Never Mind August, Where Did September, October and November Go?! A Catch Up – How Have You Been?

Yeesh! Looks like a few months shot by since our last chat – super sorry about that. Listen, if you’ve got a few mins and a brew to hand, how about we have a catch up?

Happiness Starts At Home

Well, it is what they say, isn’t it? Well, we know that charity does, so why not.

Anyway, with Autumn and Winter swiftly descending on the Scotland it has been time to stock up on essentials, like fire wood.

Shifting several dumpy bags of kiln dried hardwood via wheelbarrow into the storage area isn’t the most fun of jobs but it gives me some exercise during those time that I haven’t been able to get out for longer walks and it also allows me some time in the fresh (cold) air so that I appreciate the fire even more.

Anyway, now it’s in and the fire has been on – since September, lol!

Somehow a warm log fire makes everything more relaxed and heart-warming, even the breakfast butty.

(sorry to veggies and vegans out there).

Evenings can be fun too.

For those that know me, you’ll be very surprised to have seen a beer on the go.

The reason is that I have been curious about this craft beer lark that seems to have taken the nation by storm over the past few years so thought I’d give it a go with a subscription box from Beer52.

Thankfully there was a special offer where I got 8 beers and just paid the postage. I say thankfully as I am not a huge fan and so didn’t continue with that. Was interesting to read about the beers though.

Back to the cups of tea I reckon.

Someone else has been enjoying the warm fire…

… more about her later.

It’s not just been about staying warm, I’ve also been continuing the “moving in” spruce up.

I know, I’ve been here 18 months so why is it taking so long?

Enthusiasm? Lol!

I do enjoy a day of house keeping and so decided to upgrade the vacuum recently with some special nozzles …

… lord knows that they are all for however the “up and over” was a joy to use as I was able to get up and over the beams and suck up all the pollen, dust and whatever else was up there. There were a few thuds but I didn’t look in the vacuum at the end, just binned it.

Anyway, there’s more to do and I’ve also been resorting and reorganising the craft stash but in the meantime, I can sit happy with my home – probably a good thing as getting out and about these days is a rarity isn’t it?

Craft Stash Sort Out

Ok, I know I’ve done this before but I keep moving and tweaking because this isn’t really just a hobby for me but a workspace and so I really want it to be “perfect” and get rid of the annoying little niggles.

I think that I am getting there.

As you can see, plenty of light, plenty of space to work – of course it’s covered in “stuff” but it feels more manageable and more relaxed to work in which, if you read my 30 day challenge posts from earlier this year, is a billy bonus.

Now, as some of you will know, I do love my sewing but for some reason it doesn’t seem to have made much of an appearance on this blog and so I want to be able to change that in 2021.

Unfortunately this year was the year that my old machine decided to croak it so had to save up for a new one and found this wee beauty on the GUS website during a sale so snapped it up.

Can’t wait to use it. It’s obviously still in the box though, lol!

You may have seen a few posts over this last two years with my experiments in embroidery and I am pleased to say that this too will be getting more exposure on the blog in the new year and so I have invested in a larger range of threads too.

Sadly this stash acquisition (random buying) has led to a pile of stuff cluttering a corner of the room with no sense of order or way of getting to the bits that I wanted to use.

Gah! What a mess!

It was time to have a proper sort out and find some storage solutions that work for me.

I even reach out for help on Facebook and was grateful to receive some awesome tips. One was to lay all of the stash out and declutter the repeats and then pack back up based on their function.

So, needless to say, there wasn’t really space to put a mug or a bum down until I’d got that done!

Surprisingly few repeats although I did have an unnecessary amount of seam rippers for some reason. Weird as I don’t think I have ever bought a single one.

Ok, now for the storage solutions.

Google got a good old hammering with multiple browser windows, various shopping sites and several pairs of glasses being switched between until I settled on just two purchases.

The first was this trolley from Amazon. A little pricier than “similar” ones from Hobbycraft, The Range and The Works but it was all metal, was the right size, had the right amount of storage space and had all of the accessories included so it was the one for me.

It was very well packaged and also very easy to put together although I did have two screws left …

… ah well, it stayed together so I will call that a success.

In addition to the trolley I also picked up a sewing machine storage bag.

Storage sorted and it was time to pack in all of the stuff.

Seriously, how much better is this?!

*happy sigh

Can’t believe I managed to get all of the sewing and embroidery stuff in there! Ok, well, small confession, theres a giant box of fabric elsewhere but that’s fine, at least the tools are sorted and I can get to it all! Woohoo!

