Sunday, 30 December 2012

Not Really Resolutions 2012 - The Results

How different things are from last year. 

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.

1. Complete my France trip of 2010 album 

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...

3. Run 10km

Done and done - I ran the Preston 10k at the end of September and managed to fall back in love with running all at the same time. 

4. No buying of physical books for one whole year

Completed - read all about it here.

5. Learn how to do French knots and use them in an embroidered piece 

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.

8. Read 12 Classics 

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. 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.....


  1. So much to comment on here...! Firstly I'm glad that you didn;t delete the resolutions page and pretend it never happened because really, looking back on it, isn't it better to have achieved five and a half things than none at all? How many would you have done if you hadn't had the list?

    Also, you made me chuckle talking about sweating trying to do French knots - I can imagine, I'd be the same. I've managed about 10 in my whole life - the finished article is gorgeous :)

    I'm quite tempted to attempt the Classics challenge next year - I'm sure I have at least twelve on my shelves unread.... xx

  2. I actually really enjoyed your book reviews! I'm currently halfway through a book of short stories by Henry James, the last one being The Turn Of The Screw. I saw a really good adaptation of it on TV a while ago so I'm looking forwards to reading it. If you like a good 'ghost' story, I'd recommend The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, or any of Susan Hill's ghost stories...

  3. It looks to me as if you got way over 50%. You deserve more anyway for effort in adverse circumstances. Well done you. All the very best wishes for 2013 x

  4. I'd say that's pretty standard for completing resolutions, not sure I even did half of mine! I LOVE 'I Capture The Castle' and I've just read somewhere else that 'Gone With The Wind' is fab but...the size! I would like to read more classics instead of just copping out and watching the movies instead... Totally think your amazing table is worth counting that resolution :)

  5. I absolutely love the photo album idea with your own cross stitch twist, what a lovely touch. I would be delighted with a gift like that.

    You have also inspired me to purchase The Turn of the Screw this morning as I have taken up my own 'Read the Classics' resolution.

    Thank you for your lovely blog with genuinely entertaining anecdotes, and interesting insights. One of my new favourites.

    Also, I hope all goes well with the new job, no doubt you will smash it!

    CB :)

  6. I am envious of your embroidery...maybe one day I will try! I was going to try and put my new ukelele to use this year but Easy Jet restrictions mean it is going to get left behind in the UK unfortunately.

    I am surprised by your opinion of the Tenant of Wildfell Hall but I guess I can see your point. For me I just simply adore the way all the Bronte girls write. I find delight in the words more than the story sometimes...and that is what that book is about I suppose...Well for me anyway...

    You have achieved a fair bit though - makes me wonder if I should set more goals! xxx

  7. I still love that table. Absolute brilliance.

    Interesting comments on the classics you read. I loved The Tenant of Wildfell Hall but then I read it when I was about 15 and hopelessly romantic. I tried the first few pages of Cold Comfort Farm a few months back and wasn't drawn in at all but I'll give it another go sometime I'm sure.

    Good luck with everything 2013 has in store!


Go on. Say something. You know you want to...