Monday, 29 June 2015

July/August Goals


This is one of those times where I go, I meant to write up my goals 3 weeks ago then June disappeared. I have been very busy with life and crafting this month. I've managed to tick off a lot of my goals.

You can check out my March/April goals here: So it's been a little while since I went over my goals. 

For my blog

New goals for the next couple of months:
  • Continue posting on Wednesdays - That has been happening a lot ... I've been keeping it up and very happy that I can manage to post at least once a week. 
  • Continue my tutorial Fridays.- I've been doing this a little bit but it isn't a weekly thing. I've been doing a cross stitch tutorial series over at ASWC. 
  • Start organising my posts more often. I have got a blog calendar now so I want to get myself more organised. - This has been happening a lot and I am getting very organised though I don't always post what I organise. 
  • Start each post with a header image. - Even if it's only a small one it's happening.
New goals for the next couple of months:

  • Maintain regular posting on Wednesdays and post more regularly on other days
  • Tutorial Fridays
  • Actually follow through with my blog calendar. 
  • Keep using my recognisable header image.
For my crafts

New goals for the next couple of months:
  • Continue my Granny Stripe - Well and truly happening. I've got a couple more repeats happening.
  • Keep making dishcloths.... they are just sooo much fun to play with. - I have one on my knitting needles and I finished the ends on three cloths and they are now in use.
  • Finish my secret stitching  - baby is here now so I'm almost done.  - I am naughty and haven't finished it's my goal for this month.
  • Keep stitching on Baroque - It happened but now it's away and afternoon tea is out.
  • Cut out and sew together the top of my triangle quilt. - Cut sewn and FINISHED!!!!!
  • Make a Hippo and a Giraffe from the toy kits I've received. - The hippo is sitting half cut out BUT the giraffe is done, though not in the kit fabrics. I did it in fabrics to match the quilt.
  • KEEP MAKING STUFF! - ALWAYS
  • Keep up with my photo album so that I have a full collection by the end of the year. - I got up to date for a while and then I got distracted. I will have to organise a print them again.
  • Make a cover for my photo album.- Still wanting to do this and I will get to it. Maybe over the holidays? 

New goals for the next couple of months:

  • Afternoon Tea - Finish a couple of columns
  • Beacon at Daybreak - Finish the stitching
  • Finish another couple of repeats on my granny stripe - I want to complete the blanket this year if possible. 
  • FINISH AND FRAME my secret stitching for my friend.
  • Keep slowly working on dishcloths
  • Work out what my christmas presents are going to be.... This is a hard one but I want to be organised this year! When I need 20 + presents I hate rushing them on Christmas morning!!!!!
  • Keep planning

 For me

  • Find a Job. - this is still a large priority - it is slow going but I've done up my resume this month so we will see. 
  • Finish more of my course. - I want to complete it and I can.
  • Get fitter and keep walking and running.  - I have been walking most mornings and I can feel the difference when I do.
  • LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE - I still love this saying and I need to learn to laugh more. - I stressed out a bit this past month and I talked about it but this saying is still VERY relevant.

New goals for the next couple of months:
  • Find a Job. - this is still a large priority
  • Finish MY COURSE - I want it done. I can do it.  
  • Start doing regular Pilates/ Weights for my back.
  • LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE - I still love this saying and I need to learn to laugh more. 
  • Keep using my planner to keep myself organised. It is making it so much easier to stay centred. 

Overall I am really happy with what I have achieved in the last couple of months and I know I impressed myself with my ability to get some finishes in. I actually completed a quilt!!! Now just to add some more finishes to the list.

 Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

WIP Wednesday


So I have done a lot on my blanket since it was last shown to you. Here is was below.


Now today I have added ten more colours to the blanket. Though technically I'm still working on the same purple that I was last time. Cool Coincidences.


Don't the colours just look amazing!


I had to do some close ups of some of the colour combos. I wish you could see the way the colours show up in real life. It is really something.


 I love the latest section I'm working on with the cool greens and blues with the purples mixed in. Each section of the blanket is looking different and different colours are calling to me.


Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Special finishing Wednesday

Ohk so it's not a WIP Wednesday today I have a special finish to show off. My friend had her baby shower on the weekend and I spent my time from Thursday sewing desperately to finish the chevron quilt. I have had the top finished for a couple of weeks now but it's taken this long for me to actually finish it. I wrote an interesting post about finishing items over on AndSewWeCraft this week. As you probably realise the more time I spend here talking to you that I am hopeless about finishing off projects.

Most stuff is left in the last stages, just sitting and waiting for me to make the last moves and finish. BUT I finished a whole pile of stuff in the last week, ends sewn in on my dishcloths and a quilt and toy FINISHED!!!!!


