Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Reflection - 2018

Dear Internet friends,

It's the first day of 2019. How has it been for you so far? I ended 2018 with a headache and started 2019 with a headache. It could be the same headache. Otherwise, I'm all in one piece and feeling quite optimistic. I spent the day cooking, cleaning and practising my lettering with my brand new Pentel brush pen.

But I feel I can't begin 2019 before doing a 2018 post-mortem! So get your tea/vodka ready...

2018 was the year I finally gave my all to crafting. I had no obstacles. My time was my own and all I needed was inspiration and motivation which I had plenty of. It was a very good year of crafting for me. I did a bit of embroidery, a lot of knitting, some crochet, some applique-ish stuff, a lot of bag sewing mostly for my bag patterns, a tiny bit of weaving and a few garments. You could say 2018 was my dream year. My only criticism is I could not focus. I wanted to do too many projects.

I was in my self-congratulatory bubble when I met my bff recently. We haven't met for a while and after catching up on this and that, she finally asked me THE QUESTION. It's a question she has asked before and when the question came out of her mouth, my heart sank, my entire being wanted to crawl back into my cave.

Her question: Do you still make those things, those patterns to sell? <She doesn't read my blog so she doesn't know exactly what I make.>

I sighed and answered yes. And braced myself for what would come next. A lecture on how I am wasting my time and spending my money on something that has too low a rate of return. This time though, she suggested something new. She explained that I am better off investing "the money" on fixed deposit. Yep, putting "the money" in a fixed deposit will give me better returns than whatever the hell I'm doing right now.

My first instinct was to disregard her advice. But because of our decades of friendship, and because I know she wasn't trying to be intentionally cruel, I reflected on what she'd said. I hate to say it but she's right. Why put so much effort (and heart) into something that doesn't pay off big? I can't keep on using the excuse it's my hobby. So next year I want to spend more time on projects that will bring in money instead of just fun. Believe me, I'm not short on fun. I do think my talent is under utilized! <ahem> And wouldn't it be great if I could kill 2 birds with one stone? Fun stuff that bring in money. Yes, that's the dream.

2018 was such a great year for my knitting. I felt like a rock star. After so many years of knitting very basic stuff, I finally made the transition and understood knitting a lot better. I can read charts, knit with circular needles, dpns and best of all, I managed to complete 2 lace knitting. The other day I borrowed a book on beginner lace knitting from the library and after flipping through, I realised I understood everything! In fact, I could if I had the yarn, knit any of the patterns. I still have much to learn in knitting, but I believe it's going to get easier from now on.

Bag Patterns
I spent so much time indulging in my hobbies that I didn't allocate enough time to producing bag patterns. But 4 patterns in one year is pretty darn good, right? I should be publishing a new bag pattern in January. It's almost done. I used scrap fabric! Imagine...Stay tuned. Bag patterns sale for this year went up compared to last year but then again, last year hit an all-time low. This year I made a conscious effort to promote a bit more and it made a difference. Still, it is a fact that the market is flooded with many bag patterns plus there are countless youtube videos... The number of marketplaces for bag patterns has also decreased over the years. At one point, my bag patterns were sold at 8 marketplaces. Some closed for good, some I withdrew from and of course I was evicted from one. Now my patterns are sold on my blog, payhip and Etsy. A bit sad but I'll hunt for more marketplaces soon.


I love crochet because it comes easy to me but I think I love bead crochet MORE. I tried broomstitck crochet lace but I didn't fall in love. I wonder if I will love bead knitting MORE? It's something I haven't tried but I have the beads. I HAVE THE BEADS.

I wanted to sew lots of clothes for myself but I often lack the right fabric or if I had the right fabric, I didn't have enough yardage. The pair of pants had the most views amongst the outfits I'd sewn. I wonder why?

I enjoyed doing some freehand embroidery but it took so much time. Four are now official UFOs.

With so many tutorials out there in the internet, I wasn't sure if I needed to add more. By the way, the applique related tutorials I created in 2014 have gotten very good views over the past few years. They took a lot of time and effort to write so I'm glad people are using the tutes. When the weather gets cooler, I'll update my tutorial page. I hate to deal with html code and I can only do it when humidity is low. Otherwise I'll scream and yell and maybe get drunk. So, until the perfect weather...

Coaster DIY
Lucky charm drawstring pouch
Not so perfect miter
Perfect Miter

Completed UFOs
I still get a thrill when I look at these completed UFOs. After so many years of living in the store room, I managed to rescue them and turn them into practical/decorative items. I have a ton of UFO, mostly applique ones which I hope to work some magic in 2019.

I made a feeble attempt at "weaving". Weaving is one of those crafts that attracts me but I don't quite have the skills or patience for. Have I ever mentioned I own 3 simple/basic weaving looms, bought on a whim and I've yet to touch them? And hubs bought me a gift that involved weaving but I've hidden it somewhere because well, weaving is hard.

Health + Exercise
Early this year, hubs and I trained with my niece Mindy who's a personal trainer at Fitness Bravo. It was a lot of hard work and I think I got fitter. After our sessions ended, we bought a few pieces of equipment so we could train at home. Doing it on our own will never be as intensive as with Mindy. We either get bored or gave up too easily. Apart from some strength exercises, I run whenever I'm motivated and I swim once a week. All these have led to 3 outcomes: 1. My high blood pressure has now become normal. The doctor said it is not an issue anymore. A big high-five to me. 2. My upper body has grown and now when I walk amongst other Singapore women, I realise I'm HUGE. I've always thought the reverse would happen- that as one ages, one grows smaller. Why is it, of all things, I get bigger? 3. My flabby grandmother under arm has become slightly more toned and suddenly I want to wear sleeveless clothes. Previously I avoided them. Woo hoo!

2018 was the year I stopped eating all rice and rice flour products for my health. What a torture it has been but I never gave in to temptation. I basically gave up eating every food item I love because it turned out all of them contain rice. Instead of rice, I sought comfort in sweet food and you've guessed it - weight gain. Grrr.

I'm still so in love with blogging and in 2018, I wrote a total of 64 posts. Not a whole lot but I still get motivated. I don't need to repeat this (but I will). Blogging has gone out of fashion. So many bloggers have given up and embraced Instagram. I know my saddest day will be the day blogger dies. Speaking of death, am I right that Google Plus is closing down in 2019? I'm barely present at Google Plus so I doubt if I'll feel any pain.

So what did you do in 2018? Any regrets?


Kate said...

Blogging seems so much more personal than Instagram. I intend to keep blogging for now. Happy New Year, Jane.

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