It’s that time of year: my Facebook newsfeed is full of personal reviews of 2016 and reflections on what kind of year it has been. So, this set me thinking. I’ve been seeing lots of downbeat reflections that focus on the celebrities we’ve lost, the political turmoil and the wars that fill the news at the moment. Then, this morning, I saw a great post: a list of all the big things that humanity has achieved during 2016. Several species have been removed from the ‘endangered’ list, there are signs that the ozone layer is starting to repair, positive signs in world literacy – the list went on. None of these things make the news headlines in the way that stories of conflict do, but they still happened in 2016. Reflecting on this made me think of Shakespeare’s words: ‘There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’ With that thought in mind, how about a review of 2016 in my little corner of the beading world?
A personal review of 2016
It’s pretty easy for me to look back on 2016 as a bad year. My health seems to have become an all-consuming problem again. It has dictated what I have and have not been able to do and every day, at the moment, I spend in some sort of discomfort that I would rather not have to face. However, bad as this is, it’s not all bad. This relapse has pushed me to discover a root cause for the problem and to begin a course of treatment. I still have a long, long way to go, but I am making progress and, if I’m going to be judging the quality of my year in terms of my health, I may just be setting myself up for a very good 2017.
It is also easy to focus on missed opportunities: on the teaching I’ve had to cancel and the things I’ve missed in my personal life. But what about all the opportunities I’ve managed to grab this year? The chance to appear on Jewellery Maker TV (and I will be back there in future…), publishing more beading books and lots more patterns (64 if you’re counting!), getting another 8 issues of Bead and Jewellery magazine onto the newsstands, all in the beautiful new format that launched this year. Not only are these personal achievements, but they involve a lot of teamwork and, with the health problems that have got in the way, I’ve been reminded just how many kind and supportive people I have in my life. That’s a truly massive positive to reflect on as I carry out my personal review of 2016. I’ve also watched my little niece grow, learning so much in her first year and turning into the most adorable little personality.
In the second half of December I managed to achieve a personal milestone on my website and to empty my ‘projects to write up’ box! This may not sound like much, but it makes me very happy! If you’ve been eagle-eyed, you will have noticed several new patterns appeared on the site just before Christmas: Crescent Bead Spacers Bracelet, Arcos Montee Bracelet, Rockpools bead embroidered necklace, Moroccan cuff and Art Deco bracelet. Plus, there’s one more to come before 2017 arrives…so, whatever else has happened during the past twelve months, it’s good to end on a small positive note.
A review of 2016 in Beads
How has your beading year been? Mine has been busy. There have been loads of exciting new beads arriving in the market. So, that equals loads of new inspiration. I’ve been trying new techniques and there are some wonderful new techniques being developed by designers and continuing to grow (think Diamond Weave or Hubble Stitch). We’ve sadly said goodbye to some more beading shops, but then the online market for all things beading is continuing to expand. National Beading Week 2016 was another massive success and the quality of work that continues to come through the big beading competitions is testimony to the talent and enthusiasm in the beading world. I know beading has taken me through the tough bits in 2016, so I hope it has done the same for you.
How does your review of 2016 look?
So, how would you rate your 2016? What do you think 2017 will hold? As with any other twelve-month period, it’s easy to pick out bits to remember. Just make sure that if all you seem to be remembering are the bad bits, you try and find some good bits to recall too – I know there will be some, however small, they’re still important! Most of all, I hope 2017 brings you lots of opportunities to create and to make happy memories, and the strength to get through any bad bits that come your way. Bead on, and I’m looking forward to sharing more beading adventures with you throughout 2017!