A lot of thinking and a new plan

I recently have been thinking a lot about what I have achieved last year and actually what are my plans for this year. I have such a tendency of losing my focus on what I really want to do and then realize in the end that another year has passed. As well I was thinking about where this blog should be heading. I love the slowly growing number of readers but I think it might be quite boring for you just to read about my running projects and finishes.

A collection of some of my projects from 2018:

So for this year I have set myself a set of goals that I want to achieve, so that I can keep myself on track and check on the progress during the year. I actually got the idea from Emma from Emma Crafts Design who did pretty well with her goals last year that way. As well I will be posting more on the process and the learning behind it, so that those following might find some tips and tricks and avoid some pitfalls I am stumbling into myself.

So here’s my list for 2019:

1 big tatting project finished

I want to design and tat myself a pretty nice and lacy summer scarf – which will be the biggest project I have taggled so far in tatting. But it has been on my mind for quite some time and I never found a pattern that really was to my liking.

2 quilting projects finished

So this is a long runner – I love quilting but I only have successfully started several projects small and large but never really finished anything bigger than a coaster. However this year I want to finish my summer quilt (some more cutting and sewing and a lot of quilting left there) and my table set (only needs quilting but I have not decided yet, if I try machine quilting or rather do some hand quilting).

3 sewing projects finished

I want to get more into sewing clothes but never got further than buying fabric and printing out instructions. Also I have several plushies patterns that are waiting to be tackled. No way to run away this year – get that sewing machine to run wild!

4 new recipes tried

Last year was terrible concerning baking – I did not even bake Christmas cookies and for all other things I rather stuck to the same, already tried recipes. I have a long list of techniques I want to try out so this year I will try to tackle some of them.

5 WIPs finished 

I have still a lot of WIPs laying around that I really need to get working on. So I decided that I want to finish my Grinda shawl (finished already last week), the Havana blanket (down to the last 20 rows and the border), my knitted summer shawl, my No drama Llama (working on the body) and my Wacky Weave blanket (half the squares done).

6 new beading projects finished

I am currently collecting project patterns and beads for specific projects but just did not find time to do them. As well there are several new techniques that I want to try myself on. And – I am so ashamed – I still need to do the birthday present I promised my friend last year. She picked the pattern but I never did it ….

8 miniatures painted

I love to paint miniatures and have collected tons of them over the years. Recently my hubby funded several kickstarter projects for tabletop games and I myself the reproduction of Confrontation miniatures – a set that has been previously made by Rackham before they went out of business and have gorgeous details. With new minis on their way I really need to get some done and off my list. The Warhammer Quest minis never got further than being build …

9 times hand lettering practiced 

Hand Lettering needs so much practice and thought that I have not gotten into it much recently.

10 language session each month finished

My running buddy and friend asked if my hubby and I might join her on her trip through China in 2 to 3 years. As she is speaking Chinese – a language that I never learned – this would be a great chance and we would love to grab it. However we plan to start in Moscow with the trans siberian railway, so I decided to contribute to the team by brushing up my Russian. I want to do at least 10 sessions each month – let’s see how this will be going.

11 training runs each month 

We are running the relay marathon this year again and also a lot of 10k are on this years list. I need continuous training to get better. As well we are aiming for a half marathon next year so I really need to up the distance run each month.

12 books read and review written

Reading is a passion of mine but last year was terrible concerning the progress. I was let astray by all my facebook groups and was much more checking those on the way to and from work then reading the book I always carry with me. I also had a book review blog once that I always wanted to merge with this one but never got to it. I think one book a month is a good plan to get it started …

52 pictures taken and post-processed

This actually should be an easy goal… I usually just snap a quick picture of my projects with my Ipad but am quite disappointed with the quality.  But I am just too lazy to switch on my computer in order to use my big camera to shoot in RAW and post-process them – and wait for all the windows updates being processed (hate those the most). So I finally bought myself an SD card reader for my Ipad and set up Lightroom CC. The later I wanted to do already for a year as I would love to upload and process pictures already during my travels rather than having the whole work at the end of each vacation (and never really doing it right). That way now I am set to use my camera for craft pics too!

So, that’s that. There will be a lot more going on for sure – a tatted heart exchange in January I am participating for example or another bout of upgrading my crafting areas – but this will give me at least a frame to align my projects most of the time.

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More Havana and the end of race season

Last week I was not able to crochet as much as I liked. It’s difficult if you have only the evenings for private stuff – and if some of those are not craft related than I cannot reach my own personal crochet goals. I was able to finish part 5 though and start a little bit on part 6. So by now I am delayed by one week as everyone else is already working on part 7 that was release today. The fun thing when crocheting this blanket is that by now I am able to snuggle up beneath it while still adding sections ;). I checked with my hubby and it seems that it might still end up too short to cover him though. Not sure if I am extending it by adding another section or by just creating a bigger border. I will have to see as soon as the border pattern is out how easily it can be adapted.

