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Setting Creative Goals for March and Onwards

Setting Creative Goals for March and Onwards

Where did the month of February go? I know that it is a shorter month than the rest, but I was still so surprised at just how fast it went by! And here we are, already on the 3rd day of March. There is something about turning the calendar page to March, that turns my mind towards Spring. I know that technically we are still in Winter, and the current view out my window is one full of snow, with nary a tree bud to be seen, but I can’t help but start hoping for Spring. And with thoughts of Spring, and a fresh new month before us, also comes thoughts of “goals”; and specifically my creative goals.

I set myself a rather hefty list of goals to accomplish this year. I might have gone a bit overboard with the number I set, but last year I didn’t set any overarching goals, and at the end of the year I realized that I didn’t accomplish much. So, this year I set a lot. Seriously- the ones listed below are only my “creative goals”. Many of these creative goals are things that I enjoy or have been “meaning to get around to”, but haven’t dedicated the time and effort into. The act of writing them down is really forcing me to work on them- and, sharing them here is going to help me be a whole lot more accountable too 🙂 Since we’re now in the third month of the year, here is what I have done so far, and what needs to yet be done, both this month and the rest of year as well.

Improve my Photography Skills

There is so much about photography that I don’t know. I have decided that this is the year that I finally invest some time (and money if needed) into improving my skill set. You can’t grow if you don’t learn, right? I have been putting it off, but I have finally carved out the time to do some online lessons and DVD courses in order to get better at photography. I absolutely love taking photos- it is one of my favourite creative mediums, so instead of being intimidated by all the things I don’t know- I am instead going to start absorbing some of that knowledge bit by bit. My goal is to finish one course this month, and making this a priority each week is a good start!

Improve my Photoshop Skills

I have a very rudimentary knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator. I use these two programs for my job all the time- but I was not trained very well in the programs, and I know just enough to limp my way through. My boss has agreed to let me dedicate a couple of hours each week to tutorials and training, and I have learned so much in just the few lessons I’ve taken. I found the Youtube channel Phlearn, and if you are wanting to learn Photoshop- this is the place to go. Not only am I learning things that will help me with my job, but also with my own personal photos and this blog too. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. (Well – not literally.)

Create a More Cohesive Instagram

Although my family and friends, who are not part of social media, laugh at this goal of mine- I know that my fellow Instagrammers will understand. 🙂 I get frustrated when I look at my feed and it’s all over the place. I am now, as of this week, focusing more on creating cohesive images for my Instagram account. The first step I have taken to implementing this plan is downloading VSCO; and already I am liking how my pictures are turning out. It is so nice to be able to edit outside of Instagram, and have complete control over the look of the picture before it is published.

Create More Artwork, and Practice, Practice, Practice!

I had really gotten out of the habit of putting my artwork as a priority. Don’t we always neglect the enjoyable things we love, that are not as “important” as the other things on our to-do lists? I have now set a goal for myself to create one painting each week. I am also going to sketch each day, and take one artistic photograph each day. I will probably fail at this goal, but at least by setting it, I will create more than I have been, and I will be intentional about it!

painting, setting creative goals for march and onwards

Exhibit at Art and Craft Shows

Going to those two Christmas sales has really given me the “sale” bug. I took part in one art show last weekend, and it was great! I didn’t sell as much as I was hoping for, but I did sell four photo prints, which was very nice. Also, because of the sale, I found out about a local library that has an area for artists to hang their work. I now have my pieces hanging up for the month of March and April- so who knows where that might lead? And, I have just found out about another art show in April and I am now planning for that one too. And of course, planning again for the next Christmas shows. It was a huge step for me to do that first show, and now I am so excited for all of these new ones coming up!

Create an Online Shop

You may have noticed that I have a “shop” tab in my blog header, but if you click on it, it only takes you to a page that says “coming soon”. 🙁 I was hoping to have set up a shop online by now, but I have run into some complications with that, and it hasn’t happened yet. My hope is to be able to start selling online this year, but it might be a while before that happens. This is one of those creative goals that I have not made much progress on so far, but I’ll keep chipping away at it. . .

