Welcome to Towards Simplicity. I blog my goals, especially my reading and studies, and my ongoing downscaling and using up of material stuff and working towards a more minimalist lifestyle.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Results are in for April, plus goal list for May.

... and it wasn't tremendously inspiring last month either!  I think that I do really well on my goals the first time I set a series after a long break.  I feel really motivated and keen to get as many as possible completed.  After that, it just goes down and up and back down again until I drop the idea for a while.  Then we start again with a major productivity push!!

Last month I completed eight of the 28 items and got one more as far as I was going to for the time being as it needed, basically, re-starting when I had more experience.  What I did get done was:

* Deal with fridge freezer  Done!
* Clean bathroom wall - dust on artex  Done!
* NRSV Bible Psalms 63 - Song of Solomon  Ps 63 - 118 & Ecclesiastes
* Finish 'Getting Along With the Chinese'  0.6/11 remaining chapters
* Finish reading 'The Help' and pass on to Ellie  Done!
* Catch up WT & LMMWB bits and pieces  LMMWB bits done, WT stuff not only not done, but increased in quantity!
* Embroidery on cream baby knit  Done!
* Finish knitting pink scarf  Done!
* Start black chunky cardy  Done!
* Sort the sizing for my own cable jumper and get on with it  Just finishing sizing problem, then shelving until 2 simpler knits are done. More experience needed!
* Start on bag making tasks (backpack, knitting bag, manicure pouch)  bought backpack pattern
* Finish invisible hemming pink skirt  Done!
* Get stretch knit fabrics (from winter fabric collections) for future clothes sewing projects  Done!

Everything else was totally untouched during the month - including all but two of the red tasks from last time, from which I can conclude that putting them in red doesn't work for me.  To be honest, I'm still doing the stuff I'm actually bothered about.  When it comes to the Go Bag, I think my laxness in attending to it shows how concerned I am about disasters happening in the area.  It is part done and has self-heating meals, a good first aid kit, painkillers, Savlon soap, insulating blanket thingies and some other stuff in, plus I've scanned and uploaded my personal ID documents etc to two different cloud services and there are two large bottles of water near the door ready to grab in an emergency, so I'm not entirely unprepared....

Moving swiftly on!!

Here's my list for May, much less detailed in some areas and reinstating the health/exercise categories.

Health 
* Remedial Exercises twice daily - when not ill!!
* Lose 4lbs more - I've lost 7lbs already (started a shave off 10st), so goal weight at end of month will be 9st 2lbs.  I've been losing an average of 1lb per week since mid-March and am very pleased with progress so far.
* Start tone up & flexibility exercises adding a little more every few days/week

Domestic  & Admin
* Finish that blasted Go Bag, if only to get the dratted thing OUT of the living room and downstairs near the door where it belongs.
* Clean bathroom window
* Renew passport - we didn't have the money for it last month, but this time it should be ok.  A friend in Germany died and I don't even have the option to go to any memorial service for her as I can't travel internationally right now!

Reading and Study
* NRSV Bible Psalms 119, Proverbs, Song of Solomon & most of Isaiah
* Finish 'Getting Along With the Chinese' from 4.6, or I may just dump it as I have so many other titles I've plainly lost interest in actually reading.
* Read at least half of 'Relearning to See'
* Catch up WT bits and pieces, which increased from last month.
* Vocab transfer from WTs
* Do some language and/or science study

Creative
* Get on with 'Paradise Island cross stitch    65-70% complete so far
* Do some other embroidery
* Make a t-shirt - at a workshop on sewing with knit fabrics I'm going to on 10th
* Finish black chunky cardy
* Knit Veli baby hat
* Knit Tang baby cardy
* Start on bag making tasks (Sat-Nav bag, backpack, knitting bag, manicure pouch)
* Make kids' picture books out of magazine picture collection

Let's see how it goes.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Friday, 31 March 2017

Goals for April

I'm not even going to bother posting the end of March stuff, 'cos it was such a lousy month for goal work.  In fact, it was a really slow month for most things and I can't think that I got much done, except that I seem to have lost 2 or 3 of the 15-20lbs I hope to get rid of so that I can get back into my clothes and look better in the ones I plan to make.  So, that's good, but I haven't finished a single book, met a single reading challenge, done more than a stitch or two of embroidery, studied much at all....  I did knit a premature baby cardy and trimmed it up, as well as got around to trimming up a knit from last month, but that's pretty much all.  I actually only completed one goal from the March list of 25! Must be an all time low.  Well, the only way is up, right??

