Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Looking Back at 2019 and Forward to 2020

I can't really believe that we are twenty years into the 21st century!  Where did that go?

It's that time of year when we reflect on the outgoing year and look forward to the next.


I just read my first post for 2019.  It was interesting reading.

2019 was, on the whole, like 2018,  a calm year compared to some of the previous ones.  

On the family front, we had some ups and downs.  

Sadly, we lost Mick's Dad, but we celebrated my Mum's 90th birthday.  Mick's Mum has recently moved into the same aged care facility as my Mum and the family are currently getting everything sorted out for her.  

On the travel front, we had our great month long trip through outback Queensland in May.  Other than that, we have had lots of day trips and visited many events.  Sadly, my blog posts seemed to fall to the wayside and I haven't documented many of them. Of course, our Lou and Tony visiting from NZ was a highlight.

On the home front, inside we have made a few changes.  I did blog about our laundry update, but not about our new display cabinets, or most excitingly, my sewing room organisation.  That will come very soon.  The pictures have been taken, ready to share.  

One big investment this year was to add solar power with back up battery to the house.  It is wonderful.

Outside, it is a bit of an ongoing battle with the elements.  We planted our cherry tree and removed the messy wattles, which I shared. The spring garden looked lovely, which I didn't share. As our local water supply continues to fall, we are only able to water the garden with a hand held hose for half an hour on Wednesday and Sunday evenings.  I so feel for those with much loved substantial gardens.  Due to the ongoing drought, back in March, Mick installed a 5,000 litre water tank on our shed, to add to the three 3,000 tanks we already had. What I didn't get around to posting is that in September he removed another ratty garden and installed a 10,000 litre water tank and has now set up for water from our house to go into the tanks.  I can't believe we have water storage for 24,000 litres of water on our residential block.........now we just need it to rain to fill them.  We were lucky to get a couple of good storms after we added the big tank, so they were all full at one stage. We are carefully rationing that water for our garden.  We have removed all annuals from the garden and are being mindful of what we water and what will be sacrificed, as there is still no rain forecast for some time.  Of course, there are many, many in a worse state than us.  We did plant a few veges.  Tomatoes were planted in pots quite early and brought inside each night to avoid frosts.  Picking a tomato before Christmas is always the holy grail.  We were picking them at the beginning of December.  The unseasonably hot weather may have assisted there.

On the stitching front I think I had a rather good year.  I once again joined in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, One Monthly Goal and One Project a Month.  

I am so pleased to be able to say that I finished at least one project each and every month, even though some were very small.  Every little bit counts.

For the Rainbow Scrap Challenge I selected a very simple quilt pattern and for the first time, used it as a leader and ender project.  This was a double success, having finished the quilt by the end of the year and also realising that a leader and ender project works really well for me, and I have now started another one.

My goals for One Monthly Goal were generally quite small compared to others that were listed.  However, by making them achievable, every goal was met, and occasionally exceeded.  Setting small goals towards a larger outcome really worked for me.

In 2018 I wanted to really make a dent in my UFO pile, and I did complete quite a few, some being really old.  I hoped to continue on this path in 2019, but only finished one.  

This was the quilt I gave to Mum for Mothers Day.  It makes me so happy that she loves it and enjoys showing it off to the staff where she lives.  It was definitely worth getting my act together and finishing it off.  

Another outcome that I am happy with is that everything I started in 2019 I finished.  No UFOs created.  

I do have my WIP - The Splendid Sampler 2.  I always thought it would be a two year project and have been plugging away at it every month. I am on track to meet that time frame.  This year I have made several blocks that used foundation paper piecing, and as a result, feel much more confident with the technique.  Likewise, I've used the Ultimate Flying Geese Ruler for several blocks and now feel confident in making nice, accurate flying geese.

For something a bit different, I crocheted a shawl during the winter.  I really enjoyed making it.

So after reading that post at the beginning of the year, I seem to have achieved  pretty much everything I wished for.  It is a really good feeling.


