Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year! 2016: A Year in Review

Looking back at blogging in 2016

I don't even need to explain why this year has been busy lol you all know why. After blowing five grand on the big day I'm financially tapped out and emotionally exhausted. I've turned to sewing to occupy my time as I work my way through the dead of winter. >.< Let's look at blogging in 2016!

Working on the Blog


What was my favorite post of the year? 

This is a tie between a mood board and an actual post. There were a few other mood boards this year that I had fun making but none topped this V-Day one I created last Feb. I just love how fun and silly it is. It's quirky and youthful and I think it represents the person I've finished the year as. As far as posts go, there's no denying Too Different to Make Friends was a favorite of mine. It was cathartic and it not only helped myself but others as well. There are still plans to expand upon this but less in the emotional regulation way, instead I'm going to finish it off with practical approaches to dealing with social situations. As usual though, I encourage anyone struggling with mental illness to seek help from professionals, but I have to admit that reading self-help books has helped me a great deal and I'd highly recommend Stop Overreacting by Judith Siegel.

Blogging Improvements

Last year my blogging improvement resolutions were as follows:
  • Pre-write more posts.
  • Sew more.
  • Take more photos.
  • Create new content for the blog.
  • Overhaul the sewing room.
  • Continue developing and refining my brand.
Unfortunately only half of which took place. I did pre-write more posts. In fact, much of what you read has been sitting in the draft folder for months on end. Some have been spur of the moment but due to work life and my hobbies it's hard to write a lot of those, and it would leave this blog looking pretty sparse if I relied on spontaneous blog posts alone! It's true that this year I did sew more! Way more, but I neglected to document it. I will have to catch everyone up on the projects I've completed. While I'm happy with how a few of them have turned out I didn't think many of them were that great and perhaps that's why you never heard about them. Case in point, I made a velvet skater skirt, I posted the review on PR (looking rather girly and not goth, I should say) but it's a simple skater skirt. I don't know if simple stuff is worth sharing on here only because I think it wouldn't interest most readers. Let me know if I'm wrong. I did not take more photos despite having the new camera. I have used it for a handful of posts but I didn't get out enough to utilize it, only around autumn. I didn't paint any of my sewing room furniture or reupholster it but I did finally hang the new mirror and everything else that needed to be put up. Hopefully some day I'll have a new sewing machine cabinet. As for my brand, it went unattended to. It needs refining for sure. 

I ended up doing a lot of Cosplay by McCall's posts, they've sort of swallowed up my blog. I do get the patterns but I'm not one of their "yes-men" so I don't say pleasant things about everything they put out. I think it's good to put my readers in touch with their brand only because they have been pushing the envelope and introducing alternative fashion, albeit through a costume label. This might continue in the future but I want to rope it in and make sure it doesn't become the only thing the blog features. I try to balance it out with normal posts every month. I don't get paid to do this but I do get promotional goods. I've also had Punk Rave reach out to me to write a post about them but I'm not 100% on how that works or if it's worth doing. If I do write it I'm not writing it as a customer because I don't own their stuff. I'd appreciate it if they did send me product because it's better to review something tangible. I plug most fashions through mood boards so I'll probably do that.

I want more sewing posts, more mood board posts, and to do some more experimental crap for the future of Bien Aimée. That being said, this is a new year for me in terms of life stuff and I have big plans to do things that might be time consuming. Please forgive me if I go on hiatus.

My person resolutions (revisited)

  • Sew more, make more art, live more.
  • Live young.
  • Prioritize the important stuff.
  • Listen to more music.
  • Be one with nature.
  • Get dressed up more often.
  • Lose weight.
  • Fish, fish, fish, fish and fish!
I did draw some and sewed quite a bit however not to the extent I wished I had. I plan on doing a great deal more of this in 2017. Did I live young? Not enough. I had some body dysmorphia issues in 2016 and I wish I had let them go to enjoy myself more. I know I'm getting older but I don't want it to ruin my life. It's hard when phsyically you're not feeling the best. :( Did I de-stress? Eventually. I'm finally at a point where I don't give as much of a fuck about things as I used to. I did listen to more music and purchased a CD I had planned on buying fifteen years ago (Welcoming Home the Astronauts by Flickertstick - kind of a post 90's alt rock band which had a distinct flavor to them). I didn't get out as much in nature as I had liked to. We live in a condo with a community yardspace and I don't like wandering through it. I really want to hike this year. Did I dress up more often? A little, probably more than last year, but this year it has to get better. This was unsuccessful in part because I didn't go out more often but when I did dress up it attracted positive attention so I'd like to do it. Did I lose weight? Not until all the madness of last year ended! My illness caused me to drop off 20lbs now it's a matter of keeping it at bay. I go up about 5lbs just from eating out somewhere. Some of it might be waterweight or it could be my "natural" weight is being skewed by being malnourished at other times. :/ I fished only once last year and wished it had happened more but time was not on my side.