Sew More

Considering that I love to wear clothes, you would think that I would be chomping at the bit to get more things sewn and into my wardrobe. However- I am a slow seamstress and I always seem to run into problems with my sewing which then takes up more time. . . Long story short- it takes a lot of time. But, I do have a lot of projects in the works, and I would like to finish them up. I think a goal of sewing a few hours a week is not too bad of a target. Maybe even one garment a month? Do you think I can do it? I guess we’ll find out. . .

Unplug More Often

I currently unplug on Sundays; as it is my Sabbath and day of rest. It is so nice to have one day a week where I don’t turn on my computer or browse through Instagram, and I think that doing this more often wouldn’t hurt either. I actually don’t need to post a new photo every day on Instagram. If I miss a blog post here and there, the world won’t fall apart. (I hope- haha!) I don’t need to see what every person I follow is doing every minute of the day. There actually is such a thing as too much inspiration. I want to do these things only because I want to, not because I feel the pressure to keep up. Last weekend I took a break over the weekend, since I was busy at the art show. I realized that I needed to be living in the moment; not wondering how many comments I needed to respond to! I am going to make a conscious effort to unplug this year, when necessary.

Well, those are my creative goals. Congratulations on making it to this point, because whew! I thought this was going to be a short post and it is a looooooong one.

So, do you set yearly goals for yourself? If so, what are your creative goals, or non creative goals for this year? How are you doing with them so far? And, are you excited about the coming Spring season?!

pincushion, setting creative goals for march and onwards, the artyologist

My Favourite Posts From the Last Year

I thought that since I was not organized enough to get together a round-up or year in review post for New Years, and also considering that I would have been one month short had I published such a post before now, I would share my favourite posts since I started blogging a year ago. When I looked at my blog stats, I was surprised to see some of the posts that came up as the most popular, although the #1 post is also one of my favourites too. So, without further ado, here are my top 12 posts from the past year, in case you missed them the first time around!

Oh, and ps: So sorry to everyone who was trying to leave comments in the past few days and having difficulties with the all caps situation going on there. Somehow, when I changed my blog format, I switched the comment form to all caps! It is fixed now, so you should have no more difficulties 🙂

Harem Pants: A Most Interesting and Scandalous History The Artyologist

Harem Pants: A Most Interesting and Scandalous History

This was one of the most fun posts to write, and it took me forever to gather all the facts and write it. There is so much more I could have said, but then I would have had to write a book, I suppose. 😉 This is the most popular post I’ve ever published; I’m still getting page views on it six months later.

vintage astra fur coat real fur collar closeup

Vintage Astra Fur

For some reason that is quite beyond me, this little post I wrote about my vintage Astra faux fur coat and advertisement has proven to be very popular as well, and I still get plenty of views on it too.

the artyologist image of vintage turbans zebra striped

The Lifesaving Powers of Vintage Turbans

This was another favourite post to write, although I look at the pictures now, and think that I could have done better. Oh, well. I am really looking forward to writing some more fashion history posts this year.

The Big Reveal: The Refashioners 2016 and Gertie's Butterick, full outfit, the artyologist

The Reveal: Refashioners 2016 & Gertie’s Butterick 5882

This was a project where my blog proved to be an accountability partner. As I had told the entire internet I was going to take part in this challenge, I had to do it! Unfortunately the weather turned cold right after this was sewn, so I haven’t had a chance to wear it out yet, except for these photos. It is waiting patiently for next summer, but this post has proven to be a rather popular one in the meantime.

Refashioning a 1980's dress into a 1940's pinafore the artyologist

Refashioning a 1980’s Dress into a 1940’s Pinafore / Dorothy and The Yellow Surrounded Road

I cheated here and have two posts for one! But, as they are both related you can go look at the pictures in one post and then see how it was constructed in the other.

feature image the artyologist

Are You a Flapper?

This was a different kind of post, as it was a costume rather than an actual outfit. It was fun to go all out and wear a completely 1920’s flapper outfit, which I probably wouldn’t wear out for real.

The Dress That Didn't Get Away- the artyologist

The Dress That Didn’t Get Away

I just like the fall colours in these photos and they were fun to take along a small back road.

