Feeling Christmassy yet?

The time is almost upon us!

So what gem am I about to write? Well, I’ve been feeling Christmassy since September. I completed and wrapped up all of my Christmas shopping in October, so well on schedule. Why start that early? Simple, it is cheaper, closer to the holidays things become more expensive and the winter months feel much much more expensive…

This weekend I will be doing my Fiancee’s Christmas wrapping for him… I am being paid in food so I don’t mind. But that is the thing I always forget, Christmas wrapping can make your back hurt and your patience run thin. I normally finish off all my Christmas wrapping early and end up in the lead up to Christmas doing my families wrapping for them, and it seems I now do the other halves too. I must be some kind of Christmas Elf.

But really, I encourage you all, who hate to think of Christmas until November or even December to begin your Christmas shopping earlier in the year, see how much money you can save and see just how many more things you can get up to in the lead up to Christmas or even in the sales with those paychecks no longer having to juggle the bills and the Christmas shop. It has saved me having to consider using credit cards or over spending in those winter months. Sure money is hardly a Christmas topic, but it will play a large part in what you are able to do.

I am a little Christmas coach/motivator/elf for the people around me.

The first thing I always suggest doing, write down a list of people you need Christmas cards for, and buy an extra 20 or so because you will forget someone… (Buy these in the January sales for bonus points and extra savings)

The second thing that can be done almost immediately after is write down all the people you have to buy Christmas gifts for. Next to their names give yourself a realistic budget of how much you can spend (or want to spend) on each person, total that up, re-evaluate. Shopping earlier in the year and keeping your eyes out all year round for Christmas gifts is a great way to see how much you can save…

January Sales Tip

Save roughly £100 or something like that earlier in the year, when the sales hit, use that to pick up a few Christmas presents cheaper than usual and put them away somewhere… I use a storage box and sort of hide it at the back of things so no one finds it, it’s a great way to stock up on things that can bulk up the Christmas gifts, buy with someone in mind and use it as a boost to their Christmas gifts as it wont be part of the budget (I recommend this method for your immediate family when it comes to sale shopping)

Plus if you save a little extra you might be able to snag that thing that you saw for yourself that you liked that no-one else brought you a bit cheaper…

 

Safe to say, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when I hit poundland, buy a tonne of battery operated fairy lights and gift bags… My room is currently filled with Christmassy gift bags ready to go to their future homes… I have a love of fairy lights and safe to say battery operated is a lot easier and lighter than electric cables. Plus, Poundland is great for getting and making DIY Christmas stuff when you butcher the decorations and go all Frankenstien on them…

Oh during Halloween I also pick up their coloured fairy lights (they do red, orange, green or purple) I tend to go with purple but I found the orange ones really cute this year, So you could in theory have a room lit up all in purple or a Christmas tree or something if you are doing a specific colour scheme somewhere, it is a great bulky buy and takes 2 AA batteries. Oh as for the battery packs… I haven’t worked out how to make those “pretty” yet… so get good at hiding them.

 

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Uncertainty

I am sure that I am not the only one who feels that, or uninspired, or unmotivated. Or in other words, it can be called doubt.

Lately it feels as though it could eat me alive. I am sure I am not the only one who feels that. I think that it is highly likely to be the cause of this writers block. It is all to easy to doubt yourself, doubt the things that you are trying to achieve. Being creative is not enough, it is doing something with it. It is finding inspiration in darkness and light and in any chance you can to find something that can spark the story you want to tell, that you didn’t know you wanted to tell.

I think emotional stagnation, being trapped in one feeling for too long is counterproductive to being able to write something, or do something that inspires you as a human, and others. I suppose that loving the fantasy genre, loving the idea that you can be your own hero is something important. Having a “real” job doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t make you happy.

Sure recently at work I’ve been able to come to peace with the idea I am selling my time to make someone else’s vision real. But I haven’t been willing to do that for myself. Is it easier to believe in an established corporation than to believe in yourself? Without a doubt. Betting on yourself, on what you want to achieve feels way more risky than going into work, selling your time and then coming home and relaxing and having a cup of tea. Perhaps it is time I make writing easier to get to, easier to do than pulling the knitting from the side of the sofa and watching Netflix.

Time to act on all those inspirational things I see on my instagram feed and start betting on myself more. Sure I might not be certain about a lot of things but I know without a doubt I am certain I am passionate about writing, I want to do myself justice. I want to be able to say to my kids one day, sure I doubted myself, a lot, almost all the time, but I knew one thing. If I didn’t try, if I didn’t push forward and learn and try again and again, I would never be really happy with myself. Doubting yourself is just life, but doing what you love anyway, doing it no matter how many times you fail, doing it and never giving up on something that you are passionate about and makes you happy (even if you “fail” spectacularly) that is living. That is believing in yourself. Even if it doesn’t sound like it.

Failing is a part of life, don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it and use it to make you better.

You can do anything… If you let yourself! 

I had forgotten about that reminder, I once wanted as a tattoo, I probably could do with the reminder permanently etched on me somewhere, just a little self belief and a little convincing and you can conquer the world and turn uncertainty into something entirely certain. A little refueling of passion never hurts.

May luck and adventure be on your side in this uncertain world.

