Friday, 1 January 2016

2015: A Year in Review


Looking back at blogging in 2015

It's been a long year. Unfortunately, my blog has suffered the effects of multiple hiatuses. I know that I have lost a few followers somewhere along the lines, and that's too bad, but I'm back now and I have many great plans for 2016 in store. How many of my plans will come to fruition? I can never be too sure... I will have to undergo another, and very costly, surgery in the springtime. It will put a lag on things. : / Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that my blog will be back to normal in the new year.


Working on the blog

For what I did accomplish this year in blogging, I'm satisfied. I would have liked to write more, but I did put out some interesting posts, I had fun making more mood boards, and I experimented with my content. I've learned some solid lessons along the way. For starters... unless your blog is about Cosplay or Lolita, you probably shouldn't bother writing about either topic because it will skew your blog statistics lol. I had intended on writing this "year in review" post in the same format as last year's, but because my statistics have been ruined by people searching for Bodyline and Lolita reviews, as well as people looking for Cosplay tutorials, I can't compile a "top three posts" list!

Last year my number one visited post was Natural Goth and this year it's Simplicity Produces Alternative Sewing Patterns. I can't tell why this post has reached number one, it could be because people want to see more alternative sewing patterns, or it's because I featured some popular Cosplay patterns in the post. I can only ever speculate what drives up my ratings. Throughout 2015, I would occasionally check what my visitors were searching for and the results were predictable. My biggest hits were Arkivestry, Face Off, Bodyline and Cosplay. That's certainly not what I was hoping for but I understand it. It just serves as a reminder for me that I need to stay on track with my blogging content. I want to have more diverse content, but I think I need to keep it more relative to what Bien Aimée is actually about. For the new year, I would like to set small, achievable blogging goals, and to deliver quality and cohesive content.



What was my favorite post of the year?

This was a tough choice for me. I have had a few posts this year that I truly enjoyed writing. Other posts were more forgettable. My hands down favorite post (that I keep returning to) is Cookies and Cream. Perhaps it's the colour palette that I'm revisiting over and over again? It's strangely feminine and mysterious. I would like to carry this style into the new year and incorporate it into my wardrobe.

Blogging improvements

These are some of my blogging related plans for the new year:
  • Pre-write more posts. At one point I was actually writing posts in advance so I could post them at later dates. Pre-writing is very useful if you tend to have long periods of work or study, and you can't get around to posting on a consistent basis. Some of the posts I've published in recent months have been sitting in my drafts for ages! I will continue to do this, especially given that my work contract could resume and my surgery will put me off of blogging for awhile.
  • Sew more. Duh! I had said I wanted to do that last year. Looking back, I did sew more than the year before. Technically I accomplished what I said I would. However, I didn't sew the things that I thought I would. This year I'd like to keep the projects more cohesive. I have ordered up a handful of sewing patterns which I want to use for making Alt/Goth stuff. I have to make a lot of new wardrobe items because so much of my clothing had to be purged due to weight gain. Can you believe I never finished that bustier I was sewing back in the spring last year? Except now I'm chunky so I can't wear it. : / Maybe I'll be able to fix that up and you'll see a review for it sometime in 2016.
  • Take more photos. I said this last year and it didn't truly happen. Now I own a DSLR myself, not a great one, but it's a step up from my old point and click camera. I'd like to take more photos for the new year. I used to adore photography and would snap photos of almost anything. Sadly I lost most of my student work, except a few rare pieces (see below). 
  • Create new content for the blog. I'd like to add more unique content to the blog. I had been planning on more helpful tips posts, but it didn't quite happen. I had also planned on lifestyle stuff, which I would like to continue working on. It's just things are...different lol. Not knowing what's going on with my living situation is the biggest issue right now. I'll have to overcome that first.
  • Overhaul the sewing room. My sewing room has featured some run down, beat up furniture in the past. I have purchased chalk paint and I'm going to paint the sewing desk, I will paint or replace the hardware on the desk, and paint the new half moon table. Potentially I'll be replacing the corner bookshelf and creating an all new cabinet to store my sewing machines in. That's a lot of stuff, but it's going to help make my sewing room more functional as well as look more mature and cleanly. It already looks better here, I just hope things work out and I can keep it, or that the next house we live in is the same, if not better!
  • Continue developing and refining my brand. I started this last year and got about halfway, then I gave up. I need to continue this. It's not a marketing thing for me as much as it is about making my blog look nicer and easier to use. Even I have trouble looking at and navigating my own blog sometimes lol.
See you in hell, old point and click canon!!!


My personal resolutions:

These are always tough for me. I am a procrastinator and I often dream of living better but seldom commit to my plans. I want to change this year. I want to reflect more on my actions and behaviors and improve myself. I want to learn more and experience more. Here are my major goals for 2016:

