Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Whats in store for 2013 (hopefully)

Well, now that the 'big day' has come and gone (and before we head next door for a 2nd Xmas dinner with those who couldnt make it yesterday) my thoughts have been turning to 2013 and what I hope to acheive.
I gave up making New Years resolutions a while ago (I never kept them and felt like a bit of a failure when they fell by the wayside), so now I have a list of Ambitions and Aspirations instead. This way they are things to work towards at my own pace and I dont put myself under so much pressure.
Anyway here are a few things I am aiming for in 2013.

A new job.
Im aiming for a new job where I will be happy and be paid what I am worth. My job will pay enough for us to live off from day to day as well as have a wee bit left over at the end of each month. Ideally my new job will be close to home (within easy walking distance) and will be something which helps make a positive difference to other peoples lives. Im gonna love this new job and will be happy to go to work on a Monday morning, I will get on well with my colleagues and I will be able to do this job well, but wont be bored and will enjoy the challenges it brings.

Getting debts paid off.
We are heading in the right direction with this. We dont have many debts and hopefully the temporary employment blip wont impact too much on this. The aim is to get one of the cards paid off (we are nearly there) and then make some inroads into the next one.

Blanket Stitch and Buttonholes
There are two things that will help my crafting, so I am aiming to learn both to a level of competance in 2013.
As you may know I got a new sewing machine for my Birthday, so Im hoping I can get some neat things made and (hopefully) sold on Etsy - we are hoping to get the Esty shop(s) up and running (OH will be selling this Steampunk inventions, etc, and I will have some Steampunk costumery as well as other handcrated bits).

Clearing out the clutter (btw this isnt a pic of our house)
 I am trying to reduce, reuse, recycle more. Im also trying to live by the rule 'If its not functional or beautiful get rid of it', tho this isnt easy as OH likes to 'aquire' stuff. So Im trying to clear out as much as I can and reoganise the rest. Im trying to buy less and use what I already have, taking inspiration from some lovely people out there in the internetland namely Jen (as seen here on her blog my make do and mend year

Trying to tread more lightly on the earth.
This is a big part of the Pagan ethos that I believe in. My approach to this takes lots of different forms and Id like to include them more deeply in our day to day living in 2013.
Reducing waste - by spending more wisely (as per above), making the most out of what we already have, shopping for food when its in season -  eat the seasons - using my slowcooker more (to make use of cheaper cuts of meat and seasonal veg), and  trying out recipies from my numerous (unused) cookbooks.
Being more ethical in my spending - looking for items which are value for money, use less packaging (and biodegradable or recyclable packaging), and using my own bags instead of plastic, making presents where I can instead of buying mass produced stuff and shopping locally where I can to help our local economy (as inspired by Team Pugh on  their blog - a year without supermarkets ).
Being more charitable - giving more to charity (instead of dumping where possible), trying to help in any way I can (we cant give financially but I can make - as per my previous poists about the Angel Bears and Dog Blankets - Im interding to make some dresses this year as per - little dresses for africa ).

So there you have my hopes and aspirations for the comming year. Id love to hear what yours are. Why not drop me a comment?

Have a Happy and Safe festive Season and I hope 2013 brings you all you dream of.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Xmas Prep (and a long overdue update)

Well Hello!

I know its been far too long since my last post (hanging my head in shame), but there has been a lot going on. The biggest and probably the most significant event was , after 5 and a half weeks in my (supposedly bright and shiney) new job, I had enough of being bullied by the Bosses Wife (also second in charge) so I walked out! Not an easy thing to do when you are the main wage earner and have no idea where the pennies are going to come from, but with the love and support from my wonderful Husband I felt confident enough to do it (rather than suffer in silence and make myself ill - again). So, after 15 years of continuous employment I am without a job - very scarey. Husband hasnt had much work lately either, so we will be doing more than a little economising until I am employed again.
Anyway, since I left last week, I have been so busy its mad. Ive registered with 3 Recruitment agencies (and have advised them I am willing to do some temping work - something I have never considered before), signed on for Job Seekers Allowance (which took several phone calls and 2 face to face interviews), applied for a few bits online etc. All the people I have seen are in agreement that I wont be out of work for long, and that things will get moving after Xmas. I know my last pay will cover the bills for December, so the way Im looking at it is that Im having some time off @ Xmas for a change. :o)

I have (as of today) got the last of the bits and bobs made, so all that left is for me to wrap the last few pressies and Im all done. It helps that we always have Xmas next door with His Mum and Brothers and Sisters (not all of them tho), there will be 8 of us for Xmas dinner and 6 for Boxing Day (we have a second Xmas dinner then!). In past years there have been as many as 12 or 13 of us both days, but I will admit its more laid back when there are fewer of us (and less dishes for me to do!!!!)

On the pressie front, once again I have been making stuff for the ladies. I changed my mind and decided to go with the fabric baskets after all (but forgot to take pics before I wrapped them!), here is one that was no longer required......

The colour cast on the pics isnt very nice, but it is the shortest day today so daylight isnt very good! You may also be able to make out my new Crafty Kiwi tag on the side - its the first time Ive used them. The baskets were filled with a kimi doll notebook, some choc, a candle and a nicely wrapped bar of soap.

Ive also (finally) got the lemon hand scrub bottled up and tagged......
Ive made 5 of these, the tags are laminated with instructions on the reverse, there are two styles of jars (the scrub is a much more vivid yellow than in the pic), and I must say this smells gorgeous.

Finally, as a bit of a last minute thing, I made some Xmas decs. Originally the intention was to make rice handwarmers that you heat in the microwave and they keep your pockets warm for up to an hour. I was gonna make them out of fleece with nice contracting stitching on them. Logistically this didnt work, so I ended up making decs out of felt and here they are.........

These are very loosley based on some winter white felt decorations I got from Boots last year.

So, there you have it, thats pretty much whats been happening with me. I hope you are all tucked up safe and warm on this Yule (Winter Solstice) night (unless you are in the Southern Hemisphere where technically it isnt Yule) and all that remains is for me to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope 2013 brings you everything youve dreamed of.

Thanks for reading.

Jojo xxx