I used a black homespun on the back with a couple of rows of the patterns from the front. I followed the chevron pattern with the quilting and I love the effect on the back of the quilt.


Oh and you may notice the awesome giraffe poking out over my shoulder. I also spent the day Saturday making up a giraffe for her as well. I fell in love with Funky Friends Factory patterns again she has so many awesome awesome patterns and they are so easy to follow. It looks so much more complicated that it actually is.


So today is not a WIP Wednesday it's a special finishing Wednesday because I have ticked a couple of projects off my list.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin



Saturday, 13 June 2015

Book Review: The Chocolate Clown Corpse

Now since last holidays I've been trying to make sure that I keep taking the kids to the Library and get them more books to read. I want them to love books as much as I do.

The last time we were there we had lots of fun and I even picked out some books for myself. I know I showed you them at the beginning of the month.

So how have I got along? Well not very far. I have been VERY stressed and off with the fairies this month and it's showing in my concentration when I try to read. SO although I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and when I actually settled down and read it I loved it and wanted to read more... it still took me most of the month to actually read it.

The Chocolate Clown Corpse


The Verdict?

I loved it. I'm not a big crime/fiction reader I tend towards the fantasy and romance where everything is very fantastical. But I found the writing very easy to read.

She writes a fast paced book that left me feeling like it had an ending. I didn't feel left out or that there were still questions unanswered. It was a book that could stand alone by itself which is exactly what I needed. I read way too many series.

SUMMARY

The book was about a murder in a small tourist town of a prominent citizen. It had been solved a couple of months before and that was that, then suddenly the lawyer of the suspect retires and then the protagonist's husband is pulled in to work as the defence lawyer. The more digging he does the more he reads up on what happened, the more questions, rather than answers, he finds.

It's a story about clowns and chocolate and is a fun little murder mystery. It's fairly light as they go and you don't expect the answers that you find. You learn a lot chocolate as you go and just enjoy the mystery.

I give it 8/10 I didn't go crazy over this book and that was nothing to do with the book or the writing and more to do with me at the time. It's also not entirely my style.

So if you want a nice easy read with a bit if mystery thrown I think you will enjoy this book.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 12 June 2015

Getting my head on straight - Tips to help settle

Woohoo! I made it to June....well I am very happy. May was one of those months I've been having some personal problems that I don't want to go into detail with, which meant I felt like I was chasing my tail the whole month and towards the end I kinda just started hibernating. I had all these grand plans and then nothing really came of them. I let my stress get to me and in the end I wasn't good for much of anything.

DO you have those months/days? Sometimes it's hard to stop the cycle but I know when I realise what I'm doing to myself I pull back and recharge. It's just recognising that it's happening.

This month I am pulling back. Not much really, I'm just putting less pressure on myself to do it all which means hopefully my body won't be under so much stress. I am a stress head and I admit it but the trick is to make sure that instead of letting it get to me I actually need to go with the flow and relax. So here are my tips for relaxing and making sure that instead of feeling like the world is running away from me I can hold on and stay in control. 


Now after all my wonderful talking at the beginning of letting the stress get to me last month who am I to tell you how to deal with it? Well I've been dealing with stress in various forms since I was in high school. I used to regularly have melt downs during block exams and just be unable to continue. I have learnt various methods of handling it and some of them are more recent than others.

Sometimes though all you need to do is start listening to your body.

Also just so you understand this isn't going too far away from my crafts... I'm still coming at this from a craft side as most of my methods really do involve some creating. It has always been a major de-stresser and one of the many reasons I always try to take the time to craft. Now enough talking and  onto my methods. My biggest problem is that the harder I stress the more I forget how much these methods do actually work.

1. Stop trying to do EVERYTHING at once. 


I was reading an interesting article on seekatesew this month about how to do it all and something that caught my attention was when she said to be in the moment. If you are in mum mode be in mum mode don't be checking out everything else. It made me think and I know quite often I can do everything all at once and achieve absolutely nothing so now I am trying to be present in all situations. I don't need to pull myself to bits over trying to do it all. 

There is a point where it's important to just be there and I think we forget it with all the technology around. We are constantly on phones or doing 30 million items at once and never achieving much of anything. Sometimes you need to take the zone out time and just focus on one thing not twenty. 

2. Simplify your planning. 

Maybe you're a planner and maybe you're not. But I have been finding that:

1. Planning out my days and planning what is really important makes it easier to prioritise what you need to do. Setting definite goals that are achievable in that week makes you accomplish something. 

I'm home most days at the moment and it blends one day into the next so planning out special activities for different days makes me accomplish something. Also giving myself goals and tasks that I can tick off makes me feel happy.

