Sunday Summary 12.26.10

Um. Oops.

I guess I haven’t blogged in over a week. Not entirely sure how that happened. I could blame the holidays, but I have blogged during more stressful times than this year’s Christmas. (It was a surprisingly relaxing one for me. I got most of my shopping and knitting done well in advance this year.) I could blame the show, but again, same problem. I think it’s just that the blogging slipped my mind.

At any rate, it has been a great holiday for me so far, and the vacation isn’t over yet.

Christmas was wonderful, and while it didn’t include any actual yarn it did include money which will be for buying yarn (have you seen the new KnitPicks Chroma yarn? Want.) and a swift. It also included lots of happy time with family, and all is good.

As to my goals, some of them have been going well, others not so well, and I’ve decided that now is not a good time for me to expect to set goals and keep to updates about them. I lose interest. One goal that went quite well, however, was the Christmas card one. I got everything I had intended to send mailed out in advance of Christmas and most of them even arrived before yesterday. So, kudos to me!

I hope you all had as great a day as I did, and enjoy however much vacation you have remaining.

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The Holiday Spirit

For the second year running, Jen & John of Cake Wrecks are doing a Christmas Charity Countdown – for the days from now until Christmas, they’re sponsoring a charity a day and asking their readers to donate $1 each.

One dollar. Twelve days. Good causes.

It all adds up. I’m joining them this year, even though my own finances aren’t in the greatest place. It has been a wonderful year for me in so many respects, and I can’t help but pay it forward. Maybe my dollar a day will help 2011 be a wonderful year for someone. It’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.

Care to join me?

(Click on the link in the first paragraph to get more details from Jen & John. And this post is hopefully going to be sticky so that it stays at the top of my blog page until Christmas… look below it on Sun-M-W-F for other new blog posts.)

Sunday Summary 12.12.10

More Sunday Summaries. More lack of energy. (More decisions to go to sleep earlier.) And more updates on my goals:

  1. I WILL WRITE DAILY. ~ I didn’t write anything yesterday, but have written every other day. Saturdays seem to be my hard day.
  2. I WILL DRINK DECAF TEA. ~ Having issues with this one. It would be a lot easier to do if it was summer or there was a larger variety of tasty decaf teas.
  3. I WILL SEND OUT CHRISTMAS CARDS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. ~ Some have been sent. Not all of them, granted, but this is progress. I have also written my Christmas letter (though it still needs formatting and printing) which is more progress.
  4. I WILL WRITE A BLOG POST EACH SUNDAY TO RECORD MY PROGRESS ON THESE GOALS. ~ Still successful to date.
  5. I WILL GET MY YA NOVEL OUT THE DOOR TO AT LEAST THREE PLACES. ~ Still haven’t done this yet. But I will! I will.

Friday FO: Flurries

So, one of the Secret Christmas Knits was actually a crochet project, and has been given away already. And that means I can post pictures now!

2010 Snowflakes 01

These are the snowflakes I crocheted for my knitting friends. I found out that one of them wasn’t going to be in town for the rest of our knit nights, so I had to get these whipped up quickly so they’d have time to block and starch before I gave them as gifts.

2010 Snowflakes 02

Five days later, they’re all done and dry and off to their new homes.

2010 Snowflakes 03

These are all from the Leisure Arts booklet “Lacy Snowflakes” by Brenda S. Greer. Some are made with a crochet thread shot through with silver filament, and the others are a slightly puffier crochet thread shot through with an opalescent filament. I liked the thicker one better when I was working with them, but the silver ones held the blocking better, so the end result was really nice.

2010 Snowflakes 04

Who am I kidding? The end result was nice with both threads. I really like crocheting snowflakes. They’re a good, elegant, instant gratification project.

Why My Wednesday Blog Posts are Boring in December

So, I’ve been doing some crochet again lately. But, I can’t show it off here on the blog because it’s Christmas crochet and some of the people I’m crocheting for read the blog.

I’ve also been playing with knitting toys. But I can’t show that off either, because the toys are for someone who reads the blog.

