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Welcome to 2011!

Happy 2011! These inspiring flags were at Kip and Brian's wedding in 2010.

Since it’s a new year, it’s time for my annual look at the past year and the year to come. The past few months have been so busy I’ve sort of vanished from this blog entirely. Makes me sad. But maybe this annual tradition will get me back in the swing of things. Every year I reflect on the past year, look at how I did with my goals and set new goals for the coming year. You can see the past 5 years here:


Window display in Wicker Park Chicago, 2010.

2010 was a great year. The biggest and most spectacular thing that happened was buying our first house!

Other highlights of the year were (in no particular order):
• Joining the Lady Rogue Business Network and going to monthly gatherings.
• Participating in a self-portrait art show at Mint Gallery.
• Making crafts with my friends Becky and Ally to get ready for the LOST premiere in January and then watching every week with our crew at Becky’s house, including a party for the finale.
• Watching Project Runway at my friend Jeanee’s house, which included fancy cocktails each week.
• I turned 33.
• I gave up beer for Lent.
• We celebrated 10 years of knowing each other in May and 8 years of marriage in November….ahhhh, true love!
• I hung out with my friend Ally 42 times. Though the goal was 51, I still think we’re winners!
• My brother turned 21…and we’ve gone out for drinks several times.
• We got a new computer.
• Then we got Netflix, which is so awesome.
• Completed 6 years at my job.
• I went to a fun bachelorette weekend for my friend Kip and then the best wedding I’ve ever been to (except mine for obvious reasons) for Kip and Brian. I’d never been to a wedding where I felt equally close to the bride and groom and it’s amazing how much that upped the emotional-ness of the occasion.
• Celebrated 20 years of friendship with my friend Margaret.
• Got to see my high school friend Sydney, who I hadn’t seen in years.
Craftily speaking….
• I got my logo and packaging redesigned by Tweet Design.
• I participated in Renegade Brooklyn and Chicago and Crafty Bastards, thus reaching my goal from 2009 of doing 3 big out of town shows.
• Joined the beehive in Atlanta.
• Attended the Summit of Awesome in Portland (my first trip to Portland!). I taught screen-printing, gave a talk on event sponsorship with Kim of Hello Craft and sold my creations at the Show of Awesome. I traveled with Becky and got to stay with Cathy and had so much fun! Cathy and I saw each other a record number of times this year (Brooklyn, Chicago, DC and Portland!).
• I was voted Best Indie Crafter by Creative Loafing readers along with Becky. And ICE was voted runner-up for Best Local Place to Buy Indie Crafts, with our pals from Young Blood winning in that category.
• We organized yet another successful Indie Craft Experience (this was number 11)
• Last but certainly not least, we produced the very first ICE Pop-Up Shop. It was hosted by the Alliance Theatre and located in the Woodruff Arts Center. We opened the day after Thanksgiving and closed December 30. It was amazing, difficult, extremely educational, exhausting and wonderful! I felt so honored to represent 100 artists and to introduce a new crowd to handcrafted. This was the 2nd biggest deal of the year!

It was really a great year. The worst thing that happened was I got majorly hacked. I lost all of my contacts and every single email in my inbox, sent and folders for two email accounts. I lost some writings from my Google Docs and lost my Facebook account. This was particularly sad because the Indie Craft Experience page was deleted, and we had just gotten up to 1,200 “likes”…hours of time and tons of effort lost. We’ll rebuild slowly but it makes me sad…please “like” us again!

Me, NYE, 2011.

Ok so let’s see how I did with my goals for 2010:

* Buy a House – Yup!
* Debt – Kept working on this and made major headway.
* Loose Weight – Big fail. I may have even gained weight.
* A Better abardis.com – Nope, didn’t really work on this.
* New a bardis Designs – Yes, I created some new designs close to the end of the year.
* a bardis – Worked really hard on this with the 3 big out of town shows, beehive and Summit of Awesome.
* Write More – Didn’t do great here.
* An Orderly Home – Well…no. Instead we put all our belongings into boxes and moved!
* Freelance Public Relations – Still pondering.
* Make Me a Bigger Priority – It’s hard to say if I was successful at this or not. I do think I was much better at staying organized and working ahead and anticipating what was coming up. I worked harder at keeping things from getting waaaaay out of control and let myself rest when I needed to.

