2018 Goals

I’m not into making New Year’s resolutions, but I do have a few goals for the upcoming year.

I know most people reading this came here by way of a topiary turtle, and I’m happy you’re here, thrilled really, but as much as I love Fred I don’t want to spend all of my time making topiary. It’s expensive and doesn’t really fill any of my needs. If you’re currently following this blog, you’ve probably noticed the last few posts are sewing related. I hope you aren’t too disappointed that my first 2018 goal is to…

Sew more

Sewing satisfies me on every level. Choosing fabrics that are economical and wearable, in colors, prints and textures I like. Cutting out fabric and lining up my projects. Pressing each seam as it’s sewn and watching a garment take shape from flat fabric. Oh and the results! Sure some of my attempts have hit the trash, but when I wear the successes and they fit properly? That is heaven.

So I will continue to sew and share my makes here, I still have a few wardrobe gaps that need filling. I’ll probably also take part in some weekly sewing challenges from the Facebook group 52 Week Sewing Challenge, provided the result fulfills a actual need. I’m not interested in owning patterns or fabric just for the sake of having it, I’m interested in sewing items that will actually be used, which brings me to my next goal…

Spend mindfully

I follow two types of Facebook groups, Sewing groups and Hosta groups. Occasionally I get put off by the excess I see. Honestly? There is a fine line between pursuing a hobby or spending money as a hobby.

The Hosta groups…

In the Hosta groups I see it all the time – gardens full of Hosta with only one or two eyes that you know are all new. Collections are lovely, when they are carefully curated over time. Some hosta take up to 5 years to reach maturity so if those single eye babies make it, you’ll be searching out new homes for them.

It’s not only that they get bigger, it’s that some of them look different too. Hosta collectors who build their collections over time have gardens that are so much lovelier. You can see the careful selection and layering of color, pattern and texture. That isn’t something you can replicate in a single season no matter how much money you spend.

Gardening is a marathon not a sprint. If you’ve got hundreds or even thousands to spend in a single season, it’s better spent building ‘good bones’ for your garden with hardscaping. The plants themselves will evolve over time as they should.

The Sewing groups…

Oh the sewing groups! Have you ever watched Hoarders? There is a reason that you see a sewing machine in nearly every episode. Some of the women in these groups are super frugal, repurposing old clothing and carefully planning their pattern purchases. But some women get into such a buying frenzy when sales are announced that they end up buying the same patterns multiple times!

So as much as I love having clothing that fits me and makes me happy to wear it, I have zero intention of falling into the trap of filling my house with shelves and totes of fabric or boxes and boxes of patterns. I prefer using patterns that I’ve already prepped and adjusted for fit, so some of my posts will show how I used those patterns to achieve a certain look. Otherwise known as pattern hacking. I also prefer sewing garments that will get used often, so my pattern and fabric purchases are carefully selected for garments that fit my lifestyle and taste.

Get rid of stuff

My house is small, just 1,000 square feet with no basement or garage. The rooms are laid out oddly – it was built as a summer cottage, and there isn’t much closet or cupboard space. I did an enormous purge in the fall, but I hope to continue purging things I don’t use, need, or love.

Blog regularly

This is something I used to do daily at one time and love. I don’t think I want to go back to that level of time commitment or obsession, but I would like to blog regularly enough to build that level of community again. I also want to avoid the parts of it that are distasteful and sometimes downright slimy.

Yes, you will see advertising and affiliate links on my blog but hopefully you will also see my enjoyment and satisfaction in the projects I share. I also hope some of my projects will help someone else, either figure out how to do something or find the inspiration to take on their own projects.

Happy New Year!

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Author: The Shade Gardener

Hi there! I'm Vanessa, the Shade Gardener. I live in a tiny little house in Ontario with my 2 grown boys, 2 dogs and a cat, where I do my best to grow plants in a heavily shaded yard and soil like cement. I am passionate about my family, my pets, MCM furniture and cheese. When I'm not in the garden I do a bit of crafting and sewing. Sometimes I build topiary animals from chicken wire for fun.

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