Monday, 10 September 2012

Another year, gone


So, now that I've had this blog for a year, I thought it might be a good idea to go over some of the goals I had in my first post and see if I was able to meet any of them. (tl;dr: not really.)
  • Muted Colour Schemes
  • Subtle Memory was supposed to be an experiment in soft, muted colours, however I ended up relying on darker saturated colours to tie it together in my mind. I'm not too fussed about this one to be honest, as I think the addition of navy blue has made many of the pieces significantly stronger than they would have been if I'd stuck with my original plan.
    Plans going forward: I have another collection planned (it's not high up on my priority list right now though) that is all muted colours and I don't see it changing any time soon, so I'm hoping planning that will give me some practice.
  • Time Management
  • I don't think I've made much progress in this area to be honest and if I have, it's been entirely in the last week. I've learned I need to know exactly what I want from a project before I can be truly productive. Having things I still need to figure out (fabrics, patterns, etc.) just gives me a reason to procrastinate.
    I want to be able to finish collections and commissions in the timeframes I set out and to maintain a semi-regular update schedule.
    Plans going forward: Other than planning collections with fabric in-hand so that I don't get stalled looking for something useful, I've been working on developing a daily schedule and forcing myself to adhere to it. I think part of the problem was I was always working and hadn't really learned to disengage and read a book, or do the dishes or spend time with people without thinking I should be sewing.
    I still have problems with this, and I know it's not going to magically go away, but I've been gradually working on getting myself time-organized using a combination of Task Timer for Chrome, and Toodledo. Unfortunately, neither of them are quite what I need, so I'm having a bit of a difficult time, but hopefully I'll get used to the routine soon. :)
  • Speed
  • Overall, I think that I've made the most progress towards this goal than any of the others. I've still go a ways to go, but it's not taking me a week to produce one shirt anymore, so I'd call that a win.
    Plans going forward: While I can't do so in Ireland, I plan to continue practising with my sewing machine when I get home. I don't particularly enjoy machine sewing - it feels cold and impersonal to me - but I cannot deny that it is fast.
    In addition, I've been working on streamlining my processes and while it can get tedious sewing the same thing over and over, it seems to be working, and I feel much less exhausted and much more accomplished at the end of the day than I ever did before I changed my method.
  • Photography, staging and posing
  • I will say... I have made absolutely no progress on this goal at all as of yet. Part of it is that I'm focussed on other things, part of it is I keep saying I need this outfit or this setting and not taking photos anyway and part of it is my camera has decided that it is the destroyer of batteries, so I'm finding it to be a huge struggle to pull it out even for blog photos.
    Plans going forward: In the next week or so, I'm planning on going out and buying new batteries so my camera has no excuses and I can't use that as an excuse either and just spending a day taking photos. The only way I'm going to get better in this area is to practice, and I haven't been doing nearly enough of that.
I'm going to keep working on the above goals as they are very important to me, but I'd also like to add:
  • Blogging
  • I've added a lot of new blogs to my reading list in the last couple months (most doll-related, some not) and it's made me feel very inadequate regarding my blogging, so I'd like to work on that.
    My main goals are: Balancing photos/text - this is tied to my photography goal, so I'm hoping it will help boost that too - and explaining in fewer words.
    I tend to ramble a lot and I feel like I spend a lot of time making excuses instead of just saying what I need to say, so I'm going to try to work on this as well. I think learning how to balance text and images will help immensely.
  • Web Design
  • After redesigning my blog, I seem to have caught some kind of web design bug. The store platform I've chosen gives you (almost) complete control over your store, so I've been (re-)learning HTML and learning CSS and working towards modifying the store and adding some new pages to my blog.
    Luckily, my boyfriend is well-versed in both and has been exceedingly patient with my constant cries of "how do I do this?", "this line? or can I just put it here?", "what does the # mean again?" which is making me feel much more confident about my ability to learn this stuff.
    I don't really have any concrete goals beyond getting the store and a few other pages up and running, I just hope it goes over alright and nothing comes out horribly broken or looking terrible!

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Much as I might stress and panic and think I'm the biggest disappointment since the last Series of Unfortunate Events book*, I'm really enjoying working on this project and learning the ins and outs of blogging and I hope I'll be able to do it for quite some time. :)


*Sorry if you liked it... I really didn't. :/

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