IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The MarshMueller shop will be closing on Sunday, January 4, as we'll be going in to have our Second Boy! We're currently not sure when it'll reopen, but it will once we're home and settled. :)
Yippie! It's time for another tl;dr end-of-year post! Whatevs, people, this helps me really reflect on the highlights from the previous year.
While I love the idea of making a cute mason jar to fill with positive things that happen throughout the year, I know I'll keep up on it for the first month, remember a little bit in July, and then try to stuff it full with mediocre stuff in December in order to fill it.
So here's the best of 2014!
• Making new items. They may not be for sale in the shop, but it's been a great year to experiment and challenge myself with items either I needed, or were by special request from a customer. Who knows, some of these may eventually end up in the shop after I make it for myself and test it for a while.
• The Portland Timbers. It may have been a heartbreaking season, but I really look forward to going to as many matches as we can to connect with our friends, go on a family outing, and watch the beautiful game. It also makes me wonder if it weren't for our season tickets, would we ever get out of the house?*
*No. The answer is no.
• Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh. While I've only been to three Quilt Markets so far, I've gotta say there really is something magical about this trade show. Yes, in essence it is a trade show, but there is so much creativity and passion under one roof, you can feel the entire venue buzzing.
• BIG life changes. The amazing peeps at my Day Job worked it out so as Buyer I could go part-time to be with my boy, as we found out we're expecting our second kiddo in January (we're actually going in for a scheduled C-section next week!!).
Image magic created by Brent Diskin
• Gresham Saturday Market. Holy hell, this got me out of my comfort zone! While we weren't a vendor every weekend (Timbers/Thorns matches...priorities, ya know?), it was a really, really good experience and I loved doing a regular outdoor market to have face-to-face conversations with customers. I ended up stopping it sooner than I anticipated because it got to be too much with the whole family having to come the entire day, as hubby helped set up AND take down my booth (he's amazing, I know).
• The Boy's 3rd Birthday. Due to first trimester nausea and fatigue (you know that fatigue, where you feel like you've been hit by a series of semi trucks?), I only managed to design the invitation and mail out, and make cupcakes. Rob upped the creative ante and made flipping FIRE TRUCKS out of file boxes!
• Urban Craft Uprising. This was another moment that got me out of my comfort zone. Not only was I absolutely thrilled I made it in (it's a very competitive show and there are a TON of applications the jury panel has to sort through), but I was excited for a new show experience. It's the furthest I've traveled for a show. It came with its own set of challenges (as every show does), but I managed to work out some fireproof fixtures and borrow a vehicle big enough to head North. I also got my line sheets together for this show (there was a Wholesale portion the day after the show), which was a HUGE goal for me this year. While I didn't make it into the Winter show, I hope this is a show I get to continue to do in the future.
• Fall Quilt Market in Houston, TX. This was my second time in Houston, and despite being 7.5 months pregnant, it was still a lot of fun.
• Packaging!! I know, I launched new packaging for my Pacifier Clips, but it still reeked of that "Eau de Homemade" vibe, so I reached out to many local print shops to no avail...seriously, this was over the course of two months. I am SO glad I eventually went to Minuteman Press, as I was nearing Crafty Wonderland, and didn't give them very much time to print and proof packaging. But they did it, and now the following items have professionally printed packaging:
All the printed items turned out amazing, and I'm kicking myself as to why I hadn't invested in professional printing earlier.
Granted, it was an absolute SCRAMBLE to affix all the new packaging to my items before Crafty Wonderland, but with the help of my amazing mom, we got it all done!
• Winter Shows. I made a conscious decision to stick with only two shows this season, and I'm really glad I did. This was not the time to push myself into illness, as I wouldn't be able to take any drugs to cope!
Thankfully I made it into two of my absolute favorite, favorite shows: Laurelhurst and Crafty Wonderland. I opted for a larger booth at Crafty, and I LOVED having the space to really make my booth look like a little storefront. I flew my mom down to help, and as always, she was amazing and has an energy that seems limitless. Rob was out of town on business the week before, but got home just in time to be able to make changes to my booth that made it look even better.
• Christmas with The Boy. Yes, due to the timing of my craft shows and Rob traveling for work, our decorating efforts for Christmas were thrown together literally within the week before Christmas. I really need to make an effort to get that all done on Thanksgiving weekend!
But this year was the most fun with The Boy, as he understood what was going on, and we had multiple tantrum-free trips to shop for OTHER people than himself. We also unwrapped a book a night using our train advent calendar, so it helped him keep the countdown to Christmas in mind, plus new books.
It'll be interesting to see how bringing in a second little MarshMueller boy will change things for 2015. I'm trying my best not to anticipate anything (or to be terrified), but to just be grateful for the amazing family and friends I have, and the fact that I get to do what I love every day of the year.
Hope your 2015 is full of fun, positivity, and love!