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

Ah, WordPress, How I Neglect Thee So!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted consistently here. I’ve got to say that writing on Medium has now taken over my life!

Just today I posted 2 posts over there, each about 1000 words. I’ve been posting there everyday and it’s shown in the stats and the payments.

But, I feel like I’m neglecting this lil blog a bit and I had this one before Medium! So, what else have I been up to?

Crafting

I’ve cast on a pink knitted baby hat and have done only about 6cm of the rib. I only started that last night, but it shouldn’t take me long and then next to cast on is a matching baby cardigan or jumper.

I’m still crocheting and knitting baby blankets and I haven’t done any more of my knitted socks! Too much writing happening that the knitting also takes a back seat!

I went through my fabric and wool drawers and boxes and have 2 bags of stuff I don’t want any more. I’m not sure what to do with them as a lot of charity shops can be funny about craft supplies. I might see if a local primary school wants any of it. There’s card blanks, paint brushes, fabric…all sorts.

And yet I still don’t seem to have any more room, after I got rid of 2 bags of craft supplies, 4 bags to the charity shop and 2 bags of paper recycling!

I was ruthless last week, going through all my old knitting magazines and patterns I’d pulled from magazines and put into my knitting folder. I threw out so much stuff that I realistically was never going to use.

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

Print on Demand

Not much done for RedBubble and Society 6, although I did update the shop banner yesterday. I made a sale on RedBubble yesterday (yay!) and that prompted me to have a look. I was excited for a moment as I thought I’d crossed the payment threshold, but nope! Still need another 20p haha!

I’m going to have to have a look this week at print on demand stuff, but it’s still fun. Just a bit neglected too at the moment.

Writing

Apart from Medium, I did set up an e-mail system but I just haven’t had chance to even look at that. I might do soon, but it’s 8pm now and I want to come off the computer soon! Tomorrow is Sunday, so I’ll see if I can send out an e-mail tomorrow.

I’ve also let Etsy and the Amazon book I was writing slide a bit…there is just not enough hours to write! I thought since I’m a fast typer that writing would be quick for me, but it’s been surprisingly time consuming. That’s without my second WordPress blog and my website which both need content.

Affiliates

On the plus side I have joined up and applied to join a few more affiliate schemes which is fun. I haven’t been using them in Medium posts as I submit them to publications and they each have their own rules about what links you can use. But I think I’ll try and do a few more in the near future!

I joined Cadbury’s affiliate scheme (you should be able to see a banner on the sidebar). Yay chocolate!

The whole passive income side of things is slow going, but still fun. The amount of things I’ve learned this year has been unreal!

Christmas

I can’t believe I’ve bought my first Christmas present of the year already. For some people this is early, for others late.

I don’t like leaving it all to the last minute anymore and I NEVER buy anything on Christmas Eve – too last minute, rushed and busy!

I bought my brother a few books and ordered another one. And the fact that it was double points at Waterstones until today…well so much the better!

I’ve decided not to make any more decorations this year, either sewn or knitted as I have no room to store them! Maybe some people might get a mini knitted stocking or something like that, but I’m not doing big things. Need to focus on other crafty things!

Saying that though, I might make another hat or some mittens or myself if I have time. Socks and baby stuff come first though…

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Anyway, that was a bit of a ramble through my head and where I’m at right now.

Still plodding on with things, not as much crafting going on as I would like, but I’m sure I will make a lot of progress with things now that I finished my jumper a few weeks ago.

Hope you’re having a fun and productive weekend and I’ll try to get back into the swing of posting a bit more regularly. 🙂


Here’s a few popular posts I’ve written on Medium:

Updates and Life Stuff

This post has the F word in your face, so if you’re a sensitive soul then look away now!

It has been a week or two since I’ve been on WordPress. I feel a bit like a traitor…I’ve jumped ship, so to speak!

Writing

I’ve been writing so much on Medium lately, that it’s kind of taken over my writing life. There’s no more words leftover for on here! I’ve written over 10,000 words since Friday, they are literally pouring out of me. LITERALLY.

And it’s been my best month for stories, stats and earnings. Mostly because I’ve been submitting to publications on there and getting the hang of how to write, if not viral pieces, then at least pieces that hook people in and make them want to read on.

