Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Review of 2014

I started 2014 with a handful of objectives:
  1. dedicate more time to creative activities (I have already "bought" some extra annual leave at work that should allow me to spend 1 day every 2 weeks dedicated to felt making and other creative interests)
  2. create at least 50 good quality pieces for sale
  3. find alternative sources for selling my works, including at least 2 craft fairs and improve marketing of my work
  4. complete my City and Guilds felt making course before August
  5. post at least once per week

Here's how I feel things went (with a few pictures of my favourite pieces to break up the text):
1. I haven't really spoken about this on my blog but mounting stress at work combined with a family bereavement and months of legal battles trying to get rid of the tenant from hell led me to have a bit of an emotional wobble in the middle of the year that saw me signed off work for 4 weeks.  I am more grateful than I can express that my employer also let me take a couple of months of unpaid leave, especially given the rest of my department have been leaving in droves and there is a hiring freeze. Long story short, I spent 3 months almost exclusively being creative and making felt. It was heaven and just what I needed! 

2. Taking 3 months off work was a bit of a cheat here but I was doing pretty well on this one, averaging 2 or 3 pieces per week. Towards the end of the year I set myself an additional goal of listing 90 items on Etsy by Thanksgiving, it was close but I did it and my sales have increased in the last quarter but I can't be sure if that was due to the Crimbo rush or my increased presence on the site.

3.  I did scout out a few craft fairs and was shocked to find that fair organisers will charge upwards from £20 but provide very little or no advertising (they apparently expect the stallholders to do that for them!). I felt really sorry for the handful of jewellery sellers at one fair, quietly waiting for customers to arrive. Needless to say I didn't sign up to those fairs. Of the events I did sell at, those I attended with my local Guild of Spinners and Weavers were the most enjoyable and lowest risk (they just ask for 10% of any sales, so no sales = no charge).

4. Regular readers of this blog will already know I did achieve my C&G qualification and received my certificates in November. It was an interesting course and I learned a lot and did some strange things with paper and card that I am sure I would never have done if left to my own devices. I also feel blessed to have spent 3 days with Yvonne Habbe in May and 6 weeks with Fiona Duthie in October her online SDO course. Both are excellent and generous teachers, and come highly recommended. I would like to study feltmaking further but think I would benefit from more face to face teaching. 

5. July was a struggle with only 2 posts but most other months my enthusiasm for blogging has shone through and this blog reached its centenary just a few weeks after it's first birthday (that's an average of nearly 2 posts per week). This goal has had the unexpected benefit of pushing me to make time to be creative, even when I feel overwhelmed by the rest of my life and just want to curl up into a ball, knowing that I needed something creative to share on my blog has proved to be a useful tool to drag myself out of self pity. On a related note, and after much encouragement from friends I finally set up a Facebook page too. So now I have 2 portals to keep me out of the doldrums :)

The New Year is just round the corner, I need to put my thinking cap on and decide what goals I would like to reach in 2015. What are your goals? Where would you like to be in 12 months' time?


  1. Congrats Teri on making it through what sounds like a bit of a tough year. Your work is amazing and you have really made some wonderful felt this year.

    I haven't made a list of goals and I've been waffling a bit about making one. The main thing I'm working on is to get some online courses up and going. Hopefully, I will get that done soon. Best wishes for the New Year.

    1. Thanks Ruth, I really hope your online courses go well and you have a fabulous 2015 too.

  2. Great accomplishments Teri, congratulations! You have certainly inspired many of us fellow felters on the forum. I can't wait to see your 2015 creations. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Marilyn, I'm chuffed to bits that you have found inspiration in my work, that's one of the nicest compliments I have ever received :) Happy New Year to you too!

  3. You really make gorgeous felt, Teri :)
    Sorry you had so much to deal with this year, I hope next year is better and you have plenty of opportunity to be just as creative :)

    1. Thanks Zed, things can only get better, right? I hope 2015 is easier for you too.

  4. I am looking forward to reading your blog and seeing your felt in 2015. :-)

    1. Thanks Jane - right back at you! I love reading about your adventures with Artybird :)