TWiP: Work Life Balance

I usually like to take some time to come up with a few words about the week, but I don’t feel like I have much to say today. I caught a cold yesterday, and this post has taken so long to put together already, when all I really want to do is curl up on the couch and not look at any screens for a while. So, I think that’s what I’m going to do πŸ™‚

Oh! One thing I wanted to mention, I *finally* picked up my nice camera this week, after leaving it in the bag for most of January. I grabbed it on my way out the door to get Friday’s shot, and I’m glad I did. I need to get back to using it and challenging myself photographically!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

πŸ“· = taken with my Canon DSLR
πŸ“± = taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

Instagram πŸ“±: My desk at the Day Job needs more Polka Dot Cottage pens. 😊

365 πŸ“±: 2017 14/366 – Outburst – Some people got some new games for Christmas ☺ [Taken at my parents’ house.]

Sunday

Instagram πŸ“±: Some stitchy progress in the past week: several rows on my #sweetpeashawl and a sleeve on my #stopoversweater πŸ’šπŸ’™

365 πŸ“±: 2017 15/365 – Knitting – Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, but it’s nice to have post-apocalyptic skills just in case.

Instagram πŸ“±: Oops. I cast on 6 stitches too many. There’s an hour and a half of #knitting down the tubes πŸ˜•

Monday

Instagram πŸ“±: The pens I made this weekend, now in their new home on my desk 😊 [Taken at work.]

365 πŸ“±: 2017 16/365 – Neil bought me peanuts. He got lightly salted. LIGHTLY salted? Does he even know me at all? The whole point of peanuts is as a vehicle for salt πŸ˜‰

Tuesday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 17/365 – yasso – I’m still trying to figure out my food-related groove now that I’m back at work. I have been eating more than I did at home, and part of it is that I haven’t figured out what to bring for lunch that will make me happy. TOday I came home for lunch and had my old standby of peanuts and a yasso bar. Can’t do that every day, though. I lose a lot of time in the traveling.

Instagram πŸ“±: Oh, yay! I lost these favorite earrings during the summer, and Neil just found them fallen behind the couch! πŸ’šπŸ’™

Wednesday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 18/365 – Cola – I treated myself to a can of soda at work today, only it turns out it wasn’t that big of a treat. Turns out all of that time I’ve spent NOT drinking soda has made me like it less. That’s a good thing, but it leaves me without a go-to treat that I can get from a vending machine. [Taken at work.]

Instagram πŸ“±: Good mail day today. I’ll be curling up with my #mdkfieldguide2 if you need me 😊

Thursday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 19/365 – 10mm Round Brass Frames – My crafty alternate use for a pill box.

Friday

365 πŸ“·: 2017 20/365 – Be Good. – I didn’t watch the inauguration today. Instead I went out early this morning to snap a picture of this sign. It seems like a good mantra to have in these uncertain times β™₯ [Taken at the Shrine of Saint Joseph in Stirling, NJ.]

Instagram πŸ“±: I’ve been congested all day 😷 I’m just going to sit here and knit a few rounds on this sleeve and then go to bed early. #fridaynight #partyanimal

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015, 2016)

This Week in PicturesΒ 

TWiP: Whooooooosh!

How did it already get to be mid-January? I feel like the days lately have been long and full, but the weeks? Whooooooosh!

I mentioned on the blog a few times last year that I was on the hunt for a full time job (mostly I mentioned it in the context of sweaters I was knitting to keep slung over my chair, blouses I was sewing to wear, and mandalas & coasters I was crocheting for my desk). Well, after nearly a year of looking, I finally found one last weekΒ πŸ™‚

It was a bit of a whirlwind, actually. I’ve gotten used to sending out a bunch of applications online and then hearing nothing back, but I got this phone call within a few hours of submitting my resume. I had an interview the next day, and started working a few days later. Whooooooosh!

So, I’ve put in four days so far, and I like it. I work with nice people, only 15 minutes from home. It’s taking a bit of getting used to, being out of the house for so long every day, but so far I’ve been busy enough not to miss home.

My evenings are necessarily starting to look different. There’s been a lot less knitting alone in front of the TV, and a lot more doing laundry, hanging out with the kids, and taking them out the the library and Starbucks.

