Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A finish

Reflections of Canada - Jan 30th
I am very happy to say that Reflections of Canada by Ink Circles is complete.

Yesterday I spent the time to finish up the piece so that it would be done by the end of the month.  I loved the piece and in some ways are sad to see it finished so now to figure out which project is going to be getting my attention now.

There wasn't much that had to be done on this piece yesterday to have a finish so after getting the work done that I needed to do I figured it was time to enjoy this piece and and see it finished. 

Reflections of Canada - Jan 29th
So now the goal for me is to figure out which project or projects will get the attention now because of course there are quite a few in the pile of ones that I would like to complete.  At the beginning of the year I put together a list of the projects that I wanted to work on and some progress done on this year so now to see which one gets the attention.

Here is the list of the projects that are on the list and hopefully soon I will write a bit more about each of them.
1. Polar Bear Face On
2. Sugar
3. Bluenose Dime
4. Salmon Rose
5. Tiger Lily
6. Flower and Butterfly
7. Tiny Dragon - Water
8. Cirque des Cercles
9. Reflections of Canada -- now complete
10. Joyful World - February through December

Now to figure out which project will be the main focus for a little while.  Tonight I will see which project gets my attention.  It may not be the one that lasts as the focus but at least for tonight I will see what gets some stitching done on it.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A good week of progress

Reflections of Canada - Jan 22nd
Here it is Monday morning and I am happy to be able to say that over the last week I was able to find some time to actually sit and stitch. I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to stitch but at least I have something to show for this past week.  I was busy most days so that meant that the evenings were limited but at least I got in some stitching most evenings.  Two of the evenings were taken up with other projects but at least my needle was in my hand most evenings this week.

Reflections of Canada became the project that got all the attention as I decided that I was going to try and finish this project before the end of the month. I decided this at the beginning of this past week that I figured that I might be able to get it done but I wasn't sure.  I was just under the half way mark when I made this decision so that meant that I would have to focus on it if I wanted to get it done.
Reflections of Canada - Jan 29th

I love stitching Reflections of Canada due to all the small little designs that I get to stitch.  I have fun when I am stitching because I know what it is that is going to appear each time I finish an area. So after spending this last week stitching I am getting close to having a finish and that makes me extremely happy. 

Yesterday I worked on it after dinner and by the time I put it down I saw that I should be able to get it done with just a bit more time.  I have four more small designs to stitch and that's it.  I am happy with the piece and am happy that I might even be able to get it done without one month of starting.

Now that this design is getting close to being completed I am starting to think about what project will get the attention next.  I am going to see what I feel like after this is done before picking the next piece that will get my attention.  I would love to be able to get some more pieces finished up this year so that is what I am going to be aiming for.

I would love to be able to stitch more than I do but at least finding that hour or two most evenings makes me happy because I am seeing some results. I now have some work that needs my attention so I better get to doing that so that I can make sure that I have some stitching time this evening. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Stitiching time

Joyful World - February - Jan 9th
This past week I was pretty determined to see if I could spend some evenings doing some stitching.  Of course, I have two projects that have been getting a lot of attention this past little while so once again I decided to try and focus on them to see how much I could get done on each of them.

The first one that I worked on to see if I could get finished was Joyful World - February.  I didn't have much of the design completed before this week so I decided to try and focus on it to see if I could get it finished.  What is nice about this design is it is small and something that I can see results pretty quickly.  The design size is 73 x 99 stitches so not something that should take very long to do and I am finding that I can work on this design a bit at a time but see results.
Joyful World - February - Jan 21st

After spending a couple of nights on the design I was able to get it completed so now I am going to be starting March soon and see how long it takes me to complete it.  I am enjoying this design because with each month being small it means that I can see some results pretty quickly.  So, two months down, 10 more to go.  I hope to have this entire design done before the end of this year.  What I am trying to do is ensure that I have the month stitched before the month actually starts.  Now to see if I can continue doing that for the rest of the year.

Reflections of Canada - Jan 12th
Once I finished stitched Joyful World - February I turned my attention to Reflections of Canada to see how much of it I could also get completed this week. Having finished the first quarter of the design it also helped because I knew what I was stitching each time I started working on an area. 

Reflections of Canada got some attention this week and even this weekend I was able to find a bit of time to focus on it.  I am happy with the progress that I have been able to make on this design and look forward to seeing what it looks like again after next weekend.  I am going to continue to work on this design as this is the one that I am looking forward to getting completed quickly.
Reflections of Canada - Jan 22nd

I am happy that I have been able to find time in the evenings to do some stitching.  Some nights it may only be half an hour or so but at least it is a bit of time where I can focus on relaxing and actually stitching my mind back together.

These are the only two projects that I focused on this week and there was no knitting or crocheting completed.  It is sometimes nice to find something that you want to focus on and spend the time doing just that.  I have a few other projects that I would like to work on but I am thinking that I am going to try and keep my focus to only a couple of cross-stitch projects instead of bouncing all over.  I am finding that I am very happy to see the progress that I can make during one week when I can maintain the focus.