It’s been fun! This piece was published in Writer’s Blokke publication on Medium yesterday. It’s now my second most viewed story of all time! No surprises why when you read the title – How Medium Has Turned Into Lord Voldemort!

And this one just got published into Fuck Niches publication…

Screenshot by me of a publication I submitted that valuable, information-rich article to!!

Because apparently I just had to write about Jedi Force Farts…


Knitting

Anyway, enough about Medium, I’ve been trying to get more progress done on my orange knitted jumper. I’m kind of sad to say only about 12 rows or so since the last update. But it’s hard to find the time to concentrate on knitting at the moment when it’s all about the writing!

Last night for example, everyone else in the house had gone to bed and I was busy trying to type quietly at my computer as a ‘great’ story idea popped into my head and I just HAD to write it down! I came off the loud keyboard and onto my iPad and used the app to continue writing until almost midnight. And then sleepy time.

So when is there time to knit?!

But so far, I haven’t made any mistakes in the main pattern. It’s not a difficult pattern as long as you pay attention to what you’re knitting. When I did the back last year I made a few silly booboos which only I can see because I know they’re there. But this time round…perfect!

The front of my orange knitted jumper

I’ve also done a few more rows of my Sock Yarn Shawl…but since it’s really thin wool, you can’t really tell!

It’s September and it’s been so sunny and warm lately. I think I might go for a walk and try to get away from the computer desk…even though I don’t want to!

Banana Bread Recipe

I made a banana bread loaf on Saturday to use up some old bananas. I used a recipe by Kirsty Allsopp, let me see if I can find it.

Ah! Here we go…

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-4841032/Kirstie-s-Real-Kitchen-Banana-cake.html

I didn’t add the salt or vanilla as I have it written down somewhere and I obviously didn’t copy all if it! Also I think there are several versions of this floating around the inter webs. I wouldn’t add vanilla to something like this anyway so…it’s optional, I guess!

But it’s quite yummy!

The only thing I would say would be to use less than 4 bananas…maybe 3 medium sized ones. But it depends on how banana-ry you want it!


Tweet A Bookshop!

Getting used to using Twitter, I decided to Tweet Waterstones (a bookshop chain here in the UK) to see if they could recommend any books about writing (for writer’s). Here’s what they had to say:

Screenshot by me!

They recommended On Writing by Stephen King, On Writers and Writing by Margaret Atwood and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

I’ve got and read the first 2, but not the 3rd. I’m going to ask for it for either my Birthday or Christmas

Still getting my head around Twitter…but I’m getting there!

What else?

A lot, but this post is taking me so long to write that I’m going to have to go and get a drink and run a few errands now!

Hope you had a great weekend and are on the way to a fun and productive week. As for me, you won’t be surprised to hear I’m going to try and write a bit more today and maybe, if there’s time do a bit of knitting…:)


Sign up to join Medium here (if you sign up using my referral link I’ll receive a portion of your membership fee at no extra cost to you).

[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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5 Things This Week

I’ve been a bit quiet over here this week but I’ve been busy beavering away at other things. Even managed to get in a spot of crafting or two.

This week in general has been a week of little but long errands, like yesterday was my car’s MOT, but I went to a new place so had to drive a bit further than usual, so it was a little but long errand!

And there have been more appointments for people and picking up and that sort of thing, which leaves you feeling you only have half a day to do stuff.

Anyway, this is what I’ve been up to this week:


1. I joined Twitter!

I had such a busy day yesterday with the errands, writing 3 articles for Medium, picking up people, doing household chores etc. that I decided to join a new social media platform too. I used to have a personal account years ago, in fact I only joined it then because I was forced to for a university project. I’ve never understood it much or loved it in all honesty, but I’m trying to be more social and business minded on the internet.

Which means that Pinterest just isn’t enough! Whilst I do have an Instagram account for Woolly Orbit, I only have 3 crappy posts on there, I’m beginning to hate Instagram with all the videos and I don’t use Facebook. Which is what I’ll have to eventually do if I want to progress with the sharing and marketing side of things, but anyway back to Twitter.

I have a few tweets and I’m just getting started, so stuff will change in the future, especially when I finally sort out branding and everything!

I’m @woollyorbit if you want to come say hello and help me figure out the platform!!

