Sunday, 12 January 2014



I almost did not know how to get started with the New Year as it felt like there was so much to be done so I just had to make several lists and work my way through. It was a great feeling not to have to get ready to teach in school. I felt like I needed to get all of the boring chores out of the way before I could engross myself in any sewing projects so I gritted my teeth and started with my tax return. This job almost took 3 whole days because I finally plucked up the courage to put it all on a spreadsheet. I have never really understood how they work but after watching Youtube explanations and my husband drawing out a rough layout, I began entering all of my income and expenses and was amazed when the computer added up all of the resulting columns. It was a pretty sobering sight to see what I had really spent my hard-earned cash on! 

Completing the online tax form was frustrating because the format seemed to have changed. It is impossible to get through to any human on the helpline so I just had to muddle through, mucking it up the first time by somehow entering zero into income AND earnings. I was hugely relieved when it was all over for another year and now I can get on top of keeping the expenses up to date electronically. I even remembered to back everything up onto an external hard-drive.

I could not get started on my customer quilt because I was waiting for a delivery of wadding. I had a disaster with wool wadding bearding drastically after washing in some family quilts so I dared not use any more in customer quilts. I may be able to use it up for exhibition items as long as I never intend to wash them. I decided to clear out all of the wadding offcuts and put them into a recycling bag and this whetted my appetite to ruthlessly cull any fabric that I do not intend to use and refold the rest. Just creating a little space in the stash allowed me to move things around so I could store the coracle and totems tidily under the long arm frame. I felt like I needed to get all of this sorting out done before getting into the right frame of mind to start sewing in 2014. 

I spent a day revisiting the progress on my Ebook since it is a while since that got any attention. I cleared out all of the earlier drafts and pictures that won’t be used and generally tried to reacquaint myself with what I thought I was doing before I got distracted by school. Another task off my conscience was to email off some report comments about my class before I forgot all about them. 

I had intended to make new cushions for my scruffy sofa but I saw some perfectly good, inexpensive, ready-made tweed ones that meant I could spend my time on more “worthwhile” activities. I felt rather guilty about this for a while but decided to forgive myself in the end! I did make a cushion for Freya out of a wool jumper that I accidentally felted and it took me a while to remember how to attach the zip and piping. It was not a perfect specimen but she likes it anyway. 

I enjoyed making a new batch of sourdough bread and that seemed to spur me onto spring-cleaning the kitchen cupboards as part of my resolution to do domestic stuff at weekends instead of wishing I was in my workshop. It was mostly a matter of tidying - I did not go so far as pouring away the home-made pear cordial that had a tiny bit of harmless mould floating on top.

There was some fun at the weekend as local band, Victoria Sponge asked me to pose as their fiddler so I may appear for a few fleeting seconds in their new music video. This was good for my musical ego which had been bruised by my first attempt to play with the Seniors at the Banchory Strathspey and Reel Society - I did not do too well at sight-reading more than a dozen brand new tunes at top speed so I will really have to see how that goes next time!

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