2014 Year In Review

As usual, I dragged my feet to almost the last moment with writing this entry, but I am always glad now to write them. Because no matter how little I feel like I’ve done, I always surprise myself and remember things I’d forgotten about!

Yes, I could have been busier… but that’s not been the point. I want to be happy with my hobbies, not chained to them. I want quality over quantity. And no matter how behind I feel like I’ve gotten, no matter how much I kick myself that I should have done this or that… I want to look back and still be pleased.

And I am!

Sewing

I have openly admitted that my sewing/costuming side is mostly on hold (I’ve not been happy with the historical costumes I’ve had to push myself to “just finish” in the past, and I found that I was not ready to start actual work on the dwarf costumes yet — although I have started acquiring references and tools where I can). I have limited space, and this gal will wear regular clothes to the point of “time to throw that away!” and buy supplies for hobbies before buying new clothes. 😉 Still, I can’t part with old costumes even if I’m not happy with them. I’m at that point in my costuming still, where every little garment helps, and I’d rather fix what I dislike or re-accessorize before selling/tossing something old.

Still, I did work on some sewing this past year, despite forgetting a few of them!

  • I fixed up an old blue gown and made a quick/light corset for an elf costume.
  • I created my own pattern and sewed my first Regency stovepipe bonnet (I have  yet to wear it for photos… I’d like to get a few more costume pieces before updating the page with better pics).
  • I added a drawstring lining to my 18th century Gainsborough/picture hat (and it still needs decoration, and loops added for a hatpin, since jabbing anything through the tough layers is not happening — will also need more photos of things like the lining).
  • I started handsewing a new cap. Taking my time on this one, if only just to keep my hands in practice.
  • I didn’t blog about it, but I also finished a new 18th c white tucker for bodice neckline filler.

Finished Art

This is the spot I kicked myself a bit when I did kick myself for not progressing very quickly. I blame some of it on poor eyesight, shaky hands, but also because I really need to buy a new portfolio and more frames so I can protect my finished art. Seeing the piles getting bigger (both finished and in-progress) is making me nervous, and it’s triggering my “nope! nope!” reaction.

I also used pencils more than inks. I think a lot of that was because of the shakiness causing my confidence to get a bit… shaky. Plus, I took longer and longer breaks, and that recovery time with being in practice and regaining confidence was a bit iffy. It was nice to have art that was a little different to throw into the mix, however!

I also got a little bit closer to finishing a drawing of young(er) Thorin in the Battle of Azanulbizar (shown as the small in-progress photo above), but decided not to push it. I’ll finish it in 2015.

And one of the best memories of 2014 regarding my art? The actor for Gloin, Peter Hambleton, seeing my Gloin’s Locket drawing on Twitter, asking for a copy, and then tweeting a photo of himself holding it! Awesome!!

Sketches and In-Progress Pieces

I’ll only include sketches for those pieces that were not shown above…

Facebook Tutorials

I also had a lot of requests for info and questions about how I work on things, so I made a couple of notes on my FB Page explaining my process. I considered making some video as well (there was interest in that too), but have not had the chance to sit down and work on those. Perhaps something for 2015?

Goals for 2015

I’d like to think I’ll go flying out of the gate for 2015, and powering through any To Do List and having a triumphant laugh at the end of the year, but realistically I know there will be times I won’t want to bother with anything. I’m far too easily distracted. So, I still utter my motto of “Quality Over Quantity!” and look forward to seeing what I do finish. And even start…

For art, I would like to see that in-progress pile disappear (not to mention things get put away safely!). I would also like to try painting again, but it has been soooooo long. Of course, it will still be Thorin & Company fan art, as I have NO interest in anything else (unless it’s a portrait of me or hubby in historical costume, of course… that has been something I’d love to eventually do… but I doubt that will happen any time soon).

For sewing, I would like to at the VERY least keep small hand sewing projects handy.  Things like the cap, but also in-progress things I keep putting off. I have an 18th century gown to finish (the fabric sits there taunting me), and I would like to get back to starting my Regency wardrobe.

Events, however, I’m going to keep very limited. I don’t like feeling like I’m chasing goals. I’m slow, and I want to focus on eras instead of jumping around and starting from scratch every single time. My husband doesn’t have a costume yet, and we both prefer small, more laid back events with friends. To be honest, I think I need sewing-with-friends time more than dress-up time. So we will see how things go. I am only currently really allowing myself to think of two events, both picnics. There is a lot of work to do for both.

And while I am also keeping the dwarf projects on a “maybe someday” time frame (what’s the rush at this point with the movies over), I’d like to start putting some of the concepts to practice soon, even if it’s in a vague way. This continues to be a fandom both my husband and I share, and I am not ready to be done with it. Honestly, we both hope to NEVER be done with it.

So that’s my year in review, and my hopes for next year. I have no regrets… just realizations of things I need to work on better.

My Best Wishes to everyone for an amazing and fun 2015!

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them — paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again.

My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company.

My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I’m up to with friends and family.

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4 Responses to 2014 Year In Review

  1. I love this: “I want to be happy with my hobbies, not chained to them.” I think we’ve both been so into things in the past that it’s all we did. I’ve found a much happier balance in NOT doing all the things…and when doing what matters most to me, taking my time to see the quality that has taken years to develop come through.

    I think it’s so cool that you went for so long without doing art and, when you got back to it, you started producing some of the best work you’ve ever done. That’s not easy after such a long break, and it’s been a highlight of my year: seeing you happy doing art again, and sewing on your own terms.

    So yep, to 2015! I hope it’s your most creative year yet!

  2. You are so right, Christopher! Oh sure, it sucks missing out or feeling behind and all… but nothing is worse than hating everything due to rushing it or pushing yourself too much (and you know me — I am already horrible on myself as it is… why make it worse?). You end up resenting things you loved, and for what?

    Still, I have a bad habit of wanting to do “all the things,” so I need to watch that. Focus. Sure maybe jot down ideas or research things… but I shouldn’t let that To Do/In-Progress pile get overwhelming.

    Also, a friend mentioned something to me that has be contemplating those In-Progress piles. It may be time to go through them and see what should just flat-out be scrapped/remade, and what is worth continuing to a finished state. 🙂

    And thanks, sweetie! Same to you! Thank you SO much for your support and excitement and interest in everything I do. 🙂

  3. Saralee Etter says:

    You’ve had a very productive year, Cynthia! Congratulations!

    I think I should do something similar — a round-up of what I’ve accomplished. That is a great idea, because it’s so easy to think that nothing has happened, when plenty has been done.

  4. Thanks, Saralee!

    Yes, I recommend doing something like this. When I first started doing it, I was very reluctant, because I mainly was going along with other costumers who do it. I was worried it would simply make me feel worse. But it was actually the opposite.

    I think the other main key is not to just list things (certainly don’t leave out things that still mean a lot to you — for example, fitness/health, and things that can be helpful to those goals we are shooting for — but don’t list everything to the point it’s overwhelming), but explain *why* they were good goals for you. For example (continuing with the sewing list)… if someone felt like she sewed very little during the year, she might realize she hand sewed *everything* carefully, and also researched historically correct techniques and materials to use. That would put it in perspective for her to realize why her list looked like it did.

    And of course acknowledging that goals can change, and sometimes a person “just don’ wanna do it.” 😉

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