It also means I can do this here:


2. I’ve started to upload to my Society 6 shop

I joined a few months ago, but have been focussing on RedBubble. This week I looked at both Spoonflower and Society 6. Spoonflower needs a lot before I launch patterns as I need to order samples and so I’m going to wait until I have a lot of designs uploaded and ready to go.

But as of today, I have 5 designs live on Society 6. And OMG what a pain to get the file sizes! I’m glad I kept the Photoshop subscription as some of the file sizes are HUGE. And you need different dimensions – square, vertical, horizontal etc.

BUT I like the products they have over there…they have bar stools and deckchairs and yoga mats. They have a credenza! I’d never even heard of that before…but I can stick a simple design on one!

Screenshot (I can do those now) of a credenza on Society 6

I like the furniture they have on Society 6, although not so much the prices, but you know – furniture!

So, I’m going to keep going with that, even though it takes me a lot longer to upload each design onto the platform.

https://society6.com/woollyorbit

So that’s fun!


3. Medium – Publications and More

I won’t go into the details on here, but if you want to get your stuff read on Medium, you have to submit to publications. Which I haven’t been doing because I’ve been focussing on my writing. Also, the submitting and signing up process scares me!

Anyone on Medium can create a publication. They are just another part of the platform.

Imagine if you could create a group blogging section on WordPress and invite other bloggers or accept articles on relevant topics to your group. That’s kind of like what the publications are like on Medium, except the bigger ones get thousands of views and followers, and so your post is more likely to get seen and therefore read by more people. Hope that makes sense!

Anyway, not only did I write 3 posts on there yesterday, but I also left an add me as a writer comment on my first publication which might take a while to get accepted (he does say on the submission guidelines he only checks it once or twice a month). In the meantime, I’m making a list of potential publications that could work for me and I’m going to try and submit a few articles to them in the coming days and weeks.

First I need to spend a bit of time actually writing a REALLY good article!

I do have my own publication which is called Woolly Orbit Passive Income (no surprises there!) but I’m not doing much with it. Maybe now I have Twitter I can promote the publication itself on there as well as the articles themselves?

So, that’s another side of Medium I’ve been looking at.

If you want to follow my writing on Medium, you can subscribe via e-mail here:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/subscribe

Or, if you want to join Medium you can use 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


4. I’ve been watching…

Simple Living Alaska

Skeindeer Knits

This Is Kachi


5. Finishing Miscellaneous Craft Bits And Bobs

A bit of crafting done this week but not much ‘big’ progress!

I’m just sewing in the ends of my Christmas Crochet Blanket right now and then I need to decide what to do with it. Where to donate it.

I love it, I love the colours and the fact it’s a Christmas blanket…but I have 5 blankets already and they’re just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. So, to charity with this one!

I’m also doing one more round of black cross stitch for the placemat I finished last week. I might see how much thread is left and do another round after that…but there’s not much black left. I just thought it would be easier to sew up if there was a bit of wriggle room when sewing the edges.

I’ve done about 10 rows on my knitted orange jumper. I am getting sick of writing that phrase on here…knitted orange jumper, knitted orange jumper! It doesn’t even have a pattern name, I don’t think! I’m on the home stretch for it now though.

Here’s a previous post about it.

And I’m about to cast on a pair of vanilla socks by Winwick Mum.

There’s no photos because they don’t look all that much different from previous posts for everything here…and I’ve been writing at the computer for hours today and I want a break!!


So, that’s pretty much it for now. It’s been another week of half days.

And a heatwave…29 degrees celsius yesterday and the day before. I thought summer was over, in fact I was getting ready to put all my summer clothes away!

I’ll try and post a bit more over here, but you know, I get carried away writing!


Two of my most recent posts on Medium:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/what-youtube-has-taught-me-about-homesteading-in-the-usa-f821d0e2c728

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/how-to-update-your-redbubble-store-ed8085fea436

LATEST POSTS:

I Made A Newsletter!

I just did a thing! I made a Substack newsletter, yay!

Another day, another writing platform. This time an e-mail newsletter platform.

I’m thinking of using this site (Substack) as a cross between what I write here and on Medium. But we’ll see how that goes…I have a funny feeling I might have to narrow down the niche a bit, but that’s OK, all good things in time!

