Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014, you've been alright

Despite the gloomy month, I was determined to hold on to December's bright and optimistic outlook. I focused my energies on sorting through clutter (something I'm doing again one year on), getting plenty of fresh air injecting some colour and beauty into the house to combat the winter gloom.

This month I wrote about maintaining a healthy working/parenting balance, not comparing yourself to others and grumbled about the stormy weather blowing down our garden fence. The money we had put aside for fixing an external wall of the house now had to go to replacing this. Me and mother nature were not on speaking terms that month.

I finally moved back into the sewing room and revelled in the signs of spring that were appearing in the garden. Alessi turned two and I felt so proud of the little girl she was becoming.

This month I got involved in some guerrilla gardening with some seed bombs, unfortunately they didn't take. I also got a whole weekend to myself when Dan took Alessi to Kent. For once I chose to use the time relaxing and pampering myself instead of working. I experimented with kimono jackets which kept me busy and it was this month that I started to feel my sewing mojo properly return. Oh and we got the garden fence fixed. No more chasing the little one out of our neighbour's garden. 

My old nemesis returned to the conservatory. Spider mite, the struggle is real people. I managed to keep it under control using some chemical free concoctions, but it as a chore and I don't feel that I've found a real solution. This will make growing veggies in the conservatory difficult in 2015. Not to mention my poor vines. It was also very busy month for making, not made easier by my sewing machine conking out every so often. I spent as much time fixing the old thing as I did using it.

Not surprisingly, my sewing machine died. The timing was terrible as things continued to be crazy and I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. We spent some time in Wales and I started craving nature and a slower pace like the one I had growing up. That trip was quite a wake up call as I started to feel calm again and dreaded returning home.

After the trip to Wales a little time away from the internet, I reached the conclusion that I'd lost myself in this big old online world and needed to take a step back, or at the very least, find a more healthy balance. Tricky when my business is an online one! I also bought my new sewing machine and called her Mabel. Fell instantly in love and threw myself back into sewing again.

I gave myself a bit of a break in August so didn't write much. I missed it though, but it was good to spend more time out in the garden or sewing with the window thrown open. I had wanted to go camping this month with Dan and Alessi, but it just didn't happen. 

I as still being good with the online/real life balance. We got outside more and it was lovely to see Alessi share my love of wandering around collecting nature's treasures to bring home. I also started some new projects which four months on, I'm still struggling with. I do know how to make life harder for myself! I also had a surprise visit from my friend and we all went camping together. It turns out this was the real reason we didn't get around to it in August. 
Sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows and watching satellites glide through the night sky will be a memory I treasure forever.

I felt an overwhelming urge to throw myself in to the annual autumn garden tidy up, but as I hadn't done anything with it this year, there was little to do. I felt disappointed by this and so threw myself into everything else autumnal in an attempt to connect with the season. I really missed my garden this year so I might do something with it again in 2015. 

This month it became apparent that I've somehow lost the balance between online and real life. Again. I reviewed what I'd done over the past year and soon realised that I've been doing some things all wrong. So there will be some changes in 2015 which I hope won't have a detrimental effect on the business. For example, I won't be releasing capsule collections for spring/summer and autumn/winter. in 2015. Rather I'll be drip feeding items in to the shop as I make them. Little changes like that will hopefully mean that I can avoid periods where I am so busy that I have no time for anyone or anything else!

Which brings us to now and I've come full circle. Once more I'm at a point where I feel the need to pare down and simplify, but unlike a year ago, the paring down is more specific. I have a better idea of what needs to go and what I need to focus more of my energy on. That's a good start. 

Looking back, this year has been a good one. It's been a busy one, but one full of wonderful moments and I'm grateful for that. It means I didn't zone out completely to the point of missing what was going on around me.  I've made a lot of mistakes this year, but I've learnt a bucket load as a result so I have no regrets there. 
In fact, although it's been a tough year at times, it's been a good one. I love the new year and the feeling of being able to start a fresh, but if I'm honest, I won't be changing an awful lot in 2015. There will be some tune ups here and there, but otherwise I'll be carrying on much as I am now. 

I think this is the first time ever in my life that I have felt this way. 
Is this what contentment feels like?

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