Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year's Eve that is!

I’ve never been big in making and/or keeping New Year’s Resolutions.  I mean, when wrapped up in the moment of NYE (which someone usually has to wake me up at 11:58 p.m. for…..not one minute earlier either, cause I will fall back asleep if left unattended!) I tell myself things like “be healthy”, “do this crafty thing that I’m not that good at”, etc. but they’re never very specific and I rarely follow up on them throughout the year, let alone remember what it was I was thinking was a fantastic resolution back on Dec. 31st/Jan 1st.  I will say that I probably don’t remember them cause I’ve been asleep for 2-3 hours and was just woken up 2 minutes earlier for the ball drop, and will promptly go right back to sleep at 12:02 a.m.

Over the past year Rachel over at Maybe Matilda has done a monthly Goal list which included crafts, health, her family and home.  You will also see that at month end she would follow up on her successes along with what she would continue to work on in the following month.  I really like this idea!!!  Make a list on the first of the month of what you want to accomplish in the next 28-31 days.  When you only have 30ish days to accomplish the task at hand, you’re much less likely to make a totally unobtainable goal (think “I’m going to train for and run my marathon in 20__” on NYE vs. “I’m going to run 3 miles 4 times a week in the month of January June”).

So, I guess my Resolution for 2014 is to make a monthly goal list, which I will share here on the first of the month and follow up at month’s end to report back on how I did!

Be sure to click on this to see a larger version - there are lots of teeny-tiny photos included, many that haven't made it on here or Facebook!

I started this picture collage as a “background” for my New Year’s Resolution Overview.  I thought I’d use a few pictures, and then plop a white box with an overview list of the things I want to work on in 2014 on top.  As you can see, there wasn’t enough room for my list so below is my basic overview.  This is all just off the top of my head, a little last minute now cause I’m exhausted from formatting all those pictures!
  1. Finish one WIP a month
  2.  Christmas gift I-O-U’s from 2013 (hopefully before mid-year!)
  3. Start working on Christmas 2014 gifts in January
  4.  Try one new pattern a month 
  5. Continue to increase my custom order sales, especially through ETSY 
  6. Start cooking again - and share my favorite recipes with you
  7. Be better at blogging (both frequently/consistency of my posts and what/how I’m blogging) 
  8. Continue to work hard on our house re-model in hopes of having closer to 4 or 5 rooms finished by the end of 2014
Additions and details will come each month.  Looking forward to tracking this goal process throughout the next 12 months and see if a year from now, I feel as though I’ve accomplished more than previous years.

I must also say that by the time I was done formatting this chaotic collage, I realized that this display of previous projects (no, there are not all 2013 projects, just the pictures that I was able to easy pull off my computer) is very representative of all the crafty ideas that run through my head on a daily basis:
REALITY - You only have ‘this’ much time to work on and/or finish a project.
HOLLY’S DREAM WORLD - but, I want to crochet ALL THE THINGS in half the time!
SIMILARITY - I must have deleted 25 pictures that I tried to cram in with what made the cut

Maybe I should add “be more realistic about how much crocheting you can get done in a given evening” to the list above….eh, there’s always 2015!

2013 was a challenging year for me.  One that I feel was the best yet and one of the worst hardest.

I wish you all the very best in 2014.  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Shopping

First, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!  I hope that everyone had the relaxing, enjoyable, stuffed-to-the-brim kind of day like I had.

I had this whole thing typed up preaching about my dislike of Black Friday shopping, but I stepped down off my soap box and deleted it.  While I no longer feel any desire to be out shopping at all hours on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I did at one time enjoy chasing down some deals with my mom and having our own little shopping spree for the day (the later is something that I truly missed this year, esp since my momma was hard at work most of Black Friday). I do hope that those of you who were out shopping over the holiday weekend found what you were looking for!

Also, for anyone of you, or your family/friends who are still working to cross names off your Christmas list, and enjoy giving hand-made gifts; I have posted 31 hand-crafted items to my ETSY shop.  Many prices are 10-15% lower than I usually charge in hopes that it will help you find something hand-made for your loved ones this Holiday season.  All items are ready to ship, and could be in the mail as early as Thursday!  You can find my shop by clicking on the link above, or on the ETSY button on the tool bar at the top of your screen.

One last thing - I just realized it's Tuesday!

Things currently making me happy:

1.  finding new crochet patterns and crafty projects online that I save away, and add to my growing "to-do" list!  I wish I had time to work on ALL the ideas running around in my head!!

2.  my upcoming #datenight with Jonathan.  We're going to see Straight No Chaser in Buffalo this evening!  We saw them at Chautauqua Institution this summer, and have loved their music, espically the Christmas songs for years!  I'm jump-out-of-my-skin excited for tonight :-D

If you've never heard of Straight No Chaser before, I will leave you with the following 3 videos.  These are my top three favorite Christmas songs/medleys that they do, and I never get tired of listening to them!

*Please note that what's great about these medleys are the play on words, topics and music that they create so crank up the volume and really focus on what they're singing .  I promise that between their vocals, the harmonies and the crazy direction each songs goes, you will be HOOKED!

"Christmas Can-Can"

"Twelve Days of Christmas"


Also, for those of you hearing them for the first time, or possibly reading their story for the first time, you should know that the videos above look as thought they were possibly filmed on a smart phone from the audience because they not only allow you to photograph and video their shows, but they encourage it!  Straight No Chaser went from being a collegiate A'Capella group at Indiana University to the sensation they are today because of a video that was posted to You Tube.
This also means that you can go on YouTube and watch hundreds of videos of them performing.  After about an hour of this, you'll be on iTunes downloading songs, I guarantee it! ;-)

Disclaimer - No one is paying me to promote the awesomeness of Straight No Chaser.  These options are strictly my own.