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!

Weekly Review and Plan Creation

Please join our new newsletter! The first issue will be January 1st but there is already a Welcome newsletter available.

Now to start the review. I didn’t think I’d accomplished much this past week. Writing everything down made it seem much more than I realized. It’s amazing how much you can do in fits and starts between naps. These medical trips leave me drained. I spend more time sleeping than awake after one.

What Did I Do Last Week

I went to Thunder Bay. I saw the neurosurgeon. I got all my hair cut off. I’ve got a pixie cut now! I went Christmas shopping and me shopping.

I started the Automagical Email Series from Tara Swiger. I did lessons one and two. Speaking of Tara, her new program Lift Off is available now. It’s a great six month program for creative entrepreneurs who aren’t quite ready for the year-long Starship Adventure. The Starship opens again on Dec. 18th. I highly recommend both. I’m in the Starship and have learned so much in the last three months!

I worked on my dishcloth inventory for my department staff Christmas lunch. I plan on selling as many as I can make. Two people have asked for some. I worked on Damia, sample 2, my gift exchange present. I need to text my boss tomorrow and see what day was decided for the lunch.

I worked on Bettina, sample 2.

I opened a MailChimp account. I downloaded the MailChimp and Chimpadeedoo apps to my iPad. I added signups to the blog, my Ravelry Designer page, profile page and the Bridgwater Crafts group page. I wrote and published a Welcome newsletter for all new subscribers. I started the January 1st newsletter.

I added the remainder of my stash of names to the Google Sheets Design Name Possibilities document. It has way more names than I’ll ever use but I’d rather have too many than not enough.

I read the Get CLEAR!: The Blog & Website Clarity Workbook by Kyla Roma. It’s free when you sign up for her newsletter.

I scheduled quotes for Quotation Wednesday on the editorial calendar then pre-wrote and scheduled these posts.

I really liked having separate Gneo pages for each day but missed having a week-at-a-glance view. So this week, I’m doing both. Most tasks take more than a day to complete so they’re spread over multiple days. As I complete the day’s portion I mark them off. As I complete tasks I’ll mark them off on the weekly page.

Here is what I’d like to work on this week:

Weekly Plan for Dec. 14-20
Weekly Plan for Dec. 14-20

Writing Block

A little while ago, I was trying to think of something to write tonight. I thought I might have to dig into the writer’s prompts I keep receiving as someone taking part in NaBloPoMo. Then I remembered that while I was on Ravelry dreaming of all the patterns I’d love to purchase that went on sale tonight a bunch of emails came through. So I stopped to read them.

Now, I have a quotation scheduled for December 10th! I’m really liking posting a weekly quote so that feature is sticking around. I hope you like reading them! I hope some resonate. As I find good ones I’ve been scheduling posts for them. Wednesday’s are booked up through Dec. 10th now. Now I just need to create a graphic for them. I have an idea in mind…you’ll see next week.

Then I read an email from Tara Swiger on writing even when it seems no one is listening and building your audience and finding your Right People sometimes one person at a time. To keep going and not give up; to be brave. I am so glad I started following Tara’s book, then blog, then podcast, then joined her Starship Adventure. I know with her help and help of the community she has created I can make Bridgwater Crafts a success. She ended her email with this bit on something starting soon. I’ll let her explain:

Be brave,

Tara

P.S. I’m opening a new thing that will lead you to identify and communicate with your Right People.
I’m telling you about it, dear subscribers, 10 days before the rest of the world, next week. If you’re not subscribed (ie, you’re seeing this on the Internet or someone forwarded this to you), subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/dLPMA

November Means

November is here. It seems too early somehow. Yet tonight the clocks fall back an hour!

November 1 means it’s time for month end assessments for Bridgwater Crafts, the business. It feels like little was accomplished in October since I was off sick from my day job the whole month. I’m still off sick and now on stronger medication so even less is getting done as I’m sleepy from the meds. It feels like I’m up two hours then asleep four hours. But I’m trying to cram as much in my brain as I can in those two hours. Tara, wonderful mentor that she is, has a workbook for monthly assessments. I’ve downloaded the workbook and will complete it tomorrow.

November 1 means Day 1 of NaBloPoMo. The National Blog Post Monthly event is run by www.BlogHer.com. I’m also involved in a Ravelry group, Blogging, that is taking part in the event. Hopefully the habit of daily posting will be so ingrained come December that reducing to four or five will feed extremely odd.

November 1 means no family birthdays until next month.

November 1 means that snow is going to stick around and start accumulating.

November 1 means Christmas Day is very close! It’s time to ramp up the gift making and gift buying.

If you’re stuck for what to make and you knit or crochet, don’t forget I’ve got four patterns that can help you with that! Just click that Ravelry Designer button in the sidebar-it’ll take you to my design store.

Be Mindful!

I’m still test knitting for Pia. I think Purple Knight is a great design. I am really enjoying the knit. Everyone who sees the project loves it. I hope to knit it again in the future.

