18 for 2018 March review

1 New blog followed per week – 4/4 (yearly total 13/13)

This month I branched out a bit and followed a sewing blog, , as well as a couple more yarny people and a zentangler.

2 New stitches/techniques learned per month – 2/2 (6/6)

I’m still to write up posts, but this month I learned how to knit cables (at last!) and the very basics of patchwork.

3 Instagram posts per week – 27/12 (53/38)

Thanks to March Meet The Maker, I totally smashed this one. It’s been really fun interacting with people on there and making new friends, I’m definitely going to keep up posting (although not every day) and keep that community growing.

4 Exercise sessions per week – 7/18 (39/50)

I’m still trying to get back to running regularly, but so far I’m only managing once a week. I’d forgotten how tough it is to build up a habit from scratch, but I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again!

5 Blog posts written per week – 24/22 (63/62)

Getting the hang of this!

6 Patterns written up – 0.5/6 (0.5/6)

Turns out my waffle hat was a bit short and the shaping at the top was odd so I’m re-making it and tweaking as I go.

7 Rooms in my flat sorted – 2.5/7 (2.5/7)

I realised I had gone about this the wrong way by starting with my box room; it’s the space that needs the most work and it was really draining my energy that I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere.

So this weekend I did the hallway (the easiest space) and the bathroom. It feels so good to finally cross some of the list and I’ve got my mojo back to keep plugging away at the box room. It will not defeat me!

8 Minutes of writing per day

I’m getting much better at doing this, and it’s true that the more you use a skill the more it grows. As well as this blog I’ve gone back to my old blog and started writing stories again.

9 pm bed time – 15/28 (46/90)

Yeah, it’s a goal to aim for.

10% of wages saved – 10/10

Done at last, although my car is still doing its absolute best to bankrupt me. Heap of junk.

11 Items listed in my shop – 0/11

I’m actually putting this goal on hold for a few weeks, for a good reason. There’s a blog post coming that’ll explain.
12 Hand-written letters – 4/12

Just the one this month, which I suppose is on target. I do like writing to my friends, I really don’t know why I don’t do it more often.
13 New recipes tried – 4/13

I managed to find another keeper this month with DIY KFC. It’s so long since I had KFC I can’t tell if it tastes like the real thing, but it does taste gooooood and that’ll do for me!

This looks overdone, but it was just perfect

14 Meet ups with friends – 5/14

One of my friends had a significant birthday so she had a wee party at her flat, and last weekend we had a bestie date with Black Panther and ice cream.

I also had another friend over to my flat for a catch up, which I very nearly cancelled because I was feeling particularly introvert-y, but I’m glad I didn’t.

15 Birthdays on time – 5(or 6?)/15

The significant birthday friend got her card and present a day early, how’s that for organised!

There’s one I’m not sure of and I’d like some opinions. It was my Dad’s birthday on a Tuesday, and I posted his card and present on the Monday, first class so it should have got there on time. But it didn’t. Thanks, Royal Mail.

So do I count it because I posted it on time, or not because it didn’t arrive on time? Let me know what you think!

16 Christmas cards made – 0/16

Still none so far.

17 Birthday cards made – 4/17

I made a unicorn-ish card for my friend to go with the unicorn mug I bought for her present.

I also made and sent my sister’s card last week, as her birthday is the day after Easter and I know the post is unreliable (even more than usual) around Easter time.

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18 Items decluttered – 2/18

The KFC recipe required so many new spices/flavourings that I had to sort out my current spices so I could fit them in. I had some stuff in there with dates in the early 2000’s. So I cleared those out and even alphabetised the ones I had left. Much better!

I’m making some pretty good progress so far, I think. April is birthday central for my family so all the birthday goals should jump up for next time. I just need to keep working on the others as well.

