A Year: Past Tense

Cold December Rain

This past year was one of mild accomplishments. I didn’t take any large trips or have any crazy adventures because of uncertainty at work, but there were some cool things that happened this year regardless! ๐Ÿ™‚

Just like last year, I was forced to go back through my Google Photos to try and figure out what I’d actually accomplished. (My bullet journaling attempts haven’t been quite as successful as I’d hoped.) ((Yet!))

2018 Highlights Reel (tl;dr)

  • Had my wisdom teeth removed (ow!)
  • Participated in my first ‘real’ table at a craft fair!
  • Created lots of little new things!

Real Life Stuffs

Taft Cat Sleeping in the Window Bed
  • Had my wisdom teeth removed (ow!)
  • Yet another wedding anniversary! Woot! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Started putting in some serious time in Udemy (work-sponsored) so that I have useful skillsets outside of my job in case I need to transition to another position.
  • I took up bullet journaling… and put it down… and picked it up… (lather, rinse, repeat) I’m gradually learning what works and what doesn’t.
  • Volunteered at Katsucon in Event Tech as a Generic-Minion-With-More-Useful-Skills (thanks to Pinpoint Lighting teaching me some minion-ing techniques! :D) Signed up to volunteer at 2019 Katsucon as a Vice Chair Assistant, which means work pre-con as well as at the con!
  • Took some more Nosework, Agility, and Obedience classes with Bucket, who is a Master Sniffer Extraordinaire! I also took Shiva to agility classes… she’s not sure if it’s fun or not.
  • Played hurricane drills with Hurricane Florence, who bypassed us completely and survived the annoying power outages of Hurricane Michael, which wasn’t supposed to be a hurricane *grumps*
  • Had Thanksgiving at my house (yay!) and got up to visit folks for Christmas.
  • The fence between us and the neighbor partially collapsed during a windstorm and we’ll be replacing it in January. (Yay?)
  • Got out to my cousin’s wedding! ๐Ÿ˜€ *waves at Em and Mel*

Art

2018 United Christian Parish Craft Fair table setup
  • Participated in my second NaMoPaiMo (National Model Painting Month) and finished my first ever paint job on one of Maggie’s Monthly Micros!
  • I rebuilt the lightbox (twice!) and worked on improving my product photography skills.
  • Built a simple, but sturdy, craft paint shelving unit for the workbench so it’s much easier to find the paint I need. ?
  • Finished the second of the body box horses (Thoroughbred)
  • I created a few new fencing jigs for the model horse fences that makes them much easier to make consistently the same. Interchangeable fencing only works when it’s actually interchangeable! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Worked out a way to get level magnets in the resin casts and cast a small army of Fat Ponies.
  • Won a Robin micro mini resin from Horse and Bird. It’s going to be my 2019 NaMoPaiMo project! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Donated 15 Fat Pony magnets to Big Orange Bash and three Fat Pony magnets and a base and fence to Jolt’s Jubilee.
  • Redesigned the covers for the yearly Saturday Story Prompt eBooks and started creating Pinterest Pin images. I had no idea I’d done more than 400 posts! (Yikes!)
  • Created templates for a bunch of new cardstock gift boxes and a way to make templates out of stencil plastic so they are a snap to put together. That made storing the model horse bases a snap and I don’t have to worry about things getting dusty anymore! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Refined my method of creating 100% Silicone Caulk Molds and worked on finding ways to create better OOMOO 30 molds.
  • Sculpted Shire and Shetland, Blue Jay, and Cardinal Christmas ornaments.

Writing

Hobby Crafting Business

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel - If
  • I started a MailChimp mailing list to do giveaways with and got a PO Box (again) because the list requires it.
  • Got the blog and the mailing list GDRP compliant so the nice EU doesn’t sue me into nothingness. *sighs and rolls eyes*
  • Participated in the UCP Craft Fair and did better than last year!
  • Created a Google Docs spreadsheet to properly calculate product material costs and roughed out some proper GLs so I can start better tracking my expenses.
  • I’ve started to try and use my Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts more consistently. I need to learn how to use Buffer properly next year!
  • I did some Pinterest adds, some Etsy adds, Amazon adds, some Instagram adds… just playing around with what sorts of keywords folks associate with my stuff. Spent maybe $50 over the whole year?
  • I made about $200 this year, all said and done, so I’m still very much a hobby. If I claimed expenses (materials, overhead, etc.) I would be soooooo far in the red I’d die of shame. ?

Fitness and Health Related

Mountains and Teaspoons Heraldic Shield 227 x 300
Mountains vs Teaspoons!

Blog Related

Google Analytics 2018 Users vs Pages per Session
  • This is the first year I haven’t had an over 25% growth (year over year) in users and pageviews. Things were pretty much the same as last year… which means I need to work harder! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • My social traffic percentage went from 14.5% to 19%, but almost all of it came from the Pinterest traffic spike early in the year. The free trial of Tailwind was very successful and I’m thinking of picking it up for a month or two next year, once I redesign the blog.
  • The top posts were still from Molds and Casting, but I’m slowly starting to make inroads with the other topics.
  • I turned off AdSense once I hit the $100 payout threshold. The ads were too annoying and the payout wasn’t high enough to be worth it.
  • Changed primary domains from Everydaydragons.com to Martha.net and moved the blog out of the wordpress folder. Was a giant headache (with lots of broken links) that I’m still recovering from!
  • Because of GDPR I went back and scrubbed a lot of the detailed information from Google Analytics. I can still see the overall numbers, but a lot of the details have been lost.
  • Gutenberg.. omgGutenberg. *rage* I have never hated a WordPress update as much as this one! But there’s no going back, I suppose, so I’ve been editing all of my old posts to play nice with the new world order.

All in All

It wasn’t a bad year and it wasn’t a good year… but it was a year. I’m not sad to see it end and I’m looking forward to filling up 2019 with a bunch of accomplishments! ๐Ÿ˜€

…we’ll see how many of them make it out of ‘Good Intentions’ and into ‘Wins’. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!

Failure is the New Breakfast

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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