Challenge 2013 ~ My January Review

So how has your year started?

I don’t think I’ve made a bad start to mine. My challenge to learn more may have had a bit of slow start but once I gave my craft room a tidy and sorted my supplies it helped me enormously. It made me realise how much I actually had in my stash and gave me the motivation and inspiration (kick up the backside) I needed!

As I had quite a stash of seed beads and ‘The Crafty Network’ January challenge was to make things only using your stash of supplies, I thought what better way to start the year but to use them up learning some new beading techniques.  You may have seen from some of my previous posts the beaded bracelets I have made on my homemade loom, I am really pleased with those and will definitely be making lots more. I’ve also learned a few other beading designs’ The Flat Spiral Stitch, Daisy Stitch, Chenille stitch (post coming soon) and lastly 2 different beaded ring designs.  Not to mention some things I have not posted about like re-learning some of the basics, ie. peyote stitch, brick stitch and peyote spiral.

A few of my beading practice pieces! ie. the scrap pile!

A few of my beading practice pieces! ie. the scrap pile!

However all this beading has taken its toll on my beading needles!

My beading needles!

My beading needles!

You probably can’t see from the photo but these are ‘Big Eye’ Beading Needles.  I starting using these last summer as I was getting so fed up of trying to thread the normal beading needles, I spent more time trying the thread them than sewing!  The big eye needles are great as they are literally just one big hole, but they do tend to bend really easily!

The one thing that hasn’t gone too well this past month is my diet.  I blame it on the weather, who really wants to eat salads, go out for walks etc when there is snow on the ground and lots of chocolates leftover from Christmas?

I’ve never been a Winter person so I have the mentality that hibernation is the best policy in January and even February come to think of it!  I have however still been going to Zumba and Aquafit, although snow did stop that for a week.  I put on 4lbs over Christmas and I have now lost those 4lbs.  So I am starting February at break even, ie. 0 (zero).

I do have some good news though I can tick off one of my challenges for this year, I have booked a holiday, yes we are going abroad to Cyprus in July, this will be the first ‘sun’ holiday we will have had in about 6 years and I can’t wait!  BUT fate has a cruel way of dealing its cards, I had literally come off the phone from booking the holiday when I get a phone call from my eldest son, telling me he has just been made redundant from his first ever job!  He was a junior IT Business Analyst and had only been there 14 months, apparently the work they had envisaged him taking on had been seriously delayed and there was nothing else for him to do!  I think he is still in shock and so are we.  Now thinking of cancelling the holiday, yikes!!

So what are my challenges for February?   Get a proper job,  I hear my husband say!  Or ignore him and continue with learning new beading techniques etc?  One of the things I was planning to learn was how to bead around a cabochon (a flat back stone/bead that does not have a hole), failing that I wanted to learn how to wire wrap them properly.  Also this month I planned to find and preferably sign up for a course. Something like glass fusing or making lampwork beads.   Oh Damm are my plans going out the window?!!

Oh well, lets see what fate deals us next?

Trying to change the mood, I will leave you with one of my entries for The Crafty Network January Stash Challenge which I mentioned above. The rules are that you have to use only items in your stash, incorporate some new skills, do something other than your norm and think creatively on how to market/promote your items. Well here is one of my entries:

Looking through my stash, I had quite a few turquoise beads and some 0.6mm and 1mm copper wire I had never got around to using.  Most things I make tend to be silver plated or antique bronze so using copper fitted the criteria of not the ‘norm’ for me.  Also, as I haven’t done much wire wrapping for a good while this also ticked the box.  Thinking creatively on how to market/promote it was a bit more of a challenge, especially thinking of a name for the piece, apologies but this is eventually what I came up with!

Turquoise Sunset

Turquoise Sunset


Inspired by Turquoise Oceans and coppery glowing sunsets, this unique twisted copper and turquoise semi precious gemstone necklace and earring set was born.  16” long with a 3” decorative drop of 3 spiral wired turquoise hearts.  Just imagine yourself wearing these on your next holiday as the sun-sets over the ocean.

 Price: £25 for the set including postage.

My other entry was one of my cuff bracelets. If you are interested in seeing all the entries, here is the Link TCN JANUARY STASH CHALLENGE.

Bye for now.

Linda x


3 thoughts on “Challenge 2013 ~ My January Review

  1. I’m so sorry your son lost his job – I hope you can persuade him to keep trying for another – and hope there are other jobs out there for him… I’ve got all this to come in a few years! Well done with sticking to your learning goals and for booking the hol – I’ve never been to Cyprus but heard it’s lovely, relaxing, good food, etc … don’t cancel!! Cath

    • Thanks Cath, Yes he will be looking for another job, it’s just so hard in the current climate in the UK. He was very lucky to get a job in the first place, but it was still a bit of a shock for him and us, to be told there was no longer a job for him, it’s not as if he did anything wrong! It happens to all of us though at some time and he might as well learn what it feels like now when he has no responsibilities. No we won’t cancel, we NEED this holiday as we have not had a proper one for about 6 years, Cyprus is lovely we have been before and the food is FAB, cross between Greek and Turkish due to both influences. I’ll keep you posted on how my son gets on looking for a new job, he probably stands a better chance than I do! Lxx

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