Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year End Reflections - December Blog Carnival

It's time for the monthly blog carnival at the Jewelry Artisans Community.  "Year End Reflections" has been chosen as the December topic.   I like reflecting better than thinking about resolutions that I won't keep. 

2014 was year of major change due to my retirement from my job of 19 years as an elementary school secretary.  What so many people told me prior to retiring has turned out to be true...how did I ever find time to work?  There are still not enough hours in the day, but now the hours are filled with activities I haven't had the time or energy to pursue for several years.

On the domestic front I have found, to my surprise, that I really enjoy taking care of our home.  In the past, it was a disaster during the week and I'd spend all weekend cleaning, doing laundry and running errands. The sense of peace and order that comes from tidy surroundings is priceless.

Cooking gourmet meals has become a priority again!  Oh, how I used to love to prepare meals from scratch starting with shopping for the freshest ingredients I could find.  I'd forgotten how hubby and I used to cook side by side and how that treasured activity slowly gave way to whatever was easy.

Another dream we finally have time to pursue is traveling.  Since retiring in June, my husband and I have taken several trips including a three week drive down the length of the California coast.  As I type this we are into week number four of a six week vacation in Bangkok.  I am loving this life!

As far as my fledgling jewelry business goes, I haven't become consumed with making it a success which is what I thought would happen once I retired.  Instead, there is more time to do what I like best which is fiddling with new designs and learning new techniques.  I want to carry this momentum forward into 2015 by re-visiting designs like this that I never quite got the way I wanted.

It's been three years since I've painted any pendants and I want to get back to that including experimenting with resin to give them a protective glossy finish instead of the time consuming method I currently use.

One thing that would really help the success of my Etsy and Artfire shops would be for me to do a lot more with social media and self promotion.  Unfortunately, I really don't like this aspect of on-line selling and I've decided I'm ok with that.  I started this blog in October 2014 and have found that I really enjoy it.  In the new year, I plan to continue blogging, to build a following and to be content accepting that this may be my one and only method of promoting myself online.

Lastly, after desperately wanting it, I've realized that it's no longer a priority to me for my Etsy and Artfire shops to become wildly successful.  A sale or two a month would make me perfectly happy.  At this stage in my life I want balance, which for me means taking care of my husband and home, preparing gourmet meals, seeing the world, and creating jewelry art. 

To read what the other participants in the Jewelry Artisans Communityblog calendar have to say on this topic, please click on the links below:

Cat's Wire

Bead Sophisticate