2016 Goals – The Year of Calibrate

A new year means it is time for new goals and resolutions!  I always spend the last week of December reflecting on what went well in the past year and what I want to work on for the upcoming year.  This blog has really helped me keep track of my crafting goals and the progress I have made.  Often I find myself scrolling through old posts saying, “Oh I forgot about that project!”  So I am grateful for the reminders.

This is also my sixth year choosing “one little word.”  Past words include:  Nourish (2015), Flow (2014), Acceptance (2013), Mindful (2012), and Relax (2011).  2016 will be the year of calibrate for me!  Calibrate is defined as, “to determine, check, or rectify the graduation of (any instrument giving quantitative measurements),” and to plan or devise (something) carefully so as to have a precise use, application, appeal, etc.”  This year I want to calibrate my crafting/homesteading, considering carefully and thoughtfully why I am working on each project.  I have a big goal to “not purchase anything” in 2016 (see below), and so calibrating what I currently do have and use is important for this year.  Calibrating also makes me consider giving up certain tools or crafting methods that do not bring me joy.  I look forward to further considering how this word will impact the year!

2016 Goals:

  • Use what I have (or for the negative version) – do not purchase any new crafting supplies this year.

It sounds crazy and ambitious, I know.  But I have been working up to this one.  Usually something like a big event or big move limits my purchases, but I do not have that this year.  I do have too much stuff though, that is clear.  I have so many projects I could do each year that do not get done because something new grabs my attention.

Rules for this goal – I can purchase something IF it completes a current project.  So, if I piece together a quilt top and I have no suitable backing fabric, I can purchase the backing fabric.  Or if I run out of thread, I can purchase thread.  But I cannot wander up and down the aisle of Joann’s throwing extra things in my cart.  Or shop online and add a kit because it will get me free shipping.  Or buy a new book for inspiration.  Absolutely not.  The one exception for buying something brand new will be when we travel to Peru in March.  That is a once in a lifetime type of deal – if I want yarn or fabric from Peru while we are there, I will get it!

My friend Janelle said (something like), “But this doesn’t have include tools, does it?”  Yes, yes it does.  I already have a lot of great tools that need to be used.  New tools are usually what gets me into a crafting purchase rabbit hole.   Which also means no requests for gifts that require purchases.  A dear friend wants a hat in neon green?  It has to wait until 2017.  Or I can make you a lovely hat out of any shade of purple (seriously, I have so much purple).  So there it is – no new crafting supplies this year.

  • Keep track of my fiber, fabric, and yarn stashes.

I complete this goal every year – tracking is easy after years of practice.  It is staying ahead of my stashes, or using more than I brought in, that I struggled with in 2015.  Hence the first goal!

  • Finish my wedding quilt before our two year anniversary.

This goal by itself helps explain part of my first goal!  How have I put other quilts and sewing projects in front of this project?  Gifts for kids is the main reason.  But not this year.  This year I piece together this wall-hanging quilt and hang it in our hallway so we can enjoy it.

  • Finish my t-shirt quilt.

For the record, this was also a goal I made in 2013.  Yes, 2013.  Another project that is for me that I keep putting off.  All of the t-shirts are cut.  I “just” need to finish interfacing to get to the fun part of organizing the blocks and actually piecing it together!

  • Can three new recipes this year.

I have been canning fruits and vegetables for the past two years now and have made apple pie filling, cherry syrup, cranberry conserves, salsa, blueberry pie filling, and dilly beans.  This year I want to try three new recipes, which could be fruits or vegetables.  I have plenty of books on my shelf to choose three recipes from.

  • Cook freezer meals at least once a month.

I love pulling a freezer meal out on a busy weeknight and enjoying the home cooked meal.  It gives me more time for crafting!  So I want to commit to doing a set of these at least once a month – whether it is just a couple meals or larger groupings.

  • Schedule time for crafting.

This sounds like a vague goal, but I know what I have in mind.  I am going back to a paper planner for 2016 instead of solely relying on my Google Calendars.  I chose a Planner Pad because of their three tier system.  I can create my list of to dos at the top, turn them into daily activities, and then schedule the time below.  I am currently completing my first week with the planner and I love it so far.  Instead of just having a long list of to-dos, I was able to schedule them into the day.  I LOVE checklists, crossing things out, gold stars, etc, so this works for me.  Scheduling the actual time to work on a project that is in the back of my mind will really help me balance out my goals for this year.

