Get Crafty

Galaxy Cross Stitch – week 2

Here’s the galaxy after another week has passed! (so up to Jan 14, I’m a little behind)

I used 3 new colours that I hadn’t used in week 1 and six different colours in week 2.

I have a new “lowest high”: -5* C on January 5

The highest high was 4* C on January 4 – so it was a big of a swing there.

The numbers after the = in the captions are the DMC thread numbers.

AND I figured I should move the hoop after a couple of weeks so here’s the full fabric update. I tried to not move the needle minder so that you get a good idea of what portion of the fabric you usually see in the photos:

The pattern is from Climbing Goat Designs – websiteetsy

The fabric is from Mystic Fabrics – website

Diversions Get Crafty

Galaxy Cross Stich – week 1

Ohhh so this was a bit of fun actually. I had decided to use for the weather. And then this happened:

well, that was unexpected

I ended up chatting with someone in the facebook group who is also in Toronto and told me that she uses a website from the Canadian government so I went over there and have now switched to using the temperatures as reported by NavCAN from the Toronto Islands. The Island is about 10 km away by car. Pearson Airport (where the weather is traditionally taken from I guess) is about 25 km away. And in a whole other city!

Anyway, here’s the first week:

-4 degrees C = DMC 550

I explained in the first Galaxy Cross Stitch post that I have a spreadsheet – of course I do – that I use to keep track of the temps and the colours and all of that jazz.

For the first seven days of January in Toronto:

Highest high: 5* – on January 1

Lowest high: -3* – on January 3

I’ve used the same colour twice two times already!

Oh and another nifty thing – apparently @muzic_drama06 did a tiktok about it and it’s been watched almost half-a-million times!!

Diversions Get Crafty

Galaxy Cross Stitch

A temperature tracking pattern by Climbing Goat Designs

Okay, I have to go back and check my XStitch magazines because I am sure I have seen Climbing Goat Designs before. But I stumbled across it again recently on FB and discovered they were doing a stars stitch-along in 2022 so I bought that – wonders of the night sky – more on that in another post 😉

Then someone mentioned the rainbow temperature galaxy pattern, so I had to go give that a look and well, I looked. And I was hooked. Conveniently enough I have some down time now to get them both ready.

Okay first of all – why do I love the temperature tracking pattern so much? Probably because it’s complicated, and fiddly, and I had an excuse to pull out the spreadsheets! (well, “pull out” in this case means open another tab on the laptop; but I am a sucker for spreadsheets).

This is the example from the website. Yes, it really says Southampton!

What range to use?

The instructions explain that it’s a good idea to look back at the last year or two and see what the range of temps your place has. You can see where my spreadsheet came in handy! I went back and counted how many days in each month hit whatever max temperature. For all of 2020 and 2021. Yea, I really LOVE spreadsheets.

	4	5	6	7
January	1	2	3	
Feb		1	2	
March	1		2	4
April	1	1	1	2

This is just a random chunk of the spreadsheet. The columns are the maximum high (in Celsius) reached that day. So in April 2021, one day the max was 4*C, and 2 days it was 7*C etc. May and June didn’t have any max temps this low; whereas January didn’t ever hit 7* or higher!

My spreadsheet goes from “-7 or less” to “31 or more” though from -2 to 30 it goes up by one degree at a time so I ended up with 36 different colours in the final range.

Climbing Goat’s designer – Clare Bray – included six different colour charts with the pattern. So you’re covered if you want to use 16 colours or 36 or really anywhere in between. Which I think is kinda awesome.

And then my mind turned to the fabric…

How could I resist?!? It’s NAMED Galaxy! Handdyed fabric from the amazing Mystic Fabrics

Spreadsheet ready to track temperatures ✔️

Threads assigned to temperature ✔️

Fabric – sorted ✔️

So now all I have to pull out the threads (and order the four I am missing) and I’m ready to go. Well, except it’s not January 1 yet!

I’m not certain I will stitch on this everyday – though that itself would be fun to take pictures of…

(note: I included links where I could because I love supporting artists and creative people etc. I did not receive anything for doing this and, in fact, I didn’t even tell them I was doing this until it was done; which is basically what I always do…)

(note #2: looking back at my “planning for planning” post I realised that I didn’t include EITHER of the CGD patterns in my goals. So I guess I should add them!)

Diversions Get Crafty

Autumn Watercolour workshop

There’s a whole lot to complain about with social media. I know this. But I am also grateful for the friends around the world it enables me to keep in touch with and all the new people to become friends with.

So I started listening to the Ologies podcast I already talked about. Which meant I found the Ologies fans facebook group. Which lead me to join a couple of subgroups (books, parents, and crafts). Which has had me so inspired and motivated you cannot believe.

