Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Stitch in Time: Count Your Finishes in 2011

I don't care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don't harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you're never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants. –Zig Ziglar

In 2010 I kept a running tally of every sewing or quilting project I finished. I posted an index page and then as I posted about each individual finish, I updated my index page with a link to the post about that specific finish. As the months passed, I found a certain satisfaction in my growing list of finishes and at the end of the year it was really fun to look back and see exactly how much I had accomplished in 12 months' time. I'm going to keep track of my finishes the same way this year and I want to invite you to play along at home with me if you're so inclined.

The first thing to do is to decide what you're going to count as a finish. I'm only counting fabric finishes in there; paper crafts or cleaning projects are a different category {that I hardly ever approach any more :lol:}. If you knit, crochet, cross-stitch or embroider, those would all be fabric finishes in my book. It is up to you to determine what you want to keep track of. Once you've determined your focus, then it is time to decide what you want to work on. Personally, I have lots of projects in mid-process, so anything I pick up and complete counts as finish for the month I finished it in, even if the bulk of the work was done some other year. But I'll also be starting a few new things and hope to get them finished in a short amount of time and those, of course, count too.

A word about quilts: I do not count individual blocks or a quilt top as a finish. A quilt isn't a finish until it is quilted and bound {name, label and washing are optional :wink:}.

While it would be really awesome to host a blog-wide challenge, complete with prizes each month, I think that would be too much for me to take on at the moment {my 20-hour a week job has become a 30+-hour a week job but I'm hoping that is only due to month's end/year's end/new year/new month complications and my hours will calm back down. In the case that becoming the Assistant Financial Resources Manager does turn out to be closer to a full-time gig, I don't want to have too much going on. So I'm going to wait and see how it goes for now.}. Even though there are no prizes involved {for now, but stay tuned because I have a few ideas}, having a complete list of everything you accomplished in one year is a pretty great reward on it's own. {Trust me. I did it last year.} But I did want to share the idea with you at the New Year. You can even use my cute button in your sidebar to link back to your own 2011 Finishes page.

Here's how it works:
• Post a 2011 Finishes index page {like mine}. You can use this large graphic on your page if you like. For best results, click on the Edit HTML tab when you paste it in and then you can switch over to the Compose tab to position it left, right or center in your post.

A Stitch in Time

• I would appreciate it if you would include a link back to this post so that visitors to your blog and index page have access to the source.
• After you have posted your index page, click on View Post {instead of View Blog} so that only your index post is open and showing on your blog page.
• Copy the code below the button you want to use {the small one is 150 pixels and the big one is 220 pixels}.

My 2011 Finishes

My 2011 Finishes

• In a new tab or window, open up your blogger Design page.
• In the sidebar area, click on Add a Gadget and select HTML/Java Script from the menu that pops up.
• Paste the button code into the text box.
• This is the important part — your button won't work as a link to your index page unless you do the following: go back to your index page and copy the URL {starts with http://} from that specific post and paste that over top of the text in the button code that says PASTE YOUR URL HERE. The URL should sit directly in between the quotation marks in the code, with no spaces before or after or any other characters in that area.
• Save the button to your sidebar. When visitors to your blog click on your button, they will be taken to your 2011 Finishes index page which {hopefully} has a list of everything you finish this year.
• Make sure to update your index page as you post about your finishes this year. If you want, include links to each individual post for easy reference back to them.
• Leave me a little note in the comments with a link to your blog so I can come and visit you and see your finishes.
• Have fun with your finishes!


Angie said...

Done. ;)

Paulette said...

Okay, I am going to do this (give me a few days)! Thanks for such good instructions and the cute buttons and code. It makes me a little nervous, to be honest. But I've been thinking about this very thing--finishing--as the new year starts, and this may help me succeed in that regard.

QuiltNut Creations said...

I love seeing my list of yearly finishes grow(2010s list is still growing as I slowly blog last minute finishes lol). I was(still am) shocked that I finished just under 70 quilts last year. And that doesn't include the none quilting sewing projects. I may just be addicted.