Monday, September 30, 2013

A visit to the LYS!

A new yarn store has opened fairly close to me - yay! :) Actually, they moved locations, but since I have never been to their previous location, it's new to me! It's called Artisan Knitworks and I couldn't wait to check it out.

They hosted a soft opening and so I met up with my husbands cousin and took a peek. It's a small store and was stuffed with yummy yarns. We were greeted by one of the owners, an older gentleman who seemed very excited by all the new visitors to the store. He offered us a Mimosa, which I was happy to accept. :)

We spent over an hour in the store, sipping on a mimosa and exploring the shelves, cubbies and hooks that were filled with various yarns. Our gentleman checked in on us periodically as he made his way to the various customers. The one thing is that he has reached the age where there are slightly odd remarks or jokes that could border on being slightly inappropriate, but he could get away with it because he is older and he wanted to be funny and friendly. It just makes you a tiny bit uncomfortable, because you weren't completely sure what he was going to say next, but it was harmless flirting. I run into a lot of that at work, both with some of our retiree staff/volunteers and guests. There were also quite a few women in the store who were chatting about the yarn, another owner who was excited to tell us about some of the future plans she has for the space (they have an art student who works there who is planning to paint a mural in the staircase leading downstairs where there will be class space), and a group of friends happily knitting and chatting away in the couches that are set at the front of the store looking out onto the street.

In the end I came home with a bit of yummy yarn. I bought 3 skeins of a Michigan made yarn called Shepherd's Wool by Stonehedge Fiber Mill. Its in the colorway "Great Lakes" and is a gorgeous deep teal/jade color. The price was pretty reasonable too and I love supporting a local company. I'm using it for a "Trillian" shawl by Martina Behm, which I have just cast on.

The other treat I bought was a skein of 100% mink...Oh. My. Goodness. I am still looking for a pattern to use the entire skein...something like a short scarf or cowl. Right now, I just pull it out of the bag and pet it now and then. It's incredibly soft and a beautiful light gray color. I love it.

On my wish list is some lovely Alpaca yarn that I would love for a scarf or shawl. Next time. :) My cousin did buy a skein of that and I can't wait to see what she ends up making with it. So far, she plans to make a hat, and I bet it will be lovely!

The shop didn't have a lot of brands I recognized. They had Noro, but I don't like how Noro always seems so scratchy. I liked that the shop had yarns from new companies and a variety of weights and fibers. They even had a skein of yarn that had feathers spun into it, and although the owner kept teasing me that I would look good in feathers, I passed. A conversation starter for sure, I couldn't imagine what someone could make with that! :)

I hope that the shop really succeeds...they are setting up a class schedule, and I look forward to seeing the offerings. I also would like to see more store samples made from the yarn in the shop. There were very few and it would be helpful to someone like me to see how some of the more creative yarns could be used. I expect that will come as they settle in to the space and get their stock in. Then they will have a chance to make a few things with them. Overall, we had a lot of fun checking out the store and I can't wait to stop in there again!

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Sock fail and other crafts

I was doing sooo well.

Sock Number 1 took five weeks to complete because I was so nervous that I would screw it up, but in the end it fit great and I was so proud of myself. I immediately plunged into sock #2, full of confidence from my newly learned skills. In a week I had completed most of the sock, and was a few pattern repeats away from the toe and binding off. I showed the progress of my sock in my previous post.

Then I decided to stack the socks on top of one another, just to see how close I really was. And then, BAM! It all came to a screeching halt.

The second sock was too big. Nooooooo!!!!!

At first I thought it might just be the leg. Maybe I had too many pattern repeats. They were just for me after all, so maybe I could get away with the second leg a little longer. Then I realized it was bigger everywhere. Length, width, everything. Like an inch too big. Apparently I was so confident when I was working on the second sock, my gauge loosened significantly. I knew I was more relaxed, but to see such a difference between them was a surprise. Looking back at the pictures in my last post, I should have realized then that the sock was looser and longer.

So instead of hanging out with my dear hubby while Sunday night football was playing (I was keeping tabs on my week 2 picks) and finishing the second sock, I sat miserably staring at this poor sock, knowing what had to be done. It had to be frogged and started over. But I just didn't want to do a week's worth of work disappear in a pile of kinked yarn on my lap. I must have looked pretty pathetic, because Andy leaned over and said "Do you want me to do it for you?" Sweet man. So I took out the needles and handed him the sock. He wound it back onto my skein and didn't even tease me about it. :)

I started to cast on the cuff again, but after a few foundation rows, I put it away. It needs to go into time out for a bit so I can work on it again without feeling so frustrated with myself. On the flip side, I could work on it now and maybe the frustration will cause my gauge to tighten up again. But no, I need a break from the blue sock.

