Monday, July 27, 2015

Moving forward

Today I bring you not 1 but 2 posts! I meant to have this all ready to post on Saturday but then I went for a splendid hike (more on that later) and I spent all of Sunday/ yesterday cleaning so here I am, Monday morning. I've broken what I have to say into 2 posts because 1 (this one) is an update on how my 24 by 25 goals are going and the other post is a crochet pattern (which will be posted later today).

Goals that I made progress on in the last 2 weeks:

Orange and blue are a definite, just not sure on the exact shades

1. Plan our wedding - we sat down for a few hours and decided to start the planning with figuring out the venue (location, location, location - am I right?). I should note that we have a pretty good idea of what we want (colors, theme, attire, etc) so its really just figuring out the specifics. Plus, the wedding is still 410 days away (yes, I'm counting). Follow my board for more.
Defining the ceremony space with a doorway, backdrop, and trees

3. Read 24 books - continued reading through Storm of Swords and moved from 65% to 73% these last two weeks. J and I are reading through all the Song of Ice and Fire books together/ out loud, so we average, maybe, a chapter a night. Last Monday I also started reading through Divergent, I'm currently at 24% complete, and I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the week (since I need to average reading through 2 books per month).

4. Complete a Norway quilt - I pulled fabric and figured out the measurements of each piece and its looking like I may need to make more than 9 squares. Plans to sew up the first one by the end of the week.

Each pile of color = 1 block, except the grey which will be the +'s in the corners of each block, white is the background

5. Give up candy for 1 month - Last candy eaten was on July 9th so I'm at 18 days. This goal seems so silly but it is, honestly, really difficult. I've seen plenty of things that say throw all the candy out but that seems like such a waste so my still sealed candies I've been including in swap packages (though I didn't have that much when I started on this goal). I've decided that when the 1 month is up, I'm going to continue restraining myself because: 1. I'm an adult and there should be no reason I eat candy every day and 2. I've already experienced so many benefits (more energy, not feeling like I'm always hungry, weight loss!) that the immediate gratification of sugar just isn't worth it.

8. Fold 1,000 origami cranes - J & I sat down and learned how to fold one! I'm hoping to use them in our wedding so I need more paper that matches our wedding colors or just use white (which may be what ends up happening). 1 down, 999 more to go!

Unfortunately our cats think that paper is a tasty treat so the morning after folding these, the red one lost his wing tips and face...

12. Walk Worf 5x per week (Bonus: Take a long walk without the gentle leader) - Worf and I have taken up walking towards the max stop that J gets off at to meet him somewhere in the middle. The pup started on Prozac on July 7th and has greatly improved that we've been able to walk most days without the gentle leader. He does get agitated with his leash more easily now (easy agitation being a side effect) so that's unfortunate but he is calm enough to learn that being outside isn't so scary. He definitely still has room to improve considering he still acts like we're abusing him (screaming and crying only the way an abused dog can and dropping to the ground when he doesn't want to do something). I should note that he acts this way all the time when we're trying to get him to do things like go outside/ on a walk and not to the car, eat his food (there's been several days where he doesn't eat all day and avoids his food bowl), or even take a treat for doing something good (so much for positive reinforcement). 

"Nobody loves me... except those humans that give me treats all the time and take me on walks and play with me and let me go everywhere with them..."

15. Go on a hike 1x per month - Nailed it! We went out to Sherrard Point on Larch Mountain on Saturday (obviously the one of the only days that its rained this summer). I have no doubt that the view is spectacular but it was completely foggy (and did I mention it was raining?). We hiked up to the top and then back down the mountain 2.6 miles. Due to a lack of planning on my part, we opted to not do the 6.4 mile loop we had planned and just (lol, "just") hiked back up to the parking lot for a total of 5.2 miles. Even with the fog and rain it was a pretty great hike (I'm sore in a good-pain sort of way) so we will definitely be going back on a clearer day.

10 minutes into the hike (on top of Sherrard Point), J and Worf looking totally thrilled, and post-hike selfie (2hrs later) freezing cold but pretty stoked that we hiked 5 miles.

