2021 is winding down! As we approach the New Year, I’ve been ruminating over how TPK evolved over the past 12 months. Today, we’ll talk about reader favorites, accomplishments, regrets, and what’s in store for 2022.
What Was Different This Year
As my child (now a 3-year-old) morphed from toddler to little boy, I found myself with more energy — thanks to more sleep! — and time. Both of those factors increase creativity, which resulted in engaging project tutorials and cool content here on the TPK blog. 2021 was the year I found a balance between being a mom and being an artist/entrepreneur, and that feels so refreshing!
In 2021, several new products made their way into the Digital Catalog and the Supplies Shop. Based on order quantities, the two favorite 2021 newcomers were iron gall ink and parallel gliders. The Dancing Pen Calligraphy Medallions worksheet was the most popular item in the Digital Catalog.
Favorite 2021 Reader Creations
A look at all the @thepostmansknock tagged posts on Instagram shows that readers were busy being creative this year! While people tried out a variety of projects, I noticed illuminated letters popping up the most consistently. There’s just something irresistible about gold watercolor accents and intricate flourishes — and it helps that TPK’s illuminated letter tutorial includes a foolproof printable!
Proudest Accomplishment This Year
Earlier this year, I released a redesign of the TPK Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit. Compared to the old version of the kit, the new version has a lot of bells and whistles: a beautiful redesigned box, a beginner workbook (that coordinates with the Beginner’s Course!), an intricate nib tin, a custom cleaning cloth, and a perfect little art water cup. Designing and sourcing the extra items seemed impossibly frustrating at times. But, after several months, I had a fabulous kit that I feel truly proud to offer in the Supplies Shop.
When I headed into 2021, I intended to create a “Watercolor for Beginners” online course. Unfortunately, that was something that never made it onto my agenda this year! I’m hoping to work on a course next year … but finding the time then might be unrealistic. I’ve got a big personal change coming up then, so we’ll see how things develop (keep reading to find out what’s going on)!
Most Popular Calligraphy Style
TPK is known for its calligraphy, and the most popular calligraphy worksheet on the site this year was the Amy, followed closely by the Janet. Both styles are clean and elegant, which marks a shift from previous years, when the most popular style was the bohemian — and slightly wild! — Kaitlin Style.
The most stressful, what-do-I-do 2021 day for TPK was October 1st. That day, a deluge of “MAIL SERVICE SUSPENDED” Supply Shop orders landed on my doorstep, and they kept coming. I found out later that the US Postal Service had suspended shipping service to Australia and New Zealand. Writing to the customers who were affected, issuing refunds, and updating the returned inventory was a pain. I understand now why service was suspended (there’s a backlog of undelivered packages Down Under), but it certainly led to a stressful couple of days!
Most Popular Blog Post
This year, the most popular blog post on the site was 8 Tips to Improve Your Handwriting (Plus a Free Worksheet). People have really meshed with that article, probably because just about everyone is looking to improve their everyday handwriting. I won’t be surprised if the Improve Your Handwriting article retains the “most popular blog post” title next year, too!
What’s In Store for 2022
I usually go into the New Year with loose goals and plans for TPK. Rarely do I ever write articles in advance! This year is different, though, because Hernán and I will be welcoming a baby girl with a Valentine’s Day due date. I’ve been working on a maternity leave since June, and I can specifically tell you that there are fabulous tutorials headed your way.
In addition to tutorials, I’ve got two worksheets finished and ready for you. One is a food-themed Not Your Average Calligraphy Drills sheet, which will be released in March. The other — and I’m really excited about this one — is a cursive penmanship worksheet. It will teach you how to write in gorgeous cursive with a vintage flair. You can expect to see that in April! Then, if I end up with a fairly mellow baby, I hope to work on a watercolor eCourse in the second half of the year.
As we make our way into 2022, I’d like to say thank you for keeping this website vibrant and alive. Next year will mark a decade of this blog’s existence (!!!). Your support, in all of its different manifestations, have kept it going strong! I’m looking forward to getting to be creative in 2022 with you, and for many more years to come.
Happy New Year!