Fashion Isn't About You, the artyologist

Fashion Isn’t About You

One of the more serious posts I’ve written, for Slow Fashion October, this outlines some of the reasons why I choose to shop and wear ethical fashion and why the effects of the cheap fashion industry should matter to us all.

Ready for Paul Poiret's 1,002 Night Ball The Artyologist

Ready for Poiret’s “One Thousand and Second Night”

Hands down, this was my personal favourite outfit post of the year. Not only do I like the 1910’s inspired outfit (which is a bit different of a style for me, and one that I am incorporating more and more into my wardrobe), but the photos were taken on the brink of a summer thunderstorm! We got the photos just in time to avoid a soaking downpour.

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

Vogue Does Fall Fashion

Here was another fun fashion post, inspired by Vogue. I tried to be a moody model, and it certainly looks that way. . . except for all the outtakes that I didn’t post 😉

image of holding lilacs and portrait the artyologist

Sundresses in the Rain

One of the first times I ever did a proper shoot of photos, not just quick snapshots, these were taken on one of the most beautiful days of Spring, right in between rain showers. The lilacs were absolutely stunning that day.

vintage vogue covers 1939 inspired portrait

Vintage Vogue Covers

One of my earliest posts, this hasn’t been a very popular one, but it was a lot of fun to do, and I like the mood of the photographs. (Also, look at my short hair!)

Thoughts On One Year of Blogging

thoughts on one year of blogging, the artyologist

Wow. It’s already been a year? In some ways it doesn’t seem like it was one year ago that I wrote that small little introductory post and pressed “publish”. And yet, in other ways it seems like forever ago. It feels like sometimes I can’t remember what it was like to not be blogging. In some ways it’s like there is “life before blogging” and “life after blogging”. 🙂 And it’s crazy to think how much has happened in the past year, and how much my blog has grown since the beginning too! Blogging definitely hasn’t turned out to be what I thought it would be like: it has turned out to be even better. I’ve learned a lot in the last year, so I thought that I would share a few of those things I’ve learned along the way.

1. I have become a lot bolder and confident in my style since I started blogging about it. Instead of wondering whether something is too “out there”, I go for it. I know what I like to wear, so I just wear it; instead of fearing the reactions of people around me (who by the way are very nice- I’ve never had a terrible vintage wearing experience like I know some people have!) It’s just my assumptions of what people will think of me, and that they will think I’m strange. Surprise! I am strange, so what am I worried about 😉 I’ve talked a bit about my vintage “journey” before, here and here so you know I haven’t always been so confident in what I wear. I’m still not always confident, but knowing that I am supported by a large vintage community of people who are also wearing the same kind of offbeat style, is so encouraging. I may not see you in my day-to-day life, or ever cross paths in real life with another vintage lover, but I know that you are out there, and I am not alone. And, because I am sharing my outfits here, it encourages me to try new things, sew new pieces, put together new ensembles, and generally keep me out of the rut of wearing the same old thing over and over again.

2. I should have started this blog years ago like I dreamed of, but never had the courage to. I was afraid of whether it would fail. And I haven’t failed. Yet. (haha!) I have all of you lovely readers who faithfully read what I have to say. This blog, and each of you, has given me the courage to try other things that I was afraid to do, like selling and showing my art and other crafts at several Christmas markets and art shows. (And, I am going to be starting up an online shop soon too, so stay tuned for that!)

3. I really enjoy writing and making things and taking pictures and dressing up. This blog has given me a bit of purpose, I suppose, for all of those things. I have a place to share what I’m doing, the photos I’m taking, the things I’m learning and the outfits I’m wearing. I love to write, but I hadn’t done much since leaving high school. Now I can write as much as I want, and I have a purpose for it. (Some of my favourite posts have been the ones where I had to research and really take the time to think it out and write, such as my post on the history of harem pants.) I love to dress up, and now I have a place to share those outfits I’m really proud of. I love photography, and now I have a reason to improve my skills, and somewhere to share the pictures. I love to sew, but am famous for starting and never finishing projects. I am terrible at procrastinating and putting off the things I truly enjoy, but having a blog has given me a reason to do those things that I already love to do, and the accountability to stay with it till the end. This blog has turned out to be a great creative outlet, and I really look forward to coming up with more to share with you all.

