My intentions for 2016


Last year I wrote a post about all my big 2015 goals. I’ll give you a recap of those goals in short form and then I’ll talk about where I failed:

  • Finish knitting my sweater and then take on a more difficult knitting project.
  • Learn how to mount insects.
  • Carve my own wooden spoon.
  • Be more active in our Mycological Society.
  • Be more diligent about saving money.
  • Try more new recipes.
  • Continue with my blog.

In all honesty, I did kind of horribly! That sweater is half finished and I haven’t touched it in…8 months-ish? I see it every day looking so sad and I feel guilty. The insects and the wooden spoon are still things I want to do – I have not lost interest in those ideas, I just didn’t get to them last year! We did get out with the Mycological Society a couple of times, but not nearly as much as we’d wanted.  Saving money? Ha! I decided to start a second handmade business, so saving money didn’t work out so well. Cooking? Does trying new flavors of frozen pizzas count? And the blog? Well, you know exactly how that went.

So I failed with all of my goals. But I’m not too worried about it – in all honesty, I focused my time on learning weaving, started Secret Wool Society (which included participating in a couple of handmade markets), and working on other knitting projects (socks, socks, socks!). I don’t feel like I failed in 2015, I just shifted my focus. I will continue to want to learn insect mounting and spoon carving, and I will continue to go out with the Mycological Society when I can.

What do I want for 2016? Mostly the same things, to be honest, but there are a few things in particular that stand out in my mind:

  • Continue participating in stitch ‘n bitches. In 2015 I began participating in some various knitting/crocheting/embroidering/general crafting circles and they have been really good for me. As an introvert, I’m much more comfortable at home in my stretchy clothes, covered in blankets, tea in hand, some British crime series on the TV, and cats by my side. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the company of others occasionally, it was just finding the right fit for my social needs – crafting friends seem to fit.
  • Continue focusing on my handmade business. The more I work at it, the more successful it is (duh), but I also really enjoy doing it. It can be stressful at times, but mostly good stress. I want to apply to a few handmade markets as well, but mostly I want to expand my weaving skills in to fabrics (this requires a new loom, which I have already started a fund for) – I’m very excited about this goal.
  • Learn a new craft. I’ve already signed up for a ceramics course and I am very excited about it. But crochet is also high on the list – at least the basics. And I’d love to learn tatting. But I don’t want to set unrealistic goals for myself, so for now, just ceramics.
  • Let’s try that saving money goal again. This basically just means paying off debts (car, house, credit cards), but also spending less on things that I don’t really need (like buying lunch during the week, cutting back on magazine subscriptions that I don’t really read, using up yarn in my stash instead of buying new, etc).

Aside from that, I’m just going to keep doing the things that I enjoy – tending to my garden, watching my British crime stories, hanging out with my kitties, cooking, and doing lots of knitting! I think the theme for 2016 is keep it within reason!

And Just Like That, It’s 2015

The beginning of a new year is not as big a deal to me as it is to a lot of people – I’m not one to make resolutions and I’m not one to even really celebrate the day. My idea of a perfect New Years is staying inside, eating way too much Chinese food, and watching a movie (I’m an introvert, can you tell?!).

Looking back on the year, it was pretty decent – I really can’t complain. A lot was accomplished in the home, in the garden, and at my full-time job. I even made quite a few apron sales (on my Etsy store and outside of it) and I learned a lot of new knitting skills.

Back to resolutions – I actually like the idea of setting simple and attainable goals for the year. So I’ve put together a few of my ideas for 2015 – maybe a bit ambitious, but that’s just me:

– Finish knitting my sweater and then take on a more difficult knitting project. I think this is a very achievable goal as I’m well on my way to completing the first part of it fairly early in the year. I’m not sure what the more difficult project will be yet because I’m going to focus on finishing my current project (I’m thinking cable knitting), but I’ll keep you updated! I would really love to learn to crochet but I think that might be a goal for next year – I’d like to get a few more difficult knitting projects under my belt first, so I’ll try not to get ahead of myself with learning a new fiber craft until I can knit in my sleep.

– Learn how to mount insects. I’ve had quite a fascination with mounted insects for several years (I credit my husband for his childhood entomology collection first catching my attention – which we keep on our walls) and I have purchased a few specimens in the last few years to add to our collection, but I’d really love to learn how to pin and mount my own. Luckily it is a fairly inexpensive hobby so that is a plus! Also, I’d love to learn more about the specific insects and be able to have that knowledge for myself. A few people I’ve told this too have responded with “gross”, but as long as it isn’t gigantic spiders, I think bugs are pretty neat.

– Carve my own wooden spoon. This is something I’ve wanted to do for several years and I think this is finally the year to take the plunge. Again, a fairly inexpensive hobby, but I need to make sure I have the right hand protection because those knives can be sharp!

– Be more active in our Mycological Society. I’m sure the word “NERD” comes to mind, but we really did enjoy doing a couple of foraging excursions last year with the society and would like to do even more this coming year. Maybe we’ll finally find a real morel mushroom ourselves!

– Be more diligent about saving money. We made the decision about 6 months or so ago that we wanted to pay down our mortgage a lot sooner than we’d anticipated – and that means increasing the payments significantly at renewal time (which came up for renewal on December 31st). When we bought our home we were really young – it made sense at the time to purchase a home because rent for our previous basement suite was around the same amount as a mortgage payment (we bought our home in 2004. In about 2007 or so home prices skyrocketed so we’re lucky we bought at a time when they houses were very affordable). Anyway, at that time my partner was in school and I was working retail, so our mortgage payments were very low because it was what we could comfortably afford. When we renewed five years ago, we increased the payments a bit more since we were in a better financial position. But since five years ago, our position has improved quite a bit more and we’re able to comfortably afford higher payments in order to get rid of our mortgage faster. Long story, but the point is that since we’ll be putting quite a bit more money towards the mortgage, it is more important than ever to cut back on unnecessary spending and build up a bit of an emergency fund. Money stuff is not very exciting, but unfortunately it is part of being a responsible adult.

– Try more new recipes. This one won’t be hard at all because I love cooking and I also love experimenting with new recipes. But you probably know how it is – you work full time during the week and then you just want to make the quick and easy standbys when you get home (usually tacos or BLTs for us). I’ve already tackled some daunting recipes over the holiday break, but I’m really looking forward to making this a regular thing.

– Continue with my blog. These last few months of blogging have been mostly positive for me. It is amazing to me that anyone reads this, and unbelievably flattering when people tell me in person that they’ve been reading – and I’m very grateful. I started my blog as a bit of a creative outlet for myself, as well as a place where I could document my gardening progress. Things have evolved and expanded and I am comfortable where things are. I hope to continue blogging 1-2 times a week, but I also want to ensure I’m putting out quality posts that I can stand behind (I don’t like reading sponsored posts on blogs or reading blog entries that feel forced or “blogging for the sake of blogging”, if you know what I mean), so as long as I am writing posts that interest me and fulfill my need for a creative outlet, I will continue on.

Those are the major things but there are still things that are transferring over from last year, like completing the powder room (yes, still working on it) and continuing to make our yard completely lawn-free. I also have a few goals for the garden, but I’ll save those for another post! What are some of your big goals for 2015?

I’m wishing all of my readers a wonderful 2015 and thank you for a great 2014!