I loved Glenis's idea of putting a task in red that had been on the list more than 2 months already, so this version here will show those items in embarrassing vibrance.  Some are already on their 5th time on recent lists alone, i.e. were carried through from lists from previous years! [Imagine that horrified emoji here!!!]  The two in darker red are ones that have appeared in some form twice before, but not quite as they are here (i.e. they just need finishing and/or the project is further on, but still dragging on).

28 items in total this time:

Domestic and Admin
* Deal with fridge freezer
* Finish the Go Bag
* Clean bathroom window
* Clean bathroom wall - dust on artex
* Go through book boxes (3) for any to sell etc
* Renew passport

Reading and Study
* NRSV Bible Psalms 63 - Song of Solomon
* Finish 'Getting Along With the Chinese'  4/15
* Read 'Relearning to See'
* Finish reading 'The Help' and pass on to Ellie
* Catch up WT & LMMWB bits and pieces
* Finish 'Discovering Science Book 3' (chs 8 - 18)
* Complete 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vol 3 (chs 59b - 75)
* 'Fun With Chinese Characters Vol 1'  (12 - 40)
* 'Beijing's Courtyards' reader (chs 1 - 5)
* Chinese vocab transfer from recent study material - 3 x WTs, Imitate & Kingdom books
* Finish 'Teach Yourself German' (ch 17b to end)
* Re-start 'German in Three Months'

Creative
* Work 'Paradise Island cross stitch to at least 85% completion  65-70% complete
* Embroidery on cream baby knit
* Work on rose thread painting
* Finish knitting pink scarf   60-70% done  Need to measure against another scart to determine final length
* Start black chunky cardy
* Sort the sizing for my own cable jumper and get on with it
* Start on bag making tasks (backpack, knitting bag, manicure pouch)
* Finish invisible hemming pink skirt
* Get stretch knit fabrics (from winter fabric collections) for future clothes sewing projects
* Make kids' picture books out of magazine picture collection

It is, of course, just possible, that these red tasks keep getting neglected 'cos I'm not terrifically bothered about them???  Hmm, worth thinking about.  I keep asking myself how genuinely interested I am in books etc that I keep failing to read or study....  I've got rid of all the definite 'never going to open' ones and have only kept those that have a respectable chance, but I'm beginning to question the respectability of that chance after all now.  We'll see.  We'll see.

One thing I did notice was that I was definitely more faithful to my remedial neck etc exercises when they were on the goals list than when not.  I'll give myself another trial month and then they go back on.

April can only be better than March for results, right?

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

March Goals List

Here's the list for March.  I decided to drop the 'Physical' category for the month and see how I get on keeping up to it without the accountability element.....  I plan to keep to only buying sweets a maximum of twice per month, keeping oil/fat content of foods low, increasing proportion of raw food, doing my remedial and some stretching exercises and, once the current bout of post-viral and hormonal fatigue has passed, getting back into graded walking most days.

I lost a  lot of time to illness last month and am starting this one a bit under par, but I'm not dead yet, so onwards and upwards! ☺ Regular updates in the usual place.

Number of goals for the month:  25

Domestic
* Take care of neglected recycling - boxes at mum's and water filter cartridges - end month with recycling as up to date as reasonably possible
* Finish the Go Bag overhaul - DO these two this month!
* Give bathroom window a thorough cleaning
* Check over everywhere for 'clutter creep' and get some charity (or rag) bags/sales going as needed

Reading and Study
* NRSV Bible Psalms
* Finish 'Getting Along With the Chinese'
* Read 'Relearning to See'
* Re-start 'Daniel' book study - chs 9 & 10
* Study 'Discovering Science Book 3' to section 12 (from 7)
* Complete DS3   I've put this as a separate goal so that I can at least claim one completion for making a decent amount of progress
* Complete 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vol 3 (ch 59-75)
* 'Fun With Chinese Characters Vol 1' No.s 13 - 35 (approx one per study hour day)
* 'Beijing's Courtyards' reader, chs 1 - 4 (Sunday study hour instead of MCBC3)
* Chinese vocab transfer from recent study material
* Finish 'Teach Yourself German' (chs 17b, 18 and supplement)
* Re-start 'German in Three Months' (from ch 7)

