I think somewhere inside is a gardener…

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My backyard after doing the mowing today. Photobomb courtesy of Granger. ;)

So, since I have been working my healthier, plant-based diet, I seem to have been infected by something… The desire to GARDEN. Yes, you read right. I want to work in my garden…

Previously to this, as I have probably told this blog before, I have been a lazy person by nature. I would prefer to curl up on the couch with a knitting project and a podcast or show on the telly. Not anymore it seems. I have mown my back lawn TWICE in the last two weekends because a) it needed it and b) I like the way it looks when it’s nice and short and flat and neat. Today I even hand cut the lawn edges out the front and mowed the front lawn, ripped out weeds and previously poisoned dead grass along the cracks between my house and the path around it (front and back!) and even SWEPT up after myself.  WHAT?!!

I now want to work my way around the back yard picking up all the dead stuff (from the above mentioned previous poisoning), clear out underneath and prune all the fruit trees in the yard, rake up all the old pits from the two peach trees we have and clear off the large paved area (what it’s there for I’ll never know, top left in my pic above) of all the dead leaves and dropped and dried olives from last season. We have some lovely looking peaches on our trees at the moment so I’ll need to head out and harvest some before the birds get them or they fall off the tree too.

Now, all of this is in direct opposition to my lack of desire to be in the sun (tanning and wrinkles, ugh) and my usual desire to do sweet F-A with my spare time, well except for knitting, TV watching and eating. ;) You know what else? I have even RESEARCHED how to grow a lisianthus that I was given as a gift (thanks mum! All the flowers have died by the way :( ) and how to make my own compost and raise seedlings. Again, WHAT?!!

I have asked my husband if we can go to Bunnings (an Australian gardening and hardware store) this weekend so I can get some proper lawn edging shears (I was using secateurs!) and some plants and seeds so I can start my edible garden.

I really don’t know what’s going on. Must be all the greens I’ve been consuming. But my garden is more tidy because of it and will hopefully be more beautiful and bountiful in the coming months.

Do you enjoy gardening? I’d love to hear about it!

Simplified Home Goals

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Picture taken from http://www.thehomealarms.com

My husband and I have a lot of stuff. A LOT of stuff. Picture a three bedroom home full of stuff, plus a 20×40 foot garage full of stuff. Yeah, I did say a lot. So, my goal for this year is:

  1. DECLUTTER – Get rid of stuff. Donate it, sell it, whatever, I don’t want it around anymore. Most of the stuff in the garage we don’t even know what’s there nor has it seen the light of day since we moved in February 2014. My husband is a complete pack-rat so I’m going to have to step delicately in a few areas. We rent so we never know when our lease is not going to be renewed (we’ve had two rentals sold out from under us in the last four years!) and if we have to move again, I don’t want to have to take all that we currently own with us. I want our home to be neat, easy to clean and a joyful, peaceful place to be. Not surrounded by stuff that feels like it’s closing in on you and makes it difficult to clean as you have to move everything just to clean it.

Is decluttering on your list of things to do this year?

Healthy Lifestyle Goals

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 1.37.14 pmThis is where most of my ‘change’ energy will be spent in 2015.

  1. SWITCH TO A PRIMARILY PLANT-BASED DIET – As it has been proven time and time again, human beings were made to be vegetarians. Our bodies can immediately recognise and use whole, plant-based foods. It dramatically reduces your chance of heart disease and cancer to eat a plant-based diet. And this is what I’m going to do.
  2. EXERCISE FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES, 5 DAYS A WEEK – And preferably longer sessions. As a mostly sedentary person, I figure 20 minutes is a good start and I’d like to build up to 30-45 minute sessions. I’m trying to make it a habit so I think 5 days a week is a manageable goal to aim for.
  3. LOSE AT LEAST 20KG (44lbs) IN WEIGHT – The above two goals should get me there. I technically have more like 35kg (77lbs) to be even close to my healthy weight range but I’m being realistic here. If I lose more than my initial 20kg, then I’ll be thrilled but I’m not going to beat myself up if I cannot lose 35kg.
  4. SPEND TIME MEDITATING – I have a natural tendency to depression and anxiety and just a few minutes of meditation a day does wonders to centre yourself and bring your focus back to the current moment.
  5. DO MORE YOGA – A lovely, stretched out, well oxygenated body makes you feel great, not to mention letting your body release built up toxins and your mind to focus on the moment. I’m aiming for at least one workout a week to start.

Do you have any health goals for 2015?

SEWING GOALS

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 1.29.12 pmPretty much I just have one sewing goal this year:

  1. SEW

I have not done a lot of sewing at all in 2014 and I want to change this in 2015. I want to finish a few WIPs and also start some more garments that I have thoughtfully decided upon, instead of making something on impulse then not wearing it because it doesn’t fit my style.

