Atelier Ilyere – The ~10-year retrospective

This post will be a little different, but I want to take a moment to look back over my progress and wrap everything up in a big retrospective. My blog isn’t officially at the 10 year mark since I started in 2013, but I was definitely into crafts before that year, so I think it is still a milestone of sorts! (Officially I turn 30 next year and my blog turns 10 years old, so that is a real big deal!)

One thing I want to do better this year is to work on my blog a bit more, as a good habit for the future. I used to be a fan of doing a year in review art summaries but the last one I made was back in 2015 for the year of 2014. As it turns out, I haven’t actually been able to make a thing every month for a whole year since then. Honestly, I’m pretty disappointed in myself as it was a goal I set myself. I was so much more active and used to post a lot more frequently in the past (sometimes up to five times a month!) but nowadays I can just about manage the one monthly post. I have a lot more responsibilities now as a working adult but I also need to be able to set some regular time aside to continue my crafting journey. I want to be better!

I’d like to thing one of the reasons why I post less frequently is because my skills have gotten better and I work to a higher standard now, but that’s just me being hopeful. Sometimes I also feel like I have to try tackling something new as well, then it takes more time to learn something new. But there’s nothing wrong with going back to the tried and true, or redoing something for the fun of it!

One of the very first blog posts I made was my art summary for 2012. None of these projects were posted to WordPress; originally I had posted them to my personal Facebook profile. I had no dedicated craft room, and I would use my own bed as the work desk, but the positive feedback I had received from my friends and family gave me the confidence to put more effort into crafting. I saved up money to buy the stuff needed to organise my materials and also to start a blog chronicling the journey to the dream to becoming a real artisan.

2012 – I really did just use my bed and have all of my materials just everywhere!

Through the ages!

For fun, here’s some comparisons of my first and latest blog posts of my favourite crafting disciplines, along with some thoughts.

Origami: I practiced by using lots of coloured A4 paper and making a lot of standalone models that adorned my bedroom. I really stuck a things up using Blutack, the marks are everywhere! Nowadays I use a variety of patterned and textured paper, and I always look for ways to incorporate origami into home decor for the new home that I moved into last year.

Pendants: I like to single out gemstone pendants as a thing that I do really well in the jewellery field. Not much has changed on this front; I still like to check local markets and gemstone stores for my next piece, but I do like to get cabochons and wire from an established supplier now. I think a lot more carefully about the wirework too; it’s more than a way to hold the gemstone and should be part of the piece.

Beading: I would go to haberdasheries and buy glass or mixed bead packs, or salvage beads from hair accessories and string them onto bracelets a lot. Now I’ve learnt a lot about different types of glass beads, and I can use beading techniques to make each piece more unique and create jewellery sets of my own.

Baking: I think baking is a form of craft! You can take the recipe and add your own personalised touch. When I left for university, obviously I would have to cook for myself, but I also found joy in baking (and eating!) sweet foods and sharing them out. I’ve always been a bit adventurous with my ideas, but my execution of decorating has become a lot better.

New things I tried last year: I don’t think I intentionally challenged myself to learn these, I just happened to see inspiration for it during daily life and I just wanted to do it. I am quite happy with the macrame planter as it is exactly how I envisioned it, but the other two could do with a little more finesse. The cardboard cafe because I did not measure the pieces exactly so it is a little forced into shape, and the shadowbox TCG card because I could add more depth and shadows it.

Things I would like to do more of: sewing in general has stopped because it’s hard to sew everything by hand, but I can always still make smaller projects. The card is a two-fold goal as it is both a greetings card and it uses the quilling technique, both of which I don’t really do anymore.

Personal goals for Atelier Ilyere

  • Aim for a minimum monthly post on both WordPress and Instagram
    In 2013 I made 51 posts which is almost once a week! I might struggle to do that level of frequency now, but I am super committed to working on this blog, and I want to be able to do a 2023 art summary around this time next year!
    By the way, did you know I have an Instagram? The content differs slightly between the two so I would love for you to check it out! I would also love to be able to connect with other crafters on both platforms.
  • Attain higher viewership and drive more traffic
    A fairly generic goal, but the stats don’t lie. My best performing years were 2014-2016 and then it drops off a lot, which proves I just need to be more active and more regular. As of now, I can at least aim to have a better year than last year
  • Improve blog post content
    I want Atelier Ilyere to be a proper hub for crafting resources. I do call it my crafting journey, but I want anyone who stumbles upon it to be able to do the same thing themselves. I don’t claim to know everything, so I will link every resource I use and take photos of the process. I’m not in the business of making proper tutorials at the moment, but this can be done on request.

Thank you for reading if you stuck around! I know this was a little bit different, but I’ve still got a post lined up for later this week, Stay tuned!

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