Creative
* Work on 'Paradise Island cross stitch - work towards completion, at least 85%
* Start winter design project - some artwork and charting the cross stitch design(s)
* Work another freestyle piece, either another Trish Burr small thread painting or that meadow scene from the Sue Newhouse book.  TBC.  I may even go mad and do both??  Doubtful....
* Finish knitting pink scarf
* Knit white preemie baby jacket  
* Embroider and add buttons to cream and blue baby knits
* Get to grips with sizing for my own cable jumper and make good progress with it
* Make kids' picture books out of magazine picture collection

Business
* Make good use of the 'business hour (10:30-11:30 Mn-Fr) to develop ideas, do research, start writing, whatever - just DO it!

I'm feeling good about this list and I think it looks very do-able.  Just have to keep an eye on my health and remember to be modest - to live within my limits and stop forgetting about them when I'm feeling relatively normal.  This will be the hardest bit.... ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Goals results for February

I still have a few hours to go on this month's stuff, so I've marked the items as they should be at close of play tonight.  I would have got much more done had I not lost just under half the month to illness.  Grrr!  Anyway, here's what I did get done:

* Take care of neglected recycling - boxes at mum's and water filter cartridges - end month with no extra recycling on hand   Most stuff ready to take
* Clean the oven   Done!
* Finish the Go Bag overhaul  Did you get yours done, G??

Still have recycling on hand, but I did put it out to take on Saturday, then didn't get to go to the relevant place.  It's ready to go later this week now.

* Focusing twice daily   42/56 I didn't do it whilst ill, but otherwise did, so: Done!
* Neck and shoulder exercises on 25 days   16, pretty much every day I could, so I count that: Done!
* Go to bed at 9pm on at least 20 days  lost count, but close enough to say: Done!
* Only buy sweets twice, if at all  Bought once myself and once by Sir, so: Done!
* Continue using eye-shadow almost every day  Done!

I did well on this section, I think.  I did all I could, so I'm counting that as section completed. ☺

* Study 'Imitate' book ch 12  Done! 
* NRSV Bible Ezra to Job   Done!
* Finish final re-reading of 'Learn Any Language'  Done!
* Review 'Chinese Language - Fact and Fantasy'  Done!
* Read 'Contemporary Japan'  Done! Decided after 2+ chapters that I wasn't interested anymore
* Study Discovering Science book 3 to section 10 (from 4)  chs 4 - 6
* Work Physics GCSE revision guide & workbook pages: 21, 22, 23, 24, 25a, 26, 27, 58, 59
* Work Chemistry GCSE revision guide & workbook pages: 41, 42, 43, 44, 46
* Complete 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vols 1&2, (ch44-55).  Done!
* Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vol 3   2.5/20
* Chinese vocab transfer from recent mag(s) and 'Imitate' book
Finally finish 'Teach Yourself German'  Did vocab write-up from chs 14-16

I had hoped to finish with 6 books, but 4 isn't bad! I'm not far off on a 5th too and have got well on with pretty much all subjects, so given the health imposed restrictions, I'm OK with the results.  Some to carry over yet again, but I did at least make a start on them.

* Finish violet thread painting  Done!
* Work on 'Paradise Island cross stitch - finish trees and sky areas   In progress again.  Land trees and most of sky done
* Start winter design project - some artwork and charting the cross stitch design
* Finish knitting pink scarf  In progress
* Knit cream cardy for Velimirovic baby  Knitting complete (awaiting buttons and embroidery)  Done!
* Get yarns and patterns for my own knits  Done! Started one of them
* Make kids' picture books out of magazine picture collection

Passable progress.  Again, had illness not intervened, I would have cleared the two un-started items of the list, but I'll carry them over to March now.

* Make good use of the 'business hour (10:30-11:30 most days) to develop ideas etc   3
* Complete match up of all social media stuff and on-line digital declutter  Done!
* Post at least once daily on 'business' Instagram account  44 posts over every day but two, so near enough to; Done!.

