Hello 2017!

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Hello there stranger! It’s been such a long time since my last post!

I didn’t mean to stop blogging. I love my little blog and I love the community I have built up with it over the last 4 years. I’m made some amazing friends and I love looking back at old posts that have captured some wonderful memories. Somehow, life got in the way however, and we drifted apart a little. A lot of the faces have changed since we last caught up, and I’m sad to have lost touch with some of the amazing bloggers I got to know, but with the New Year I am looking forward to a new challenge and meeting some new faces.

2016 was an amazing year for me. I got to travel to San Francisco, Orlando and Seattle. I became an auntie, I changed jobs to become a Business Development Manager. I have thrown myself into voluntary work, including completing my 5th blood donation and spending my Christmas with an isolated elderly person in addition to my weekly volunteering with the Royal Voluntary Service. I also ran three 10k races for Macmillan Cancer Support. Oh, and I discovered a love for geocaching (but more on that later…)

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As you can see, Continue reading

November 2015 Goals

November already! Is anyone else finding they blink and a whole month has gone? We’re getting scarily close to Christmas now! I hope you’ve all had a good few months – sorry I missed my monthly goals again in October! I was only getting round to updating my goals by the middle of the month so I decided to hold off a couple of weeks so that it lined up with the beginning of the month again! Hopefully things will get back on track now! Anyway, here is the summary of how I faired with my September goals, and the goals I am setting for the month of November. Enjoy!

September/October Outcomes:

Once Upon A Time Sampler – I had really hoped to get that banner in but I have been so off cross stitching recently…I think the Barcelona Sunset took it out of me! At the minute I am just about keeping up with the monthly designs (not that it was finished when I took the photo but it is now, I promise!) which isn’t too bad, if the banner has to be added as a late addition then so be it!

November Sampler

Cut Thru’ Caravan – I was really hoping to make serious progress on this over the last few months but since I lost my cross stitch mojo it’s just not got anywhere! Sadly I’ve accepted that it isn’t going to be ready in time for Christmas (it would have been a tight squeeze anyway!) so it has been put to one side for now while I focus on other Christmas gifts and I will complete it for Christmas 2016 instead! Continue reading

September 2015 Goals

Blimey, where are the weeks going??? Once again, we are in the middle of the month before my goals are going up and it’s been four weeks since my last post again! Time seems to be galloping ahead without me at the moment but I’m desperately trying to rein it in and get posts up more frequently! But for the meantime, here are the outcomes of my August goals, and the goals I have set myself for September.

August Outcomes:

Once Upon a Time Sampler – In August my aim was to get the two remaining frames stitched in as well as the design for the month and I completed this so I was thrilled that it is almost up to date! I even managed to make a tiny start on the banner at the top…can you see it? Also, a sneak peek of the September design there too – this month is Black Beauty!

Sampler Edit

Cut Thru’ Caravan – I also managed to finish the page of the Caravan pattern that I was working on! It is coming together nicely but I am starting to realise that meeting my deadline of Christmas doesn’t look likely to happen – especially with all of the other presents I still need to make! Continue reading

August 2015 Goals

So sorry I’ve been MIA for a few weeks now! July turned out to be a really stressful month in the end and unfortunately something had to give to help me maintain my sanity (or what I had left of it anyway!) Blogging just wasn’t a priority for me while I had so many other things demanding my attention but luckily I now seem to be getting myself back on track. As always, while I was on my blogging summer break I have been busy with all sorts of things that I have ready to share with you! But for now, I’ll recap on those goals I set way back at the beginning of June! Plus I have risked setting some goals for the remaining two weeks of August (when did it get to the middle of August???) so we will see how I get on with those this month…

June/July Outcomes:

Once Upon a Time Sampler – This one was a success! I managed to get the frames for June and July filled in with no problems…it stitched up really quickly! I do love working on the little design each month to give me a break from my bigger projects!

Barcelona Sunset – My aim for June was to finish stitching the lizard (achieved!) and to stitch half of the wall (not achieved.) However, although I didn’t get the wall stitched in, I did make a start on the backstitch. I know, I always go on about how much I hate backstitch! But in comparison to stitching the solid grey mass of the wall, backstitch seemed favourable! I have completed three quarters of the backstich for the whole project now which is really spurring me one! So I didn’t completely achieve the goal in June, but I did beat my overall target for the project (to finish by the end of August) by finishing it at the end of July! I never thought I’d see the end of it but I am thrilled with the result!

