goodbye 2011, you’ve been awesome

December 28th, 2011

I honestly can’t believe this year is over. It’s gone so fast. No actually, it’s literally flown by. I keep asking myself where the months have gone… I guess so much has happened this year. It’s kind of dizzying.

We moved from Iowa to Virginia – which was honestly one of the best things we ever did. Chris loves his new job, and has had so many major successes this year. We’ve really enjoyed the climate and our proximity to both the countryside and DC. It’s made it sooo much easier for our families to visit us. And something I didn’t foresee – I’ve been able to meet and hang out with a lot of my wonderful blogging friends, which has honestly been so fun.

Buddy turned one and Bunny turned three and started preschool – and then I realised that they are growing up too quickly, and added even more cuddles to our daily routine.

I released two new collections for my clothing line, Summer – Sunburnt Country and Winter – Country Roads and I was incredibly blessed to work with some amazingly talented bloggers and friends on both of the lookbooks. (Thank you so much Tieka, Sydney & Tania!)

I started the Becoming a Designer series to try and help aspiring independant designers, and started featuring a different indie designer each month – and I’ve been really thrilled with how many people have found the posts helpful. I can’t wait to continue doing this in 2012!

We explored DC heaps, acted like total tourists and got to spend some wonderful vacations with our parents, including an amazing trip to Florida with my mom and dad.

I did a complete overhaul of my sewing patterns, re-releasing them in paper form, and begun releasing patterns from my clothing line as well as maternity wear.

Wrote heaps of sewing tutorials

I started making more clothing for my kids, which has been a real learning curve and is becoming a real passion of mine. (yep, that was 100% a hint about future sewing patterns)

I broke my baby toe for the third time in a row – which i will admit, was really quite depressing.

I turned 27, and had a minor (ok big) freak out about getting old. Then I realised Chris was still older, had a laugh and chilled out.

I almost had a break down from how much work I’ve been doing, and realised I need to find some more balance in my life.

But you know what? even the bad wasn’t that bad… well at least not in hindsight hehehe

I never make goals or new years resolutions, but there’s definitely a lot i’d like to do in 2012!

I’d like to chill out a lot more, find more balance and be a much much better homemaker. I feel like I’ve let a lot of house stuff slide this year, and next year I’d really like to be better at keeping up with laundry, cleaning, cooking etc etc ( ok ok i’m starting to hyperventilate hehe)

Read more. I haven’t been able to read as often as I’d like this year, and I honestly think my vocabulary and┬ámy ability to articulate my thoughts has begun to slide.

I’d like to learn to knit. It’s something i’ve always wanted to learn, but have no idea how! I bought a book, but the instructions are soooo hard to follow. I sat staring at the first page for ages. no kidding. Any recs for knitting blogs?

Continue to improve my sketching. I feel like my sketches have already improved a lot, but i still have a way to go before i’m really satisfied that i have the skill mastered.

I’d like to do more fun outings with the kids during the week. I’d love to take them somewhere every day, i’m not sure if that’s manageable – but i’d really like to try.

Release tonnes of patterns! hehe not sure how many i can realistically do – but the Banksia top is almost done and I’m thinking of adding the Brumby skirt or Kelly skirt soon.

I think it might be nice to write some tutorials for how to alter my sewing patterns too. Speaking of posts – I’ve got a lot of other tutorials up my sleeve and I”m also planning lots more Becoming a Designer posts, and indie designer features.

And of course i’ll be releasing new collections for my clothing line.

Phew! that’s it i guess hehe :)

How about you? Got any great plans for 2012? Anything you’d like to see more (or less of ) on Design Diary in the coming year?

22 Responses

  1. Rachel W. says:

    Happy impending 2012! Thank you so much for writing the Becoming a Designer series– I’ve read all through the existing ones and am looking forward to anything new!

    My goal this year is to continue to learn to sew, but to get much more methodical about the learning process. I’ve got Pattern Drafting for Fashion Design and How to Make Sewing Patterns ordered through my library, and I think I’m going to buy Fit for Real People, all on your and Casey’s recommendations. :)

    I *just* managed to learn the basics of knitting, as in last week– I’ve tried six different times to understand it, but the videos on Knitting Help.com are really the only things that have penetrated my thick skull. I finished my first scarf last night, and I’m very proud of it!

    Best wishes for the new year!

    • Meg says:

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the Becoming a Designer series! I definitely have a lot more planned for it this year, the posts just take some work to put together – but i promise i’m getting there hehehe

      I’m so happy to hear you bought those books – i really feel like those books changed the way i sew, and took me to a whole new level – i’m so excited for you!!

      And thank you for hte knitting resource recommendations! totally appreciate it!

      hugs! xoxo

  2. I’m not sure how I didn’t see your sketches before now! They’re really very good! I hope I’ll see more in the coming year :-)

  3. Clara says:

    About knitting – I like this site
    http://www.knitpicks.com/knitting.cfm
    They have really helpful podcast (KnitPicks podcast) that is free – just download it on iTunes, and they had really good yarn with not that high prices.
    http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/ – this is a star of knitting community in US and CAnada, she wrote my fav books about knitting, very funny.

    I admire your clothing line anf that you are just 27 and have two kids and do it all!
    Happy 2012!

    • Meg says:

      Oooo thank you so much Clara! Those are great resources!! Hopefully they can help me get started!!