The business hour didn't go very well.  To be honest, apart from a few initial ideas sort outs, I had trouble thinking how to spend it and ended up using most of the time I was even able to allocate an hour on the study items.  I did very well with Instagram postings - every day but two and I finished the streamlining of online presence stuff.  Need to give this section more thought....

So, final analysis is:

Tasks completed:  17/30
Still in progress:  8
As yet un-tackled:  5

New month, here we come!

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Saturday, 4 February 2017

February Goal List

A few days late, but here it is.  Of course, I've already started on many of them and even got a couple done!

 Domestic
* Take care of neglected recycling - boxes at mum's and water filter cartridges - end month with no extra recycling on hand
* Clean the oven
* Finish the Go Bag overhaul

Physical
* Focusing twice daily
* Neck and shoulder exercises on 25 days
* Go to bed at 9pm on at least 20 days
* Only buy sweets twice, if at all
* Continue using eye-shadow almost every day

Reading and Study
* Study 'Imitate' book ch 12
* NRSV Bible Ezra to Job
* Finish final re-reading of 'Learn Any Language'
* Review 'Chinese Language - Fact and Fantasy'
* Read 'Contemporary Japan'
* Study Discovering Science book 3 to section 10 (from 4.2)
* Work Physics GCSE revision guide & workbook pages: 21, 22, 23, 24, 25a, 26, 27, 58, 59
* Work Chemistry GCSE revision guide & workbook pages: 41, 42, 43, 44, 46
* Complete 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vols 1&2, (ch44-55)
* 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vol 3
* Chinese vocab transfer from recent mag(s) and 'Imitate' book
* Finally finish 'Teach Yourself German'
= finishing with 6 books

Creative
* Finish violet thread painting
* Work on 'Paradise Island cross stitch - finish trees and sky areas
* Start winter design project - some artwork and charting the cross stitch design.
* Finish knitting pink scarf
* Knit cream cardy for Velimirovic baby
* Get yarns and patterns for my own knits
* Make kids' picture books out of magazine picture collection

Business
* Make good use of the 'business hour (10:30-11:30 most days) to develop ideas etc
* Complete match up of all social media stuff and on-line digital declutter
* Post at least once daily on 'business' Instagram account

30 items this time.  Let's see if I can complete 20 and have the other 10 in progress at least.  ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Goals Round-up for January

So, how did I do?

Completed:  12/29
In progress:  9/17

Not terribly inspiring, but could have been worse.  A  lot worse, really!
Here's how it breaks down:

Digital
* Overhaul Sew in Love blog - new colour scheme etc and a new header and 'logo' photo/banners  Done! 
* Ditto this blog, complete with name change across all linked social media  Done!
* Blog all recent textile projects for scheduled posting  Done!
* Remove all the junk code from the 'By Age 50' page  Done!  Plus re-worked the page and made it more appropriate.

Whole section completed! ☻♥☻ Victory on this one section, at least. ☺

Domestic
* Take care of neglected recycling - boxes at mum's and water filter cartridges - end month with no extra recycling on hand
* Clean the oven

Looks like this section will be going forward to the next list....

Physical
* Renew medical card  Done!
* Go to GP re feet referral etc  Done!  First appointment 1 Feb
* Finish organising the Go bag  Documents all scanned (and put in 2 cloud storage 'places')
* Morning exercises on 25 days  12/25 
* Evening exercises on 25 days  0/25
* Go to bed at 9pm on at least 20 days  14/20
* Wear eye-shadow on at least 15 days  13/15 full eyes, plus some days as liner only, so basically done
* Don't buy any sweets. (This is a little bit of a cheat as I'll be eating some at mum's, but if I don't buy any for myself, it keeps it down a bit!!)  Failed miserably on 6th, 7th...   But haven't bought any since. =)

This section is a bit mixed.  I had to give up on the exercises most of the time as I was over-tired and they wouldn't have helped.  Most days I was in bed not too long after 9pm, so I did reasonably well on that, but it could be improved.  I also had a bad sweets craving early in the month, but once I'd figured out why and dealt with it, I was OK and didn't buy any more.  