This week I hope to be able to find some more stitching time in the evenings and I will see which project or projects get the attention.  I know that Reflections of Canada will get some attention and I will see which other one gets attention.

Monday, January 16, 2017

One lost weekend

Reflections of Canada - January 5th
After I wrote my quick update late last week I figured I would have some time this weekend to actually sit and do some stitching.  Well, as you can probably guess the plan of having a day to sit and stitch and see how  much more of Reflections of Canada done just didn't happen.

What I ended up doing was trying to organize some of my craft supplies and get them into boxes so that I know what I really have. This also meant time to try and figure out which crafts I was still interested in doing and what crafts were not going to be part of my long list of the crafts that I still do.
Reflections of Canada - January 12th

I think we all go through times when we realize that a craft that we thought we would like just didn't turn out to be so enjoyable.   I have also found that there are now yarns that I loved working with before now no longer interest me.  It goes feel good when after a couple of days of cleaning up I can say I do know the crafts that I really enjoy doing and then the crafts that just aren't for me. The yarn that I no longer like will be finding a new home which is great and the other craft supplies will be going to a school program so that some kids will be able to use the supplies that I have.
Mint green granny squares

I am still going to be doing a lot of the crafts that I blog about because those are the ones that I enjoy the most.  I am looking forward to seeing how the projects that I have now put on my list to work on actually go. 

One project that I have been finding a challenge lately is the baby hats that I have been making.  Of course, I am still going to make baby hats but maybe just not as many as I did last year.  A project that I am now going to try is to make a couple of baby sweaters during three round granny squares.  I have made this sweater in the past so decided to try to make it again.  I have now started making some of the squares that I need so will see how it goes, I have 20 out of the 54 squares completed.  The worst part of this project will be sewing the squares together so I am going to try and do that a bit at a time instead of at the end.

This week I am going to try and spend a bit of time crafting each evening as I do find that it helps me regain the focus that I need for work.  My evening crafting is my meditation and something that helps me figure out the next day and how I am going to be tackling the things on my to-do-list.

Hopefully this week I will be able to get some crafting done but until then I have some work that needs my attention.

Friday, January 13, 2017

A quick update

Reflections of Canada - January 8th
I don't normally post during the week but I figured I wanted to show how much stitching I have been able to accomplish so far this week.

My focus has been on Reflections of Canada as I am really enjoying this piece and am loving how it is turning out.  It is also fun because I know three other people who are working on this same piece.  I went to a stitch night on Wednesday evening and we were all working on the same piece which is different for this group.  Four out of about 18 people were stitching on Reflections of Canada.

Reflections of Canada - January 12th
What made this stitching time interesting is because the other two started the piece on January 1st, 2016 and I started mine on January 1st, 2017.   Of the four of us, I am almost the furthest completed the piece and that really amazed me.  I had figured at least two of them would have had a lot more done on the piece until I saw it when we started stitching Wednesday evening.

I hope to be able to find some more stitching time this weekend so that I can see how much more I can get done before Monday.  I have now completed a quarter of the design and look forward to seeing how quickly I can get the rest of it done.

I am also working on a post to explain some of the projects that I am going to be focusing on this year and what they mean to me so that will probably be posted at some point next week after my Monday update.  For now I have to get some work done and will see how much stitching I can do this weekend.  Have a great weekend.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Another week

Reflections of Canada - Jan 1st
Here it is the first week of January and I was able to get a bit of stitching done.  I would have liked to get more done but work and a cold decided they needed my time and energy a little more.

I was able to find a bit of time to work on Reflections of Canada by Ink Circles and am loving this piece.  It is a lot of fun to work on considering all the little things that you end up stitching.
Reflections of Canada - Jan 8th

The design is some of the things that are Canadian so of course there is a hockey stick, beaver, parliament buildings, a moose, and there will be more designs that will appear as I work on the design. I hope to be able to get some more of this piece stitched this week as I would like to see it finished quickly.

Joyful World - February - Jan 4th
Besides working on Reflections of Canada I also got a little bit more work done on Joyful World.  I got the border almost completed for February.  It is great when you do a border and it matches up and you don't have to take any of it out. This is another piece that I am going to try and work on this week as I would like to get some of the actual design for February stitched up.  I love having this type of design on the go because each month is relatively small so it means that I see some results quickly and I actually get a finish which is something else that I like.

The other project that got my attention is past week was Ceclia Shawl as I was loving how it was turning out.  I was at around 88 stitches on the needle on Christmas day and by the time I was ready to cast off I had 220 stitches on the needle.  It was an easy project to work on because it was basic garter stitch with two increases at one end every second row.
Cecilia Shawl - Dec 25th

I have another shawl that I am going to make using Unforgettable yarn again and it is going to be another Ceclia Shawl but grey this time.  I am not going to start it just yet as I would like to see if I can get something that is already on the needles finished up first.  I know that by having too many projects started I start to feel like I am getting nothing done. 

