Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming and I haven't put up our tree yet. It's only a small one, 30 cm high. But I'm not quite sure where to put it that our 16 month old daughter won't get into it. It'll need to be up by Tuesday, as we're having a family Christmas dinner here. We are doing it while my parents are up and before my brother and his partner move back down south. Plus my Dad's sister and her husband are joining us. It should be fun. It's also the first time I've done a family Christmas dinner at my place, so that is going to be interesting.

I'm still trying to get my housework under control. I'm not the worlds best housekeeper to start with, and when you add a toddler who likes attention and doesn't like sleeping, plus depression and feeling overwhelmed at times, it doesn't make for a tidy (or organised) house. But I'm working on it.

I made a list today. I now know what I need to have done before Tuesday. There are about 10 things on the list. This doesn't include shopping for food or cooking dinner for the family. There is also a 'bonus task', which I'd like to do, but doesn't matter so much if it doesn't get done. 10 things to do, 5 days (Tuesday doesn't count as I'll be shopping, cooking, decorating and enjoy family company). Two tasks a day is surely manageable, assuming my daughter co-operates.....

Friday, 30 November 2012

November project update/ 13 by 2013

I haven't finished any projects this month. I had good intentions, but they didn't happen. I was meant to get the cushion covers and the birth samplers done by the start of this week, so that Mum could take them down to my sisters. Thankfully, Mum's back up in 2.5 weeks, so hopefully I've got them done by then.
I did start some new projects. I've started a scarf, a pair of socks (Christmas present) and some Christmas ornaments for a swap. Realistically, I shouldn't be doing the swap, but I haven't done one in ages, so I wanted to. Plus I'd told myself I could only do it if I'd decided what I was doing prior to signing up. So it saved me rushing around like a mad thing trying to work out what to make, just rushing around like a mad thing making them.

I did have a really productive day last weekend. I moved furniture to a friends that I didn't need and she did. I moved a couch from her place to our place. Our plan for the downstairs space is to have a gaming/lounging area. Couch is useful for that, especially as it folds out into a bed. I also took an entire carload of items I was donating down to a local op shop. Plus all the recycling that was down there got taken to the recycling station at the bottom of the hill. Downstairs is now looking much better, and starting to get in line with our view for it. Getting all that done in one day is motivating me to get more done. Plus getting all those items out of our house was one of the things on my list of 13 to finish by the end of the year.

But first I'm going to finish these ornaments and get them sent out.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Keeping Hats

I have been reading about minimalism. For me minimalism is about having enough, not too much. Maybe a few extra craft bits for projects, but not the overwhelming stash that I currently have. Only clothes that fit me, not all these 'one day', or 'I like but I'm never going to wear cos I always pick something else instead' clothes that fill up my wardrobe. I found this word on a blog post I read and I love it - Lagom

I've been trying to move stuff into the (massive) pile of bits to donate as I find them. Figuring even one or two items a day should add up if I keep at it.

I have a hat. I have several actually, but one in particular. I kinda like it. I bought it when I was in the States on my honeymoon. We were going to Burning Man and I figured a cap to keep the sun out of my eyes would be a good thing to purchase, as I'd forgotten to bring mine from home. Now that I'm home, I never wear it. It's been sitting with my other hats for two years, and I have not once worn it. I always chose my other cap in preference. Oh, I'll try my Burning Man one one, but I always take it off as it's just a little too snug. I've been doing this for two year. You'd think I'd have figured it out by now. Last night, I looked at it and laughed. I realised I've been holding onto if for the memory of why I bought it and why I wore it. And it occurred to me it was a silly reason to hold onto it, when it just keeps getting in the way. So I put it in a bag with a couple of other clothes and put them downstairs. I was intending to rescue it briefly, take a photo of it, then put it back in the bag. But I forgot. Then I had a day where friends and I shared trailer hire and moved a whole bunch of furniture we both needed to do. My car also got loaded with donation items and it all got dropped off. I realised as I drove away from dropping it off, that the hat had gone and I didn't take a photo. I had no desire to go back and find it to photograph it.

I have to say, by no means am I saying don't hold onto sentimental items. I have quite a few sentimental items that I hold onto, but this is one I don't need to keep. Due to the gift economy that runs at Burning Man I have other items which remind me of my honeymoon ay Burning Man.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

13 by 2013

I did this last year, except then it was 12 by 2012. I've decided I'm going to do it again. I know I've already mentioned it, but I've been working on my list for the past few days. That and as I blogged nearly every day last month, I kinda wanted a break.

I have pulled together a list of 13 things that I would like to do by the end of the year. Some of them are small, some of them are a bit more time consuming or challenging. For me this is about the challenge. I'll probably have to push myself to get things done. And even if I don't get it all done, having something to work towards means that I'll get more done that if I hadn't set this challenge.

My List:

  1. Write up a plan for my sewing room: My sewing room isn't working for me. I don't like the storage I currently have, and it's set up in a way that isn't user friendly for me. So I want to plan what I'm going to do with it so that it works and I use it.
  2. Install the cat door: The cat door broke. Wouldn't really be a problem as it's under the house, but a neighbors cat keeps coming in, eating Midnight's food and scrapping with her. Very disturbing at 3am. So I've bought a microchip door and just need to install it.
  3. Install sensor light: The steps from our car to our front door are uneven, both in height and depth. I really don't know what the person who put them in was thinking. They also have wall on both sides of them, so at night it's hard to see them. I've bought a battery operated sensor light, I just need to install it.
  4. Paint Guinevere's window wall: My brother's bare feet on the wall under his computer desk when he lived with us have worn away some of the paint. My plan is to repaint that wall as a feature wall.
  5. Donate stuff that is already downstairs: There is a HUGE pile of stuff taking up space downstairs that needs to go down to the opshop. Some of it has been sitting there for months. I just need to get rid of it so I've got space down there again.
  6. Plan all Christmas gifts, cards, tasks and timeframe it all: I like lists/plans. Plus it means I know what needs done so I don't forget things.
  7. Clean the fridge: All the shelves need washed, 'nuff said.
  8. Birth samplers and cushion covers to Opal: The samplers just need frames and the covers just need sewn. Plus with Mum and Dad visiting at the end of the month, I can get them to take them down and save myself the postage.
  9. Finish black baby singlet: I knitted it for Guinevere, it's going to be too small for her. But I have a friend with a new baby, and babies always need woolens. So I can finish it and pass it on to her.
  10. Fix broken blind in the lounge: One of the cords on the Roman blind has broken, so it doesn't go up neatly. It's just annoying, and shouldn't be too big a job to fix.
  11. Go through Guinevere's clothes: A bunch of her clothes are getting to small for her. I also have a box of clothes that are the next size up. So need to cull the small clothes, add in the bigger clothes and work out what she's lacking. Especially now that we're moving into warmer weather.
  12. A's felt alphabet: I'm making a felt alphabet for a friend's 2yo daughter. All of the letters, plus a few extras so she can spell 'Mum', 'Dad' and her name.
  13. Finish more projects than I start: This is kinda a general one, but follows on from my 31 days of unfinished projects. I finished the months with a net decrease on my projects list and I'd like to continue that trend. I will be starting new projects as Christmas presents and possibly just as I see things I'd like to make. But I will finish the year with a smaller unfinished project list. 
That is my plan, lets see how I go.....