If I were Hannibal from the A-Team, I’d say, “I love it when a plan comes together.” stuff a cigar in my face and grin from ear to ear.

Anyhoo, that’s what has been going on indoors, fancy coming with me outside?

To see the next part of this story, please use the numbered page links below.

33 thoughts on “Never Mind August, Where Did September, October and November Go?! A Catch Up – How Have You Been?

  1. Great to read your blog,and see that you have been busy- rainbow blanket and wildlife beautiful. Doggy just like a fox, how brill to be able to share your doggy. Having the elderly parent and dog for chrimbo- it just happens to be my turn for caring duties-looking forward to dog walking. We have bat roosts in the area and often go out at dusk to watch the aerodynamic flights- cant wait for them to come out in the spring,. Crafting wise done a bit of knitting-a reindeer for home decor but craft stash overtaken lounge completely as having a real sort out would love to have a craft outlet- charity shops being very particular at the moment around here-understandable, Hubbie has just fixed computer hes so clever, been offline for a while. Stay safe !


  2. Hi John. Enjoyed your post after a long absence. Have just got my crafting mojo back. Trouble is, I like to keep trying different crafts. Love paint pouring and going to try resin pouring next. Craft stash growing daily thanks to the internet. We love Scotland but alas this year was unable to visit. Fingers crossed we may get some normality back soon. So glad you are enjoying life up there. And I absolutely love the crochet blanket. One thing I cannot do is crochet. Look forward to next post. Stay safe. Gloria

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Been waiting for a trip to the famous blue and yellow store this year for a craft trolley, but of course not possible. And then you popped up again with news and a super trolley. It is arriving hopefully on Friday….. thank you and welcome back.


  4. Hi John, so good to hear from you and to see that everything is well. Your house is looking so cozy with the fire and colourful blanket, craft stuff tidy and nead (LOL)
    The neighbours dog is so beautiful when I see her I think of a little fox and all the other critters that come by are also great to see. And than I didn’t even mention the awesome nature you live in, Scotland is so beautiful, wow!
    I didn’t do much, I had to recover after spending the months of July and August in the hospital. Fortunately, the weather remained nice for a long time so that I could go outside for small walks and to improve my fitness. There was not much of making cards or any other hobby, I knew that from previous times that I have been in hospital and the desire for making always slowly returns.
    I have made some Christmas cards and today I finished a card for my daughters birthday.
    By far not enough cards for Christmas but I will send the handmade to the ones I know they appreciate them.
    And next year, well I want to do more art journaling/mixed media and perhaps a few cards for special occasions. In the new year, if the virus doesn’t throw a spanner in the works, I also have to undergo surgery again and hope that it will be a shorter stay in hospital than last summer.
    That’s it, stay safe my friend, a big hug from me from The Netherlands and looking forward to see your next blogpost.


  5. Dear John so nice to hear from you if it was’n for the crafting and the use of your svg which i brought I think i would be in a padded cell I have always LOVED Scotland and where you live looks heavenly so happy to hear you are well and hope this stays so looking forward to seeing more of your cleaver work WELCOME BACK x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Can I come visit you and the dog? With the fire and the blanket and the fluffy dog, not wonder you haven’t been around. Stay safe and warm and Happy holidays to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I HAVE MISSED YOU. Great to see you back, your beer looked yummy and your butty, I loved the pic of the Red Squirrel. Is your furry friend a Sheba Inu? I have a Basenji and they look similar, but mine is less fluffy, however, her best friend at the weekly party is a Sheba Inu called Hero.
    I have been busy recently making my grandson an Advent box calendar using John Next Door Die set. It came out really good and he loves it.

    trying to stay sane taking lots of dog walking, and Tai Chi.

    Stay safe and Stay well
    Love and Light
    Sioux x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to hear from you Sioux. That particular beer was nice but I wasn’t a fan of the other seven, quite bitter.
      Yes, the furry one is a Shiba Inu. To be honest, the fluff is her winter coat. She’ll shed it eventually and lose a lot of the “puff”. Also, I will get to make a felted mat from the shed fur! Lol.
      The advent box sounds interesting. Glad that you were happy with the result.