I enjoyed getting back into wearing eye-shadow more and am trying to keep it up.  Finally learned how to use primer to good effect too.  I've loved make-up since I was about 13, so it's fun to use it more and my use-up for the year is on track so far. ☻

Reading and Study
* Study 'Imitate' book ch 12
* NRSV Bible to end of 2 Chronicles (from 1 Chron 6)  Done!
* Finish reading 'Color' (starting from ch10)  Done!
* Finish reading/working 'Language Change' (starting ch3)  Done!
* Finish final re-reading of 'Learn Any Language'  In progress
* Study Discovering Science book 3 to section 10 (from 4.2)
* Work corresponding sections of GCSE revision guides (and matching workbooks) as I meet the topics:
Physics p21, 22, 23, 24, 25a, 26, 27, 58, 59
Chemistry p41, 42, 43, 44, 46
(Because a lot of this is new and I'm finding it rather hard going...)
* Read through 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vols 1&2, (ch21-55)  21 - 43
* Start 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vol 3
* Chinese vocab transfer from pile of mags   Done!
* Finally finish 'Teach Yourself German'

Same situation as always here - I get a fair amount of reading done, but study/study reading is a different matter.  I've created a daily schedule to start next week which contains a study hour first thing, then an hour to work in business ideas etc, plus a reading hour last thing at night.  Hopefully, that should see making progress on my science and language book downscale.

Creative
* Finish violet thread painting  Leaf, bud and sepals finished 
* Work on 'Paradise Island cross stitch - finish trees and sky areas  Last section of land trees in progress
* Get pink skirt altered and make a piece of decorated textile with the off- cut to make book covers etc from.  Skirt done!  Thanks Janet, mwah! Offcuts pressed, folded and stored for later use.  Done as far as I decided to go just now.
* Start winter design project.

Not so much movement here as I would have hoped.  As I want to get my needlecrafts blog back up to scratch and the great stats I used to have and build up my Instagram stream that's linked to that blog, (as both will be good for the business I hope to start this year), I should be able to crack on with these soon.  

February list should be published tomorrow.  I have an initial surgical appointment this evening, so I should know more about what and when I can go stuff afterwards.

How was your month?

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Monday, 23 January 2017

Finally joining in 'Pan That Palette'


This is something I thought I'd never do as I don't really have much in the way of palettes since my big clear out nearly 2 years ago, but then I realised that I'd rather not have any in future and so decided to pan not only the lippies (which are well in progress, as you can see) in these 3 multi-use palettes, but also the eyeshadows.  The blushers will probably get depotted to be used up later as it takes forever to make a dint in a blusher and I'm still plugging away at one I've been on with since January 2015 - and there was only half of it left then!


The last time I tried to use up an eyeshadow palette I got fed up within a week as it was all browns and that bores me, so this should be better.  I'm going to use other stuff too, but concentrate on this mostly.  I'll be glad to not have these around too much longer - esp. as there's a bit of a problem taking them out and about for retouches given the, erm, rather risqué cover designs!  Not really the sort of thing that fits in well with my social circle... ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Monday, 9 January 2017

Make-up Inventory and Project Pan 2017

It's that time of year again, albeit a week late.  What's a week in the aeons of time it takes me to use up any cosmetic item?!

Inventory up first:

* Eyeshadows - 61.  I've bought none, used none up, sold 3 on eBay and have still got one on one side to give away, so I'm assuming that I had 5 on one side for the last count of 60 and took one back.  Actually, I need to use shadow more, I rarely bother these days.  I could cut down to 40-45 without much bother.

* Lipsticks - 8, with 3 on one side to give away.  I also sold my Chanel one and used one up over the year.

* Liquid lipsticks and palette colours (with more pigment than gloss has) - 13.  I've used 4 up over the year, sold none and bought none, but seem to be having recurring counting and classification problems!!

* Lip glosses - 18.  2 used up during the year and 2 very close to being finished (although one's vanished, so that may come off the list soon).  Bought, sold and gave away none.

* Blusher - 8.  I sold one and am still  plugging away at the two seen below.  I can't seem to use them up to save my life.  Perhaps it's good that my life doesn't depend on it, huh?  At least I've bought none and not got any old ones back as I had by last January's inventory.

* Foundations - 1. I've used 2 up since the beginning of last year and just have one all-in-one compact left now.