Thursday, 1 November 2012

31 Days of unfinished projects, finished.

I think that getting to the end of the month counts as a finished project in itself.

It's been an interesting month. Knowing that I 'had' to write about what unfinished project work I did that day meant that before heading to bed each night I had to try to write a post. I didn't manage it every day, but I managed it most of them. Some of the days I put the post up the following day, which is better than just not doing it. The end of the day is possibly not the best time to be writing, especially with a daughter who stays up as late as mine, but hey. Thinking about it, I probably would have been better off writing a post in the morning/afternoon about what project work I had done the previous day. I'll remember that for next time .However, the point of this for me wasn't writing about what I'd done, it was actually working on my unfinished projects. The writing was merely external accountability.

I'm actually feeling much more motivated to work on projects and get them done. I'm hoping to get it so that I only have a few projects on the go in each craft. I don't think the sewing list will take too long to get down to 5 or less, it is the cross stitch list that will take me ages. Mainly due to not being able to spend much time working on them as I can't do them very easily with Guinevere around, and also due to the time some of them will take as they are quite large designs. Plus I don't seem to enjoy cross stitch as much as I used to, I now seem to prefer knitting and sewing.

Summary of unfinished project progress:

Finished: (7, 4 old, 3 new)
Baby blanket for NICU
Sean's Artemis Badges
Hat for A

Discarded (wasn't sure what else to call it): (1)
Monkey socks (frogged)

Progress: (6)
Tatty Teddy cross stitched bookmark
Tatty Teddy 'School Girl' cross stitch
'Promise Eagle' cross stitch
Shakana's birth sampler
Jaliah's birth sampler

Opal's cushion covers

Untouched: (24)
3 knitting projects
11 sewing projects
10 cross stitch projects

New Projects:  (4)

Gynn's trackpants (in finished list)
Blue panel skirt (in finished list)
A's Hat (in finished list)
Blue skirt #2 (cut out, only cut as I was cutting two skirts from one piece of fabric)

Now onto November and my next challenge, 13 by 2013.

Day 31: Knitting and a finished project

I finished the hat today, Yay. I even managed to deliver it to the person it was for.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Day 30: Knitting and Sewing and Finished Projects

I did some sewing last night, after putting up yesterdays post. I finished sewing Sean's Artemis badges, yay for one more thing on my list done.

I didn't do any more knitting last night. But when I started today, I was surprised at how close to what I wanted to get done yesterday I was, only took me about 10 minutes to get there. I was hoping to finish the hat today. I've managed to knit one of the i-cords and am halfway through the other. Should only be about another 30-60 minutes work, by the time I've woven in the loose ends. I was foiled by a Guinevere who is really teething. She let me look in her mouth yesterday, and I got a look at the bottom teeth, 4 are working their way up, with one of the lower molars being the most prominent. I got a look at her upper teeth today, and there are another 4 working their way out. Once again, one of the molars is really prominent, there is a blister where the tooth is going to come out, so I'm hoping it comes through soon. Until then, lots of cuddles and attention.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Day 29: Knitting

No surprises today, I worked on the hat. Not quite gotten as much as I'd like done on it today, but I haven't gone to bed yet, so there is still time.
Currently this is how it looks

I'm currently working on the decreases at the top to finish it off. Am having trouble, as I'm trying to work out how to do it on a circular needle, normally I'd use double pointed ones, but I don't have any 4mm ones. Excuse to learn something new.

I read a fantastic article online today, on the ideal number of knitting projects to have on the go. Apparently 5. I had a think about it. Sounds pretty good to me. I like having several projects on the go, I get bored with just one. I like variety too much. So I had a look at how many projects I currently have cast on. 4 it turns out. One of which is the hat, which is nearly finished. One of the others is a girls dress (sized for a 2yo), I'm thinking I'm going to frog it. I am not sure where I have put the pattern, I keep finding it then losing it again. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. Also it's in acrylic, and while the colours are pretty, I'm reaching the point where I don't want to knit something for a child if it isn't in natural fibres. Even if I am over half way through knitting this dress. Which would bring me down to two projects. I'll probably frog it by the end of the month, just to have another project off my list. Which isn't a bad motivation for doing something.

I said in my post that I was meant to put up yesterday that my mission for November is to work on my sewing room. This isn't me saying I want to get it finished, I think that is unrealistic, but progress would be nice. Even a plan of exactly how I want it set up and what storage I want in there would be great. One of the reasons that I need it more user friendly in the near future is that I have several craft projects planned as Christmas presents for people, and I intend to get started on them next month. So I'd like a usable space to do that in. Because if I use the dining table I'll have to clear it up all the time, which takes time away that I could spend getting the project done. Or if I leave it there, it clutters up communal areas of the house, which really isn't fair on my husband, as we both have our own rooms (mine sewing/crafting and him computer) so that we don't clutter up communal areas.

Day 28: Knitting

I didn't end up posting this yesterday, so I'm doing it today. I remembered at about 11.45pm last night, while I was snuggled up with Guinevere, trying to get her to go to sleep. I wish I could have gotten a photo of the way she curled up to sleep, but it was too dark and I didn't want to risk waking her by using the flash on my camera.

I worked on the hat yesterday, most of the day, in between wrangling Guinevere as Gynn was doing a computer assignment.
This is what the hat looked like at the start of the day

This is what it looked like at the end of the day.

I'm quite happy, as each day I seem to be getting done exactly how much I aim to do that day. It'd be nice if I could get more done, but at least it leaves me on track for getting it finished on time.

I also 'played' in my sewing room. I say I played as all I did was empty one small bag and find homes for the items in it while Guinevere played on the floor. She usually plays under the table, as currently that is the biggest area of clear floor space. My mission for November is to work on the sewing room. I'd like it usable. Actually, it's mostly usable now, but I'd like it not to feel cluttered, so that I actually want to be creative in there rather than feeling totally overwhelmed by it.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Day 27: Knitting

Still working on the hat. I might be half way through it, I'm not sure. I did manage to get exactly done what I'd like to get done today. Hopefully I'll get some more done tonight, but with small child all energetic and all over the place, I'm thinking not.
Still, I got a sleep in this morning, that has to count for something.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Day 26: Knitting and Sewing

Wow, 26 days through the month already.

Today I did a bunch of knitting on the hat. Managed to get it to the point that I wanted to, so I was happy with that. My desire to knit had been warring with my desire to read, finally realised I could put my book on my tablet, meaning I had a big enough screen to see to read while I was knitting. Worked so well. Might have to make myself a little stand at some point.

