January 25 2018

2017 Crochet Wrapup

You may remember that my goal was to crochet and donate 26 hats to charity in 2017. Above is the tracker in my bullet journal showing the approximate color schemes of the 52 hats I crocheted. Quite a few of these hats were actually infant hats. The last 8 were 8 or the 10 hats I made for the American Heart Association’s Little Hats Big Hearts Project. See those hats shown below. I am so over solid red hats for the time being. These are all packed up and ready to drop off.

I made these 15 hats using as many bright colors as I could and donated to the church hat tree to be given to students in need at local schools.

I made the star ornament below to test a pattern for the YarnSlingers group.

It took 10 minutes to make the first star, but only 8 minutes to make the second one.


Here are some of the other hats I made in 2017

All but a couple of the hats I made were donated to various charities to either help children or the homeless. I love crocheting when I know it will help others. It helps me to de-stress. I almost never actually crochet at home. The secret is to find groups to meet and crochet with. I have three such groups I meet with once a month and I can make a hat during each two-hour meeting. I occasionally miss a meeting but only if I am sick or out of town. I also crochet while we are on our trips. It helps to focus on my hat making while hubby drives and it is a great way to relax on vacation.

I finally got around to packing up the 14 baby hats shown below that I made in 2015 for Click for Babies and getting those mailed off. The requirement for these hats was that they had to be at least 50% purple of any shade. They seemed to be in need of hats for boys which is why I chose to pair the purple yarns with black and gray. They were some of the first hats I made as you can tell by the fact that they are made entirely of single crochet stitch.

Do you set goals for charity crafting? What do you make? Let us know in the comments below.

January 18 2018

My 2018 SMART Goals

Here is the list of my 2018 Goals. I hope I did a better job of choosing SMART goals this year. I tried to choose goals I could track in my Bullet Journal. See the photos of the trackers below.

Spring Break Cabin Trip
College Avenue Stitchers (1st Saturdays)
FlyFests (2nd Saturdays)
Knit & Crochet It Forward (2nd Saturdays)
YarnSlingers (3rd Tuesdays)

Sleep (6 hours/night)
Water (6 cups/day)

Finish Cleaning Office
Backup Floppy Disks to Iomega Drive
Paint Table for Porch
Master Bedroom (work on it)

Pay Off Car Loan
Pay Off TAN
Pay ALL Bills on Time
Save $6,000 for London Trip

Donate 36 Crocheted Hats
Donate $ to NaNoWriMo
Gift Wrap for DAR (December)

Get Family Tree Maker (upgrade from 2006 version)
Update My Genealogy Websites
Setup a Way to Sell my Crochet Online

Read 100 Books
Complete Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge
Read 3 Personal Development Books
Update Resume

1 New Blog Post/Week (Thursdays)
Continue Five Minute Friday Posts

Continue to Add Content
Try to Film Bullet Journal Flip Through
Try Being On Camera with Someone for a Virtual Write-In

Complete NaNoWriMo (November)
Read 3 Writing Craft Books
Take 3 Writing Classes
Submit 3 Guest Blog Posts or Magazine Articles for Publication
Write 3 Contest Entries
Thursday Night Writing Group (see tracker near top of page)

I still have a couple more trackers I have yet to set up. I feel like I did a better job of setting goals or at least finding ways to keep track of the goals I set.

January 11 2018

My Year of Being FEARLESS

For the first time ever, I chose one word to guide me through the year. Never having done such a thing before, I wasn’t sure how it would work out. I am happy to report that it went very well. The word I chose to guide me through 2017 was FEARLESS.

In January, I chose to submit my first written contest entry. This was huge because I really hadn’t even been promoting my blog at that time and I rarely let anyone read my writing. I was fine with the idea of blogging because I know my posts weren’t being read by anyone and I saw no reason for that to change.

Enter February, where my idea of being fearless included not only blogging, but also committing to the purchase of a domain name and moving my Weebly blog that no one was reading to the WordPress platform. It was a huge commitment but I told myself a fearless person would do it in a heartbeat, so I did it. I also bought a blogging course so I could do it without embarrassing myself too badly.

As part of blogging and trying to do it well, I read that each blog post should have a graphic to go with it and grab the reader’s attention. I also read that it would be best to use graphics that you created or photos that you had taken. I take photos all the time, so no problem, right? So I heard a lot of bloggers were using PicMonkey to create graphics, or at the very least to add text to their photos. So I spent an entire Sunday playing around with it and taught myself the basics of using PicMonkey. I even used it to design myself some business cards and ordered them too while I was at it. If I was going to be fearless, I needed a business card, right? Continue reading

January 4 2018

2017 Goals Wrap Up

Way back in January 2017, I shared my 2017 SMART Goals. The year has flown by and it is time to see how I did on those goals.

