Focus – Week 2

I’m on a roll!  I work on my Focus post in the beginning of the week, and it helps me to plan on what I want to get done during the week.  I edit as I go for what I accomplish (or don’t as it may be!), and it is actually  helping me stay on track.

My accomplishments this week

Focus Photo –

This week’s photo(s) is on getting the house back in order from the holidays.  It is a bit of a contrast.  After the holidays it is a long hard draw to springtime with more daylight and warmer temps.  It has been pretty cold here the last few weeks.  Winter tends to make us all just want to stay home and hibernate.

Photography related is the repair of my Nikon 18-200MM lens.  I finally got it sent in this week after it having broken last spring.  It was basically an expensive paperweight.  I think it broke due to being on my camera all the time in various bags on the way to sports.  I will see how much it will cost to repair…hopefully it won’t be too outrageous, but they quoted me $300.  I’m hoping they quote high so they don’t have to come back to you for more.  I don’t like tossing things…I’d rather get them fixed instead of adding to the landfills.  Hopefully the fix doesn’t take too long, but I haven’t had it for close to a year so no rush (and no sports right now!), right?

Sewing –
  • My 52 week sewing challenge for the week was to sew something from the last fabric you purchased.  That was my lovely bamboo jersey tunic I posted earlier this week.

Next week’s challenge is Something to Make Sewing Easier.  This was a harder one for me.  I decided I’m going to make a fabric box to keep my fabric weights corralled.  They kind of go all over the place.

  • #makenine progress:

I did a small scale muslin of this skirt:

It was the wrong type of fabric, but it cemented what I need to do to make one for me.  The skirt has lots of angles and curves in it.  It will be a challenge to get all the measurements correct in the pattern.  I’m going to do the waistband different, too.  I was originally going to add elastic and lacing to the back, but I think now I will do a fitted drop waist with loops for a belt.  We’ll see.  I’m sure I’ll change my mind again.

  • I also volunteered for a couple of pattern tests.  I KNOW.  I wasn’t going to do that to myself, but they were a cute so I raised my hand.  I do have Monday off of work (supposedly), so hopefully I can get some things off my plate.


  • Finally got these pants finished up for the boy.  He doesn’t get much sewing wise.  Next time I will do the waist differently.  It doesn’t look the best inside.

House cleaning –
  • This was the Christmas decoration take down weekend.  I really need to go through the boxes and get rid of stuff, but this is the wrong time of year for it.  I needed to do it when I was putting things up so the places that take donations would have someone to give them to for the holidays.  I will try to remember to make that happen next year.
Time with family –
  • What cleaning up Christmas isn’t quality time??
Health, exercising, making healthy meals –
  • Exercised 0 times this week.  My goal was three times on the elliptical.  It was another pretty busy week at work and the burnout was real.  I did however shovel the driveway and clean all day on Saturday, so I think I can say that I got some exercise in.
  • This week was a lot of fast dinners, which don’t necessarily translate to healthy.  I wanted to use up some of the freezer food I had, so it doesn’t go to waste.  This at least means I didn’t eat a lot at dinnertime.  I generally like good food, which doesn’t equate to this type of food.  I also don’t usually pull out a bottle of wine to have with chicken fingers, so less alcohol was consumed, too.  By Wednesday I was pretty much done with the week, so we had pasta and wine, so not really helpful to the diet.  It is bad when it is Monday and it feels like Wednesday.
Creative Design – Week 2
  • I don’t know that this really counts as creative design, but I made a journal.  Actually I made it mostly last year, but never finished it up and ordered it.  Yes, I seem to just be finishing projects, but at least I am getting stuff done!

I made my planner so it has a master to do list, monthly list for activities, dinners, working out and stuff to sew.  It also has some blank pages for whatever else I want to put in there.  Mine will likely be sports schedules and parents names.

Here is the digital file of it.  I ordered it through Blurb and of course I ordered it the day before a sale at full price.  Story of my life.  If you like it, you can order it here.  Join their mailing list and you will get e-mails for their sales.  Don’t be me…wait for a sale.  This is very much personalized to me, but this is something you can do for yourself, too.  I just made the sheets in Excel, made them pdf files and uploaded to Blurb.  It worked great!

  • As for Illustrator, I know the journal above could have been done better in that program.  I watched some You Tube videos, so I learned a few things in it, at least.
Reading –

I finished up Nevernight, so now I need to figure out what book is next.  The Nevernight series looks like it will be three books, with the second one out now.  I’m deciding whether to buy it or wait until I can get the rest of the series.  I’m sure I’ll buy it. 😉  I had started on another book that I got for Christmas 2016, so I think I will pick that back up…it’s a Japanese Steampunk book so should be interesting.

Week two is wrapped up.  While this is probably incredibly boring for anyone to read, it is helping me to focus on what I want to get done during the week.  It’s what I need right now…a bit of a push and forum to write out what I got done and what I need to get done.  Accountability, if you will.

Focus – Week 1

I am going to add yet another weekly post (OOTD being at the beginning, so not sure how weekly it will end up being).  Several years back when I was largely into photography there used to be weekly and annual prompts people would follow to give themselves a creative impetus to go out and take photos.

I am going to choose a word for this year, and not only will it be a photography challenge, but a self-improvement challenge.


