- Another cracking craft fair at Clare Priory in July;
- A greater degree of success in creating seasonal bears (okay, they were still a little late);
- An experiment with hand-dying which went very well - and which I'll certainly do again;
- Four brand new, one-off designs for realistic bears, using wire armature - a new technique for me;
- Three teddy bear wreaths - again, new;
- Three little birds - all completely new;
- Teddy bear bouquets - I forget how many - all new, new, new!
- The development of BigFeetBears' Facebook page, and lots of fun on Pinterest;
- My first sale on Etsy!
Anyway, my strategy for 2013 is to relegate the pattern work to the evenings and weekends and to make the creation of what other people have called the 'bread and butter items' the main part of my work. My bread and butter bears will be those designs which I have already established. I will put together a plan of bread and butter bears to make, at the beginning of the year, and spend my time working on them primarily.
The thought of so much pre-planning is a little alien, but doing lots of the same design at once will have it's advantages. It should mean I get better at it for one thing; and I don't need to put all ten of one design in the shop at once - the advantage will be in having stock put aside for rainy days. And from a marketing perspective, it will mean I can spend a couple of weeks advertising one design - rather than a couple of days here, a couple of days there.
Hopefully, the 'making' process will become easier as a result, and it will leave more time to spend on patterns. I have a meerkat to finish, and I would like to try making a moose this year. I have been meaning to have a go at one of the bear-making competitions. I thought about trying my panda in the 2012 TOBY Awards, but the rules required that the bear entered was actually designed and made in 2012. Looking back at my blog entries, I have carefully documented the process of producing his design in the summer of 2011. But, with any luck - and a following wind - I will have a meerkat to submit this year.
I hope you've all had a wonderful, productive year - and best wishes for 2013!