For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know I like to post some reflections and goal planning for the new year.
This past year was a difficult one for me. I had a baby in January, and because of that I intended on taking it easy. But that's definitely not what happened. I only had a few orders, just as I planned. They were just large orders. That itself would have been fine, but then I started having this horrid, almost crippling pain through my wrists and up to my elbows (diagnosed as Carpal Tunnel) which really slowed me down and made me miss almost every single one of my self-imposed deadlines. I was supposed to be working on my first book in pieces throughout the year between orders, but as custom orders extended beyond the time I'd allowed for them, I ended up having to write the whole thing in 3.5 months. (And I have now sold over 100 copies of that book! Which is amazing to me. A huge thank you to everyone for your support!) Even though it was difficult, it was a great year filled with very creative ideas and really amazing, torturous-but-fun projects. I also recorded and published my very first video tutorial, which was scary for me, but a long-time goal that I did accomplish. So, all things considered, I will consider 2017 a win. Even if all I won was lessons learned.
Because I don't know what unplanned events await me next year I have decided to keep my schedule for 2018 simple-ish. (I can't do actual simple, I'd go mad.)
Next year I begin writing my second book, "Spring Collection", so the majority of my time will be spent on that. I am planning a full series and I've already got idea lists for every single Volume. But it will take me a while to get through them. I plan on taking most of a year to write the second one. It will be a larger collection of patterns, so naturally will take more time, and also I don't really want to take years off my life trying to write it in a short amount of time.
I also want to publish more videos for my YouTube Channel, as that one single video is getting lonely. I will continue with smaller technique tutorials until I get more comfortable on video, then I will move to full flower tutorial videos. There is at least one video that I'm planning for January. After that I'd like to do one video every month, if possible, with accompanying free PDFs.
There are also several individual patterns that I want to publish outside of books, so watch for those being added to my Pattern Shop, too.
And, I have 3 custom orders. That's it. One is large, the other two are smaller. I don't imagine that I will have time for more. I'm also going to retry my failed project for my husband, and I'm actually beginning the year with a piece that I'm making for my daughter (though some of those flowers will also be published in free or paid tutorials, so I can accomplish more than one goal at once.)
Finished Custom Order
I mentioned in my last post a custom order I was working on, so I'm going to conclude this post with pictures of the finished project. This one was much harder than I thought it was going to be. That sunflower is 7 inches wide and the assembly was very difficult. The Billy Balls were torturous, simply because I hate making sphere shapes. And then that lacy leaf dusty miller was very tricky. I had to invent a new technique and that single leaf took 2 hours to make. It wasn't my first try either, so I probably spent 10 hours total on that leaf if you include all the failures.
I am working on one last custom order, which will extend into January. This one is for a friend who wants me to remake a smaller version of her wedding bouquet as a wall hanging. Here is the first of that project. A sample for the small-ish yellow roses. There will also be white lilies, dendrobium orchids, ivy, and greenery.
Well, that's where I've been and where I'm (hopefully) going.
I hope the New Year finds you all happy, healthy and prosperous. Happy Beading!
Hello there everyone! I've got several updates regarding my recent publication, "Christmas Collection".
As promised, I did publish a PDF Edition of my book on Dec 1st that can be purchased and downloaded from my Pattern Shop. Quite a few people have already ordered their copy and so far I've had excellent feedback about the patterns.
The printed version of the book is also now available on Amazon! It is fully listed and available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.de. It is partially listed on Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es. That means they have the listing set up, but it's not yet available to purchase. It should be soon, within the next few days.
For Canada - It is listed on Amazon.ca, however right now the only option is a third party seller who has significantly boosted the price. Amazon.ca has a different agreement with Amazon.com than the European websites. It may take up to a month for the book to be fully listed on the Canadian website, and it should be listed at a price that's more inline with the rest of the world. However, this is actually better than what I thought because I didn't realize it would be listed there at all. So it's coming your way, too! ... Just at a turtle's pace.
Now for those of you who have chosen to or are wanting to order directly from me. Yesterday I found out that CreateSpace (the company I'm using to print and distribute my books) is closing one of their print facilities at the end of the month and they are already starting to phase it out. So... unlike previous years at Christmas time, there is an ordering delay. I'm very upset that they didn't tell the authors that supply books to them beforehand, and its very likely that I won't use this company for my next publication because of this (and some serious inconsistencies with their internal reviewers that made getting a good copy ridiculous). I had to find out about the delay from another author who didn't know until he went to order his books. But, that means the books are taking a week longer to arrive to me than I was originally led to believe they would be. They won't get to me until the 22nd of this month, assuming there are no shipping delays from inclement weather, and then they have to get to you after that. So... I have a few options for you ladies and gentlemen and I will email you today with those options directly. If you don't get the email sometime today (give me until tonight since there are so many of you and only one of me), check your spam folder just in case the filters caught it, and then contact me.
I'm so sorry for the delay! I am learning loads about writing, formatting, and publishing books through this, my very first book publishing experience, but that will make my next book release much smoother. I appreciate your patience.
I am also working on a custom order right now. So far I've made some itty bitty Chamomile flowers and some Billy Balls (Craspedia). Next I will be making a large Sunflower and some dusty miller leaves.
I've had several people ask about custom orders for 2018. I'm still working out details for other parts of my schedule (I'm writing my second book, "Spring Collection", and it will take most of next year to do so) so I am unsure yet how many, if any, custom order spaces I will have. If I have any, there won't be many. This year was super packed and I don't know if I want to do that to myself next year. I do need to sleep eventually and if I overload my wrists I'll just end up with the same Carpal Tunnel problems that I had earlier this year. Smaller orders will be easier to accommodate, and if you want Spring time flowers that will also be easier as I'm already making some of those for my book. But I will announce when, and if, I have any spots open up.
Hello everyone! I am Lauren Harpster, the designer behind Lauren's Creations. I am a 28 year old wife, and a mother to three adorable little kids. I've been making French Beaded Flowers for six years now, and teaching French Beading through my website for about four years. I hope you'll join me on my blog so you, too, can Learn the Art of French Beading.
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