Hello 2019!

Welcome to the first post of 2019, what I hope will be a happy year for all of you filled with piles of shiny inspiration and crafting time. If I look back over the last year, before I start looking forward into the next one, it has definitely been an interesting time as well as the year where this blog has grown to over 100 posts!

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It has been an action-packed year in a lot of ways. Most of it has revolved around work, as per usual for me. There has been rather a lot of it and I think I’m gradually getting to a place of acceptance, or at least moving out of denial, that it will ever calm down. The truth is though, I do like what I do, and while there are times where I wish I wasn’t working stupid hours or dealing with the three hundred things that are all on fire at once, I don’t think I will make any significant changes. It’s partly what the career demands but it also can, from time to time, just be good fun.

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Despite all that, I’ve managed to do some cool things this year. I’ve finished a few pieces, including some RSN Day Classwork that has been hanging around with my goldwork and silk shading. There has been some great travelling adventures, including my first trip to South Korea and its incredible markets and the San Francisco School of Needlework. I’ve been getting over my discomforts with the sewing machine and enjoying many mini-projects there.

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One nice surprise looking back on my WordPress stats is that, since March 2018, I’ve been managing to blog weekly, only missing a few weeks this year. I love writing in general and I find blogging has a few wonderful side effects. One, the wonderful community that comes with it. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to leave some kind words and share all their inspiring work, tips and tricks and life stories with us all, even if I find myself getting a bit jealous when I see everyone speeding along on their various crochet, knit and a stich alongs! Two, I find it oddly motivational for working on projects as it feels like I ‘have’ to have something to write about to share with you all! It’s also an excellent notebook for me for keeping on top of my excessive number of works in progress.

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Perhaps another side effect from a lot of blogging is that I’ve been doing a lot of photography too and starting to try and move beyond just taking pictures that are intended as faithful reproductions of what I see. I’ve been trying some new photography courses, including Fiberygoodness’s ‘Outstanding Images for the Fiber Artist’, which has been an excellent course for ‘getting out the comfort zone’. There’s some nice tidbits on the technical aspects but what has been more interesting for me is the idea of staging and using props to showcase the main fibre. Not quite sure it’s working for me just yet but maybe it’ll take a bit more practice. The beautiful diz in the photograph below is from Wildcraft who make very beautiful equipment for knitting and spinning. While I like a curved diz, the three holes and built in threading hook make this a great all-round utility piece!

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What does the year ahead have in store then, or, what would I like to achieve in 2019? The goldwork monogram will be taking up a lot of stitching time this year for sure. I’ve just started another project too (don’t shout at me readers!) which will be revealed in the upcoming weeks. I really want to get back to making temari and, if possible, make it back to Japan this year… We’ll see where the work travelling takes me somewhere that makes that possible. Travel-wise, I’d love to visit the Musée des Tissus in Lyon, France. I stopped by the city briefly a few months ago and had a glimpse of the beautiful silk and weaving shops but didn’t manage to see the museum itself. Maybe, if I’m feeling super ambitious, I may try and sneak off for a little course at Lunéville too… The main thing though I’ll keep plodding along, keep blogging and see where the year takes me! I hope you all have an excellent 2019, with plenty of enjoyable adventures of your own.

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9 thoughts on “Hello 2019!

  1. Would you recommend the Outstanding Images course? I am looking to improve the images I take for my blog and social media platforms. Did you learn a lot of new things specific to fiber photography that has not been covered elsewhere?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll try and get a full review up for it soon but, in short, I think it depends a little what you’re looking for. To me, where the course is really unique is the idea of ‘branding’ your work and how to make a theme and a message with how you show your work. There is a lot specifically on social media and how to use it, and a lot on using props in fibre photos. Apart from some basics on lighting, I’m not sure it’s the best course for improving your technical photography specifically for fibre problems (i.e. getting cleaner or ‘better quality’ images) but it did get me thinking outside the box in terms of taking more interesting images and the feedback from the course organisers on my photo was really amazing. I’m not so interested in selling or social media, but I think it’s definitely an interesting course and the personal feedback was very worthwhile. I think in terms of recommendation it depends a little bit how much the course fee is to you personally – I definitely enjoyed it and found the feedback incredibly helpful but I’m not sure I learnt huge amounts from the course material (but I’m also not so interested in the social media aspects). I did learn a few useful things though and found it encouraged me to try some new approaches which I really appreciated. If you’ve got any more questions, just let me know!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds already like an extensive review to me! I do use social media a lot as my projects are often to big for regular blog updates so I so quick social media updates on my progress. I wish I could do weekly blogposts like you but don’t always have something to report that is big enough for a complete blog post. I do try and ‘set the scene’ for my photographs but with some projects it is easier than others. So I am looking for tips on that front as I find my photographs a bit boring or bland sometimes. I also find lighting quite difficult as shiny silks or goldwork threads never come out right in a photograph. I don’t mind the 50-odd fee so much if I get a lot out of it.

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      • There’s some good tips on photographing colour but not so much on dealing with the shine problem as it’s mostly aimed at fibre artists. Maybe some of the tips on home lighting might come in handy but you might have to get creative for how to apply some of the suggestions to something not so easy to move as a slate frame. Your photos are awesome and I look forward to seeing your updates!

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  2. Happy new year! And congratulations on blogging consistently for the better part of the year past. That is certainly a goal of mine. I can recommend the museum in Lyon, though a more thorough knowledge of French than I have would be advantageous. I look forward to seeing what you create this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy new year to you too 🙂 Hope life back in Australia is suiting you well. Oooh, thanks for the recommendation and it would be a good excuse to get some French practice in! I might have to follow in your footsteps in Paris too! Hope you’ve had a good break.

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