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2020 Beading Year in Review


I’m in agreement with the rest of the world. 2020 is basically a year we’d all like to forget. Or is it? You see, the best way to deal with tough times is to seek out and focus on the positives, however small or insignificant they may seem. And, for me, my 2020 beading projects have definitely been a positive.

So, I’m going to forget about all the negative things this year and focus on this one positive here, with you.

Keeping up the tradition

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll know that I usually take a look back on the year. So, I saw no reason to break with that tradition this year.

But I decided to get you all a little more involved. So, I’m not just going to give you my usual report on what you’ve all been buying and beading. Oh no… This year, I’ve set up a gallery of all the 2020 beading projects. You can find it right here. And, I’m giving you the chance to vote for your favourites.

I’m afraid I haven’t attached any kind of prize to this. I just thought it would be a fun way for you to reminisce over the year. Maybe there’s a few projects you missed. So, it’s also a chance to catch up on those.

Above all, I hope, along with me, you’ll be able to celebrate your own achievements this year – beading and non-beading.

So, here’s the link to the gallery.

I hope you enjoy browsing, reminiscing, and voting (if you wish).

‘The Little Red Chair’ – a beading project for my personal pleasure, your entertainment, and a memory of 2020. Click here to watch the video.

Personal reflections on 2020 beading for me

As 2020 launched, still in blissful ignorance of the COVID-19 pandemic that was about to strike, I was actually contemplating my beading future. During 2019, I’d put myself under enormous pressure to keep on producing patterns, writing blogs, etc. So, by the end of last year, I was feeling pretty burned out. That translated into a question of how much I even wanted to continue beading.

So, how do you deal with this beading burn out? I know it’s a question that many of you have faced, particularly this year. Beading burn out can occur for many reasons. Not just overwork, also stress. And with all the anxiety and stress of 2020, beading seems to have gone one way or the other.

For some of you, it has been a complete loss of desire to bead. For others, it has resulted in more beading as a form of security, escapism and comfort.

Looking back to where I was in January, I hadn’t lost the desire to work with beads, more the desire for business. So, I found myself jumping into a huge beading project, just for me to enjoy. It turns out, that fired up my enjoyment once more.

Then, as the lock-down unfolded, I found myself turning to beading to occupy my days. The result… All those 2020 beading projects you can see in the gallery!

One of my personal favourites: my beaded chocolate box. Click here to get this project.

Projects reflecting life

This year, I have allowed myself to travel wherever the beads took me. (Let’s face it, none of us have been travelling anywhere else!). So, sometimes that has been a reflection of the events around us.

As it turns out, my first project of the year is a great reminder of the wisdom of ‘Forrest Gump’. You know… that ‘life is like a box of chocolates…’ quote. None of us knew what was about to hit us as we started the year.

Then, of course, there was the rather amusing episode of the toilet rolls. Who knew that toilet rolls were such an essential stock-pile item when faced with the dangers of a respiratory virus? Yet, somehow, the world over, this came to symbolise the craziness of our situation. So, how could I resist commemorating that in beads…?

(Click here to get the beaded toilet roll pattern)

As the weeks extended into months, I found myself working on a project that I had originally planned in 2019. At the time of planning it, I ran out of motivation for making it. But maybe that was just the universe’s way of holding it back for a more appropriate occasion.

The project in question? Well, that would be my ‘beaded box for healing’. If ever there was a year in which the world needed more healing, 2020 has to be it.

(The PDF is available here)

Perfect lock-down projects!

At the start of the year, I also had the amazing foresight to be providing you all with a project perfect for lock-down. When I started making my deck of cards, I wasn’t aware that we’d all be spending quite so much time at home. But, it turns out, this is the perfect project for whiling away a few hours…sorry, months…on your own at home!

Want to try this? You can get the pattern here.

Then, of course, there are all the things that we’ve missed. The live theatre, concerts and other performances. Cinema closures meaning scheduled films have been delayed. Really, this is an endless list. But why not make a nod to all of that in the beads as well?

All those Top Gun fans may still be waiting for the sequel. But at least they can enjoy a beaded version in the meantime. If this is something you need, you’ll find the pattern here.

Videos to entertain and educate

Naturally, all this time at home can lead one towards insanity. So, I also found myself making a few fun videos to take the 2020 beading entertainment in other directions.

I mean, I had to do something with the playing cards…

Confession time: I still haven’t completed my own deck. But I think 2021 is going to start in much the same way, so I predict I’ll have a fair amount of beading time to fill. However, I did make enough cards to discover that I can shuffle them and deal them.

If you don’t believe me, then just take a look at this little video…

I did also manage to put my video-making to some better use! Aside from adding to my YouTube channel, I also spent a lot of time this year making online classes.

You can find all these classes – and more – at this link. Join whenever you like, work at your own pace!

So, my 2020 beading year hasn’t just been spent in entertaining myself. I’ve also been working hard to try and help you to continue learning and enjoying your beading, even though things have been challenging.

A huge thank you

That brings me nicely to the other thing on which I’m reflecting as we end this year. I’ve had so many lovely messages from you. You’ve supported my work throughout the year, for which I am so, so grateful.

I’ve been able to make new connections through the online classes, and most of all through an online beading group hosted by my lovely friend and fellow beader, Chloe Menage (aka Pinkhot). So, a huge thank you to Chloe for setting up and hosting the group every fortnight. It has been wonderful to bead together.

In challenging myself to come up with new ways to help you, I’ve also developed new skills. So, I’m grateful for that too. But most of all, I’m ending this year with my beading enthusiasm back in full flow.

It just goes to show that none of us can predict the future. Life is a wild ride. But the best way to get through it is to hold on to the positives. Feel gratitude for even the smallest things. And keep a tight grip on the hope that better things will come round again.

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness and support this year. I’m sending you all the very best wishes for 2021 and let’s hope that in another twelve months things will be looking just as different – but in a better way!

Take care, Happy New Year, and happy beading!

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