* Powder - 1.  I sold the loose powder I had in stock as it was unopened and I realised that I wasn't going to use it.  I'm now working away at one I bought when I was about 16!!

* CC products - 3.  A new  category.  I realised that I don't really need foundation, concealer, powder etc that much anymore, but just a tiny bit of CC cream mixed with some moisturiser and that's it.  I have quite a bit left in my original Bourjois one, but as it's not cruelty-free. I won't be buying it again, so I found a GOSH product (which is now discontinued) on-line and got a sample of No7's version.  I'm using this latter up and won't be buying it as it's far too dark for me.  Fake tan look, yack!

Primers - 2. I'm using up the e.l.f. one (which is hopeless as an eyeshadow primer for me) as an around the eye concealer - which I don't really need much, but it uses it up.  I got a small sized Shadow Insurance as that's the only product that ever worked much for me.  Generally, I find primers a waste of time.  If you have very oily eyelids, nothing, but nothing will make your shadow last all day.  You'll always have to re-touch and keep a watch out for creasing, but a decent primer will help a bit at least.  Most are rubbish though....

Perfumes - 18.  I actually sold 3 on eBay then found out that I can't post them as they're no longer in their original packaging and had to cancel the order.  Well, I can send one of them, we'll see what the buyer thinks.  I bought 6 earlier this year as the product was going off the market and mum gave me 5 - including the 3 I tried to sell.  I've used 4 altogether this year and put 1 more in a charity bag.  I gave up on it, not being that excited by the scent and also the fact that I've become rather sensitive to perfume of late - hormone wackiness.

So totals are:  6 items sold, 1 given away, 12 used up, 6 given to me (inc one sample), 11 bought - including 3 mascaras which aren't on this list as I finished the downscale on those.

So, that's it for that section.  Now then, the results of last year's project pan coming up.

This is the photo I took a year ago.


There were 3 'columns' here.  The stuff on the left I expected to finish up, that in the middle to make serious inroads into with a view to finishing up and the lot on the right was to be worked on.

Here's the result:


Not tremendously inspiring!  I still have that old mascara (even wearing it now to try and finish it off), and 2 lippies are still on the go - hardly touched them in fact.  4 palette lippies are gone and 7 more substantially decreased, and I sold the powder.  There's been good progress on base products, but the most 'progress' on the pink blusher was parts of it breaking off!

This year's Project Pan spread actually looks much the same:


5 of these I expect to finish this month, so let's hope 2017 sees me clearing more make-up out than 2016 did.  I saw one Project Panner Instagram quite a row of lipsticks to use up this year.  I'm less optimistic, but I'll be doing my best.

To be honest, it's books and craft things that are a bigger problem for me in terms of amounts of stuff, so I'd better get away from the screen and back to my science and language books. ☺

In the meantime, having just finished watching this weekend's episode of Sherlock, anyone else think the sister may be the central part of Moriarty's big posthumous game??

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Blog Make-Over Complete



I'm happy to announce that I've finalised the re-vamp on this blog - yay!  It's not a deep make-over as I'm still using the same basic layout, template and features, but I've changed the name, font, text colour scheme and the header photo, and also done some work on the pages, so it does look somewhat different these days.

Here's the why of the changes:

Name:  I wanted something shorter and that I could use across all the platforms that are linked to this blog, such as the Google+ page, my YouTube channel (which I haven't put any videos on yet and may never do) and the Instagram account.  I've changed it on all of those too, so it's now standardized.  I'm considering changing the URL to match too, but there is already a 'simplelizzie' on Blogger (albeit never really used), so I need to be careful about decisions there.  Think I'll leave that one for a while yet.

The name has two meanings:  1) I want to simplify my life, especially materially, so having the concept of simplicity being in the name was appealing, and 2) carrying on the old idea of people often thinking I'm rather less than I am, appearing to be 'simple'!!!  (Very few people actually call me Lizzie, BTW.)

