Check-In 2017: Doin’ real good so far.

So far so great on the getting back on track for the new year. I had every intention of writing a post yesterday to get back in the habit of posting weekly. I didn’t even realized I’d missed my self-imposed deadline until this morning. Whoops.

So let’s give this another shot.

What I’m working on: It took a few hours spread over a couple days, but I finally got my design elements collection mostly sorted out. I have tons of texture images, clip art, brushes and fonts that needed labeling and put somewhere that I could actually find them and use them. It was some extensive digital organization. (And one of the few times I miss having a Mac at home. I feel so much more comfortable with the way OSX’s file trees work. Oh well.) I haven’t started on Valentine’s stuff yet. I’m hoping to do that this weekend (even though we’ve got a lot going on). I’m almost wondering if I should just skip ahead to St. Patrick’s Day, springtime and Easter. But I guarantee I’ll be in the same boat this time next year, Re: Valentine’s Day.

I’m considering setting up a Google calendar with my shop email address so I can set alerts for things months in advance. My current bullet journal setup is good for a month at a time, but not for months and months ahead of time. I’m also thinking of switching from bullet journalling to a more traditional planner set up once I fill up my current notebook. Which might be this coming December, so hey. That’s convenient.

What I’m playing: Here’s why I forgot to do anything productive last night — after spending a week watching the husband person play, I finally started my own game of Final Fantasy XV. I haven’t gotten very far, mostly just the tutorials and the opening story stuff. But I’m very much looking forward to it. Hopefully that Florence + The Machine cover of “Stand By Me” makes another appearance. (It probably will. And I’ll cry harder than I did at at the end of FFX.)

What I’m reading: I went to the library and picked up The Dressmaker, our new book club book and the second volume of The Complete Chi’s Sweet Home. Chi is set to become my favorite character in anything ever.

And that’s that. Here’s hoping I’m more on the ball next week.

 

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A New Year’s Check-In

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WordPress was kind enough to let me know that I’ve had my blog for a year. It was supposed to be part of my New Year’s resolutions. I kind of dropped the ball these past few months, though. Work, life and the holidays got the better of me. But my Christmas vacation is winding down and I’ll be back to the real world soon. That also means getting back to work on the blog.

What I’m (going to be) working on: My first priority is going to be getting some Valentine’s Day stuff up in the shop. I should already have some up there, but I’m going to try and get started on that this first week of the month. Then I’m going to focus on some more blog stuff. I got so lazy that there’s things I have photos for that I never wrote about. I think I’m finally going to get to my cooking feature and maybe some more day-to-day stuff. You’ll notice my KonMari posts kind of petered out, but I did mostly finish up that project. I think I just wasn’t interested enough to blog about it. (But hey, decluttering is nice and I recommend it. Even if it doesn’t make for riveting reading.)

End of the year reading recommendations: I got a lot of nothing done this past month, but I did do more reading than I have in a while. I finished up Shadow and Bone for book club, and really enjoyed it. I’ll probably read the rest of the series early this year. I also read Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman and also loved it. I really wish I’d had this book about 15 years ago. I love Lindy West and I absolutely recommend this book for women of all ages and shapes. And finally, I got Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 1 as a present and I love it so much. It’s the sweetest little manga about a kitten and her adoptive family. They’re short and adorable and excellent feel-good stuff. Heartily recommended for when you’re feeling stressed out by the world. Next up for me will be finishing the last two Neopolitan Novels, finally.

Games of the year: I don’t know that I’ve played that many games this year, so I’m not really going to be able to give a good overview of everything that came out. But, go play Stardew Valley. For real. It’s topped almost every list and it really is great. I’m probably going to play some when I get this entry posted. I’m still working on Pokemon Sun, but I’m enjoying it. I’m just a super slow Pokemon player. The husband person got Final Fantasy XV for Christmas, and I’ve been watching him play a lot of that all week. (Quality couch time.) I’m going to start it myself when he’s back to teaching evening classes and I have the PS4 to myself. But from just watching it, I kind of love it. It’s kind of like one of those Japanese dating sims, but with more swords and you don’t actually get to date one of the boys. (Although I have to admit that Gladiolus is kind of my video game boyfriend. For right now.)

