Thursday , 23 May 2019
It's the end of the year: fiscal, calendar, it doesn't really matter. Most of us are already thinking ahead. Lots of ideas, plans, and probably a sense of "how can I ever make this all happen?"

Get Organized Series! Part 1: Reflecting on What Has Come Before

Hand-Marbled Cotton Fat Quarter in Orange and Black

Hand-Marbled Cotton Fat Quarter in Orange and Black

Get Organized!

Part 1: Reflecting on What Has Come Before

It’s the end of the year: fiscal, calendar, it doesn’t really matter. Most of us are already thinking ahead. Lots of ideas, plans, and probably a sense of “how can I ever make this all happen?”

If that’s your mind frame right now, then this series is for you. Step by step, let’s help you plan out the coming year so that it seems both manageable and practical. The best part? You can do this planning whenever you want; you don’t have to wait for an official beginning. You just start, whether it be an individual project, a month, or the whole calendar year.

Step 1 is reflecting on what you FINISHED. What did you get accomplished this past year? Let’s start here. Make a list of what you actually completed this past calendar year (since that’s what most of us work with). Consider everything: sales, new customers, teaching gigs, social media, newsletters, art shows, gallery entries, website development, blog writing, travel, new art work (definitely do not leave out the actual creativity!). WHAT DID YOU DO FOR THE YEAR? Now celebrate each and every accomplishment. You made progress.

Step 2 is identifying what you DIDN’T get done. This is hard, and sometimes it can leave us with a sense of failure. Not so. Get it out or paper, have the pity party, get over it, and you don’t have to think about it as much. There were reasons why these didn’t get done: not a priority, not enough time, too much money, family and/or job commitments. Identify them and let them go. It’s okay if you are working full time and don’t have a lot of creative time or space. Part of what will follow in later steps will be adding realistic planning into your goals.

Step 3 is starting a list of all that you actually accomplish this year. Add to it throughout the year. Then when you reflect next year, you’ve already got your list.

Step 4 is sharing what you accomplished, on a blog, your website, a newsletter….or in the comments here. Let us celebrate with you. Working in isolation is tough, and since we have a cyber community, let’s take advantage of it!

Next: Dreaming the New Year

Dean and Linda Moran are the owners of Marble-T Design, LLC and have been marbling for 20 years. You can see their work at “The Art of Marbling,” follow their adventures on their blog, see examples of their marbling in their Etsy shop, and watch their updates on Facebook.



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  1. What a great idea. My achievements from this year were registering my jewellery business, getting my first ever sales at a craft fair and starting a blog. Next year my goals are to open my Etsy shop and develop my jewellery making and business skills further. Lots to plan and do!

  2. I’m finally ready to publish my first newsletter. It will be going out January 1st at 12:15am. Don’t have many followers yet, but I’m building my list. Thank you for all your articles. They’ve helped a great deal. :)

  3. I finally got my folksy shop in full swing, have achieved a few sales, and made lots of new friends though facebook, also helped many charities by donating things to FB auctions, which in turn got more people looking at my shop. This year I hope to do more still and grow my business enough to be able to make a living. Sorting out my workshop tomorrow and putting up new calendars and a year planner! Happy New year everyone, and wishing you success in 2013!

  4. In 2011 I opened my Etsy shop but just couldn’t get if off the ground. Realized that competition was pretty tough out there for hair accessories. I kept the shop open but went on vacation mode for awhile. Then one day this year I started making steering wheel covers for myself and friends to protect our hands from the intense desert heat when grabbing on to the wheel. Everyone liked them and I thought lets see if they would sell on Etsy. So, here I am with 100 plus sales this year on Etsy since September making my new found love. Handmadeology has been a big help for me in building my business up. Happy New Year everyone and back to sewing to build up inventory.

  5. Excellent! Just proves we never know where an idea will lead us! Etsy is tough, but we also did more sales this year, and I want to promote the shop this coming year. I agree, Handmadeology articles also have great nuggets of information.

  6. First quarter 2012 I uploaded my first Etsy shop items. Subsequently made, photographed, and wrote listings for 150 pieces of which 56 sales on Etsy at years end, (and at least as many outside of Etsy to an independent reseller). I sent out my mailchimp newsletter twice promoting 2 Etsy sales, started my Facebook fan page, now up to 115 “likes”, and Pinterest presence as well. I also contacted a fellow San Diego Etsy seller. We met, hit it off, and are now “peer coaching” each other once a week on the phone for 30-40 minutes. We discuss “wins” “action items” for upcoming week, and “hurdles” we need help with. Would recommend for anyone! Great accountability and connectedness!
    My goal for 2013 is to get to 200 listings before Mother’s day, take jewelry classes (already signed up for one starting next Monday), get involved with Twitter, AND here’s the thing I’m having trouble mentally committing to: write a weekly blog to increase back links and value of what I offer. I just discovered Handmadeology and am “inhaling” as much as I possibly can. What a fantastic resource!

    • Wow, Siri – congratulations!!! I need to adopt a couple of your ideas! And the next time we’re in San Diego, maybe we can increase the peer coaching!

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