Monday, December 31, 2012

I was supposed to be working toward goals?

I can hardly believe that another year has gone by! This year didn't turn out to be quite as productive as I would have liked, sewing/crafting-wise. I guess I should have revised my goals in April when I decided to start taking classes online and study for the crazy hard certification exam that I just took a few weeks ago, but I apparently have completely unrealistic expectations of what I can accomplish in my free time. That being said, here's a recap of my goals for 2012.

1) Make two quilts for charity.
This is the one I'm most disappointed to not accomplish. I didn't even start them! My original plan was to whip these up in September and October, but that didn't happen because during that time I was busy studying for my exam and any extra time I had was spent making gifts for my adorable new niece.

2) Say no to new fabric purchases.
Due to my lack of sewing time, this one was an easy accomplishment. The only new fabric that I bought was for the two knit dresses that I made during my sewing classes, and I only bought that fabric because I didn't have any other knit fabric in my stash. I was able to use a lot of cute fabric that I already had for the gifts for my niece and was super pumped that I made her entire quilt using only fabric from my stash! My stash is still  unruly and insanely large, so I'll still be focusing on completing the many projects for which I already bought fabric.

Baby Quilt

3) Make one quilt for myself.
I actually did start this quilt! All of the blocks are pieced and stacked in the order that I want to sew them for the quilt top. They have sat in this nice, neat pile since August. The good news is that I'm still just as excited about this quilt as I was when I picked out the fabric in May 2011 (ugh.)

Quilt Blocks

4) Learn how to knit in the round.
The furthest that I got with this goal was to buy a book on how to knit in the round. I did pick up a circular needle to knit Baby G's blanket, so at least I have the tools that I need to start getting going on this.

5) Beat our time in the Broad Street Run/exercise regularly every week.
I'd say that this was half accomplished. Nick and I did beat our Broad Street Run time by running a whole 10 minutes faster than we did last year, finishing in 1 hour and 45 minutes! And to celebrate, we decided that this would be our last year running. Ha! We love running the actual race, but the time it takes to train is just too much to commit to, especially now that I'll be going back to grad school again starting in January. So we're ending on a high note, which is good timing since this year they're switching to a lottery system because of how quickly it has sold out in the past couple of years. It would be a bummer if only one of us got selected to run. Don't worry, we'll still be running our many 5ks throughout the year.

I consider this goal to be half accomplished because my daily exercising dropped off in the last quarter of this year. In September I got smacked with a brutal sinus infection that lasted for weeks and then our home renovation/cramming for my exam came into full swing and somehow we ended up at the end of December and I haven't exercised regularly in months. The good news is that I haven't really gained any weight, just lost most of my muscle mass, so at least I still have a youthful metabolism on my side. I know that it is fleeting though, so I'll be back in the gym starting tomorrow.

Even though I had a poor showing as far as my goals are concerned, I did accomplish a few unplanned things this year. I grew a pretty decent first-time garden, but somehow managed to not take any proper photos of it. The tomato plants fared the best, growing crazy big and producing tomatoes well into October.  Forgive me for the sad phone photo. The plants ended up about two feet taller than this picture.

The second best performers were the wildflowers that I planted behind our patio fence. They were tall and beautiful when in bloom and I managed to take only one single phone photo of them. Craziness!

The herbs grew third best, although I don't have any photos of them at their biggest. Here they are when sprouting.


I also tried to grow spinach (which I got a few leaves from), a lettuce mixture, strawberries, and red onions, but none of them grew well. I'll be trying a new spot for the strawberries next year, but I think I'll be passing on the rest.

And of course, as I have mentioned a dozen times already, I completed an online certificate of courses and PASSED my certification exam. Thankfully all of that hard work and studying and neglecting my many hobbies paid off and I can now add three letters after my name in my email signature. Just kidding. It's a good certification to have for my career.

I'm so happy that 2012 ended on a positive note! I'll be back tomorrow with my plans for 2013. Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gifts for Baby G

I’m back! I can’t believe I made it to Christmas break. The last few months have been madness, in between taking online classes, studying like a crazy person for a certification exam, and renovating the first floor of our house. But now my classes are done, I passed the certification exam (which was very exciting since it only has a 58% pass rate!) and the renovation is almost finished (the kitchen backsplash and the painting still needs to be done after the break. I'll share pics soon). And, more importantly, we’re officially on Christmas break until January 2nd!

I haven’t done much sewing since Halloween, when our house started being ripped apart and my hardcore studying for the exam started. But I did get some sewing done before Halloween to make sure I was ready to welcome our new baby niece into the world!

For my sister-in-law’s shower, I made a simple quilt entirely from fabric that was in my stash!


It’s a pretty simple pattern but I love how happy it is, especially those owls and polka dots on the back!


I am such a sucker for fruit prints too.



I also made the usual giraffe toy and tag blanket with the leftover fabric. A quilt, giraffe, and tag blanket are starting to be my signature gift for new mothers!


To greet baby G in the hospital, I made a knitted baby blanket courtesy of the pattern from The Purl Bee.


I love how simple it is and how plush it feels. Plus it can be machine washed and dried!


I’ve been looking forward to Christmas break for so long that I can’t believe it’s here! Lots of cooking, baking, crafting, reading, and relaxing are in store for the next week or so. Even though I’m starting some online courses in January, I expect to be back more often than I have been to update you on what I’m working on! Here’s to the start of a new year!