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Happy Monday one & all…
I’ve had an incredible past few weeks and the best part of it so far happened on Saturday. I’ll get into it more as this month progresses, but just know that some things will definitely be changing around here quite soon! I wanted to start the week with a bunch of things that brought me great joy lately.
It would be pretty dope to try and make this myself, but for those who can’t (or if I somehow give up) this blanket by Good Knits has my name written all over it. (via Danni)
I decided not too long ago that I want to try and grow my hair again. I’ve done it a few times successfully, but I am a bit scissor happy. I think I want to make an inspiration board and put it up in the house with these amazing women. The Coiffure Project will keep me in check.
This video has me feeling pathetic about not doing yoga like I used to so I’m really recommitting myself to getting my old super fit self back. No more slacking. Seriously.
Our super friend and tattoo artist Guen Douglas just did another amazing tattoo on my husband last week. It is fashioned after Indonesian Wayang shadow puppets and holds a special place in D’s heart.
Is it just me, or is 2012 a year that just never registered when you were a child? I never thought about it too much. This month I turn 30. I sometimes think I’m one of the few women I know that is actually wholeheartedly looking forward to this age change. I get to step into a new decade. I’m so excited about it, I’m tingling all the time haha.
There is so much in store for this month. Last month, (week and year–wow) I mentioned that there will be changes to a lot of things shortly. And there will be. Hopefully it will all be done before this month is out. I have to set up some new accounts and work super hard on some other behind the scenes things, but I’ll give clear notice about each thing as it happens.
I’m going to have one last shop update on this site this month. Starting in February, my site will be hosted under something else entirely so I thought to celebrate the end of an era, I’d have one final bash. There will be an update AND sale starting next week Tuesday til the following Tuesday. There will be a new special deal every day of the sale so make sure to sign up for the newsletter to find out what that is. It will be a newsletterexclusive.
I’m thinking about a new way to do my list for my 30th birthday. I am definitely breaking it down differently. Last years list was fine, especially since I never did that before, but this year I think it would be more fitting to focus on self in a more encompassing way. In addition to that, I’ll also share some points from my future letter to myself with you guys. I’ll explain how to do this yourself in full detail tomorrow.
I am not much of a resolutions kind of lady, but I know other people are. Is there anything special you are working on that you would like to share? What’s in store for you this year?
This won’t really take the shape of my happy lists, but I do want to highlight some of my most favorite things I’ve done and/or changed around here this year.
Started blogging again. It took me quite some time but I definitely got into the habit of blogging in 2011. And I did some serious blogging. This year I published 161 posts and most of those posts were of high quality. Next year, my goal is to try and double that amount. It felt really really good to write so frequently. I did suffer from some dry spells and my start was super rocky, but I wrote at least 15 posts every month come April. In May I wrote a total of 30 posts-my highest amount yet. July and August were the runners up with 21 and 20 posts respectively.
Created some really wonderful series. 2011 was the year of expansion for me. I was overflowing with ideas and I got to implement quite a bit of them on the blog. I actually had so many ideas, I felt overwhelmed before even starting. I picked a few to get the ball rolling and I’ll say that this is the best decision I made. By far I think my most popular series and one I had little trouble talking about at length-to the point of writing actual articles, was Biz Talk :: Back to Basics series. That series brought me opportunities I hadn’t had prior and also brought me a lot of new supporters. Those posts were enjoyed and commented on the most. Another series, which was more personal but still got a lot of response online was my 29 at 29 list. It encouraged quite a few of my friends and supporters to do their own lists and think of things they want to accomplish this year. My third favorite series was ‘Til Monday, where I would put a list together of things I saw and loved around the internet. I am hoping to upgrade that next year, but I’m definitely continuing with it.
Added contributors. I thought it would be fun to add contributors to the blog to talk about things they are particularly amazing at and Megan, Mariam and Marsha joined my team. It was really fantastic to add these ladies and I’m hoping to expand that as well in the new year. I would love more than anything for this to not just be a place where I’m doing all the talking all the time. I love community. I thrive on it. What better way to have that happen than to have others share their opinions on this blog as well. If you’re ever interested in being a contributor, let me know.
