January 11-17 2015 Weekly Plan

First things first!

Happy 36th Birthday, Little Brother!

I hope 2015 is a great year for you!

Let’s start with the review:

This was a majorly bad week. Little was accomplished in or out of the business. Here is my planned week:

Jan. 4-10 Plan
Jan. 4-10 Plan

See how little was checked off? I did move forward on a few multi-week tasks but still it was bad.

It appears I will be off work for even longer. I hope to know more tomorrow. Because of the uncertainty, I did not add many tasks to this week’s list. And I have just now thought of a few things I forgot to add.

Jan. 11-17 Plan
Jan. 11-17 Plan

I need to finish or just plain do a few of the tasks that have been around for a while. I’m going try something different in how I divide my time this week. I’ll explain more next Sunday if it works!

Reminder!

The prologue to my book, C’est Ma Vie 2015, will be delivered to all newsletter subscribers January 15. If you want a sneak peek, sign up! It’s easy, just go to www.eepurl.com-6h49 and fill out the little form! That’s all.

This Week’s Design Process

Last weekend I uploaded new versions of my four patterns. Three were just formatting changes.  With each design I fine tune the formatting. I’m pretty happy with the formatting style I used for Drusilla. My template pattern is now that format, so I brought my older patterns in sync. The fourth update was to Drusilla. I didn’t catch before publishing but my find/replace to switch from knit to k changed all text boxes not just the one I was currently in as I used it. So my tagline became “Crochet & k Designs by Kimberley Bridgwater” and my tester’s username became “Janetkwitch”. These are now fixed.

Then I tried signing up for LoveKnitting, so Ravelry can shoot my EU customers over there for pattern purchase. Ravelry and LoveKnitting have partnered up so those of us that don’t live in the EU can sell our patterns and fully comply with the VAT (Value Added Tax) legislation on e-sales of electronic files. But the site must have been bogged down by all of trying to get our patterns over. I couldn’t create a username. I knew I had time. According to my Ravelry stats I have yet to sell a pattern to an EU resident since opening my design store in June 2014. I didn’t expect that to suddenly change.

I finally got my great-nephew’s birthday hat to him. I tried getting photos but he was not understanding taking off boots, coat and hat on the way into the house then putting on another hat so Auntie could take photos. They may be all blurred shots! If I can find a decent enough photo I’ll post it. Otherwise I’ll try for when he was leaving. But here’s what it looks like:

Jayven's 2nd Birthday Hat
Jayven’s 2nd Birthday Hat
Jayven In His Hat
Jayven In His Hat
Another of Jayven in His Hat
Another of Jayven in His Hat

He’s okay! He didn’t understand his dad’s mom was moving the car seat from one vehicle to another to take him for a sleepover. He thought he was left behind! See he was happy earlier:

A Mischievous Jayven
A Mischievous Jayven

Then there was some drama involved with returning to my day job on Monday. I’m not going to get into it here as this is a public blog. I don’t want anything I say to come back and bite me on the a$$! Suffice it to say, I am still off sick and may be for quite some time.

That distraction kept me from making much progress on anything this week. I barely touched my designs. Sample 2 of Damia Cowl has maybe grown a few cm. I just this afternoon managed to get my patterns uploaded to LoveKnitting. They’re all in pending awaiting approval from the LK staff. I haven’t even written on the book-which I was doing daily! My inbox is hovering around 175 constantly. It’s usually in the low double digits except first thing in the morning!

It’s my brother’s birthday this Sunday so I’ve started knitting him a hat from Joeli’s Kitchen Double Time e-book. I don’t think I’ll be done in time. I started too late. I’m still in the ribbing! We will see how much I can knit on it before we all get together for dinner Sunday.

Planning & Designs in Process

I missed Friday’s post due to extreme fatigue. I slept most of Friday and Saturday. So today you’re getting a combination post.

I’m still working away on the Damia Cowl sample two. It’s about 3/4 finished now. Here’s a picture from a few days ago:

Damia Cowl sample two
Damia Cowl sample two

Other than adding a few rows, very few, to Arielle sample one the only project I’ve worked on is my great-nephew’s birthday hat which I crocheted then added knitted ribbing. I tried to get photos but he wouldn’t put it on until his grandmother came to pick him up for a visit with his dad. Then he got mad when she went to transfer the car seat from Mum’s car to her’s. Those photos are on my phone and haven’t synced to my iPad yet. Here’s what it looks like:

Jayden's birthday hat
Jayven’s birthday hat

Now to the planning:

The aforementioned wall of fatigue played havoc with my schedule. I’m a little concerned over how tired I am. I return to work tomorrow but I’m fighting to stay awake all day. Hopefully the change of scenery and noisier atmosphere will keep me awake!

Here’s last week’s plan:

Last Week
Last Week

I managed to get a few things done! And here’s this week’s:

This week
This week

Yes, there is less on it but some are bigger tasks and I’ll be back at work. I don’t know how much I’ll get done after working all day. At least for the first few days.

