziness of the Christmas season.

While thinking about how to write up a review post, I went through the pictures I keep in a “blogged” folder, and had a lot of fun making a couple of collages. One of the main reasons I blog is to chronicle what I do and when I do it. It also helps me clarify my intentions!

I know that one aspect of my life I’ve been trying to take care of this year is to find a bit more balance between what I do for Candied Fabrics and paying attention to my family. I think I’ve made some strides there. I know that this year I feel less stressed when I don’t have a post written for a day or three. I also keenly remember my panic from Christmas two years ago when I was scrambling to get the gifts ready for my boys just a week or so before the 25th, this year I was able to get those done early and take the time to make presents for my nieces and nephews too. So I thought it would be fun to look at a family collage:

We spent last New Year’s Eve at a friend’s cabin in the Sierra’s and the boys got their fill of snow. We had a fun Easter Egg hunt with friends. Logan turned 10 and Liam turned 14 and I had fun doing tie dye day with Logan’s fourth grade class. Andrew ran a successful low brass seminar, Liam and Andrew bombed some ground hogs in Andrew’s parent’s backyard back in Indiana, and Logan and I visited my family back in Massachusetts. Andrew and Liam built a brick pizza oven and then  Liam spent 2 weeks at music camp in Idylwild. We all traveled back to Indiana for Andrew’s Dad’s funeral. 🙁 Logan gave a great presentation on Germany, recycled Halloween costumes did the trick, of course our annual festival of pie, and then Christmas!

Phew! What a year! Full of happenings for sure, most of them awesome, with a bit of sadness to season the happiness.

Although I sometimes get a bit focused on what I DON’T get to get made, it is actually pretty darn cool to take a look at what I DID make:

Early in the year, I got up the nerve to watch my episodes of Quilting Arts TV, and I didn’t suck! I then had to send in my proposal that was requested for my DVD. Although I had to keep it a secret, that red botanical sketch pillow I blogged about was part of the proposal. I then had hubby record me free motion machine quilting for an article in “In Stitches” and finished a long overdue mega-messenger bag commission for a client. I came up with a couple of new scarf color palettes, tested some organic pfd for Sew Mama Sew and made some ipad sleeves. I completed an order of 104 hand dyed scarves for a ladies golf association, wrote up a beginner’s fabric dyeing tutorial for Sew Mama Sew, and had a booth in some Spring Art Shows. I had 2 patterns published “101 Patchwork Projects & Quilts”, taught a church full of people how to dye, dyed a lot of fabric for my upcoming DVD and taught some ladies how to sketch with scissors in Make it University.

But wait, there’s more! 😉

I developed a new type of tote bag and used fabric that I didn’t dye for the first time in quite a long time, finally finished up my first downloadable pattern and got that up for sale, and made a  cute set of nesting baskets. I then dyed even more fabric, made some pillows inspired by buttons, some more convertible totes (this time from hand dyed fabric), my botanical sketches quilt and some step outs, packed it all up in 2 big suitcases and flew to Cleveland where I met some incredible artists, filmed 2 episodes of Quilting Arts TV and my 70 min. workshop DVD “Dyeing to Stitch“. Then I bulked up my inventory, did three fall art shows, did some custom clothes dyeing, made a lot of ornaments for a 5th grade fundraiser, had a holiday studio tour, made some Christmas presents, including a new tote bag style, and voila! Year complete!

You know, I think I impressed myself. That, my friends, is some serious making. Would it surprise you to learn that I still didn’t get to make a bunch of the things I wanted to? I am a true believer in the creativity that comes from making – the act of making, even when it’s tedious, boring or repetitive, can be quite stimulating, and has been a way for me to overcome creative blocks.

OK, that is MORE than enough for one post! Now I’ve got a firm picture in my head of what I accomplished this year, which will help me plan for the year ahead!


9 Responses

  1. When I am feeling like I haven’t finished anything I like to make a list of what I did do. It is always amazing to see what the story really is! Great job Candy! Here’s to a new year filled with more fun!

  2. Congratulations on your super year. I enjoyed the photos to go along with your words and really enjoyed seeing your family featured right up front.

    1. Thanks Lisa! I sometimes need to remind myself to pay attention to the things most important to me – it’s really easy to get caught up in things that ultimately don’t matter as much as my kids and husband. So it was important to me to include this very important part of my life into a post like this! Kinda like a rubber band around my wrist!

  3. Testing this new commenting system! What happens when I reply from the dashboard?