Woo, Happy New Year! 2008 was a pretty big year for me but I am still excited to see what 2009 brings. I thought I’d do a little run through of what I got up to but it has turned rather epic. I hope you will forgive my self-indulgence.
I have to say the very best thing about Flickr is being able to browse through your year and remember what you did. Especially since one tends not to take photos of the rubbish stuff that happens so it is all FUN. Enjoy!
My abiding memories of the festive season of 2007/2008 are of frantically making stuff for an exhibition in Falkirk. I thought I was probably the only person stupid enough to agree to such a proposal but it actually was popular enough that it got extended til the end of February. I made a selection of Japanese fabric purses and washi notebooks with matching badges and made my sister help make badges while she was visiting. I delivered the stuff to Falkirk on a freezing cold day and was fairly convinced I’d be eaten by wolves or have to build myself an igloo before I’d get back to Glasgow. I did find an M carved in a tree though.
February was my last month working at the evil internet company where I had been working for nearly 5 years. My first attempt at a career and it really wasn’t working out as I felt my skills were being ignored and my creativity wasted on designing endless web pages about dedicated servers. I also hated having to wait TWO WHOLE DAYS to be able to download the new episodes of LOST. The second photo is me having a last walk around the woods that surrounded my workplace, one of the few good things about its location in the middle of nowhere.
Above are me and Claire’s feet as we wait several billion hours in the freezing cold for the ‘every ten minutes or better’ FirstBus home. One only has to mention the word FirstBus to send me into a gibbering rage. Definitely the thing I have missed the least. On my last day at work, I discovered they did actually appreciate me a bit, as I received a huge sum of Amazon gift vouchers, a first edition book of Japanese prints and some very nice farewell wishes. Either way, I haven’t regretted leaving for a second!
My first week of self-employment brought SNOW which was thrilling. I got stuck into fun stuff straight away and made myself a dress from an IKEA pillowcase. I still wear it on a weekly basis.
I also got going on my To Do list which included framing all the lovely prints I own and organising my room better for working. Claire left for Bangkok and made Angel Bunny cry. I still can’t look at that picture without wanting to blub.
I opened shop on Etsy and got my hair cut in honour of my birthday. Little did I know this would be my final haircut of 2008 as I couldn’t justify my expensive hairdresser in self-employment and didn’t trust anyone else. Luckily it was such an awesome haircut that it grew out perfectly. I really want it cut though.
After 2007’s non-event birthday, I went Up North to see my family instead. I got my favourite caramel cake, went charity shopping all over the North East and got caught up in the biggest snowfall in ages. Blizzards ahoy!
In April, my old friend Stu came up for work things. We decided to do as many stereotypically Scottish things as possible which included going to Edinburgh Castle, visiting a sword shop, eating haggis, drinking Irn Bru, buying tablet at the Barras and eating haggis pizza. Crivvens. Most other days were spent with my new best friend – the bloke who works at the Royal Mail delivery office. By mid-March they were no longer asking me for ID.
Creativity abounded and I did some proper multi colour gocco printing and drew some of my vintage buttons.
In May, I invented the book heart bookmark with no idea that I’d be making another 200 of them by the end of the year. I got caught out by the Shopify team for saying I’d like to bake them a cake and thus created Cakeify who now lives happily in the Shopify office. He must have spoken highly of me as they later asked me to design the Prettify theme.
In May, I went on holiday. First stop was London to visit my sister during some of the sunniest days of the year. I fulfilled a lifetime ambition of going to Kew Gardens and we even went there by river boat. We also took a nice walk on the South Bank.
While down south I popped up to Oxford to see Alice, Simon and Stu and we all went to All Tomorrow’s Parties at Minehead Butlins. Lots of my diskant buddies were there and we spent more time on the beach trying to find razorfish and holed up in Greg Kitten’s chalet watching LOST than actually watching bands. I did find some time to help Stu interview Battles and have chats about Being An Artist with my old friend Conrad Keely. Good times. We also took a detour to the Bakelite Museum which was amazing.
Not much happened in June. I mostly just worked on stuff, finally getting my button drawings gocco printed on to bags. I also did a craft fair up the road in Dennistoun and made tons of money. At the end of June, I jetted off to Thailand to visit Claire before she returned home.
I spent just over a week in Thailand with Claire and we managed to see lots of sights, eat lots of exciting food and do tons of shopping. Everyone wondered how I would handle the heat and the answer was ‘not well’. At one point, on a day trip to Ayutthaya, the heat was so bad we preferred to sit in a van watching appalling and out of sync Thai pop music on DVD rather than see any more buddhas. Our hilarious tour guide did manage to drag us round some amazing places though and we can laugh about it now, maybe.
We also had a lovely relaxing time at the Rabbit Resort where we basically spent 3 days sitting in that pool. I also finally got to meet Mr Bun!
I returned to Glasgow to find the fabric I had printed with Spoonflower which turned out perfectly. I also returned with a horrific cold and spent the rest of the month recovering, whilst frantically trying to organise a 10 year anniversary party for my other website diskant. I called in favours from all and sundry in order to have the world’s first Indie Tombola and the prizes soon came flooding in. I also set up shop on Folksy.
08/08/08 saw the diskant party actually happen (the previous diskant gig was on 02/02/02) and be a success, hurrah! The indie tombola was hugely popular, Findo Gask were awesome and Alice and Sunnyvale drove all the way up to Glasgow for less than 24 hours.
August ended with not one but TWO appearances on the Etsy front page in quick succession. Pretty much considered the holy grail for Etsy sellers, it didn’t actually make that much of a difference to me but it was lovely to see and certainly raised my profile a little.
While jetlagged and sick from Thailand trip, I got up in the middle of the night and jotted down some notes which basically said “SUPER CUTE KAWAII. Your daily dose of handmade cuteness and Japanese kawaii. Bunny and panda WITH NECKERCHIEFS” and then went back to sleep (srsly, I am not making this up!). Me and Claire had been planning a blog of cute finds for ages so once the diskant party was out of the way, I quickly designed up the blog and we launched our new site. It quickly racked up a ton of cute loving readers and we followed it with a shop soon after. I also found the time to meet one of my heroes Bill Drummond again for on his book tour for 17.
Nearly 12 months on, I finally wrote up my Tokyo travel zine and made a printed copy of my shopping guide. I was re-invigorated with my love of zine making and have lots more in the planning stages. I also got my stall setup organised and ready for the Christmas season including some awesome new Moo cards.
The joys of being self-employed meant I had all my Christmas products designed and printed by October, a big change from my usual last minute scrabblings. I also did some rubbish craft fairs and spent an absolute fortune in preparation for festive sales.
I helped organise an exhibition with the Glasgow Craft Mafia and Ricefield called Box of Delights which was incredibly hard work but really fun and interesting. We had a box decorating party at the gallery and everyone’s boxes turned out brilliantly. I had a real feeling of achievement when I saw the finished exhibition and hope to do some more things with galleries in future.
December saw Folksy launch their Makes section so I helped test it with a book heart tutorial, hoping this would slow the deluge of orders. It didn’t, but led to some interesting discussions about sharing skills and copying. I did a bazillion craft fairs, often sharing with Miso Funky, and had a fairly profitable time of it.
I didn’t have much money for Christmas gifts but my friends took no heed and bought me my dream bunny vase, proof that if you go on about something enough someone will buy it for you! And the final photo is not by me, but taken by my mother. It deserves rule breaking though as it shows me opening presents with my family, something I haven’t done for years due to having to work. I had a lovely relaxing holiday and did nothing but play Picross on my DS, watch TV and eat. Hope you had a good year too!