Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Look Back at 2014

I've had this post in my file for the last week and I've gone back and forth about whether I should post it or not. I really don't want it to come across as a "look what I've done" retrospective. As upbeat and positive as I try to be, there's a little voice that lives in me and I'm sure a lot of you as well. That little voice loves nothing more than to focus on what I didn't do, what I should have done, where I should be at this point in my life. As much as I try not to listen, sometimes, when things don't go as I had hoped or something disappointing happens, that little voice loves nothing more than to speak up. As this past year came to a close, that little voice was talking, and loud. A friend called on Christmas Eve. She is a very good friend. One that I feel very lucky to have. I had sent her a set of the owl pattern weights as a Christmas/birthday present. She's one of those lucky people to be born at Christmas time. I shared with her that I had been thinking about closing down my blog. Is this where I want to spend my time? Questions like these especially come to us when there's a potentially life changing situation looming over you. Then I decided to take a look back and here's what I found.
2014 began with this incredible surprise. I knew that the garment would be in the issue, but WOW!!!, the cover!
Then the sew alongs began with Sew News. The year began with the Amy Butler Beautiful Belle Bag. Such a fun project.
The next project was the Clara Dress from Sew Liberated.
I ended up living in this version that I did for the sew along. It was perfect with heels as well as sandals. I think my husband got tired of seeing me in the dress ;)
The third project in the series was the Summer Breeze Top from Hot Patterns. For the sew along, we made it into a dress. Some said that they didn't like the ruffles that I added to the neckline and armholes, but I did!!  
Then we made pants using the Clover Slim Pants pattern from Colette Patterns. I made 4 pairs of these pants!
The Emily Bag from IThinkSew. Fabulous bag! My niece was over recently and ended up going home with one of the bags I made. The other 2 have been sent to Italy. When our former exchange student visited this summer, Sew News had just sent back the bag I made for the magazine. His mother and his girlfriend both fell in love with the bag, so Merry Christmas!! Now I have none:)
We finished the year with the Sewaholic Robson Coat. I have now finished 3. I did give one away as a gift, but I've been selfish with the other 2 ;)
In April, the show I did on the Perfect Travel Dress aired on the Sew It All program with Ellen March.
I was asked to participate in Sewing Indie Month as the Pattern Hacker. I do love to hack a pattern ;)
I was completely shocked when I was asked to be interviewed for "Living With More Style Than Cash." It was such an honor. If you would like to hear the episode, you can find it HERE.
In September I taught at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan. It was a wonderful experience.  
Another absolute shock came when I was told that I had been voted as one of Burda's Top 50 Bloggers.

Again, I was shocked and honored when Susan Khalje asked me to teach with her in a one day seminar here in Chicago. I spent a lot of time being shocked this past year!!!
Our Mary Bridge Pillowcase Project was featured in Sew News.
Throughout the year, we did a number of sleeve designs for the Sleeves On Saturdays posts.

We continued on with the Fabulous Free Pattern Friday posts. My favorite drafting posts :)
I began the new series, Thrifty Thursday, showcasing free sewing patterns.
The Polly Top from By Hand London.
The Yellowtail Cami from Seamster Patterns.
Owl Pattern Weights.
There were a few remakes and techniques.
A couple of crafty items like this little pin made from the selvedge edge of my fabric.
I did a series on making a fascinator.
Along the way, I've had some fun!!!

We've had a lot of inspiration.

Did a lot of cooking, like these delicious Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies.
And we've had a little time to reflect.
There was so much about this past year that I had completely forgotten about. I've accomplished more than that little voice would like to give me credit for.
As this new year begins, I would like to give you a challenge. If you have a blog, it's easy to look back. But if you don't, here's the challenge, record your life. It doesn't need to be a detailed journal. It can be just short notes left on a calendar. But record your life, what you've done, happy moments, places you've been, even what you've made. And then, when the year comes to an end, look back and I think that like me, you will be so pleasantly surprised.
In some ways, that little voice is a good thing, especially if it makes us angry enough to push forward. Just don't allow it to make you stop :)

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  1. Please don't stop posting on your blog. I'm a new subscriber and I've learned so much. I appreciate your up-beat attitude. You inspire me to try new things. Thank you. Happy New Year!

  2. An amazing year and I too would be really sad if you stopped blogging. You write with such a real voice, full of humour and warmth, as well as a huge breadth of knowledge. It really makes your "Creative Life" stand out as one of the best sewing blogs out there. Xx

  3. Rhonda, Rhonda, Rhonda:

    I just found your blog, and started to subscribe because
    1. I missed Susan Khalje here in Chicago
    2. You love the sky
    3. Especially, great sewing!

    I started sewing again about 5 years ago, and have become closer to fearless than I thought possible. No RTW for 2 years and now I am stumbling through sewing for a hard to fit husband. Of course, I decided to start with a tailored peacoat!

    I'd really be bummed if you quit blogging. Your blog is inspiring, fun, challenging, and inspiring. This piece and your observations at the end sealed the deal for me to ressurect my own blog;)

    1. Well, that makes my day :)
      When you do get your blog up, be sure and send me a link.

  4. I don't comment as often as I enjoy your efforts - 2014 was a beautiful year here.

    1. I think that it's a mutual admiration society as you make me smile on a very regular basis :)

  5. You have had an amazing year. Challenges with health but wonderful successes. I pray that 2015 sees you health and brings you luck.