      Happy 2012 to you too honey! xoxo

  4. Sophie says:

    Can’t wait for the Banksia and also I’d happily take Brumby or Kelly! Hope you have an awesome 2012!!

    • Meg says:

      Thanks sophie! hope you have a great 2012 too!! Yes the Banksia should be out in the next month or so, and after that hopefully one of the skirts!

  5. Gabriella says:

    I started knitting seriously during a time in my life when I was on the verge of break-down. It helps me focus, it helps me calm down, it helps my creativity and it’s plain fun. I really, really recommend taking up knitting! My website recommendations is ravelry.com for the forum and patterns and well everuthing, knittinghelp.com for learning to knit and I second the yarnharlot.ca/blog/ for fun reading.

    • Meg says:

      Thanks for the Ravelry tip! I just signed up – what a cool website!

      And yeah, that’s kind of one of the reasons i’ve bbeen thinking more seriously about knitting – just something to help me zone out and relax a bit.

      thanks hun! xoxo

      • brynn says:

        These were going to be my two recommendations as well! Knittinghelp.com is great for tips and tricks and Ravelry is awesome for free patterns. Good luck with your goals this year Meg! I’m sure you’ll be amazing!

  6. Kelly says:

    I’m with you on the knitting! I never have any luck learning from a book; I think I need someone to show me. I have fiddled with embroidery this year and that’s been fun! YouTube is also amazing for tutorials. I agree with Gabriella above – it is a calming activity. A nice way to wind down before bed instead of zoning out on the computer like I usually do. Anyway, I enjoy your blog and best wishes for 2012! :-) P.S. For fun outings, have you been to the Reston Zoo? I think it is in your area. Great petting zoo, you’re allowed to feed all the animals.

    • Meg says:

      I’m glad i’m not the only one who finds learning from a book hard! That’s usually my favourite way to learn things, but boy oh boy i could not get my head around the instructions!! hehe

      Meanwhile, I had no idea there was a petting zoo in Reston! Thanks so much for letting me know, that sounds so fun!!! If my kids are anything, they are animal obsessed

      Best wishes for 2012 Kelly!! XO

  7. amanda says:

    That’s great that you had a good year! I heard this poll was taken where most people said that 2011 was either below average or the worst year of their life..

    I just recently started knitting. When I first started, I found the books and diagrams confusing too so I watched a few videos of people knitting online and found it a lot easier. Now I can’t stop!

    It’s funny, one of my new year’s resolutions is to stop reading so much! I’ve been such an avid reader; once I get to the middle of a book, I get excited about reading another one. I end up reading six books at once! Anyway, I think I’m going to give up reading books for fun cold turkey for a few months next year.

    Another thing I’d like to do would be to make clothing! Not on the same scale you do or anything but a self-made skirt would be nice to wear here and there. Do you any tips on what types of fabrics to start off with or patterns that are easy for beginners?

    Anyway, I hope you have an equally productive and even more fun 2012!

    • Meg says:

      oh videos! what a great suggestion! thank you! I’ve been finding the book so hard, goodness me~!

      Anyway, i’m so excited for you learning to make clothing! Honestly, there are a lot of things you can make and enjoy without too much effort. For beginners I normally suggest starting with non stretchy fabrics (ie woven) and my personal favourite is cotton – it’s the most forgiving when you’re starting out. Also i think starting with a simple skirt is the perfect beginner project – i normally recommend a wrap skirt or an elastic waistband skirt since they don’t require you to know how to insert zippers or make button holes or anything. I think there are a lot of simple wrap skirt patterns available by the big 4 pattern companies – if you’d like an elastic skit, I wrote a tutorial for an elasitc skirt here http://blog.megannielsen.com/2009/11/elastic-waistband-skirt-tutorial/

      I really hope that helps a bit!!

  8. Claire Jain says:

    Kelly Skirt Pattern!!! Kelly Skirt Pattern!!! Kelly Skirt Pattern!!! We’re voting, right? ;-) Happy New Year, lady!

    • Meg says:

      heheheeh you are so adorable!! okay, you are heavily swaying me towards Kelly skirt right now :) xoxo

  9. Elle Croft says:

    Wow, what a year! And those are some great goals too…all the best in achieving them. If you want a book recommendation, I just devoured ‘The Hunger Games’ – it’s written for teens but it’s so darned good that adults love it too…I couldn’t put it down and am onto the second book now!

  10. J'Ellen says:

    What a beautiful location! Great photos.

  11. Sarah says:

    I didn’t realize you’d moved to VA less than a year ago! I love all the sewing tutorials. One time you mentioned little exercises that helped you improve your sewing, I’d love to hear about some of them!

    • Meg says:

      Ooooo that is a brilliant idea!! I’ve been meaning to do start a series on learning to sew, and exercises would fit in quite nicely!!

      And yep, i only got here in Jan 2011!! I fell in love with it pretty quick!! hehehe

      Hope you got back to TX okay!! HUGS xoxo

  12. Darlene says:

    I hope the knitting goes well. I am also in noVA, in PWC (I don’t expect either of us to post on here where more precisely). Although I haven’t taken on knitting yet, I am part of a “sticks hooks and needles” group that meets every other week or so. We just get together to have people to chat with and to share each others specialties and help with the rest of the group. We pretty much always meet in a restaraunt, coffee shop etc.