20 December 2010

A Creative Odyssey - Blog Hop

Today I am thrilled to be taking part in a blog hop organised by the talented (and busy!) Jess from Epheriell Designs.  Each day one or two bloggers are posting about their creative goals and dreams for 2011.  You can see the full schedule complete with links to each blog here.  It's been quite fascinating reading along each day, so many different approaches - uber-practical, inspirational, big picture, small picture - a lovely insight into so many paths to creativity.

I've had a bit of time to think about this post and it's help to crystalise the things I really want to focus on in the new year...and here they are:

Make the time : Priority number one for me.  At the moment I have a small notebook full of ideas - designs for pin cushions, softies, brooches, notebooks, cards and a whole bunch of new exciting stuff (like Jorpins brooch/sewing kits).  But do I actually ever make any of it?  Only sometimes. When I craft I am a calmer, happier person.  So in the same way that I plan time to do yoga, or to cook a balanced meal, or to stay in touch with family and friends, I'm going to schedule (and prioritise) some crafting time.  In 2011, I'm going to make the time to create, each and every week.

Take advantage : This might seem a strange one but I realised late this year that I should be honest about the fact that I don't need to treat my Etsy shop as a hard-core, do-or-die business.  In fact, I should actually be taking advantage of my situation.  I don't need to generate a mass of income in order to 'quit my day job' because as a 'trailing spouse' - what an awful label! - I don't actually have (or need!) a 'day job'. 

So, instead of telling myself in a mild panic: 'You have to build up your stock!  Quick!  Make something! And lots of it!, I am going to slowly and steadily grow my shops, with a focus on making unique things that I love.  I have the luxury of being able to take my time with what I make, to work on improving my sewing and embroidery skills, to get creative!  Going forward, I'm going to be taking advantage of that.

Stay involved : Through joining Etsy, wasting investing time on-line (helooooo Twitter!) and starting this blog, I have 'met' so many lovely, talented, passionate, wonderful people (you know who you are!).  Next year I want to continue to connect with other crafters, to support people I admire in whatever small way I can, and just generally share the crafting community love!  

This might mean something small like taking the time to comment on a blog post, or maybe taking the leap and finally paying for ad space on a blog that I love, or continuing to feature talented Etsians right here on this blog and in my posts for Handmade Spark.  And it will definitely mean engaging in group projects (like the swaps organised by Creative Collective), and possibly even starting one of two of my own (I do have one grand idea I'd like to get off the ground, to do with the stories of Etsy items after the sale...).  And it means getting more involved in the two Etsy teams I've just joined (Etsy Greetings and Etsy Expats). 

Take better photos : Oh, how often have I said this?  Photography is my first creative passion, and this year I want to take it a bit more seriously.  Step one is to upgrade from my trusty point-and-shoot to a DSLR (ooh, err).  And then learn how to use it.  Properly.  After talking about it non-stop for a good few months, I think I have finally convinced the husband to get me a DSLR for xmas (in fact, by the time the post is up we will have hopefully gone on the shopping trip to pick it out!).  Now to track down some English language photography classes in Seoul...

Learn new skills : I am a total sucker for craft books, and the list of new skills I want to learn could go on for ten very long blog posts.  But I need to make the most of the crafty time I'm going to schedule (see point one), so I've narrowed it down to two things:
1. Learn how to make my own moleskine type notebooks, which I can then embellish and embroider.  This tutorial looks like a good place to start.
2. Tackle some needle felting projects from this craft book that I just bought.  I'd love to felt up some fanciful pin cushions!
3. Ok, three things.  I really, really want to learn how to tie Korean knots.  I have no idea how I'm going to learn that skill.  Any crafty Seoul-ites reading this who want to teach me?  Hmm, looks like I may have to purchase another craft book...

So, there you have it. (Actually, to be honest, I could go on.  But I won't.)  I'd love to hear your creative plans for next year - please do tell me in the comments!  And if you're in the mood for some more creative odyssey-ing you should head on over to the my girl thursday blog.  Partly because I think it's an ace blog, and partly because she is my partner is crime today.  So go, have a read!


  1. Yay Emily! Good to hear your point about 'making the time' - I feel a bit like that at the moment with my non-jewellery craft. I haven't been spending enough time crafting just *for fun* and that's something I need to work on, too :)

  2. Emily, I applaud you on your No.1 - Make the Time - it's a toughie. I think you've got the right approach though. Schedule it. Only way to go!

    I've never heard the term 'trailing spouse' before - so thank you, I've learned my something new today!
    Have fun learning your new camera too. There's a few of us in this boat for 2011.

  3. I bought myself a new DSLR for my birthday and learning how to use it properly is on my 2011 goal list, too! Best of luck on achieving everything you're working on!

  4. I agree that making time is the big one, it is so darn hard to do. You have some fabulous goals and I can't wait to follow along and see you achieve them.

  5. Thanks for the lovely comments :)

  6. Great goals! (and you've been so wonderfully comprehensive in detailing them ... a key recipe for success in my book!).

    I need to 'make the time' too ... the year ahead will be wonderful indeed! :)

  7. What fabulous goals. I love your "take advantage" one actually. I think it's important for all of us to take the pressure off ourselves sometimes, and just remember why we love to create and go back to that.

    Good luck to you and good luck with your goals in 2011.

  8. stay connected is so important for me too. i am realizing just how many wonderful inspiring and supportive crafters are out there and how helpful it is to tap into to that and make like minded friends. best of luck in 2011!

  9. Great goal post! If you would like to DIY your photo learning, there are some great books out there (try Nat Geo or Tom Ang). Email or tweet me(I am your newest time investing follower)if you need more info. Good luck!

  10. Thanks all!

    Anela - glad you liked that one, I realise it's also about defining/redefining success too...

    Moags and Smeet - off to find you on Twitter, thanks so much for the tips!


Your comments make me happier than you could possibly imagine. Really! Thank you.