2020 is going to be a year of change for us, as Mick is going to attempt to semi-retire as of now.  For someone who works hard and often six days a week, this will be some adjustment.  He won't go "cold turkey", as that would drive him mad.  He is fortunate in that he will have the opportunity to get work when he wants it.  The trick will be achieving a balance and working out how he will spend his extra time.  I'm sure motorcycling will feature, as we haven't been able to participate in many day rides, as he has been working, or we've had to do other things on the precious weekends. He may also do some volunteer work or join a service club.  Once again, things he has not been able to commit to in the past. I will continue to work three days a week.

We don't have a lot of travel planned for this year.  Just a week away to attend the Ulysses Rally at Lismore in May.  This will be our first motorcycling holiday since our failed trip around Oz in 2017.  We do hope to get away for lots of weekends in the van, or on the bike.  We were planning on leaving today for a few days, but the weather is too horrible to be enjoyable.  Of course day trips and attending events will be on our agenda, as always.

At home we have a few more home improvements in the pipe line.  They will keep Mick amused for a  little while......if he paces himself and doesn't have them done in just a couple of days.

Hopefully, this horrid drought will break and we can potter in the garden.  This is something Mick really enjoys.

Stitching will continue in much the same way as previously.  

I will once again participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, One Monthly Goal and One Project a Month.  

I have decided to make two small projects for RSC, rather than a quilt.  I will make just one block for each, each month, using new to me techniques.

OMG is the best thing to keep me on track with whatever project I am working on.  This will vary throughout the year.

OPAM is a great motivator to at least have something finished, and encourages me to sometimes make small, quick projects.

I  intend to finish Splendid Sampler 2 - hopefully by June, which is two years since its commencement.  I have decided to bight the bullet and make the extra blocks to have the full 100.

I'd like to complete more UFOs.  No set number, but at least make some progress.  Also, like in 2019, I want to complete whatever I start, or if a larger project, make progress each month. 

I have joined in  with Cheryll with her " WOOFA" Challenge - Working on or Finishing a UFO.  That may keep me motivated.

It seems that I am happy working on multiple projects, as long as I do a bit each month.  Having said that, I don't want to start a big project until SS2 is completed.  There are several I'd like to start, but they can wait quietly in the queue.

I have a leader and ender project on the go at the moment and I think it will become a charity quilt. This doesn't have to be a big quilt, so can also be an opportunity to increase my machine quilting skills.  Hopefully, I can make more than one.  We'll see.  The lady that lives two doors up from me is quite involved in making them, so I have somewhere to give them to.

Of course, the aim will be to use my stash as much as possible for all of the above.  Hopefully, I will only buy fabric for a specific project requirement, not "just because".

During the winter, I'd like to create another crochet project.  I have the yarn for a couple, so I'd like at least get one made.

Hopefully, I haven't bitten off more than I can chew for the year.  My aim is to achieve lots of small things, which will add up to a larger total at the end of the year.

I'm going to link up over at Quilting Jetgirl's Planning Party this year. The more accountable I am, the more I seem to achieve.

I hope everyone has a Happy and Productive 2020.  It will be fun to look back in twelve month's time and see how I went.


loulee said...

Well, you have been very busy. And it looks like the coming year will be just as busy again.
The weather is really strange this year, global warming or not, no one can deny that things are changing.
Happy new year to you and Mick, Tony and I wish you all the very best for 2020.

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl said...

Small amounts of work add up to big accomplishments. I hope that your husband's start into retirement goes smoothly. I am just finishing up my Splendid Sampler 2 quilt, but I only made 42 blocks. I know that your full 100 blocks will make a special finish! I hope you have a wonderful 2020.

kiwikid said...

Sounds like you have lots of acne emants thru the year Janice. I hope your husbands retirement goes smoothly and he finds retirement keeps him very busy. Looking forward to your life happenings for 2020.

Jenny said...

Best wishes for your plans in 2020, and hope that hubby semi retirement goes to plan. He seems to be a bit of a workaholic so will need things that he is interested in to keep him busy.
It has been great getting to know you through your blog, and keeping up with your adventures and stitching throughout the year.

Fiona said...

lovely post looking back on the year and the plans for this year now.... Great for Mick and you both..... wishing you all the very best...

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Raewyn said...

Interesting post Janice, it sounds like you have plenty to keep you busy, and having Mick around home more will add extra interest as well.

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