2020 Goal Setting

This year I’m planning on pursuing  both creative ‘explorations’ as well as goals.

Explorations

Explorations are basically about following my heart during much of my creative time, so I’ll blog about that as it evolves.

Plans

Whilst not always completely fitting the criteria to be goals, most of my creative plans have at least time frames attached. Here’s what I have on my list so far…

  1. Make some birthday cards by the end of January.
  2. Make secret advent present before 1st December.
  3. Take part in Scrap Happy every month.
  4. Use scraps or materials from my stash, rather than new, as much as possible this year.
  5. The first goal I had on my original list was to make a birthday present for a friend whose birthday is Jan 11th – already complete 🙂

To achieve before the end of the year:

  1. Design a Christmas cardigan.
  2. Make the cork picture I’ve save over 100 corks for.
  3. Finish off renovating our blanket box.
  4. Dig out any UFOs and finish them before the end of the year.

To achieve before Christmas:

  1. Make a Christmas table runner – well before Christmas
  2. Make some Christmas table mats – well before Christmas
  3. Make Christmas crackers – before Christmas
  4. Santa Cowl – before Christmas

I’m sure this list will grow, but that’s it for now.

Hope you crafting’s going well.

Until next time,

Bekki x

WIP Update

Delighted to tell you that over Christmas and New Year I finished the last square of the Charlotte square blanket and have crochet all the squares together.

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I just need to edge it and I’ve finished.

Otherwise I have no other WIPs to show you.

What? No knitting? I here you cry.

No, no knitting – unless you count a couple of minor UFOs I need to dig out.

It feels quite freeing to only have one yarn project on the go (if we ignore the UFOs), but I do have plans for a knitting project and for my next crochet one when I’ve finished the blanket.

How many projects do you currently have on the go?

Until next time.

Bekki

Sunday Sevens 2020 #1

Welcome to my Sunday Sevens – a post where I share seven (or so) photos of my week away from the blog.

It’s been a quiet week with all out Christmas visitors gone and the UK not really having gone fully back to work post Christmas. There was New Years Eve, but after a busy Christmas, half full of cold and with the log burner beckoning, we didn’t fancy the cold dark walk to the pub and back to celebrate. The snails in our village however had different plans; we spotted them having a party on this rock on New Years Eve afternoon…

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It’s been reasonably mild lately and signs of spring are starting to peak through…

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No idea what the primroses are up to though. Some of them seem to be perpetually flowering in my garden…

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Thursday was book group. I should have read The Secret Life of Bees – and I did want to – but Christmas had been far to busy for me to get round to it..

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Today we had a walk through the woods to the old Arsenic mine at the Tamar Trails centre.

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Chilling to think people used to work here with only a handkerchief over their faces for protection.

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And that, I’m afraid, was the extent of the excitement in my world last week.

Until next time.

Bekki x

Are you setting goals for 2020?

It’s at this time every year I hear the debates about whether we set goals or not. I didn’t set any goals at the start of last year. 2018 had been a difficult year and all I knew at that point with any certainty was that I wanted another dog in my life. The universe  quickly obliged and on January 12th Harry arrived to live with us as his new forever home.

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Harry’s arrival meant we had to quickly cover my lovely Laura Ashley settees with boring plain throws.

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Knowing they would be there for the long term, I wondered how to make my settees a little more attractive. I thought a quilt would add some interest, but I couldn’t possibly start making a quilt unless I finished the king size quilt I’d started two years earlier and abandoned. Finishing said quilt involved a lot of free motion quilting.

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I absolutely love it! This led to me dabbling with free motion embroidery…

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But I grew frustrated at my inability to create the images I wanted to. And so I decided to learn to draw.

I loved it!

I loved it so much that I forgot all about FME and focused on drawing.

After nearly 3 months I was ready to add some colour to my pictures. On advice from Lovely Eldest about the best medium for a beginner to try, Santa obliged with some appropriate presents.

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So this is where I’m at at the beginning of this year; about to head out on a painting adventure. Should I set goals for what I want to achieve in this (and elsewhere)? Or should I just go with the flow?

Going with the flow last year took me in an unexpected direction. But maybe if I’d set goals I’d have set one to finish the king size quilt and ended up exactly here anyway. Or maybe if I’d set that goal along with others I would have had the other goals calling me so hard I’d wouldn’t have ended up here.

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And wherever I’d ended up, who’s to say if it would be a better or worse place to be in? (This certainly isn’t a bad one.)