And, don’t forget to join the newsletter! Everyone who joins before January 15 gets a free copy of the prequel to my book! You can join on the sidebar or here.

Weekly Review & Plan Creation

First up, I apologize for the lack of post on Friday. I was ill and spent most of the last two days in bed. Nonetheless, I had a great Christmas with my family here in town. I’d forgotten how noisy it gets when you put ten people including excited children together for a few hours.

Here’s last week’s plan:

Last Week's Plan
Last Week’s Plan

I accomplished quite a bit. I never get everything off my list. The harder I try the less I seem to accomplish. It’s something I am working on. I need to up my productivity or reduce time sucks or nothing will get done once I return to full time work next week. One of my current time sucks is trying to understand the EU’s Jan 1 VAT changes and how that affects my business and my book plans.

Here is this week’s plan:

Dec 28 to Jan 2
Dec 28 to Jan 2

It’s not as bad as it looks! Four of the Urgent/Important tasks are quick things. Ravelry has teamed up with LoveKnitting. LoveKnitting will sell our patterns and deal with all the VAT collections and remittances for sales to EU residents. But my four patterns all have evolving formats. I prefer my last format and want to re-format my earlier patterns before uploading them to LoveKnitting. I want a consistant format. The re-formatting shouldn’t take long as it’s mainly cutting and pasting.

I am helping Mum babysit my three year old nephew for a few days this week. He received a tablet for Christmas from Mum (it’s a cheap older model). If he brings it with him I should be able to get lots done with him sitting beside me with his own tablet instead of begging to use my iPad.

I can’t remember if I mentioned last week that I started physiotherapy. I did and have two appointments this week. I think I feel a difference already from doing the stretches she gave me. I’m hopeful!

Just a Few Things Changed

This is a photo of my plan from last week:

Week plan ended 14-20
Week plan ended 14-20

As you can see only three things on my to-do list were completed. There’s two reasons for that:

  1. The Book

  2. Fibromyalgia/cervical degeneration

Adding the book into the plan, of course, shifted my time around. The prologue is almost complete. I discovered it’s harder to type about the Cancer aftermath than expected which has slowed the process. But I hope to have the prologue complete tomorrow or Tuesday. I already edited draft one in an effort to get back in the flow and out of the freeze. It didn’t work but does mean I only need to edit the new stuff.

I learned with Fibro when you’re body is done, your body’s done. If you try to push past the pain, the fatigue, too much your body rebels. I don’t know if it’s the fibro rebelling the massive (comparatively) amount of typing or the cervical degeneration but for the last two days it feels like someone’s trying to pull my arm out of its socket. It hurts from my ear to my fingers on my right side. Maybe I’m just sleeping funny. I don’t know. All I know is it hurts more than normal. And my normal hurts enough already, thank you very much.

I start physiotherapy tomorrow morning finally then am helping Mum watch my three year old nephew while my sister works. The Day Care Centres here are all through the municipality and are closed for the next two weeks. So I don’t know how different I’ll be pain wise tomorrow. But I learned before Siri is actually a pretty good transcriptionist. Worst case, I’ll have her type up the end of my prologue and I can just cut and paste it.

Here’s this week’s plan:

Weekly Plan Dec. 21-27
Weekly Plan Dec. 21-27

I should probably start calling these weekly dreams instead of plans. I never seem to make a dent in them. But that’s life with chronic diseases, especially when one is a pain disorder than the others all cause extra pain! If nothing else I want to get my Christmas knitting done and the prologue before Christmas. Then I can start catching up on the design knitting.

I expect to have lots of knitting time while munchkin plays games on my iPad. He’s only allowed if he sits beside me at the table and if he’s been a good boy. It’s good incentive to be a good boy when you know Auntie’s iPad is the reward.

I’m Writing A Book!

A checking of the mailbox this weekend brought me some goodies. Some yarn, some Soak Wash in a new scent and a Christmas gift for my neice.

Yarnie Goodness!
Yarnie Goodness!

Today was our department Christmas lunch. There was soo much food I’m still full eight hours later! Look what I got in the gift exchange:

Gypsy Approved
Gypsy Approved
More gift, less cat!
More gift, less cat!

I’ve had a thought of writing a book for decades. Last week I thought of an idea and even came up with a perfect title. I almost let myself be talked into waiting until I had built a larger audience. Then after some encouragement I went for it. So I have started! Typing has begun.

The book will be a chronicling, almost like a journal, of my life in 2015-the story of my year as I work a full-time job, build a creative business, design patterns, write a book and try to have a family life all while living with multiple chronic illnesses and the possible return of Cancer. Bits of the same information will be on the blog as well but not in the same depth as in the book.

As it was all decided quickly not all the details are yet in place. I intend that there be two versions. One with patterns and one without. There will be a prologue covering the history of my diagnoses and life at the time. Each month of 2015 will be a chapter. Each chapter will contain one or more patterns.