Also did some sewing. Worked on Sean's Artemis badges, have done two of the 6. So that project is now getting close to completion. Part of me thinks I should go all  out on the projects that are nearly finished, to finish as many as I can this month, but I feel too guilty doing that as I need to get the hat made by the end of the month. Also, I'm sick (again...), so I'm running low on energy currently. We'll see how the next few days pan out. I suspect I'm going to keep working on my projects in November. However, I have told myself I'm allowed to start a couple of new planned projects in November, so it'd be good to have more finished before then. I probably need to do a list of planned projects (with deadlines as some are gifts) as well as my unfinished ones.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Day 25: Knitting

I cast on a new project today. Actually, I frogged one I started on the weekend, did a gauge swatch and started it again. It's a hat for a friend's husband. She'd asked me to do it ages ago, we'd sorted a pattern and I'd got the wool, I was just waiting for a head size. Got the size at the end of last week, and found out it's for the start of Nov (if I don't get it finished it'll be for Christmas). So I'm working on that, trying to get it done. Hopefully it doesn't require too much thinking and is a quick knit.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Day 24: Knitting and a Finished Project

I finished weaving all the ends in on the baby blanket *happy dance*. I hate weaving ends in, yet I'm debating doing a blanket in stripes, I must be slightly nuts. The photo doesn't show off the gorgeous blue that the top strip is, but it shows I finished it :)

That was the sum total of my unfinished project work today. I did wind a couple of balls, in preparation for the next baby blanket I make.

I'm not too sure where my day went. There was a slightly grizzly child this morning (teething), so we had some singing and dancing. Then there was a nap, for both of us, till she came through and woke me up. It was her first sleep in her single bed in her room. I did manage to drop some camping bits from the weekend back to the friend who they belonged to. There were lots of snuggles in there too.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Day 23: Knitting

I nearly have another finished project. The baby blanket has been cast off. I ended up doing 12 rows in a different colour when I ran out of the charcoal, a nice blue that I got given. So two pattern repeats and the 4 edgings rows. All up it used about 140g of 8 ply wool. I still need to weave in the ends, but I'm so close to finished. That means I currently have 3 projects that are nearly finished. My goal is to finish those 3 projects and at least one other by the end of the month. 

I really enjoyed knitting this project. It was brainless to knit, but because it was basket weave it wasn't boring to knit. A friend who's just gone through her stash has give me a whole bunch of 8 ply wool in various colours to turn into more baby blankets. I'm thinking I may get a set of needles just for knitting them up so that I can always have one on the go. That said, I used 5mm needles, and I don't think I use them that much for other things, so I'll probably just use what I've got and only get another pair if I actually need them. That is one advantage of using interchangeables, I can just take the tips off if I need them for another project. I also like that I'm doing some charity knitting. I'm really wanting to cast on another blanket, but I'll see if I can restrain myself until the end of the month. I do have a hat I have to cast on, just need to confirm the pattern Then there are the other two projects I want to cast on and have the yarn for. One of which the yarn was a custom dye order. It's sitting there pleading with me to start using it. I just keep reminding myself, not till the end of the month, not till I've completed 4 more projects......

Monday, 22 October 2012

Day 22: Knitting

It's been a few days since my last post. I've been busy and out of cellphone range.
I did do project work on Friday (19th). I finished the trackpants for my husband and I finished the blue paneled skirt for myself. I also had a screaming child for a good chunk of the day. The only reason I managed to get packed and load the car for our weekend away was because a friend came over and helped me.

I spent the weekend at the Wellington Folk Festival. It was amazing!!! I want to write a whole blog post about it, but not tonight, as I'm too tired. I spent the morning packing up a campsite, and helping someone else with theirs. Then came home and tidied the house as we had people coming over. Good exercise however.

I didn't do much project work on the weekend, I forgot the right size needles for one project and the yarn for another. Plus I didn't feel like sewing, which was the other project I had with me. So I listened to music, sang, ate, squelched through mud in my new gumboots and generally had a good time.

I did manage to do another two rows on the baby blanket today. I'm less than 20 rows from finishing it, and am determined to complete it this month. I have enough yarn left on the ball to knit another row or two. When I dropped a friend home after gaming I got to raid her yarn stash, and have acquired enough to finish this blanket, plus knit another 6, possibly more. Which is good. I like knitting the blankets, as it's a nice project to sit on the couch with. I also got a couple of skeins I'm not sure what I'll do with yet, one of which is a lovely tangled mess I need to sort out. There was also a brightly coloured skein of sock yarn, which is getting turned into socks for my husband's aunty as her Christmas present. I'll need to get started on those next month. But having the yarn is good. There was also the custom dyed yarn that arrived in the mail as I left on Friday.

But more tomorrow, or else I'll sit here all night rambling. Sleep calls.

Day 18: Knitting and Sewing

Today I did a little bit of knitting on the baby blanket. Only a couple of rows. That was the sum total of my work on unfinished projects.

I did zigzagged all the seams on the paneled skirt I'd made for myself. But I'm not counting that as work on an unfinished project, as I already considered that skirt finished. I wasn't able to do the edges on my machine as my machine is broken and isn't doing side to side. I know it needs to go in and get fixed/serviced, but I just can't stand the thought of not having it. I have borrowed a friends machine for a couple of days, which is why I was able to finish it. Given I really like wearing that skirt, it means it will last me that much longer.

The main sewing I have been doing today is on my new projects. I took advantage of my daughters nap to trace the pattern for a skirt. I almost always transfer a paper pattern onto lightweight interfacing, it's just that much easier to use and last longer. Once I had that pattern cut out I was able to work out if I could cut two skirts out of the same piece of fabric. Success!! I did make a bit of a mistake, I'd folded it to cut two pieces at once, but didn't have them lined up properly, so one edge of the pattern wasn't on the fabric. I'm just going to sew another piece in, it's a pieced skirt, so I'm not too worried. I think it's going to be a bit shorter than I'd like, so I'm thinking about sewing a bit of extra fabric to the top. I could add a different coloured band to the bottom, would look pretty, but we'll see how I'm going time wise.
I've also managed to cut out the track pants for my husband. The fun bit on those is going to be the pockets, I've never done pockets that are set into a seam before. Should be fun right?

Whoops, I thought I posted this on Thursday.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Day 17: Knitting and new projects

I didn't realise that yesterday put me halfway through the month. I have managed to work on unfinished projects every single day so far, which is a fantastic feeling.I know I've managed to miss a day of writing about it, and some of my posts are somewhat sparse or clinical. But that wasn't the point for me. The point for me was external accountability to help me work on unfinished projects. So far, success.

I've made it halfway through the month without starting on any new projects. I started a pair of pants for my husband for the weekend, the pattern is drafted, the fabric is drying, I'll hopefully cut and sew them tomorrow. I have also decided I'm making myself a new skirt for the weekend. We're going to the folk festival and there  is a calleigh (dance) on one of the nights, I'd like a skirt that twirls and fits well. It's a simple pattern, shouldn't take too long to make. The catch is I'm hoping there is enough fabric to make two different skirts, which means I'll have to copy the other pattern and lay them both out at the same time to see if I can make all the pattern pieces fit. Adding the meterage together tells me I don't have enough, but sometimes you can lay things out differently. So we'll see how I go.