  8. Hello John. It is lovely to hear from you again, you have been missed. Now you have sorted out your craft space you can come and sort mine, mind you it is a big job. Lol. Your wild neighbours are just wonderful I wish I had such views from my windows. Stay safe and warm with your Doggy friend. Hugs Marie.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So great to hear from you John. Hope all is well. What have I been doing ….well. All my activities have been stopped at the moment due to the Hostilities, even my hospital Volunteering. I usually make cards for one of the Clinics to sell for Charity but of course they aren’t able to do that at the moment so I am just making cards for me. WeIl stopped my Christmas cards when I counted them and realised that I had 78. Idon’t think I know 78 people. Anyway I decided to sort my craft room out. To be honest I don’t seem to have thrown out much. Here in Wakefield we have a craft shop where you can donate stuff for them to sell. It is to do with Mental Health. I have a bag full of stuff for them for when they open again. I have addressed all my cards just to put stamps on and post. Take care of yourself John

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Margaret, glad to hear from you. 78?! That’s a lot. At least you will be ahead of next years stock for the charity card creations. That thrift shop for crafts sounds like a great idea! There’s a fair few people with extras that don’t want to just throw them out so its great to know that there will be someone that can get more use from it. Sounds like you are keeping yourself busy whist the hostilities keep things shut. Stay happy and take care.


  10. Great to hear from you again John and glad to hear you’re well. The tidying certainly looks good. Well since august I have been back at work, being a key worker it was unavoidable so not much done for me. I did all my christmas cards while sheilding for 20 weeks so all I’ve been doing is adding the verses and making the envelopes.
    Glad to see you still have your visitor, she is beautiful.
    Looking forward to your next installment. Take care, stay safe. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi John, great to hear from you. I missed your blog posts and am grateful you are well and have been keeping busy. Love all the tidying. I have been tidy and sorting out my stash and craft area too. Love the new storage you purchased it looks very organised and smart as well. Love all your photos inside and out you live in a beautiful place. I have done a bit of crafting but not much, although all my Christmas cards are made and written. Will be looking forward to your sewing features next year, I made your face mask this year and I think that is all the sewing I have done except essential repairs. Take care and stay safe xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi John.
    Lovely to catch up and find you well in these difficult times. I love to read your blog and have missed you! Great work on tidying the craft room/office … do you want to come and do mine now? 😘
    I love your doggy neighbour … goodness, doesn’t she curl up small! She looks almost cat-sized on that photograph but normal dog sized on the others (if you know what I mean).
    I love the idea of weaving and the coasters look fabulous. What will you do with the larger pieces you make once you get your new loom?
    Take care from a miserable and wet Liverpool – though, I suspect, nowhere near as cold as oop North!
    💕 Clare x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, I have had a few requests for the organisational services.
      Doggo is slightly larger than cat sized in real life but yes, she can tie herself up in knots when it comes to bed time.
      The larger pieces of weaving will depend on what sized looks I get. The smaller and it will most likely be scarves but what I would really like to do is be able to weave my own fabric that I can then use to make handbags. Exciting, right?!
      Yup, defo chilly on the east coast of Scotland right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi there
    Where you live is beautiful, I love the countryside and wildlife,
    Just thought that you may be interested in ‘CARD WEAVING’, have not yet tried it myself, but looks awesome! (Lots of information on you tube).
    I love using the many svg files I have purchased from you, keep up the good work and look forward to reading about your new endeavors!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good to see you blogging again! Cannot believe it is the end of November already! Envious of your willpower in dealing with the stash, I’m afraid if I spread mine out I might decide to hammer planks across the door and never set foot in my workroom again!
    I’m still waiting for a date for my hip replacement, meanwhile the dog walks are getting shorter and I’m definitely getting grumpier, but Christmas sewing is underway….
    Let’s hope for a better year next year…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Franni, I got my hip replaced 15 yrs ago after being bone to bone for at least 2 yrs., including it getting stuck out of socket after an epidural for my last kid. I had absolutely no pain afterwards, easiest surgery I have had. (I’ve had around 25 various ones) I was 42. My mom (91) just got hers done a year ago, she said the same thing. Hope yours goes easy as well!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi John. Lovely to hear from you with the catch up. Loved all of it but my Craft interest took second place to Doggo and the blanket. How fabulous. You can’t beat a cuddle and a chat with a gorgeous fur baby. Glad to hear you are keeping well and busy. Where has the time gone.? Considering the year it’s been its gone so fast. I miss DCE but was I signed up for the Udemy course and was happy to find you on Creative Fabrica site so purchased the lot yet again to keep you in a few more beans and the odd sausage to share with Doggo. Take care of you and keep sharing what you are up to and your home and the beautiful area in which you live and stay safe. Big hugs 😘😘xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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