So...I have started working on a new sock.

I bought this yarn from The Cyborgs Craft Room on Etsy the other week and have been itching to get to work for The Knit Girllls Halloween KAL (another reason I was trying to finish the blue sock). Isn't it cool?
It's called "This Isn't a Man", which a reference to a line in the movie "Halloween" and is meant to look a bit blood splattered. I think that was achieved and had just a bit of creepiness, perfect for Halloween.

I planned to make another Dreams in Fiber pattern because I love the Hermione sock pattern so much. The plan was to make the Petunia Dursley socks. As I was working on the sock, I realized pretty fast that the yarn is just too dramatically variegated and the subtle pattern was completely lost. Why spend the time on the pattern repeats if it can't be seen anyway? So I ripped it back (there seems to be a theme this week) and started again, this time using the Vanilla Latte pattern.

Just a bit of variation from a plain stockinette sock to keep me from being totally bored. I'm liking it so far although this week has been rather hectic so I haven't had a lot of time to work on it. Hopefully this weekend. :)

I have a couple other projects in the works, but they are gifts so I can't share yet. I also may have someone interested in having me make a baby Minion hat...have you seem them floating around Pinterest? So cute. I've been Pinning quite a few things to my Crochet & Knit boards, especially toys. I'm just in the mood to make some cute softies.

Speaking of Pinterest, Abby wants to have a friend over for a movie night & possible sleepover next weekend. I was thinking that the girls (and Davin too!) could make stencil t-shirts like these. Michaels has t-shirts on sale for $1.99 through tomorrow so I think it's the perfect chance to stock up!

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

What I'm Working On...

Happy Thursday everyone!
This week I have a few things to show you!

Here is the progress I have been making on my second Hermione Everyday Socks:

I just love this pattern! As you can see I am nearly done with the leg, which I should finish up this evening while I am sitting at the dance studio during Abb's classes. I'd imagine I should at least get through the heel flap and gusset. Now that I understand the basics of making a sock, this one is going so fast! If all goes well I'll have a completed pair by next week. :)

I ordered a yarn swift and ball winder from Knit Picks last Thursday night (at about 11:30pm!) and it arrived on Saturday! Wow! Saturday night I put it all together and wound my first balls from the skeins of yarn I dyed a couple months ago - I love it!

I made a card for a friend of mine who has a birthday this weekend. I am trying to put my organizing tools to use and be better about planning and sending birthday cards. I hope she likes it. :) Facebook notifications are all good, but who doesn't like real happy mail? I have a few more birthdays coming up so I will be working on a few more cards over the next couple of weeks. It's nice to set aside some paper crafting time.

 I used some Basic Grey patterned paper from the Kioshi 6x6 paper pack and a strip of paper from the Making Memories Slice paper pack. I used a bit of gesso and pearl paint over the text paper to tone it down a bit for the stamping. I used a Hampton Arts Celebrate and Thanks stamp set for the front sentiment and a Technique Tuesday Ali Edwards set (Cakes & Candles) for the "Happy Birthday" sentiment inside. The butterfly was a Studio 112 mini set from Joanns dollar bin. I didn't color the butterfly in, but instead I spritzed a bit of Glimmer Mist in Cocoa on the butterfly for a bit of shimmer. I wish it showed up in the pictures! I fussy-cut the butterfly and then mounted it with foam adhesive for a bit of dimension.

Other notes:
I just treated myself to this yarn on Etsy. I plan to make another pair of socks with it, and if I get my act together, I will use them as part of the Knit Girllls Halloweel KAL. They have just the right amount of creepiness to them for Halloween, but I think I could still get away with wearing them the rest of the year. :) Right?

I love this vest pattern. :) And just like the picture, I think it would be perfect with jeans and boots...something to wear to a fall baseball game or hanging out in the dance studio.

I'd love to eventually make this cardigan for my daughter. Probably not yet though...I have some gift knitting to start and finish!

If you are on Ravelry, check out the Knitmore Girls podcast group! Great chatter, but there is also a Martina Behm Knit-A-Long that is about to start...if you are member of the group they are offering a one-time 10% discount on any of Martina Behm's single patterns. You can even get more than one...I have had a few saved in my library for a while now and took advantage of the discount to purchase a couple. I may try the Trillian, although
I'm also loving the Leftie! Decisions, decisions... Oh, you can find me on Ravelry here!

