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The title of this post says it all. This year I will mostly be finishing my list of W.I.P.s! I’ve created a schedule and I aim to keep my creative ideas well organised in the future to stop this madness of starting multiple projects when it feels just as good to get stuff done as it does to start something new! So to begin . . .

 

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I finally finished my kitty cushion that I’d started probably a couple of years ago. Its all cross-stitched and once I’d gotten into the swing of it, I really enjoyed it and think its turned out just marvellous. I can see myself doing another one in the future once the W.I.P. list is complete.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’ve got myself organised using a planner and am very pleased to say it is still in use! I’m usually a little flaky when it comes to things like this, it could be the use of stickers and brightly coloured felt tips or perhaps the decorative washi tape but I am enjoying the use of the life planner and all its vibrant delight . .

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My planner is a Mid-year one so it will be running out this July. I’ve already begun to wonder what to do when it runs out as the one I’m using at the moment doesn’t have the capacity to refill with blank pages. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting an Erin Condren life planner but using my simple one from Paperchase I’m just wondering if I can’t customise one all by myself! It would be nice to really use my own ideas for the covers and inserts .Hmm.

The next project I have on the go is a woven friendship bracelet/bookmark which I was supposed to finish last July for my friends graduation, alas, I got side-tracked, probably with all my other W.I.Ps so this is the one I’ve been concentrating on next. . .

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It’s quite a complex pattern (found on Pinterest) so there’s no wonder its taken me this long! but this is one of those little hobbies I’ve picked up and could be quite addictive. I’ve also recently started using Instagram you can find me at anji85 where I’ll be posting regular doings from my little corner of the world. I’ve also invested in a new computer and hopefully will find blogging more accessible.

Since joining the world of Instagram I came across a hashtag which immediately caught my attention #1yearofstitches. This is where you take a blank canvas and sew something on each day of the year. What a brilliant idea! and what a brilliant way to catalogue and exhibit ones day to day life! so naturally I had to start one! I was dubious at first because I’ve been strict with myself about starting new projects, but as it was the end of the year I decided to go for it so here’s a little snap shot of my year so far . . .

 

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As I’m sure all the other stitchers out there know it is almost impossible to sit down every single day to get one done, so I’m a couple of days behind but I have done a picture for every day. I must say its jolly good fun thinking up things to put on. My life isn’t what you would call exciting! but I’ve got a lot of interest in different things. The elephant represents the new babys at Chester Zoo, which me and the bf were fortunate enough to visit last year which I desperately need to post about but it will be a monster of a post so it will have to wait just a little longer. Tilikum the Orca from SeaWorld is also featured after he passed away this year (If you haven’t watched the documentary Blackfish I urge you to do so, though it isn’t for the faint hearted).

I suppose I’ve made a mistake putting my year of stitches on this post as it quite obviously wont be finished until the end of the year but I kind of like knowing its just one day at a time. I feel more driven, more motivated than ever to get myself moving, and if I stick to the plan I know I can achieve, perhaps not great things, but damn good things. 🙂

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Well, well, well. That wasn’t much of a return was it? Six months have passed since my last post! Firstly I should mention that this was partly due to my lack of organisation, I am a massively cluttered person! mentally, environmentally and craftily. I have too many thoughts, ideas and plans that I can’t keep track of, and like most people this stresses me out to no end. I used to write lists, but then there was lists everywhere some with the same tasks some with impossible taks.So this year I decided to do something about it. I imagine most people get their inspiration these days reading other people’s blogs and I am no exception. I was merrily reading one of Lucy’s posts from attic24 and she happened to mention the Erin Condren Life Planner, what is this Life Planner? I asked myself, and why does it sound like the answer to all my organisational problems? simply because it is!! it mashes together the boredom of scheduling ones mental clutter with crafty goodness thereby making the structuring of your daily tasks and household drudgery a pleasure to do knowing you can tick off the objectives with a brightly coloured pen! Checking out the beautiful Erin Condren Life Planners was wonderful but I soon realised they were a little too costly for the likes of a thrifty Yorkshire lass like myself and my eyes wondered slowly over to my dressing table where a £10 voucher for House of Fraser had sat since Christmas. I then made it my mission to find a mid year planner in order to start my own version of the Erin Condren Planner. In fact, I spent more money on the stickers and washi tape than I did the actual planner. which is just a simple mid year 12 month diary. I had a couple of weeks left in june which I used as experimental weeks, and then started my full structured week at the beginning of this week. This is my current lay out . . .