How are your goals going (if you made any)? What do you think about counting my Dad’s present toward the total? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

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18 for 2018 February review

So I meant to post this before I headed back from NZ, but I was just so busy having fun that it didn’t happen! Then came 40+ hours of travelling. Let’s not talk about that. So now I’m back on UK soil let’s have a look at my 18 for 2018 goals

 

1 New blog followed per week – 4/4 (yearly total 9/9)

Done, done, done! Mainly crochet, but I’ve also found some amazing Zentangle blogs.

 

2 New stitches/techniques learned per month – 2/2 (4/4)

Still going with Tunisian crochet! This time I learned the purl stitch and how to Tunisian in the round, finally making use of that double-ended hook!

 

3 Instagram posts per week – 12/12 (26/26)

I’m actually surprised I managed to meet this one, considering I posted very little when I was in NZ.  But meet it I did so onwards and upwards!

 

4 Exercise sessions per week – 16/16 (32/34)

It seemed rather optimistic packing my running gear, but I actually went for a run while I was away! There was also LOTS of walking so I’ve had a pretty active month 🙂

 

5 Blog posts written per week – 20/20 (39/40)

A confession for this one: for the first couple of weeks of February I only wrote two or three posts. The other 14-15 were zentangle posts that I wrote during my looooong stopovers in Sydney/Melbourne airport.  So I met my goal, but it didn’t really help with building a habit.

 

6 Patterns written up – 0.5/6 (0.5/6)

I was hoping to work on this during a stopover, but sadly it didn’t happen.

 

7 Rooms in my flat sorted – 0.5/7 (0.5/7)

Still plugging away at my box room, and I also had a sort out of my books and DVDs.

 

8 Minutes of writing per day

Getting better at tracking this one, but still not perfect.

 

9 pm bed time – 7/28 (31/59)

Yeah, not even a little bit. For 6 days of this month I was so busy crossing time zones I had no idea when 9pm even was. Then for half the month I was staying with a family friend and they do not sleep early. So no.

 

10% of wages saved – 0/10

Well.

After having paid quite a bit of money to get to NZ, the clutch died on my car. Then the following week my MOT was due, and you bet that hunk of junk didn’t pass first time.  And then I was on holiday, where you have to spend money to get places and do things.

So my saving for February is a big nada.

But, this has helped me realise how privileged I am. I know there are many, many people in the world who can’t even afford tickets to New Zealand, and here I was able to buy the tickets, fix and MOT my car, and still have some spending money left over. Even though I’m not ‘rich’ by Western standards, I know I’m one of the very lucky few in this world who hardly ever have to worry about being able to afford the basic necessities.  I need to remember and appreciate that more often.

 

11 Items listed in my shop – 0/11

Nah.

 

12 Hand-written letters – 3/12

I managed to get one written before I left for hols, and I sent a couple from my travels!

 

13 New recipes tried – 3/13

Things have been tight money-wise this month, so I haven’t been able to go and buy specific ingredients for new recipes. Hopefully next month will be a lot less expensive and I’ll be able to shop for what I want instead of whatever the supermarket has reduced.

 

14 Meet ups with friends – 3/14

I’ve been out for drinks with a friend, and oh yeah I flew to New Zealand for a wedding!

 

15 Birthdays on time – 4/15

My brother’s card arrived bang on his birthday, I’m so proud!

This is usually the point in the year when I give up on being on time for people’s birthdays because I’ve already missed so many (a lot of my loved ones were Winter babies!), but this year I’m feeling good and I’m determined to keep up with this.

 

16 Christmas cards made – 0/16

Still none so far.

 

17 Birthday cards made – 2/17

The only birthday this month was my brother’s, which I bought a card for, so nothing new to add on this one.

 

18 Items decluttered – 1/18

It hurt me to do it, but I’ve thrown away my old pair of converse trainers. There were holes in the soles, frayed ends on the laces, and my right little toe poked out of the side where the canvas had worn away.  I should have binned them a long time ago, but I do so love my converse.

Next up will be taking out the books and DVDs I no longer want.

 

Lesson learned this month: international travel can interrupt the best-planned goals, but that’s totally okay.  Also, always have a stash of money ready for when the car goes wrong. Again.