On the Colette Patterns blog, the Coletterie, they are doing an extension to their popular Wardrobe Architect series of last year where Kristen will be going through all the steps outlined in the original series of posts and building her new wardrobe through 2015. I am intending on following along and creating a wardrobe of garments I love, love wearing and that fit my style and look great along with removing garments that I just don’t dig anymore.

What are your sewing goals for this year?

Knitting Goals

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As knitting has become my primary craft, I thought I would talk about it first!

  1. KNIT FROM STASH – Having thoroughly cataloged my stash via Ravelry, I have 200 active items in my stash. And by active I mean they are still hanging around my house in some form, be it leftovers or brand new skeins. I also have 1,474 patterns in my Ravelry library. In 2015, my aim is to reduce my stash by knitting from yarn I already have and to knit patterns that I already own in my library. The exception being that I can buy new yarn or new patterns so long as I have finished any other WIPs and I am ready to cast on the new project straight away, and then finish it.
  2. HAVE A MAXIMUM OF 2 PROJECTS ON THE NEEDLES AT ANY ONE TIME – I am allowing myself to have one small and one large project on the needles at a time. I am through with having WIPs scattered around my house.
  3. BE MORE MONOGAMOUS – See (2) above.
  4. FINISH ALL WIPs – Again, see (2) above.

I figure, using what I have instead of buying more will assist with two of my main goals this year, one being to save money and the other being to declutter my home. I am participating in a lot of knit alongs (KALs) this year that will use stash yarn so that’s helpful.

The first one runs from 1st January to the 28th February and is being run by the Just One More Row Podcast girls, Brittany and Dana. This KAL is called the ‘Clean Slate Challenge’ and it challenges you to knit down your stash from yarn that has been there for more than 3 months. Thankfully, virtually all my WIPs are being knit from yarn that fulfills the criteria and I am focusing on finishing them first.

Then after that, my favourite yarn store Eat.Sleep.Knit (ESK) are running the equivalent of a KAL per month to earn yardage for their Yarnathon they run every year. The catch is the only eligible yarn you can use had to have been purchased from ESK. I have been through my stash and I think all but two of the KALs are covered from what I already own. I have completed my first KAL for the Yarnathon so I’ve got a good start.

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, you can find me on Ravelry as anneofjulie.

Tell me, what are your knitting goals for 2015?

Changes afoot.

Hello my lovely followers!

Wow, have I been sporadic in 2014! There are many factors that have added up to this blog fade and I’m not going to go into all of them here but thought I would have a bit of a discussion about where I’d like to go with this blog in 2015 and things that have been on my mind over the recent months.

As you can see, I have changed the layout theme of the blog to something a little more simple and clean. The cutesy layout of my previous theme just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. My path this year is moving towards a cleaner, fresher life so why shouldn’t my blog mirror that? You might have also noticed that I have changed my tagline from ‘A beginner, teaching herself how to sew and knit’ to ‘Muddling though life with creativity’ and this is because I feel I would like to expand this blog to include other areas of my life apart from the sewing and knitting.

It has always been in my mind that I want to continue this blog but coming up with the motivation to write a blog post has been hard. 2014 was the hardest year of my life so far and it’s hard to focus on seemingly frivolous things such as clothes when you’re worried about keeping a roof over your head, the lights on and food on the table. I’ve still been creating despite the various setbacks that 2014 brought but just couldn’t find the motivation to photograph the projects and then write a post about them. At this stage of the year, 2015 looks to be doing a complete 180 turn from last year and that’s made me more inspired and motivated to start sharing with you all again.

I didn’t do a lot of sewing last year that was clothing. This is mostly due to the fact that we moved in February 2014 and in the new house with a new layout I have yet to find a comfortable, convenient place to cut out pieces of fabric for clothes. I can easily cut pieces for the bags that I sell, but larger clothing parts has been very hard and frustratingly I am unable to find a suitable place to do it. I’ve tried the kitchen bench, the floor and even where I used to cut, our dining room table, but in it’s new position it is far too difficult as I cannot move all around it anymore. Things are looking up though, as my husband has a new desk for his computer and his old desk is a lovely, large, rectangular table that is a nice, convenient height for cutting fabric so I have appropriated it. So, once it’s set up, it will much easier for me to cut and therefore sew clothing.

And as I mentioned in the title of this post, there will be changes to this blog and that mainly involves the subject matter. Posts will no longer be strictly about my handmade wardrobe. I am embarking on a new and positive journey in my life with a new job, a new way of eating and a simpler way of living and I’d like to talk about it, discussing my successes and set backs alike.

So I hope you stick with me, as I appreciate each and every one of you who reads this blog regularly. I will be keeping up with the podcast, but posts may be once a month rather than the fortnightly podcast I was intending, with more time dedicated to this blog and improving other areas of my life. I will be doing a few posts in the coming week about the goals I am hoping to achieve in the various areas I’ve mentioned above so you can find out more about what I’m going to be discussing here.

Thanks for reading and sticking with me through this last year of irregularity and I hope you enjoy the posts to come.

Julieanne xx