  6. Wow, all that in one year!? Congratulations. Love your blog and would miss it terribly if you stopped.

  7. What a wonderful year indeed! Looking forward to seeing your blog in 2015 and beyond, your blog is one of the ones I always look forward to reading.

  8. Rhonda, you have accomplished so much!! I hope the little voice quiets down now :)

  9. Is blogging everyday a little too much for you now that other things are going on? If so, perhaps blog half the number of posts each week. Not sure I should write that down, but although I like reading your blog, I am more concerned with what your needs are.

    1. I had a couple of very disappointing things happen last year. And you know how it goes, 100 people can compliment you, but you focus on the 1 person who criticized. Not that anyone criticized me. If they did, it wasn't to my face. But the events were especially upsetting. One in particular I had worked very hard for and earned the opportunity. I do not know why it was taken away, but it was and it hurt deeply. Then came the problem with my eyes. It may very well be that nothing will ever come of it, but something so potentially life changing does make one question just about everything. Thanks for being concerned :)

  10. What a wonderful year you have had Rhonda! I think it's great that you remind us all to record our journeys. As we look back we can see how many blessings we have had. Live reading your blog... Hope you keep going.

  11. Don't quit! I just found your blog and I love it! It's inspirational, fun, quirky and just fantastic. It's not just a pattern review, because you really show how much you love it. It was a good year. There's always more good than bad, if we just try to remember the good.

  12. I'm so glad you did this post, Rhonda! Such a fun year. I just love your blog. I'm sure it takes lots of time and energy and for that I am grateful. You are such a generous and positive spirit. Thanks so much for 2014!

  13. So much accomplished in 2014! I'm also one of those that would miss you and your posts if you gave up blogging. And DH might too as I've used several of your recipes that he enjoys!! I know your health issue has been a jolt (as it would have been to me) and I know it weighs on your thoughts. Just know that you mean a great deal to so many of us out here in internet land; I'm thankful to have you in my life. You are such an inspiration in so many ways.

  14. I think all of the comments above show that you would be very much missed if you decided not to blog anymore. Your achievements this year are impressive, and your knowledge is always so freely shared. Be proud of what you achieved in 2014, and I hope that this year will be kind to you.

  15. I only recently found your blog and enjoy it very much! I had to laugh at your comment that those of us born around Christmas are lucky. I think our friends and family find it quite inconvenient.

  16. Lovely post! I especially like the idea to jot down the little things. It's so easy to overlook them

  17. You didn't even count the mega-hours you spent blogging in all your awesome accomplishments! Taking/finding all those pictures and then posting them takes hours and hours. I know because I've done a TAD compared to what you do. Your blog is like a daily magazine or newspaper all about the things your readers love. Especially, you! Please do fewer posts if you need more time for other things, but don't S T O P! I would miss you TERRIBLY! I would love you to do a post on how you keep that AMAZING body! Do you exercise every day along with all the other things you do? Do you have a special diet? ANNNNNNNNNNND, you also fly airplanes and rescue dogs. You are a major over-achiever girl!
    Hugs, Joy

  18. You've had a very busy and productive year -- wow! Your blog is one of the most inspirational ones I read -- not just because you make beautiful clothes, but also because your thoughtful writing reflects your generous spirit. I know blogging can take up a lot of time and energy, but I hope you choose to continue to write, even sporadically, as I truly appreciate the unique voice you contribute to the online sewing community. Here's to 2015!

  19. Reading your blog is one of the highlights of my day. I really enjoy the FACT that you enjoy creating clothes, food, and just beauty in little things. I wish only the best for you in the coming year and hope that you will still enjoy blogging at whatever frequency that suits your life.

  20. I've enjoyed your posts in 2014 although I haven't always had time to comment. I loved your Robson coat and would love to get my hands on the fabric!!!

  21. Good wishes for this coming year. I do hope you will continue to blog. Hugs and prayers for the future.

  22. You are such an inspiration to us all and you would be missed very much if you decided not to continue. I let my work life take over this past year but checking in with your blog kept me in the loop. I am about to start re blogging and I want to be just like you!!!

  23. Really enjoyed reading this! And I am happy to see that you got as much recognition as you give everyone else. You are an awesome lady :-)

  24. Always enjoy reading your posts. And I like your blogger challenge. It's very hard to put your life out there for everyone. You do it in way that is not self-aggrandizing, but brings us all long, and up, with you. Bravo!

  25. Wow, Rhonda, what a truly amazing year you have had!! So many opportunities, but you've really earned them. I do understand your reflections - I have recently wondered if I want to keep blogging - but I hope that you do continue! Your blog is such a generous gift to the sewing community. Thank you!

  26. An amazing year from an amazing blogger. You're one of the most encouraging and energetic bloggers I know, so willing to share what you know and to share others' blogs too. I so enjoy reading all of your positive thoughts and reflections, and learn so much from you!