That is the list for 2016!  I did not make any specific gardening goals this year.  I know it will be a busy spring as I train for my first half marathon and travel internationally for the first time.  Somehow I am sure I will fill my summer up quickly.  I am looking forward to a wonderful 2016 filled with lots of crafting and homesteading with calibration!  Come back to the blog to stay updated!


2014 – The Year of Flow

At other points during the year I wonder why we put such an emphasis on January 1st.  But then it rolls around, after the holiday madness and before the long stretch of winter that is left.  And it feels like a fresh start!  A time to make new goals!  I am very excited for 2014.  It is the year I am getting married!  The year of settling in to our new life that we created in 2013!  And so this year’s “one little word” will be flow.  Last year’s word was acceptance and this year’s word just seems to fit right after that.  I have accepted who I am as a crafter and now it is time to go with the flow.  Flow is also one of my favorite psychology concepts by  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  From the book, “During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.”  I plan to craft this year with flow.  If I am not experiencing deep enjoyment or involvement, I will not do it.  And so my goals for the year center around the concept of flow:

  • Enjoy the crafting for my wedding.

We are getting married in June and all of the major details are planned.  But I could just see myself going overboard on little things.  Which I refuse to do.  I will not be crafting at 3am just to get something done!  It can be skipped.  I have been in enough weddings to know the details are not the important part.  And I have seen exhausted brides because they spent too much time working on things the week before.  That is not happening here!  I am going to enjoy the crafting or not do it.  Part of my strategy is to space out some of the projects I do have in mind.

  • Keep track of my three stashes again – fiber, yarn, and fabric.

This goal has really worked out well for me over the past couple years.  I always try to produce more than I bring in and keeping that in mind has really kept me in line on purchases.  Maybe this year I can even wait until Maryland Sheep and Wool before I buy any fiber or yarn (beginning of May – probably too ambitious).  But realistically, I could try to contain all of my full skeins of yarn and fiber in the 45 gallon tub that is already full.  Knitting even one sweater might make this happen!  It’s a thought.  The quilts I want to finish this year should also put a dent in the fabric stash.

  • Start and/or finish at least five projects for myself.

Sometimes I get caught up in the projects I make for friends and family. I really love making gifts, but I also want to stay in the flow by making myself a few things.  I should finish the t-shirt quilt I started.  I need to finish the Charlotte’s Web Shawl that I am about halfway through (but put aside for gift knitting).  I could knit a sweater for myself out of my handspun yarn.  There are a lot of possibilities!

  • Start an outdoor garden at this house.

At the old house, I learned how to garden by starting a square foot garden that was 4′ by 8′ and mainly in the shade.  Now I have the opportunity to have as big of a garden as I want in full sun.  What an opportunity!  I know it is going to be a busy spring, but even one tomato plant would be progress.  Looking forward to it.

  • Paint the rest of the house and put curtains up in every room.

We have made some progress on this front, but my living room still has the 1995 curtains that came with the house.  And we still need to paint the bedrooms.  We have a lot of home renovations in mind, but the decorating touches would be a good goal for the year.  I would really like to attend some auctions and garage sales this summer to look for new furniture as well.


Five goals for the year is pretty reasonable for keeping in the flow.  There are lots of possibilities for new projects and personal enjoyment.  I look forward to crafting in 2014 and I hope you will join me on the journey!

First Quarter Stash Report

One of my resolutions this year was to keep track of three stashes – fabric, yarn, and fiber.  This is my third year tracking fabric, second year tracking yarn, and first year tracking fiber.  The goal is always to use more than I buy and the first quarter has been a great start for 2013.

Fabric Update:

Used Year to Date: 0 yards (once I create my t-shirt quilt, I will count those as yards used, but it is in progress currently)
Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Destashed Year to Date:  0 yards

Yarn Update:

Knit Year to Date:  2,678 yards

Traded/Sold/Gave Away Year to Date:  1,388 yards

Purchased Year to Date: 1,682 yards

Acquired for Free to Date:  0 yards

Net Destashed for 2013:  2,384  yards

Fiber Update:

Ounces Spun Year to Date:  78 ounces

Purchased Year to Date:  34 ounces

Yards Spun Year to Date:  3,294 yards

Net Destashed for 2013:  44 ounces (2.75 pounds)

Sharing some of the beautiful fiber I have spun recently!