Blogging and Bits

It’s been a while since I did a bit of a life update post, so here’s all the crafty and non crafty bits I’ve left our for the past 6 months or so!

Work and Side Hustles

I’ve been working a lot lately as my contracted hours have gone up. I work in a supermarket and there are quite a few surprising perks…like the free flowers above! They were past their display by date and would have been thrown away so I took a couple of bunches home and they lasted over a week.

I also get the odd ‘score’ in the free colleague section in the staff room…potatoes, bread, carrots, herbs…they all have best before yesterday dates on but most of the fruit and veg is still edible!

The downside to working more hours at my actual job of course, is that the side hustle side of things inevitably slows down a bit. But May was prolific!

After months of not being bothered or doing the bare minimum, May was like someone lit a fire up my ass and I was away!!

I started to write and post more regularly on Medium and the stats have definitely gone up over there because of it. I’ve been working on a second WordPress blog about writing, doing all the boring backend stuff like banners and logos etc. Now it’s just the actual content to finish before launching.

I even opened a new Print on Demand store on Zazzle a couple of weeks ago and yesterday I got a couple of things with my design on to test the products – a keyring and a tote bag. Boring but useful products!

They came from the US within a week and a half of ordering, which is really fast for both manufacturing and shipping and I love the picture quality on both products. Sometimes when you print on fabric the design can get a little blurry, but not this time! Zazzle is looking to be the best platform so far.

The daylight is a bit weird so the light isn’t the best in the photo! But I’ve used it for shopping already!

tote bag woolly orbit zazzle

Zazzle has hundreds of products with the ability for the customer to personalise the designs which is unusual, so I still need to do a bit more research on that one, but the shop is live now. I also figured out how to put one of my designs on the sidebar of this blog. I mean, am I technical or what?!

As for my other print on demand sites...Society 6 has 44 designs as opposed to 12 at the beginning of May, and RedBubble has over 300 although that needs a thorough sort out!

So, print on demand is going well!


Some Random Garden and Plant Pics

And it was my parents wedding anniversary this month – a big one! So, naturally, they got lots of flowers!

My cactus that I called Mr Whippy (after a type of ice cream in the UK) has nearly doubled I size since I bought him. He’s a Cereus Forbesii Spiralis if you’re interested…and just look at the Mammillaria below it – my babies are having babies now!!


Books

I’m slowly getting through my to read pile.

I’ currently reading Walden and Side Hustle In Progress. Recently I finished Design Your Lief andBird By Bird with Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg finished at the end of April.

BUT… I bought another one yesterday, so as the pile diminishes, so does it accumulate!

I bought The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins. I read The God Delusion by him a couple of years ago and the language was so hard to read…so many big words, lol! This looks easier and more interesting!

So, that makes the current To Read List as follows:

  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  • The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins
  • Side Hustle In Progress by Elizabeth Ogabi
  • On Writing Well by William Zinser
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Knitting and Crochet and Sewing

I finished a blanket in the previous post, but I’ve not been crafting an awful lot thanks to doing a lot on the writing and designing side of things.

I have a few balls of neon yarn left from previous projects and a little bit from this project so I might just do a few more granny squares and see where that takes me.

You can’t really go wrong with a granny square can you?!

I want to finish a couple of projects so I can make a start on some summer knitting, but I have no motivation to craft at the minute…it’s writing and reading, but that’s OK as it comes in waves, doesn’t it?


Priorities

Pinterest is something I’ve let slide in the past few months. Considering it’s such a useful tool for side hustles, it’s a shame I did neglect it, but you know what? I find it both easy and awkward!

Easy to create and schedule pins in Canva and the whole uploading process isn’t difficult, it’s just it seems to take ages to get anywhere. Followers mean nothing as it’s more about trends and what people are searching for.

So, Pinterest is a priority for me in June and July.

As is knitting a summer top! I have a couple of vest patterns for cotton yarn – see below.

And I really want to finish a leather handbag that I started dying a few years ago, but just never got around to sewing it together!

And sewing! Gotta get back into sewing somehow!


This has sort of caught you all up on stuff.

There’s always more planned than I have time to do, never enough crafting time!!

But right now, it’s writing and print on demand that’s the main focus, not crafting.

But I’m sure I’ll get back into knitting and crochet soon!



This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Happy 1 Year Blogiversary!

It’s been exactly a year since I started this little blog as an outlet for my writing and sharing my crafty exploits.

I’m still enjoying it, even though I haven’t been posting as much in the last few months or so. I started a new job a few weeks before Christmas, so things got a bit hectic for a while back there…but I think I’m finally getting back to normality with blogging, writing and publishing and all that.

I’ve been writing on Medium and uploading a lot recently to my print on demand shops recently too, which also takes time away from this blog.

The First Year

I published 159 posts in 2021.