Our view of Mt. Hood (fog) vs a clear day's view of Mt. Hood (photo found here)

19. Blog 2x per month - how does 3x for July sound!? Yup, I'm awesome :)

20. Get a full doctor's check-up - scheduled (ugh!)

21. Daily devotion and journal nightly - I was actually really concerned I would completely fail on this one right away but I haven't missed a day! I discovered an app, The Fabulous, that has made making a morning and nightly routine much more simple. A [no longer] secret goal of mine was to also add brushing and flossing to my nightly routine and I haven't missed a day of that either. My teeth are way more white than I have seen them in a long time (another benefit of less candy and cutting back on coffee) and I catch myself smiling every time I walk by a mirror (yup, I'm a dork).

Every morning...

22. Finish all UnFinished Objects (UFO)/ Works In Progress (WIP) - 3/17 completed
  • Polka dot blouse resized - I've had this shirt for several years but at XXL, it was just too big for me. I was always afraid of ruining it so I didn't even attempt to bring in the side seams... until now. It was a simple fix (put it on and pinched in the sides, equally, until it was the right fit) and I think I look pretty cute in it. Completed 7/24/15
  • J's old polo into a shirt for me - Turned the shirt around, took off the pocket, brought out the neck line (but kept the buttons), and brought in the side seams for a more feminine figure. I think I may need to close the neck line a 1/2in on either side at the shoulders but it fits wonderfully and is crazy comfy! Completed 7/24/15
  • Cat purse (needed hole for flipping sewn shut and hardware for the strap to be put on) - completed 7/24/15
I'll eventually remember to take before photos

  • Christmas quilt (started with 1/2 of front pieced) - the entire front is now pieced, all fabric cut and partially assembled for the backing. I'm not sure how I'm going to quilt it, though (please, I need suggestions!), so further progress is going to be put on hold until I can figure that out.

Getting back to it, matching up points and lines, progress from 7/23, and final front pieced shot from 7/24

  • Sand display - I added 3 new jars to my display. I got a jar and sand from Englewood Beach, Florida in my Viva La Villains swap. The other two jars were from my mom this last week (super cute mini mason jars) and the sand was from my Grandparent's trip to Hawaii in 2013. I have probably another 15 baggies of sand/ rocks that need jars and I probably need another shelf at this point. 

Sand in order of when they were obtained

  • Pacman menu board - technically not a UFO since it was finished and just needed hung. It is now up, in use, and dearly loved. Each of the note cards has a meal on it, some are recipes while others are just pick-one-of-each-category cards. For example, this week we're having a meat and veggies 2 different days so there are two note cards labeled as so, with all the choices on the back. Using paper clips on the side, the meat choice and veggie choice is indicated. Having everything on note cards makes it easy to both plan for a month's worth of meals and write out a grocery list for what we need.

24. Watch every episode (and movie) of X-Files - I'm currently on season 7 (of 9), episode 6 (of 22). I had to skip the movie since it wasn't on Netflix but I will get around to locating it and watching it.

There you have it! I'm doing better than I had expected and am motivated to continue strong. I do admit that it all seems fairly easy right now, being that I am unemployed still (boo!) but I know (well, hope) that things will speed up soon and I'll be able to contribute more to the saving money goals and paying for that wedding we plan on having. Here's hoping! I update the 24 by 25 page every Friday evening so check that out. Also, I have more crafty finishes not mentioned here that you can check on on the crafty finishes page (duh). Finally, tune in this evening for the edited Loki crochet pattern that I made for my Viva La Villains partner - That is, the original pattern is not mine but, to help others, I kept notes on all how I understood the original directions and the changes I made. If you're not of the crocheting-craftiness variety, that's totes okay! I hope to see you again in 2 weeks (August 8th). Live long and prosper!

Saturday, July 11, 2015


I truly am terrible at keeping up on this but I think that has a lot to do with my lack of confidence in what this all is. Over the last year (maybe a bit more) I've come to know this great community of crafty people (primarily through Instagram) and just this last weekend I went to my first Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon.

