Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekend crafting

Cirque des cercles - Jan 24th
This weekend I decided that with it being so cold out that I would spend my weekend crafting.

Cirque des cercles - Jan 26th
Yes I spent most of the last two days at home and crafting and doing things that I wanted to do and not thinking too much about work.  The projects I planned on working on were the cross-stitch Cirque des cercles and a children's afghan that I also had on the go.

It was for me a bit of a challenge to not think about all the things that I needed to work on for work while taking this weekend to myself.  Yes I needed the time to relax and do things that I enjoy doing.

Afghan - Jan 24th
I decided that I would focus on two projects so that I have some change but I didn't want to focus on too many otherwise I wouldn't see any results by the end of the weekend.

Cirque des cercles is the cross-stitch project that I would like to have finished by December 31, 2014 so that was a simple project to pick and work on this weekend.

The other project that I picked was an afghan made of granny squares that I have been working on.  I had all the squares crocheted I just had to sit down and actually work on putting the 48 squares together.  Before the weekend I had 19 squares together .
Afghan - Jan 26th

I am happy with what I got down this weekend because I can see some change in Cirque des cercles and I actually finished the afghan.  The afghan measures 50 inches x 64 inches so it is a little bigger than I had planned but that is fine.

What I really did this weekend was show myself that I could spend an entire weekend at home and enjoy it.  During this weekend yes I did think about the things that I needed to work on but I also taught myself that things are still going to be there Monday morning and I don't need to always be working.  I need the time to relax and recharge my own battery by doing things that I enjoy.

It is now time for me to go to bed so that I can get to work tomorrow morning on the things that are waiting for me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Progress Report

Cirque des cercles as of Jan 20th
Well figured it was time to post an update on Cirque des cercles.  I haven't been working on it as much as I should have as of course I am crocheting as well.

The results of my stitching so far is I have got the bottom row of circles outlines so now need to fill all of them in.  I haven't decided if I am going to finish outlining all the circles for the piece before filling them in or not.

I am happy with how it is now turning out and actually there are days when all I have wanted to do is sit and stitch.  Of course work gets in the way and I just can't sit and cross-stitch but I am finding that most evening now I am finding time to at least craft a bit. 

I do want to get more of this project completed this month as I have decided to do a Stitch-along with a few ladies and we are starting another project on February 1st. We are all going to be stitching La Pensée Positive from Les Marottes de Nathalie.  I am going to be doing the English version and I know at least one person is doing the French version.  The quote is from Norman Vincent Peale.
Keep your heart from hate,
Your mind from worry.
Live simply,
expect little,
give much.
Scatter sunshine,
forget yourself,
think of others.
 I have pulled all the floss for this project and also have the fabric ready to go.  I hesitated about doing this Stitch-along but figured I have never done one so it was time to at least try one.  So yes there is going to be another project on the go come February 1st so that means I need to work on Cirque des Cercles a bit more this month.

Time to forget about work for today and maybe curl up with some cross-stitch or crocheting.  Will depend on the project once I turn off the computer.

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 1st restart

January 1st start
As I previously wrote I started Cirque des Cercles on January 1st and thought that the thread that I picked would work.

Around the 6th of the month I discovered that the thread was a little too thick when working over one.  So, on January 8th I decided to take out all the stitching that I had previously completed and restart the project.

I have got a bit further now but forgot to take a picture of it.  I am happy with the new look of the project as I am using regular floss and 2 ply.  I should have really thought about the issue with the first floss when I couldn't thread my needle without a needle threader helping me.

This is  my 2014 project that I would like to complete by December 31st, 2014 so it means that I am going to have to work hard to meet this goal.  I have figured out how much I need to complete each month and all I can say is I must have been crazy picking this project for this year's goal.

So what did I learn from this cross-stitch. 
  • If you have to use a needle threader to thread your needle because the thread is thick, rethink the thread for the project. 
  • If you aren't happy with what a project is looking like, stop and rethink it.
  • If you can't put the needle into a spot more than once, your thread isn't going to work.

Of course a few friends have talked about doing a Stitch-a-long starting February 1st so I am thinking if I am going to do that as well.  At least that project isn't too big and also there is no deadline.  Do I do it or not, that is going to be a decision I need to make very soon.

Time to get back to work and see if I can have some crafting time tonight.

Friday, January 3, 2014

January 1st start

Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles
This year I decided to do something different.  Normally I just continue working on projects that I have on the goal and don't start something on January 1st.  This year I decided that I was going to sit down and start a project that my goal is to have it completed by December 31, 2014.

As you can see I did make some progress on the piece on January 1st so now just need to continue working on it so that I can achieve my goal.  The good news is I am only using one colour but it is also over 1 thread on 25 count evenweave so it isn't as fast as doing it over 2.  That might just be my opinion but I find it does take a bit longer to make each stitch.

As I work on the piece I will be taking pictures as I like to see the progress that I make on it when I have the time to work on it.

What did everyone else do?  Did you start a new project on January 1st?

Work is calling me so need to go and do some of that and then I think I will spend a bit of my evening crafting.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 in review and 2014 goals

 I decided that it is time for me to look at my goals and see how I am actually doing on reaching my goals for 2013.

2013 goals and results:
1. Complete 225 items didn't reach this goal but that's fine as did some bigger items
2. Blog at least 4 time a month: didn't make it 4 times a month but managed to blog 49 times over the year
3. Compete at Markham Fair in 2013: decided not to compete as I am busy with work this year and it also conflicts with a couple of other work events that weekend.
4. Complete 3 items for myself: knits 3 pair of socks
5. Get stash to below 360 pounds: bought yarn instead of using yarn
6. Complete 3 cross-stitch that I already have started: haven't completed
7. Spend more time writing both personally and professionally: have been doing a lot more writing this year as I kept track of my writing and wrote over 180,000 words (journal and blog) for the year

I can actually pretty happy with where I got with my 2013 goals.  I know that there are things that didn't get completed this year but at least I know why.  I do wish I could blog a little more but understand why I didn't blog more often helped.

2014 goals:
1. Blog at least 4 times a month
2. Complete 3 items for myself
3. Get stash to below 360 pounds
4. Start Cirque des Cercles on Jan 1/14 and finish it by Dec 31/14
5. Get some of my craft items up onto Etsy and see if they sell
6. Complete 3 cross-stitch that I already have started
7. Spend more time writing both personally and professionally

Yes some of the goals are a repeat as I want to continue to do things that make me happy.  Of course some goals are repeated because I didn't reach them last year and others are repeated because I did reach them.  Of course, there will be other things that come up and change some of my goals but at least I can say that I am happy with where things stand.

My goals give me a reason to work hard and also it means that at the end of the year I can see what I really did accomplish.