And I’m working on a cool pair of mitts. Which I can’t show off, because… you guessed it. The recipient reads the blog.

I guess I should be happy to have so many people (well, as far as gift conflicts go, we’re only at about 4) reading my blog. But you know, it does make the WiP Weds blog posts rather boring…

I guess I’ll just have a lot of FO Friday posts once Christmas has passed.

Christmas Crazy

Sometimes I think I’m crazy for choosing to make a lot of my Christmas gifts. Yeah, they’re more appreciated by my family. Yeah, they’re fun and (often) cheaper. But you know what? They take a LOT of time.

One option, naturally, is to buy things from other handcrafters. I typically don’t do this. Many reasons, I guess, but mostly I look at things and say, “Hey, I can make that!” and so off I go on another making-instead-of-buying spree. Which is fine, except it in no way helps with that “takes a lot of time” thing.

This year, I just might buy some things. And one place I intend to buy from is my friend Hanna’s etsy shop. She’s even having a sale from now until Dec 11 on shipping. Go. Support her. But don’t buy the things I want.  😉  (Note to self: go shop SOON.)

Another thing I have determined I can do that will cut down on the time spent while not eliminating the handcrafted goodness of gifts is to make smaller things. Instead of knitting a hat & scarf set, maybe I’ll knit a pair of mitts. Instead of making a shawl, let’s try a toy. Things that are useful, and cool, and perhaps look really intricate, but that take, oh, maybe a fourth of the time. Or more. An example? This little guy:

Bedbug 01

He’s not done yet (still needs legs and some detail embroidery), but he’s taken a couple of hours to get to this point. And my sis will love him probably no less than she loves her handknit socks, which took many, many more hours of knitting.

What about you? Do you know of any good handcrafting shops out there that I should look into?

December Resolutions, a la Le R

You may know by now that I have a great love of The Rejectionist. She is witty, she is fun, and she saves mice from glue traps. What’s not to love? Seriously.

Anyway, she is doing a Resolution Uncontest for the month of December, and as I need a bit of a kick in the pants I thought I’d play along. Also, this is a good way to get myself motivated and actually. Do! Something! You know.

(Also, you know that I have either been stuck in the world of The Enchanted Chocolate Pot or thinking Regency/Victorian when I start breaking up sentences into their component words like that, especially when “do something” is a part of the phrase. But onward.)

So: here are my resolutions for the month of December. If they turn out well, they will be carried over into the new year. The writing ones will probably help, because I have signed up for Kait Nolan‘s brainchild A Round of Words in 80 Days which will require me to be writing.

  1. I WILL WRITE DAILY. I’m not counting e-mail. But I am counting blogs. And while I’m not going to specify in the resolution itself, the goal will be a minimum of 500 story (or perhaps plotting) words per day. We’ll see on that last bit. If possible, I’d also like to get back to Friday Snippets. But that means having actual story content to post.
  2. I WILL DRINK DECAF TEA. I’ve already been mostly doing this, but I want to continue doing so. Of course, full-caf tea will still be used in DIRE SITUATIONS.
  3. I WILL SEND OUT CHRISTMAS CARDS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Mind you, this could mean sticking them in the mailbox at 11:59 on Christmas Eve, but still. And though I intend to make my own cards I reserve the right to use those free cards that companies send you when they want your donation money if I run out of time and get desperate.
  4. I WILL WRITE A BLOG POST EACH SUNDAY TO RECORD MY PROGRESS ON THESE GOALS. Resolutions. Things. (Why Sunday? Why not. I like the alliteration of Kait’s ‘Sunday Summary’ posts, and I have grown lax on updating things I post about. I used to do weekly goal-posts; I can get back to doing them again.)
  5. I WILL GET MY YA NOVEL OUT THE DOOR TO AT LEAST THREE PLACES. Three isn’t many. I know. But it’s a good number, it’s more than none (which is where I am so far) and it’s not too daunting.

I think five Resolutions is a good number. So there we stop. What about the rest of you? Anyone have things they want to get done before we say goodbye to 2010?