WIP Wednesday 17/02/2016

I have many Works In Progress (WIPs) but only a few are active so those are the ones I’ll talk about today. All three are design samples, two for the same design.

This is a Jayven Blanket in the double bed size. The finished product, once photographed, will be donated to a refugee family coming here soon. The squares are complete. I just need to join them and add the border.

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This is a Jayven Blanket in a king bed size. I’m working on the last rounds on the squares.

And this is the JJ Afghan. It’s about a third complete. It depends if JJ, my nephew slows on the growth spurts. The finished sample will be his fifth birthday gift.

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Happy Family Day 2016!

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I counted last night; I took ten medications and vitamins. I skipped a few that I’m out of-calcium, and vitamin C; I didn’t take all my PRN medications and rarely take my melatonin. This morning I took 9. I should qualify, I take one medication at different dosages in the a.m. and p.m.; another twice daily; and I also take three medications four times a day. I long for those childhood days when taking medication was a rarity instead of a daily ritual.

Oh, and I forgot to mention two other designs. And another illness, benign tremors which is a complicated way of saying my hands shake constantly.

This weekend I started a crochet project I’ve been putting off for a while but I wanted to make something quick since my other projects are all blankets. I’m making covers for a set of three stools I own. It’s an improvised pattern that I probably won’t publish. It’s just something I need and can make while still watching my four year old nephew.

Mum and I have been babysitting JJ while my sister spent Valentine’s Day with her boyfriend. It’s amazing how quickly you forget just how busy and noisy a four year old can be and how quickly they remind you on sleepovers!

I’ve set up a schedule of blog posts that I’m hoping I can keep up and will be interesting for you as well. We will see over the next few weeks how it works.

2016 Plans

Oprah Winfrey said “A lesson will keep repeating itself until it is learned. Life first will send the lesson to you in the size of a pebble; if you ignore the pebble, then life will send you a brick; if you ignore the brick, life will send you a brick wall; if you ignore the brick wall, life will send you a demolition truck.”
In 2015 I was sent that demolition truck. I lost my full-time job, my house and most importantly control of my failing health. I’m slowly climbing out of the rubble left behind but in the process I broke a lot of promises. Promises made here, on social networks and “in real life”. I take responsibility for those. I can’t change them but I can say I’m sorry and I’m working on fixing things. Part of fixing those things is abandoning, for the time being, finishing writing my books C’ést Ma Vie 2015 and C’ést Ma Vie 2016. 

Instead this year I’m going to work on my business, my designing and my health. Balancing a business and fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cervical disc degeneration with neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, moderately high cholesterol, recurrent labyrinthitis, the possible recurrence of my thyroid cancer, and the latest, recurrent corneal abrasion syndrome with basement cell dystrophy in my left eye can be very difficult. I had surgery for the same disorder in January 2006 in my right eye. I was told at that time it is usually in both eyes but didn’t have any issues with my left eye until summer 2015. Balancing all that can be difficult especially when you add life into the mix too. But I’m going to try to find that elusive balance this year.

I’m working on a crochet afghan right now. Technically it’s a sample for a design but in reality it is so much more. I designed this pattern for my toddler great-nephew. I crocheted it first in a toddler size then started a king-size bed size (which is unfinished, I ran out of one important colour). This one though is special in a different way. This one is going to be a gift given to a refugee family a group in town is sponsoring. This family has gone through so much in an attempt to leave a war zone. We don’t know when they will be arriving yet. But it will be in the next few months-during winter. I can’t even imagine the shock the family will have leaving the east coast of Africa to come to a small town in Canada. Culture shock, weather shock. How do you prepare to go from a place of 40+’C to potential -40’C? This family is going to be cold no matter how many clothes are given to them. Hopefully this blanket will help.

I’m also working on a knitted afghan design sample. The sample will be a birthday gift for my nephew’s fifth birthday in April. I told him yesterday he has to stop growing or I’ll never get this afghan complete! He gave me a look then ignored me for a television show. But the adults and his big sister laughed!

I also have a few designs almost ready for release, and a few I need to finish writing up before testing can start. I basically have seven designs in progress right now. Wow, I didn’t realize how many until just now!

On the life side, I’m going to try to read more ( I can’t believe I only read eight books in 2015!); spend more time with family; crochet and knit for pleasure; and try to patiently wait for approval or denial of my provincial and federal disability applications.

Wish me luck!

Happy New Year, 2016!


Hi!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

2015 was a busy year full of changes and illnesses. Many plans were put on hold or suddenly had to change. Unfortunately, one of the things put on hold was the blog. But I’m still here and so is Bridgwater Crafts. I just need to learn how to better balance my health and working a few hours a day on the business.

One of the things I hope to do more this year is be more present here and more open. I’m not sure yet how that will work as I can’t put everything out in the open. Somethings need to be left for C’ést Ma Vie, 2016! I didn’t want you to think I just disappeared though I suppose I did for the end of 2015.

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…

2015, A Year of Change

I didn’t intend there to be such a big gap in posting except for the Wednesday Quote which I pre-schedule. So much has happened this year. So much has changed. Yet, so much has remained the same. I don’t quite know where to start. My health has steadily deteriorated. My finances are in shambles. I’m losing my house. I have had to apply for social assistance. I have applied for disability through the federal program and will be applying through the provincial program soon.