Font and text colour:  It's nice to have a change and I felt the pinks and pinky purples went well with the girlie airhead idea.  I do actually wear a lot of both these colours too. ☺

Header photo:  The old one was massively out of date.  I'd taken it over in Taiwan back in May 2010 and I don't even own a lot of the stuff in that old shot anymore!  The current photo is a collection of selected items from my '2017 Goals' list and I plan on updating it annually to reflect what I hope to accomplish during the year ahead.  This year's has a lot of books to read and study up, a fair few needlecraft projects to complete - including a Show trophy/plate that I want to win more of and a miniature chaise longue representing trying to get an Etsy store going - and even some of the make up I want to use up.

Pages:  Again, some were horribly out of date and/or irrelevant now.  I also finally bit the bullet and deleted all the older ones that I'd had not showing on blog, but were still on my dashboard.  I don't need goals lists from 5 or 6 years ago, even though it was fun to see how much I'd done of them since.  I thought of making a Word file of them and keeping them to refer back to, but, really, what IS the point? I also dumped old general goals lists and my big, old use-up list and replaced them with relevant ones.

Now, all but one of the pages are showing (just not the book inventory one, which is also out of date and can't be updated until I unpack the 3 remaining boxes, but still helpful), and they're all about this year and current interests.  New additions are a 'Current Month' one for keeping tabs on my monthly goals progress and a shopping/decluttering page called 'Ins and Outs 2017', which will be a merged version of the annual shopping inventory and clear out posts, complete with a balance (up or down) for each section.  I'm going to be putting everything except kitchen and toilet consumables on there - food, toilet paper, kitchen foil, bin bags, tissues etc.  I'm interested to see how much I actually use in a year as well as trying to keep cutting personal items down.

The next digital projects are for Sew In Love, which has got shamefully neglected of late.  I have 6 projects to write post series about, plus a revamp to consider there too.  I'm not sure what to change beyond maybe a colour change and a new header image when I find either something I can make a suitable photo collage with, or enough projects to photograph together.  I've spent a lot of time on that blog before, so there's not much more I can do without seriously over-hauling the whole layout and I'm not sure I'm up for that.  We'll see.  It's not exactly as if I'm stuck for things to do.

Having said which, I'm going to go and get on with some of those things, starting with a list of stuff to do this week.  Lists keep me on track and stop me a) wasting all my time (I just waste some of it instead), and b) completely forgetting what I wanted/needed to do.  Hormones.  Seriously, The Change has made me closer to being an airhead than I'm comfortable being! Thankfully, it's temporary.

And now, to work!  Or maybe a short nap???!! ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Why am I bothering to clean up the code?

On my January goals list is the task (which I'm working through quite quickly) to clean up the HTML code on my 'By Age 50' list.  Why am I doing this?  Seems a waste of time if it looks the same, right?

Well, it sometimes does and sometimes doesn't.  I seem to have made the mistake of copying and pasting the stuff from a former page from the front end, rather than the Compose/HTML screen.  Or something.  Anyway, it carried through a tremendous amount of extra formatting code as I'd chosen the Verdana font for the original page and the coding for this appeared on literally every single line - even the blank ones!

The other problem is that with the current version of Blogger, there's an issue with changing text colours once you've selected something different.  So, this sentence appears in green.  If I wanted to change the green before, I used to just select a different colour and that was the end of it. For a while it hasn't worked once the post/page was published and I'd have to go in and delete the green code first (although it seems better now - not sure how much redundant code it leaves, though).  Then, and only then could I get my sentence to appear in red instead.  It's a lot easier to do that on this:


than this:


Before and after clean up shots!!

Now I do a lot of colour and format changing on these lists as the tasks go into active progress, get stalled, go active again and then go back to black and get crossed out as they're either finished or dumped.  So, if I'm going to have to keep on changing colours manually through the HTML screen (thankfully, I did a basic web page creation course in Uni), I'm going to want it as clean as possible to work on.  Makes it that much easier to see.

Also, of course, is the fact that I've changed the whole blog font to one called 'Coming Soon', which reminds me a lot of my old favourite, 'Comic Sans', so I need to get rid of the Verdana font coding as I fear trying to change it to 'default font' will just result in another span code for each line.  I'm also getting rid of all the italics for book titles.

So, yes, it's a bit boring and maybe there's a better way of doing it - perhaps I should have copied the whole lot into Notepad and then re-entered it into the Compose page, but at least this is thorough and I can leave whatever formatting I do want in place.

Hasn't that enriched your day??? ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017