Back to Biz Not Back to School

It’s back to school season here. I’m not planning a return to school but I am returning to working in and on Bridgwater Crafts!

I didn’t officially leave but I’ve been inactive for far too long! So much of my life changed a few years ago and in some ways, I never recovered. I finally feel like I have both my creativity and my energy back. I want to create again. I need to create again.

My life will never return to what it was but it can still be wonderful. It can still include old goals and dreams but some may need adjustments.

I’m working on getting back into the habit of thinking and working as a biz owner not just as a crafter. I’m trying to figure out where I want to go from here and how to get there. So much has changed since the last time I figured out goals and plans.

I have a lot to work through. I have a few small goals and plans in mind to start. Now it’s just to recreate habits and gain momentum!

How is it January 20th Already?

2017 has arrived and I’m already behind on my posts. I want to do at least one per week. I’ll work on that going forward.

So far, January has been a painful month. I’ve been having a lot of lower back and hip pain. I’m still learning the current limit of my arthritis in my left shoulder. I keep forgetting and moving it past it’s limits causing extra pain. We’ve had strange highs and lows in temperature which is causing a fibro flare. As a result the month is flying by. I had an appointment booked with a rheumatologist for January 10 in a city 3 hours away but we had a snowstorm going through the region that day. The road conditions were so bad we turned around three communities over and came back. I called and left a voice mail cancelling due to the weather.

I have not made any concrete business or life plans for 2017. I have however done a few things towards the future. I know my North Star of the year is truth-I want to be more me this year and bring more of me into the business. My quarter one (January-March) goal is consistency and my 2017 goal is sustainability.

I’m adding book reviews to the mix of blog topics and I want to read more this year. I’ve joined NetGalley and LibraryThing to access books authors and publishers want reviewed. I’ve also joined the InstaFreebie newsletter. They coordinate free book giveaways and provide a platform for authors to give their books away. I also joined Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 reading challenge.

To grow my designing and knitting skills I joined Aroha Knits 5 shawls in 5 days challenge. You make five mini shawls learning the different shapes of shawls and how to achieve them.

I had sales in the shop over Christmas. They were in person sales but sales nonetheless. I’m working on a new design and on a commission knit.

To grow my business skills and plan 2017, I’m working through Tara Swiger’s new book Map Your Business. I’m also taking her and Joeli of JoeliCreates Elevate Your Instagram challenge and their Elevate Your Business course later this month.

Since starting to obtain books to review I have become part of three authors’ launch teams (one for a series, one for a book, and the other for all her books) and applied to join another’s. Watch for more on those in the near future!

Works In Progress Thursday 28/07/2016

This week’s WIP post is the first that will include more than just my fibre-work. I’m adding in other areas of my life.

Knitting
I’m working on a few things this week.

My Amulet Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade
image
Arielle on Newport Bridge (a design sample)
www.BridgwaterCrafts.com
Bettina at the Beach (a design sample)
ww.BridgwaterCrafts.com
But I’ve also dug into my WIP basket to see what was really inside. I found four sets of partial socks, two for me, one for my eldest nephew and one for my great-nephew; a knit spa cloth sample; a crochet shawl sample;  two headband samples; a bag of yarn for a hat for my great-nephew to match a colour work sweater I knit him; a bag of squares for a sock blanket sample; and a bag of leftover Aran yarn, needles and hook from the Damia Hat and Cowl-did I plan to make matching mittens? And this doesn’t include three sample blankets and a shell stored elsewhere or my UFOs (unfinished objects) that are probably still packed from my move last year.

Reading
The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
Spirituality Without Structure by Nimue Brown
The Bee Cottage Story by Frances Schultz

I also have book WIPs:

The Mindfulness Solution to Pain by Dr. Jackie Gardner-Nix
The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
Manage Your Day-To-Day by 99U
Put Your Budget On A Diet by Kimberly Eddy
Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie Langford
Pack Lightly Stylishly by Amanda Jimenez
The Art of Minimalist Organization by Ben Night
Seeking the Mystery by Christine Hoff Kraemer
The Scent of Magic by Andre Norton
Scarcity by Eldar Shafir and Sendhil Mullainathan
Hedgewitch Book of Days by Mandy Mitchell
The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit by Drs Atul Deodhar and Dawn Marcus
Knitter’s Almanac, Commemorative Edition by Elizabeth Zimmermann
One Magic Square by Lola Houbein
DIY Chick Lit by Alicia de los Reyes
The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente
Market Yourself by Tara Swiger
Enough Already by Alan Cohen

I have lots of book WIPs! I didn’t realize how many books I had partly read. I wasn’t so bad with these until I started getting idevices. Now I not only have my Kobo Glo but also the Kobo app, the Kindle app, PDF Expert app and iBooks app. It’s too easy to have books started on all my devices!