I need to pull my finger out and get on track with more of these in March. Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

18 for 2018 January review

White rabbits! Here’s a look at how my 18 for 2018 goals are going so far.

1 New blog followed per week – 5/5

Done for this month, I’ve found some lovely new crochet blogs to follow.

 

2 New stitches/techniques learned per month – 2/2

You all know I’ve been getting right into Tunisian crochet this month. I can’t believe I put it off for so long. I’ve learned the simple stitch and the knit stitch (no I’m not counting my ‘mistake’ until I learn it properly).

 

3 Instagram posts per week – 14/14

When I post today that’ll be me at my goal for January. Woo hoo!

 

4 Exercise sessions per week – 16/18

I missed a couple this week and last, because I seem to have forgotten how to sleep properly. So when my alarm goes off at 6am the snooze button seems far more important than my kettlebells ever could be. Here’s hoping the sleep thing won’t last!

 

5 Blog posts written per week – 19/22

I was so close with this one. And I only slipped because my Dad came to visit for the weekend and we went to the zoo when usually I would be blogging. I’m okay with that 🙂

6 Patterns written up – 0.5/6

Still working on my cowl/neck warmer pattern.

 

7 Rooms in my flat sorted – 0.5/7

I made a great start a couple of weekends ago, but then it sort of fizzled out. I definitely work better just picking at it 10 minutes at a time, instead of one massive decluttering slog.

I’m working on my box room at the moment, and I’ve propped the door open so the mess isn’t hidden from sight (out of sight, out of mind is so true!) and I can just do little bits every time I walk past.

 

8 Minutes of writing per day

I’m really, really bad at tracking this one! I write most days but I’ve no idea how long for. Sometimes it’s half an hour or more and that’s obvious, but if I just scribble down ideas throughout the day then I have no way of telling how long I spent on it.

I think I need to set some time aside, set a timer for the 8 minutes and just focus on nothing but writing. Much easier to track, and it’ll probably make the writing better if I focus on it properly.

 

9 pm bed time – 24/31

This one actually isn’t possible 100% of the time, considering choir every Monday doesn’t finish til 9pm, and my singing group every other Tuesday runs til 9:30pm.

But the days when I’m at home, I have been getting to bed on time more often than not. It’s such an improvement and I’m already noticing the benefits so I’m keeping up with this one!

 

10% of wages saved – 10/10

My flights to New Zealand turned out a lot cheaper than I had budgeted for, so I still managed to put some money aside this month. Thank goodness for Sky Scanner.

 

**UPDATE: Is it Sod’s Law?  I think that’s the one.  The clutch in my car went yesterday, and I’ve just this second had a call from the garage to say that replacing it will cost almost £400.  At least I had my savings for a couple of weeks!

 

11 Items listed in my shop – 0/11

None yet, but I’ve taken photos of a couple of items so I just need to get them uploaded.

 

12 Hand-written letters – 0.5/12

If I wrote a letter every time I thought about writing a letter, I would have smashed this goal already.

I’ve stuck some stationery in my bag so I can add a couple of paragraphs whenever I get a few spare minutes, and I’ve made a start on a rambly letter to a friend.

 

13 New recipes tried – 3/13

The first new recipe this year was coca cola slow cooked gammon, and I have to say I was pretty disappointed with it. It tasted no different to regular slow cooked gammon so I may as well use water, which comes out of the tap for free.

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I made some chicken madras using a BBC recipe, which was okay but nothing to write home about.

Then I made a cauliflower-base pizza. I am not exaggerating (or using ‘literally’ in an incorrect manner) when I say this was literally the best pizza I have ever tasted. I topped it with mushroom, gherkin, chilli cheese, and pesto, and the whole way through the first slice I was making involuntary noises. It was just. so. GOOD!

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The pizza is definitely being added in to my regular menu.

 

14 Meet ups with friends – 1/14

We threw a surprise party for a friend’s 60th birthday and it was so much fun!