Here are the goals I set at the beginning of the year:

1) Do a cabin weekend DONE!
2) April trip DONE!
3) Annual Hockey Trip for the kids’ birthdays DONE!

FITNESS GOALS: (These are examples of how NOT to set goals.)
1) Get 6 hours of sleep a night (170/365 = 46%) See tracker below.
2) Drink 6 cups of water a day (273/365 = 74%) See tracker below.
3) Continue using MyFitnessPal app (323/365 = 88%)

1) Clean out my home office (3/4 done with pics to prove it!)
2) Declutter the landing DONE!
3) Declutter my clothes DONE!

1) Do some genealogy DONE! (One of the writing classes was called “Saving Your Family Tree” so I am counting that.)
2) Take three writing classes DONE! (I actually took 9 paid classes through the local writers center and 5 free ones at the local library)
3) Read for thirty minutes a day DONE! Read 93 books! (It is a rare day when I don’t read!) See Books Read 1 & 2 Below.

1) Pray daily DONE! (It is a rare day when I am not praying off and on all day.)
2) Read 15 inspirational fiction books DONE! (34 read)
3) Crochet 26 hats to donate to charity DONE! (52 hats total) See tracker below.   

1) Finish one of my previous NaNoWriMo novels (1st edits done)
2) Publish something DONE! (Guest Post on NaNoWriMo Blog 8/21)
3) Participate in NaNoWriMo DONE!

Continue reading

Category: Goals | LEAVE A COMMENT
November 17 2017

Excuse (Five Minute Friday)

Happy Friday! I know you are all plenty sick and tired of me talking about NaNoWriMo, but it is November and if you know anything about me, you will know this is my 5th year straight writing for the 50,000 word challenge in 30 days, it is what I do and that is my excuse. Hey, it is fun. Really, it is a blast! It is probably the hardest thing I do all year, but the most satisfying too. If you read my most recent blog post, you know all about how I was sick at the beginning of the month and how it took me until day 12 to catch up to where I was supposed to be. You also know I fell behind again right away. I am still behind. I could use any of those things as an excuse to quit. I could also use the fact that I’m not sure if I really have a clue how to plot or plan a fiction novel much less write one as an excuse and it would be a valid one. I could say it is too hard, I don’t know what to write, my story has taken itself in a different direction than I planned, my characters are not behaving themselves, they keep doing things I don’t understand and didn’t expect. Again, all true and all valid excuses. But I am not a quitter. I signed up for the challenge and I will win it. I have started lots of novels but never finished one. This is supposed to be the year I not only “win” the challenge, but also finish the novel during the month of November (I say that every year). I may not get that far, but somehow I WILL manage to write the 50,000 (or more) words before the month ends.

While I make excuses for so many things every day, there is no excuse for me not winning. Yes, I work full-time outside the home at a job during which I cannot write my novel. This month I have been working much longer days than usual and battled being sick for several days. Those excuses won’t cut it. I will spend every free, waking minute writing if I have to, but I will not make excuses for why I failed to get the writing done.

I am here to tell you that if I can win this challenge and write 50,000 words in 30 days while working full time and all those other valid excuses, then YOU can do things you probably don’t really think you can do too. In November 2013, when I “won” my first NaNoWriMo just before Thanksgiving, I felt like a million bucks. I was so proud of myself. I had so much confidence. I felt like I could do anything. I had just written more than I had probably written in my whole life combined. I had put my introverted self out there and gone to strange places I had never been before to write with strange people I had never met before. I found out that other people in my state, my city, my neighborhood are writers, I was not the only one who wanted to write a novel, but I am to only one who can write the novel I am currently writing. I am a winner. I AM a writer. I am not afraid of so many things I used to be afraid of because if I set my mind to it, I CAN DO ANYTHING! Mom always said it, but I never really believed her until November 2013.

So if you can’t find me and it is November, I am somewhere writing like my life depends on it, because the feeling I am supposed to write a book just won’t go away. God put it on my heart for a reason and it is my job to do everything within my power to figure out how to do it, learn everything I can and keep trying until the feeling goes away, I get it done, or I die trying. No excuses!

What could you accomplish if you stopped making excuse and got busy trying to get it done? I believe YOU can do anything if you set your mind to it. If you want to bad enough. If you quit making excuses.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Excuse
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.