I cannot believe that I only wrote 4 blog posts in 2018. What was I doing with my year or where did it go?

Well, I have the answer to what I did. I had a grand master plan to take a sabbatical to focus on my crafting adventures. That came to an abrupt halt after I came back from my five-week holiday. Yes, I was living the high life trying to enjoy the start of my sabbatical. Unfortunately, for me, that was the end of my vacation as well as someone made me an offer I could not really refuse.

Within seven weeks of me leaving the last company, I was back into the rat race, with friendlier rats this time. Some of them I worked with before, and it felt like the right move. The causality of this move was my fledgeling craft business. Sometimes, I wonder if it should be considered a fledgeling business since it didn’t actually start.

Where did it go is a harder question – it has been a bit crazy on the personal front. And the craziness of work did not help. I felt torn in a few directions at different points of the year. Some turned out okay, others not so good. All part and parcel of this journey we call life, isn’t it?

Now almost one year on, I have big decisions to make. Am I able to juggle a full-time job while trying to start this business? 2018 says no. A passion is a passion – and I really really love creating.

Thus, it is back to the drawing block for 2019. Wish me luck that I will find a solution. Or if you have one, hit me up!

One Hundred and Eighty

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

2017 was not my best year when it came to crafting projects as life got in the way.

I’ve been trying to compile a list of WIPs that I have started or bought the materials to start so I can get cracking on them. At the start of each new year, EatSleepKnit launches a new Yarnathon which sends me into a tizzy planning and plotting. In one of the chat groups, there was a question to list down the fantasy goals we had for the year (and the more boring realistic goals). This was mine:

Fantasy Goals

Hue Shift Afghan KAL
All 4 ESK KALs with bonus stars and max yardage
Finish other 2 blankets I have started (First I need to find it)
Finish other patterns + yarns I bought (some since 2015)
Finish a cross stitch project for a friend (since 2015 or 2014 – I have forgotten)
Get some progress on my other cross stitch projects
An Estonian shawl
One Ring Scarf
MMario’s Peacock Shawl – which I’ve been hankering over for years
Stop adding to my que
Stop buying new materials until I finish current ones

2x Gothic Lace Cowl for bonus points
Maybe a Harvest for yardage
Finish last year’s Flax light by May for man’s birthday
Find pawprint and finish it, LONG HAUL!
Spirits of Life CAL
1 pair of Hermione socks

So… I took a long holiday in January, went back to work unexpectedly in February and have been swamped by work ever since. I also had 2 additional projects that I had to do for various reasons, which had looming deadlines.

Would you want to guess how many projects I accomplished from the above list or the status of any of them?

Things Are Going Up

I’m a bit late to the game on this but it took me some time to get around to reading up on it (Boo full-time job requirements!)
I understand Etsy’s need to keep making money for their stakeholders. The cost of doing business will always go up; nothing will or can remain constant throughout. So I’m not exactly sure what all the noise is about. Companies need to ensure that their fees will cover their operating costs and have a profit.
To me, the raise in fees would have come sooner or later. What I do like about this update is there are new tools coming out. I would check out the new tools once they are out to see how best to grow my Etsy store – since I have not done well so far.
Those are all issues I have to fix on my own and I can’t possibly blame Etsy for the lack of my sales as some are doing. It is a competition out there and each store needs to stand out on their own. Etsy only provides a platform for people to sell their wares, and to bring people to the site.
The year on year sales growth is pretty good by this chartThere was 3.25 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of sales through the platform in 2017. That is nothing to scoff at. Unfortunately, none of that is mine. People pick what they want to buy based on various reasons. They are spending, the only question is, who are they spending on? 
That is what I need to fix for my store – to get people to pick me over others. I do need to get better at Etsy. Anyone with ideas?

An Epic January

As I write this, I am half sleep no thanks to the jetlag and over 28 hours of travelling. I am also feeling really hot now that I am back near the equator. It was an epic holiday (checked Niagara Falls off the bucket list). I am still wishing I was in cold cold Canada. It was such lovely weather, agrees with me completely.

What is a crafter to do when she is on holiday? Shop for craft supplies obviously! I managed to go to:

Oh, it was so fun to squish all those yarns in real life since my LYS and craft stores don’t carry those brands. Therefore, I milked the opportunity for all it was worth and came back with a luggage full of items. I didn’t think yarn could weigh so much ☹ The fun part begins soon – what will these supplies become? A hat? A scarf? Belt? The possibilities are endless I tell you!

Unfortunately, my daily grind motor refuses to start, so I am randomly looking at possible new projects (like I don’t have enough WIPs) or just trying to clean my house after being away for about a month. I’ll be back to work soon on new items for the store and hopefully an upcoming pop up store.

Happy 2018!

Hope you had a great countdown celebration with much Champagne and revelry!

Now that the excitement has worn off, the reality of what today brings sets in. For me, it brings much possibilities and worries all at the same time. Questions such as – “What can I plan to achieve this year” to “What if I don’t make the goal again like last year” has been plaguing my thoughts for the last few weeks.

I’ve been writing lists and thinking a lot which is a double-edged sword, I swear. I’m hoping the new year brings much success and I will be planning for it. But as one grows older, you tend to worry that failure is always around the corner. I will hope that most of the goals I set out to achieve this year (half of them are still pending) will come to fruition.

One of my main goals for 2018 will be my handmade accessories store: (check it out if you have yet to!). More products will be coming this year.

I’m also going to be collaborating with a talented crafting friend. There will be gorgeous shawls knitted by both of us – we are exploring design options now. For the more crafty inclined, keep your eyes peeled for design launches in the year ahead to try your hand at.

As I paraphrased one of my favourite new year’s quote in the image, it’s time to get started on my 2018 story!

What will your 2018 story be?