A Reflection On the Year That Was

A Reflection On the Year That Was

This is the last week of the blog for the year, so I wanted to take a post to write about the year.  Kind of a summary, the preparation of which will force me to look back at the year and remember all the things that happened.

I came in hot in January, full of vim and vigour with my new resolution: to Be Thoughtful.  Not bad advice to myself, in hindsight.  I made a pair of sandals at Shoe School! It turned out to be a strangely meditative experience and a great reminder to just focus on one absorbing task at a time. I kicked off the first Recording, and the first of about 10 interviews with Annabelle Wilson from Wilson Trollope.  I also started the Star Scopes, which were short lived.  So much work! So little quality and/or payoff.   Ooh, I also got my new glasses!

February remained high key. I rounded up some outfits for Valentine’s Day but spent Valentine’s Day not valentining. I went to Sydney and had the greatest facial of my life (spendy, but well worth it) and got to spend heaps of time with two of my excellent friends and their awesome friends and families.Loved it!I applied for the INFINZ Emerging Leader Award.  I met the very cool people behind Kept – which is now closing its doors.

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March kicked off with a post I did featuring pieces from Witchery – including my now very beloved red leather jacket.  Timing is everything, because now I try to avoid buying new, red things (red dye is the worst and my Dad has told me many horror stories about the pollution it causes).  I went on a family holiday while my brother was home on holiday from Canada, and got to visit Painted Bird IRL (it was heavenly and I am constantly planning my next visit).  At the end of the month I kicked off Beauty Mode.  MOST exciting, though, was my collaboration with Te Papa for the launch of Toi Art!  Still unbelievable to me and still a thrill.

At this point I was writing and shooting four posts a week, plus a newsletter and the Trade Me round up once a week.  It was a lot.

I barely remember April.  I think I interviewed for the INFINZ award this month, wearing a silk blazer from Trelise Cooper that I scooped on TradeMe for $65.  There was some style experimenting with neckerchiefs and some new season Wilson Trollope, but overall it was pretty much BAU on the blog front.  I told you guys about ReCreate’s sustainable streetwear, and it’s fair to say you were into it!

May, my birthday month, was a big one.  I won the INFINZ Award, which was superb!  However, it was also the start of winter and things started to get a bit struggly.  Did I spend an entire day in bed one weekend, in some kind of malaise?  Yes, I did, and I am here to tell you that six hours of Netflix will burn out your brain.  This was the start of a major creative block that last several months.

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During this window of time, life rolled on.  My Nana had a stroke, and a fall at home, so had to move to a serviced apartment in her retirement village.   That was scary and horrible.  I briefly dated someone, proving to all that in fact there is hope for everyone.  I continued meeting and working with cool people in the New Zealand fashion industry, like Cathy, Deryn and Zoe.  I mooched about with my friends, bought a slow cooker and got really good at beef ragu, and went to the first of the fashion series of lectures at Te Papa.  I was largely cheerful and busy but just could not find much to talk about, fashion-wise.  In hindsight, I think I probably had burned myself out over the first four months of the year.

By September, though, my mojo was kind of back.  I kicked it off with the Spring Update Series, then introduced Reader Requests (send me more!) and bought my v fancy splurge shoes that I continue to love.  I had a staycation which was 11 days of bliss.  I got back into blogging but eased back into it – so Beauty Mode will be back in 2019 but needs more planning and structure, Recordings are now a bit more ad hoc, the newsletter is monthly instead of weekly, and Style Scopes have gone.  I was working hard at my real job too, but when you have the spark back in your brain you jump on it.  I also applied for an Executive Leadership course, which I was subsequently accepted to, so that’s on the cards for 2019.

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In October I was invited to appear in a TradeMe campaign (which I hope you saw! It was very fun, and I got to wear my beloved Karen Walker flares).  I tried recycled polyester but it wasn’t great, and talked to Christine from Lucky Girl, which was mega-great.  I gave you the sleepwear series, which included such hits as me wearing pyjamas out and about.   And I put it all on the line with my post about altering vintage.  Work continued to be hard out, and I kept filling my weekends with fun and frivolity.  The world/TVNZ gave us Project Runway NZ (what a gift) which gave me an excuse to hang out with Esther and Fliss more often.

November was, frankly, a shitter.  My Nana, who hadn’t ever rallied to full strength after her serious fall in July, passed away.  It was peaceful, and thanks to a weird coincidence, I got to be there for the day or two leading up to it and thanks to my understanding workplace, I got to stay with my parents afterwards to help with the staggering level of admin that follows a death.  Regardless of how peaceful it was and whether we were there, it was and is crap.  The other day I saw some other elderly ladies having a little meeting at a café in Taihape and I had a small embarrassing cry.  I miss her very much.  

Other things happened too, of course.  I went to the One of Those Clays workshop run by Qualms which was A+++, and I won an award at work that means I can have a v fancy dinner with one of my friends.  Two of my readers went shopping with me and chose outfits for me, which was a really awesome day.  We had our team work event and I went to the NZ Fashion Tech grad show, which was superb, and I had dinners and catch ups and general good times with people.  Mostly what I remember from November is the friends who knew I would be sad and came through with flowers and hugs and little messages. 

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Now we’re here, in December, and for a month that’s only run for 17 days so far it’s been full on.  I went to the Bold Steps conference in the first week and that appears to have set the tone.  I wrote about House of Boom, which was one of the most popular posts of the year.   I pitched a project at work for next year and got the (first) green light.  I was invited to join a board!  I finally pinned down the business idea I’ve been flirting with since January, and found my first collaborator, so that can be pushed along in 2019.  VERY excitingly, I’ve been invited to a garden party at Government House in February and I can only assume that’s a blog reader being an absolute champion – thank you so much.  I took a week off work to go on another family holiday – this time because my brother has moved back to New Zealand from Canada permanently. 

The calendar at this time of year is very full, and it’s a delightful reminder of all the people in my life who’ve been awesome through a topsy-turvy old year.  That’s you too, readers, so thank you for all your comments, jokes, likes and support in 2018.  I’ll see you one more time this week and then I’ll be back on 1 January 2019 for another year of Mode & Methodology.

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