**If you see your quilt or know who the quilter and/or title of the quilt, please let me know and I will give them credit. I'm still fairly new at all this and didn't even think to write that information down**

I was so inspired by the art and hard work I saw in each quilt. Over the past few years, I have also gotten to know myself better and the things that I truly enjoy. It seems silly to have just figured this out at 23/recently 24 but what I know about myself is that I love my family and friends. One of the ways I have shown that love in the past was taking on their hobbies. I don't mean I didn't enjoy playing FPS (first-person shooter) video games or sporting till I couldn't sport no more, but they simply weren't my passions. What I know about myself now is that I love crafting quilting, sewing, cross stitching, and, occasionally, crocheting. I love comic books - some well known like Walking Dead and others maybe not known like Trekker and Lady Killer - and the world of Sci-Fi and Fantasy (Star Trek and Game of Thrones). I go to sleep thinking about my next quilt and how to piece everything together and I wake up hoping I'll find time in the day to sit down with one of my comics or my kindle containing somewhere around (No joke!) 152 books, most of which I haven't read (in all fairness, most of them were non-illegally free).

So, whats the point in me telling you all this? Well, I've once again revamped this blog into something that I think will work. Its also that time of year that I assess my last year's goals and make a new list to accomplish by my next birthday. If you want to check out my past goals, I've created a separate page that you can find at the top, labeled "Past Goals". There you can get an idea for yourself what kind of goals to set (if you're into that sort of thing) or just see how I've done in the past. To give you a summary, the first year of doing it (22 goals by my 23rd birthday) I accomplished 15 out of 22 (a solid 68% - but I feel about as much success as a C+). This last year (23 goals by my 24th birthday) the grading was a bit more involved but it came out to a 68% again but it feels closer to a B+. I feel better about the 2nd list, though, and how I progressed, simply because not every goal has the same personal meaning. For example, I worked really hard at letting past frustrations and anger go and I feel I was successful at that. On the other hand, I was not successful at taking a photo and posting it to instagram everyday (oh well, right?). After writing out what I was successful with and what I could have done to be more successful with the ones I failed at, I sat down and created my new list.

24 goals to accomplish by the time I turn 25

I've also made a page for this (top of the page or click here) that I will update at the end of each week. I won't go into much detail about each goal right now, mainly because I've already written so much I'll be surprised if you read even this far. You may notice, however, that one of those goals (#19) is to blog twice a month. Yup, it made it to the list. So here I am, first post of my new year. My posts will cover my progress through my goals such as finally finishing one of my many unfinished objects (UFOs). In fact, I have made a page just for all my crafty finishes (I've already posted a few from the last year or so). A few posts may also be my crafty adventures through craft swaps, which  (you guessed it) I made a page for so you can see pictures of what I sent and received from these swaps (scroll to the top or click here for that). Oh, and I promise to work harder on having less words and more pictures. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

I hope you'll join me in this adventure and I challenge you to write out a list of things you want to accomplish by your next birthday. It doesn't have to be 24 by 25 or 39 by 40 or however old you're turning. Start with 5:
  • 1 for you mental health (eg. journaling or stepping away from the internet for 24 hours)
  • 1 for your physical health (eg. going on a hike or even just making sure you step outside once a day)
  • 1 for your spiritual health (eg. daily devotions, meditation)
  • 1 for your family (eg. family dinners once a week or schedule a family game night)
  • 1 just for you (eg. read that book you keep looking at longingly or sit down and do that craft)
This is how I try and write out my list is by these categories, as well as an even balance of things to be done daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly/ just once. Write them so that there is only 1 way to interpret them (eg don't write "exercise 4x/month", instead write "jog 1 mile every Friday") and don't be afraid to fail. Really, its not about getting 100%, its about improving your health and living a happier life. If by your next birthday you feel accomplished in the goals you set, then it was a success. Feel free to share those goals with me in the comment section below. I've found that when you tell someone your goals, even if its not someone I know personally, I'm more motivated to work on those goals.

Until next time, live long and prosper!