And on a non-craft related note...the camera on my iPhone died yesterday! :( I don't know what is happening with it, but it looks like I have to make a trip to the store to find out what they can do. Fingers crossed it's something fixable!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Around the Nest This Week

This week has been crazy!! Like most of the country, this has been all about Back to School! Normally this post will be on Sundays, but I was gone from 8am till 10pm yesterday, so I had no chance of sitting down to finish this post last night.

Memorial Day is generally never a day off for me...working at a museum, holidays are usually pretty busy for us. So after a busy day I came home and we had a nice family barbeque with my mother-in-law, brother-in-law and niece. She tried to teach Davin and Abby how to play Double Dutch jump rope, the kids played ont he swingset, watched Super Buddies and even got some puppy kisses from the two dogs next door. It was a nice, relaxing way to spend the last day of summer vacation.

Tuesday morning we jumped right in with both feet. The kids were excited to put on their first day of school outfits, load up their new backpacks and head to school. This week we were split between two schools. My son still attended the school they have been in since Kindergarten, but my daughter was accepted into the new Talented and Gifted program and began attending one of the other elementary schools. Davin started and ended 30 minutes before Abby did, so getting them to their schools worked out alright. I drove them both to school on the first day but since then Abby took the bus in the morning. The TAG students qualify for bussing, and her bus picked her up at Davin's school so it works out. I was a little nervous about sending her on the bus, but she pleaded with me so hard that I told her we would give it a try. The first morning, she found another girl she knows from last year and when the bus pulled up they held hands, climbed aboard together and sat down together, giggling the whole time. I knew she was going to be fine. She didn't take the bus home...even though she could, the bus didn't get back to Davin's school until at least an hour after his classes let out so it didn't make sense to wait that long. By the time my husband Andy picked Davin up, picked Abby up and headed home, he beat the bus anyway.

On Friday we got the news that Davin has now landed a spot in the TAG program as well! He was the next on the waiting list and one of the third graders just opted out, so this morning we made our first official trip to the new school so he could meet his teacher and join his new class. He was a bit nervous, but I knew he would be is only a week into school and he makes friends very easily. His teacher seems very nice and I left with a happy heart and a handful of papers that I need to get caught up on. :)

Our after school schedule has quickly filled up as well. Davin has been playing baseball and will continue with games on Tuesday and Thursdays through the end of the month. He absolutely loves it and it's been so fun to watch him improve since he first started playing in the late spring. Andy keeps holding out hope that we'll have a left-handed pitcher in the Majors. :) He wants to keep Davin going over the winter, working with a team that works indoors to develop his skills. He is close to making the leap to kid-pitch ball rather than coach-pitch and some more work on how to play the game will be a help for him. Plus it will be good to see him stay more active during the cold months. I'd love to get a swim class in there too, but I also don't want to completely overload the kids.

Abby started back to dance last week. She has been moved up to the next class level which has also opened up more class options for her. We were surprised to get a letter asking if we would consider having her try for a new Competition Jazz team. I talked to some of the other parents that were also asked, as well as the teacher and we have decided to let Abby try. She is really excited by it and some of her other dance friends are also in the class. The teacher plans to keep it an introduction to Competition, which is good...I didn't want to end up on a version of "Dance Moms"! She is hoping to use the class to work on technique, and work up to a competition. There are three competition dates that she is considering, none of which are before March. If the girls aren't ready for the first one she won't put them in, but is really hoping for the other two. So we'll see. :)

The Jazz class is part of a Combo series she does on Thursdays, along with ballet and tap classes. She did the same trio last year and it works great since they were back to back. On Tuesday we signed her up for an Acrobatics class to help with her flexibility...unfortunately she seems to have inherited my tight muscles and is definitely less flexible than most of the other girls. This will help and we'll do some work at home couldn't hurt me to work on some stretches! And finally on Wednesday she has Hip Hop. I wish Acro and Hip Hop were on the same day, but sadly, not this year. Ah well. Thankfully they are short classes so it doesn't overload's like a 45 minute play session. :)

In other news, my Mother-in-Law has been living with us since July. It's been fine, she is a very sweet woman. I think she is ready to be in her own space again though and I know she was happy that the closing date for her new house finally happened on Thursday. I think there may be continued adventures on that front though...this house was actually her third choice, but she has just found out that her first choice is back on the market. So...she may put the house immediately back on the market and attempt to get the first choice.

