Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year everyone! I have a feeling that 2022 is going to be amazing, so let’s hope I am right!

Can you believe that it's already the 14th day of 2022? It feels like only yesterday when I decided to close shop a little early before Christmas, but it was 13th December – 5 weeks ago!

Taking an early mark late last year before Christmas turned out to be the best decision for me. I consciously made the decision to put myself first, something I haven't really done in what feels like forever, and I'm now feeling fully rested, both physically & mentally, and ready to plunge forward into the year!

I started with - Operation Studio Clean Out
Cleaning out my studio was an experience! I planned out how the room should ideally function – with so many new things going on, including more people needing to work in the space, all of my supplies and where they are stored needed to make sense, so I introduced workstations; a cutting station, which also doubles as a station for packing orders and product photography; a sewing station, office station and creative/finishing station. Sounds like a lot, but in such a small room, I think I have made it work well. I will share a more in-depth studio tour soon, but here are a few images to show you my space and how it is all working now...

We spent some days here - Bribie Island, Queensland
We’ve been lucky enough to spend some lazy days at one of my favorite places ever! All beaches are wonderful, but this one is different and I’ve adopted it as my own – I will hopefully live here one day. If you ever have the chance to experience this amazing place, take it – you absolutely won’t regret it!

Commenced a new personal challenge - Sewing for Charity
In the 10 years I've been collecting fabric and sewing, this is the most organised it's ever been! I love how a clean room motivates me! I ended up with three washing baskets of extra fabric - one to be sorted into my supplies, one to be sold and one to be donated. I’ve gone through this extra fabric many times over the last few years, but this is the last time!

After searching for some charity sewing ideas to use the basket of donation fabric (close to 100 meters and over 13kg in weight!), I came across a pattern for “cuddle hearts” that are required by the Mater Mothers hospital Neonatal Critical Care Unit here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

The purpose of these hearts is to link mum and baby whilst they are apart, filling the space when the two can’t be together. One is given to the mother and placed on her chest to pick up her scent, with the another placed close to the baby for the same reason. The hearts are then swapped so mother and baby are left with each other’s scented heart. You can read more information about the cause here.

21 years ago my first born spent time in the Special Care nursery due to complications in utero, at birth and after. I understand the emotional turmoil of new mothers being separated from their babies and I resonated immediately – I absolutely needed to donate my time and fabric to this cause. I have made it my personal goal to sew 1000 sets this year; this equates to 3000 hearts. I’ve sewn 100 as of today & will need to sew around 60 hearts each week to meet this goal.

What's coming up for Upper Dhali® in 2022?
This year will see all things NEW!
Firstly, I am going to be more consistent with my blog writing. I've promised myself for years that I would do it, so I got my diary out and PLANNED out a year's worth of topics. I will never back away from a physical challenge!

Secondly, I've started a new Loyalty Rewards program for my customers! To read about how it all works and what rewards are on offer, click the icon below or the tab on the bottom right of my website.

Thirdly, my doll collections.

My weekly one of a kind Collector Edition dolls will be available again starting on Thursday 20th January. I announce these via my newsletter first and then go live on the website 24 later - it's a fun night and everyone looks forward to seeing what new character I've made for them. If you'd like to join us and get the first look at the new ones available, subscribe today!

My Signature Edition collection will finally be launched! This is a beautifully curated collection of dolls with the first release combining my signature colours of pink, white, cream, champagne and gold. There will be 5 dolls in total for the initial release which will then be added to over time, also adding new colour palettes along the way. These dolls are ready made and available for immediate shipping, which I am SUPER excited about! I am hoping for March release, but will share more on socials and the blog when I have a confirmed date :)

Other new and exciting collections coming this year include vintage inspired Keepsake Memory Bears, whimsical Flower Fairies and a delightful modern rag doll suitable for play. Another collection featuring another Australian artist will be announced soon too which is SUPER EXCITING!

Phew! That's just the start of it! 2022 is going to be BIG.

If there are any characters you would love to see, let me know! Even though I have planned out the weekly releases, knowing what you would love to see might clear the diary to make something you've suggested - like I said, I LOVE physical challenges!

Until next time, love & blessings,

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