My New Personal Resolutions

Go some place new. I have to travel somewhere (even if it's not that exciting of a place) because I've never done anything on my own and frankly I'm fucking sick of it. I feel like I've been closed in and I think this is a good year to have new experiences and make new friends and connections. 
Finish something artistic. Finish some kind of project whether it be a comic, short film, or sculpture. Something to say that I can complete things and challenge my ability to do so in a timely manner. I hate that I waited this long to address this stuff but university really burned me out.
Get toned! I want to lose 5lbs and tone my chest, abdomen and leg muscles. I lost muscle mass following illness and I look flabby, like fat and bone! Argh! I want to hit the weights this year.
Sew my own wardrobe. I've really been pushing myself in my sewing. I want to make a "wardrobe" or something close to it. In order to accomplish this I'm creating a list of things to do. I will post about this in the near future so maybe you might be inspired to start your own wardrobe related goals. :)
Get out more. I have joined Meetup.com in my city and while there are hundreds of groups most are business and coding related. I don't have time to start my own shit right now but hopefully something really cool and artistic will crop up and I might meet some like minded people - in turn getting out more instead of staying home.
Cross off that bucket list! In my adventures through self help books I learned about establishing core values and setting goals. I developed a bucket list, one with reasonable goals and one with possibly unattainable goals. I want to start crossing a few of those goals off. One of which is to be a vampire for a period of time. You read that correctly. It's just fucked up enough that it might fun lol.

Conclusion

2016 was a shit year for most of us. I lost a lot of family on my mom's side, I'm struggling still with an unidentified illness, and I still work in a factory. My hope is that there's good news on the horizon. While I'm not a huge believer in tarot I still practice on occasion and have done multiple horoscope readings over the last six months. I've found a lot of repetition: Janaury indicates something awful happening (Death or 10 of Swords), February Friendship or Love (often has been represented by Two of Cups) and March indicates education and learning. In terms of meditation...I can't do much with the January reading. It's a warning card and outside of divination it's kind of difficult to use. I could say, "are all my bases covered, is there something I've neglected that could blow up in my face?" but I'm still not satisfied with that interpretation. I'm open to suggestions with this one. My friend has come up in readings often. He's represented by the Emperor card and sometimes the High Priest. It's brought up meditative questions like whether I'm giving him a fair chance or judging him too harshly. I determined that I was being a little quick to judge with him. Tarot is really good for self reflection if you've never tried it I encourage you to do so.

What are your plans for the new year? 

Happy 2017!

Best,

6 comments:

  1. Post it all! We must keep the alternative DIY fashion blogging alive-- so many of us have gone awol, myself included. That is one of maybe a couple resolutions I have this year lol.
    The other one is not far from that one... be a little more sociable, heh!

    I think your last resolution sounds so very interesting that I might want to partake-- I mean the forming of two lists. I have hemophobia, so while I think the idea of being a vampire sounds fun... I fear I would be a real lousy one when it comes time for feeding! Hah!

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    1. Thanks for the input! I think what I'll do is post sewing projects in small groupings or maybe as outfits for the more simpler garments. When I share my sewing I hope someone will come across the blog and be inspired to try it themselves, and there will be beginners, so hopefully I can come up with beginner friendly sewing posts in the future.

      I've missed your blog posts and I'm happy to see you back! Hopefully we can both stick to our resolutions this year. >.< My expensive bucket list entails a lot of out there things, like building a house that looks like the Addams family mansion and Sally Owen's house (from Practical Magic). It's largely unrealistic but fun to think about. The more practical bucket list has things like painting the sewing room, overcoming mental illness, hugging a sheep, and writing a song. There are some goals that are smaller and others that are larger and take more planning and commitment. The vampire goal is literally just putting on some fake teeth and fancy dress, like Nicolas Cage in Vampire's Kiss. I just think it'd be hilarious to do, plus I'm really interested in theater and acting and figure it's a good way to channel my creative energy into something achievable lol.

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  2. A vampire?? Cool!! Wishing you an amazing 2017!!! Great personal resolutions you have!

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    1. Thank you! I wish you an amazing 2017 as well. :)

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  3. Good resolutions! I met most of my current friends through meetup.com. Maybe there's a tarot group in your area? I've been going to one and it's a lot of fun. And, damn, punk rave contacted everrryone, didn't they? I felt the same way you did...I need to see the product before I can say anything about it, especially for a brand I don't know anything about.

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    1. Thanks! I'm going to post a bucket list in the future and maybe track the progress on here. Our meetup groups are skimpy. There are many with 50+ members but few actual group events and those that are held have maybe like two attendees show up (or at least that's all that's been documented, some could show up unannounced). I joined three groups, I'm pending in two of them, whatever that means. We'll see where it goes. I'll have to try my hardest to stay positive and not go into social bitch mode like I usually do lol.

      As for Punk Rave, I figure I'll flat out ask them to do a product exchange, instead of giving them my PayPal account. I'd rather write a mood board post for free and then review a product. I'm not interested in getting paid to sport their banner on my blog. It just doesn't mesh with my branding. They really did contact everybody didn't they? It's probably the third time I've been offered it, and it always starts with "we found your blog on tumblr!" even though I'm a blogger user lol.

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