My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Goal setting.  I personally find that I can't do it early in January - no serious New Year's resolutions for me - I'm too busy holidaying.  But then, within a week or two, my mind naturally turns to what I want to achieve in the coming months.

I've been doing lots of work towards getting myself sorted, and then all of a sudden it's February!


This year I've gone back to a paper planner in a serious way.  I've dallied with digital, love the idea, but it's just not as tangible as paper, not as flickable through.  I still use my digital calendar because it goes across all my devices and it's quick to refer to.  But for planning out my days and weeks and months, my goals and progress, it's me and my planner.

When you flick through it, this is how it's organised:

  • A whole year-on-one-page calendar.
  • A master to-do list.
  • Months, each one having a month-on-one-page calendar, then a monthly overview planner, a monthly habit checker page and then a page-per-day daily plan.
  • After the months I have a tab for goals, with each major goal having a page where it's broken down into steps and dates etc.
  • I have a tab for midwifery work, with pages for booked locum dates, mileage, visit schedules etc.
  • Next is my quilts section.  In there I have a year over two pages with dates of speaking engagements, travel, quilt show deadlines etc.  I have also decided to list my WIP's and the steps I need to do to complete them (22 of them at this stage, and that's after doing a Marie Kondo on my pile and discarding a heap that 'didn't spark joy'!)
  • And lastly, notes pages, which are mainly blank pages for jotting down inspiration when it strikes.
I've used printables from Printed Pineapple, Elena's Papers, and Evy Draws, all found on Etsy.



I've also inserted a few inspirational quotes here and there to make it prettier and hopefully become part of my positive inner talk that I'm trying to nurture.  The quote you can almost make out in the picture above says,

"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day."  
-Richard G. Scott

And I want to be an organised person that has a handle on what's happening today and also what's happening in two months time.

What organisational tools do you use?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Not just needle and thread.

I haven't been entirely idle while waiting for the chance to get my sewing machines.  For one, since my Hubby is now semi-retired, I've taken the opportunity to up the amount of shifts I do at work when they are available.  I've also tried out my hand at a bit of woodwork.

Powertools scare me, so I always tend to hand off those types of jobs to my Hubby.  But really, I should just put my big girl panties on and learn to use them safely and then practice to increase my confidence.  It's just like learning to use a rotary cutter!

So I wanted a box.  My son is having a bit of fun playing round with whittling interesting sticks and doing a bit of metal working.  The trouble is, he's doing it in the same space that I dye fabric, and like all kids, he tends to spread out and take over.  I wanted a box so I could pile some of his stuff in and do a bit of space reclaiming.

I could have gone and bought a plastic crate, but I'm so over plastic.  And we happen to have a supply of rustic recycled planks, so I thought, "Why not?"

Hubby gave me some tips and helped me learn the powertools, but I figured most of the construction out for myself.

And here's the finished product!


It was a bit like patchwork.  Square up, measure, cut and fit together.  It's just using wood instead of fabric and nails instead of stitch.  I didn't bother sanding the paint off as it was just a practice run, but also because I really like that recycled look.


I got to use it the same day I made it.  We had a couple of people over for dinner and I used it to take my cutlery, napkins and condiments out to the deck where we were dining.  You can just see it gracing the table with the hydrangeas in it behind me in the photo below.  Fun!  


Problem is, I think I like it a bit much to fill it with my son's bits and pieces.  I might have to make another...

PS The ceramic vase (that my husband loves using as his 'man-size' tea cup) that compliments the box so well was made by my talented friend, Jane Shaw.  You can find her on Instagram as @janeshawartist

Monday, January 14, 2019

Last you heard from me...

Last you heard from me I was procrastinating by unicorn.  The unicorn is still not finished, but I have a good excuse.  December saw us off to the South Island for three weeks camping.  We came back home for several days over Christmas and then went on our usual summer holiday camp - two weeks in an Uncle's paddock with all the extended family.

On the way to the South Island I dropped my two sewing machines off for servicing.  Today, finally, I'm picking them up.  I've got itchy fingers and am dying to see that unicorn finished!

So here's a few photographs of what we got up to in the South Island:


We took 'The Hippo', our trusty four wheel drive camper to get to those spots less common.


Here she is, unfolded in all her glory on the shores of Loch Katrine. 


One of the most stunning places we got to was up the head of the Godley river.  


Summer hadn't quite reached up there and there was plenty of snow to keep the temperatures down.


And because it was early in the season there was no fire ban so we got to enjoy cooking over flames.  


My son got to gut his first deer.  He wasn't too squeamish and the back steaks were delicious.


The Hippo even got us into Fiordland, which didn't disappoint with it's scenery. 


Nor with it's sandflies!  So we only stayed one night before we scrammed out of there as fast as we could.