My New Habit Plan: Review #1

Last week I started a new habit to de-clutter. You can read all about it here:
In that post I had set my review date for the 28th, but then I had posted my Sunday Impressions post on Monday. I don’t want to do 2 posts a day.
Anyways, here is the recap of last week and some adjustments to the habit plan:

I did the habit every day except Saturday. I noticed that having the trigger be after dinner, did not really work. It is way to late. I usually would do it earlier and would be too tired after dinner anyways. So, my new trigger will be after work. I may slide in some other habits into there at some point like walking. But that is too sporadic yet to use as a trigger.
Also, I will need a new trigger for weekends. It seems a better trigger is right after breakfast to do a little de-cluttering.
Above are a few pictures of before and after de-cluttering.

Sunday Impressions – When in doubt: flowers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend, I did not take any pictures so I dug out a bunch of flower pictures for you to look at as my Sunday Impressions. It also reminded me how great the Chinese Lights festival was, and that I want to go this year again.

Somehow, I ended up with new yarn just as I am decluttering my sewing room. Decluttering craft supplies is the hardest decluttering there is.
At least for me. I need to allocate them to concrete projects and come up with a deadline of how long I can sit on them before they have to go.
I think 2 years should be my deadline for now.
I think I will do a few more projects now that it starts to get colder again. Summer is not a good season for craft projects. They are far more important for the cold months.
Especially up here, where we get so little Summer time, we have to use every minute of it.
This weekend seems to be a little preview of fall with rain and brown leaves. All around a gloomy weekend but filled with fun activities.
And I noticed, I am not ready for fall yet, although I am looking forward to it.
This fall is going to be a lot of mixed feelings. I wonder if that is the reason some ideas cropped up.
I want to do some cabin travel next year, do more drawing and painting and restart my poetry.
Oh, and I do have a Thursday threads post for you this week, so stay tuned.

My New Habit Plan: Daily De-clutter

The  plan – short story

  1. I read a book called “Zen Habits” by Leo Babauta about how to effectively change your live and gain new habits. 
  2. There is a lot of clutter in my house and for my first habit I want to learn to de-clutter.
And here it is (read the details below in “the plan – long story”)

Start date: 8/22/2017
Specific habit: Declutter / Clean for 2 min every day (or more)
Trigger: when I see it (clean-as-you-go), dedicate time after dinner
Reminder(s): board in kitchen, post-it on bathroom mirror
Review dates: 8/28 and then weekly
Accountability: hopefully some twitter folks will yell at me lol, will ask my husband to hold me accountable
Commitment: doing this for at least one month without missing more than one day.
Asking for support: my husband
Potential obstacles: tired, busy schedule, things I need to ask my husband where they should go
Log: posting on twitter #dailydeclutter & weekly blog review

Mindful reward: clean surfaces and areas give a nicer atmosphere for any activity
Who will you share the plan with?
Twitter & blog followers, my husband

I will include cleaning in the de-clutter areas, because what good is it if there is no clutter but still dust 😉
There are a few more points that I may have to add later to the plan if I am not doing well.

The plan – long story

As mentioned above I had read the “Zen Habits” book and started a habit of push-ups last year. However, as I was told not to do I did not share this plan much and didn’t really have all of the measures that Leo mentioned in his book in place to help if things get rough. So my habit fell apart as soon as the baby arrived.
A year later, I am re-reading the book and want to do this the right way this time. Differently than last year, I have picked another habit to go first though. With the help of a poll online I picked the de-clutter habit. I believe that this is the best one to start with because it will help with future habits.
It should give me space to do crafting, art and work out. Make the house more comfortable and inviting. And just give me a better atmosphere over all.

I have read a few more articles that I have considered also in the process. This article by Joshua Becker talks about more tricks to help with accountability:
https://www.becomingminimalist.com/accountability/
Accountability is very important to stick to your habit, which is something Leo also re-iterates a lot. I like the bit in the text about before and after pictures. I want to try and do this as much as possible.

But I don’t think I will always be able to do this because I also love the concepts of this article by Leo (same author as “Zen Habits”), where he talks about the clean-as-you-go technique. That sounds very effective also because it is quick, happens right where ever you are and you won’t feel much resistance by your inner child: https://zenhabits.net/clean/

I am starting this habit this week and have already done the surface pictured above.
Last but not least, I want to invite your guys to join my journey of de-cluttering. Please share your story and link with me if you do. I would love to see your accomplishments and feedback.

Sunday Impressions: GenCon 50

Again my “Sunday Impressions” turn into a Monday Post 🙂
But it got pretty late after a long weekend at GenCon in Indianapolis. And I don’t think people read blogs that late at night.
Above you see some pictures of the amazing Costumes I encountered at GenCon.

If you are not familiar, Gencon is a four day gaming convention with some LARP, Anime, Cosplay, crafting and general geekiness sprinkled in. This year was its 50 year anniversary and my 3rd time there.

But this year was my first year with a baby. It meant fewer events for me and my husband but also more of just strolling and browsing than in previous years.
I was able to try out a few board games though of which we got a nice bag full at the AEG game night.
We definitely want to come back next year. And we will bring some costumes as well.