She’s crafty: I’m hoping to get more crafting done this year. I’d like to do more paper crafting, finish up the five embroidery and cross-stitch projects I have going and teach myself to knit socks.

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But first, I have to finish putting this quilt back together. It’s my great-grandma quilt that’s made an appearance before. This time it’s getting a complete overhaul. I took it completely apart, cleaned and patched it up and then my mom showed me how to put it back together. I’m still in the process of sewing the three layers together with little bits of yarn and then I’ve got to redo the binding. Gentlemen, we can rebuild it.

That’s it! A little bit of it, anyway. Big plans for the new year, but we’ll see what happens. A little bit at a time.

KonMari Step 3: Part 1 of 58

So, step 3 of KonMari seems like a misnomer because it’s actually about a dozen small categories. And yet… it took me so long to get to it. The first part is CDs and DVDs. I started with CDs and basically just put everything in my iTunes and only kept physical copies of my favorite artists. Some of them are signed. I went through all of those a month or so ago, and lost my before/after photos. But here’s my current CD collection in its entirety:

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I still have half a CD binder full of jewel-case-less discs, though. Somewhere I know I’ve got a box of cd cases, but I can’t find it anywhere. We’ve looked in every box in the garage and the closets. I’m wondering if they’re at my parents’ house still.

Next was DVDs, which were easy. I’m not really one for buying DVDs in the first place. My husband even joined in and tossed some of his.

Here’s the keepers:

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And the go-ers:

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A lot of these are movies I really enjoyed, but will probably never watch on DVD again. I very, very rarely sit through a movie. And once is usually enough. And now with streaming, I’m even less likely to go looking for a DVD.

Sorting DVDs was a tiny portion of my Sunday. It wasn’t much, but it did make me feel productive, which I needed at the time. Who would have thought a fifteen-minute “throw it all away” session would be such a pick-me-up?

Next up: Toiletries, make-up and skin/hair products!

 

 

 

Check-In: August 4

Well, I thought it’d been a couple of weeks since I last posted. Turns out it’s been nearly a month. July’s always a  little crazy for me. One of my day job’s biggest projects of the year hits its crescendo in mid-July, which means I spend a little over a week stressing and working overtime.

This year, I followed that up with a week of being sick. Nothing serious — but stress, extreme comfort eating and probably too much naproxen sodium aren’t great for the guts. One prescription for Nexium later and I’m doing just fine. I’m eating better, meditating again and just doing a better job of keeping on track. I even bought a new notebook to restart my bullet journal. Let’s do this!

What I’m working on: I jumped back in with something simple for the shop — some rustic ticking-style stripes.

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I’m working on a new “product line.” I’m hoping to be able to launch a whole group of new printable products before the end of the month. It’s a little bit of an experiment, so we’ll see what happens. (I’m not telling what it is yet.)

What I’m reading: I’ve gotten just as behind on my reading as everything else, but I have started both Valley of the Dolls and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. Both really good books that are just a tooooooouch depressing. I might have to throw something fun in the mix.

What I’m playing: C’mon. You know what I’m playing.

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I caught a Ponyta in the Walgreens.

A day in the life.

Let’s talk time management. Or lack thereof. I’ve got a real problem with coming up with more ideas that I can start and starting more projects than I can finish.

Here’s what my typical weekday looks like:

11 p.m.-4 a.m.: Sleep.

4 a.m.: Get up and pee. (I’m very hydrated.)

4:05-5:30 a.m.: Sleep.

5:30-6:45 a.m.: This is a mysterious hour. I have access to it. I could exercise during it. I could meditate. I could have a quiet cup of coffee on the couch and watch the sun’s first rays filtering in through the trees. But, it’s also the hour my bed is at its most comfortable. So. You know. Sleep.

6:00-6:45 a.m.: Hit snooze over and over and over.

6:45-7:30 a.m.: Get up, shower, put just enough makeup on to make myself look awake, get dressed, have breakfast, run out the door.

7:30-8 a.m.: Commute to work. Prime podcast time.

8-11:30 a.m.: Work.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: I’m lucky enough to get a whole hour for my lunch break. I usually eat and read, then do a 15-20 minute meditation in the car and sometimes run an errand or two.

12:30-5 p.m.: Work.

