Taking stock….and stock taking

Since last i posted (and I’m glossing over the many months) I’ve been at the sticky end or removed by one from birth, death, promotion, resignation, moving house, 16-hour working days, missed holidays and enforced separation. Just as well nobody said it would be easy. Or indeed fair.

But a new year means a new start, and everyone has to start somewhere. And this is as good a way as any.

With some new plans in place to procrastinate less and craft more I needed to literally take stock, having covered off the metaphorical side. I find when my things (be it work, crafts, heck, even the inside of my car) is messy or disorganised, then that’s my headspace. Clear the decks and I’m a whole different bunny, ready to hop right in there and get on. I needed to sort out my multiple craft stashes, make them organised and really find out everything I actually had.

Now, I’ll admit it. I’m a geek. I like databases. I spend quite a lot of time trying to break the one we use at work. I’m so good at it, that sometimes I’m actually asked to do just that. So I decided that was what I needed – a nifty database to catalogue my stash.

And after a good half hour of googling, I finally found one. Sortly. Top name. It’s IOS only, so sorry if you’re not, but trust me; if you have things you need to keep track of, this is what you need. It’s simple to use, but highly personalised too. You can set locations, sub locations and then you list the item by name. Add an image, you can even add quantity and price, plus there’s a section for notes, so you can add whatever extra info you need – such as where it was purchased etc. Tag it and it’s as searchable as all giddy up. SO now, if I have a fancy to craft something in a specific colour – bam, search ‘green’ and everything green pings up to inspire me. Fancy making a keychain charm but not sure if I’ve any lobster clasps? I know now.
Not having to waste time hunting, or checking means I can decide to do something…and then just do it. And I’m really hoping that’s the push I need.

So I’ve taken stock and now I’ve done my stock taking. The new year stretches before me and the opportunities await.

What’s your year shaping up to be?

would’ve, could’ve, am

I had three things to achieve this weekend (aside from the usual Unholy Trinity of housework, shopping, laundry, I mean). I had to:

20140111-212526.jpg
make mince pies. Yes, I AM that weirdo that likes them all year round and not just at Christmas.

20140111-212654.jpg
make a start to sewing my Christmas present from my little brother and sister-in-law-elect

20140111-212811.jpg

and I had to start and preferably finish, something from this, which I bought at a book fair at work. Not least because I also bought a varied crafts book, and I’ve vowed not to even take it out the bag until I’ve finished one item from the knitting one. Tough love time. Because I know that I am way too much of a “why finish one project when I could start a second” girl.

Confession time.

I haven’t made mince pies. I would’ve, but the supermarket had some at half price, so I bought those instead.
I haven’t started sewing the cutest hedgehog in the known universe. I could’ve, but only got as far as reading the instructions to cut the pattern out and I needed a hard surface to do that, but by then we’d lit a fire, and Toby was in the room and…..hmmm.
I haven’t start…NO WAIT, I AM!!!! I AM KNITTING SOMETHING FROM THIS BOOK!!! A pretty lacy scarf. which I only messed up the first row of the four-row pattern twice, before nailing it. Yarning over twice before a slip slip knit was not being my friend. But we had a little chat and we’re good.

I will update my progress tomorrow…but I’m worried I may get distracted by our unexpected supermarket purchase…

20140111-213802.jpg

Oh it’s a fun-packed life here!

Christmas Bonus

A non-crafty post, but I’ve had the worst commute home and feel the need. I don’t like driving, which is a bit unfortunate, given that I drive for an hour to get to work. But 4 years down the line I’ve become used to it. Sort of. Today on the way home, the main road was closed. Luckily, the diversion (and I’m using the word in its loosest term) took me to a garden centre I knew, so I pulled into the car park for a bit, then had a wander around.
After 15 minutes, I cam out and watched the traffic to see if it was still being redirected – hurrah, back to normal. I rejoined the main road, but we crawled at about 5mph for a couple of miles….only to be diverted again. The short version is that I had to drive for an hour on a muddy narrow road, blindly following the cars in front and hoping they (a) knew where they were going and (b) were going the same way I was. I know the mot important thing is that I got home safe, but i’m sooooooooooo tired now. So I wanted to remind myself of a good thing that happened last week – a Christmas bonus.
For those in the UK, you’re more than likely familiar with Lakeland i love them! I love the products, I love getting the catalogues and can spend hours browsing their website. But the best thing about them? Their customer service. It is so good. And, alas, quite rare here! I placed an order on New Year’s Eve…but disaster! There was a snaffu at the warehouse and the wrong order was packed in my name, and I received someone else’s order a few days later. Literally as I went to phone them, they phoned me, as someone else received mine and had called them. They redispatched the order straight away, sending it next day delivery even though that costs more and I hadn’t paid for that, and the truly fab thing? They told me to keep the first parcel, as an apology for the error. Two dinky microwave saucepans, two cute whisks and toaster tongs! We made the best hot chocolate EVER in the pans, whisked to bubbly perfection (admittedly, the cointreau we added helped too!).
So I had to wait another day for my original order – so what? The extra bonus made it worthwhile. And sometimes you need to forget about the bad (a messed up order, a stressful delayed journey home), and focus instead on the flip side (an extra gift, a safe eventual arrival).
Get flipping!

20140107-212730.jpg