Andy is back to school as well. He is settling in with his students and has been excited this year because he has a full day of Algebra 2. He has been making some adjustlements to his class too. Normally, teachers discuss a topic and kids take notes and sample problems in class, and then work on problems at home for homework credit. But let's be honest...many students don't take good notes or ask questions in class. THeyn they get home and don't understand the homework problems so they don't do them. Then they might copy the problems from a classmate the next day before class. Sure, they might get the homework credit, but when the test comes they haven't actually learned the material and then do poorly on the test. This year he is trying to reverse that. He has a series of videos on each of the sections from the book. For homework, the students watch the videos and take notes for homework credit. Then in class, Andy will use the class time to work on the book problems, so if they have questions they can ask a teacher or a classmate. Hopefully this will help solidify how to do the problems so that when the test comes they have a better understanding of the questions. He's excited and the parents he talked to seem excited by this idea too, so I hope that it works out. It makes sense to me...I wasn't the strongest math student so having someone to ask and brainstorm with would have made it easier for me.

Some thoughts on the week:

  • I need to get myself back on a more reasonable sleep schedule. Going to bed at midnight is not doing me any favors.
  • I am addicted to Instagram! You can find me here.
  • I am this close to trying out Zumba. One of the moms at dance has been doing it for a year and she has lost 40 pounds! That's amazing, and 40 pounds would be great for me to lose. After my back injury, I really got away from exercising...although I am still down 10 pounds from my time with Weight Watchers, I realize I need to get moving. I am way tooo sedentary and it's one of the reasons I feel so tired and achy. I need to look at my schedule & the class schedule and pick a couple of days a week that I can go.
  • Abby is becoming very helpful around the house. She likes to help with dishes and help with her lunch for school. I've been looking at some chore charts for the kids and plan to implement them this coming week for both kids. They can help and it will be good for them to have regular tasks.
  • I need to learn more about gardening. My MIL has been a huge help getting the yard cleared of the overgrowth, but it's leaving us with a bit of an empty shell. I would love to have a cottage style garden...pretty but low maintenance. And a butterfly garden, for sure.
  • Speaking of butterflies, check this IMAX film out if you can. The cinematography is beautiful, it's very kid friendly too and you learn a lot about the Monarch butterfly migration. Turns out that Michigan is part of the migration route, so hopefully we will see a few of them as they head south. And if you have a train lover in the house, this IMAX film is a must too!
  • My internal Harry Potter nerd wants this Marauder's Map scarf by Nerd Alert Creations! I'm loving the Portal Symbols, Periodic Tables and Where the Wild Things Are scarves too. :)
  • I made this Peach Custard Pie from You Are my Fave's blog and got lots of compliments!

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Friday, September 6, 2013

What I'm Working on Wednesday...on Friday.

Welcome to the first WIWOW! Hmmm...WIWOW?

Each week I want to share a few pictures from the different projects I have going. Since there are usually a variety of things, I hope that this will be a nice way to gather them together and chat about them. Normally these posts will go up on Wednesday but I didn't want to wait another week before I get a chance to kick this off. No time like the present, right?

This week I have a few things going. A few weeks ago I challenged myslef to knit my first pair of socks. Well, a month later I have one done! Now, to be fair, the length of time had nothing to do with the pattern. I am working up Hermione's Everyday Socks and it's a great pattern, even for someone who hasn't ever made a sock before. It has enough of a variety in the stitch pattern to keep it interesting but isn't so detailed that I can't keep up with the actual sock construction. But my own nervousness stopped me from just diving in after I finished the cuff and leg. The idea of the Heel turn and gusset had be terrified! But it was unfounded, even if the heel turn pattern sounded incredibly complicated (Slightly Modified Garter Edged Eye of Partridge Heel). Thanks to You Tube I realized it wasn't as bad as I thought it was, and zoomed right through it. Then I got a little nervous about the instep. What if I didn't make it the right length??? But a couple of measurements and a few more checks online reassured me I was on the right track. Once I got to the toe decreases I couldn't stop and finally finished the sock at 3am! And yes, I had to work the next morning! I was a tired lady, but soooo happy because my sock fit beautifully!

Now I'm working on the second sock. I started it a few days ago and have finished the cuff and have started the leg. It's going well, and I am sure I will have the second sock done in much less time. :) I hope, anyway! I am itching to wear them around the house, especially as there is a slight shift in the weather and we have had a few days in the high 70's, rather than around 90* like it was the week prior.