Soon Neil will be home full time and will take the laundry and the errands off of my hands. He can’t take the “hanging out with the kids” bit off of my hands, but I wouldn’t really want him to. As long as I can knit a sweater sleeve, or wrap a pen with polymer clay once in a while during our together time, I’ll be happy.

What does this mean for Polka Dot Cottage?

Well, I will probably open up custom ordering less frequently (and when I do, my turnaround time might be a bit longer). And I will publish patterns less frequently. But all of the stuff I’ve already done will remain available, and I will add to it as often as I can without making myself crazy.

As far as blogging goes, I’ve already found myself only posting once a week, so that won’t get any worse, at least!

BTW, I started working on a new post to show you the details of the Christmas mandalas I crocheted, and the one new one for my bedroom, but I haven’t gotten very far with that.Β Hopefully I will feel like writing some evening next week, and get that finished up for you 😊

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

πŸ“· = taken with my Canon DSLR
πŸ“± = taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 7/365 – O Bagel – I was going to say that I wouldn’t have gone out this morning if I’d realized how much snow was accumulating, but now that I think about it, I probably would have ventured out anyway. The lure of the weekend bagels is strong ☺ [Taken at O Bagel in Gillette, NJ.]

Instagram πŸ“±: “I’ll just flip through the January chapter,” I said. 2 hours and a cup of coffee later, I’ve read the whole thing cover to cover. πŸ’Ÿ

Sunday

Instagram πŸ“±: My #stopoversweater is coming along very quickly, but I’ve reached a point where I need needles I don’t have. While I wait for them to arrive in the mail, I’ve started a #sweetpeashawl to wear to my brother’s wedding in March. It’s been a lazy, snowy, stitchy weekend so far 😊

365 πŸ“±: 2017 8/365 – Crocs – It snowed all day yesterday, so today was another boot-wearing day. Which is fine with me. The novelty of my new boots has not yet worn off.

Monday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 9/365 – Ear, Nose & Throat – Checkup! [Taken at my ENT.]

Tuesday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 10/365 – LiteSpeed – The next phase of my career started today. It’s been a while since I’ve worked in an office building! I have to get used to sitting at a desk again, instead of on the couch with my laptop. Like I’m doing right now. [Taken at work.]

Wednesday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 11/365 – Cotton / Sturdy – I am disappointed to find that the Laundry Fairy didn’t show up while I was at work today. I think maybe it’s time to make one of my offspring do part of this job πŸ˜‰

Thursday

Instagram πŸ“±: Good morning, Instagram! β˜• [Taken at work.]

365 πŸ“±: 2017 12/365 – 5th Place – A certain son of mine came in 5th in a regional spelling bee recently, and now he wants to have his name legally changed to 5th Place. We’re not really into that idea, but Starbucks apparently is cool with it πŸ˜‰ [Taken at Starbucks in Gillette NJ.]

Friday

Instagram πŸ“±: When your mug matches your shirt. [Taken at work.]

365 πŸ“±: 2017 13/366 – Lettlopi – I’ve gotten very little knitting done this week. I’ve got about half a sleeve to show for my trouble. It’s Friday night, though, so I can kick back with some mindless tv and make up for lost time!

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015, 2016)

This Week in PicturesΒ 

TWiP: Hello 2017

Hello… Happy New YearΒ πŸŽ‰

I decided that this year I would go back to having a theme for my Project 365, and I’ve chosen a theme of “words.”

I’ve always tried to make my daily photos meaningful, in that they should reflect something of what I’ve been doing that day, or what I’ve been thinking about. I’m hoping that I can continue in that way, just focusing in on signs and printed words this time.

One interesting thing about this year so far? I haven’t taken my fancy camera out of the bag at all. Every 2017 photo I’ve taken has been with my phone. I’ve had this phone for a year now, and I’m still impressed that I can take pictures with it that aren’t terrible 😜

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

πŸ“· = taken with my Canon DSLR
πŸ“± = taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365 πŸ“·: 2016 366/366 – Spending the last few hours of 2016 watching PBS on the couch with my sweetie. We are such party animals.

