PlanetJune Craft Blog

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2014: year in review

2014 has been a very strange topsy-turvy year, and I’m glad to put it behind me and move forward into 2015. My 2014 goals were to spend less time working, enjoy life, explore nature and get healthy, but life threw me some curveballs that made each of those impossible. Putting this review together always helps me to get some perspective on the year, so I can appreciate what I did accomplish – which was actually quite a lot, despite the difficulties!

Although my crochet pattern output was far less than usual, with only 8 new releases (plus 4 more to come that I couldn’t quite complete in 2014), I’m very happy with how they all turned out, and I came up with some nice innovations for these designs:

2014 PlanetJune crochet patterns
PlanetJune 2014 crochet patterns

And I’m very proud of my new 264-page crochet book, Idiot’s Guides: Crochet, which was published in August:

Idiot's Guides: Crochet by June Gilbank
My latest book

I also made quite a few other craft projects – 5 crocheted, 1 punchneedle, 1 sewn:

2014 PlanetJune craft projects
My 2014 craft projects

Plus, I managed to knit 2 new sweaters for myself (one with handmade polymer clay buttons) which I haven’t had a chance to model for photos yet, so you’ll have to wait to see them!

Personal Report

2014 was a challenge both mentally and physically. My year of unexpected turns:

  • I mistakenly thought my book work was 95% complete when I turned in the finished manuscript last Christmas; I didn’t count on the several rounds of editing – initially for content as I expected, but then again and again for length as the page design (a stage absent from my previous books) started to play a part.
  • I bought an exercise ball to use instead of a chair at my computer desk, and ended up re-wrecking my knee that was injured in a car accident over a decade ago, causing months of inactivity and ongoing residual pain.
  • Disturbing a burglary in my home led to months of mental trauma.
  • An amazing week in Borneo finally got me back on track, but was immediately followed by almost 3 months of chronic viral bronchitis.

The net result of all these unexpected things was that I was essentially housebound, unhappy and not feeling at all creative for much of the year. But I did fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing orangutans in their natural habitat!

orangutan4

Business Report

My personal situation actually had a positive side: precise technical work was the one thing that distracted me from my woes and made me feel like I was still moving forward with something. And that’s exactly what happened – I ended up, without even realising it, substituting the goals I couldn’t accomplish with the other goals on my list that I’d intended to defer until after I got healthy and happy, and I ended up completing 4 of my 7 main overarching business goals in 2014!

These goals were all related to my grand plan that I began three years ago. In 2011’s review, I said:

I want to invest time into things that will, in the long run, save me time in the technical and administrative sides of the business, leaving me with a larger proportion of time to spend on the creative and instructional sides, and having a life apart from my work.

I’ve been working ridiculously hard on that for the past three years, to get the ever-expanding PlanetJune to the point where I can run the business instead of it running me. And, fingers crossed, I may now be at that point!

For the past few months, my business has been able to essentially keep me covered with ‘vacation pay’ and ‘sick pay’ when I needed them, which has been a huge relief. (I have a lot more I want to say about how I reached this point, but I’ll save that for another post.)

What’s next?

I’ve questioned myself and my goals (and sometimes my sanity) a lot throughout these years of non-stop hard work, but now I have a really clear of what I want for PlanetJune and what I don’t want:

  • I want to design unique and beautiful things, and to help others so they can make them too.
  • I don’t want to compete with anyone else, or to make decisions based on finance or greed.
  • I want to follow my own path, to do my best, and to be genuine, honest and caring in everything I do.

That’s an unusual business plan, isn’t it? But I’ve subconsciously been following these principles right from the start, and they’ve led me, almost by accident, from being an animal-loving techy girl who liked to make things into an entrepreneur with a thriving business, so I know this is the right choice for PlanetJune. I’m still that animal-loving techy girl who likes to make things; it’s just an added bonus that other people also want to make the things I come up with!

So, where to go from here? It’s time for me to really try to meet those life goals from last year: to enjoy life and nature and to get healthy. My knee is still troubling me, but I think I can carefully build back up to real exercise again (although I think my running days may be over for good!) and, now my fear has receded, I really want to be brave and get out and explore more.

As for the business, I’m going to leave my goals flexible and see where life takes me.

  • I still have a few big projects to work on to further improve the workings of PlanetJune.
  • I want to catch up on my commissioned designs, and then review how to improve that system so I’m not constantly in the position of having a huge queue like a millstone around my neck.
  • I’d like to continue to offer my crochet knowledge and tips as new tutorials for my wonderful customers.
  • I have so many ideas for new pattern designs and I need to allow myself however much time it takes to bring my most innovative concepts to life.

Most of all, I want to feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled. That’s my wish for 2015, and I wish it for you too. I’m excited to see where this year will take me and PlanetJune, and I hope this will be the best year ever – for all of us. Thank you – as always – for your support on my continuing journey, and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

14 Comments »

  1. I am glad you are feeling better. Please. Take care of yourself please. I pray this year will be wonderful for you.

  2. Lee Lawson said

    Just found your blog.Do hope 2015 will be a GOOD year for you.Can’t wait to buy your new book.

  3. Zouglounette said

    Happy new year & Best wishes !

  4. Alicia said

    Wishing you health, safety and happiness in 2015. If you have these 3 things creativity, and prosperous business will follow.

  5. Lesley Innes said

    Not being as good with words as the previous few commentators, I can only concur with what they have already expressed and also wish you a 2015 that is healthy, happy and productive. Your Book is giving me many hours of pleasure and learning and I look forward to seeing your new designs as they are released.
    How I wish more people in this world were as ethical and caring as you are. Go well.

    • June said

      Thank you, Lesley! (And I haven’t forgotten I owe you an email about your question – I’ll get right on that when I’m ‘back at work’ after next week…)

  6. Aine said

    What a wonderful way to start the new year; a post from Planet June. As most of your ‘friends’ I was concerned for your overall well-being. You have put a big smile on this ol’ face with your positive outlook on life and the future.
    I wish you most of all a Healthy New Year.
    Be well, be safe

    • June said

      Aww, thank you, Aine 🙂 I have one more week of my relaxing holiday staycation to enjoy and then I’ll be back here properly – I’m looking forward to it!

  7. I loved reading this. I relate completely with your business values and your experience of balancing innovative creativity with other aspects.

    It’s remarkable the great things you accomplished amidst traumatic events! Congratulations. Surely 2015 will be a much better year in many ways.

  8. Heather L. said

    I think your business goals are wonderful. Imagine how much better the world would be if all businesses strove to be genuine and honest rather than just trying to make as much money as possible.

    You are a fabulous designer and a wonderful person, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with this year. I sincerely wish you all the best in regaining your health, and for your continued peace of mind. You are a much stronger person than I am.

    • June said

      Thank you, Heather, I really appreciate that. Not sure how strong I really am – the past year pushed me to the absolute limit of what I can endure – but I’m hopeful that things will get back on track this year if I take everything slowly and steadily and try not to expect too much from myself.

  9. Corine said

    It’s so good to hear from you, and to hear that you are feeling better. It’s so strange to feel like you are a friend I’ve never met, but I do! Here’s wishing you a much better 2015!

    • June said

      Thank you, Corine! One of the best things about running PlanetJune is having such nice ‘friends I’ve never met’ 🙂

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  • Welcome to PlanetJune!

    June Gilbank

    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!

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    crocheted Canadian flag by PlanetJune
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