I am also working on a dishcloth. I joined the Knitters Brewing Company group on Ravelry and decided to play along in the NFL Knitting Contest. Really, it was the entry "fee" that made me decide to join...everyone has to contribute one knit/crochet dishcloth. Isn't that fun? Much to my husbands amusement, I am now signed up on UPickEm and picked my winners for the first week. He helped me, I can't lie. I don't know much about football and even less about the teams so he was a champ and helped me through it. I didn't have much time to work on my cloth until yesterday, and since Abby has a long session at the dance studio on Thursdays, it gave me a chance to get some work done.

This pattern is called eLoomanator's Diagonal Knit Dishcloth and is a free pattern on Ravelry. I love the traditional Grandmother's Favorite pattern because I think they scrub really well, but wanted something a bit more fancy for this. This is a bit more complicated which is fun for me to knit, but I think will still be very utilitarian. I'm using some Lily cotton which is leftover from a previous dishcloth. I like the pattern, but somehow I seem to have more open holes than I see in the project photos. I also seem to have the wrong number of stitches after the center pattern...I am supposed to knit the last 10 stitches but I seem to end up with 11. I can't quite figure it out, so I may have to frog it and try again.

Lastly, some crafty things that have caught my attention:

  • I have discovered a love of Podcasts! So far I am hooked on yarn craft podcasts, both audio and visual. Some I have been listening to are Yarncraft by Lion Brand, Yarn on Tap, Must Stash, Knitmore Girls, Stitched Together, and Knitting Pipeline. It's something different to listen to while I am driving to work, or while I am working on my own yarn projects at home. Can't wait to add more as I learn about who is out there!
  • I just ordered a Ball Winder and Yarn Swift! Knit Picks was running a good sale on both for Labor Day so I took the plunge! Hopefully it will be helpful as I learn more about spinning, and will be helpful with the skeins I have recently dyed and some skeins I have my eye on. :)
  • I have these "Fightin' Words" fingerless mitts saved in my Ravelry queue. I can't wait to work on those soon so I can wear them for the fall & winter vents at work. I've been digging through my boxes of stash to see what my grandmother had saved that would be useful. I am sure I can find a good color combination without having to buy even more yarn! lol

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Remember that time I had my Sh** together? Yeah, me neither.

After an incredibly busy and stressful few months, I had a bit of a breather while the kids were out of school. Focusing on just home and work was so much easier than all of the other craziness that comes in during the school year. Because I had become that know, the crazy one.
One of the realizations I had is that I can't possibly manage another school year using the tools I did this past year. When I got my beloved iPhone, I used their calendar feature to have access to my work calendar. I like it a lot, but I just couldn't get into actively scheduling all of my personal items. Perhaps because I don't like to spend time typing much on the phone...I find it tedious and even with the auto correct function, I make mistakes. Plus, lets be honest. I just prefer writing things down. And I'm a little obsessed with office supplies...just a little. :)
Instead I used a small weekly planner that was pretty helpful. It had a section on the top for my calendar, and then boxes underneath for each of the family members. It took some time to get used to the smaller spaces, but it was pretty functional, since hubby and kids rarely had more than one item to note per day. Gymnastics on Monday, Baseball on Tuesday, etc. The downside is that it didn't have designated times for things, which I like for my personal calendar, work appointments, etc. So I didn't really list work items there. Again, not the end of the world since I work full time and I have access to my phone and computer, but it would be nice to have everything at my fingers.

The other thing was that I was losing track of my "To Do's"...I didn't have a place to keep lists of things I needed to do, whether they were work related or personal. In fact, I didn't really make lists at all anymore...just relying on my memory, which is NEVER a good idea. Ask my husband how good I am at remembering all the little things... :) I tried to keep things on the kitchen chalkboard door, but you need to write somewhat largely to make it really legible, and I would run out of room, or would need to erase it to make room for something else.

I tried to make my own calendar...a place that had a schedule, space to make a list, items for the different family members, PTO stuff, etc. I came up with a cute design that was inspired by one I found online, but it only lasted a few days. Maybe because they were loose leaf, maybe because they were full sheets of paper and therefore not very portable, maybe because the little boxes just weren't my thing...either way, I didn't keep up with it.

