Time to breakdown what I'd like to accomplish in January:
1. I know, This almost feels like I'm already giving up on the possibility of crocheting a Christmas gift this month doesn't it? Ok, well maybe not to you, and yes, I will certainly be crocheting more than what's listed under Goal #1 - I just feel like before I can start on any big project for 2015, I've GOT TO finish the not one, not TWO, but THREE baby gifts that were started over the past year and are not finished! One is much smaller than the other two, and very close to being done. And another is close to 3/4 done. The other has a ways to go, but if, for once, I were to focus on these solely, I could actually get them finished by the end of the month no problem! So far now, I'm holding off on starting a Christmas gift so I can get the monkey of these old projects off my back and out the door. Besides, these babies need my crochet goodness to keep this warm this winter!
2. and 3. These go hand in hand because there was a "great shuffle" of boxes and things over Thanksgiving weekend to give us a temporary living room in the 2nd bedroom we originally had demo/electrical/insulation work done to back in early 2013 (see the first set of before and afters HERE)
Here is what the 2nd bedroom/"storage central" looked like when we started in on Black Friday:
I know, it almost makes me twitchy. I spent close to 18 months completely ignoring this rooms presence when I walked through the upstairs hallway.
Well after moving and shuffling and repacking and moving and labeling and shuffling and moving to the attic and the amazing super power that was having my parents helping us (seriously, I do NOT know what we'd do or where we'd be with out them), here's where we were by Sunday early evening:
As we rolled up an old mouse eaten rug from the room to replace with a remnant we purchased that weekend, we found this hole in the floor! Crazy thing is, can't say any of us were all that surprised by this (other than the fact that I just thought it was a soft spot under the carpet when I would step there - not an actual, uncovered HOLE). We've found this time and time again in the house where holes were cut in the floor for whatever reason access under floorboards was needed, and usually the fix was to just nail down whatever they had over it to cover the hole. This would include tin can tops, parts to tin can tops and a 12" x 12" section of wainscoting (all were found on the original floors of our Master Bedroom) The house originally operated as a Bed and Breakfast starting in 1885, though sections of the house are older than that (2 smaller houses were brought up on the hill by ox cart from the village and much work was done to build everything together into one large hotel. When they demoed our Master Bedroom, in January 2013, there was newspaper being used as insulation from 1813 found in the walls - pretty cool huh?) We believe many of these types of holes were created in the early 1900's when they would have been running electrical wiring in the house for the first time, and access was needed to hang chandeliers down in the 3 first floor parlors.
A few nights before we left for Disney, we had our couch, TV unit and coffee table from Maryland set up in our "new" temporary living room. I snapped this very grainy picture with my cell phone on this night to post to Facebook:
It was my first time sitting back down on our couch since we had left Maryland 18 months prior and I was feeling all sorts of feels: sentimental for our old apartment, missing our friends and excitement for some progress on our side of the house.
I have cleaned blankets to use on the couch now, and my favorite couch pillows are out. We even got a small fridge for drinks and a Keurig for morning coffee up there. I just need to clean up a bit this weekend before I can take some more after photos to share.
Moving all of my crafty things out of "storage" and quickly just into my craft room, meant my beautiful, almost finished craft room went from this:
(all that's missing is some moldings and my tile flooring - we decided to let me move everything in now and use the room as I can while work is being done on the bathroom, etc and that we'll get the tiles laid one of these days when we have professionals in working on the bathroom or something and Jonathan and my dad are in need of something to keep them busy! LOL)
It's better than this now thanks to all my yarn being 90% put away (as I mentioned yesterday), but there is still tons to get put away so I can easily find things and use this room - including getting my sewing machine out of that box on the counter and start using it again!
4. While I don't really knit anymore, I thoroughly enough reading Stephanie's blog. Not only does she make me wish that I was a better knitter, but she's hilarious to boot! One of my favorite times of year with her blog is during the month of December when she writes to non-knitters daily about what they can buy the knitter in their life. Always amazing things that she researches and shares, many of which nicely convert over to use for a crazy crocheter like myself!
I'm always so insanely unorganized during the Christmas season (or, at least, it felt that way this year), and Stephanie's spreadsheets really spoke to me in my haze of just not knowing what I was doing for Christmas gifts. Before Christmas was officially upon us, I had built out my own version of her spreadsheet to make sure that I had all the gifts I needed, and that I wasn't forgetting something stuck in a bag, hiding on the counter of my craft room behind a large tower of bins filled with yarn.....it was very interesting getting in there on Christmas Eve to find the Santa gifts which still needed wrapping!
Since wrapping up Christmas 2014, I have begun building my own gift-giving spreadsheet for all of 2015! Whether birthdays, anniversaries, for Jonathan, my parents, sister-in-law, the puppies, or Bingo gifts for Christmas Eve; everyone has a row and every holiday a column. It's still evolving (just yesterday I added in Mother's and Father's Day, and I blacked out any holidays where gifts aren't needed for particular people. I don't tend to buy my puppies Anniversary or Father's Day gifts, but I do spoil them with special treats on their birthdays, home-a-veries and on Christmas! Nor do we buy my dad and father-in-law Mother's Day gifts - you get the idea)
I'd like to have, at least, a first draft of my 2015 spreadsheet well under way by the end of this month. Mostly the crochet/sewing column - it's really the only way I'm going to effectively know what I need to make each month and stay on track, right?!?
5. For those of you who don't know me personally, I skiied my entire childhood. My parents were both on local ski patrol (my dad was actually on ski patrol at 2 different resorts) so I started skiing when I was 2 - which is actually 5 years before I even started taking dance lessons! The last time I went skiing was my senior year of high school. We used to come home from DC for the holidays thinking we'd get to ski but we'd run out of time, or the weather would just be too warm. Now we're on our 2nd winter in WNY and we still haven't gone skiing. That's changing this Sunday! I'm excited and nervous all at once to pick something back up that I used to love, but haven't done for the past 12 years.
My boots still fit, my skis and bindings are being checked my a local ski shop. Last night after work I stopped at Mom and Dads to go through what ski gear I still had that was usable. Everything still fits or was in good enough condition (some mearly good-enough to get me through what's left of this winter) except for ski pants. Turns out my hips are not as thin as they were when I was 18. duh....I totally knew that
There you have it - my January Goals. Will try to remember to photograph my progress and completion throughout for a month-end recap!
Stay warm out there today.