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I read somewhere, recently, that if there is an elephant in the room you should introduce it straightaway. So I should probably mention (though I fear bringing the wrath of quilt world on my head) that I have never loved improv. Whilst I’ll happily improvise and let projects evolve as they will, I like to have a plan and to work with precision…But the next quarterly theme for The Endeavourers – an Art Quilt group which I’m a member of – is ‘improv’.  So the bullet must be bitten.

Elm Street Quilts

 

And I have decided to link up with One Monthly Goal with the aim of completing a mini improv quilt this month to trial and error some techniques and see if I come up with any ideas for the Endeavourers challenge (which has to remain a secret until it is revealed on November 1st). And, who knows, perhaps I’ll even become an enthusiast!

I have collected together some low volume scraps and a collection of 1″ squares and 2″x 1/2″ strips that I was gifted a long time ago.

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And during this month my goal is to make an improv mini quilt using any or all of the fabrics in this box.

Happy Sewing!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

‘P’ IS FOR PAPER

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On Sunday I said I had settled on my ‘word for the year’.

And the word I have settled on isn’t actually ‘Adventure’ but ‘Paper!’

Perhaps, though, I shall try to keep ‘Adventure’ for the spirit of the year.

I know ‘Paper’ might sound rather dull and mundane – a bit passé in this digital age – and it doesn’t quite have the ring of an inspirational quote but, in a bid to be more purposeful with my making and blogging (which isn’t always easy when your internet connection is tenuous at best), I have decided to set up a simple but comprehensive paper system to keep me on track.

It begins with a Leuchtturm notebook, which I chose as a Christmas gift. It is roughly A4 (Letter) sized. It had a closure band, two ribbon markers, a contents page, numbered pages and a storage wallet inside the back cover. My aspiration (I use the word advisedly) is to follow the system invented by Rhyder Carroll and described at: bulletjournal.com but with the focus mainly on making and blogging. I can, for example, write down patterns here rather than on random scraps of paper, keep designs for quilts and suchlike together and note ideas for future projects that I don’t currently have time for…Perhaps when someone’s birthday come along I won’t suddenly remember I was going to make them a hat or a cushion or, heaven forbid, a quilt!

But what about Alice?

I’m sorry to say that Alice has rather fallen by the wayside. I think it is a beautiful little book and I love the illustrations but I found the layout wasn’t ideal in that it gives more space than I need sometimes and not enough at other times and I found the pages a bit small. But my real issue was the ghosting (writing showing through the pages). It drove me mad. I felt I was ruining that lovely book with every word I wrote :(

So is the Leuchttum better?

Alas no :(

Before selecting it I did LOTS of research and found all sorts of bloggers recommending it but I made a pen test page using the same pens as they had and every SINGLE pen I tried FAILED! Even a pencil failed. I could have cried, not least because it was very expensive.

But I can’t keep pouring good journals after bad so I have resolved that this will not be a work of art – it will be a work horse. A rough and ready go-to, which I will value for its usefulness alone and, if I do ever manage to fill it up, next time I will use a sketch book or somesuch.

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And I think it could be useful. I especially like the numbered pages as anything can go anywhere and can be easily found in the Contents.

I don’t need it for work or general household information (I’m relatively organised in my non-making life) so I’m thinking this will be more like a ship’s log…

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To get started, I’ve made a future log/year planner + a monthly planner for January + a list of tasks/events/birthdays etc. I’ve also made a key to keep control of the information. Never again will I need to search for a calendar to see what date the next ‘Wool on Sundays’ will fall on. At the moment, I’m not planning to make weekly or daily logs but if I ever want change my mind that won’t be a problem.

And I’ve made a page of Blog ideas, a page for Granny Square (who, sadly, has long languished) and a page for The Unexpected Alphabet (to track which letters are done and note/design for any other letters that come to mind.

Finally, I’ve labelled pages for Knitting, Sewing, Crochet etc where I can note the start and end dates of projects and anything else about them that I might want to keep for future reference.

Mostly I don’t choose words of the year or I soon forget them but, at the moment, albeit still wearing my rose-tinted-new-year-glasses, I am thinking that ‘Paper’ has a lot of potential and a spirit of adventure never did anyone any harm :)

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Janine @ Rainbow Hare

 

On becoming a Diarist…

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Are you a diarist? Or a keeper of a journal, or a note book? Do you record important events and ideas, perhaps doodles and sketches, designs?

Aside from a work diary of appointments, I can’t tell you how much I envy and admire anyone who can keep a coherent record of events or projects for more than two days at a time…

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Graphics Fairy

I have spent a lifetime as a keeper of everything in my head but, recently I’ve been thinking it would be very handy to have a written record of various things. To some extent, my blog serves this purpose but I often find myself wondering (or disputing with Mr RH) about unblogged things like exactly when I planted seeds/harvested cabbages last year and considering whole sequences of events to decide when someone must have visited or when we bought something. And even on my blog I tend to make great proclamations of crafting goals and inspirations and then either forget about them or struggle to find them again.

So I concluded that there was nothing else for it. I would just have to become a diarist. And, after much searching I chose an 18 month 2017/18 Moleskine Alice in Wonderland Diary, which I bought from Wordery.

It was a bit pricy but I am hoping that will be an incentive to actually use it. It is unusual enough not to be just another fallen-by-the-wayside-notebook. And, with the days on the left hand spread and a blank page on the right for overspill, it seems to me a good size and layout to contain useful information without either running out of space or having wasted space. It also has some stickers. I’m not persuaded that the actual stickers add anything to it but they do slide into a backpocket, which might come in useful for something one day.

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Graphics Fairy

Whilst waiting for the diary to arrive, I discovered Bullet Journaling. I watched the video and scanned through the ‘learn more’ sections and I thought ‘this is exactly what I need – a genius, easy to use system to keep properly organised with everything in one place’. It does not require a diary. In fact an ordinary notebook would work better. But I thought, ‘I’ll be able to adapt the general system easily enough’.

Then the diary arrived and I looked back at all the bullet journalling info and I thought, ‘OMG this is so complicated! I can’t even remember all those symbols and instructions from one minute to the next! I’ll never even be able to work out where to begin :(‘

So I began with a pen (a lamy safari), which I only mention because I wanted to give a recommendation to Andy’s Pens for their amazing service. I ordered a pen nib on Friday (3 August 2017) at 13.58 and I was more than surprised to receive an email at 14.01 saying it had been shipped. Three minutes from order to dispatch! Then it arrived the next day :)

And I decided just to start with a couple of the bullet journalling features, putting events under the days and ‘Tasks’ (a sort of weekly ‘to do’ list on the right). And I have to say that so far I am finding some satisfaction in ticking off the tasks and even feeling motivated to do more onerous tasks by the thought of ticking them off. I really should get out more! Then after a week, it seemed to be getting quite full and, at last, I got the point of having an Index so I made one in a section meant for ‘Timetables’. Perhaps as I go on I will incorporate more features and become super-organised…

But even now it is giving me a new perspective on time management. I never seem to stop but then I so often wonder where the time goes. Now I can look at ‘Weeding’ in my Index and I see ‘page 19’ and on page 19 -‘Weeded main veg area – 8+ hours’ and instead of feeling I have again failed to whip up a huge itinerary for my etsy shop, I think, ‘no wonder I don’t get much sewing done these days!’ I was, however, happy to tick that off as a weekly task and I did get the weeds before they seeded so, hopefully, that will make for more sewing time in the future. Perhaps I will even schedule some!

Do you have any tips for a good planning system?

Janine @ Rainbow Rare

I’m linking this post with New To Me 2017 at Celtic Thistle Stitches