Sunday Impressions

 

In the last weeks of July and beginning of August, my mom came to visit.
It was very nice, but also stressful because she was staying at our house for two and a half weeks. I wish she could just come over for an afternoon, but she lives in Germany.
That is awfully far away to just pop in 🙂. Of course, she wanted to see her granddaughter – For the first time!
Despite some of the tension – especially around cleaning as it is norm for a good mother, I guess – we still had a great time. She made a billion videos and pictures of the baby.
But during her visit, another thing happened. I remembered some of the routines we had in Germany in my childhood. We used to eat at the table, and had everything sitting out so you can make your plate right there.
My husband and I had fallen into watching a show during dinner. Which is fun and sometimes the only way to find time to watch a show, but it loses some of the family time feeling, the togetherness.
I feel like I want to cultivate that again, especially now with the little one.
My mom’s visit also brought back the motivation to make art, craft and work in the garden. And one big take away: to slow down and enjoy the moment. It was not possible as much with my mom, and I regret that. As often, one looks back to how a day was spend and sees how it could have been used better. But I can only look forward and try and be more mindful.
We have a nice back yard that I want to spend more time in, and there are so many craft projects I want to finish. I have them now all in bags in my sewing room, ready to be tackled 🙂.
For my blog, the mini trips we took with my mom on the weekends gave me the idea of Sunday Impressions. A section, where I can just share some nice pictures and moments of the week.
I want to convey some of the calmness and motivation that nature gives me, and the meditative feeling of crafts and art. Like now, sitting in my sun room and hearing the birds tweet fills my heart with joy.
I am also taking inspiration for these posts from a blog I love: Posie Gets Cozy
Alicia Paulson writes such great posts and starts them off with wonderful warm pictures of her idyllic home and family as well as great nature in the best golden light. I admire this and want to send the same vibes to my readers.
The pictures above are from a few trips my mom and I did as well as other moments I enjoyed recently.

Thread Thursday 7: I’m back with a bonnet

Yes it is happening. Thread Thursday is back!!!
Summer is almost over again, and I don’t know how. The weeks seem to just fly by.
But I am picking up sewing again.
My little one needed a sun hat, because her current one is almost too small and otherwise we only have warm hats. So I printed a bonnet pattern and whipped up this little beauty from some quilting squares on Monday. It’s just plain cotton fabric, but I made it reversible.
You can get the pattern right here: Sun Bonnet Pattern
And there is also a tutorial from PurlSoho.
Here is my step by step process. I did a few tweaks.

Materials

  • ¼ yard  of the outer fabric
  • ¼ yard of the inner fabric
  • ¼ yard Interfacing
  • Thread
  • Bias tape maker (optional – I just used the iron)
  • Pattern (see above)

Step by Step

First of all, the size I used did not match with the actual age of my daughter. This is usually my issue with patterns. They are sized in months but that does not account for babies being all over the place in size at different months and my baby being pretty tiny. That is why I love patterns that are based on centimeters or inches better.
Anyways, I measured her head circumference and took the pattern where the side piece width was about 1/4th of that. I ended up using the 0-3 month pattern and she is 6 months old 😀

I cut out the pieces of the pattern per instruction. I also cut out a rectangle for the back of the head from each fabric. Here are the dimensions based on size.
0-3 (3-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24) months: 3 ½ by 9 ½ (3 ½ by 10 ¼, 3 ¾ by 11 ¼, 3 ¾ by 12 ½, 3 ¾ by 12 ¾)–inch rectangle from both the outer and inner fabric.

Then I cut a rectangle from the pink fabric 1 1/8 inch wide and 12 inches long for the ties. You could use either fabric but if you don’t do it reversible then use the outer fabric. The longer you cut the rectangles, the longer the Ties will be.

Different than the pattern I did the visor first. I just felt this would be easier later.
I layered inner and outer fabric right side together and then the interfacing on top.
Then I stitched on the line just catching the interfacing every now and then. You could also use fabric glue to hold it in place. Then I clipped the seam. You need to do that with curved seams so the fabric will lay nice and flat after turning the piece right side out.

I turned the visor right side out and fused it all together with an iron because the interfacing is fusible. The technique of catching the interfacing with a few stitches allows you to also use non-fusible interfacing.

Then, I pin together the head pieces of each fabric, sew them and clip the seams.

Next I was doing the ties. Here you can use the bias tape maker to have it easier folding the strip. I just used the iron and had to make a few more runs: first fold in half and iron, then fold sides toward the middle crease and iron, then fold in half again and iron.

For each tie, I picked one end that will be the outside end and fold it inward so there are no raw edges.

Once I got the strip all nice and folded, I top stitched close to the open edge.

Next I pinned everything together:

  • The two back of the head pieces in different fabric right side facing. 
  • In between, the visor right side out and right side facing each back of the head piece.
  • also in between the two back of the head pieces, the tie with the remaining raw edge pinned in the bottom front corner.

After all was pinned, I sewed around the edge leaving a gap in the back for turning.

I turned in side out and pressed a little.

Then to close the gap in the back, I top stitched along the lower edge of the bonnet.

Last but not least, I added a little pucker in the back for shaping by folding each back seam toward the visor by about 1/4 inch. I sewed along the bottom edge and up by about 1/4 inch.

And here is how it turned out. Cute little reversible summer bonnet. I love it.

And so you can see the fabric a little more in detail, here a couple close ups.

I had to try it on her the next day to get good light for the pictures. I think it also looks cute with the visor folded back 🙂