Wrote guest posts. I got a taste of fulfilling part of my writing dreams by contributing afewposts to the Vianza blog and writing a post at Miss Moss. After reading some of my Biz Talk posts, I was asked to become a contributor on Vianza, which I accepted and I hope to really dig down deep in the new year and source some serious gems. I would love to do some guests posts at other blogs as well, so if you’re interested you can always contact me.
The Great Postcard Swap. Although, admittedly I was pretty lousy at updating, I have more confidence than ever that I am great at connecting people. Over 20 women signed up for the swap and while not all of them participated fully (full disclosure: myself, included…but I’ll get them out. I must after all.) most of them did and a lot of these women have become friends. It went beyond postcard writing to letter writing and chatting and befriending one another on other sites and even getting together in person if I’m not mistaken. I am so thankful to have had the idea. I am also thankful for all the new relationships I gained because of this swap. I’ve met some real amazing women and look forward to even more next year. I will be hosting another one next year some time, with modified rules.
Shop updates. I had quite a few shop updates this year that I’m really proud of. I started really creating work again this year and it felt amazing. After taking pretty much a year off really left me in a slump. But I got my mojo back! I’m on it.
Added new products. This year I also added two new lines to my collection: Lithe bracelets and Amis necklaces. I have made bracelets since I started this business, but didn’t really put any up for sale because I was never really fully happy with what I made. My tastes became more refined and I found my own unique niche. I’ll be expanding on the styles available next year.
Invested. Not only did I take out ads on Miss Moss and I Adore Style, I did something exceedingly important and so timely it scared me. I purchased Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Session. By far, one of the best investments I made not only in my business, but in myself. It helped me to really define parts of what I feel my purpose is. It triggered my Biz Talk series. It has helped on so many levels–levels I didn’t even anticipate. I’ve done my part to spread the good word.It got me thinking about things not just when I was ready to, but because I absolutely needed to.
Learned new things.I spent a lot of my time reading this year. I also spent a good chunk of time learning how to use a DSLR properly and how to create things in Photoshop on my own. There is nothing better than being self-sufficient. Without it, I feel empty. I am glad that I’ve been making the time to find tutorials and really spending time learning the program. I am tons better at it now. I still have a huge way to go with using a DSLR, but I’m getting there. I’ll talk more about this next week.
Learning my business. I’ve always felt like I’ve spent a lot of time learning who my customer is and learning how to engage people in an effective way and I finally am starting to reap the benefits of that. There are so many hats that I attempt to wear, but with time I’ve realized that I am hurting myself by not letting go. Letting go is hard for me, but I’m getting there. The more I do it, the greater my network becomes.
So these are some of my most poignant moments and lessons online this year. I am so looking forward to growth in 2012. I am excited about the shape my business will take next year. I am excited to grow a community.
How was your 2011? Did you accomplish any or all of what you had hoped for? What have you learned? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
If you’re in the US, how was your long weekend? If you’re not, how was your normal weekend? I guess I’ve been a bit offline like I’m still in America, but I was really very busy with good things. On Thursday I was feeling left out because this is officially my second Thanksgiving that I haven’t celebrated. I was never a fan of the day to begin with, but I do always love that it meant preparing a huge meal and eating and laughing and talking. I grew to love it as I got older. I especially felt odd-man-out because I was unable to attend two friend potlucks happening here around the same time.
But I did get to chat to a good friend and her family on Skype and while I was on the line with them my doorbell rang and it was the postman with a huge box from my mom! And as fate would have it, a few minutes later, my mom called me on Skype! What perfect-o timing. I got loads and loads of stuff that I wanted and needed. Oh it was just as good as being home. It was like my mom gave me a hug. My nail polish collection is now officially ridiculous (for me).
Since I got a few of my favorite things in the mail from my mom, I thought I’d start the week with a few of my favorite things around the web:
I have admired and wanted some pieces from Maranon‘s jewelry line since forever. I didn’t know she had a new site though and I was pleasantly surprised.
Hila commented on my Miss Moss post and I seriously love her blog. I’ve been reading it in chunks since last week.
Forgive me that this site is in Dutch, but I spent my Saturday night at the exhibit opening for Zwart van Roet and my entire Sunday at the accompanying panel discussion on the degradation that is Zwarte Piet. Next year, I’ll be unveiling a project I’m currently working on to discuss racial and cultural identity.
Don’t think I’ve forgotten about my 29 at 29 list. I think I should have a hefty update soon.