Thoughts on One Year of Blogging, the artyologist, line of shoes

4. I’ve made so many new friends since I started blogging. Instead of being on the outside of the internet community, I’m now smack dab in the middle of it. Before I started this blog, I would rarely leave comments or engage in the conversations I saw happening on the internet. But now, I realize how valuable comments and emails and participation actually are. I truly enjoy each comment that you dear readers leave, and I now love leaving comments on other people’s blogs too. Since starting this blog, I’ve met so many interesting people, (both online and in person), have written two guest posts (here and here) for some lovely fellow vintage bloggers, and have established a personal connection with many more. Each of you, my dear readers, I consider to be friends. You are the ones who make this fun for me, and I always look forward to what you have to say, in the comments and on your own blogs too.

5. Blogging is a lot more work than I thought it would be. I look back to my earliest posts, and I am not super proud of them. (So don’t go looking back at them, OK?) I didn’t really know what I was doing back then, but also I just wanted to quickly put a post together and publish it. I posted a lot, but those posts didn’t have much substance; I didn’t take the time to write something interesting or take good photographs. Fortunately, along the way, I made the decision to be more purposeful about what I post. I now take the time to take better photos, and write something useful. It now takes much more of my time, but I am much happier with the look and feel of my blog. I am always seeing areas that need improvement, but overall I am glad to be putting in the extra effort. The posts that I am most proud of, are the ones that took me the longest to write and put together. All things that are worthwhile take time, right?

6. Becoming a famous, full time blogger is probably not something that is going to happen to me. When I first started blogging, I looked at all the other bloggers out there, and thought it would be the same for me. I thought that once I had been doing this for a while, the sponsorships and collab posts would start pouring in. OK, well I didn’t think they’d start “pouring” in, but I did think I would get some notice, and that I would be able to make some money from blogging. As of now, I’ve gotten one email from a company, whose product didn’t fit very well with my style, or this blog, and so I turned it down. For a while I was kind of disappointed, but then I realized that it’s OK if I’m not a professional blogger. I don’t always remember to take pictures every time something noteworthy happens and sometimes those photos don’t turn out how I like, even if I do take them! I don’t dress up perfectly every day and plan the perfect outfit, and then make sure to post it to my social media. I can’t stay in a “niche” to save my life as I end up posting about any and everything I like. And, I realized, I don’t want to post only the things that will get followers and likes. I know there are practices that I could put in place to boost my readership and followers, but I don’t really want to feel boxed in like that. The result is that I don’t have a 100,000 page views and 20k followers on Instagram. That’s OK. Because I actually like my blog, and I look forward to posting. And I’ve realized that it’s OK if it remains a creative outlet, and never turns into a paying job someday.  (And besides, I’ve got all of you lovely followers here and on Instagram. What more could a girl want?)

7. After a year I realized that my blog direction has changed from what I initially thought it would be. I originally thought I would post a lot of artwork, some fashion and a bit of lifestyle thrown in for good measure. That order has changed a lot, as my main focus is now on fashion, and especially vintage. Fashion history, vintage style outfits, thoughts on ethical fashion and vintage “fashion moments” make up the majority of what I post. I haven’t posted a lot of my artwork, or photography, but I do like to dedicate a few posts solely to that creative pursuit. And as far as lifestyle goes, I hardly ever have anything to say about that. As you can see, I have now updated my blog style to reflect the changes. The watercolour header and bright colours didn’t really suit my style, and it had the appearance of being strictly an artwork blog- with no reference to the vintage aspect of the blog. So, I’ve changed a few things to reflect that more vintage focus, while still having a “homemade” and “artistic” look to it. I am not going to be changing what I post- I just think that this design reflects more clearly what I am already posting: the creative expressions of a girl looking at the world through vintage coloured glasses 🙂

old blog style, the artyologist

Whenever people change their blog format, I always think “Wait- what was it like before?!” So, now you can compare.

All in all, I see how much has changed in the past year, and I am very excited about where this next year will lead. I have lots of ideas for posts I am very excited to share with you all, and I am always learning ways in order to make this blog better. On that note: is there any feedback you have for me? What kinds of posts do you enjoy the most? What would you like to see more of?