  • Sew more, make more art, live more. I felt as though last year I didn't accomplish much but somehow a whole year passed me by (?). That's a scary thought for me, because I don't like the idea of wasting time. I wasted far too much time in my youth and I absolutely will not allow that to happen again. This means I have to be more goal oriented and focused for the future. So instead of day dreaming about what I could do, I should just do it. I might need to make a schedule to keep me on track. That being said, I would like to focus more on my artwork and finish projects that I had planned before. During my time at the factory I became painfully aware of the fact that I need to do my art, not necessarily for monetary gain but for personal reasons. I don't want to grow old and look back with regrets, I want to do what I've always dreamed of, whether it gets me a career or not.
  • Live young. In other words, I need to stop being so pessimistic and get over this "feeling old" thing. I know I'm not old. Perhaps it's the fact that my parents and grandparents are getting older that I'm feeling the change. Or maybe it's because I'm at the weird in between stage where I'm no longer a kid but I'm not an accomplished adult, either. The way my friend and I were talking the other day it seemed as though we were in our thirties, but we aren't. Maybe it's her being a teacher and teaching kids four years younger than us? lol, I don't know, but I don't want to think like I'm old any more.
  • Prioritize the important stuff and try to de-stress more often. My fiance and I both stress too easily and we need to start overcoming this. Once he's stressed, I'm stressed, and vice versa. It really puts a damper on things. I feel like my body shuts down when this happens and I have no willpower to get up and do anything. I'm thinking about encouraging him to meditate with me and perhaps things might feel a lot less heavy around here (and in turn, I might get more things done!).
  • Listen to more music. I am a big fan of music and I found that there were some bands in my playlist that I had only ever listened to one or two of their songs. I'd like to explore other albums and even those of which I may have overlooked when I was younger.
  • Be one with nature. This happens every year; it's the dead of winter, spring is on its way and I'm yearning to be apart of something bigger than I am. I'm talking about spirituality. I'm not religious and I don't intend to be, but I always yearn for a connection to the world and I want to have that connection with nature. In the future, I would like to go for more walks, go bird watching, draw different plants, and simply experience what the natural world has to offer.
  • Get dressed up more often and find reasons to do so.
  • Lose weight. I know, we all say that one, but really. I gained some serious holiday weight, plus the weight from the surgery. I want to exercise and tone. I have next to no muscle, so I'd like to gain some. I wouldn't mind weighing more if it were muscle. That's the difference.
  • Fish, fish, fish, fish and fish! Because I want to, that's why.

Conclusion


I have a lot on my plate this year, lol. I hope things work out for the best. Not just for me but for everybody. I know a lot of people struggled through 2015. Here's hoping 2016 supplies us with lots of joy and good luck, and brings us all closer together.

Happy New Year ♥


16 comments:

  1. Those are some interesting goals especially the one with the fish. Like fly fishing??? Anyhow, nature is a good goal - it is amazing how much it soothes my soul. My favorite blog was your gothabilly spider dress. Keep sewing - I love your creations.

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    1. Thank you! I would like to continue sewing things like the gothabilly dress. :) I've never tried fly fishing before, I hear it can be tricky. I'm still getting back into fishing, my dad is teaching me. I fish using bait or lures, and I love it. When I visit my parent's trailer up north, I spend the majority of my time there fishing or hiking. It's very relaxing and it reminds me of growing up near the countryside. I feel "at home" when I'm out and about in the woods.

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  2. I've enjoyed your posts this year and am always looking forward to another one of yours. Hope you have a better year this year!

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    1. Thank you, dear. <3 I appreciate that. I'm already working on making positive changes in my life, so maybe things will look up, eventually. :)

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  3. I enjoy your well - written, thoughtful posts, I can honestly say that your blog is one of my favorites. ^^ Happy New Year to you, too! ^^

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    1. Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoy my posts. :) Hopefully this year I'll writing more often!

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  4. I haven't ever found your lack of regular posting an issue, because you offer such a quality blog it's definitely worth the wait =)

    I hope that despite the next surgery that things will look up for you; I will toast my mug of sweet tea to you ;)

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    1. Aw, thank you! That's very sweet of you to say. :) My focus has always been quality, I just worry sometimes that it's not enough. I'm glad to hear it's not that big of an issue.

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  5. Wishing you so much and more in the New Year! Happy 2016! Take everything one day at a time! I think your posts are always well written and very informative!

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    1. Thank you very much! I will try to take things easier this year and not be so hard on myself. :) I hope you have a great 2016 ahead of you.

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  6. Best of luck for your goals and happy to see you being more active again <3 I think the final rehearsal / 2015 was horrible enough to have a good opening year 2016! Dont worry about numbers too much (and yes, pre writing... i lost that one as well during the past 2 months *lol* will do again as soon as i cought up with all the comments XD)

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    1. Thank you :) I should pre-write more this year, I had time before but never committed to it. I gotta get my energy levels up and focus this year! XD

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  7. Your list of personal resolutions really resonates with me, had I made a list of resolutions this year, many of the same goals would be on it, right down to fishing!

    Hope you're off to a good start this year. I'm so glad to have found your blog and eager to see how the year unfolds for you.

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    1. Hey, thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy reading my blog. :) I love fishing, I'm so anxious for spring I literally dream about it every night lol. Hopefully I'll get some spare time to go out and fish and hike. I'm looking forward to a warm new year!

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  8. I can totally relate to your blogging plan list. I gave my craft room an overhaul a few days ago, and I too want to pre-write, create more, take more pictures and post more.

    Honey - you don't need to lose any weight! And you are not old! "Live more and live young" I can get behind :)

    Hugs!

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    1. Ooh, I love the stuff you work on, I can't wait to see more of your art. :) My plans for 2016 are sort of on track right now lol, I've been so busy this month I haven't posted things I've written about. >.<

      I think the major factor in my wanting to lose weight is fitting into my favorite goth clothes. It would be awesome if the clothes had grown with me! Although I know that's not possible lol. I know I'm not old either, but I seem to get in this mentality where I am, which I think has to do with not socializing enough. Hopefully when the weather warms up I can get out and meet like minded people, and not be cooped up inside all week long.

      *hugs*

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