Have you noticed a theme?

Books and yarn are a major part of my life!

WIP Wednesday Periscope Notes…A Little Late

So yesterday I did a WIP Wednesday periscope then left town for an optometrist appointment. I didn’t have a chance to post the show notes before leaving, but here they are just a day late. The scope is titled WIP Wednesday with @bridgwaterk #yarnscope #craftybiz #katch .

https://katch.me/embed/v/af68f49e-5be6-31c6-a6cf-9c046fdf17ae?sync=1

Today I’m going to show you four projects I’m working on for the book.
This first one is one of the blankets in the book. It’s a toddler size and is complete except for weaving in ends and blocking. The finished sample will be a Christmas/birthday gift for my great-nephew who was born on Boxing Day two years ago. He’ll be three this year.
This second is the king size of that same pattern. The pattern will be baby, toddler, twin, double and king sized. This one is not yet assembled but here are a few of the squares. The nice thing about this blanket is it can be done with pre-selected colours or as scrap blanket making it affordable to make a king-size blanket! I chose to design it using only scrap yarn and have been able to make both without buying any extra yarn for them. This will also be a Christmas gift so I better get moving on it as it’s already November.
My book, C’Est Ma Vie! 2015 will have both crochet and knit patterns.
Thirdly, a knit triangular/crescent shawl worked from one corner across to the wide end. It’s almost my wingspan now which isn’t saying much as I’m rather short at 5’1″. I’m working this one as large as I can with one skein of yarn.
And, finally the last I will show you today is this one I’m worked on as my play swatch for the Joeli’s Kitchen Designer Bootcamp. To learn the stitch pattern I started a spa cloth which may make it into the book as well. It will depend on if I have enough time to finish all the other previously started designs for the book.
Thank you to everyone viewing live or on replay.
This broadcast is available on katch.me/bridgwaterk and will be put on the Bridgwater Crafts YouTube page later.
My first scope last Monday unfortunately had technical difficulties. Katch did not catch and my camera recorded it as portrait despite being filmed in landscape. If I can get it back to landscape, it will be uploaded to the YouTube page.
Thank you for watching and reading!

I’m Periscoping!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have you heard of Periscope?

Have you tried it out?

After watching friends and colleagues broadcasting I decided to give it a go. If you missed the live scope, it’s ok-the replay is available for 24 hours on the Periscope app or at http://Periscope.tv/bridgwaterk and on http://Katch.me/bridgwaterk. I also plan to upload them to the Bridgwater Crafts YouTube Channel. Watch for the title, My First Periscope! An Introduction with @bridgwaterk #bridgwatercrafts #creativebiz #yarnscope #chronicpain.

I hope to be back broadcasting a WIP Wednesday scope!

Thank you for watching! I’ll add the link or embed the video once I figure out all this technology!

Every periscope broadcast will be accompanied by a blog post of show notes with links to anything I talk about.

My business/life goals this week are to continue unpacking from my recent move, read Chapter One of Market Yourself by Tara Swiger and to scope at least once more this week!
I hope to be back broadcasting a WIP Wednesday scope!

Thank you for watching! & reading!

My Weekly Plan

Hi!

I hope to write this topic post on Sunday but it didn’t happen this week. I’ll  try to do better next week!

I have a number of things scheduled this week but I also have goals and plans for the week. I’m trying to have three main monthly goals and three main weekly goals although, of course, those are not the only things I intend to do. In the Starship we have quarterly goals as well. I am failing most of my quarterly goals due to illness, stress and moving. There isn’t the time to do everything I want within the limits of what my body can do. I’m trying to adjust my life to what my body can realistically do in a day, week, month and quarter.

September is not over but I’m pretty sure my monthly goals are not going to be met although I will try. My main September goals are now the move, and finishing the king-size blanket sample for the design I’m working on.

This week my main goals are packing, moving things, and unpacking them again; crocheting the sample and setting up a content calendar for October. I plan to start periscoping in October so content planning now includes periscope, blogging, Instagram, the Facebook Page and Twitter.

For anyone who isn’t aware, I’m awaiting disability approval, slowly building my business and moving in with my mother. I’m now at Mum’s so is my husky, Mira, staying in the spare room while I move my belongings over. My cats are moving in this week and my furniture this weekend. I need to be completely out of my house by the end of September. So much to do and so little time and energy…