5-5:30 p.m.: Commute home.

5:30-6:30 p.m.: If the husband’s home, we have dinner and watch a little TV. If he’s working, I’ll exercise and then have a frozen dinner or something.

6:30-7 p.m.: Clean up from dinner. Have a cup of coffee and catch up on email, make to-do lists for the next day, etc.

7-10 p.m.: So here’s the three hours I usually have to work with. This is the window where I can work on things for the shop, blog stuff, social media “marketing,” and video games. (I will admit… there are weeks when this is just video games. But there are also weeks when it’s just work. And I’ll get burned out and have to spend the next week in Stardew Valley to even myself out.)

10-11 p.m.: Brush my teeth, read for a while, go to sleep.

You’ll notice that I don’t have any time for craft projects. Those might get worked in on the weekends. And that’s one of the big things I’d really like to have more time for. I’ve stalled out on KonMari-ing the house because I’m reluctant to spend the time going through my CDs and DVDs. I want to do more experimenting in Illustrator, maybe go through a bunch of tutorials for techniques I never/rarely use. I want to draw more. The husband and I would like to have time to just maybe… go do something? But his schedule is just as crazy. We’re doing good to get one day a week where neither of us are working.

My weekends are more open, schedule-wise, but that’s also the time we see our family and friends and I’m not going give that up. It’s also our time for necessities like grocery shopping and laundry and other chores. So… what do I do? How do I create more time?

Maybe it’s not that I need more time. I just need to use it more wisely. Perhaps putting that mystery hour to use? (Let’s not get crazy.) I started bullet journaling at the end of last year, and that’s helped a little.

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I’d also like to improve my handwriting. There’s another thing I should take time for.

It’s at least helped me prioritize the things I’d like to get done first. I’m hoping by continuing to meditate, I’ll be a little less prone to distraction. Maybe I need to start looking into how extremely productive people get stuff done. Maybe I shouldn’t have rushed through this blog post in an effort to get to the next thing — at least that way I would have a better thesis and a more satisfying conclusion. Right now I’m kind of just stream-of-conciousnessing it.

 

Um.

The end.

 

 

Check-In: May 12

What I’m working on: My day job took over big time this week. It’s been super crazy. This is one of those times in the year when the publication stars align and I find myself absolutely swamped. I’ve stayed late a couple nights, and when I get home I’m just done. I’ve been doing just enough side work to keep the guilt at bay, but I still feel pretty unproductive.

How I’ve been feeling: Well, for the past three days I’ve managed to get out of bed early and exercise before work. Which is a major accomplishment for me. BUT, I get to work and feel overwhelmed and stress eat like whoa. So… I guess I even out a little? I’m hoping to drop the food and keep up the exercising when I start to feel life balance out again.

And that’s it for news, really. And just so this post doesn’t look so plain, here’s a photo I took of some pink oleander outside my work.

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Check-In: April 14

Let’s get right to it!

What I’m working on: Stella’s getting her groove back, y’all. I’m feeling better and I’m getting stuff done.

Another listing up on the shop…

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I’ve done a whole slew of these basic color combos, but I think I’ve gotten a couple of techniques improved. I’m just trying to keep my shop’s momentum going while I work on other things.

I’m doing some of the exercises in my new book to jump start the creativity engine. I’m working on one as we speak.

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I’m really, really fighting the urge to be a perfectionist about this. I’ve got to give myself permission to just do something as practice and maybe just throw it away in the end. Not everything has to be the start of something that gets finished. It’s okay to make ugly things. It’s the stopping that’s the problem. *deep breath*

Other things I’m working on: New blog features, shop listing categories and a couple personal projects.

How I’m feeling: Better. I’m trying to keep up with my exercise habit. And thank goodness. If not, my back would be a wreck right now. I haven’t been so good at the posture when I’m at work.

I’m also giving meditation another shot. I downloaded the Headspace app and I’m doing the free ten day trial. I have to say, a ten minute meditation session in my car on my lunch break really helps with the afternoon brain fog I get. We’ll see if I think it’s helpful enough to pay the subscription fee after these ten days…

What I’m reading: The Bees! It’s surprisingly intense for a story told from a bee’s point of view.

What I’m playing: So much Minecraft. I’m building a tower.

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