Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 In Review

How funny it is that everything seems to change, yet everything seems to stay the same. Looking back on my 2011 In Review post, it seems that I could write everything in it over again for 2012. This year the changes were fewer, but had more drastic results. And in the end they turned out to be positive ones.

The year started off with a bang. I got married! I got a new job! It was a ninja marriage and a surprise job! A lot to take in and a big change for me.

My self-made ring cushion.

I finished a big project: a Harry Potter scarf for a dear friend to give to her dear brother. I double-knitted the scarf, meaning it took twice as much work, but it was really important to me to create a quality product. I literally spent hundreds of hours on it. I took it on holiday with me to New Zealand. I'm so happy to see how the scarf has been loved and even used in costumes. It's the best a crafter can hope for!

The Harry Potter Scarf.

I learned when to quit, even if it's painful. I started working on this baby scarf using the same technique as the Harry Potter scarf. But it was the wrong technique. The scarf just didn't feel right. Yet still I continued on it, blindly hoping that it would somehow come good. It just got worse. Finally, when it was even longer than in the picture, I bit the bullet and ripped it. Another lesson in knowing when to admit defeat.

Rip-worthy scarf in progress.

I started a third blog. Because a girl can't have too many blogs, right? I had a sudden and uncontrollable urge to write reviews about beauty products and do all the other things that beauty bloggers do. I don't see myself as a "Beauty Blogger" (my photos are too bad for a start!) but it's a fun side-project. And it gives me an excuse to buy lots of beauty products. Ahem.

Click the picture to go there.

I discovered Hama Beads! (AKA Perler Beads or Fuse Beads) They're ones of those crafts I've vaguely known about for years, but suddenly one day became completely obsessed with them. I made a rainbow, an 80s style cassette tape and a mini perfume holder for my dressing table. I suppose my obsession intertwined with my interest in Japanese Fairy Kei fashion which I had for most of the year. Which was obviously a reaction to the formal corporate dress code at my work and my feelings of restriction and not being able to express myself. Normally I save that kind of morbid over-analysing for my Path blog, so let's move on.

Perfect for the job!

Then two of my friends had babies, so I was focussed on making baby things for a while. When I say 'focussed on', I really mean 'made one pair of booties and spent a lot of time trawling through Ravelry and saving patterns'. But still, the intention was there.

Booties in a stereotypical colour.

Then, half-way through an accidental hiatus, I had a sudden and brief urge to write haiku. Very sudden and very brief. However, it's interesting to note that, on my list 40 Things To Do Before Age 40 which I drew up in late 2011, one of the items is to write a haiku a day for a month.!

More recently, I felt a sudden hopefully more permanent need to reach out to people via penpalling. I discussed the pros and cons in my blog before finally compromising and joining PostCrossing. Baby steps!

Some postcards I sent out.

2012 Statistics [2011 statistic in brackets]
Books finished: 43 + 17 short stories (70)
Books currently reading as of today: 11

Blog posts...
I'm A Table: 27 (51)
ShyCat Beauty 79 (n/a)
My Path: 94 (n/a)

Cards sent*: 8
Cards received: 5
* This only includes cards which have been received at the other end and registered.

Craft items started: ? (~11)
Craft items finished: 5 (~8)

Some of those statistics are very sadly low. But they do reflect my 2012 accurately. When I got my new job, I threw myself into it and had no energy to do anything else. Then I found myself in a position where my fitness/energy level had dropped dramatically, and I wasn't being creative at all. I had no inspiration. I was depressed for a long time. All I felt like doing was coming home at night, flopping on the couch and staring at the TV. It's only in the last couple of months that I've managed to haul myself out of that couch-hole and take back some of my old self.

I'm not going to make any resolutions for 2013. No elaborate plans or lists of things to do or monthly check-ins. I'm just going to see how things go. I'm going to be kinder to myself. Let myself be. A few days ago when I was sitting on the tram in a moment of quiet, a phrase popped into my head. It's one that really resonated with me, so I'm going to share it:

You can be free, if you want it.

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