In this quiet period of the year, between Christmas and New Year, when the usual rhythms and routines are suspended and there is a lull between celebrations, I like to reflect on the year just ending and look forward to the twelve months to come. This year I am excited to have this space to record these thoughts where they will stay for me to look back at when the mood strikes me.
There has been much happening on the world stage in 2016 but this little bit of the internet has always been where I share about my life and so I think that is what the review of the year should be too.
There has been a lot of change for me this year. Some of which I didn’t see coming as I sat reflecting upon 2015 and looking forward to what 2016 may hold.
This time last year I was planning a break from the small amount of work I did facilitating antenatal education for expectant couples through a large parenting charity. In February I met with my last group of parents, then holding their new babies and decided to hang up my pelvis for a while. I am now doing a minute amount of volunteering for a different charity but looking back over 2016 I find I haven’t really missed the birth work that was a big passion of mine in previous years. Also in the parenting sphere, I began 2016 in my third year volunteering with my local sling library providing support and advice to parents who wanted to carry their babies and I stopped doing this in the spring time too. I think as my children have grown I am also growing away from working with people at the beginning of their parenting journey.
An unexpected, but hugely welcome, consequence of reducing my commitments outside of the home has been the explosion in my creativity levels this year. I have a draft blog post which I have been mulling for weeks now on the subject of my burgeoning imagination but it is safe to say it blind sided me! There will be a creative review of the year, in pictures, in this post, but first, the wordy bit.
As a full time parent to three young children it is vitally important to me to maintain an identity and sense of self beyond mum (or mum mum mum mum mum mum mum mum mum as I am more commonly known). When I gave up my paid work in the first quarter of the year I didn’t know what would take its place in fulfilling this role, it transpires it has been making things!
I did not start the year intending to start blogging. It has been something which has been at the back of my mind for several years but I worried I had nothing to say. I have always enjoyed writing though and so in early August I launched here with little idea of what it would be. It has mainly been crafty bits interspersed with other little things I wanted to say and I have been surprised to have gathered a small following of regulars who read and comment (hello, I really appreciate seeing you here). I have really enjoyed joining in with the Yarn Along most weeks and meeting other bloggers, seeing what’s going on in their lives, WiPs and harvesting book recommendations.
I’ll let Goodreads do the work of providing my year of books for me. But in summary I came out at 48 books totalling 17876 pages. Click through here for the full list Goodreads Year in Books.
Of course I couldn’t review the year without mentioning my shop. As late as halfway through the year I wouldn’t have believed anyone who said by the end of the year I would be crafting original pieces of art and people would be paying money for them. It’s all part of the aforementioned creativity explosion! But here we are. In September 2016 I launched a little store front on Etsy. I held a giveaway on facebook for publicity which garnered 207 entries and have now made 6 sales. I still need to pinch myself writing that.
On the home front we moved house which took a lot of mental energy through the year from the first talks about moving here in May through to the actual moving stuff in October. It is a beautiful setting and has changed our day to day life a lot moving from the city into the countryside and I expect it will colour many of our 2017 experiences. My husband’s work has been uncommonly stable with him staying with the same contract for the whole year, I suspect this stability will have helped me to make such big changes this year. And my youngest child turned 5 propelling us out of the baby/toddler years and into what I have seen referred to as “the middle bit” between tots and teens.
Well that turned out longer than expected! On to the makes! I started 2016 by making a Pinterest board where I could store photos of of all of my makes in one place which is making this a much easier task than it could have been! Although it does get a bit loopy in places because the pins are linked to this blog (which I am now linking to the pins, which link to the blog…) Anyway it’s here!
My first make of the year was BatSnail who cannot be further characterised! The pattern was from the brilliant Fallen Designs
I made ten hats throughout the year. Starting with a strawberry baby hat in January (inspired by this pattern but modded by me), a green Pixie rib hat (pattern here), four of the Over The Rainbow hats, the sunflower hat I blogged about here, more rainbows for new babies more info here and two Baa-ble Hats finished just a few days ago.
My creative goal for the year was to learn how to knit socks and I wrote a lot about it in my post originally named Socks! In total I made 6 pairs of full sized socks and one teeny sock! (more about the patterned socks in the post Dragonfly Socks and the teeny sock in Ready for Yarndale)
I attended a workshop with Aurora Silks and tried my hand at silk painting. I don’t think its the craft for me, my heart belongs to yarn, but I am proud of my scarf
I made my children a birthday cake apiece.
And a flat rat bookmark, frankensteins monsters mini head, bunting to decorate our tent when we camp, a little heart house warming gift, three little flowerpots, a wall full of snowflakes, a midwife, a sheep and carved four halloween pumpkins… phew! I suppose batsnail could have fit in here, but I think he deserved a special mention!
But if I were to define this year with one word, it would have to be wreath! Not only the very centre of my creative year but probably the word that best sums up the year as a whole, encompassing as it does the first projects I designed myself, the first patterns I wrote and also the first product I managed to sell.
And so to the stats. In 2016 I have made:
- Four 30cm wreaths for my personal collection, one for each season of the year (A Wreath for Every Season)
- Twelve mini 12cm wreaths in nine different designs
- And seven of the little wreath dwellers as gifts for friends!
And so that was my year! Congratulations for making it this far, it turned out a lot longer than I originally intended but it feels rather productive all set out like this!
I wonder what 2017 will hold…