So, on my one year of blogging anniversary, I thank each and every one of you dear readers who have been following along with my journey here, whether you’ve been here since the first post, or just started reading this week. And, if you’ve never left a comment before: please introduce yourself, I’d love to meet you!

Here’s to the year ahead!

Thoughts on One Year of Blogging, the artyologist, dresser

Craft Sale Recap

Craft Sale Recap, Table Display, the artyologist

Whew! As fun as that was, I am glad that the craft sale madness is over! Saturday (Dec. 3rd) was the last sale I was taking part in and I’m not too sorry, as I needed a little break from thinking, obsessing about it. I am definitely a “details” person, and I tend to be over-prepared for things, as being under-prepared stresses me out. But then being prepared stresses me too. . . there is no winning 😉 I spent a lot of time during the months of October and November crafting, and creating, and ordering, and planning and working out all the little details I needed to put in order for the craft sales. It was a great experience, but now I can put it to the side now, in order to focus on other things. . . like Christmas! I cannot believe that Christmas is less than three weeks away. By focusing on the sales, I kind of forgot that Christmas is almost here (despite the fact that they were Christmas craft sales!) I’ve also not posted here for a while as I’ve been so busy, (and am getting sick again now. Noo!! I just got over being sick)

I have shared a few pictures of the sale on instagram, but for those of you who don’t follow me there, here are some more pictures of the table set up. It was kind of hard to get a picture of the entire table, as both times there were other tables in the background, so I mostly have pictures of just the table top. My sister and I had a lot of fun coming up with our display, though we did end up changing it between the two sales.

Craft Sale Recap- the artyologist

One thing we learned at the first craft sale, is that people tend to look right at the top of your table and they don’t really look “up”. For the first table, we had placed my dress mannequin on the end of the table to display jewelry, but people didn’t notice it, as it was white, and it was vertical rather than horizontal. So, for the second sale, we used the suitcase, which was red and black and at eye level. That way people noticed it, and it showed off the jewelry rather nicely, while still giving us some vertical display space. Also, for some reason, people didn’t notice the things we had scattered in trays, so for the second sale, almost everything was placed simply on the table. Not as creative, but people noticed it and really that is all that mattered!

Also, we found it was really nice to have a variety of products. We were selling hair accessories, jewelry and artwork. We got a lot of men stopping by to look through my photography, and because of that a lot of their wives, daughters etc. would stop by too, to look at the jewelry, or vice versa. If we had been selling only the jewelry and hair stuff, we wouldn’t have had so many people stopping by 😉  I don’t know as though it made a different sales wise, but it was still great to meet so many people.

I was so glad that my sister first enquired about having a table at the local farmer’s market back in August. She asked me, after that first sale, whether I wanted to share a table with her, and so that is how I ended up selling at the market too. I have thought about selling at farmer’s markets and craft sales before, but for various reasons never ended up doing it. I was so glad that she decided to, as it was just the push that I needed! I was also really glad that she was there selling too, as it would be a loooong day by oneself. (Set was up at 8:30am and take down was at 4:00pm for the one sale) It wasn’t the best sales wise, but it was a lovely community event and we met so many people. Also, we spoke with a few people who expressed interest in us showing our work in April at the art show. I didn’t even know there was a local art show!  Getting such good feedback on our work was such an encouragement, and now I am really looking forward to the new year and perhaps exhibiting at a few art shows. It will be a different audience (of people looking for artwork, not baking!) so I think that it may go better.

So, there are my few thoughts on what it was like to be a part of the sales. It was definitely a learning experience, but I really enjoyed it, and I think that I am going to actively start looking out for more local shows in the future as well. Do you like to shop at Christmas sales? Have you ever sold at a craft sale before? If you have sold at a craft sale before, do you have any clever display ideas?

Ps. I would also like to say “Hello and Welcome” to anyone who has found my blog from the sales last week! I’m so glad you are here! 

Craft Sale table display, the artyologist

Craft Sale table top, the artyologist

craft sale table display, the artyologist

craft sale recap, display, the artyologist

Craft Sale, table top display, the artyologist