Sunday, 28 December 2014

End of the year - 2014

© Gabriella Buckingham 2014

Christmas is over and we're in that strange but lovely time between saying good bye to close relatives and welcoming in the New Year. I love this time though because it's definitely a time to dream and be honest with yourself about what has worked in the last year and reflecting on the difference between what you want more of and what you need to let go of.

I had an extrememly busy 6 weeks from the beginning of November to mid December with 803 orders in total - I'm not quite sure how many of those I had to hand paint but at least 600+! 

I had opened an Etsy shop in mid November and started selling straight away which I really didn't expect, my woodland animal gift wrap was a hit.

© Gabriella Buckingham 2014

It seemed easier this year, I was determined not to get too stressed - slight cabin fever at times but just the right amount of orders for me and my occasional elf* to handle. There were a few days when I worked from 8am until 1am only stopping to eat. You can't do that all year round but it's ok if you can know there has to be an end and the great thing about being self employed is it's entirely up to me what I take on. I have two children and was only able to work so intensively because that's the time of year my - also self employed *husband has less work - very fortuitous! He takes great care of us all. Then when I finish I get stuck into Christmas and our roles become more balanced.

© Gabriella Buckingham 2014

I tend to be so busy cooking (and eating  - let's be honest) that I forget to take many photos apart from a few on my Instagram account; sad in a way but I'd say I appreciate Christmas in an old fashioned live in the moment sort of way. My mother and step father came to see us and my brother came up from London for a few days which was lovely as I probably only see him once a year, if that! We had a roaring fire, loads of delicious food and drink, good films and a walk by the sea and swapped some great presents of course!

I bought myself a fabulous diary yesterday. I had to return a dress my husband bought me which I couldn't even get over my shoulders - not easily anyway... ( maybe it had a zip but I couldn't see one)) - anyway, I didn't see any other clothes that I really wanted so indulged in a wall calendar and this Moleskine XL diary which was just what I imagined before I set out shopping! I wanted something simple but with plenty of room for notes and a week to view. I'd never seen a diary like this before that has an entire page alonside a week - it was just perfect! I have a lot to do in the next four months and this is going to be so helpful keeping me on track.

With preparations for Surtex in May 2015 beginning in earnest soon I've decided to suspend Friday Finds for a while. I want to do it justice and search out great artists and designers but I need to focus on my own development for a while. There are some fabulous artists in the archives and I'll continue it from June onwards.

Today, while the children and my husband hit the sales I had great fun printing out card samples to photograph for The Moobaacluck Shop on Etsy and my own site. I also photographed a new header as both of them currently feature Christmas images so there is a lot of updating to do on various sites. But I love doing all that - not so much the uploading but certainly the picture taking and planning. I realised that a canvas that I had lying about and on which I'd daubed some pink circles with a large brush a few weeks ago was the perfect back drop to some of my cards - funny how just playing about - even though at the time there was just instinct and the wish not to waste paint - turns out to be useful and inspiring too.

I'll be having a cull of existing designs soon and creating a lot more new designs in January. I can't wait!! By the way if you like that yellow gift wrap below - it's half price in my shop for the next 4 weeks.

© Gabriella Buckingham 2014

I hope that Christmas for you was whatever you wanted it to be and best of luck for 2015.