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The Good, the Bad, and the Learning

Oh, sweet mother of pearl, the year is almost over. 

Yup, it's officially true - the older you get, the faster the time goes. I can vouch for it. 


Often, this can overwhelm me - an entire year gone - what have I done in an ENTIRE year??


This brings me to, for the second year in a row, my year in review. 


I STRONGLY recommend you do this as well. It brings a sweet joy of remembrance that in the past 12 months, big things have happened.


A year is a long time to remember, especially if your memory doesn't like to work, so I grab my well-used Thrive planner (click here for more info) and look back to recall. 


Artist holding her planner, the Thrive Planner
The Thrive Planner, created by Crystal Clarke

Top Three Things That Happened

(is there any number greater than 3! I will argue anyone on this fact)


  1. I finished the custom portrait commissions! A task that I felt like I was always behind on, but with your incredible patience and support, we were able to create some truly amazing masterpieces together. 

  2. I was a vendor at my very first Wholesale show at Toronto Market Week and spent 2 nights away from the family. This was HARD and at the same time became completely my jam. I started repeating in my head - I'm afraid, but I'm going to do it anyway. And I did it, and am heading back for more in 2024!

  3. I decided to outsource some of my work. This is hard as someone that is mayyyybe a bit of a cough control freak cough. But to provide you with incredible ceramic ornaments and larger-than-life prints, I knew I had to bring in some experts to help. Do I still think about making larger prints at home and learning how to create ceramic ornaments myself? Why yes, yes I do, but my time is better spent creating. 


The Three Most Difficult Things in the Year

(the flip side)


  1. Juggling time - yeah, parenthood is HARD. Your child/children deserve your attention. Every ask for you to play with them should be answered with a "YES!" and bedtime should be as long as they need to feel safe and secure. Does this happen? Well, umm NOPE. I mean the house would be a disaster, no art would be done, and someone needs to pause all the play to cook the food, but I do my best. Working when she goes down to sleep is difficult - it cuts into proper bedtime for myself, but it feels incredible at the same time. I honestly feel like I'm just MEANT to be here, in the studio.

  2. The first few shows this year. Business talk right now - I didn't make as much money as I had hoped, and in one show, I lost money, as the sales didn't cover the expenses of the show and product creation. So, yeah, that was hard. If I don't make a profit, I can't make this a viable business. But we kept trying, and the last few months of this year have been our absolute best to date.

  3. Reducing our shows. We cut back on how many shows we did this year to have more time to spend together as a family. More adventures, more play, and more quality time, and it was GREAT, like Tony the tiger Grrrrrrrrreat. So, yes, we will keep doing this.


BING, BAM, BOOM, that's it, a year wrapped up in a 3-minute read.


There's so much more, as I flip through the year in the Thrive Planner, and seeing each quarterly goal being checked off and accomplished makes me do a little happy dance, (You go girl!).


So grab that planner of yours and flip back, give yourself a HUGE pat on the back and celebrate everything you have built, learned, and grown from. You are incredible. 


Another year is just around the corner, and I can already feel my energy start to build - there's nothing like that New Year energy buzz. Are you ready?

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