2. Writing things down gets it out of my head and stops me stressing and worrying quite as much. It also means you don't have to remember everything in your head all at once.  

I'm also trialling a new planner page from EasyPeasyPaper for a week on one page. I'm not sure if I like it, I may have to swap to a week on two page view but I do like the habit tracking and weekly task lists.



It makes it simpler and easier to plan because I'm not taking ages to stamp out pages. It doesn't mean I won't use stamps and stickers and washi it just means I don't have to do anything to start planning for that week. I can just start writing and getting everything out of my head. Knowing where I am tomorrow has been really helping me to calm down. 

3. Talk to Someone

Sometimes you just need to vent and talk to someone. I have been going for walks every morning after I drop the kids off at school and it is very cathartic to talk out what's been happening with the kids at the moment.

I have jumped into the deep end, I started with two school age kids and I'm learning really fast how to deal with them and all the issues that come up. One of them being a nearly teenage slightly hormonal girl who believes that being asked to do her chores is torture. Well she's not that bad but she seems to take offence at the most random things culminating in her screaming at me that I'm the meanest person alive. It's hard not to take it personally.

But the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes you need to talk to someone. Learn that you aren't the only one out there dealing with similar problems. There are so many groups out there for so many different purposes that you can find someone to talk to that will be able to listen and be able to give you advice. Sometimes you don't even need advice just an ear to talk to. 

4. Meditation 

Now I'm not talking witting on the floor with your legs crossed and saying 'ohm ohm', though if that works for you I'm not arguing, I'm talking taking the time to reset your head. 

I have a couple of methods for this and I always find that when I do stop and reset I feel happier. 

Method 1: Cross Stitch

So maybe not the method that you were expecting to hear. I have always found that when I sit down and cross stitch the repetitive work on the stitches is a great way for me to zone out. It is my time during the day. No other craft does that as it's the perfect combination of concentration and zoning out. I don't have to concentrate on crochet which means I end up being able to think of too much so I don't meditate I end up worrying more. 

It may not be cross stitch for you but whatever craft it is that gives you that ability to zone out and you walk away being happy, DO IT. It is doing you the world of good. 

Method 2: Colouring in

It's the new craze going around at the moment. Adult colouring in. But I'm not kidding. Can you remember as a kid the hours you would spend each day on making sure you had all the right colours and the excitement when you finished a picture. 


I know when I sit and colour where there are pencils in front of me and just slowly working through the picture it doesn't matter about anything else and I walk away feeling calm. It truly is a form of meditation.

Method 3: Zentangles

You may notice that most of my methods are some sort of craft like thing... well you have ended up on a crafting blog. 

But the beauty of zentangles is that they are designed for meditation. They are meant to be for relaxing and just zoning out. They are wonderful to do mindful meditation without sitting there and saying 'Ohm' 

You can find out more about zentangles from the last post I did during my A-Z Challenge. 


So now that I've shared some of my ways for keeping my head on straight. I want to hear about yours. 

What crafts do you do that help you de stress?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

WIP Wednesday



Welcome to my week! Gosh it's been absolutely crazy. We went camping over the weekend and I will be spending all week catching up with the clothes that are dirty. Actually a lot of them aren't dirty it's just they ALL end up in the washing machine. That and I've had a sick man home since camping.

But while we were there I enjoyed the camp fire and James had some rainbow fire stuff. Which turned the fire all sorts of beautiful colours. My little camera takes some awesome photos!





So because I was away camping all weekend and I'm the smart girl that loves to take a bag of crafts camping I did actually manage to do some cross stitch also some work on my blanket but not enough to show you. I was using my blanket as a blanket to keep warm.



I added the brown and purple while I was gone.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin



Friday, 5 June 2015

Styling my planner



Ohk so I've become a little bit obsessed with my planner at the moment and trying to keep track of what is happening which really isn't much. BUT I was avoiding doing any other work and not in the mood to stitch so I had some fun creating a set of stickers for my planner.

I used my cross stitch base the bigger girl to create a set of weather characters. I will have to get my cross stitch program out and turn these into patterns as well. Would anyone be interested in that?



They have been printed onto sticker paper here so it's easy to use them.



I love them in use on my planner! They are so cute and just make me smile everytime I see them. I do love cute and pretty :D 


So pretty :D

Now I am after some feedback. I'm thinking of offering these stickers on my etsy shop as stickers but I want to gauge whether others would actually be interested in something like this before I fiddle with prices.

Unfortunately I would be shipping from Australia so that wouldn't be great but then maybe I could offer the file to sell to print your own stickers.... I'm not sure and lots of thoughts are in my mind.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin
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