I don’t know about the rest of you, but as the world has gotten more connected, I have lost my focus.  I know it seems like I get a lot done, but I also spend a lot of time randomly browsing the internet.  This effects me at home and work when  I should be focusing on more important tasks.

That is the short list of things I want to get done.  I also want to clean out all the excessive crap in our house we don’t use, figure out how to do a resume after 17 years of not having done one, exercise, find some fun things to do with the family, teach the kids to cook, etc, etc… the list goes on.

I would also actually like to read.  If I am productive enough in my other pursuits maybe I won’t feel like I don’t have time to read all those books piling up in my Nook and in our library.

My accomplishments this week:
Focus Photo –

This photo symbolizes the end of the holiday season with the wilting rose in this centerpiece.  It was a long holiday season, but it seemed to have gone by very fast.  It was full of gatherings with friends and family we don’t see often enough.


Sewing –
  • Over the break I had cut up some items to get sewn up, so I started working on those.  I really don’t need a lot of clothes right now, so there is no hurry in any of it.  It is kind of nice to not have a fire drill with sewing.  There have been some sewing pattern tests this week that last year, I would have likely volunteered for, but not now.  I don’t need the stress.

I am participating in a 52 week sewing challenge, and next week’s challenge is to sew something from the last fabric you purchased.  I had purchased a load from Nature’s Fabrics on Cyber Monday, so I am using the grey bamboo jersey in a new pattern hack.  Here is my “unboxing video” of that fabric.  Yes, I went there. 😉

The first week was something soft & warm, so I made two rice warmers and two flannel covers for gel ice packs for my Grandma Jo that broke her arm.  Should have maybe written down the measurements I used.

  • I also put together my #makenine list for the year, which is basically nine things you want to FOCUS on getting made.  Perfect for my challenge for myself this year!

It is basically a push to get me to make things I have been wanting to make that I’ve had fabric for forever, or that have just been on my “I really want to make that!” list. Some will be ones I draft and some will be patterns I already own. These should all fit into my current closet pretty well.

– The first top is just a nice black knit tunic top basic that will work for so many outfits.
– The second is a Vivienne Westwood copycat. I’ve had that buffalo check for at least a year waiting on this skirt
– The third black top is a nice cross front top. Not sure if I want to do woven or a sturdy knit yet. It will be something to wear when it gets warmer with cropped pants and heels. My butt needs a lot of squats right now, so that is my camouflage.
– The fourth I already basically have cut out. It’s a little different, but I love how the buttons dress up the front. Need to order the buttons yet.
– The fifth is a pair of cream wide legged trousers that I have had the fabric for about 4 years. Need to get that made!
– Again fabric and pattern have been sitting there for a faux fur vest.
– I really love those structured bolero jackets, so I’d like to give it a shot. I also like these in knit with a hood, so maybe two versions.
– I’ve had this skirt saved for many years. I have a stock of black pleather right now and various pieces of black ponte, so time to tackle it.
– This last one is a fabric I designed and printed it at Spoonflower in satin. I originally was thinking a pencil skirt, but I am going to do a wide waistband with a slight A-line to it. It will be lined.

Now to just get these all made up before the end of the year!

House cleaning –
  • Yeah, this week was a bad week to start this type of challenge.  I worked until almost 7 most nights, and then we hosted a family Christmas party on Saturday.  Sunday I went in to work to try to get what I needed done.  The house was cleanish for the party, though!
Time with family –
  • Well, we hosted a Christmas party for the hubs side of the family, so we had a lot of family time.  It was a firedrill getting things ready, like usual, but it was nice to see everyone.
Health, exercising, making healthy meals –
  • Exercised 0…ZERO  times this week.  My goal was three times on the elliptical.  This is what happens when I choose the busiest time of the year at work to start a plan.  Next week will be better.
  • I made some healthy meals and brought salads to work for lunch 4 times this week.  I also cut back on the alcohol, so baby steps.
Creative Design – Week 1

Full disclosure…I drew the Phoenix last year, but I did make the coordinate this week.  I will likely be using my existing designs to create new patterns.  I needed to create a new brush folder for them in Photoshop.  I got a new computer in December so I somehow lost all the brushes I had made with my designs.  I spent an hour making a new brush folder with the ones I could find.

This week I also made a new watermark brush pattern.  I figure I should  PROBABLY make it not so easy to steal my designs.   The design here is one of my drawings that I warped along the text.  I’m not sure if I should go with “Stylin Stacy Designs” or “StacyCK Designs” or “SCK Designs”.  If I do end up going into business, I should probably pick a name…

As for Illustrator, I made sure it was loaded on my computer and opened the program. 😀

Reading –

I finally finished this book this week, which I started at some point last year.  It was an interesting read, and shouldn’t have really taken me that long.  I am not a big non-fiction reader, but I would like to read more of that this year.

I am also working on finishing up Nevernight.  I got 2/3 way through it over the holidays.  It is a pretty good book about a female assassin in a fictional land of 3 suns.  She’s out for revenge!  He has a lot of little asides/stories/history of the land in the bottom of each page in small type, so it is taking longer than anticipated to get through it.

I have also been writing a book, but barely worked on it last year.  I’d like to put more words to pages.  It isn’t something I ever intend to publish, since I don’t really think I am a good enough writer.  It is just a fun project for my imagination.

Week one down in the books, and I am hopeful of keeping up with this project.  I know that some weeks I likely won’t, so I am prepared to give myself some grace in not getting to everything.