Having a little gap at this time before work starts up again gives a little window for reflection which I find useful to take advantage of, looking back at the previous year, and forward to the next. The month of January is named after the God Janus who has two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. I'm not one for resolutions but reflections. (Except maybe more yoga, greens and much less plastic packaging).
2017 was filled with serendipity for me - a feature on Folksy led to a feature in the Guardian, and since then a string of other opportunities came my way, several blog interviews with new friends and features in Crafts Beautiful and Country Living Magazine. This is not a gloat, but since really nothing happened of any note for five years before other than making sales (which was also great!) - all this came over one year - after many years of finding my feet. I am sharing as a source of hope for all of you beavering away at your talents hoping for breaks. The result has been me feeling like all was finally coming together with the endorsement of a wider community, as well as my Instagram community and friends. I also have a proper logo at last, and re-kindled my monthly newsletter (see my homepage for sign up), and many new pieces created and wanted. It definitely feels constructive to reflect on what I have done, rather than what I haven't.
I worked on my photography early in the year (which I plan to do more of this year) and took the plunge to start blogging from the support of Makelight (see below). I'm still struggling to make time to blog but this is one of my few resolutions for this to become regular again. I met what feels like around a thousand inspiring instagrammers doing their things, at the Makelight retreat in the summer, a creativity festival at Hill View Farm and various meet ups through the year, which I intend to keep attending - photos below. Never did I imagine social media could be so fabulous. Who knew?!
Last year, with the world making a welcome space for my little business I could take some risks, such as investing in exhibiting at The Handmade Fair and Country Living in London. The most pleasurable part of this was meeting others like me taking a risk to make their own projects succeed, not to mention the countless visitors from customers and supporters and get to know them (you!) on a more personal level. I will be rebooking a few larger fairs this year with ticket giveaways so watch this space as meeting people is definitely the icing on the cake.
Looking into 2018 - who knows what the future holds, but I will at least I hope be maintaining my business, with a head full of new ideas which need expression. I hope to improve my photography, feeling okay about taking time for creative pursuits and continue feeing my way forwards on my journey. The buds are already appearing on the trees and a hyacinth I left forgotten in a corner, hidden behind a pot for I guess eleven months has bloomed for no reason other than it could. Flowers bloom by themselves it seems and I hope we will all be able to grow a little bit more this year.
Do do you like to make resolutions or take a more gentle approach? I'd love to hear.
Emily and Kathryn from Makelight at Country Living
Hill view farm creativity festival with @ceramicmagpie and @sarahnotes
Insta-friends Lois and Kaye
Making wreaths at Nettlewood Flowers
Pig pen flowers with Sugar Plum Bakes Cakes
Kim @Pigpenflowers with Surrey instagrammers Gill,Vaani and Sarah