I’ve been percolating on what I’d like to focus on/accomplish in 2012, and have decided to focus on fashion design and pattern drafting. I will do plenty of other stuff during the year (including weaving!), but my goal for 2012 is to learn how to draft flat patterns for any piece of clothing I care to make, and how to drape clothing directly on the dress form. I feel like I’ve made considerable progress this year, but I want to develop real expertise. This will mean drafting lots of patterns, which will in turn produce a bunch of “concept muslins” – muslins that will show whether my method worked, but which probably won’t be made up into an actual garment. That’s OK; you get to be good by practicing, and this will be good practice.
I have a number of other ambitious goals for 2012. Top on the list is finishing Autumn Splendor, of course, but the second one is buying a house! Housing prices have dropped considerably in the Bay Area, and prices in our area of Sunnyvale have dropped by 30-40% from their peak, if Zillow is to be believed. That’s low enough to tempt us into purchasing our first house. That means we will likely spend at least part of January and February house-hunting. We’ve already started drawing up lists of what we want in a house, and I’m reading up on the prep work involved (getting preapproved, finding an agent if we want one, etc.). We’re not in a hurry, but we also don’t have particularly stringent requirements around a house (I couldn’t care less if the bathroom has solid gold fixtures or if the kitchen has granite counters), so I imagine it won’t be too hard to find a place. But we’ve never done this before so it’s quite an adventure.
Other goals for the year include:
- finishing the first draft for the book. I’d like to accomplish more but there is so much else going on that I don’t know if I’ll finish more.
- write more articles for Handwoven, if the new editor is still interested
- start up a new study group for Complex Weavers (on designing fabrics)
- work more on Complex Weavers publicity (I’m Publicity Chair for CW)
- study weaving
- play around more with my stash of surface design tools/materials
- reduce the amount of $$ I spend on projects
I do not plan to do another Major Project (as in, something that takes more than three months) next year. I’ve decided, tentatively, that I will work in biennial cycles: one year studying, one year working on a Major Project. This is mostly because I need a break between big projects – do you realize I’ve been working on Autumn Splendor for eight months already? – and partly because it fits nicely into the rhythm of the big weaving shows/conferences (which tend to be biennial).
Looking at it, that’s a fairly large number of goals, and I’m sure I won’t get to all of them. That’s OK; life is all about exploration, so if I get sidetracked, that’s just fine. (As it happens, I didn’t complete a single one of my goals from last year, but am still very satisfied with what I accomplished and learned.) But it gives me somewhere to start from.
new editor for Handwoven? I missed that.
Tien Chiu says
Yes, Madelyn van der Hoogt is stepping down and Anita Osterhaug is replacing her.
Bonnie Inouye says
Home improvement projects can swallow a lot of time. When we bought our first and current house, I wove curtains and a rug for the living room, carved some wood panels for trim, etc. Having your own yard is also fun and work. Plant herbs!
Cassandra Nancy Lea says
I am making the huge assumption that you will be looking for a house that provides dedicated working-space! LOL I joke that, with my house, “I bought the workshop and the house just came along with it.” This is more truth than exaggeration. Of course, a couple of looms have insinuated their way into the house (-; with the excuse that, during the coldest spells, it gets expensive to heat both spaces. It’s a great luxury to have the space to spread out and store things. I could never have unpacked and set up my A-Series without ending up living in one room of my old house…or not having a dining-room…or something. When I saw this house, I KNEW it was meant for me and things worked out: a previous offer for it fell through and somebody bought my old house right off the bat!!!
As to money spent on projects: a quick cure for that is to weave-to-sell. You soon learn that you have to keep the price of making something to hwere it will yield something that people can afford to buy. The reason I don’t sell anything I knit is because, if I charged based on the amount of time and materials in it, I doubt that I’d find a buyer. SO I keep knitting as my recreational craft. One of my own goals for 2012 is some quick, inexpensive-but-nice things I can afford to offer at crafts fairs etc. I do sell my scarves and shawls, and get my price, but I do need to find a better venue that will offer more opportunities to reach people with money in their pockets!!!! At that point, I can get a little more adventurous.