Cecilia Shawl - Jan 6th
This is the first full work week of January so it means that there are going to be things that will come up that need my attention so that is what I am going to have to work on this week.  I do hope that most evenings I will be able to find a little bit of time to craft and I will see what I end up working on.

It is year end for our own business so that means that I have some accounting that needs my attention so I better go and get that finished up.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016 in review and 2017 goals

Another year has come and gone and it is now time to review how I really did against my goals that I set at the beginning of 2016.

2016 Goals
1. Blog at least 4 times a month. - blogged every week
2. Cross-stitch Bluenose Dime by Lynne Nicoletti – still working on this piece as I only have rayon floss to do and I don’t like using rayon floss.
3. Finish 5 cross-stitch that I already have started – finished more than 5 cross-stitch but not that were previously started.
4. Get stash below 300 pounds – got yarn below 300 pounds as I was able to donate yarn I would never use to a charity
5. Get craft items organized – ongoing process but things do look a lot better

As always I have sat down and figured out a few goals for 2017 and hopefully I will have some really good results by the end of this year.

2017 Goals
1. Blog at least 4 times a month
2. Finish Bluenose Dime by Lynne Nicoletti
3. Cross-stitch Reflections of Canada – Ink Circles in 2017
4. Stitch from stash for both cross-stitch and knitting/crocheting (see below for explanation)
5. Continue to get craft items more organized and downsized
6. Finish two of my own designs in 2017 that are already kitted or started

My goal in both the cross-stitch and knitting/crocheting stitch from stash is to really limit my spending and see how it goes. I am going to do this for the first six months and when will figure out if I will continue it for the last half of the year. I will post updates on the blog at the end of the month to show how I am doing with each of the stitch from stash.

Stitch from stash explained

Stitch from stash is an idea where you give yourself a budget each month for how much you can spend on a craft. You can earn more money by finishing projects but ultimately it is a means of controlling your spending on the crafts you love but you will also see how much stash you really have. This is what I am doing so that I can get my stash better organized and maybe finish some projects that have been started. I have set a $25 a month budget for both cross-stitch and knitting/crocheting. I haven’t figured out how I will earn credits for the knitting/crocheting but will figure that out as I go.

The group I am in for cross-stitch we can earn between $2 and $25 based on the size of the project we finish. A piece 40 x 40 stitches earns you $2 and a piece 160 stitches x 160 stitches or bigger earns you $25.

I am thinking that I am going to try and give myself credit for baby hats of $1-$2 and then children’s hats $5, shawls $10-20 depending on size, afghans $25. The knitting/crocheting credits will be determined as I start to finish things but at least I can only spend $25 a month on items if I don’t get busy and make things.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A good week of progress

Joyful World - January - Dec 24th
 This last week I was finally able to make a bit of progress on some projects and that made me very happy. I figured that considering a large number of companies where close between Christmas and New Years it meant that I might be able to spend a bit of time crafting.

Joyful World - January - Dec 31st
A few projects actually got some attention and I actually got one finished which made me very happy. Joyful World is a 12 month project and it was available through Facebook last year.  I downloaded all the patterns and decided that I was going to wait until they were all available before I decided if I was going to do the design or not.  Well, at the end of November I got the fabric which is 28 inches squares so that I could do the design.  I started January just before Christmas as I just wanted to see if I could at least have a start before the end of the year on it.  Well, besides having a start on January I was able to finish it on New Years Eve so that was great.  Now I just have 11 more months to go and each of them is 7 inches x 5 inches but they are fun to do.
Cirque des Circles - Dec 4th

Cirque des Circles got a little bit of attention one day as i wanted to see if I could at least get the first circle done.  Well, I didn't but got a little bit closer so now to see when I pick this piece up again and work on it. This piece is going to be put away for a little bit as I try and work on a couple of the other projects that I have on the go.
Cirque des Circles - Dec 29th

I also was able to knit on the Cecilia Shawl and it is coming along and I think I should be able to get it done in the next couple of weeks if I can sit and knit on it.  Of course, there are times when just sitting and knitting is great so I hope I can find some of that time to get this shawl finished up.

January 1st came and that meant that there was going to be a new cross-stitch start for me.  It is Canada's 150th birthday so I wanted to work on a Canadian design so I picked up Reflections of Canada and yes I got it started.
Reflections of Canada - Jan 1st

I actually started this design shortly after midnight and then worked on it a bit more during New Years Day.  I like how quickly it is coming to life so hope to be able to spend some more time on it and see how it goes.

Yes, last week as a nice week to spend crafting and I really enjoyed the time that I could find to craft.  I also did get some work done so that was a good week for me.  it is now a new year so that means that there are things that need to get finished up for 2016 so that is what I will be doing this week.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Years

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year 
and all the best in 2017