What 2017 Means To Me

I like resolutions, but they can happen any time, but I do love the start of a new year to make a plan or set some goals, but also reflect on the previous year. And though I’ve not posted this kind of thing in a while, I am sharing a few of my thoughts on 2017 and my plans for 2018.

 

Best Arts & Crafts Blog (Personal)

The most monumental accomplishment of 2017 is definitely winning Best Arts & Crafts Blog in the Personal Category at the V by Very Littlewoods Blog Awards Ireland. I was over the moon to be a finalist and wrote about my co-finalists and my feelings at the time. It has taken me a few months to float down from the cloud I’ve been on since hearing my blog’s name at the V by Very Blog Awards. The win itself was recognition of my hard work and creative content, but also it was a night out with Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches and Nadia of Cottage Notebook.

Let’s face it, EvinOK is a great blog with original posts balanced between tutorials and showing off handmade creations. My voice comes through in each post and I vary the content enough to interest non-knitters as well. All this with twice weekly posts, good grammar, beautiful photos, and social media engagement. Really, what’s not to love. I maintain my standards with every post, but I also embrace whimsy because some days I want to create a masterpiece and other days I want to chill and take in inspiration from someone else. But in spite of all the work and care I put into cultivating EvinOK to be exactly what I want, I was surprised, touched, honored, and downright verklempt when I won Gold. To be publicly declared THE Best Personal Arts & Crafts Blog in Ireland at the V by Very Blog Awards was amazing. I soaked it up.

To add to that beautiful moment, I was there with my dear friends who have their own amazing award-winning blogs. Nadia of Cottage Notebook won Silver for Best Personal Arts & Crafts Blog and Carol of Stolen Stitches won Gold for Best Commericial Arts & Crafts. If you do not already read their blogs, start – especially Nadia’s Cottage Notebook Podcast for which she interviewed me last year. So many creative, inspiring people I am blessed to know, but these two women are so special. And though this photo is of me holding an award, it is also a reminder that hard work and being myself is the right approach for me.

Gold Award for Best Personal Arts & Crafts Blog in Ireland 2017 | EvinOK

So, what’s next?

Goals for 2018

  • Laugh and dance with my children more often.
  • Paint more. I love creating original artwork, even if it is just for our walls at home and I need to do it more often. I wrote about it here.
  • Complete Bake Knit Sew 2 and share it with the world. Yes, this book has been in progress since 2014 and is over halfway done. That whole having a baby in 2016 shifted my timeline a bit. The final push to complete projects and photography, plus editing is coming this Spring. No, really.
  • Complete my secret book project, which may need a Kickstarter to happen. I have been working on this for almost 10 months now and it is slow going, but going to be amazing.
  • Start STEAMthunk, a new blog focused on STEAM activities and resources for parents like me.
  • Write about all the things I make. No, really. Right now I probably only blog about 60% of the things I make. Most of the everyday meals are created on the fly so I do not take time to document the process or result (except maybe an Instagram snap). And there are so many crafts, side projects, and care packages I create that I don’t think are perfect enough to blog about. But in an effort to love myself a bit more, I need to love all my creations too. When I listed all the things I’ve made that I’ve not blogged about yet, I had upwards of 40 though so that is overwhelming so it will take all of 2018 to tackle this goal.
  • Rebranded my other blog to return to its origins. This is a nice thing to do to mark a decade of blogging about my life as a foodie expat in Ireland.
  • Learn how to be better, if not the best, at my day job in SaaS customer advocacy. I love the customers at Teamwork.com and want to be the best I can be at bringing out and sharing their stories.
  • Read more books!

Books to Read (and Re-Read) in 2018

Known by Mark Schaefer

Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure by Nancy Atherton

The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty

The Satanic Mechanic: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew

Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl by Debra Ollivier

Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

The GCHQ Puzzle Book

Self-Portrait

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