2016 marks the year of the greatest changes for To Work with My Hands. While there were lots of little tweaks along the way, the most significant change happened over the summer when I drastically narrowed the focus of the blog.
If you’re one of the newer readers (and I’m so glad you’re here), you probably didn’t know that in the earlier months of this year you could find recipes , gardening tips and articles, posts of encouragement and goal-setting. and 4 different series – as well as DIY projects!
It was just too much and I reached a point of decision. Either I had to lay it all down, or rethink what I wanted to write about and share. It was a tough decision, but one I’m so glad I made.
And if you’re a reader who’s been here for a while – and seen the changes – I really appreciate you sticking it out during the cleaning up and cleaning out. You bless me! 🙂
The recipes were certainly the hardest to remove from the blog and since I’ve had requests for several of them I’m happy to share that I’m finally working on compiling all of them into a downloadable e-book that I hope to have available early next year! I’ll keep you posted in the newsletter. (Update: You can get it here.)
Even though I had to let go of some topics for the blog, it was still a very good decision to narrow the focus down to DIY projects because that’s apparently what you enjoy most.
So…to wrap things up, I’m excited to share with you To Work with My Hands’ Best of 2016. These posts earned the highest traffic and are all part of the narrowed focus.
I hope you’ll enjoy looking back over your favorites from 2016!
The Best of 2016
This was a really fun project that started with a unique-looking piece that I found at a thrift store. It was only after I painted and finished it that I decided it looked a lot like a little woman with her hands perched stoutly on her hips! I still love my sassy little plant stand that sits right by the front door.
Another post inspired by a single element, this project fit the bill in so many ways. First, it was a fun way to start using a big stack of tiles I found in our garden shed. Next, it provided a unique way to add decor to the front door without going the traditional wreath route. Finally, it’s versatile and takes less than 30 minutes to update for each season, which I love!
Four times per year I get to work with some amazing bloggers for a creative challenge. Over the summer we chose to use beads in our project and I knew right away how I’d use mine! The ladies I worked with totally outdid themselves for this challenge and came up with some super fun and gorgeous creations that are linked at the end of the post.
This was one of those projects that started out one way, and ended up totally different. I love how it turned out, and apparently you did too! It was also one of the simplest projects I’ve worked on this year. I’m looking for places to add more of these to our yard and garden next year.
Ranking #1 in page views for 2016, this project was part of the Fall Blogger Challenge. I love this one because it gave me the opportunity to play around with a technique I had been thinking of trying. It was fun and I love how they turned out. I ended up using the canisters as dining room decor instead of functioning storage for the kitchen and I’m looking for ways to use this technique again.
Although it didn’t make the top 5 posts from 2016 (it was #9), I decided to tack this one on too because it was my very favorite project from the entire year.
This project was a real turning point for me personally. I envisioned the finished project, but got plenty of contemplative looks from my family as I worked on it. They just weren’t seeing what I was going for. When it was finished, however, they were my greatest cheerleaders, and it was then that I knew I had certainly made the right decision for the blog.
It still sits on our hearth. The candles have burned so many times that I now need to replace them. It always encourages me when I see it though because it’s a constant reminder of a vision realized – both for a single project, and a 3-year old blog that took a chance…and found out it was worth it.
Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017
And that, my friend, wraps up 2016 for To Work with My Hands. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading, following, commenting, sending emails, sharing, and being a part of our community of Time-Crunched Creatives.
Next year brings more repurposed, upcycled, and crafted projects for you to enjoy. Plus, there’s new blog features coming up that I think you’ll love! I hope you’ll join me.
Happy New Year!