Surprisingly January and February were my best months for views!

I mainly focussed on showing what I had knitted, crocheted or sewn last year. But there were a few posts about writing, life and other creative outlets such as designing for print on demand.

Last year was the year when I joined everything!

Medium, RedBubble, Society6, Spoonflower etc. As well as getting to grips with all the software you need to use them, like Photoshop and Canva.

RedBubble has the process sorted, but it takes me a little longer to upload to Society6! Nevertheless, I hope to carry on more with both of these print on demand sites and more this year.

Medium has gone brilliantly! It’s a different style of writing over there. More self-help and actual articles, along with some shortform pieces. You can write about different topics or niche down, it’s up to you. I tend to write about writing, print on demand, making money online and honestly, whatever other crap pops into my head. And it works…last month in January 2022 I meant to post more but just haven’t had the time with work. And it still made me money with literally NO POSTS PUBLISHED!

So, the other online things are going well as well as this little blog.

If you think about it, this little blog started it all! Small beginnings…


Below is a gallery of some of the crafty makes I completed last year in the first year of this blog.

And that isn’t even half of it!

I made my first 2 knitted jumpers, my first sewn skirt, my first backpack, my first wreath…a lot of firsts last year!

It’s been fun and full on!

Since I’ve been away for a few months from the blog, I thought I’d try and post something everyday in February. So far so good! No constraints or challenges, just a post every single day. To, you know, get back into the swing of things!

Hope you’re all having a lovely day! x

9 Months Blogging

Tempus Fugit when you’re having fun!

Fun writing, that is!

This blog has grown little by little since launching it in January, I’ve gone off on several tangents and there isn’t really a particular niche other than Show And Tell about stuff I’ve been making, but it’s still fun!

I’m working on my own self hosted website and have another little free blog almost ready to go, all I need is a few actual posts!

As of writing (9 Sept) I have 2965 views in total.

I haven’t blogged every day or even logged onto WordPress everyday so it could be higher if I pushed, but that’s OK. I think I’ll hit over 3000 this week.

In fact I’m certain of it. How? Because any post with stats in does well…lol! And if that sounded tacky, well, it’s understandable. People want to see where other people are so they can judge their own level of success…or just be plain nosy. It’s human nature!

So, what else has happened as a result of writing this blog?

I joined and write on Medium and any post over there about writing or Medium itself does well. How meta to write about writing because people like to read about writing and then write about what they’ve read…about writing!

Did you know I’ve made money from this tiny WordPress blog? Not much, not even enough for a cup of tea but it goes to show it IS possible if you have the inclination and the know-how.

I’ve added a few affiliate links here and there and why not if I’m linking to places anyway?!

I’ve opened several print on demand stores, the one I’ve talked about the most is my RedBubble store but I’ve started to upload to Society 6 and Spoonflower this week too after opening accounts and putting them to the side.

Society 6 is a pain to upload to as there are so many different HUGE file sizes needed and Spoonflower is awkward getting the right ratios for patterns…if I upload a pattern will it turn out gigantic or minuscule? I can’t figure it out yet!

The Substack e-mail newsletter has been created but honestly put aside for a fortnight as I wasn’t well. That’s going to start up properly soon.

I’ve joined Pinterest and Twitter (only just yesterday for the latter) and Instagram, but I don’t think I want to focus on that at the moment. Pinterest has 1.9K views a month, up from 23 at the start of August. That’s progress!

And uploaded a few notebooks to Amazon KDP, but that needs a LOT of work.

I’ve opened but not yet launched an Etsy shop. Still working on things. And I’m writing a book too.

All from one little blog. Things can snowball if you let them!

One more Quarter to go before the year is out. Let’s see what I mange to do before then!


Sign up to Medium with my referral link here (if you use this link then I’ll receive a portion of your Medium fees at no extra cost to you)

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/membership


[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]

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August Goals Update

I wrote a blog post a week or so ago about my goals for August – you can find that post here:

August Goals – Crafting and Work

I’m not going through all of them here, but I’ve managed a bit in this last week. Even though the last week has had lots of things like hospital appointments and other errands that need a bit of driving or planning.

And it’s been miserable weather! Dark and gloomy and rainy…I can’t even get motivated to go out for a walk when it’s like this!

Crafts

I’ve been writing the last week, in fact I managed almost 5000 words last Monday, as well as editing and proofreading and scribbling ideas for things. So, not a lot of crafting is what I’m getting at.

But, I have been looking at websites and reading and dreaming. And that is just as fun sometimes. Looking at knitting patterns and flicking through my craft books.

I have a book about top down sweaters that I’m desperate to try a pattern from, as well as lots that I’ve seen on Ravelry and other places.

Actual crafting this week? I did some more cross-stitch, not enough to show and I did bake a loaf of bread and do some more on my orange jumper…but not enough progress made to justify photos and making a big deal – just a few rows really.

