2014: Taking my Weaving to the Next Step

This past year (2013) was an adventurous one for me:
I moved from Western New York to the Southern Adirondacks.

Rupert and I amongst the mountain of boxes in our last apartment.
Rupert and I amongst the mountain of boxes in our last apartment.

I finally set up my weaving business. And within a few months, got connected to a local mill and I have been weaving throws for farmers in my community.

The very first order of blankets that I completed.
The very first order of blankets that I completed.

I received an amazing gift of an AVL loom.

Eric and I connecting up the Dobby head to the AVL.
Eric and I connecting up the Dobby head to the AVL.

I went to the New England Weavers Seminar and met one of my weaving idols, Margo Selby.

Margo Selby and myself at NEWS
Margo Selby and myself at NEWS

I made great connections and friends at a small business class.
I was offered the opportunity to teach weaving at the Adirondack Folk School, and I will be offering classes throughout the year in 2014.

Giving a presentation of my work and ideas at the Adirondack Folk School.
Giving a presentation of my work and ideas at the Adirondack Folk School.

My husband and I took the leap, and moved out of our apartment into our very own home.

Eric and I on the porch of our awesome new house!
Eric and I on the porch of our awesome new house!

We also adopted a puppy. He is a Black Lab Mix (with what? We don’t know) and his name is Rutherford. 

Rutherford's first day as being a member of our family.
Rutherford’s first day as being a member of our family.

I learned how to move on and grow from my mistakes. I learned what I really needed to be keeping track of as I work for other people. And I also learned that I get EXTREME satisfaction from weaving something that someone has worked incredibly hard to achieve. Case in Point: the night before Christmas Eve I made the warp, dressed the loom, and stayed up all night long weaving and washing a blanket so that it could be delivered on Christmas Eve to a customer. I delivered it in person and she was so happy that she embraced me in a huge hug. Come to find, this was a present to her husband from her and her sheep and was the only present that she was giving him this year. It was AMAZING.

So what does that mean for this year? Well- I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t set high expectations for myself. I have a few goals for myself that I would like to achieve this year. They are doozies but I think it will be well worth it:

  1. Make time for art.
    I have been producing fine weavings for my clients all year, and I want to be able to leave some time in my life to make a couple art pieces. I have in my mind a few really big ones that I could weave this winter and dye during the summer. Or even just doing little painted sketches at night to get my creative ideas flowing.
  2. Follow up on some awesome opportunities I was offered last year and actually execute.
    Last year I submitted Comfortcloth Weaving to the Martha Stewart American Craft Competition- I did not win… anything. But it got my name out to some awesome websites that carry fine craftsmanship, who wanted to carry my stuff. At the time I received this information I was so deep into client orders that I had no time to design and execute my own line of throws. This year I am going to be working on building up my own stock of designs to sell through other sites and my own.
  3. Enter a Craft Show.
    This will really be for entering a craft show for 2015. I want to build stock, get my own design sensibility and design a booth so that if I did get into a show, my booth would be ready to rock!

I still want to work on getting my Certificate of Excellence from the Hand Weavers Guild of America, but it is going to have to be a much slower pace then I intended it to be- seeing as my small plate is already over flowing.

What are your craft ambitions for this new year? Do you want to learn something new? Do you want to take a huge leap into something you have never done before? Let me know! And I hope that this year will be filled with learning and creativity for all!

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