So a month ago, again, I started hunting for other options and stumbled upon some cool pictures of planners on Instagram of all places. There seems to be a lot of Filofax love out there! Pictures led me to check out YouTube and sure enough I found all kinds of videos on how people are setting up their Filofaxes. That got me thinking...I used to use a Day Timer but over time I stopped. Maybe because I wasn't as busy a few years ago, although it felt like it all went by in a blur! I stopped at Staples to check out their Day Timer inserts but ran into two problems.
1. They had already taken out the 2013 packs and replaced them with 2014 inserts. Boy, did I feel sheepish, looking for 2013 inserts in August. As if I was getting tsk-ed by the calendar aisle for being so disorganized. After all, I should be planning ahead for the upcoming year, not scrambling to get this year on track!
And 2: Day Timer inserts tend to be so blah. Functional, yes, but very stark and bland. As I took a lap around the store, hoping to find a set of inserts on clearance somewhere, I came across the Martha Stewart section. There I found a 2013 weekly calendar set that would fit my planner! And not a bad price, about $15.00. So I scooped that up as well as some of the Dewdrop stickers from her line and headed home.

Since then I have been slowly getting to know my planner again. In the past I kept things pretty basic, just a calendar and the other standard tabs that came with the planner, though I rarely used them. After looking at pictures and videos online though, I realized that I have a plethora of materials that I can use to customize my planner to fit my needs. Now, I am taking the opportunity to play with stickers, Washi tape, colored pens, etc. It's so much more fun to look through the day when it's cheerful!

The thing that I'm not thrilled about with the Martha Stewart calendar is that there is no really way to separate the months from the weeks if I wanted to. Better than no monthly calendar at all. I also wish the lines of blank space could be at the top of the page rather than the bottom. I tend to make a note of a day long event or general reminder at the top of the page so I see it first thing, but that is where the morning appointments are supposed to go. Thankfully I am usually pretty lightly scheduled in the morning, so it isn't a huge deal if I forget and put a note at the top, and I try to put some things on little Post It's if necessary.

In the process of organizing things I have discovered some things:
  • I am obsessed with calendars, but I'm also really picky about them. My ideal calendar set up will have a monthly spread and a weekly spread separate from each other. The days within the weeks would have space for appointments with times listed, with lines for hours as well as half hours. I hate when planners only have a line for the hour...does no one have appointments at 1:30???
  • I like to have my appointments listed in a linear fashion. I don't understand how people can just jot an appointment anywhere on the page...I totally lose track of things that way!
  • Color coding could be my friend. When I was backtracking appointments in my planner (I couldn't handle months of blank pages, so I transferred everything from my phone and small planner to the new pages. Yes, that was a little over the top I guess, but it made me happy and allowed me to see how I wanted to organize the planner moving forward.) Now that the kids are involved in various activities and my husband has appointments that affect how I manage my time, I really need to figure out how I want to color code those things. Plus, a colorful calendar looks prettier than everything in just black ink, don't you think?
  • I prefer an A5 size. I just like the room to write, even if it means a larger folder to carry. I carry my Day Timer to work everyday, and it works. Especially for Filofax folks, I see lots of people love the Personal size, but I would need one in my hands to see if that would work for me. It doesn't seem too small, but I have always gravitated to the A5 size. I have used some 8.5 x 11 planners, but they never seem to stick around much because they are just too big, unless it's exclusively for work. But for something that bridges home and work, no thanks. I'm not carrying a wristlet for a purse, but nor am I carrying Mary Poppins carpet bag.
Hopefully this will allow me to have a better understanding of my days and feel like I am more in control of them. I have hated feeling like a lost buoy in a storm. I'm the last person that could be tagged with OCD, but I just don't want another year of feeling like I am pulled a million different directions, dropping balls along the way. I'm no good to anyone that way. And on the other hand, I need to learn to say no...I really took on more than I could handle comfortably. I hate when it feels like I can't give 100% to things, and this past year has felt like that most of the time. It isn't fair to any of my commitments, not fair to me, and in the end, my family suffered the most. They didn't have access to their wife and mom and I didn't have access to them. I don't pretend that a calendar will take all that away, but it will help me focus on what is really important.

Another thing I am now doing is scheduling time for my blog! Hurray! I have been jotting down post ideas and realized my posts were falling into two categories: Craft and Family. So I am going to lean into that. I plan to post on Wednesdays about my crafts and on Sundays a recap about home/family that week. As I work on my calendar I come across all kinds of things to write about, and keeping it to twice a week seems more manageable to me as well. So watch this space for more regular posts!

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