2017 In Review & Plans For 2018

Hi everyone!

My apologies for taking so long to upload this. January has not been kind to me. I’ve been extremely ill twice, and two of my pets have passed away so I have been very depressed. I’ve finally had the time and energy to finish this post. This is just going to be a quick summary of my 2017, and my plans for 2018.

January

January was pretty slow – I just worked, and wrote my last exam for my degree.

February

I went to Red Room with Juan, and teased my hair really big. I really loved this look!

I also got this incredible drawing of myself from Trevor Schuster. Here’s a side by side comparison of the drawing and the photo he used!

I did a shoot with Wasabi Foto that is very different from my usual style, but I love the result!

March

I handed in my leather bound research report on the 3rd!

I won an award for Trevor at Ink & Iron for best half back colour tattoo! Excuse the sunburn! Here’s my tattoo as well, for those of you who haven’t seen it.

I went to a cosplay picnic in my Little Sister cosplay from Bioshock! I had some awesome photos taken there. This one is my favourite.

My husband and I got engaged! We waited to announce it when we got the ring though, as we decided to have a ring custom made.

I also convinced my non-Goth friends to go to Attrition! Look at how gorgeous they looked!

April

I had a stall at Fantasy Fayre and made this skirt so that I could wear a viking inspired outfit!

I went to visit my beautiful friend Neko in Clarens for the weekend and had so much fun! I wish she didn’t live so far.

I had a photoshoot with Taikutsuna Majo, where two of my beloved pets modeled with me. Sadly they are both no longer with us.

At Pagan Freedom Day I shot with a bow for the first time in years!

May

I graduated my Honours Degree in Strategic Brand Communication!

Unfortunately just a few days after my graduation, my dog, Layla, had to be put down. I was heartbroken and it took me months to recover.

I got new synthetic dreads that I put in for a week. I loved this look I did for Geekfest! I had a stall there and it went really well!

I had a lovely day out with my friend Krisne where we went vintage shopping and drank lots of tea! We even stopped by a charity shop that is also a cat sanctuary and I made a new friend!

June

I was very busy with my jewellery business this month! I had 3 stalls and worked very hard to create stock.

I went to ICON to support my fellow stallholders, and got to fight a knight! Look at how ridiculous I look in the armour! It was lots of fun though!

July

I started working at the company I work at!

I also attended the last ever Dark Noise party with Juan. I’m so sad that I don’t have any more Dark Noise parties to look forward to. They were always so much fun.

August

I was very busy with stalls again this month.

We finally had our engagement photos taken! Thank you to Derek Whitton Photography for the beautiful photos.

My grandfather passed away and we went to his funeral.

September

I visited Neko in Clarens for a week to de-stress and have time to make jewellery stock for my biggest market for the year.

I had a stall at a Harry Potter festival and it was extremely busy! Luckily towards the end of the day I managed to take photos with Simone at the photobooth!

It was my birthday and my mother and I went to watch the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra perform Disney songs. It was such a fantastic show!

October

It was my biggest market for the year – rAge. I was extremely over-worked but it was worth it. I wore my Little Sister cosplay again and even found a splicer!

November

I had a stall at Discworld Day! I dressed up as Adora Belle Dearheart from Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal. Unfortunately it was extremely hot and I was unable to manage my stall for the majority of the day. Luckily some kind stallholders looked after me and even drove home with me to make sure that I was safe.

It was my kitchen tea and we went to the botanical gardens. I just love the look on my face in this photo. It was the exact moment that I realised that the lingerie I had just opened was from my mother!

We got married! The day did not go according to plan because it was pouring with rain the whole day, but it was still perfect! Thank you to Swallow-Tail Photography for our amazing photos and my beautiful makeup.

The next day we left on honeymoon, which was absolutely incredible. We went to Paris, Venice and Rome! I’ll write a post all about the wedding and honeymoon! I don’t want to spoil too much, but my absolute favourite place we went to was the Paris Catacombs. Here’s my favourite photo I took there:

December

We got back from honeymoon on the 7th December and I was back at work the next day.

I had 2 amazing photoshoots to end off the year. One with Dark Arts Society:

And one with Shyne Photo:

I worked until the 22nd of December and didn’t do much in my time off. Hardly any of the plans I made worked out unfortunately. But I did have a Harry Potter marathon with Bree!

Sadly one our rats, Dovahkiin passed away suddenly around Christmas, followed by my rabbit, Frodo and one of our other rats, Eddie, in the first week of January. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the year didn’t start off well for me, but I hope that it gets better.

 

Plans For 2018

This year is going to be a busy one for me.

