a year in review

20thirteenthis time last year I looked back on the year in an effort to build on my momentum and set some guidelines to keep moving in the right direction. it's been interesting to look at that post throughout the year and very helpful to hold myself accountable and pivot when necessary. I'm more of a 'be thankful and reflect' kind of person than a resolution maker so here goes another 'year in review' ... january - my plan was to sort out my shop and figure out the bigcartel plugin so it would sit on my site rather than send you away with a different. this shop stuff has been at a standstill for the entire year and I'm pretty disappointed. the other half of my plan was to fix my landing page and that was a success. I did spend a lot of time working on sorting out my ideal client which are exercises I highly recommend for anyone with a business. I also signed on to my friend kelly's #craftup campaign in an effort to curb random/binge craft supply buying. I'm very proud of my lack of spending but I only used up/created a few things.

  • 2014: figure out the bigcartel woo commerce plugin to sit on my site rather than send you elsewhere and also customize it so it reflects my brand. to keep my business growing I need to really work on the shop and make the blog more of a side dish rather than the main course. the number one thing standing in my way is sorting out my elizabethcraneswartz.com url and it's written in sharpie on my calendar. IT WILL HAPPEN. also - make more stuff. the kind that's just for fun, the one-offs and experiments can sometimes be the most successful.

february - I mentioned getting my DSLR fixed and using it more so I sent it off to Canon for a once-over and they said it was perfectly fine. which I find really hard to believe and/or I apparently don't know how to use it correctly. which makes me sad. I did use it a lot in the fall at the girls' field hockey games and it was okay but as soon as I try to use it indoors it sucks. I made the new erin necklace and then she met her namesake which was so much fun.

  • 2014: my friend janee is thinking about teaching a 'how to use your DSLR' class and I plan to sign up. her product shots are outstanding so this is something I will absolutely be signing up for and then I, too, will have kickass product photos for the aforementioned shop/plugin update.

march - I vowed to curate the environment I’d like to be in and to really contribute which is one the things I am most thankful for this year - my virtual community that I pushed into real life - finding likeminded, creative and diverse friends is so rewarding. another big deal was signing up for jess lively's business with intention workshop (PS that's my arm in her photo on the site) and the realization that I needed to really invest in myself, go back to using my name instead of seagrass studio and really follow through. thinking is great, doing is better. march also marked the first of several great work boondoggles and one of my most popular posts to date - mountain chic attire. who knew?

  • 2014: "start and finish the online Illustrator class I signed up for in November (2012)" - this never happened last year but I am determined to conquer my new InDesign skillshare class. I put it out there and a few other friends have signed up so it feels more like an actual class and we're counting on each other for moral support. I've been putting off new elizabeth crane swartz business cards until the URL change happens but screw it - I'm ordering them as soon as moo.com has a coupon. (because that's how I roll...) I'd really like to be able to be the person offering help instead of needing help - I think this is the year. this is the year of DO and MAKE

april - I wanted to carve out more studio time but when I look at the year as a whole, that didn't really happen. I committed to a show in july and once again, I found myself scrambling as the date approached. this was also the first time I joined smita and new friends for the jason wu lecture at the ICA and I definitely made a concerted effort to sign up for things that interest me and meet up in real life with multiple museum trips and drinks. everything's better with drinks.

  • 2014: I've got an actual TO DO list for the blog/shop/products with a realistic timeline (I hope) and I think studio/painting time will fall into place. I've learned that just because I've got a free evening doesn't mean the creative juices are flowing but it does mean more time to look for inspiration and try new things. I've been much gentler on myself - you should try it, too

may - here's where I told myself I was going to get my work into an actual store. it didn't happen but that's OK. jess lively helped me understand the pros and cons with retail/wholesale and that I'm not ready for that yet.

  • 2014: jess helped me see that getting a newsletter out to my ideal client is where I should focus a lot of my energy. I've taken a few small steps to get there but as soon as this URL thing is set up I can set it free. the big challenge this year will be getting subscribers - my ideal client isn't on facebook, twitter or instagram but she is online and reading her email.

june - last year I wrote that I need to answer the questions "why do I blog? and what do I blog about?" but looking back, I had that answer all along - to help create a story behind my jewelry. I do it for me. I went to Alt NYC again last june and met up with justin hackworth for a photo session and I really feel that marked a turning point for me. I am more confident, I am more outgoing and I feel like I truly have a place in the blogosphere (ugh, I really dislike that word). there's room enough for everyone.

  • 2014: this is sort of a part two to what I wrote for march 2014 (above) - I'd like to do more cheerleading. I know so many talented and kickass bloggers, artists, creators, do-ers. I'm planning to make sure I get the word out for them (ahem, studio hannafin...)

july - was all about family and summer fun and it was the very start of my lookbook idea which finally came true last month! I'm waiting for the photos but I can already see what I'd like to add to make the next one better and I can't wait to put this one together (hence the indesign skillshare class)

  • 2014: I would love to put together two or three lookbook parties next year and find creative ways to include these talented people I was talking about. I can already see the spring colors and designs in my head...

august - I spent the whole month wrestling with my blackberries and I had more fun than I realized I could have in the kitchen. oh, and buzzfeed included my knitting font in their 'life changing free fonts' roundup which lead to the most hits on my little blog in one day. I also said goodbye to all three of my children as they headed off to school and it was much harder than I thought. honestly, the only way I know how to describe it is a postpartum depression. I was miserable well into october.

  • 2014: the kids leaving won't be as devastating as last summer (fingers crossed) so I'm looking forward to not losing momentum or time or mojo. I've been saying I would add lowercase letters to the knitting font so I'll try to make that happen.

september - see above. I get sad just thinking about that time. a highlight was traveling to california for a long weekend with college friends. it was just the change of scenery I needed and there's something about being with people that knew you 'when' that helps the real you shine through.

  • 2014: I don't have any gems here.  I think at this point in the year I'll slow down a bit, take a good look at what's going on and see what needs working on.

october - I still wasn't feeling like myself but I did start to put myself out there. Bob was traveling every week and it got really lonely at home. getting together with friends and making plans really helped me get back in the groove. I also took advantage of the empty house and joined Bob on a few business trips (#worktripcrasher)

  • 2014: I'd love to join Bob as often as I can this year - there's something about seeing new cities, drinking at 2:00pm and losing yourself in a book that feels really good. I'm hoping to take more pictures, too and think it might be fun to rent a fabulous camera now and again. I know they say it doesn't really matter which camera  you use but after trying a VERY nice camera for the lookbook I think I could use all the fancy help I can get.

november - was just plain fun. so many great events and get-togethers with boston bloggers and I am forever grateful for their help in planning my lookbook shindig. I've said it before and I'll say it again - there are some seriously talented and very generous women in this city.

  • 2014: selfishly, my plan is stick close to these women and continue to be inspired. if I can give back even a tenth of what I get from them then I'll feel a little better.

december - I'm not sure I can sum this month up. partly because it flew by in a blur and partly because it still feels like november 17 to me but this december was a particularly quick month.

  • 2014: SLOW DOWN. I can't stand that feeling of 'I don't have enough time' which happens far too often. I'm a grade A procrastinator and while I don't see that changing any time soon, I am very hopeful that I can get better not putting off ALL the things. I'm hoping to tick off the little tasks as soon as I can so I can spend more time on the bigger ideas. reasonable, right?

thank you for following along this year (and for reading this ridiculously long and photo-less post). I am forever grateful for your support and your comments. I know I said I do this for me but having an audience sure is fun. what about you? do have resolutions or goals or roundups? I'd love to read - post a link in the comments!

cheers to you in 2014!!