 

15 Birthdays on time – 3/15

I missed a couple right at the start of the month, but I got prezzies sent out on time for my not-godson and his brother so I’m proud of that! I also made a scarf for the friend who turned 60.

 

16 Christmas cards made – 0/16

None yet, but I do have a couple of ideas that I want to make before I forget them so I’ll get some done soon.

 

17 Birthday cards made – 2/17

One for my not-godson, and one for his brother.

Does anyone else get really stressed about putting numbers on birthday cards? I’m always so afraid I’ll use the wrong one!

 

18 Items decluttered – 0/18

I have a few things ready to go, but it doesn’t count until they’re actually out of the flat. I get no points for things sitting in binbags by the door rather than sitting in a bottom drawer :p

 

Overall it’s not been a bad start to the year, really. I know where I need to direct more energy if I’m going to meet my goals, and I’ve set up some systems to make it easier to work on them.

I know quite a few people set goals for this year, how are they going? Are you enjoying it or finding them hard work? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

18 for 2018

Last year I followed a few bloggers who were doing the 17 for 2017 goal-setting challenge.  I loved the idea, but by the time I came across it the year was already well under way and I felt it was too late to join in and try catching up.

I wasn’t entirely sure I would try it this year either, but then (most unlike me) I started thinking about it in the run up to Christmas, and making a plan.

To start off I just wrote a list of everything I want to work on this year – things like making my Etsy shop more successful, getting my fitness back, and tidying up/decluttering my flat.

Then I had a play around putting them into order by priority level, and the amount of time it would take to achieve them. And finally I assigned them all to their number.

I’ll be honest; I’m not 100% convinced I’ll keep all of these goals in these formats, but it’s a starting point and gives me something to work towards. So here are my 18 for 2018 goals:

1 New blog followed per week

I love my blogging family and I’d love to grow it even more.

2 New stitches/techniques learned per month

I tend to stick with my favourite stitches in crochet, and I’d love to advance my knitting.

3 Instagram posts per week

This was supposed to be another avenue for advertising my shop, but I kinda failed last year. I’m hoping to fix that this year.

4 Exercise sessions per week

Oh I want to be fit and strong again!

5 Blog posts written per week

For more regular posting, but also to create a backlog that I can use as scheduled posts during busy weeks.

6 Patterns written up

I think this will be the year I really get into writing patterns. I’ve already made a start on one and I enjoyed the process.

7 Rooms in my flat sorted

There are still some boxes I have never unpacked since I moved into this flat 9 months ago, plus I’m just a messy person. It needs sorting.

8 Minutes of writing per day

This could be blogs, short stories, or the novel I’ve been working on for years. Doesn’t matter, just as long as I get my creative writing muscles flexing.

9 pm bed time

I need a lot of sleep. A lot. But I would also like to start getting up early enough to exercise before work like I used to, so the only answer is to get to bed on time.

10% of wages saved

My friend in New Zealand is getting married this year, and going to that will wipe out pretty much all of my savings. This goal will hopefully build them back up again pretty quickly.

11 Items listed in my shop

I was utterly rubbish with this last year. Time to sort myself out.

12 Hand-written letters sent

My friends and I used to write letters to each other regularly, but at some point we got out of the habit. I’m determined to get back into it again.

13 New recipes tried

I get bored easily.

14 Meet ups with friends

I had a looooooot of problems last year, and one of my coping mechanisms (which turned out to be hindrance rather than help) was to withdraw from pretty much everyone. I’m an introvert so I do need my alone time, but I refuse to let it slide into loneliness again.

15 Birthdays on time

Confession: I still haven’t sent a present to my friend whose birthday was in September. I’m great at buying/making the presents, now I just need to get myself to the post office and send them on time!

16 Christmas cards made

The hope being that I won’t need a frantic making sessions in the second week of December.

17 Birthday cards made

Partly ties in with 15, but I’m also hoping to build up some stock for the shop.

18 Items decluttered

I have too much stuff. Nuff said.