Someone recommended the Completely Arbortrary facebook group when I was trying to brainstorm ideas my kid and I could use to explore our local parks and trails “with a purpose” (which is highly beneficial to motivating The Mighty Q). So I joined that. And started listening to the podcast – which is terrific, BTW.

AND as a result I’ve been paying more attention to local opportunities to learn more about the outdoors… which led me to the Toronto Botanical Garden website. Which of course led me to their “Learn” tab. (seriously, can someone just pay me to keep learning stuff? Like random stuff that catches my attention, obviously not the continuing professional development that is required as a part of my actual occupation)

And so I signed up for an online class on autumn watercolour painting!

Oh gosh - I just realised I haven't even done a "how I fell into painting" blog post yet! It'll come - someday...

Anyway, I went over the list of materials and got everything ready – and because it’s me – easily a couple of hours before class actually began:

Painting supplies on a blue steamer trunk
Yes, my smaller supplies are in a whisky tin – reusing = cool 😉

Haven’t messed anything up yet…

White paper taped to a board

So the theme is obviously “autumn” and carrots are a good, easy shape to work with.

faint pencil outline of a carrot

I learnt a couple of things right off the bat – straight lines aren’t really “natural.” Carrots are wobbly. They don’t look like the letter V in real life.

Here’s the first layer of paints. I have some lovely orange from Annwin Arts so I was pretty excited to put it to good use!

Next layer – I was a little too heavy on the right-side of the carrot tops. This is when I learned my second big lesson of the night. Do not try to fix it. Just let it go.

What I did do was try and fix it. And tear the top layers of the paper in the process. Sigh.

It’s about here in the process that I yelled up to Toby:

Me: I’m so not good at this!
Toby: That’s why you’re taking a class.
Me: Oh, I don’t know that the class is gonna help
Toby: Are you having fun?
Me: Absolutely!

We also did a bunch of carrots – mine are still separate as opposed to a bunch together but I really like it.

Week 2 is going to be pumpkins!

Diversions Get Crafty Health Reading

Trying to focus

How do you pick what you want to focus on? I mean, seriously – there are so many things I want to do, and help Q with, and I have no idea how to fit it all in.

Right now I’m trying to fit in – in addition to working-from-home-mostly-full-time:

  1. improving my French – mostly this involves the Duolingo app. My French is pretty abysmal for someone who took it for 13 or so years through elementary and high school;
  2. reading more – like actual books. I’m doing the Toronto Public Library’s reading challenge again this year and while I’m doing okay, I’d like to be more consistent with it. For example, I haven’t read anything not work related in the last two weeks. I’d like to work it in;
  3. cross-stitching – it’s fun and calming. Mostly it’s calming. I found an awesome group on facebook to stitch with and they have little games and competitions and while that helps me stitch more it also sometimes ups my anxiety. Thankfully they’re pretty laid back and chill and if I have to drop out of something there is no problem. I’m also VERY careful to follow through on the ones that actually require preparation and participation though;
  4. helping Q learn Morse Code – I’m not sure how much he wants to do this but we’ve worked our way up to E (and also SOS and the letter T);
  5. 2 x 10 minutes of my mindfulness app a day – why twice a day? The app is Calm and it has a “daily calm” of about 10 minutes on a different topic each day. Then it has different series that you can work through – right now I’m listening to a series called “relationship with self.”
  6. moving more – hard to do when we’re in a state of emergency I think; but we’ll try.

One of the benefits of not being at home right now is I can at least ignore most of the “housekeeping” stuff – no cleaning, no yard work etc. I am still doing laundry but less really. Also no piano to make me feel guilty for not practising!

So let’s see:

  • 10-20 minutes for Duolingo;
  • 20-30 minutes for Calm;
  • 30-60 minutes for reading;
  • 30-60 minutes of cross-stitching;
  • 30-60 minutes of moving more;
  • 30-60 minutes of helping Q with school, games, Morse Code etc
  • 6.5 hours of work (M – F)
  • 7 hours of sleep (ideally)

At the high end of everything and assuming some buffer for changing activities and that equals 19 hours. Plus eating and showering. I’m gonna try this schedule for this week or two. It has the decided benefit of being easily marked down as “yes or no” – isn’t that the hallmark of a “SMART” goal?

  • Specific – yes
  • Measurable – yes  
  • Attainable – not sure
  • Relevant – well, relevant to me
  • Time-bound – trying for a week, hopefully two and then I’ll see how I’m feeling about it all.

Wish me luck!

What are you choosing to focus on? One or two things or 50bazillion like I’m trying to do?