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June 2015 Goals

Hello!

I hope you’re all doing well 🙂 I can’t believe June is here already! Where is 2015 going??? Almost half way there already! Anyway, here is the roundup of my May goals so you can see how I did, as well as my goal setting for June – these lists seem to be growing and growing!

May Outcomes:

Once Upon a Time Sampler – In May my aim was just to fill in the square for that month and I managed that without any problems. I seem to fly through these at the beginning of each month then it gets shelved and almost forgotten until the next month comes round! It’s a shame because it is such a lovely project and I do want to dedicate more time to it to get all of the extra elements in but until the Barcelona Sunset is out of the way it will have to wait!

Storytime Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – This month I wasn’t too far off my goal. I still had some of the third quarter to finish off which I did, then I wanted to complete half of the next quarter. Ideally, I wanted to get the lizard stitched in so that I just had the big grey wall at the bottom to finish off this month. I didn’t quite make it there due to illness and various other things taking up my time in May, however, I’m really pleased with what I achieved. If I hadn’t been full of cold for the last five days I would have managed to fill in that grey section that I’m working on, and I would have felt satisfied with that, but I’m prepared to let it go because I still feel rubbish! Continue reading

April 2015 Goals

Hello!

Last month I set myself some monthly goals to try and achieve everything that I wanted to in March. By setting myself the deadline of the end of the month I hoped that I would feel motivated to complete everything on my list to get it all done. Overall it didn’t pan out quite as I had hoped! However, I’m not going to let that put me off setting monthly goals; here I have written a summary of how my March goals worked out (or didn’t!) and what I want to achieve in the month of April. Hopefully although I didn’t get as much done as I was hoping to last month, I will still be able to achieve big things this month!

March Outcomes:

Once Upon A Time Sampler – Last month I set myself the goal of stitching the four remaining frames on the bottom of the sampler. Unfortunately I didn’t get all four done but I did manage two so that it something! Easter Weekend also spurred on my productivity with this project as I dedicated it to stitching this month’s design so I feel like I am off to a good start with this one in April, even though I didn’t manage to do everything I wanted to with it in March.

Storytime Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – Again, I had hoped to get a bit more of this done than I did. You can see from the photo below that I did make progress, but I was hoping to have that big gap in the middle filled in by the end of March! I just really wasn’t in the mood for cross stitching in March for some reason, but I do seem to have been bitten by the bug again the last few days so hopefully April will see a lot more productivity! Continue reading

15 Lists for 2015

Recently I posted my 23 Before 23 Review, and I did promise you that I would share how I have set my goals for 2015. This year I chose a different method for coming up with my goals for the year. For the last two years I have used my birthday in December to mark the start and end of my yearly challenge, with my 22 before 22 and 23 before 23. I do love this way of setting goals, and having a birthday in December helps since it pretty much runs on a calendar year anyway! However, last year was so chaotic that I found my 23 before 23 challenge was neglected, and it didn’t really work for me when I had so much else going on.

Being someone who lives their life by lists (goals, to do lists, shopping lists…) when 2015 was approaching I once again turned my thoughts how I was going to measure my annual aims and achievements. While I do love the ‘x before x’ idea, having a set number of goals in a very specific time frame (i.e. from one birthday to the next) ended up feeling like a competition against myself to get them finished, and in the final few months/weeks before the deadline I seemed to try and race through as many as possible just to get them crossed off the list, rather than doing them for fun, which is obviously the idea in the first place! 2015 is definitely going to be far less chaotic for me, so it would probably have proved a successful year had I done a 24 before 24 challenge, but I have decided to do something a bit different instead. Continue reading

March 2015 Goals

Writing my 23 Before 23 Review last week has got me motivated to set some goals for myself. I’m the kind of person who works much better if I have a deadline and I am super productive if I set myself a challenge. I have set myself some long term goals to achieve this year which I will blog about shortly, but I have also decided to set myself some shorter monthly goals too. These monthly goals will sometimes be ones that help the general progress towards my long term goals, or will otherwise just be shorter goals or jobs that I want to complete before the end of the month. I have tried to pick a range of goals from different areas of my life such as crafts, reading, fitness and blogging, to help inspire me to achieve everything that I want to achieve by breaking it down to regular milestones each month.