I also started a design for my ebook. I’m switching off between the sweater and this as-yet-unnamed cowl. The sweater is fingering weight and the cowl Aran. When my hands get tired of one I work on the other.

I started my Mindfulness Based Chronic Pain Management class. The classes are every Monday for thirteen weeks. I’m hopeful it will be successful in helping me learn to live with my chronic pain. I would love to be able to reduce the amount of pain medication I take. The classes are offered by the NeuroNova Centre for Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management in Toronto via The Ontario Telehealth Network as videoconferences. There were at least ten locations across the province taking part in the course! My second class was today. I found last week’s class helpful. I was in less pain during the week. The days I did not meditate I felt more pain. I just need to get into the habit of doing homework again and meditating daily.

I’m almost finished Chart Your Stars and have started Crafting an Effective Blog courses on the Starship. I am so glad I made the investment in my business and joined the Starship Adventure. The support of Tara and the other members is amazing. Everyone is friendly and helpful. There is always someone available to bounce ideas off and brainstorm with. Membership opens to the public today! I recommend joining if you have a creative business.

I got hung up on one aspect of the Chart Your Stars course. It asks you to find your value(s)/attribute(s)-North Stars-that are going to lead all business decisions/direction for the year. I had trouble narrowing down my choices. After a two day debate with myself I decided on Mindfulness and Love-two of the first I thought of. These two words are leading my personal life this year too.

A co-worker reminded me last week we have a wage raise scheduled Sept. 28th and a lump sum raise scheduled for Sept. 29th. I had forgotten it was so close. This year seems to be flying by! I think part of the lump sum payment is going to purchase some Yarn Love yarn. Smitten Yarns is running a buy any colour on any base special order sale until Oct. 1st. Another portion will go into the business.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading to the city for an appointment with my oncologist for my two year check up. I’m worried. I’m trying not to worry but I’m afraid my ultrasound two weeks ago may have found cancer again. I know it was an hour long ultrasound and she was measuring every lymph node in my neck. She was very thorough. I keep hoping that’s the normal protocol for CancerCare ordered ultrasounds. I’ll get my results on Wed.

Mira and I walked to the mailbox this evening. Inside were three parcels! I can home and tore into them. It was like it rained yarn in my living room!

Ouch!!!

Ouch!!!

I felt very odd this morning walking out the door. For the first time in months I was wearing something other than sandals on my feet! Autumn has arrived in my small town. Leaves have been turning yellow for a few weeks. I turned on the heat last night as I was cold knitting in the living room. The temperature last night dipped below zero!!! That’s 32‘F for my American readers! So this morning I wore socks and ankle boots for the first time since spring. I also wore my Knitting Den Lacy Baktus. I contemplated fingerless mitts as I started walking to work. But before I could pull them out of my bag my boss pulled up a block away and asked if I’d like a ride! YES, my fingerless mitts live in my bag! I live in the North! Any day of the year could be cold enough for mitts!

On the drive to the city Sunday I started reading the Charting Your Stars course by Tara Swiger. This is the first course I am taking on the Starship. It basically helps you create a business plan for the next year. On the drive back I started reading her book, Market Yourself.

The ultrasound was harder than I thought. I had to hold my neck in odd positions for about an hour. It was very painful afterwards. We left the city shortly after my appointment. Within an hour I had to take medication as I was in so much pain. I called in sick the next day as it was so bad I was nauseous. Moving my head was agonizing. Fortunately I had an appointment with my physician on Wednesday. Five trigger point injections later, my neck is feeling much better.

But today, it’s my right shoulder! It burns and every time I move my upper arm pain shoots down and my hand goes numb followed by extreme pain. I had to take another pain pill. It did improve with the meds but didn’t go away completely. I just want to have a pain-free day without medications!

This weekend, I plan to spend time in the Starship; do Charting Your Stars; knit a lot; and hopefully write up a pattern. And the usual groceries and laundry!

A Starship Adventure!

It’s been a busy few days-at least it feels that way!

I re-thought my ebook idea. The original just wasn’t feasible for this winter and I don’t want to hold the designs until next fall! I worked out a rough draft with my new plan. I am able to use two design concepts and a design in progress. Now to knit and write the patterns. I’d like to still get a few designs out in the next few months-preferably before the Indy Gift-A-Long!

I got it to the Starship!!!!!!!!!!!

Before you think I’ve gone crazy-I’m not! I got into Tara Swiger’s Starship Adventure! This is a great experience for a new creative business. I’m in the orientation stage right now. I’m familiarizing myself with the setup and reading threads in the forum. This weekend I hope to start my first course.

My glasses are great and so light! I didn’t realize how heavy my older set were. I also didn’t realize how blurred things were until they were crisp and clear. Here are some photos:
OLD
image
NEW
My New Glasses

This Sunday I’m heading to the city for an ultrasound my oncologist ordered. He wants it done there by his team as they are better trained at spotting abnormalities that may be reoccurring Cancer cells. The test is Monday but as the city is 5 hours away Mum and I are going in the day before. It gives us a little shopping time too!