Anyone else struggling to get going this year? The internet seems filled with images of new planners & inspirational quotes about ‘smashing it in 2017’ but my brain is still in festive hibernation mode, craving blankets & biscuits & an all round slower pace of life. So instead of waking up on January 1st, drinking a green smoothie & ‘smashing’ my new year goals I have chosen to ease back into work gently, posting out orders, writing some goals for the year, all from the comfort of my blanket of course. So its been a bit of a slow return to the blog too. Although I have exciting plans for this space in 2017 my first post of the year had to be a round up of my project in 2016 #daphnerosainbloom to share with you how I got creative in 2016…
At the beginning of 2016 I was a little lost. My business had begun when I made all of the flowers for our wedding. I then started to make them for others & off it went but it never felt completely right, like something was missing. This time last year I knew I needed to make changes but I had no idea where to start so I embarked on a monthly creative project to hopefully inspire new work with the structure & direction I craved & I couldn’t have imagined quite where is was going to take me…
I planned to study a different seasonal flower each month in the year & create something by the end of the month as a result, although there were no parameters as to what this should be. I wanted it to give me the freedom to be creative without agenda, without it needing to result in a new product to be sold & to learn any new techniques or crafts that took my fancy. In short, have a little fun again! My planned list of flowers changed a little through the year as the weather interfered, encouraging early blooming at times – nature can be so annoying! – & the amount of posts each month also varied, getting less as the year progressed. It would be easy to see this as a negative or a failure but it was actually the result of my business taking off in new directions & being busier as a result, all down to the project which was my aim in the first place so that can only be a win right?!
So what did I learn? Well I learnt a whole heap about different flowers, where they came from, their origins & all the beliefs surrounding them. I think my favourite must have to be Alabama in America who host a whole festival for the Azalea flower including 50 ‘Azalea Trail Maids’ who are chosen as ambassadors for the city & get to wear these rather fetching outfits as a result… see more about the Azalea here.
One of my main aims was to learn new techniques, crafts & skills which I may never have had the motivation or confidence to attempt otherwise, including clay, digital editing, batik, lino-printing, embroidery & Fimo modelling…
Learning different ways to make flowers out of new materials was also a real joy. I was always completely self taught from the beginning & didn’t have much time at the start to explore different ways of making the flowers I was using for bouquets & buttonholes so it was great to get creative in this department too. I ended up using clay, paper, felt, glitter & different combinations too…
So what did the final outcomes look like I hear you cry… here they come…
January – Azalea
February – Daphne
March – Daffodil
April – Tulip
May – Bluebell
June – Peony
July – Hydrangea
August – mini break!
September – Roses
October – Dahlia
Nov/Dec – Mistletoe
Phew, what a year! It’s such joy to put them all together & realise just how much I achieved in the project last year & how my creativity developed along with my ability to take half decent photographs! The project not only developed my creative skills & abilities but also instigated my first collaborative project, raised money for charity & encouraged a whole heap of new products that I may never have thought to embark on, but which have become an integral part of my business today.
Collaboration with Georgie St Clair
I wanted another creative project to have fun with this year but one which had a bit more of a specific purpose. As a large part of my business now involves my own hand lettering – another new development from 2016 – on cards & stationery, I would like to develop my lettering skills this year & hopefully introduce some new products as a result. So I am pledging to practice my lettering everyday & have decided to use words in the dictionary to practice with so that I might expand my vocabulary at the same time! Staring at A & hopefully making it to Z by the end of 2017 I’ll be documenting my progress on the blog at various points in the year but you’ll be able to see it more regularly over on Instagram so do pop over & say hi! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I got up to last year! Are you embarking on any projects this year, I’d love to know what you’re getting up to!