 

I’m a bit of a nerd, so I printed off a chart for tracking them all weekly and it’s going to be pinned to my bedroom mirror so I can keep an eye on it as the year goes on. They’re even colour-coded by weekly/monthly/yearly goals.

Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

An FO catch up

You may have noticed I didn’t have an FO Friday last week. That’s because I was sent home ill from work, I face-planted my bed, and I slept.

So, since I don’t have a regular post on Tuesdays, and I just can’t wait to show off this pretty hat I made, I figured I’d catch up now.

So here it is:

Aren’t those colours just gorgeous!!

I totally gave up on ribbing the bottom; nothing I did looked right and I actually quite like it plain, so there it is.

This is the first pompom I’ve ever made myself (using cardboard circles because my pompom maker hasn’t arrived yet), and it came out a bit mutant at first

But a bit of work with the scissors soon sorted it out and now I’m really quite proud of it.

I struggled a bit to attach it securely though, it was really determined to flop about.

I’ve ordered some more of this yarn, and Mum has sent me a couple more skeins too, so I’ll definitely be making more of these to go in the shop.

What do you think of the hat? Any tips for attaching pompoms? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Here endeth October

Happy Halloween 😀

We’re rocketing on with the year and it’s already November tomorrow, I can’t wait for bonfire night!

Here’s how I did with my October goals:

1.Make at least one Christmas decoration per week.

Done. Post coming soon to show them all off.

2. List the rest of my cards in the shop.

All done, plus a few extra goodies I made

3. Make 12 new blog posts (3 per week).

So done! This is post number 17 for October, which I find particularly impressive considering I lost 4-5 days going to Budapest.

4. Write up a proper pattern for my waffle hat.

Um. Yeah.  I at least looked at the rough notes I made in a blog post a while back.

I wouldn’t be me if I met all my goals for the month!

5. Finish this doily that’s been hanging around for months

Done. I sent a photo and he seemed really pleased with it, so hopefully he’ll like it as much in person. I’ll be handing it over next week at choir.

 

Something I didn’t write down, but was kind of hoping for, was reaching 500 views on this here blog. It was a bit of a stretch goal, but the views have been steadily increasing month by month so I thought I could probably just about manage it.

I was wrong.

Views

I totally smashed it!!

Thank you so much to everyone who’s popped in for a read, like, and comment this month; I love all the interaction in this crafty community and the new friends I’ve ‘met’. I just love yous all!

Now, on to next month! Here are my goals for November:

  1. Get my snowflakes listed in my shop.
  2. Write up my waffle hat pattern
  3. Make at least one Christmas present per week.
  4. Make all Christmas cards for my family/friends

It’s getting very Christmassy around here, and I’m already starting to get excited about it. The only way I could love Christmas more is if face paint were a regular part of it. Then it would be perfect!

How’s your October been? Got any plans for November? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 20.10.17

First of all, apologies for the quality of these photos. I have been doing battle with this thing so long that it’s now completely dark outside.

It’s all because of buttons.

I have a lot of buttons. A lot. I spent a couple of evenings sifting through them trying to find a style that 1. I liked 2. went with the cowl colours and 3. I had enough of. You wouldn’t believe the number of buttons I have in sets of four, and of course this needs five.

I finally managed to narrow it down to two options; lovely brass and shiny purple.

But I just could not decide between the two, so off I went to instagram and facebook and had a poll. It was close for a bit, but then purple took off and became the clear winner.

But (of course there’s a but) while attaching said buttons, there was a casualty

I haven’t got any more of these.

So the choice wa made for me; this baby got brass buttons.

But nobody told me how different attaching buttons is when it’s knitting rather than crochet.

And why is weaving in the ends so difficult?

What am I doing wrong??

Anyway it’s finished at last, and ready to go into the shop when I can get some proper photos. Phew.

Who’s ready for the weekend (me me me!)? Got any FOs this week? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Progress report

The middle of October has sailed past me (where did the time go??) so it’s time for a quick review of my goals for the month.

