adventures in everything...

Cup of Tea

29 Jan 15

Since the Christmas Lettering Challenge that I set myself for December, I’ve kept up the odd little lettering doodle.

This was one that I quite liked so I decided to do something a more with it.

cuppa

Christmas Lettering Challenge

22 Jan 15

I love a nice bit of hand lettering, but have never really given it a go myself.

I started dabbling a little before Christmas and decided to set myself a challenge for December to do a line from a Christmas song every day up until Christmas Day.

Day one started off ok, I decided to vector up my lettering and make it look all pretty, but that kind of set the precedent for the rest of the challenge.

Eventually I got a little behind and soon enough I was sitting in bed from 1am – 2am each night drawing up the phrase and live tracing it to just get it done, meaning it wasn’t an exercise in practicing my lettering anymore, it was about just getting it done and posted!

So this year I’ve decided to aim to do one nice piece of lettering, in any medium, every couple of months – pretty excited at the idea of some embroidery! Hopefully, allowing myself to rework the pieces over time will mean I’ll learn a bit more and hone my skills!

In the meantime, here’s the pieces, in order, from the Christmas lettering Challenge.

christmas letter collage

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Lx

 

Sticky WIPs

15 Jan 15

So as I mentioned in my last post, as well as the normal resolutions, I’ve done a list of crafty resolutions.

They’re pretty much the same ones I make every year… the same projects that need finished that I just can’t bring myself to do… just… because…

Because I get excited about a new pattern on ravelry, a new idea on pinterest, or I just buy more new yarn to play with.

But seriously, they need done, it’s getting ridiculous now, and I keep adding to the list without finishing stuff.

So here’s the main ones for the year ahead…

WIPs

1. Hardknott Socks – I started these before Christmas 2013, but then they got put on the back burner while I got stuck into making Christmas gifts. In 2014 I finally managed to finish off sock 1, but am yet to start sock 2.

2. Lacy Accent Doily – My Ravelry page informs me I started this in October 2012… oops… but in my defence I did actually finish it, I just wasn’t happy with it, so I intended to go back and redo the last few rounds.

3. Spain Socks – Using a pattern I’d already made and replacing the lace panel with plain moss/seed stitch- I started them in March 2013 whilst on holiday in Spain (hence the name). I finished one sock, but am yet to start the second (you may notice a pattern emerging here, I believe the scientific term is Second Sock Syndrome).

4. Crochet Circle Blanket – This was intended to be a large blanket, so this may end up running well past 2015, but as I haven’t actually done any work on it since 2013, my aim is to at least make some progress.

5. Ripple blanket – I only just started this at the beginning of December 2014, so it’s not been on the list long, but I’d like to think that it wont still be on my list in 2018.

6. African Flower Throw – The longest going dated WIP on the list – this one started in August 2012 – it’s not even that big, I’m going along with it until I run out of yarn, which isn’t that far off to be honest.

7. Christmas Granny Star Blanket – started in November 2013, and incomplete for the last 2 Christmases, I think it might be time to finish this one, in time for Christmas 2015.

8. Felty projects – ok so I’m cheating here and this is actually two ongoing projects… one is a gift that I’m still yet to finish, and the other is a puppet I made for halloween 2012 – I finished it enough to use it with my Halloween costume, but it wasn’t really complete.

9. Emily Peacock Hug Cushion – Not gonna lie, I’m not even sure when I started this. Probably back in the 80’s or something – that’s the way it feels anyway. Every time I come across it I try to pretend I haven’t seen it, but I think it’s time to finish this sucker off once and for all.

As well as these there are also some ongoing projects, like my paper piecing quilt (though I’m under no illusions that that will be completed any time in the next decade), and the odd birthday present most likely will crop up, but these are the main sticky WIPs that just wont go away, and I’m determined to make 2015 the year they vanish from the basket once and for all.

There’s also a bunch of stuff filling drawers and cupboards that I want to finally make use of… let’s not talk about the 4 year old sewing machine that is yet to be set up…

So to boil it down to a few simple crafty resolutions:

1. Finish off WIPs before starting any new personal projects (gifts for others with actual deadlines don’t count).

2. Aim for 95% of the time to be using up my current stash before buying new supplies.

Have you got any sticky WIPs that just never budge?

Lx

 

Great Expectations… going freelance…

08 Jan 15

desk_crop

I thought I’d do a post about going freelance as it’s not been long since I took the plunge. I thought it might be interesting to write up the expectations I had (however naive), so that in a years time I can go back and weigh up how it actually panned out. You never know, it might actually be useful to someone, someday!