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Life Planner

As you can see from the fuzzy picture my schedule as such doesn’t look too full, but I do work full-time and so most of my week is simply being at work. What I wanted to achieve with my planner is to make time and schedule those out of office things that I wanted to complete around my work life. So far it’s not going too bad. I’ve seen a significant increase in my motivation and in my productivity. My decorative skills are still in their early stages but just the simply joy of colour coordinating the page and using my pretty stickers is enough to keep my determination up. I was so overjoyed to have found a use for washi tape! I’m sure there are hundreds of uses for the stuff, but for me, this seemed right. So here’s a few pictures of my little stash I’ve managed to build, purely for planner purposes.

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I particularly like the carrots!

I also got some stickers . . .

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Plates with faces, for meal planning!

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Cute date night stickers.

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These are from the Esty store theickleblogger.

The lady at the ickle blogger sent me such a lovely note with the pizza stickers, saying how she’d love to see how I’m using them, so here’s a shout out to Zoe and her wonderful stickers. I haven’t had my takeaway night just yet but I can’t wait to use these sticker slices.

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Yoga (more about that later)

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There are many more but I figure I’ll run out of space before I get to the end. Suffice to say I’m big on the stickers! As for the Yoga, I may or may not have mentioned that I got a fitbit for Christmas. In 6 months I’ve lost about 10lbs, it’s not a great amount but I’m only 2lbs off my current target which isn’t bad. Feeling a lot better about my physical self, I wanted to improve on it. As a child I had severe scoliosis and had two major surgeries as an 11-year-old to correct it. Despite undergoing these surgeries I was still left with deformed ribs and this I feel has limited my movement causing stiffness and aches. So to try to improve upon this I thought about Yoga classes. With time preciously limited outside of work I’ve postponed the idea of classes and started a home routine, within two weeks I felt a difference. My back didn’t click every morning and the persistent ache in my lower back dissipated, my posture has improved and confidence. I encourage anyone who’s been thinking about yoga to go ahead and try it. I only wish I’d have known about its benefits as a child. Side by side with my basic yoga routine I’ve added a little meditation to my day. I tried it at the suggestion of one of my Buddhist friends and couldn’t quite concentrate, so I read up on it, (the internet really is a marvel!) and found something called Mala beads, prayer beads used in lots of different religions but all do the same thing, to help repeat and count mantras or prayers or anything one wants to concentrate on. So being a bit crafty I made my own . .

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Mala Beads

They were quite simple to make, there are 108 beads and a guru bead to time the meditation. I’ve found a reduction in anxiety and noticed a positivity in my moods. Altogether I take about 20 minutes to do a quick stretching bit of Yoga and a few minutes meditation in a morning and on an evening and it works wonders! My body and mind are now on track to be as healthy as ever and I was determined to get every other aspect of my life together too. Readers of the past may remember that in no way can I get green things to live, year after year of dried up flowers and crispy plants on the windowsill have been my shame. However the bf recently bought me a miniature bonsai kit, and knowing how many plants he’d bought me that I’d killed I was determined to raise a bonsai tree! and was happy to see out of 5 seeds I had not one shoot but two!

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Jack Pines

The second shoot is only just visible in this shot and I know they’re delicately small but you can’t imagine how pleased I am. They’re still indoors at the moment and I’m going to be very nervous about putting them outside when they’re ready but they’re doing so well I was recently considering growing a few herbs, so watch this space.