Us, New Years Day, 2011.

For 2011.

* Focus on the house – I looove my house and I really want to make it a wonderful place. I’ve been horrible the past few years about purging. I really thought that would happen when we moved but everything happened so quickly that there was only time to pack everything up. Part of making my house a home will be taking the time to purge and organize. The house needs work and we are doing what we can ourselves, like painting and ripping out carpet, but we’re going to have to hire people for some of the bigger items so I know being frugal and saving up to have these things done is key. And as we go room to room there is definitely furniture that we really need to buy. This all means being patient. In the meantime, I can’t wait to get our art collection up on the walls.
* Debt – I really think 2011 might be the home stretch. If not, then maybe 2012. I’ve been in debt since I was 19 years old and I can’t even imagine what it must feel like not to have that burden. We’ve also started saving money and, though it is a very small amount, I’m very proud of what we’ve managed to save recently.
* Loose Weight – I’m joining a gym in my neighborhood. They gave us a trial week in August and I went every day but I never joined because I was entering the insanity that is fall craft season. Davis joined and did really well and I think if I start going regularly this time of year, I’ll make a habit of it before fall rolls around. I’ve got to start packing my lunch regularly. It occurred to me yesterday that I always look at packing my lunch as a way to save money, but paying for lunch is so much cheaper than paying for dinner out so sometimes I slack on this. My major revelation yesterday was how unhealthy buying my lunch is…duh. It’s cheaper than dinner out but horrible for me.
* Write More – How can something I love so much be so low on the priority list sometimes? I think I haven’t been making this easy enough for myself. Have you ever looked at how much something costs and thought, “I could never buy that, it’s too expensive”? I’m starting to realize that there are things I thought I could never afford, but I probably can now if I plan for it. My point, why don’t I own Microsoft Office? I need Word. There are other options and maybe I should even be able to write great pieces with pen and paper, but I think I’ve reached a point where I really need this tool to move forward. I looked it up the other day and it doesn’t even cost that much (if I save a little). Not related to writing, but I do still have in my mind that I could never afford the Adobe Creative Suite, but maybe I’m wrong and I’ll be able to buy it some day. So this year, I’m going to write more because I’m buying myself some software. In related news, I’ve started a new blog called Created Treats. It doesn’t involve much writing, it’s a portfolio featuring my favorite hand crafted items, but my goal is to post every day. And that is going to help me get in the habit of writing more.
* a bardis – My plan for this year is to apply to Renegade Chicago and Crafty Bastards and to hopefully be involved with the Summit of Awesome again. That’s enough traveling for this year. I’d like to concentrate on making new products. I think in the past I’ve focused only on items that could be easily produced in large quantities because I was always getting ready for shows. This year, I’d like to make some things in smaller batches for selling online and at beehive.
* Indie Craft Experience – We had a great year! And a lot in store for next year. I plan to continue working really hard. I’ve invested so much in this project and want to take it to the next level. I’ve never invested so much time, energy, hard work, emotions, skills and creativity to anything. Ever. Maybe college. No, not even college.
* Have people over to my house – We never had people over much to our apartment. It was tiny. It was always a bad temperature (hot in summer, freezing in winter). It just wasn’t too ideal for entertaining. I’ve fallen into this rut of NEVER INVITING PEOPLE OVER. It’s almost like a thing now. Like I’ve waited too long, I want things to be perfect when I do finally invite people over…I really need to get past this. For real.

Window display in Wicker Park, Chicago, 2010.

That’s that. My goals for 2011. Wish me luck!
I hope this year is wonderful for you. Full of joy and good times.
Take this time in January to start fresh, get motivated, decide what you want to do with the year and make it happen.
xoxo, Christy

Downtown ATL, 2010.