Since three years the “Er&Sie Lauf” marks the end of the race season for my hubby and myself. It’s a pretty short relay race with only 4 k for each on of us but it is usually pretty much fun. I was preparing for this race for a couple of weeks now with continuous runs for 30 to 50 minutes aiming of course for a better result than last year. Race day was nice weather – not too warm and not too cold, no rain but no blazing sunlight either. Just perfect racing conditions. I went off first and it started pretty well – felt relaxed and easy just checking my watch now and again. Half way done I passed by my hubby and my running buddy cheering me on which gave me confidence to push on. Afterwards my hubby told me, I looked a little worse for the wear but I actually felt quite okay at that time :). In the end I was successful in running this year’s personal best with 30:16 minutes for the 4 k – a pace of 7:34. I was so proud of myself as I was almost 3 minutes better than last year and even 1 minute better than the year before! However only another runner can understand that little frustration concerning those tiny little 16 seconds that crashed my dream of running it under 30 minutes :). But let’s see what next year will bring …

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Havana Part 5 – not quite there yet …

This week I was binge crocheting to catch up with my Havana. I did have two days off, so I thought that I might actually finish part 5 on time for part 6 being updated. However too much crocheting left me with a sore hand and I had to take a break. I did not know that you can get blisters from a crochet hook 😂. I so enjoy the pattern though and celebrate the changing of colours all the time. Now the pinks start and the whole blanket looks gorgeous already. It is too big to shoot without draping it over something, so I created a collage instead. Still some colours do not show as in real – the blues are more bluish and not as bland as in the picture.

So I just gave up trying to be on time and did some more clean up of my craft room. I now have all my yarn and fabric stored in identical boxes. It looks so tidy and I can find whatever I want now! Creating will be so much fun again! Now I just need to finish my bead storage cleanup and then I am all set – until chaos kicks in again 🙂

Havana Update

Last week I was ill and therefore have not been able to post. It all started with terrible headaches that just made me want to crawl into bed and hide from light and sounds. I was not able to craft a lot – no sense in trying to crochet when you cannot focus on your stitches.

However I was lucky that there was a public holiday on Friday, so I was able to play some catch-up. I am not so terribly behind that I loose focus to continue. As well I am enjoying it so much whenever a new colour starts. Now I am heading into the pink section and I just cannot wait until I see the final piece. I decided to try the production line concept during catching up – work two rows at the same time. It works really well and speeds up the process a little bit. So instead of 48 single rows I have to only crochet 24 doubles. Though I just might be cheating my own mind 😉

Sadly in the pic I took the colours look different to the real looks. I had to shoot the picture in artifical lighting which does not help at all. I hope that next week I am able to take a pic in natural light, so that you can also enjoy the colours I have really chosen. It’s getting difficult to take a picture of the whole project though as now it starts to get really big 🙂

Havana CAL and getting ready for painting

The Havana CAL is keeping me pretty occupied at the moment. With the increase in size it is really not so easy to fall behind too much. I finished part 1 in the middle of the week and now still need one more repeat of part 2 before heading to the next pattern. I love the colour transition and how the pattern transforms between parts though. Today I saw a preview of Tinna’s new pattern from her testers and I really need to do that too. Probably not a blanket but there was one cool idea of a table runner with that design.

Additionally I finally cleaned up my miniature painting area. It is getting cooler now, so it’s the perfect time to do some serious painting again. The table however is some kind of different universe where a black hole seems to dump all the crazy stuff. Usually whenever I want to paint, I am not able to do so without getting rid of all the chaos first. So this time I hope I will be able to fend of entropy long enough to finish some long runner projects.

My running practice is coming along well too. I have been practicing with my hubby this week as my running buddy was ill and this gave me some serious push. My hubby is much faster than I am but even though he was holding back really good, I was able to slightly increase my average speed and still be able to chat with him. I don’t even have sore muscles after my long runs at the moment. I think that if I am able to continue my practice that way, I might seriously hit some personal bests in the races this and next year.

Havana and running for a good cause

Last week I was busy, busy, busy as the new Havana CAL started. I have been looking forward to it as it is an amazing piece of art and it is the perfect pattern for an adjustable in size blanket. So I did some advanced mathematics and calculated the number of repeats needed for a blanket my hubby and I can snuggle up underneath together. It is pretty big and needs much more time than expected – so sadly I will be falling behind pretty soon. However I am totally in love with it already, even though I have not finished part one yet. Still 6 more rows until I can switch to the next pattern and colour. But look how it even looks lovely on the back side! Luckily all those ends will be covered by a border because I would be hard pressed sewing them all in….

My running buddy, my hubby and I have decided that 2020 will be out year and we will do the half marathon at the Vienna City Marathon. Therefore we started training for it already and decided to do some more races this and next year that will prepare us well. So on Saturday I did not have much time for crocheting as I participated in a charity race. Each mile run contributed to raising funds for research against cancer. My goal was to run through at least 50 minutes and aim for 6 miles. I ended up with 1 1/2 hours of running and 6 miles in total – a result I am really happy with as I restarted training only one week ago.

On Sunday a really good friend came for a visit so I rather chatted and crocheted and did not work on the pictures from my vacation. So sadly you’ll have to wait a little bit more before seeing some more vacation impressions. But I promise that I will work on them this coming weekend!

Summer in the city

It’s really hot here at the moment. Almost every day it’s 35 degrees which makes crafting really tedious. My crochet hook is sticky in my hands and even cleaning them over and over again does not help much. I know that we were all complaining about the cold in winter and should be happy about warm weather but I really prefer a temperature up to 28 degrees. I was able to finish my summer scarf nevertheless. I am still not happy with the color scheme of this bobbel – don’t know why I actually bought it as it is way out of my confort zone. I love the green and gray but the orange is just so not me. I can’t even blame the heat as it was much cooler when I bought it. I had hoped that it might grow on me during making but even finished just I can’t see myself wearing it. So I need to find someone who would be happy wearing it and gift it to her.

After that I comtinued on my diamond painting picture and might be able to finish soon. As well look forward to some more jewellery next week!