I've also got a 'new' knitting project to work on this weekend. A friend asked me ages ago if I could make something for her partner. She's only just managed to get back to me with the measurements, and needs it by the end of the month. I'm glad I've already got the wool to knit it. I'll be casting it on tomorrow and working on that as much as I can.

It's strange, I thought it would feel really good to start something new, but it's kinda not. The things I'm starting are for specific purposes, not for the enjoyment of it. Sure, I'll enjoy getting the commission out of the way, my husband will enjoy having pants without holes and I'll enjoy being able to dance in a skirt that isn't too tight, but it's not the same anticipation of a new project. I think my mindset currently really is on finishing existing projects. I hope it stays that way long enough to clear the backlog so that I can enjoy new projects.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Day 16: Knitting.

Today was a good day, so gorgeous and sunny. Guinevere spent time playing on the balcony with a jam pan partially filled with water and some brightly coloured stacking cups. I got about 30 minutes of knitting while she happily played. I also had a friend over, who I hadn't seen in ages, so lots of chatting while knitting. The baby blanket is now getting very closed to finished. I need to do about another 8 rows (I think) of the pattern, then 4 rows garter stitch and it should be done. I don't think I'm going to have enough charcoal wool to do that many rows, so I'll have to look in the stash and find a colour that will go with it, so it will have a stripe at the top.

I also found out today that a skein of custom dyed wool that I'd requested got dyed today and will be in the post to me later this week. I can't wait to get it. It may mean casting on another project..... I do have a new project that I have to start this week. We're away for the weekend and my husband needs a new pair of pants, so I am going to make them, as I have everything that I need for them. Just need to draft the pattern of his existing ones and sew them up.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Day 15: Sewing

Another day that wasn't very productive project wise, but very productive in other ways.
Spent time with a friend I've not seen in ages, sorted out a new baby gate, sorted my husband's car into the mechanics (from calling insurance company to getting it towed).

The sewing I did was finding a project, Sean's Artemis badges, and gluing them onto the velcro backs, to give them more stability before I sew them together. Which is tomorrows plan. But we all know how well I seem to be doing with plans.... Still, progress.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Days 13&14: Knitting

Not a very productive weekend project wise, and I forgot to post yesterday.
I've done some sewing on the blanket, only a couple of rows each day. I have borrowed a sewing machine and overlocker off a friend, so that I can finish a couple of projects, so that kinda counts as planning on sewing. My machine currently needs to be repaired as it isn't doing zig zag, which I need for a couple of projects.
Socially it was a decent weekend, I'm nearly over my flu and my migraine aftereffects are nearly gone.
I know I didn't manage to post every day, but I've still managed to work on projects every day, and for me that is the main thing.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Day 12: All the crafts, and another finished project

I finished my paneled skirt!! And I'm wearing it!! I might need to take the elastic in a little more, but I'll wear it another day or two before I decide that. It's really nice and comfy to wear.
I'm really happy with this skirt, for more reasons that it's comfy and cost me about 50c to make, the fabric being a gift and the elastic was picked up really cheap. It's made from a piece of fabric/garment that my Mum brought me back from overseas somewhere, I don't recall where. It was a big loop of fabric that got worn around the body, was about 2m of fabric. I wasn't going to wear it the way it was intended, with the extra fabric kinda folded up and tucked in like you do a towel. So I turned it into a skirt. I used the selvedge edge for the bottom hem, so that I didn't have to hem it. It's not lazy, it's time efficient.... It does mean the hem hangs a little longer where the panels join, but I like the look of it. It's nearly ankle length, summery and twirly :)


Plus more knitting on the baby blanket.Only a couple of rows while Guinevere was happily playing with her jigsaw, aka throwing the pieces behind the rocking horse
Guinevere then decided a late nap was in order, so I've pulled out a cross stitch. Just a little one, the tatty teddy bookmark, it'll be easy to put on the back of the couch when she wakes up.

I sometimes wish I could sit down and just work on a project from start to finish, but it's not always possible. Sometimes due to small child and sometimes due to my love of variety. At least at the moment I'm trying to bounce between only a few projects, so that they get finished. I am making an effort to work on more complex ones when the little one is asleep, ones that previously I've been ignoring. I know I keep saying that my goal is to get down to only a couple of projects in each craft. I'm hoping that by reminding myself of that, I'll be more likely to get there. So far this month I'm two projects closer to that goal. I can see the end in sight for another three projects. Five down would be good progress on that goal. Putting it all down on here is a form of external motivation for me. So I'm thinking when this month is up I might do what I did last year with my 12 by 2012, and do 13 by 2013. Chances are there will be other things in there, like things around the house that I'd like to get done, but some of the craft projects will make it onto the list.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Day 11: Sewing and Cross Stitch

No knitting today, I think for the first time this month.

Today I started framing the two cross stitched samplers. One of them has been attached to the backing board and just needs something to cover the back. The other has the backing board cut out and is read to be attached. So not quite finished, but closer to finished than yesterday.

The sewing I did today was working on my paneled skirt. I'd originally forgotten about it, so I have edited my epic list from the start of the month and added it. I was originally going to put a zip in, requiring it to be fitted. It's why it ended up in the cupboard of unfinished projects, as I cut it too big. Today I decided I was going to put an elastic waistband in. So I have now sewn up the back seam, cut the elastic and ironed a casing into the waistband ready to sew.

I did some project planning too. A friend has asked if I can teach her to sew, so I was looking through my patterns and found one I'd like to make. It's actually the first new project that I have been tempted to start this month. I did want to make myself a couple of new skirts out of stash fabric. If my friend opts for that design, it'll make it easier to teach as I'd be making one alongside so I can show her on mine and then she can try it on hers.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Day Ten: Knitting and a frogged project

I didn't get around to framing the two cross stitches today, instead I did lots of knitting on the baby blanket. It's not about 80% done, which is a good feeling. At the rate I'm knitting it, about 6 rows a day, it should be done within a week. I did do twice that today.

I spent a little bit of time in my craft room today. Put a few things away, stared aimlessly around trying to work out what to do next. I have realised that all my non-acrylic yarns fit in the drawers intended for them without having to be packed in. This is because I gave quite a few balls of wool away recently, some to a friend I was teaching to knit, and some to a friend who's little girl was in NICU and needed pure wool for a blanket for her. Given that the wool I gave her was originally purchased to make her son a baby blanket (which he didn't need as he got given several others) passing what was left on to her after making a snuggle sack for her little girl was a good thing. Plus space in my wool drawers. I also gave her a couple of balls of cotton, for making a chemo cap for one of the nurses. All up, that was about 10 50g balls of wool out of the drawers, plus all the coloured 8ply ends of balls. I really need to knit up more of my stash yarn, as there is quite a lot there. Not nearly as much as I have fabric, but still, lots. I have pretty much got it to the point where all the yarn in there I love and is yarn I will use. With it all now fitting comfortably into the drawers, it's a good place to be in stash wise.