I have realized publishing a book by the month with two designs per chapter was unrealistic. I am now holding off publication until February 2016. This will allow time for proofreading and copy writing the chapters more thoroughly. It will allow for test crocheting and test knitting of the designs in addition to the current technical editing. As designs are ready, I will continue to publish them in the pattern only ebook on Ravelry. This will hopefully give me the time I need to get back on track. I have not stopped writing and I have not stopped designing. But only the writing is up to date. I have had multiple issues with one of the March designs. This led to delays in the other designs as I ripped out a completed shawl and restarted twice only to rip out again. Now I have switched the design completely and it seems to be going well. I have two designs that only require corrections before publication. I have two designs that just need to be properly written out from my notes and formated before sending to the tech editors. I have three other designs that I am crocheting and knitting samples and making notes for. That still puts me behind on designs. I should be working on my fifteenth and sixteenth.

I am working on improving my health as much as possible and will be moving in with my mother upon the foreclosure. I have a family that loves and supports me. I am learning as much as possible about running a creative business successfully.

I have learned to live on much less than my full-time old wage. I have come to terms with the fact that returning to my old job is not going to happen. I have realized I may never be able to hold a standard job again. But, I also realized that’s ok. My job did not define me. I have that privilege. I get to chose who I am. I’m still figuring out who that will be, but, I know I am a creative entrepreneur and writer.

I discovered Saturday I’m not as ready to leave this house as I thought. I know I have to leave. I can’t pay my mortgage, never mind the bills and groceries that come with living on your own. But, as Mum drove me home from laundry and supper at her place it hit me. One day soon she won’t be driving me home after laundry and supper. One day soon I won’t be living in my forever home. When I bought this house ten years ago, I thought I was buying the house I would live in for the rest of my life. But now I’m leaving it unwillingly.

I don’t know yet when I have to be out of the house. Part of me wants to be gone before I get the date from my mortgage company and another part of me wants to stay until the very last day. I guess it’s time to start packing.

11/08/2015-edited to correct spelling and grammar

Returning to Sunday Previews

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post for this column. I stopped because I was having difficulties finding the right scheduling system and what I was using was not photographing well for the posts. I am fumbling around in a flare and accomplishing very little these days. I hope returning to this column will provide accountability. I hope it will help me to find incentive to do more business-wise. I have returned to using Gneo for my weekly schedule. I am not currently using a daily schedule. I stopped because it was too discouraging when I was completing so little. I’ve also discovered I work better when I choose my task in the moment. I don’t know Sunday afternoon how I will feel at 2 pm Thursday afternoon, how fatigued and fibro foggy I may be, but I do know at 2 pm on Thursday. This allows me to better pick a task I can accomplish.

Here is this week’s schedule:

This week's schedule

I just realized, I missed a few things in my plan. I should have checked my iCal! I also have our usual Starship chat on Wednesday afternoon and an Evernote webinar on Thursday night. I’ll add those to the plan but I’m not retaking the post photo!

C’est Ma Vie! 2015 is for Sale!!!

It’s been three months from the idea to fruition.

The fall last weekend backed me up a week. It is exactly seven days after the planned release, and it’s taken most of the day but it’s happened. The files and the covers have been uploaded. Descriptions and thank you emails typed. All that remains is waiting for purchasers; and the next chapter, of course.

Chapter Two: February is almost complete. The designs are almost ready for editing. Can you believe it’s almost March?!

For those of you on Ravelry, a just the patterns version will be available there tomorrow. If you buy the C’est Ma Vie! With Patterns version, contact me via the same email as your PayPal account with your Ravelry username. I’ll send you a coupon code for the Ravelry version so you can have the patterns in your library.

The books are available here or via Payhip. The regular version is $15.00 CAD. The version with patterns is $25.00 CAD. It looks like a huge difference in price but there are thirteen knit and eleven crochet patterns included in the pattern version. That’s a pretty good deal-less than a dollar a pattern whether you do both crafts or not.

A New Month & A New Weekly Plan

Happy February!

I’ve started using a new weekly planner I’ve created in Evernote based roughly on one seen in a webinar and the style of task sorting in Gneo. I’m having issues with judging how long tasks will take. I’m going to have to time myself for a few weeks to get accurate times. But here’s last week’s:

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This is more difficult to show you than I thought it would be. I’ll work on that for next week! Here’s this week’s:

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I hopefully can can get a bunch of these done! It’s all a matter of pacing myself.

January 18 Weekly Review and Planning Session

Hi!

Here is my “completed” planner for last week. One day I’m going to surprise you and actually complete everything!

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

i think this may be the most Urgent/Important items I’ve completed in a week! One thing you may notice is something’s are shown as complete in last week’s plan but return in this week’s. I have decided to do things differently with long-term projects. If I have completed as much as possible that week, I will mark them complete but also carry them over to the next week. I’m utilizing the Notes function to track what I’ve completed so steps are not missed or duplicated.

Here is this week’s plan. I am positive I have forgotten to add something. Despite thinking about it all day, I cannot remember.

Jan. 18-24 Weekly Plan
Jan. 18-24 Weekly Plan

It seems long but I’m hopeful I can complete a good amount this week.