It’s all thanks to the planner though that I’ve kept these little ones alive. Coming full circle here’s a couple of the pages I’ve done in order to keep organised, hopefully if your thinking about doing your own life planner you might find them interesting.

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Keeping track of tasks.

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Monthly Budget, incoming and outgoing.

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Project lists (all in one place)

I even made myself some pom-pom paperclips, supercute don’t you think?

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Pom pom paperclips

The planner has allowed me and driven me to complete some tasks that I’ve had on the go for a while, I’ve nearly finished this Moroccan x-stitch cushion which I started many moons ago.

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Pattern from cross stitcher magazine.

It’s a bit further along than the picture now and not far off finished so hopefully in my next post I’ll have a completed project to show you. Til next time.x

 

 

 

Howdy guys and gals, I’ve noticed in blog land that a lot of people tend to do a little year end review of their goings on, and I’ve spent many a pleasant hour reading through what people have got up to, and seen as its so pleasant I thought it only right that I do one of my own. So if you’ve been following, or even if you haven’t here’s some pics of what I’ve been up to this year  . . .Image

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Looking forward to seeing you all next year.xxxxx

 

 

 

As you can see I’m still finding my way about the customisation and decoration of my page, improvements will be made I promise. However, until I become a computer wizard I thought I’d post a few images of what I’ve been up to this year.

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Earlier in the year I bought a copious amount of wool and embarked on a blanket making frenzy (our flat gets cold in winter). This simple granny blanket was started at the beginning of the year and I’m afraid to say still isn’t finished, it’s just one of the many projects I’ve got on the go, I’m sure you’ll understand, I haven’t met a crafty person yet who can resist the temptation of starting new projects, you know who you are.

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This ripple blanket was an attempt to familiarise myself with the concept of increasing and decreasing and this exemplary pattern from attic24 worked like a dream. This one is also in progress but is moving at a much steadier pace than the granny blanket (whose pattern can also be found at attic24).

I made these cushion covers after we moved into the flat. Originally they were without the frill but I am a bit girly and couldn’t resist and as you’ll see from the next photo it goes quite nicely with the flap at the back.

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The huge buttons I found in a little haberdashers in York. I have a not-so-secret obsession with buttons and I think my eyes must have got as big as these when I saw them in the shop. The pattern for these covers is my own, and though I made these a while ago, I intend to make some more. I’ll post the pattern once I’ve written it down step by step.

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This is a snippet from a circular Moroccan cushion cover I was making. The pattern was from Cross-Stitcher magazine, I don’t think cross stitch gets quite enough blog time because it is so time consuming but I’ll do my best to rectify this.

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Christmas has just been and gone and a very special lady bought me these wonderful antique wood spun lace bobbins. This is an area in which I’d love to develop more. I’ve tried a beginners kit and found lace making to be a therapeutic and most enjoyable craft, one which is not often practised these days and so even more important to make people aware of. For those of you who aren’t familiar with lace-making, there are often beads on the end of the bobbins, this is called spangling (what a lovely word). These beads are there to distinguish the bobbins and are often in pairs. With these being antiques I think I might go to the extra effort of re-spangling those that can be, though I think some of these pre-date spangling altogether.

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I actually made these snowflakes last Christmas but they were so pretty and easy to make I think everyone who celebrates Christmas should have a go, the pattern is from a book called “150 Blocks to Knit and Crochet” by Heather Lodinsky. I’ll be making a list of some of the books I’ve found most helpful and with great patterns.

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Well I think I’ll leave the first proper post there, I hope I’ve given you a little look into my life and hope to see you again at Minnie’s.

Hello and welcome. My name is Angela and this blog is all about crafts, meeting new people and trying new things and having a support network to try the things you wouldn’t normally consider.

One of the things my mother taught me when I was little was how to crochet. Over the years this hobby spiralled into a big ball of yarn that has dominated my free time. My skills have developed with the help of various people, but for me these people are few and far between, which is why I chose to start this blog. I’d also like to share with you the journey I’m going to take as I learn new skills and crafts, and hopefully we’ll help each other along the way. 🙂

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