The Year Behind, The Year Ahead

So, today is my birthday! I know most people do their reflecting with the New Year, but as my birthday is just after the turn of the year, I usually do most of my reflecting with my literal start of a new year, my birthday. This isn't a pity party about getting older, rather it is a party filled with a sense of gratitude about where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. So, let's reflect.

The Year Behind

2012 was a pretty amazing year. I was busier than ever and for the most part, it was all really great. Some highlights of my life, both personal and professional:

- Shot a class with Craftsy, the Sassy Librarian Blouse
- Launched my first two patterns, the Chelsea Dress and the Derby Dress
- Attended both the spring and fall Quilt Market trade shows for my day job as manager at Sew L.A.
- Spent 5 weeks in France, including my first trip to Provence and the CΓ΄te d'Azur
- Got into a car accident that finally forced me to get the car of my dreams (a 1981 diesel Mercedes - thanks Grandma!)
- Presented at the first ever Craftcation Conference, which was an absolute blast
- Had the best girl's weekend with the greatest best girl friends in the whole wide world
- Saw my family both for Christmas and for a mid-Summer break in August
- Helped Sew L.A. throw parties for OonaSublime Stitching, and two for Colette Patterns
- Taught hundreds of students in countless sewing classes
- Wrote articles for SewStylish and Sew News magazines, to be released in 2013!

The Year Ahead

What are my plans for 2013? To sum it up in one word, it would be this: slower. On this, my 42nd birthday, I'd like to slow down a bit. I get asked all the time, "how do you do it all?!" Well, the honest truth is that I have to do this amount of work to make ends meet. I live alone in an expensive city and I teach sewing for a living. This isn't the path to fortune! But I've managed to pull together a bunch of things I love doing to pay the bills and for that I'm forever grateful. But I do envy those people with things like "weekends" and evenings free from working until you pass out at your sewing machine or laptop.

A brief backstory: some of you know this and some don't, but about 5 years ago I divorced my husband, who was the bread earner between the two of us. With that split came half of our accumulated debt, and at the time I didn't even have a day job, just a studio in the garment district and a handful of shops selling my dresses. I have since spent the last 5 years working my butt off, keeping myself afloat, and paying off my half of the debt that I inherited from the marriage. But this spring, that debt will finally be paid off (knock on wood). Thank the lord. And with that finally comes my ability to be slower. Though to be clear, slower doesn't mean less productive, rather it will allow me to focus more time and money to patterns and other projects that have been on the back burner for a while now.

Plans for 2013

- Release more patterns!
- Dedicate more time blogging items that I've sewn
- Go to France for 5 weeks (plane ticket already booked! woo hoo!)
- Bust that fabric stash of mine! Wow, it's big
- Throw more parties at Sew L.A. including this weekend's party for Gertie!
- Spend more evenings doing non-sewing related things, like baking bread and reading
- Go on more picnics
- Return to Craftcation Conference (and so should you!)
- Continue teaching my amazing students and working at Sew L.A.
- Repeat that girl's weekend and find a way to keep our non-California girl on the West Coast forever
- Plus a few top secret projects will reveal themselves this year!

I look forward to another year of connecting with all of you and thank you from the bottom of my heart that you read my blog, shop my website, take my classes, and support this thing that I do! Hugs to you all.

Photo of me by Ms. Jen