My Not Really Resolutions of 2011 were, on the whole, successful and I was chock-a-block full of hopes for this year when I made my Not Really Resolutions for 2012. My goodness if I had known then what was coming I don't think I'd have bothered at all. In fact, if I knew what was coming this year I think I would have just found myself a cave and hidden until it was all over.
So needless to say, this year's Not Really Resolutions are not quite as successful as 2011's, but I've done the best I can and I actually think that this gave me something to at least aim for in what has been a shitty year.
Without further ado - this is the round-up of the Not Really Resolutions 2012.
This was a hangover from last year's Not Really Resolutions so there was no way in all good faith that I could avoid finishing it this year. It was going to be a bit of a close call but I pulled my finger out and finally got it finished on the 14th October.
I'm pleased I did it although it definitely would have been easier to just print the photos out and stick them in an album, I feel like I made life unnecessary difficult for myself.
But I'm pleased I did something that was a bit different by stitching on the photographs, it has made it that little bit more special. I took it home with me at Christmas to show my Dad and he really appreciated the effort I've made.
2. Furniture makeover
The idea here was to makeover/upcycle/whatever the trendy word is, two charity shop purchases that I'd made the year before - one a table and one a small chest of drawers.
I've only half completed this one - by performing a huge make over on my table which you can read all about here.
I have even bought the stuff to upcycle the chest of drawers but unfortunately time has run away with me and there's no way I'll get it done before the year is out. Guess I've already found the first thing to go on my list for next year...
French Knots have been the bane of my life since I started dipping my toes into the field of embroidery. I looked at the instructions, I asked people to show me, but it just resulted in frustration and anger and a lot of throwing things across the room.
My salvation came in the form of the Feeling Stitchy blog - which is awesome by the way, you should read it - they had a link to a tutorial video on the Needle 'n' Thread website and after a few views I decided to be brave and give it a go.
And it worked! After a lot of swearing, and having to open a window because I was sweating, I managed to put the final touches to a Christmas present for a friend.
They are definitely something that requires a lot of practice. Even after practicing on a spare piece of evenweave and moved on to the real piece, there were still angry words and a few broken pieces of thread but by the time I'd done a few I was definitely getting in more of a groove and they were looking a little tidier and more uniform.
My best tip? Tension is important when making the knot, but don't get too over-zealous and pull too hard once you've passed your needle back through the fabric - that's when you'll start swearing.
6. Use my alpaca wool
Unfortunately not even a peep on this one. I'm still suffering from the fear when it comes to using it. I've decided to put two strands together to make it thicker to crochet with but I'm now panicking that I won't have enough to make a full blanket.
To be fair I've hardly crocheted at all this year - 2012 has been the Year of Cross Stitch - and I'm itching to get going with my hook in 2013.
7. Sell something at a craft fair
Big fat no to this one. But I don't feel too badly, I guess you could say this one was cancelled due to life circumstances. What with losing my job, moving to Preston, being unemployed, having a crappy job, getting a new job and preparing to move out, I didn't really have time to source out a local craft fair, let alone make things in order to sell at one.
Heck I haven't even registered at a GP yet.
Done - although you probably wouldn't know, given that I dropped doing my book reviews in 2013. I'm basically just not that good at writing book reviews I decided, I'd far rather leave it to the pros.
The list of Classics for this year then has been:
1. Northanger Abbey,
2. The Magic Toyshop,
3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,
4. Gone With the Wind,
5. Cold Comfort Farm,
6. The Virgin & The Gypsy,
7. Brighton Rock,
8. Heart of Darkness,
9. The Turn of the Screw,
10. Of Mice and Men,
11. I Capture the Castle,
12. Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.
Worst Classic of 2012? The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - I don't even know how I made it through that dirge. Absolutely awful.
Biggest disappointment of 2012? Cold Comfort Farm - I know people will be going apeshit at me saying that, maybe I just had too high expectations because everyone loves it so much but it just didn't do it for me at all and it certainly didn't make me laugh.
Biggest surprise of 2012? Gone with the Wind - I've never even seen the film so didn't know what to expect at all and I was pleasantly surprised, I absolutely gobbled this book up, couldn't get enough of it, and although it might appear a little daunting given its size I would definitely recommend it.
Scariest Classic of 2012? The Turn of the Screw - I was chilled people. Chilled.
Favourite Classic of 2012? Toss up between I Capture the Castle and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. Two very different books but both totally absorbing.
9. Cook/bake something new every 3 weeks
Yeah this never happened either. Although....it probably actually did. What happened was I stopped keeping track of everything new I was making. Admittedly I stopped caring after the bad news and I found solace in eating just a whole load of crap as a way of dealing with my redundancy which was not good at all.
However, moving in with The Person re-invigorated my love of trying new things and making new things and together we've had a great time going through all my cookery books and finding new things to make - Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food has been well devoured. I know there have been weeks where I have made new things almost every day...
So I don't know - I reckon I probably did this one, but in the interests of fairness, I'll leave it unticked.
10. Keep a diary with photos for one whole year
Yeah this one was cancelled too. I'm going to say life circumstances again. In some ways maybe I should have, this year would have been interesting to document, but at the same time, I don't think it needed documenting for me to remember it.
I think I made it too difficult for myself by wanting to do photos as well - I couldn't write without the photos and when I got a backlog of photos I couldn't remember what happened. It just all got too complicated.
This one was inspired by doing Project365 in 2011 - I think I'll go back to that next year.
So there we have it. I make that Five-and-a-half out of 10 (I'm giving myself a half for number 2 as I did upcycle at least one piece of furniture) which I'm counting as a win. Anything over 50% is a win, right?
I'm giving myself a pat on the back as well - there were a few times when I thought about just surreptitiously deleting the page listing the resolutions on and pretending that I'd never really set them, hoping that no-one would call me out on it. But I'm glad that I took a deep breath and decided to plunge on regardless, it makes me feel like I've at least achieved something this year.
Now, bring it on 2013.....