Funny, I actually got out my orange jumper to knit a bit last night and then I put it away without doing anything at all as I wanted to write and scribble instead of knit!

knitting

The EXACT same amount of progress since the last picture I showed you…because this IS the last picture I showed you!


Writing

As I said above I’ve been writing a lot. I don’t feel in the mood to write much right this moment and yet here I am, writing this blog post. That’s the real secret – write even when you don’t feel like it!

I wrote and published 3 posts on Medium last week, one was a whopper from a few days before that I just let and sat for a bit before editing it yesterday. The others I wrote from scratch yesterday.

And I published 3 more today.

I did set myself a goal to upload every day on Medium in August (the same on this blog) but it hasn’t happened on Medium yet. The articles over there are more like actual articles and here I can be quicker with my writing!

I’m getting to grips with Medium a bit more, actually following people and publications and still figuring out how to format my own publication!

I’m enjoying it so far, but I’m finding that if I do a day of solid writing, I don’t feel like doing that the next day!

Here is the link to the massive post about using affiliate links:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/affiliate-links-and-some-practical-ways-to-use-them-2f72cbd45789

And here is a weekly roundup. I’m doing over there, where I try to track my progress of the week. Hint, last week there wasn’t much!

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/progress-report-3-69cb0e7eac88

I bought a magazine called Writing Magazine to read. There are 2 main writing magazines in the UK…Writer’s Forum is thinner and has fewer articles about writing and more stuff written by readers (like the winners of each monthly writing competition get their story published) but I like the layout better. It’s easy to read and the flow of the magazine works for me.

Writing Magazine is full of good articles, there’s a useful section at the back with info about competitions, who is hiring etc. But it’s so crammed in with words I find it difficult to know where to look. It’s too overwhelming with their layout for me! Also, it feels like every page has a different font and style…I don’t think that’s the case in reality, but it’s how it feels to me and it’s really off-putting!

Anyway…I’m reading that later!


Passive Income

I’ve joined several affiliate schemes and I even published my own Amazon KDP notebook (it came on Saturday…I’ve redone the cover, but I just wanted to see the process of self-publishing a book on Amazon, which is really easy by the way!). I need to wait for the cover to re-upload which can take a few days and I’ve added a couple more (text based cover designs) to Amazon, so we’ll see how they look once they’re finished uploading.

Here is a work in progress author copy of the book. I’m glad I ordered it, even though I’m making changes to the cover. Just ignore the rubbish photography!

I haven’t signed up to Substack yet, but I looked through everything I could on the website the other day, so I think I’ve done all the research I can. The same with Fiverr.

I made my first sale from RedBubble last week too – yay! 3 x stickers if you’re interested. I’ve been adding more to RedBubble for the past couple of weeks so I think I’ll continue with that! Up to 172 designs now I think off the top of my head.

I’ve done nothing with the other places like Spoonflower etc…I just need to figure out the formatting because each place wants files in different sizes and some like CMYK and others like RGB colour systems. So, it’s figuring it all out beforehand before getting really stuck in.

This week the goal is my Etsy shop. I want 10 listings ready to go…I’ve lost all motivation with that, so I need to get it back! I need to re-read Deep Work by Cal Newport!

I’ve been pinning loads to Pinterest – that takes time and it looks like I’ve done nothing!


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Playing With WordPress

I’ve had this blog for over 6 months now and I haven’t really messed around with what you can do INSIDE the blog posts.

I’ve added links, main images and gallery images, am starting to use the separator line and that’s about it, really!

I tagged knitting, crochet and sewing in this post because I post blog posts about those topics a lot, but also because a lot of the example below would be relevant if you blog about those topics too!

Some things you have to pay subscriptions for or aren’t available on the free plan (like adding polls or uploading videos), but there is still a surprising amount you can add.

I wish there were some way to limit ads on posts, I don’t mind if there are a couple (this is a free platform after all) but for one of my recent posts I counted 9 ads! 9!

But anyway, I digress, here are a few options you could choose to add to your posts to mix them up a bit.

Click the plus button on a new block and click browse all to see all of the possibilities.


There is no link on the button above! It’s just for show, haha!


Media and Text (picture next to writing!)

I found some stickers I was going to throw away…so I stuck them in a journal instead. Totally random, but the colours look pretty!


A Table!

I don’t like how the column widths change as you type…need to do this a few more times to figure it out!

Current WIP’sProgress Made
Knitted Orange JumperAbout 2/3 Done
Knitted Sock Yarn ShawlAbout 30 Rows Done
Knitted Heirloom Entrelac BlanketTo Cast On
Crochet Baby BlanketAbout 1/8 Done
Sewn Baby DressFabric Cut Out, To Sew Up
Christmas Knitted SocksTo Cast On

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