New Year, new challenges

posted in: Business, New Year 1

I want to wish all my readers a Happy New Year 2017. In this post I am reflecting on the last year which has been described by many people as simply horrible or awful – and I want to share with you my hopes and plans for the new year.

So what happened in 2016?

A lot – and a lot of it not good most of us will agree.  Lots of beloved celebrities such as David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Caroline Aherne, George Michael and Carrie Fisher died (and so many more!), terror attacks happened all over Europe and the world, and Syria and Yemen are still in a mess. A tiny majority in the UK decided to vote to leave the EU and many of them didn’t realise what this actually means. I don’t want to dwell too much on Brexit (a lot has been written about it already) but simply give you my side of the story. As one of an estimated 3 Million EU citizens living and working in the UK I was not allowed to vote in the referendum. After it happened I noticed reports on the rise of xenophobic attacks on EU citizens. For about three months I had chronic daily headaches due to the sheer worry and limbo we have found ourselves in. Most of my friends on FB were shocked and horrified by the leave vote as they also fear the sheer economic implications it will have on them and their families. For a while I was in a support group for EU citizens but found the posts simply too depressing. I didn’t want Brexit to affect my life any further. The decision to leave has already impacted on my business. US suppliers of polymer clay and other materials and tools I use have raised their prices due to the drop of the pound and people are too worried to part with their money.

Now it’s January and apart from the proposed leave date in March we are all none the wiser as to what will happen to the UK citizens abroad and the EU citizens over here.  My dad has been living in Germany for over 44 years and only last year discovered that he can dual have citizenship. He has a British passport and has applied for German citizenship. I have no idea what I am going to do. I have to wait and see and just get on with my life and business.

What else happened? Life imitated art – Simpson style, and Trump happened. There’s not much to say about this that hasn’t already filled many pages off- and online-, but I feel for my American friends who have to put up with him for the next 4 years (unless he gets really bored quickly and leaves office before his time is up).

Otherwise I had to deal with some personal things and my ongoing chronic pain issues. I actually published an article in the Huffington Post about this very topic and it was well received. On the bright side – our cat Bobby is still enjoying her life with us and with age has become cuddlier. She now even occasionally sits on our lap, but only when we are covered with my husband’s super special outdoors trousers (they are well padded out and she seems to just love the texture of them). Bobby remains my little muse and I am so grateful she’s with us. She turned 11 last year and you can find my tribute to her in this post.

So what are my plans for this year?

I want to continue with my sculpting. I really enjoy the process and getting better at it. I would love to try my hand at humans at some point.

Last year I was tempted by the idea of having my own podcast, but as I still haven’t figured out what I want my podcast to focus on I have shelved that idea.

A few years ago I did a course about teaching my craft and in the end gave up on the idea, but the idea is still there in the back of my mind. Time issues and costs have currently prevented me. I also don’t know if people would be interested to learn from me. I have to wait and see if and when I will tackle this project.

However, I have big plans for the jewellery side of my business. My dad has gifted me a kiln for Christmas. Something I have wanted for years, but I wasn’t sure where to put it. I didn’t fancy working in the newly painted and tidied garage, because the garage is very cold in winter and often full of spiders! So I did a bit of research and found the smallest kiln which would fit in our conservatory. I can open the door and windows when I use it and work safely. I have yet to test the kiln and can’t wait to get started. The reason I wanted the kiln was mainly so I can work with precious metal clays – silver, copper and bronze clay. Years ago I did a beginner’s course in Cornwall and really enjoyed working with the material, but was put off by the costs and the kiln issue. While you can use the torch for small projects and certain types of silver clay, you can’t use it for bronze clay.

My new Prometheus kiln.
My new Prometheus kiln.

 

I already invested in some fab texturing plates and plan to create my own as well.  There are a lot of amazing design possibilities with this material and I can’t wait to get stuck in. My first project will be working with the copper clay. If I mess things up, it’s at least not going to cost the earth!

And finally another thing I want to work on is my own PR – it’s just finding the time for this can be tricky, because I run two very different businesses.

I also would love to get back to drawing and painting.

I have to see what is realistically achievable.

Anyway these are my plans for this year. Thank you for reading 🙂

Please feel free to comment and/or share this post. What are your big and small plans for this year?

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  1. […] I also have plans for my other business – if you are interested you can find my blog post about it here. […]

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