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 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 about six years now, and teaching French Beading through my website for about four years.
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