One other thing I did was frog my Monkey Socks. I hadn't done much of them, only about 2", but I realised I didn't love the pattern, so off the needles they were coming. Technically it's not a finished project, but it's no longer an unfinished project, so that is good.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Day Nine: Knitting and Cross Stitch

It seems that knitting really is my 'go to' craft currently. I think because it's easy to pick up and put down, it lives well on the back of the couch and Guinevere usually brings back the ball of yarn she's wandered off with.  I suspect I've also been doing if for so long that I can watch Guinevere and interact with her because I don't have to pay much attention to the knitting.

I was tempted to do more knitting while Guinevere had her nap, but instead I got out my cross stitch. I did check my epic list of unfinished projects to see which ones would take the least time to finish. I'm currently working on Jaliah's birth sampler. I could finish Shakana's first, as I only need to frame that, all the stitching is done. However, given the frames are the same for both of them I decided that I'd finish the stitching on both then frame them both at the same time. I've spent 40 minutes charting the last bit that I need to stitch, her name, birth weight and birth date. I forgot how annoying it is to chart things, having to rub out and re-do to make sure it's all in the right place. I have also managed to finish stitching it. Not quite another project finished, but nearly.

Tomorrow I plan to get both this and Shakana's samplers framed. I've got the frame already, they came with the kits. So close....

Monday, 8 October 2012

Day Eight: Knitting and one completed project

I finished a project today!!! One less unfinished project on my list, and I haven't started any new ones. Nor do I have any immediate plans to.
I sewed the handwarmers up. Yay, so happy to have finished one of the projects (repeating myself I know, but it's exciting)
Here is a photo of me wearing them.
 And one of Guinevere attempting to remove them.....
Actually, I shouldn't say attempting, she did actually succeed in getting them off my hand and onto her hand. Didn't manage to get a photo of them on her hand as she kept moving about.

Now to work out which project has the least time left on it so that I can get another one finished.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Day Seven: Knitting

I'm wondering if I should come up with more specific titles for each day, but given I'm not always working on any specific project, numbers seem as good as any.
Edit: I changed my mind, I'm now using the day, what craft I'm working on, and any other good things, like completing projects.

Today I knitted. I finished knitting the second blue glove. Now all I need to do to finish them is sew the edges up on both of them. Should take me less than 20 minutes, but I just felt like knitting today. I've also knitted another 7 rows on the baby blanket, and am into my third ball of yarn. I suspect that I'm not going to have quite enough to make it as big as I'd like, so will probably end up either picking up stitches at the other end and putting stripes at both ends, or just at one end. Or possibly crochet a border around the whole thing.  Who knows, I'll see what I feel like when I finish knitting it.

I'm so pleased with myself, I've managed to work on unfinished projects every day for the last week, and I haven't started any new ones. I have acquired a new one, from my  mother in law, two big bags of tablecloths and napkins to iron. Had I known they'd been tucked in a wardrobe waiting for ironing since my wedding over two years ago, I would have offered sooner. We found them while I was being shown (aka being allowed to raid) her fabric stash. I took one piece of fabric, some black sweat-shirting to make my husband some new track pants. I'm not planning to start them this month, but it is there for next month when a couple more projects are completed.

Not only have I managed to work on my unfinished projects every day, but I'm also finding that I'm getting more done around the house. For the past week the lounge has stayed tidied, I'm up to date on the laundry and the kitchen has been cleaned almost every night. I've managed to do some de-cluttering in the past week. Like tonight. I have a dish on my beside cabinet, it has jewelry and random things in it. When we change our daughter's nappy, she gets to pick something from the dish to play with, in the hope of keeping her still long enough to put a clean nappy on her. But some of the things she picks out aren't suitable (safety pins) or have smaller things attached (like bobby pins) that I then end up having to pick up off the floor. Tonight while my husband changed her I tipped the dish out, put all the things that shouldn't be in there into a jar to be sorted another time, and left what was meant to be in there. It took less time to do that than it did for him to change her nappy. Sometimes things really do take less time than we spend procrastinating about doing the.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Day Six: Cross Stitch

Have spent the day at my mother–in–laws. Did mean a sleep in as she took the little one when she woke up, which was fantastic.

Another day of what feels like not much project work, even though it took me the best part of an hour. I marked onto the chart with a highlighter how much of the promise eagle cross stitch I had done. I also did some stitching on it, only one strand, but it is still progress. The rest of the day I've been curled up in front of the fire with knitting and a book.

I was going to add a photo of the cross stitch design and progress, but I'm having trouble doing that from my tablet, so I might have to do that when I get home.

But for now, I'm going back to relaxing in front of the fire.

I'm back home so I can add the pictures I took yesterday. Here is what the finished design should look like

And here is how much I have done so far. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Day Five: Cross Stitch

I haven't got much project work done today. I have scanned and printed two more cross stitch patterns, to make finishing them easier, and that is all I've done on my unfinished projects The rest of the day has been spent playing with my daughter, napping and trying to tidy the house and pack in preparation for a weekend away. I will probably do some knitting or stitching when I get to my mother-in-laws tonight. I'll also be able to work on my more complex projects over the weekend (I've packed them to take with me) as she'll look after my daughter for me.

Roll on the weekend.....

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Day Four: Knitting and Cross Stitch

I'm after some gratification today. Yes, I can see the progress I'm making on the blanket, but it is still going to take me awhile to finish. So I'm casting on the second hand warmer of a pair. It'll only take me a day or two, so it's an easy win. Plus it almost feels like starting a new project as I'm casting something on....

As you can see, I got a good way through, about 2/3 of the way, which is a good feeling. I also managed another 6 rows on the baby blanket, so continued progress on that. 

I'm going up to my mother-in-laws for the weekend, so I thought I would take a more complex project with me, cross stitch. So today I scanned and photo copied one of my patterns, and marked with a highlighter how much of it I'd done, all ready to be worked on. I never used to mark where I was, but given they get put down for longer periods of time now, I figure marking what I've done will make it easier to pick up, meaning less overall time to do the project, which is a win as far as I'm concerned. 

I like starting new projects, I'm shocking at finishing them. The last two things I knitted my best mate got given to her with the buttons not attached. The socks I gave my mother-in-law on the weekend, I finished knitting them a month ago. It only took me 5 min to weave the ends in, but I just hadn't got around to it. I am probably going to start new projects this month, even though I know I shouldn't. However, I'm not allowed to start any new projects until I have finished one. That isn't a 'finish one project and start as many as I like', it's a 'for every project I finish I am allowed to start a new project'. I am intending to finish more than I start. I'd like to at least get down to the long term projects. Which is most of the cross stitch ones and the tumbling blocks quilt for myself. Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to finish all the other projects this month. I don't think I have enough hours free to do that, but it's the end goal. Actually, that's the mid term goal, the long term goal is to finish all the big projects too.