The book will be released in sections. Most likely monthly but possibly further apart. Perhaps bimonthly or quarterly. I will need to build a storefront through an as yet unchosen company, most likely Etsy if I meet their newest sale criteria. There will be two versions-one with patterns, one without. The patternless version will be available on my site with both a pay in full and a subscription option.

The version with patterns will be sold through Ravelry in sections as well with an update in 2016 to the new compiled version. All designs will be exclusively available only through the ebook until 2016. Designs will range from small to large; there will be at least one afghan. I’m working on a list of pattern possibilities tonight after I publish this post.

More book news will follow as decisions are made.

Once compiled the chapters etc will be digitized and available as an ebook through Amazon, Kobobooks and Smashbooks. There may also be print-on-demand options. I haven’t decided on that yet.

Subscribe to our newsletter. The prologue will be sent to all subscribers in mid-January as a preview of the book.

Who Am I? What is Bridgwater Crafts?

Who am I?
I’m Kimberley!

I’m an Introvert.
I’m a creative.
I’m a reader.
I’m a writer.
I’m a maker.
I’m a crocheter.
I’m a knitter.
I’m a designer.
I’m a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, an aunt and a great aunt.

I’m a thyroid cancer survivor (maybe). They think it may be back. But it’s to small to biopsy. I live with chronic diseases and syndromes. I have arthritic cervical vertebrae degeneration with bulging discs and possibly nerve irritation, carpal tunnel syndrome, Diabetes Mellitis Type 2, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain disorder. I am in constant pain. I am on twenty different medications, vitamins and supplements.

I work full time outside the home.

What is Bridgwater Crafts?
Bridgwater Crafts is my creative business. It is the home base of all my creative endeavours.

What is this blog’s goal?
Designing
I’m blogging publicly to create a record of my design life that is accessible to my pattern buyers and other new designers. I want a place I can make announcements; share upcoming designs; a place that can be an online home base for my pattern line.

I’m a new designer. I started this June. I plan to write about things I learn as I grow as a crochet and knit designer. I’ll post about new techniques; give peeks into new designs; announce sales and new releases. I’ll host crochet/knit alongs. I’ll host contests. I’ll write about inspirations and about my life inside and outside the fibre arts.

Writing
I used to write all the time. Then I stopped. I’m starting again.

I really enjoyed writing daily last month in the blog. And I’ve really missed it since the challenge ended Nov. 30. It cemented the decision that I need to start writing again.

Some of what I write will appear here. Some is going to be a book about my life with chronic conditions and how the fibre arts impact my life. Some, I hope, will appear on other blogs and in articles.

I would love to connect with other bloggers. I want to connect with people in and out of the fibre community. I would love to connect with others with chronic diseases and other writers.

Starting Jan. 1st, we will have a newsletter. Please join the list here.

Drusilla and Catching Up

Drusilla Cloth is live and available for electronic purchase via my Ravelry store.

Drusilla Cloth
Drusilla Cloth

It’s been a long week. Taking the two day medical trip tired me out much more than I expected. Turns out a fibromyalgia flare + 5 hour drive both ways + chest and c-spine X-rays + an MRI + some shopping + a 3 year old who won’t settle for the night = a very tired Kimberley. But I did a little Christmas shopping and have a few things in mind to pick up when I go back next week. It feels nice to check off gifts on my list! And I found a book for the biz I havent been able to find electronically-Maggie Righetti’s Sweater Design in Plain English! I lay down for a short nap after getting back Tuesday and woke up Wednesday. Skipping pain meds in a flare was a very bad idea! But I planned on a one or two hour nap, not to wake up thirteen hours later.

Grandma is very willing to stay home and babysit so my sister and I can go alone next trip. But it doesn’t look like my sister can get the time off work. So it might be me and Mum this trip. She’s a very nervous winter driver. She has winter tires but still misses the studded tires from her previous car.

I didn’t get any of the knitting and little of the planned reading done while away so I feel like I’m still catching up. I have to keep reminding myself I’m off sick for a reason. I’m going to tire easy. I’m going to be slower than I’d like. If I could do a full day’s work, I’d be at work not at home!

I closed the themes’ poll on Monday while on the road. It looks like reviews are moving off the weekly schedule.  Rather than purchase things specificly to review, if I come across something I love like my HiyaHiya Sharps or knitting with a certain yarn or a book I’ve just read I’ll review it/them periodically. Quotation Wednesday as you saw yesterday is staying exactly where it is. In fact, I think I’m currently scheduled for quotes until April and have about a dozen I haven’t entered into the editorial calendar or scheduled on WordPress. I’m probably set until next summer for quotes! Designs in Process will remain Friday’s theme. I will probably merge Week in Review and Weekly Plan Creation. I haven’t made up my mind about those two yet. Reviewing last week as I plan this week seems to combine naturally.

So it’s looking like I’ll be posting four to five times a week normally with some changes when travelling etc. This is good though. I’ve kind of missed the regular posting even though it’s only been a few days!