Happy New Year! Reflections and what's next...

I struggled at the end of last year trying to decide if I would continue with the #52wonderfilledweeks challenge in 2019.  That's to say, I couldn't decide if I wanted to hold myself to a weekly timeline for completing, photographing, writing and posting projects in 2019.  I thought I might continue on that timeline until reality set in and I realized that I have so many more things in my life I want to master...it just probably isn't realistic to add that kind of stress to another year of my life. The upside to this is that I could potentially post more often as smaller projects are often completed much quicker than in a week.  I have ton of ideas for this new year but before I thrown them out at you all I want to reflect on what I learned over the course of my #52wonderfilledweekschallenge of 2018.

As of January 9th, 2019 my little blog has been viewed over 80,000 times!!! What??? Let that sink in...I'm flattered that people have found something of interest and value in my mission to create. 



The top ten posts from the blog to date are:

Replacing elastic in Flip diaper covers & converting aplix (velcro) to snap closures (1714 views)

Thanks, it has a POCKET! | Week 49 | #52wonderfilledweeks (1713 views)

Welcome to EDDYLOW! | Week 22 | #52wonderfilledweeks (1425 views)

Hackety hack hack, Ikea Art Table in Black | Week 14 | #52wonderfilledweeks (1300 views)

A touch of spring for little "green" | Week 13 | #52wonderfilledweeks (1297 views)

Phase 2 of 2, A window box that waters itself! | Week 27 | #52wonderfilledweeks (1293 views)

All twisted up and I don't know how to feel about it | Week 29 | #52wonderfilledweeks (1198 views)

It's all about the sequins! | Week 11 | #52wonderfilledweeks (1185 views)

Comparison is the thief of joy - The struggle to keep your eyes on your own lane... (1145 views)

Trash on the go... | Week 21 | #52wonderfilledweeks (1055 views)


It was always interesting to see each week what people were interested in.  Often it had to do with what medium I was working in.  I found the posts that showed HOW to do something or offered a FREE download garnered more views, for obvious reasons.  One of my favorite things was the discussions I would have with strangers, mostly over social media, about the different projects I attempted and learning new ways to accomplish them. 

I thought I would jot down a quick list of all the things I loved about this challenge:

  • I got some great photos of my kids!
  • I saw the idea that practice make perfect is, in fact, true.  By the end of the year I could assemble a pattern, trace my pattern pieces, cut and sew a garment in as little as an hour.  
  • I often hear "I'm not that talented" from friends who feel they lack some special gene for creating and I hear the same from my non-musician friends with regards to playing an instrument. The fact is this: ANYONE can play an instrument, ANYONE can sew, ANYONE can be creative it just takes PRACTICE.  As a professional musician I am not new to this concept but it was fascinating to watch it in motion with regards to my sewing.  Super and I often have discussed the idea of "prodigies" and while I do think people are drawn to certain things, true mastery of a subject isn't this mystical "thing" that is anointed on various individuals.  True mastery happens thru hours upon hours of practice.
  • I learned to really prioritize my time this year.  I often made more than one project a week, and each project and subsequent blog post required photos, adding watermarks, and then the actual writing of the post.  I probably averaged 1-2 hours a week just on "post" project production (and that doesn't even take into account all the social media posting I had to do to get the word out there!).  I struggled at the beginning but quickly learned to let go of certain things, and to just keep to my deadline.  I streamlined my watermarking and file keeping process and worked on writing each post in my head throughout the week so when I had the actual time to type I had most of it worked out.  I really learned that there is usually, not always, but usually, enough time to do the things you really need to do.  If I found myself lounging around staring at the TV I'd kick myself and say lets go and sew and watch this show, or I'd trade off practice hours with crafting.  I think as a parent you learn to be more efficient but adding this challenge kicked that into a much higher gear.  
  • In addition to my creative challenge I also performed THREE recitals this year.  This may not sound like a big deal but it was for me.  Performing a recital less than a year after having Bubba was a big deal to me.  I improved so many things in my playing and learned almost all new repertoire.  Learning new techniques and creating so many neat things this past year inspired me to add to my "wish list" of horn technique and face head on some things that I have avoided in my playing past. Working through that whole 'practice thru til mastery' thing on something OTHER than horn really showed me it does in fact work and I am really excited for the upcoming music projects I have on my 2019 agenda.
  • I learned I really like me.  Yah...I wrote it...I used to feel so self conscience about my love of being a maker and of my over zealousness for knowledge and learning new things.  I used to let other's knee jerk reactions (when I suggested making something, or doing something themselves) make me feel bad about myself.  Years ago I started a Craft Club.  It was a once a month meeting where I would invite friends over to craft.  I would charge money for materials only and everyone left with a finished project.  I remember asking some of my friends if they wanted to join in and I can still feel the sting of some of their responses.  What I know now, years later is...I love to make STUFF and I refuse to feel bad about it anymore.
The old craft club logo!

  • I learned to love my body, how it is now...I am fluffy and thanks to PCOS I have a beard.  When I first started taking photos I would try and hide all my imperfections...One post early on I was taking photos outside and it didn't matter where I was the sun amplified my facial hair...I almost gave up but then I thought  about my kids.  I never want them to feel less than anyone else because they might look different or be outside of what society thinks is normal.  I also never want them to treat any other person less than for these same reasons.  I decided to embrace myself in my photos.  That's not to say I don't try and get a good angle, or pluck pluck pluck my chin before I hit the shutter button, but I don't stress about it.  My kids and Super love me just the way I am...who am I to disagree with them?

So here we are...a week into 2019 and I have some plans.  

1) I will continue post when I finish a project.  As I mentioned above I have a list of things I would still very much like to make.  

2) I want to dive into arranging and I am still trying to decide how to challenge and hold myself accountable on that front.  If you have ideas I am all ears.

3) In the next week I will create a WONDERfilled Facebook Group.  My hope is to build a community where my old (and hopefully new) crafty friends could come and share their makes and tips for various projects. I would love to continue the idea of the craft club using the new, ultra accessible, digital age and social media.  My dream is to pick 12 projects, one for each month and through group chat, tutorials and even some Facebook Live videos we have an awesome new craft club. 

4) I want to create and give freely my plans, patterns, designs when able to.  I got so much joy seeing everyone using my scarf tags to amplify their beautiful handmade gifts for the holiday season.  So many people said a weight had been lifted when they realized they could just print the tags I had made instead of adding to their already large pile of things to do. It made me feel good...and I'd like to feel like that more in the coming year!

So what are your goals for the new year? What projects do you want to tackle? 

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