Sunday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 1/365 – Happy New Year 2017: Hello, 2017! I decided that for my ninth Project 365 (yep, ninth!) I would have a theme of “words.” So every picture I take for this year’s project will feature messages, or single words, letters, or numbers. (You may be seeing more of this typewriter over the next 12 months…). This should be a fun challenge πŸ™‚

Monday

Instagram πŸ“±: I forgot to show you last week: that mandala I made didn’t really do it for me (you can see it peeking in at the top left corner) so I tried a different one from another new book, and this one is just perfect 😊

365 πŸ“±: 2017 2/365 – Pattern: Today’s spare time has been all about the knitting. Specifically, this hat, which will be mailed to Washington DC when it is finished. If you’re a knitter, crocheter, or sewist and want to make a hat yourself (or learn a little but more about this effort), go to www.pussyhatproject.com. Meow!

Instagram πŸ“±: Knitting at Starbucks 😸 [Taken at Starbucks.]

Tuesday

Instagram πŸ“±: I actually kind of like this silly looking hat 😻. Nevertheless, it will be in the mail to Washington DC in a few days to be worn by one of the women marchers later this month.Β πŸ’Ÿ

365 πŸ“±: 2017 3/365 – adidas: Took the kids for some long overdue shoe shopping today. [Taken at Famous Footwear.]

Wednesday

Instagram πŸ“±: For supper. Because I just didn’t get enough pigs in blankets during the holidays 🐷🐷🐷

365 πŸ“±: 2017 4/365 – Instant Chemistry: The last two times I dyed my hair, I was trying to match my natural color so that I could just let it all grow out nicely (i.e. I didn’t want a few inches of dark roots on an otherwise red head.) Unfortunately, both of those times the dye was still too light. I’m hoping third time is the charm. If this color is close enough to my natural color, I can just let it grow out without any visible roots. I’m looking forward to having it all back to its natural state eventually!

Instagram πŸ“±: My #lettlopi showed up tonight! I didn’t expect it until tomorrow. Now I can start swatching for the #stopoversweater I’ve been coveting since I saw @mjmucklestone wearing one at #rhinebeck2016 😊Yay!

Thursday

365 πŸ“±: 2017 5/365 – Crunch: Five days in and I’m already posting random words that mean nothing to me, just so I have something to post. I didn’t even *eat* this candy bar. It was just there on the table. The idea for this project is to use words that mean something to me, or that indicate how I’m spending my time. Ah well. They can’t all be winners. [Taken at my in-laws’ house.]

Friday

Instagram πŸ“±: This is one way to spend a Friday morning.

365 πŸ“±: 2017 6/365 – Knitflix: Yesterday, I stepped way outside of my comfort zone, and it paid off. Today I’m celebrating by fully embracing my comfort zone, quite literally. Knitting in my PJ’s next to the fireplace and watching Acorn TV all. day. long. …I couldn’t get much more comfortable if I tried!

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015. 2016)

This Week in PicturesΒ 

TWiP: Farewell 2016

Hey, everybody. Thanks for hanging out with me in my Polka Dot Cottage this year ❀❀❀. May 2017 be kind and gentle to us all! 🍾

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2016), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

πŸ“· = taken with my Canon DSLR
πŸ“± = taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365 πŸ“·: 2016 359/366 – Christmas Eve with the family at Will and Christine’s place. [Taken at my brother’s house.]

Sunday

Instagram πŸ“±: Neil got me #googlehome and I got him #amazonecho. Let the home automation war begin. “Hey Google: destroy Alexa.” πŸ˜† #muhahaha

365 πŸ“·: 2016 360/366 – A Very Clarke Christmas ☺ – Grandma, Grandpa, and all of the Clarke cousins. [Taken at my in-laws’ house.]

Monday

365 πŸ“·: 2016 361/366 – And the last Christmas party winds down. My nephew didn’t want to be in this picture, but it’s the best one I took tonight, so just maybe don’t tell him I posted it πŸ˜‰ [Taken at my parents’ house.]

