Monday, 22 December 2014

A look back on 2014

Well what a crazy year 2014 has been, I think I've done more than most people do in 3 years in this year.  It started off very stressful with my son just out of hospital after an operation on his throat, my husband in hosptital for 2 weeks, me finishing off writing my book and putting my house on the market....and that was just January!

It only got more manic from then, The Sewing Directory got super busy whilst The Great British Sewing Bee was airing.  I was busy interviewing many of the contestants, and writing up the supplies and techniques featured in the show (find them here).

Editing with my red pen (just like school!)

At the same time I sold my house, started packing up and getting ready to move and then the sale fell through!  All of this was going on whilst editing my book, reading the 240+ pages over and over again to make sure every little thing was right.  I've been blogging about the whole book writing process here if you'd like a look.

The house had to go back on the market but luckily we found another buy fairly quickly, although we had to take quite a big financial hit.  But on the plus side by the end of May we moved from Cardiff to Devon, city life to country life.  It was quite a big lifestyle change but I am really enjoying it, we're loving having our own garden to grow veg (pictured below).

Half of our back garden before we planted veg
Also in my new house I now have sewing room which is in the house.  In the old place it was in the garage which was cold and a bit damp (I had to wash my whole stash when I moved!), now it's half of my bedroom so I can easily sew whenever I feel like it and I'm surrounded by my stash!

There's a post about my sewing room, with photos here.

My new sewing room

By the time we moved and unpacked it was the summer, most of which was spent entertaining visitors and exploring our new area.  Although I did squeeze in a trip to the Festival of Quilts too which was brilliant, I did buy a large amount of fabric whilst there (blogged here)!  Also in the summer my book went to print so I had to start on the promotion to ensure people would be talking about the book in October when it went on sale.   Plus start of the summer I set up a new website to accompany the book, full of business guides and advice for craft businesses:

My haul from FOQ!

The autumn and the winter of 2014 was pretty much taken up with the book, all the PR, the book going on sale, the book hitting number 1 on the Starting a Business chart on Amazon!  I also managed to squeeze in a trip to London to meet the amazing Zandra Rhode and talk about her new fabric collection.  Do take a look at the stunning pics of her studio here.

Me and Zandra
On top of all that I was of course still running The Sewing Directory, and freelancing for many magazines.  The Sewing Directory has grown hugely this year with around 50 new businesses listed plus a large amount of new content.  Some of the most popular includes the brilliant bag making series, Lauren Guthrie's guide to making thermal lined curtains, Lorna Knight's tips for accurate fitting and the beginner's guide to cross stitch.  Plus there were over half a million unique visitors to the site this year. I also managed to blog quite a lot this year, this post is now my 300th post on this blog!

It has been a whirlwind of a year, I'm not quite sure how I managed to fit it all in.  To be honest it has been very stressful and exhausting but I did manage to get a lot done.  I'm hoping that 2015 will be much more relaxing!

The one thing I really didn't get much time for last year was sewing, my list of projects that I want to sew has grown hugely and I barely managed one or 2 things of the list.  So next year's plan is to sew much more.  I'm setting myself the challenge of sewing one handmade gift per month for 2015, if anyone wants to join in and blog their progress throughout the year please do.  I've blogged about it here and will set up a Facebook group for it in the new year where we can share projects, photos and ideas.

So how was your 2014?  What have you got planned for 2015?

1 comment:

Vicky Myers said...

Congratulations on your fab year Fiona - looking forward to opening your book on Christmas Day:)! Love the idea of sewing a gift once a month, I'm in!!

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