1.Make at least one Christmas decoration per week.

I didn’t manage any in the first week, but I’ve certainly caught up since then.

2. List the rest of my cards in the shop.

Nada yet. But Etsy gave everyone 50 free listings and they run out tomorrow, so you bet this is my task for tonight!

3. Make 12 new blog posts (3 per week).

I’m doing super well with this one! The count is 8 so far and this here progress post will be number 9.

Lesson learned: it’s really best for me when I sort a few posts at once and then schedule them.

4. Write up a proper pattern for my waffle hat.

Not even a little bit. Maybe when I’m travelling next week, if they won’t allow my crochet hook on the plane.

5. Finish this doily that’s been hanging around for months

I’m nearly there! One more round and some blocking, and it’ll be all done.

It might warrant its own blog post when I’m finished; there have been all kind of ups, downs, and tweaks with this thing.

 

From the looks of that I’m just about on track. Well done, me 😉  How’s everyone’s October going? Is it whizzing by for you too? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

 

Happy Halloween month

I love October, if only for the multiple excuses to paint my face!

It feels like September was less busy than August, what with me having a virus for the last few weeks and spending a lot of it resting, but it seems I still managed to get quite a lot done.

3 Christmas presents are now complete, I made some Daisies for Vicky, got a commission for a birthday card, finished off 2 Seafoam Scarves and 2 cosies, and made some good progress on my scoodie.

I finally managed a mass listing session for my Etsy shop so now my items are into double figures. And I also had a very successful giveaway on Instagram, and reached 1,000 followers on there.

Ooft I’m tired just typing all that!

So now we’re into October, I’m going to try setting some goals and see if I can achieve even more.

  1. Make at least one Christmas decoration per week. They’re small, it should be easy enough.
  2. List the rest of my cards in the shop.
  3. Make 12 new blog posts (3 per week).
  4. Write up a proper pattern for my waffle hat. Which will probably involve making it up again because it’s been so long.
  5. Finish this doily that’s been hanging around for months It’s long past time!

I’m away to a festival in Budapest at the end of the month, which will give me a bit of crochet time while I’m travelling there and back, but not much at all while I’m there. It should be really fun though so I don’t mind too much.

How did your September go? Got any goals for this month? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 25.08.17

I did it! One finished star blanket:


Now comes the real task; finding some lighting decent enough to get a good photo, so I can list it in the shop. Curse this Scottish weather.


Sadly I haven’t had enough sleep this week and my brain can’t manage the celtic knot coaster, so that’ll have to wait for next week. 

Of course I crossed all the fun and/or easy things off the WIP list first, so now I’m left with the little faffy bits and projects that I’m not too bothered about. Silly me. I think I’ll tackle the kindle cosies first of all, as they’re closest to being finished and I am so enjoying crossing tasks off the list.

That’s been my somewhat productive week, how is everyone else doing? Got any FOs to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

 

FO Friday 21.07.17

I have managed to shrink my WIP list, hooray! Although only a little

Here is my super cute finished cactus pin cushion.

Thank goodness I never have to use that yarn ever again.

My third finished octopom.

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I used a bigger hook for this guy so he’s turned out with a bigger head, but somehow I managed to stitch his face the same size as the smaller poms so he’s ended up looking quite smug. Oh well, I’m sure somebody will love him.

And that’s all I’ve managed to finish. Curse those camper van wheels, that’s all I’m gonna say.

 

In other terribly exciting news, I made my first Etsy sale!! *happy dance*


As an added bonus, it wasn’t a member of my family or a friend. A complete stranger on the internet found my card and decided it was worth spending money on. I’m so happy 😀

This is just the boost I needed to get my backside into gear and list all my stock. Now I know for defnite that people are willing to pay for my items, but they won’t be able to if they’re just sitting in my FO drawer never to be seen!

 

So that’s my Friday. 2 WIPs down, 10 to go!

Who else is having a good Friday? Got a FO to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx