2017 reflections, 2018 goals

It’s been a year of flux and waiting for me. I’ve started a new job and left London and then been waiting for my partner to finish his PhD and see where his job search would take him. So while my own circumstances havent changed since the spring, it feels like we’ve been dealing with a different set of circumstances every other month. Its now looking like we’ll  be much  more settled with us properly living together next year, so I’m looking forward to less change. Although I’ve probably jinxed it by typing that sentance.

So for 2017, I finished approximately 21 different projects, learnt 4 new skills and have only carried 5 projects through the year.

My new skills were English paper piecing, resin casting, knitting with beads and bead crochet. I haven’t really taken to the resin casting but all the others I will be carrying on with.

I can’t really pick anything as a favourite make this year, I think the cross stitch along with friends was possibly the most fun.

For 2018, I really want to knit a garment, but my blanket takes precedence. I’m trying to learn brioche knitting. I would also like to get my sewing machine up and running again, but let’s see what happens.

For December 2017, I did quite a lot of stuff this month due to the holidays.

  1. Beaded handbag – I did a couple of inches
  2. Quilt – no change
  3. Lip balm cozies – no change
  4. Heat packs – no change
  5. Beaded purse – no change
  6. Beaded case for business cards – no change
  7. Purple blanket – I’m now using 5 circular needles like double pointed needles.
  8. Epp – I have 4 complete stars
  9. Bead crochet. I completed the stringing.
  10. Bead crochet. I have completed the crochet but it needs some hardware before it’s complete.

I’ve had one finish this month, a netted bauble. I made this up as I went along and it required a few goes to get the last bit right but it looks lovely now.

The final feature image of the year is from the coast near Edinburgh where I had a short holiday at the beginning of the month.


Christmas cards

I’ve been making Christmas cards for a few years now and I really enjoy the process. I have a few tricks to make it an easy and enjoyable task:

  1.  I only make a few, typically around 20 and my list is ordered by importance so if I dont make as many that year then some people can get shop bought ones
  2. I try and start early i.e. September
  3. I look for patterns that require materials I already have.
  4. About half are a simple pattern that can be repeated in different combinations (I have a tree template that gets cracked out every year)
  5. I try and pick patterns that require a little prep and then I can complete in the evenings while watching tv
  6. I add in some more complicated patterns to keep it interesting
  7. It’s absolutely ok if they look handmade. They are

And for the moment this works for me.


Christmas decorations

I bought and decorated my first tree this year. Its the first time I’ve had the space and time to bother having a real tree.

I’ve been collecting ornaments for a few years now and have displayed them in some way or another. I’ve also made myself an ornament (or two) each year, so I have a lovely collection. And yet they still look a little sparse on a real tree, but I’m trying to build a collection of special pieces so I can live with that for now.

However this year, I wasnt feeling up to starting Christmas crafting in the autumn and as most stuff I do is fairly time consuming, I resigned myself to not having any new handmaded ones this year.

But actually between finishing something from last year, reapproriating old pieces, returned makes, some shopping and some grand plans which where scuppered by buying the wrong thing, I’ve ended up with 6 new ornaments this year.

5 point star

I started this one as a four pointed star, two years ago and all it needed was the last piece to be zipped up. However when I tried, it just didn’t work. So I whipped up another square and now its a five pointed star.

Ponsietta ornament

This ponsietta began life as a decoration for a hat for a friend’s wedding, but as it no longer lives there, I decided I needed some more colour on the tree.

These two snowflakes were made last year to help my sister do some fundraising. Unfortunately she only sold about half so she returned the others to me. I’ve been giving them away but we kept our favourite two.

I love the bath Christmas markets and this year I took a day off work to go and play. Going on a weekday was perfect as wwe had much more space to walk and lok at stuff. I like to buy a hand crafter ornament every year and the markets are a perfect place to look for things. This year I splashed out and bought two.

Sequined bauble

I’ve been considering doing some sort of bead covered bauble ornuament for several years but never bought baubles to do it with. I finally ordered some, thinking that if nothing else I could take some of my random bits of beading and hang them inside. What I forgot to consider was the size of the opening, so of course nothing fit. I’ve since Google it and you can get baubles that clip open so I may purchase them next year. This won’t stop me doing the fancy beading but I was disappointed that I wouldn’t have a quick new bauble. So instead I searched for things that would fit inside the bauble, and found some sequins. With the addition of some pva and some time spent twirling the bauble while it dried, I have a sparkly bauble. My collection is low on actual baubles so I’m glad to have another one.

There is still one more week to Christmas and I have packed a lot of beads so who knows what might happen.