Tuesday

Instagram πŸ“±: Truth be told, I’m already pretty calm, but I’m not going to let that stop me 😊

365 πŸ“±: 2016 362/366 – My nightstand has a few coasters and a mandala on it, and I place my tablet and phone on them overnight when they charge. Well, I got a smartwatch for Christmas, and now I’m rethinking all of the crochet pieces on my nightstand so that there’s a place for everything ☺

Wednesday

365 πŸ“±: 2016 363/366 – It’s official. I’ve gone overboard with the mandalas on this nightstand. Also, I don’t really like the way this new one looks. I think I’m going to find another use for it, and make something different for this spot.

Thursday

365 πŸ“±: 2016 364/366 – It’s a rainy, yucky day, but I’m happy because I get to try out my new boots!

Instagram πŸ“±: Hanging out with the man child β€β˜• [Taken at Starbucks.]

Friday

365 πŸ“·: 2016 365/366 – I spent most of today playing with a new toy, looking up on the internet how to use said toy, and flipping through some great crochet books. The evidence of this is piling up around me.

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2014, 2015)

Β 

TWiP: ’twas the week before Christmas…

It’s Christmas Eve, and I am happy to report that I seem to have avoided my annual pre-holiday meltdown, despite my best efforts to procrastinate and do everything *but* what was on my list.

The shopping is finished, and the wrapping is almost done, too. Finishing that will take me an hour, tops.

Any cooking I have to do doesn’t require any significant effort, so I’m not concerned about that, either.

I’m going to sign off here now and enjoy the uncharacteristic lack-of-mental-breakdown before I jinx it up good 😜

Merry Christmas, my friends!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2016), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

πŸ“· = taken with my Canon DSLR
πŸ“± = taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365 πŸ“·: 2016 352/366 – We’re never very ceremonious about putting up the tree, but tonight I decided we should do it together. I put on some music, Neil lit the fire, I baked some cookies and made hot chocolate, and we had a nice time getting it all set up β™₯

Sunday

Instagram πŸ“±: The hardest part of an afternoon spent knitting is figuring out what to watch. Oh the time I have wasted browsing my Roku channels! I can finish this sweater today, if I can just settle on some enjoyable viewing material πŸ˜‰

365 πŸ“·: 2016 353/366 – You know what’s great about December? Any time I can’t think of a picture to take for Project 365, I can just play with Christmas light bokeh.

Monday

365 πŸ“·: 2016 354/366 – I have about 2 inches of sleeve left and then I’m finished with this! Unfortunately, this is all the yarn I have left in this ball. It feels crazy to have to wind a new ball of yarn for such a small amount.

Instagram πŸ“±: That moment when you bind off a new knit, put it on immediately, and don’t want to take it off πŸ’Ÿ

Tuesday

365 πŸ“·: 2016 355/366 – Well, Merry Christmas to me! I finished this sweater which was purely a selfish knitting project. It wasn’t for any pattern I am publishing, or anything like that. I just wanted to try my hand at stranded colorwork, so I looked at some of my previous patterns for the basic shape, and I referred to a couple of books for guidance on the colorwork, and just improvised my way to the end. The fit is a little wonky across the back, but I really really like it anyway! And I’m so happy to have something in a neutral color, too.

Wednesday

365 πŸ“·: 2016 356/366 – I was out Christmas shopping today, and I got myself a little something: a sugar plum scented candle.

Thursday

Instagram πŸ“±: That feeling when your oblivious teenager plops himself down in the middle of your shot πŸ˜‚

365 πŸ“·: 2016 357/366 – I really had no intention of doing any more clay work before Christmas, but I just couldn’t silence the little voice that kept telling me I should make a few bracelets as gifts. So here I am, late at night on the 22nd, laying polymer clay strips into brass channels and hoping I’ll have time to sand and buff the cured bracelets tomorrow!

Friday

Instagram πŸ“±: 8 new bracelets. Because what else do I have to do two days before Christmas? πŸ˜‰ #makersgonnamake

365 πŸ“·: 2016 358/366 – Neil and I bought these two rolls of wrapping paper separately. We have surprisingly similar taste.

Instagram πŸ“±: Cheers!πŸ·πŸŽ„

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on FlickrΒ and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2014, 2015)

This Week in PicturesΒ