I’d wanted to go freelance for quite some time, but it’s a big step to leave a stable job with a steady income. Not knowing when you’re going to have money come in, having to constantly be on the look out for work, and managing your own work load and finances can be pretty scary.

I was pretty lucky when it came to biting the bullet: I’d been working with a friend of mine on a project as part of her new company, and when she received funding it meant I was able to get paid to work on it with her. It may only be 2 days a week, but it meant I had a small amount of steady income each month which took the pressure off, so I knew I wasn’t going to be totally skint! I was also offered a few days a week for another start up on a rolling contract, so that meant for starters I was pretty set up while I built up my client base.

So these were my expectations 2 months ago – I’ve already learned a lot since then, but I wanted to make sure they conveyed what I was expecting having had no experience freelancing full time…

PROS:

1. Flexibility – I visit my folks back up north once a month, and now I have nieces I want to be able to spend more time at home with them – working freelance means I could go home for a week at a time and work from there. It also means a little more flexibility with my hours – if I want to work 8am – 5pm or 11am – 8pm I can. I can also take on work at the weekends and actually get paid for it if I want extra pennies. Also, I wont need to check with anyone before I book doctor/dental appointments!

2. Saving money – working from home means I won’t have to spend as much on transport getting to and from work. It also means I can cook lunch at home so I can budget more instead of going out and spending £5-£10 a day on lunch.

Note: My previous job provided lunch, but being located in Piccadilly circus meant it was too easy to more than make up for it by spending money on the way home every night!

3. More time for me – flexibility means I’d have more time to work on the things I want to work on. My job was pretty corporate and I found the less I flexed my creative muscles, the more stifled I became – prior to this role I was in a very creative company surrounded by illustrators, designers, cosplayers, and it was super inspiring and I was forever starting fun little projects. Being able to do these fun projects means my portfolio should start to reflect the type of work I want to do, and hopefully bring in more of the same.

4. Choice – I’m under no illusion that I’ll be able to do this anytime soon, but of course anyone who goes freelance would like to think at some point they’ll have enough work coming in that they can pick what they want to work on.

5. A happier, healthier me – being able to look after myself more – cook a proper lunch at home, be able to do exercise through the day, sleeping better – that extra hour gained from not having to put make up on/have breakfast/travel is not to be sniffed at!

CONS:

1. Holidays – no one pays me for taking a days holiday now! If I take a day off, I don’t get paid for it.

2. Managing my own workload – At the company prior to my previous role, we had pretty great project management, I never had to worry about anything, I could just crack on and if anything came up, I’d tell my PM and they would go sort it out/deal with the client and then come back to me. Amazing. Thankfully, my last role didn’t come with a PM, so I had to manage my own workload, so it was good practice!

3. Managing my own finances – Taxes. That word scares the crap out of me. Thankfully I have a few wonderful freelance friends who were on hand to offer me advice on all that malarkey, and setting up online was a lot easier than expected. We shall see what happens when it comes to April and I have to sort it all out though – I plan on staying pretty organised and on top of it – hopefully that helps!

4. Finding work – This is even scarier than taxes. I’m lucky I’m in a position where I have some work to start me off so I’m not completely in at the deep end, but I need to learn to hustle!

5. Socialising – Working from home might become lonely, and lets face it, the office Christmas party wont be much craic. Hopefully there’ll be chances to freelance in house and meet new people, it might even mean I get to work with more people than I would if I was in the same office every day. We shall see.

So those were my main points to consider! I can already see where I’ve learned a lot, so it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about these in a years time! Hopefully if you’re thinking of taking the leap it might help :)

Lx

Two Zero One Five

01 Jan 15

New year, new goals, same old craft projects to finish, and just like pretty much every other blogger, I’m making it one of my New Years Resolutions to blog more often. 

Last year I didn’t really make any proper resolutions or goals, though I wish I had so I could have ticked off a pretty decent list when December finally came around. 2014 was pretty productive!

So now I’m wondering what I would like to achieve in 2015 – which also promises to be an interesting one. 

Having given it some thought, I think this years goals will be more focused on bettering myself – learning new skills, being healthier, trying to chill out more and stress less. Basically, just. being. happy.

I have, of course, also made a small list of craft resolutions, with a few sticky WIPs that never seem to go away, which I’m determined to finish this year!

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year

Lx