Day Three: Knitting

Short post today. I know it is after midnight, but I'm still counting it as Wednesday as I haven't been to bed yet. I was hoping to have this posted earlier, but I was out later than expected.

It was a productive day.I cleaned the lounge and kitchen, washed a load of cloth nappies, plus baked melting moments and choc chip cookies. I then sat down with the baby blanket, a friend and a movie. I've done about ten rows on the blanket, which doesn't sound like much, until you realise that each row is 96 stitches long. I can see how much more I have done of it, have nearly finished the second ball of wool.

I'm thinking that I'll definitely get this blanket finished this month. I think in my mind I was hoping I'd be able to post and say 'yay, look what I finished', but with the size of some of my projects, that just isn't practical. It's all about progress, and getting more of them done. Hopefully by the end of the month I'll be in the habit of working on them each day and will continue doing that until I'm only working on a couple of projects (a simple and a complex) in each craft type. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Day Two: Knitting and Sewing

I like that this month started on a Monday. There is something about the start of the week being a good time psychologically to start something. I know I could start something on any day of the week, but Monday just seems easier.

A friend came over today, with a knitting machine for me to play with. Looking forward to using that to make some baby blankets with. But, that isn't an unfinished project, so while I will start using it this month, it doesn't count.

Today I have done more work on the baby blanket I posted a picture of yesterday. I suspect this project is going to take awhile to get finished. It really isn't an 'instant gratification' project. I've also managed to cut out a little more of the cushion covers. I would have cut more, but I don't seem to have big enough pieces in the bits I found. So I need to look through the stash for more. It's just plain black calico, I know I've got more of it somewhere.....

Part of me thinks I should work on one project until it is finished. It's a nice ideal, but often not practical. Some of the unfinished projects I have are a bit complex, not ones I can just pick up and put down. Which is something I need to be able to do when crafting around a 13 month old. So I actually found myself in the situation of having to find projects I could do around her. I think that is one of the reasons that knitting seems to be my primary craft currently, as I can put it down on the back of the couch easily.

Not only did I manage to work on unfinished projects today, I also did a little decluttering. Not much, just a few bits from my craft room went into the paper recycling bin and a few unfinished projects went off the table and into the unfinished projects cupboard, but baby steps right.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Day One: Epic list of projects and some knitting

I was actually a little worried that today was going to a write off, which would be a very bad way to start a month long challenge. I had a late night last night, on very little sleep, and had to get up early this morning to take my brother to an appointment, which took a lot longer than expected.

First off, my list of unfinished projects. These are ones that I have started, it doesn't include the ones I've got planned. If I included those it would make the list twice as long...... I think this is all of them. There may be more. If I think of or find any, I'll just edit the list.

  • Black baby singlet. I started this before my daughter was born, she's now 13months old
  • 'Travelling Woman Shawl'. This was originally for me, I'm now planning to give it to my mum. 
  • Sophie's (niece) dress
  • Monkey socks. For myself, I may frog them and make something else with the yarn. 
  • Blanket for NICU/SCBU
  • Blue diagonal eyelet gloves, second one in pair
  • Nigel's hood
  • Nigel's pouch with arms on it
  • Tumbling blocks quilt, long term project as it's being done by hand
  • Cushion covers (set of 5) for Opal. 
  • Whirligig ball for Lorelie
  • Advent calenders x2
  • Gynn's dressing gown
  • Guinevere's hoodie
  • Travel high chair 
  • Guinevere's chair
  • Rug/quilt made with furnishing samples
  • Paneled skirt for myself 
  • Sean's Artemis badges
Cross Stitch
  • Andrew and Rosie's napkins, I've done 4 of the 8
  •  Butterfly bears for Opal
  • Wizard and Dragon for Ivan
  • Tatty Teddy bookmark
  • Tatty Teddy school girl
  • Promise Eagle for Mum
  • Buddha for Paul
  • Rapunzel shoe for Ellen
  • Blue fairy for myself
  • Birth sampler for Shakana (niece)
  • Birth sampler for Jaliah (niece)
  • Blackwork purse for myself
There seem to be more cross stitch projects than anything else, I think that is because I'm really not doing that as much as I used to. I would say this means I shouldn't buy any more cross stitch stuff, but thinking about it, I haven't been buying much. I have only bought threads to complete projects, plus two new small kits, one is completed, one is for a friend.
I thought I had more knitting and sewing projects, especially knitting ones. I did finish a pair of socks yesterday, all I had left to do was weave in the ends. I gave them to my mother in law. I also finished two sewing projects that I'd been working on for years in the last month, a set of 5 cushions for a friend and a quilt for my niece's 5th birthday.

So far today I have done several rows on the baby blanket.

I've also found some of my black fabric, hopefully enough to do the cushions for my sister. If not, I'm going to have to tidy some of my sewing room....... That alone could take me all month. 

Anyway, it will be midnight in 8 minutes, so I'm barely scraping in on posting this on the first. But I managed it, I'm off to a good start :)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

31 Days

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted here.

I first came across the 31 days series on Jules's blog, Pancakes & French Fries last year. She did 31 days of William Morris, and seeing as I love his quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”, I was hooked.

It started over here with the Nester. I've decided that I'm going to do it this year.I'm not sure what I'm going to do for a few of the days, as I'm going to be away, out of cellphone reception, for a long weekend.

I'm going to do '31 days of unfinished projects', because I've got so many of them. I was thinking about doing '31 days in the sewing room', but the sewing room itself is an unfinished project. I can't work on the sewing room while I'm away, but I can work on projects. It also gives me scope for doing other projects, as there are a few things around the house that I should get done. But primarily, my focus for the month of October is going to be working on my unfinished craft projects and seeing how many of them I can get finished. I am currently trying to decide if this only applies to already started projects, or if it applies to ones that are planned and I already have the materials for.

Next step, make a list of all my unfinished projects, I'm kind of dreading that......

Monday, 16 April 2012

Things I've realised about myself recently.

I've being doing a bit of reflection lately, not intentionally, it's just happened.
This is what I've come up with.

