Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Plans

Some people seem to avoid any kind of end of year reflection, not wanting to review the things they promised they would do, which may or may not have been done.  But I bet if you actually sat down and wrote a list of all the things you did last year, you'd be quite impressed with yourself.

Fabric shopping in Amsterdam in 2011

My 2011 goals included some careery type ones, some stitching type ones, and some sustainability type ones.  I'm pretty pleased with how I've gone in all those departments.  While some of these took quite hard work to achieve, they were all things that I REALLY WANTED, so the hard work wasn't so hard once I got into it.

In 2011 I...
  • Read 16 books.  I just did the tally up, and that's way more than I thought.  However, some of them were smaller kids books (like Paul Jennings Unreal!) and some were gardening books which are heavy on pictures (but still awesome).
  • Sewed 11 items of clothing, and mended, hemmed or altered countless more.  Even as I sit here typing this, and stop to think, I'm moving the buttons on a pair of shorts to make them fit better.
  • Refashioned 3 items of clothing.
  • Knitted 5 items of clothing, including my first pair of socks which I worked on whilst travelling around Europe.
  • Crocheted 6 items.
  • I also made some things to cut down on the amount of waste entering and leaving our house, like veggie bags (no more plastic supermarket ones) and serviettes (bye-bye paper napkins).  Also towards a more sustainable household we joined a veggie co-op, made our own bread, jams, sauces, chutneys... and even laundry liquid (see excellent instructions here, introduced to me by Erica from Recycled Fashion)
Wow - that's quite a list!

Cloth serviettes means no more one-use paper napkins

So then to 2012.  I have three big themes for this year...

1. Creating
Ok, so if you look at the list above, you would probably think that I do enough creating already.  But a lot of this stuff is from a pattern, so mostly I'm just following instructions.  This year I want to do some more arty creating, less about the functional and more about the interesting and thought provoking.  I have some plans here, which I will share with you as they start to take proper shape in the coming weeks.

2. Exercising
That's gotta be the most common New Year's Resolution, right?  However I'm talking about exercising both my mind AND body.  I love it when my brain gets working and the good ideas start to flow.  I want to find the muscle that does that and give it a regular workout.  Things like learning other languages or even doing crosswords helps.  And as to the physical - I've never been a gym girl.  Way too boring and monotonous.  I have been taking acrobatics lessons for the last few years and I will be continuing to hone my skills (and hopefully perfect my handstands) in 2012.

Joining a veggie co-op was one of the best things I did in 2011.  No plastic supermarket bags here!

3. Cutting down on food packaging
I have decided to cut out plastic food packaging as much as possible.  The thought came to me when I went out to get some lunch one day, and came back to the office with some takeaway Japanese food.  I finished my food in about 10 mins and realised that I was about to throw out a plastic container that had been used for literally 15 mins.  When I thought about all the chemicals, water and energy that went into making it, and the fact that it was to become landfill after 15 mins of use, I was totally disgusted.  I then resolved to cut out plastic food packaging as much as possible.  This is my big commitment for 2012, the one that will require me to be more conscious when making food-buying decisions.

I'll be sure to keep you updated with my 'big themes' for 2012 and how I am going with them.  How about you?  Any big themes for 2012?  Travel?  Study?  Cooking up a storm?  Do tell!


  1. I thought the same about our sushi packaging- my kids love sushi, so we have it for lunch about 3 times per week. My favourite local sushi guys let me take a pyrex container to put it in, and my friend does the same now, so it's catching! Great goals for 2012 :)

  2. That's awesome Alicia! I actually went to get sushi for lunch yesterday. I checked that other sushi buyers were getting theirs in paper bags, and thought it was safe. But when I placed my order, they started packing it into a plastic container! I had to say "no! In a paper bag please!" (and then left the little plastic soy sauce fish behind). It's astonishing how these shops give away every bit of plastic so freely.

  3. Happy New Year1
    I like your goals for 2012- fairly similar to mine- maybe that's why I like them!? I've been really shocked by how much plastic is in our bin so we're also aiming to reduce it this year...