Every day we make a many many decisions. Even the smallest seemingly most insignificant can change the course of our lives forever.  IMO there’s no point looking back and wondering if we made a right/wrong or good/bad decision; we just took the choice we thought was right at that time. And for me, there’s no right or wrong in choosing to set goals; it’s whether we feel we need/want to set them or not, and how we chose to use them if we do.

Have you chosen to set goals this year? And why did you chose/not chose to set them?

Until next time (when I may or may not be setting some goals)

Bekki x

Learning to Draw 2019 – 3 months in

It’s been three months since I decided to learn to draw in order to be able to do more with free motion embroidery. As many of you spotted, once I started learning to draw the embroidery got rather left to the side. I haven’t forgotten it, but for now I’m happy to work on learning about and improving my drawing and, as it’s the close of the year, I’ve had a look back at  my progress.

I started by simply working on drawing what I saw rather than what I thought I saw. I drew this Fuschia in the first couple of weeks and it’s still one of my favourites.

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Next I focused on light and shadow. At this stage I was drawing a lot of leaves.

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Next I learned about vanishing points and one point and two point perspective. Although I recognised their importance I found working on it rather tedious, this showed when I looked back; I’d finished almost none of the pictures I’d started. 20191118_12205800

Moving on I had a short flirtation with faces…

Then I worked on drawing people; getting proportions right in different posses…

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I also intermittently worked on various texture exercises, attempting to draw better trees, rocks etc

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It’s been 96 days since I started learning to draw and I set myself the goal of sketching every day. I didn’t draw on about a week’s worth of days before Christmas and I took a week off over Christmas – all occasions were because I chose to put family first, which IMO is getting my priorities right. In that 96 days I’ve drawn 101 sketches or groups of sketches, which averages at more than 1 a day – so very happy with that.

Until next year!

Bekki x

Sunday Sevens 2019 Best Bits

At the end of every year I like to revisit my Sunday Seven’s photos. Here’s my favourites from 2019…

January – Harry came to live with us as his forever home…

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February – Harry’s first snow with us…

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March – Friends from up north visiting for the weekend…

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April – friends teaching us to dance in Clumber Park…

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May – a visit from our great nephew…

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 June – Our holiday on the west coast of Scotland. Not only blessed with gorgeous weather while the rest of the UK was under flood warnings, but there were genuinely three breath taking moments amongst many many many wonderful ones…

The view from the top of the hill above Inverary…

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Alone with Harry on the edge of Loch Fyne at 6am…

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Sanna Bay…

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July – Harry on Rock Beach…

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August – Broom Hill Hotel sculpture park…

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September – Perranporth beach with our niece, great niece and her husband…

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October – Visiting Lovely Eldest in Utrecht…

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November – Harry and Baxter on Perranporth beach…

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December – Christmas!

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All in all 2019 has been a good year for LH and me, but I know this last year hasn’t treated all my friends and family so kindly. My love and best wishes go out to them for a much better 2020 and here’s to a happy, healthy 2020 for everyone.

Until next time,

Bekki x

Taking Stock of 2019 – Stash, Scrap or New

As the year closes I’m looking back and reflecting on my achievements and my learnings for 2019. As some of you know, for a while now I’ve been trying to work on projects that recycle and use up scraps and stash items, whilst keeping purchases of new materials to a minimum.

In total I’ve completed 24 projects and I’m very pleased to say only 4 have been made new from materials bought for that project: the baby sweater, floral quilt, my K6 sweater and the elephant quilt. Unfortunately no pics of the K6 sweater, but it is finished, I promise.

I’ve made 8 projects from stash yarn and fabric:

Flower Valley shawl, Heartfelt cardigan and a teapot sweater

The pinwheel baby quilt – which did include some scrap fabric too…

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My PJ bottoms and ticking shorts...

The yet to be named mitts and mittens

13 From scraps:

Chamomile Stump work embroidery and new home cross stitch

Ratty and Baby Beanie Hat...

Santa Sacks, Christmas Fairy and Christmas cards

Dog Bandanas, summer top and Christmas stocking

Free motion embroidery cards and key rings

And the Angry Bird golf club cover

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All in all I’m pretty pleased with the balance of scraps/stash vs new materials used. Completing 24 projects averages out at 2 a month – given some are far more time consuming than others and that I’ve been focus on drawing too for the last 3 months – I’m also pretty pleased with that.

Hope you’ve found plenty of time for you creativity this year.

Until next time,

Bekki x