[2013 Highlights] Looking back over the year

I had started writing this blog post over the holidays but never go round to posting it on New Years Day as initially planned…probably becuase I kept musing a little too much over last year’s events every time I sat down to write! ;) Well, it’s better late than never I suppose and with the blog turning two today (where did those years go!?) the timing couldn’t be perfect.

So after days of flicking through the archives and the image libraries on my computer (even looking back at last year’s resolutions) it soon occurred to me how much had actually taken place in the last year – perhaps, more eventful that I had imagined! I did a lot more, seen a lot more, made a lot made, experienced a lot more, explored a lot more and even met some truly wonderful people along the way! Okay, granted that it hasn’t been always rosy but what is life without the overwhelming mayhem and madness? But putting those aside, the highs have been absolute highs! And most importantly, what I’ve learnt from 2013 and which I hope to carry on into the new year, is that only we are in control of our happiness, so if you want to live your dream or want something really bad in life (be it work or personal), you have to seize it and take charge of it completely because no one else will for you. Life is too short to sit and stew, deliberate or procrastinate over. It goes back to the Mark Twain quote I had posted back in December about getting out there to “Explore, Dream, Discover“. And if there are people or things that hinder your chances of finding that dream or happiness, you simply have to let those go. Finding things or people who lift you up, inspire you, encourage and help you grow so that you are living your life in full bloom, is what you need to hang on to. Hard as it may be to follow or scary as it may sound, its is a fact.

Anyway, without further adieu, I’d like to share some of my highlights from 2013 as I ring in the new year on a positive note. I do also have a lot to be thankful for in life especially on this day as I look back over the last couple of years. It really has been something else! :)

1. Workshops, social gatherings and craft events:MbM-BLOG_2013-Highlights_1-WEBMbM-BLOG_2013-Highlights_3-WEBAs I had promised myself last year, I’m so pleased to have signed up/attended some amazing creative workshops over the year; from lino block printing to screen printing to letterpress to photography to sewing to gift-wrapping! And through all of which I’ve met some fabulous like-minded people, many of whom I’m so lucky to call friends now. Socialising and networking is key. Not only do you establish some solid friendship but opportunities too. Attending various talks and craft/design fairs also gives you that inspirational ‘kick up the butt‘ you need from time to time just by listening to how others have bravely taken on big ventures – ones you probably never envisaged doing yourself but it does help put things into perspective and reassure you that there are others who have “been there and done it”. So if I could highly recommend anything, go find workshops, social gatherings, talks or events in your area that bring together people within your creative industry with similar interests. I cannot tell you enough how good it is for your soul……and you never know what comes out of them! :)

2. Commissions and Collaborations MbM-BLOG_2013-Highlights_4-WEBGosh, 2013 has been brilliant for all kinds of creative projects; from private commissions to collaborative work. Personalised gifts for new babies and weddings had been the main focus for me which led me to explore more mediums and create a lot more pretty things this year – I don’t think I’ve ever sewn so much which goes to show that if you put your heart and soul into things, you can master anything! ;)  I’m also so grateful for the fantastic opportunities I’ve had collaborating with some super talented people within the wedding industry for two very different wedding styled shoots over the summer period! The first one, with Louise Macpherson, was featured on Love My Dress wedding blog and the second, with Pocketful of Dreams, is soon to be featured in a national wedding magazine! These have by far been the most exhilarating and rewarding experience from a creative perspective. What I have realised from being a part of these is HOW much I LOVE weddings!! Well I always knew that after planning my own but these two projects definitely confirmed how much of a kick I get from all the creative input that goes into styling and organising a wedding and styled shoot! It’s actually rather intoxicating! ;) So this is something I feel I need to dabble in more or pursue further in the very near future…..and boy am I delighted that I have a family wedding to plan this year to fully explore and put to test my capabilities! :)

3. Family, Friends and Special MilestonesMbM-BLOG_2013-Highlights_2-WEBCOVER-PAGEIt’s been a big year for significant milestones too; both my husband and I turned the BIG ol’ 3.0. and even completed our first year of our marriage. We got to celebrate these with friends here in the UK and out in Paris – it was simply amazing! :) And later in the year, we got an even amazing opportunity to have both our families together, over in London, to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday! When we’re all based in different corners of the world, its times like these, spent together, that reminds me not to take your nearest and dearest for granted. So I need to make sure that I find more time in the new year for them, however manic life can get….whether its a skype call, a letter or a visit, it’s essential to maintain those relationships with your dear ones especially as we get older (and wiser!).

Well, that’s the main highlights in a nutshell. I could honestly go on but I’m not here to bore you! ;) So, here’s hoping that 2014 will be an even bigger, bolder and exciting new year for me and to all of you. I do know already there’s going to be some amazing things coming up and some big uncertain changes too but either way, I cannot wait to see how this year unfolds!

Night night x x x

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