Crafts:

Once Upon A Time Sampler – So far I have been making good progress with my sampler and keeping up with each month well. This month I want to stay on track and complete the design, I also want to add the bottom row of 4 frames which I am still yet to add. So far I have stitched the first 8 frames, so if I can add the last of the frames this month, it only leaves me the banner at the top to complete at a later date ,then I am definitely on track to complete each design per month! If I can keep up with my plans, this will be the first year that I don’t have to play catch up…fingers crossed anyway!

Once Upon A Time Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – February was a good month for this project! I have been working on a ‘2 month’ basis for each quarter of the project, meaning that I had given myself February and March to get to the half way point. Luckily though, the quarter that I chose to do featured a lot of the sky, and as this feature large blocks of the same colour, as well as some blank areas, it stitched up a lot quicker than expected. This meant that I flew through this quarter in only one month! I was thrilled to watch the progress but the project is starting to take its toll now. I’m struggling to find the motivation to press on with this project, and as the remaining half features a lot of colourful areas that will require a lot of colour changes I know that progress will be slow. However, I don’t want it to go on the back burner since I am working to such a tight deadline, so this month I just want to complete half of the next section to feel satisfied. Continue reading

23 Before 23 – The Review

For those of you who have been with my blog for a while, you will know that for the last few years I have done a challenge every year, setting the same number of goals as the age I will be on my next birthday. Last year I turned 23, so after my 22nd birthday, I set my 23 before 23 goals. As we all know, 2014 was absolute chaos for me, so I didn’t end up dedicating any time to my goals at all! However, I am going to review them all the same, but I’m not expecting any spectacular results!

1. Make a dress – This one is still on the list! I’m ashamed to think of how long I have had the supplies ready and just not made any progress with it! It is a little more tricky now, as never having made clothes before, I want my Mum to help me through the steps to make sure I’m doing everything right (Mum’s know best of course!) but now that I have moved out, we haven’t yet managed to arrange a day when she can come over and help me through it! I’m hoping to get a day arranged soon though so I can make a start on all of the dressmaking projects I have in mind!

2. Complete 10 cross stitch projects – Looking back at this, ten projects was probably rather ambitious! At the beginning of the year I was on a bit of a roll and manage to complete 4 projects, which you can see in my 2014 Project Gallery, and at the end of the year I went on to finish my Once Upon A Time Sampler and my Liberty kit, which can be seen in my 2015 Cross Stitch Projects post. I don’t think I completed anything in between that I haven’t included, so I’m going to say that I managed 6, which I don’t actually think is that bad! This year there is no way I will achieve 10 as the projects I am working on are so big. However, if I can finish all of the projects that I have got planned for this year, I will be very happy to call that an achievement.

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2015 Cross Stitch Projects

Hello! One of the reasons for my recent break in blogging is because I have been spending so much time crafting! Last year I found it had got to the point that I was spending a lot of time writing about what I wanted to make, but not a lot of time actually making  things! So I promise that I did put my time off to good use! I have a tonne of projects that I want to share with you! But for now I will just focus on my cross stitch projects, as that is what most of my time has been dedicated to recently.

Before I show you the projects that I have got planned for this year, I just wanted to show you what stitching I did towards the end of 2014. The first project that I finished was my Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon A Time Sampler.

I’m such a sucker for their wonderful designs and this one is probably my favourite so far! I think the border is stunning and was such a pleasure to stitch, and each month I looked forward to seeing which fairytale would be the next one! I did have to play catch up a little bit after missing a few months after I moved house, but I did manage to finish the sampler on time by mid-December and I was so pleased! I’m absolutely thrilled with the finished piece!

Once Upon A Time Sampler

As well as finishing my sampler, I even managed to squeeze in a small stitching project for over Christmas! I have a small box of little kits, such as freebies from magazines and gifts that people have bought me, which I keep in my drawer at work and call my ’emergency cross stitch kits’. I cross stitch on my lunch break so this is there in case I ever finish a project or forget to take it with me one day, hence the ’emergency!’ Anyway, as I had a couple of weeks of 2014 left, I decided to finish it off by completing one of my small kits that I had stashed away. I bought this little Liberty of London kit from eBay after seeing it at the store then kicking myself for not buying it! I’d been eyeing up for quite some time so I was pleased that I had a little bit of time to work on it, and it was nice and portable to take with me when we went visiting over Christmas! It made a nice change to be able to finish a project so quickly, and my Secret Santa from work must have know exactly what I would be working on, because they bought me this beautiful frame that was just perfect to put it in when I had completed it! Continue reading