Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A return

Heidi-ho folks!
Long time no see. Last year was just horrible for me, and, not being able to face writing about the horrible, I stopped blogging. However, looking back I’m finding it hard to remember the good and I’ve realised I really miss blogging. Yes, I have less time now than I did a year ago, but my life is also moving more interestingly and I feel the need to capture it better. So, here I am, making a return after a year of silence!

My year started out pretty terribly as my Nan, who I was very close to, died suddenly in January. That was a pretty bad time, as I helped my mum arrange the funeral and tried to find some way to comfort my Grandad, who’d been with her for 70 years.Things continued on a similarly depressing theme when in early March, my husband was run over by a van when crossing the road. Thankfully, he’s made an almost complete recovery, but in the early days my life was turned upside down as we waited to see what the damage would be. He very nearly lost a leg, but thanks to being close in the region’s trauma unit with some of the finest surgeons just happening to specialise in his specific injury, he’s now walking and just about able to run again. I spent about 5 months nursing him while he was bed bound and the stress and work involved set of my CFS, leaving me barely able to get us 3 instant meals a day. So basically I missed the first half of the year!

The rest of the year though, was ok. In November we spent a long weekend in Paris, my first real holiday in 3 years! 
We also redecorated the whole of the downstairs - plastering, carpets, painting, new doors, everything! There are a few tiny finishing touches to do, and we had a very minimal Christmas due to the workmen being in the house right up the Christmas eve, but it looks so much better now, it’s changed the whole feeling of the house!
I also finished my History A-Level with a B grade, and I’m thrilled to have done so well amidst the chaos I was in! I’ve taken courses in millinery, jean and shirt construction and got a college certificate in Fashion design.
I’ve started volunteering in a school, helping a group of 16 year olds to put on an event to raise funds for a local homeless shelter, which has been a huge amount of fun.
In December we adopted a new cat too (our third now!). Oscar was a stray with a bad flea allergy and was in a pretty sorry state when they found him. He’s settled in brilliantly though, and he’s now a purry, demanding lap cat!

Finally, the biggest change has been my sewing. I went part time in my office job early in the year and have used the time to start a small businesses sewing historical costumes for roleplayers and reenactors. My work has grown steadily and I was asked to help out in the design of a new game, Empire, for which I’ve now written guides to the different costumes you can wear and dressed people for a photoshoot and a video trailer for the game. 
As well as being really satisfying, it’s boosted my exposure in the right communities and I’ve had a huge amount of business through it. As a result I’m booked up for work till April and have been asked to speak at a convention in July! I’m really hopeful that things will progress like this for the rest of the year and that at some point I’ll be able to do this full time!

I’ve been able to really push myself with my sewing too. I’ve self drafted a corset, reproduced 2 different garments by taking a pattern from the finished items, reproduced a 1940s dress by drafting my own pattern based on photos,and am currently working on a full Georgian outfit, stays to hat, for a costume ball in April.

I’ve spent most of the time I’m sewing feeling hopelessly out of my depth and in a near constant state of panic that I’ve forgotten or messed something up, I’ve learnt a lot of lessons too, some of them pretty harsh, but I feel positive about it all. I’m trying to push myself further this year, by spending 2 hours a week working through the many sewing books I have. I’ve started with the basic ones and am working through to the couture and tailoring type books. I use most of my sewing books by flicking to the relevant part and skim reading to find out how to do a specific technique - now I’m stopping to read about why, as well as how, and taking in the recommendations on fabric, thread and machine settings! It’s already been helpful as I’ve been reminded of the best way to do some of the basics and picked up lots of new tips and tricks.
I’m cautiously optimistic about this year and looking forwards to getting back into the blogosphere. I really hope your 2012s were positive overall, here’s to 2013, when all our dreams come true!