As I’m now working full time, I have less time for Ayame Designs and for modeling. Because of this, my jewellery business will take preference over modeling. I am going to focus most of my free time on growing Ayame Designs, especially internationally. I have some very exciting new product ranges coming up this year that I will be working on whenever I can. I will no longer be doing smaller markets, as they are not worth my time. The only exception is when it’s an alternative market and it’s not too far to travel. I am also travelling to Cape Town to have a stall at FanCon! This is the first time that I am travelling outside of Pretoria and Johannesburg for a stall so it’s very exciting!

As for my modeling, I will only be taking on work that will result in something amazing and different. I am much more selective about who I work with, and will only be shooting interesting concepts. Unfortunately all the alternative and goth magazines I would like to be published in don’t have themes I would like to shoot, so I will probably only be submitting to open themed issues or magazines this year.

I have just become permanent at my job! This means that I will also be taking on new responsibilities and I am excited to grow in the company. I’ll also be working much harder than perviously, and therefore won’t have as much free time.

I want to commit to writing a blog post at least once every 2 weeks. I am working on a few new posts right now, and also have some ideas for future posts saved. Unfortunately I don’t have as much time as I’d like to film YouTube videos, so I will be focusing on blogging, as I can write little bits at a time when I can, but don’t often have multiple hours free to film and edit videos.

This year I have also decided to cut all negative things out of my life. Whether it’s people who drag me down or things I let happen. I am done letting people or circumstances affect my happiness. I will make more time for people and things that make me happy.

 

I know this is quite a long post! Congrats on making it to the end! PS – My post about my wedding will be up next week, followed by one on my honeymoon.

 

 

J

xx

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2016 in review and plans for 2017

Hi everyone!

Since 2016 is coming to an end, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on this year and everything that has happened and that I have achieved. This year was especially tough for me because of my health issues, but I still managed to achieve a lot. So here are some of the important things that happened to me in 2016, in more-or-less chronological order:

1. I finally studied something I am passionate about!
After finishing 3 years of hell studying something I no longer enjoyed with terrible classmates, I finally found what I want to do with my life and managed to (almost) complete my postgraduate studies in Strategic Brand Communication. I now only have one exam left and then I will have completed my course.

2. I started playing violin again after almost 10 years.
After contemplating starting again since I discovered my love for folk metal a few years ago, I finally bought myself a beautiful electric violin and started playing again. While I am nowhere near as good as I would have liked to be by now, I have still learned a lot and I am loving it.

3. I became a rat lady.
My boyfriend and I got our first rats, Merlin and Eddie, in January and since then we adopted another one, Dovahkiin! We love them to bits and they have brought so much joy to our lives.

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4. I quit my job at The Grind Radio.
While I loved doing my radio shows every week, I had to quit in order to focus on my studies. I still miss it, and hope to have a similar opportunity again one day! Being a radio host really helped to shape me as a person as it improved my confidence.

5. I got very ill.
One of the few negatives on this list. My health started declining around April, and we had no idea what was wrong. At the end of June, I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and put on DHEA supplements. I was so ill that I couldn’t get out of bed many days and almost dropped out of university because of it. I am still on my medication, and battling with my condition, but it is much better and I feel like myself again.

6. I made a new friend!
I met my beautiful friend Lauren, who lives in Clarens, and met up with her a couple of times since we met in April. I love finally having a female friend who understands me and who I can talk to about anything, even though we don’t see each other often.

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7. I started up Darklings Box.
Together with my friend Bree from Puff’s Handiwork, I started up South Africa’s only Goth subscription box. It has been lots of hard work, but also great fun coming up with themes and sourcing and creating items for each box.

8. I got published internationally (twice!).
This was a huge milestone for my modeling as I had felt like it was going downhill for a while. I got published in Cynical Fashion Magazine‘s July Into The Depths issue, and then in Gothesque Magazine‘s December Lights issue. I want to focus on producing more quality work and getting more publications next year.

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9. I had my first stall at rAge.
I have been making jewellery for many years now, but had never made the decision to have a stall at rAge before until this year. It was definitely a good move and I think it also shows that I have really grown passionate about my craft and reached a level of confidence in my creations.

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10. I got a well-earned break with a short holiday to Cape Town.

After this very busy year, I was fortunate enough to be able to go on holiday with my parents to Cape Town.

 

So what’s next?

 

Well, here are a few of my plans and goals for next year:

 

1. Find my first job in my field.

My last exam is on 16th January so I’m going to start job hunting after that. I hope to find a job soon.

 

2. Start saving to emigrate.

I want to save 1/4 of each month’s salary in order to be able to move to Denmark in a few years.
3. Play violin more. 

I want to get into the habit of playing violin at least 3 days a week. I also want to record a cover of my favourite Korpiklaani song by September 2017.

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year! Feel free to share your 2016 highlights and 2017 goals with me!

 

 

J

xx