  • I like salmon, I just don't like the tinned stuff with bones in it. But splurging every now and then on fresh salmon, baking it wrapped in tinfoil with lemon juice is delicious. 
  • I like making quiche, it's a fantastic lunch and great for using up leftovers. I've found a perfect base recipe (4 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup SR flour plus seasonings) then I add whatever I have on hand. 
  • I love the blue ceramic pie dish an aunty gave me for my birthday 2 years ago, which I'd barely used until I discovered the above quiche recipe. It't the perfect size and looks good. 
  • It is easier to eat healthily for myself when I'm trying to feed a nearly 8 month old healthy food. 
  • Menu planning is my friend. It means not staring into the fridge/freezer/pantry wondering what to cook for dinner and either having a throw together meal that is light on veges (mac n cheese or similar), not having dinner till really late (not practical with small child) or having takeaways (not good for wallet or waistline).
  • I am not a tidy person by nature, but I like being tidy and organised, it just seems far too much effort for me sometimes. Then as soon as one day goes by without things being done, it's all downhill from there. Still trying to de-clutter, find homes for everything and work out a system that works for me. 
  • If I think I'm running late, I start to stress, which leaves me frazzled with a headache. 
  • I like the look of a washing line or airing rack with cloth nappies drying on it. I love my cloth nappies. 
  • I need a space which is mine to work in. I like crafting with others around me, but sometimes I just want to hide away and focus on what I'm working on. 
  • I'm not a monogamous crafter, but sometimes I think I take my poly nature to extremes. At last count there are over 60 unfinished or intended projects on my list. I probably should finish some of them and get the list smaller. 
Some of those thoughts are random, like the salmon. Some are actually useful, like knowing I stress when I'm running late. Means I can try and work out ways of making life easier. 
As for the crafting, well, I don't see that changing anytime soon. But I really should finish some projects (and not start new ones), knock the list down a bit, maybe keep it under 50 projects. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Project 333

I've read about this project before. If you haven't heard of it, go here
I've always been tempted to do it. It sounds like fun. I also kinda did it while I was heavily pregnant. I only had a handful of maternity clothes, so I did wear the same few things all the time, and you know what, I actually felt really well dressed. Because I knew I looked good in all the clothes that I could fit. It also made getting dressed really simple, as there were so few choices.

Yesterday I read a blog post telling me that it was about to start for another 3 months in April. Usually I am reminded about it in the middle of the 3 month block, so don't do anything about it. This time however, I decided that I would.

First thing I did was go through two of my drawers of clothes. The short sleeved tops drawer and the long sleeved tops drawer. After putting some clothes in a pile to go to a friend (maternity), putting some in a pile to go to the op shop. I was asking myself why I still have a lace t-shirt that I haven't worn in about 8 years. And why I still have a 3/4 sleeve cardi when I've gone through my drawers since I realised I don't like 3/4 sleeves. Even taking into account that there are some t's and tops on the clean laundry couch, both of these drawers are now less than half full.

I opened the drawer with pants and skirts in it, took one look, decided I didn't want to deal with that mess at the time and promptly closed the drawer. Instead I got a pen and paper and sat down (on the end of the clean laundry couch) to work out what 33 items I wanted to wear for April, May and June.
This is when I came to the conclusion that while I like the idea of Project 333, I don't think I actually want to do it. See, I like variety too much. Project 333 is meant to be 33 items of clothing, not counting lounging around home wear, workout gear, underwear, sleepwear, wedding rings and any other items of sentimental jewelry that you don't take off. It does include all clothes, shoes and accessories that you are planning to use in that time.
I like the concept of clothes that you only wear for lounging around the house. For me currently this is pj pants and t-shirts. Mainly cos I'm still carrying too much of my baby weight to have pants that fit, and because I want to lose it, I haven't gone and bought myself more pants.

What I'd like to do is have it so that every item in my clothing is something I love, something that looks good on me and something that goes with most of the other clothes in there. I figure if all my clothes are like that, then I should wear most of them. Barring things like my LBD which get hauled out on special occasions.

So I'm currently tossing up between getting my wardrobe to the point mentioned above or if I do project 333. I'm wondering if I do a variation on project 333 where I have my base wardrobe of 33 items, I can swap things out if they get too big (which'd be really nice), but also have it so that if there are other clothes I'm wanting to wear then I can add those in. To try work out how many clothes I actually like wearing.

While I work this out, I really should clear out the drawer with pants and skirts in it.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Best Laid Plans

I had this awesome plan, of how I was going to declutter and organise one room a week. According to my plan, I should be over half way through the house by now. It's totally fallen apart. That's not to say that I'm not organising and decluttering, it's just I'm no longer really following my plan.
This is due to a few factors.
One, my husband is home all the time with a concussion, he has been for 6 weeks. On the upside, we're finally starting to see improvement there. Due to noise sensitivity he's not been able to help much at all with looking after our 6 month old daughter. This means I'm looking after her pretty much all the time.
Two, our daughter is currently doing some attachment 'stuff'. This means if I'm out of the room, she starts grizzling. Sometimes she's happy and fine to play on the floor with her toys, some of the time she needs/wants me there, not actively playing with her but talking to her while I'm within close proximity, sometimes I have to be actively playing with her. I think it's an equal split currently. It also means that when she naps I try to do things like have a little time to myself and organise dinner plus standard housework. She's a little too heavy now to have her in the Moby wrap when bending, as I get a sore back. Combined with reason one above, it makes it hard to get stuck in, and I have to do little bits where I can, which aren't always noticeable.
Three, I've been borderline depressed for awhile, I still am. Everything above isn't helping, but I'm not getting any worse, so I'm good with that. I'm taking more time to myself, trying hard not to feel guilty over it. While the house isn't improving, I'm stable.
Four, we are realising our currently layout isn't optimal, mainly I think with my crafting, which is now causing clutter in most rooms of the house. I did have a decent sized craft room, but it got turned into a computer room when my brother lived her and I got the little room, which is now our daughter's room. My sewing desk is in the lounge and crafting supplies are spread through every room in the house. So we're working out a plan to turn Guinevere's room back into a computer room, the spare room into a project room/craft storage, which must be tidy enough to be a spare bedroom on very short notice, and the computer room into  Guinevere's bedroom and playroom. I know for now she'll still mostly be in whatever room we are in (including sleeping in our bedroom), but planning for the near future is a good thing, and saves me having to rearrange in a few months time. As well as freeing up space downstairs from larger toys (rocking horse) that are stored down there.

I've realised that plans need to be flexible. Life, especially with small children, is prone to changes. A plan gives me an idea of where I want to go, provides me with steps I can follow to get there, but if it's fixed in stone I'm just going to stress myself out.
I'm still working through it, the lounge is nearly done, the kitchen is partially done, the old dining room is done and the area at the top of the stairs is definitely in progress. I also have a better idea of where I'm going.

Life, even with it's hiccups, is good.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Today's recipe for a sleeping baby

Background, my husband is suffering from concussion, so I let him sleep as late as possible to let his brain rest for as long as possible. Also, Guinevere's cot is in our room, tucked hard up against my side of the bed.