Feeling a little inspired

After the wool haul I think I have spent a further £20 odd quid… I went to poundland and pound stretcher and boosted my little haul a tiny bit, but that is inevitable.

But all this wool, all these ideas… I think that is why I am curious about adding a new thing on here, something I want to call Knitter Knatter… I knit most evenings and I do try to do some while I watch TV simply because I need to make the time productive. So I am thinking of having the Knitter Knatter with all the knitting updates and make it a little like a knitting diary, how I am getting further on with it. What has been happening with projects, that kind of thing.

While writing is a massive passion for me, knitting is one of my favourite creative hobbies. It gives me something to do with my hands and sadly more often then not I am quite likely to spend my time knitting more than writing recently, simply because well, to be honest, it takes less effort to pull the needles from off the other side of the sofa than it does to go fire up the laptop and sort out diaries and books. Sadly I am still a lazy little git but I try to be lazy productive at the same time, not sure if that cancels out?

I think over the years I have experimented so much with this website, pure writing, ideas, bits and bobs. Don’t get me wrong I would love an agent/publisher but at the same time I want to express myself and make this site more personal. I think in order to make this feel more personal, I want to include the things that I am passionate about along side my writing. I know I am not the only knitter out there, and sometimes knitting can feel just as isolated as writing until you meet someone else who can do it and you just have that great common ground and sharing of information. I think its a wonderful thing to share, sharing hobbies and passions and advice is a great thing.

To tell the truth I am looking forward to finishing the goddamn jumper I have been working on that feels like its taken years but its one of those on and off projects. Sometimes you want to do it, others  it looks like hell on earth. I hope I never have to make the jumper again. I hate it… I think that will be a Knitter Knatter piece in the future.

But it is things like that, its perseverance, but also its multiple projects on the go at the same time, its what makes it such a great familiar feeling like writing. There is always something to be getting on with or procrastinating from.

Holiday Wool Haul!!!!

So after a trip to Seal Island Wools where I met the lovely owner and her son who were true wool officionados in my opinion.

I ended up adding knitting patterns that I don’t have in my small but growing collection. I wanted to get some very cute designs that were “easy knit” but small enough that I could make them and not go insane like I have been with that cable knit jumper that has been barely growing at all. Yes they are baby cardigans but no there is no “news” in that department. I just thought they were some really cute designs for “one day”…

Well I got some wool I am excited to make into a blanket (yes another one) but I can’t decide if I should do the spiral knit like the other one I am working on or to do a giant simple granny square blanket, I must admit I do like the granny square blanket idea that little bit more, however I think I should wait a little while to do that after I have finished the current spiral knit blanket in progress… however I have put a picture of the wool just below, its a gorgeous combi of mint green, lilac and cream.

 

I ended up buying a rather soft lemon colour to make a lemon yellow cardigan with ducky buttons just like I had when I was little, however I haven’t yet decided which pattern I want to do with it. I quite like them all and I don’t know what one I want to commit too but I am sure it will still knit up a gorgeous little cardi.

I also brought this very cute lilac speckled wool that I wanted to contrast with the minty green which I think would look great with that frilly cardigan in the patterns I brought. I wanted to do something rather cute and unusual and that wool combination looks perfect in my opinion.

So all together my little haul from my holiday… and yet I would love to get lots lots more wool so I think another trip to the shop is in my future! I loved how friendly the owners were and how knowledgeable and how passionate they were. I loved the sense of welcoming and friendliness and relaxed come sit and spend some time here feel that the shop had. It was certainly cozy and gorgeous and the wool on offer was beautiful and I could have spent a hell of a lot more there if I had the money I would have too… I had to sort of stop myself going crazy in there considering it had to be carried home too!

 

The 2018 Project

Well the cable knit jumper now has a front and a back, its the sleeves that are driving me up the wall now.

I think I can safely say Christmas is wrapped up! YAY! So that means I have ticked off number 19! I feel better for it, especially as I am watching the prices begin to rise.

I have even begun writing the next big project for the site which ticks off number 23 😀 I am surprised that I get to tick off two of these goals now. Just one more complete tick off and I can say I completed my New Years resolution! I am so excited for the prospect of having completed it two years in a row for the first time ever!

 

24/7 Goals:

  1. Do Nanowrimo
  2. Write The Diary of Elliot Parker (4)
  3. Draft up book 2 of The Big Project
  4. Re-edit book 1 of The Big Project
  5. Edit book 2 of The Big Project
  6. Learn to drive
  7. See a West End show
  8. Complete at least one of the tattoos
  9. Improve on last year’s site views
  10. Keep learning guitar
  11. Create and keep a manageable writing schedule
  12. Look for/find an agent for The Big Project
  13. Finish the cable knit jumper
  14. Start and finish a cross stitch project
  15. Win the lotto jackpot
  16. Keep growing hair out
  17. Keep doing daily positive aspects
  18. Complete at least one minor savings goal
  19. Have Christmas wrapped up before October 31st
  20. Read around 12 books at least over the year for fun…
  21. Be more time efficient, come up with a better schedule.
  22. Fit into the blue dress again and go somewhere to celebrate it
  23. Begin writing the next big project for the site
  24. Enjoy 2018 as much as possible, be happy at every chance!!!!

6/7 goals complete!