Happy New Year!
When the New Year rolls around, I like to take stock of what I managed to accomplish the year before, and examine what I want to accomplish in the new year.
This is not a one-day activity. As far as glancing back at the previous year goes, that’s easy enough. But planning for the current year and making fixed, firm, (and often far-fetched) resolutions is a monumental and valiant task, an on-going process, ever evolving, involving, and eventually….
After the hullabaloo of resolution-making and goal-setting that occupies the end of one year and the beginning of another, at some distant point (January 3rd sounds about right), I start to lose focus.
A little while later (say, January 5th), I’ve pretty much lost The List and strayed from The Plan completely.
Still, in my defense – and in the defense of all of us sanguine people who begin every year (and every week, and even every day) with the best of intentions – setting goals helps me accomplish several things that I might not accomplish, if I hadn’t set any goals at all. And sharing those goals with you helps make me a little more accountable.
Needle ‘n Thread in 2014
So, let’s take a glance at what did and didn’t happen in 2014 and chat about plans for 2015.
As far as 2014 goes, I only completed two “real” embroidery projects – the Mission Rose and my impromptu Christmas Ornament.
Considering I finished the Mission Rose in mid-January and the impromptu Christmas ornament in December, doesn’t that make you wonder what happened in between?
Somewhere in the 294 articles added to Needle ‘n Thread in 2014, there’s evidence that I did do something, even if there were no huge finishes.
My 2014 Favorites
Some highlights of my Needle ‘n Thread-related happenings in 2014:
1. Starting and developing the Secret Garden Hummingbirds. It’s not the project I originally envisioned, but I’ve enjoyed the journey. I plan to finish it very early in 2015.
2. Playing with Chicken Scratch embroidery last spring! That was fun, and I hope to revisit the technique a little bit this year, dabbling with some design ideas I didn’t finish last year.
3. Working on monogram designs throughout the year, and organizing, re-drawing, and vectorizing many monogram embroidery patterns. I have further plans for these in 2015, too.
4. Participating in a class on blogging. This might sound weird, considering I’ve been blogging since 2006, but the class really helped me with some technical aspects of blogging and it prompted me to organize and tweak some things on the site.
5. Writing for Threads Magazine and Craftsy.
6. Finishing over half the stitch tutorials (45 out of 63) required to finish my floral sampler alphabet e-book, which is definitely on the menu for 2015.
7. Seeing my penmanship bird embroidery project published in a book.
8. Sharing a beautiful selection of embroidery projects from the Needle ‘n Thread community with you.
9. Reviewing 24 embroidery and needlework-related books for you!
10. (Which is #1 in my book) – connecting with you through Needle ‘n Thread. We do have fun together, don’t we?
2015 Plans for Needle ‘n Thread
This year on Needle ‘n Thread, I can tell you right off the bat two things that will definitely happen, and soon:
1. I’ll finish the hummingbirds.
2. I’ll finish the Hungarian Redwork runner.
Or I’ll eat my hat.
(I always say that. Oddly enough, I don’t have a hat.)
I have several projects planned for Needle ‘n Thread this year. They are smaller projects, more manageable in shorter lengths of time. Some of them involve Finished Things – so, utilitarian and decorative.
Those shorter projects will appeal to stitchers of various levels, from beginner to advanced. Some might appeal to you because they present a challenge; some might appeal to you because they’re accessible and simple.
One thing that I have learned while writing Needle ‘n Thread over the years is that you can’t please everyone. This year, I’ll make a concerted effort to offer a little more variety in projects and scope.
While smaller projects will develop on the site, I have one Major Project that I plan to start and work on throughout the year and update you on now and then. It’s a challenging project for me – a piece of ecclesiastical figure embroidery – so I’ll share my trials, failures, and successes with you while I work through it.
In 2015, I’ll get the floral sampler alphabet out for you. It has been a bit of an ordeal, assembling this particular project into a feasible e-book, but it’s now reached Priority Status.
I have a couple other plans up my sleeve, but they’ve been a little slower to develop and they require some outside help. I’ll share them when they’re less tentative.
Content-wise, I’ll keep bringing you the embroidery stuff you love – including book reviews, tutorials, stitch explorations, newsy bits, and more!
In the background, in order to continue bringing you quality information on hand embroidery, I’ve been taking some classes on technical “stuff.” This year, I plan to continue those self-improvement pursuits – I’m planning on taking a few courses in design and layout, as well as a photography class, which I’m really looking forward to. I might even graduate to a Real Camera! Hopefully, you’ll see the fruits of those classes before the year is over.
And, as always, I’m open to your suggestions for topics, techniques, tips, tutorials and tidbits that you’d like to see covered on Needle ‘n Thread. If you have anything in particular in mind, let me know! Feel free to comment below with your suggestions!
Wishing you and yours a peaceful, joyful and successful New Year, with heaps of blessings from above!
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