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.

FOCUS

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.

The end of Kindergarten

Hard to believe, but the first year of school is done today, which seems pretty late.  It is due to all those random days off they take during the year.  I KNOW we didn’t have all those days off and we were usually out a few days after Memorial Day.

Kailan has really seemed to enjoy this year.  They have taken the kids on a few field trips, which is always fun for them.  The teacher has had a reading program, where they brought home books a few times a week to read.  Kai did pretty well with that, and now we just need to keep him reading over the summer so he doesn’t forget everything.  We have been really happy with his teacher this year, and hopefully Anya will get her, too.

He had peanut butter sandwiches from home just about everyday during school.  After we discovered that was pretty much all he was eating with his $4 lunches in those scant 15 minutes he is allowed, we decided to save a little moola.  Brian makes him a sandwich while he makes coffee in the morning, and he takes it in his little car lunch bag.

Next year will be first grade and the before/after school care at the elementary school.  They have one more summer at the daycare with their little friends, and then it will be goodbye to that familiar place.  I have really loved their teachers they have had over the years and care they have given our little urchins.  We have started using another one of their teachers as a sitter now, too. 

Life is going by so fast.  I know I say that often, but really…it is.  The first 6 years of Kai’s life has just flown by, and it worries me how fast these next years are going to come and go.  Our lives are so busy these days.  Right now Kailan has t-ball two days a week, both have swimming one day, Anya had dance on Saturdays (but now we are DONE…YAY!!), and next week I will started a bocce ball league with a friend on another day.  A bit too much on our plates right now, so hopefully summer doesn’t just fly by too fast.

Here are the gifts I made for Kailan’s teacher and assistant teacher.  Unfortunately, he informed me on Tuesday night that there were 2 assistant teachers, so I just didn’t get another one done.  No gift for the assistant teachers this year.  I feel guilty, but time just ran out on me.

It’s a luggage tag, a hot/cold neck wrap and a matching gift bag.

Here you can see the plastic layer over the top to hold a business card size.

Hopefully they like them!  Hopefully Kailan’s last day is fun, too. 🙂