FO Friday 19/02/2016

I have two FOs (finished objects) today! And they are both old ones!

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I don’t remember when I first started this one. I think the yarn is from Tanis Fiber Arts but I don’t remember the colourway other than it was leftovers. It’s wasn’t in my Ravelry Projects until today. When I couldn’t find it there I tracked down the pattern page and entered it in. But it’s finished now which is great because I’m growing out a pixie cut. It’s the perfect time for a headband.

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This one  I started on May 9, 2014. I was one of the testers for the design. I finished the knitting on Nov. 23, 2014 but today I finished weaving in the ends. It still needs blocking so you may/may not consider it complete. I do. Unblocked the long edge is more than my wingspan! I’m afraid to see how big it grows during blocking!

I don’t know why I waited so long on the finishing these. Life just got in the way I guess. I loved the Drachenfels and planned on making another. I have too many projects on the go right now but when I get those under control maybe…

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.

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

Happy Sunday! It’s Time for Weekly Review & Sunday Planning!

Hi!

Did you see my guest interview on the Kate the (Almost) Great blog? It went live this morning! If you followed the interview to my site, welcome!

This week didn’t show much in the way of results. I spent lots of time sleeping off a flare. But as you can see a few things did get accomplished.

19/4/15-25/4/15 Plan
19/4/15-25/4/15 Plan

A few of these were impulse decisions. I’ve been considering ways to blog more. A column on what I’m reading seemed obvious since I read almost daily and hope to increase my reading time. I joined the Cooperative Press Affiliate program as soon as it was announced a while ago but didn’t actively look for more until this week. I don’t want to clutter my web pages with advertisements to other businesses so affiliate links seem a good compromise on adding income to the business. I’ve been accepted for a few, turned down for one and a few are pending approval still.

Affiliate links cost nothing to the reader. I insert a link regarding for example one of CP’s books, like Market Yourself, that I’m reading or using. You click the link. If you then purchase an item I receive a small commission. If you don’t buy nothing happens. As soon as I figure out how to use them I’ll start inserting affiliate links in my future posts and on my pages. As time permits, I’ll go through and add them to past posts.

Here’s what’s planned for this week. For anyone new, I always over-schedule then choose the task based on my energy level and fogginess. I have yet to complete everything on my plan!

26/4/15-02/5/15 Task Plan
26/4/15-02/5/15 Task Plan

Let’s hope I do better this week!

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.

Design Friday

I have finally managed to get a few things accomplished! Going to bed early most nights cuts into productivity. But if I overdo it, I pay for it in pain.

The book cover has been revised. There were valid concerns of legibility in thumbnail size on websites. The same photo and colours are used but the title font and placement of a few things have been changed for the better, I think.

Chapter One: January of C’est Ma Vie! 2015 is currently being proofread.This chapter is accompanied by two knit patterns; the Damia Cowl and the Damia Hat. The Damia Cowl pattern is off with the tech editor. The Hat, I am still working on. I’ve never designed a sized pattern without knitting or crocheting each size. I’m not sure how to size the hat. I’m going to finish it tomorrow so I can email it to my tech editor. If I wait any longer it may not be ready for next Sunday’s release! I can’t believe how quickly the release is arriving! It seemed so far away when I chose the date.

I’ve been wearing the Damia Cowl when I go out. It is so warm and snuggly when it’s frigid outside.

Chapter Two: February is being written on almost daily. I think I missed one day. This chapter is accompanied by a crochet and a knit pattern. Samples one are completed for both patterns. Sample two of the crochet pattern is almost done. I should have it finished tomorrow. I will then begin the search for a crochet tech editor. Here’s a peek at sample two of the crochet design from this morning:

Elodie, sample two
Elodie, sample two

Another task for tomorrow is to figure out which yarns will be in the next few months’ designs and write some emails. I would like to include a dyer bio and yarn base info for each yarn I use. Some may decline, but I’m hoping most will see it as an opportunity for free advertising.

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.

C’est Ma Vie! 2015 Ebook

It’s time to start marketing the book. That’s one of those forgotten to do list items I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

C’est Ma Vie! 2015 (It’s My Life! 2015) is a chronicle of my journey through 2015, as I work a full-time job, work part-time at my creative business Bridgwater Crafts, live with chronic health conditions, have close relationships with family and a life besides. It’s about me and how I live as a Cancer survivor-maybe, they think it might be back-with carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes-type 2, fibromyalgia, lactose intolerance, and spinal degeneration. It’s main purpose is to journal how I grow my business, adapt to my health issues and live my life.

The book will be self-published electronically, each month equalling a chapter. Each month’s chapter will be released the fifteenth of following month. There will be two versions: one with patterns I design (crochet and knit) and one without. I hope to have one crochet and one knit pattern per chapter. The patterns are exclusive to book purchasers until after the final chapter is released in January 2016. Occasionally I work on someone else’s design; credit will be given and links provided to the pattern source.

I see the book as having multiple audiences:
1. Crocheters, knitters and other designers will read it for the business information and the patterns included in the patterned version.
2. Chronic illness survivors will read it for information and inspiration.
3. Caregivers and loved ones of chronic illness survivors will read it for insight into how living with chronic illnesses affects our lives and for the information and inspiration.

But it is primarily for me. This is something I have to do now. I don’t know why yet but that’s just how I feel. I’m already thinking of doing 2016 and 2017 versions. In 2016, the segments will be compiled and available for sale on my website and other ebook sellers. Purchasers of the monthly book will gifted a coupon at that time to receive the compiled ebook free from my website. If there is enough demand I will consider print-to-order as well.

If you think this sounds interesting or you might enjoy reading the book, join my newsletter. All subscribers will receive the dedication and prologue free on January 15th. The ebook will be available for purchase on February 15th.