Step the first, watch for your baby's tired signs, in this case, rubbing of the eyes.
Step the second, go to put her in her cot, wait, scratch that, baby noise as she falls asleep will disturb sleeping husband.
(I'll just list the steps from here on in, there are a few)
Sing 'Morningtown Ride' to Guinevere while holding her, resulting in snuggling baby.
Stop singing.
Baby lifts her head up and starts making noise again.
Sing 'Morningtown Ride' again., snuggling baby again.
Stop singing.
Baby lifts head up.
Realise I must have been thinking ahead in making up the spare bed last night, put baby in spare bed, with dummy and rabbit, walk out of room.
Listen to baby sleepily talk away to herself, smile at thought that she should soon be asleep.
Listen to baby babble get louder and of higher pitch, meaning baby getting upset.
Go into spare bedroom, hop into bed with Guinevere, snuggle her into my arms and fall asleep.
That's right, I fell asleep. Woke soon after to discover Guinevere was asleep with her little hand reached out and gripping a fist full of my t-shirt.
Carefully move myself out of the bed, while still holding baby, and transfer her to her cot.
Put nappies in the wash.
Crawl into bed beside sleeping husband.
Sleep for two hours before Guinevere wakes up.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Hard Drive Failure

A few weeks after my daughter was born my computer died. Turned out it was my hard drive. I still need to see if I can get the data recovered. It means the only photos I have of her first 3 weeks are the ones I had emailed people and had posted on Facebook. I kept meaning to get my external hard drive back off a friend and back everything up, but never quite got around to it. 4 days ago, my new hard drive died. Which means I've lost the next 4 months of photos of Guinevere, plus all my other information. I am so glad that some of my photos and information (like my goals for this year) are online, as it means I don't feel like I've lost everything. But it's still hard, as it could have been so easily avoided. I could have backed things up onto my husband's machine, as they are networked, or put things onto a DVD. I guess I just thought that because one had died, I wouldn't have to deal with another one dying. Other than the photos, the thing I am most upset at having lost is the alphabet I was working on for Guinevere, a medieval one. I was about half finished.

So, if you are reading this, and haven't backed up the irreplaceable information that is currently stored in your computer, please make it one of the things that you get done in the next few days. If something happens to your computer, you will be so glad that you did.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The plan has already fallen apart

In my last post I'd made a plan of how I was going to get through de-cluttering and organising my house. It's already fallen apart. 
I was planning to finish the kitchen last week, work on the area at the top of the stairs this week and the lounge next week. Then gaming got organised for Monday just been at our place. This was fine. Then I got told that my sewing table would be needed as well as our main table. This meant moving ALL my projects and crafting bits out of the lounge, as I have an alcove in there for my sewing table. This included moving the bookshelf with my notebooks, ideas folders, small jars of buttons and other miscellaneous items. 
The result of this being that the kitchen didn't get finished. The lounge isn't finished either. Yes, it is tidy and uncluttered currently, but I don't consider it complete until I have moved my sewing items back in. But it's actually somewhat easier now, as I'm starting from a blank slate so to speak. 

This week no progress has happened towards organising and de-cluttering. With a half a day at the doctors, half a day with a friend and her 5 day old baby, half a day doing groceries (which I still haven't managed to put away) as I then spent the rest of that day in the emergency department finding out that my husband has a mild to moderate concussion. Add to that a baby who has decided that waking several times in the night to feed is the way to go. My week has disappeared on me. I did have social time today (my husband referred to it as 'mums and bubs Stargate Atlantis', there was lasagne, it was enjoyed by all). I prioritise some social time and me time over housework as it's good for my mental health. There is no point in having a perfect house if I'm too stressed to enjoy it. I've also managed to keep everyone well fed. 

I think I'm going to spend the weekend working on the lounge, dealing to the couch currently known as 'Mt Washmore' and moving my sewing workstation back into the lounge in a tidy and uncluttered manner. The bookshelf will stay in the back bedroom. I'm also allowed to store craft items in there, as long as it is tidy and ready to be used as a guest bedroom. There are drawers under the bed for my yarn and a unit for my unfinished projects (which I'm hoping to empty by the end of the year), but those are both topics for another day's post. 

But for now, I'm going to go put my feet up, make a hot blackcurrant and enjoy some quiet time before the little one wakes for another feed before hopefully sleeping the night through. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Today I made a plan

I'm not quite how I did it, but I married a minimalist. I didn't imagine this would be a problem, but I'm somewhat of a hoarder, so it has led to conflicting opinions in how our house should be. I'm also so used to my clutter, that I often don't notice it.

While I know I have too much clutter, I have lacked the intrinsic motivation to actually do something about it. My relationship with my husband and having a daughter who will be mobile in the next few months are motivating factors. I'm finally doing something about it.

I've been trying to do something about it for awhile, getting rid of things here and there, but it's like drops in an ocean. Really, you can't tell by looking at my craft stuff that I gave away a teddy bear kit, all but 4 pairs of straight knitting needles, a knitting needle holder and a supermarket bag of yarn yesterday. I know it's gone, but there is no visible difference.

I've somehow dealt to the cause of it, in that I am no longer bringing things into the house without a purpose. Now I get the task of dealing to all that I've already accumulated, and I'm running out of time to do it in.

So today I made a plan. I have designated a room each week that I will work my way through and de-clutter. My plan is to go through each area, find homes for the things that are staying in that area, put items I'm keeping but don't belong there in the area they belong in, put aside items that are getting donate and put in the rubbish bin what belongs there. I will probably have to go back once I've done them all and make sure that things didn't just get moved somewhere else, but I suspect my husband will keep me on track.

This is my plan:

Jan 16-22
Kitchen: Clean and de-clutter benches, pantry, fridge, cupboards, hutch dresser
Jan 23- 29
Area at top of stairs
Jan 30-Feb 5
Feb 6-12
Back bedroom
Feb 13-19
Our bedroom
Feb 20-26
Computer room
Feb 27- Mar 4
Guinevere’s bedroom
Mar 5-11 and Mar 12-18
Large area downstairs
Mar 19-25
Laundry and under the stairs
Mar 26 –April 1
Small room downstairs
April 2-8

I suspect there will be changes as life gets in the way or priorities get shuffled on negotiation with my husband. But this is what I intend to do. Putting it out there helps keep me accountable. 

Wish me luck :)

I'm linking this through to Jules over at Pancakes and French Fries. She has buttons to link it through, but I haven't worked out how to do that yet, still new at this. 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Updated list of 2012 Goals

Happy New Years to all.

I didn't finish my sock, but I did finish two other projects, and make significant inroads on two more. So I'm happy with that.

I posted a few weeks ago about two goals I have for this year. I've also been jotting down other things I'd like to work on this year. When I had a look at my list last night, I realised there were 12 things on it. That seems appropriate. I think I'll leave the list at that length.

So here are my goals for this year:

  •          Complete all small to medium sized current projects
  •          Make Guinevere’s Fantasy/Medieval alphabet book
  •          Turn downstairs into a usable space
  •          Eat healthier
  •          Exercise more
  •          Start a business with my crafts
  •      Learn to play the violin
  •          Get more organized
  •          Put in a garden
  •          Work on debt
  •          Find work as an OT
  •          Continue to grow an amazing little girl
Now I just need to work out how I am going to reach each of these goals, and how I am going to measure when I have achieved them. Some, like Guinevere's alphabet, will be easy to tell when they are finished. Others, like eating healthier and getting more organised, are going to be harder to tell. So I'm going to have to work out some definable mark that lets me know I've improved and got where I'd like to be. But I'll do that another day. For now, I'm going to go work on finishing a project that absolutely needs finished as it's for someone else and it's been dragged out for far too long. Plus some spinning to relax.