Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Thoughts on the New Year, 2020, reflections on 2019

For me, every new year is informed by what happened the year before.  Here are some of the highlights I've been thinking about from 2019:
  • Paganoonoo was started 5 years ago!  My article in Threads Magazine came out in very early 2015. Many patterns and shows later, along with It's Sew Easy TV appearances, Paganoonoo is still going strong. I remain passionate about upcycling.
  • George and I had a harrowing trip in the snow to get to the Puyallup, WA, Sewing and Stitchery Expo in March.  We ran into a 60 year storm right around Ashland Oregon and made it over the Siskiyou pass literally minutes before it was shut down.  After being taken in for the night by angels in human form we gratefully completed the trek, safe and sound. As usual, it was a treat to be with everyone at the Expo.

    • I retired from my 40 year career in Medical Devices in June, after spending the last 17 years as an expert consultant on FDA's Quality System Requirements (21CFR 820 for fellow nerds.)  I am grateful for the skills I learned that serve me very well in running Paganoonoo.  It was a privilege to work in an industry that makes a positive difference for people in need. After 5 years running two businesses in parallel I am grateful to have just one to manage.
    • Paganoonoo Ready2wear (Etsy) was launched to sell upcycled garments. I really wanted to use the extra time after I retired to do more sewing.  Online sales have not worked so far, in person sales have been much better.  Loved the sewing time!!!
    • After a break in producing Paganoonoo video tips, we have started again.  Feedback has been terrific.  George is great at filming and I am honing my editing skills. I've had a long term goal of opening an online upcycle sewing school and still plan to make it happen.  Look for another TV appearance on It's Sew Easy, releasing in March.
    • I was on the board of 2 non-profits, my wearable art guild, www., and  Both great causes and a bit related to sewing, upcycling, creating, saving things from the landfill.
    • Episodes of depression and anxiety are part of my life.  Overloading myself is not particularly helpful.  It helps when I keep in place the practices I know to do that make a difference.  Frustration and wishing it away is not effective.  
    Thoughts going into 2020:

    I've been reflecting on what is most important to me, and how I want to allocate my time and energy.  A friend talked with me about using the following filters to focus for 2020:
    • What do I value?  What do I want to get out of life? What gives me energy/ juice?
    • What is already operating and "in motion" in my life?  Do I still wish to participate?  How much time/ energy do I want to invest? What do I want to Add/ Change/ Delete?
    • When things are being Added, Changed, Deleted what does that transition look like? 
    In the process of 2020 planning, and there are some things that have become clear.
    • The opportunity to create is extremely important to me. I am looking forward to taking a Surface Design Sabbatical starting in March!  For some years I have been wanting to explore upcycling not just through deconstruction and reconstruction, but also through surface design, so allocating this time is a dream come true. 
    • There have been hints of this passion with my button accents.  I've been inspired by the work of #TessaPerlow, a masterful embroiderer, among others. I plan to embroider, paint, stencil, stamp, applique, button, bead, write, etc. using existing garments as a foundation. I anticipate that this sabbatical will provide me with exponential growth and joy!  Timeframe?  6 month minimum, possibly longer.
    What changes in the transition? 

    I am structuring my life to bring in as much creative energy as possible.

    This is a purposeful strategy to create abundant joy, and to help manage episodes of depression and anxiety.  By the way, it seems to me that for many people there is a correlation between creativity and depression/anxiety.  I would not trade my creativity for ANYTHING, including removal of depression/anxiety.

    Room/ time needs to be made, and I am not fully clear yet exactly how this will happen, except for the following:
    • PaganoonooReady2Wear online will be on hold for now. There will be a blow out sale for existing garments, in person and perhaps Facebook - I need studio space!
    • Developing new Paganoonoo instructions is on hold during the sabbatical.
    • I am considering the possibility of turning over the management of Paganoonoo's day-to-day administration to someone else during the sabbatical.
    • Paganoonoo will do very few shows in 2020.  We will not be at Puyallup, WA for the Expo this year (I will miss you all!).  Will do:
              1) Road To California in Ontario, CA in a few weeks (end January) and 
              2) Canada College's Artistry in Fashion in September 2020
    • I will to do very few teaching gigs other than my commitment for PenWag's October Meeting (Campbell, CA)
    • I will to continue to produce video tips.  I love to share with you want to continue to hone my editing skills!  
    • I will take some workshops from others!  Let me know of opportunities...
    • I will make time to visit and create with friends! Part of this will include "art" parties in person and online (time to learn how Facebook Live works).
    • I will continue on the PenWAG board, this year as the 2020 Speaker Coordinator and program planning for 2021.  
    P.S. I will be a participant in the online "Project Refashion 2020" challenge.  Online hosted by the Renegade Seamstress. Starting in a couple weeks!!! 
      Thank you for being in the upcycling game and life game with me!  I am grateful for you all.  It doesn't matter if you are creative, or creative in the same way that I am.  Artists need admirers and patrons, as we need relationships with people with a myriad of skills we (I) lack and admire (like those of you good at math and staying organized.) 

      What are you thinking about keeping, adding or deleting in 2020?

      As always, you can purchase Paganoonoo Upcycle Sewing Instructions at 



      1. Congrats! I'm looking forward to following the Refashioned Runway this year. :) It sounds like you are going to have a great year!

      2. Kudos to you on your forward thinking!! My seasonal depression makes it hard for me to set goals - even daily goals - at this time of year. (The risk of disappointment is too great.) Your goals are inspiring. Best of luck to you in all your endeavors. I will be watching your progress.

      3. Hi Gayle, Thank you for your kind thoughts. Best wishes to you as well!