I’m thinking of doing 2 e-mails a week, maybe one longer one and one shorter roundup one with links to what I’ve been reading on the internet and watching on Youtube…that kind of thing.

This might change too, in time!

I’m excited to have another outlet for writing! While Substack does have an option for a paid newsletter, I’ve opted to keep it all free as I’m just learning the ropes right now. Not just with the e-mail sign ups but with all of it in general really. I’ve only been blogging here since January of this year, and on Medium since May, although I only took it seriously at the end of July!

So, it’s all new. And exciting!

I’m also thinking that once I properly open my Etsy shop, then there’ll be special offers and discounts here too. And in the future, maybe giveaways as well. I literally just created it today, so it’ll take a bit to get used to it, but it’s fun finding another platform to play around with.

Click the button below to sign up for the newsletter…it’s free!

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!


Latest Posts:

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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Latest Posts Below:

August Goals – Crafting and Work

Did I make a July goals post? I can’t remember…but here’s the August one!

Craft goals:

  1. Try and get the front of my orange jumper finished, or at the very least a lot of progress made.
  2. Try and finish the sample baby cardigan I’m knitting. So far got the back and one side done.
  3. Do a few more rows on my sock yarn shawl.
  4. Do more on crochet baby blanket.
  5. Cast on large heirloom knitted blanket, I think I’m going to go for entrelac! :O
  6. Finish sewing together fabric baby dress.
  7. Find a simple sock pattern for beginners and cast on.

I think that’ll do. Mainly knitting and crochet as I did a lot of sewing in July!

Work goals:

  1. I am opening my Etsy shop this month regardless of how many listings there are.
  2. I am publishing my book regardless of how finished it is!!!
  3. I want to post an article on Medium every day. Make a push for it!
  4. Join Fiverr.
  5. Join Substack.
  6. Spoonflower have 10 designs up.

That’s it. I have other things planned, but I’m not going to waste time writing every little thing down. These are the main points.

You know what, instead of waffling for ages about all of the above, I’m going to leave it there! I think they are all pretty much self explanatory really!

Wishing you a happy and productive day!! 🙂


[I’m going to try and write every day here in August. There isn’t a plan like in February…that got a little restrictive after a little while, even thought it was fun. Nope, just gonna post every day here this month! ]

The Plan For August – I need your help!

I’ve had this blog for 6 months and I’m only just realising what you can put in the POSTS!

I knew you could add things like social media icons in the sidebar etc…but in the POSTS too? OMG my little mind is blown!


Anyway…I was having a think about what to post in August. I’m going to try and upload every day, so some of the posts will be shorter than others.

I’m going to do the usual post whatever is in my head and show you progress of my knitting and crafty WIP’s and finished objects etc.

But is there anything else you want to see/ know?

How about I list some examples below and you comment yes/ no or with your own ideas?

OK, here goes:

  • Share independent small crafty businesses I’ve come across
  • Share my favourite books/ craft books
  • Other blogs to visit
  • Youtube channels I like
  • Long form writing pieces
  • Personal stories/ anecdotes
  • Free Printable Downloads
  • Tutorials
  • Local area pics and ‘tours’
  • Craft content – knitting, crochet, sewing, general?
  • Recipes – cooking/ baking?
  • Q and A
  • Passive Income related things – Print on Demand/ Affiliate Marketing/ Printables
  • Blogging – here on WordPress or over on Medium?
  • Writing- thoughts, tips, places to go for advice, books about the craft of writing

I’m not an expert on all of these things by a long shot, in fact for the Passive Income point above, I’ve only just started with it all this year. But I know where to send you for advice and what sites/ Youtubers to recommend.

I have lots of ideas, but I’d be really interested in knowing what you’d like to see.

Also, the post about 6 months blogging was one of my most viewed…was it the stats side of things, I wonder? You’re all so nosy, haha!

So, do you want more stats kind of posts? Because that was pretty much everything there is, although I could think about doing it for some other platforms too. I’m not sure about that one!

I think, in general, on the blog, I’d like to add more recipes and more craft related content. I’m afraid my photos will always let me down, but that’s alright.

I also want to offer a few more free printables for you to download for your personal use. Any suggestions for that?

Here are some ideas I had:

  • Project planners/ notes
  • Craft specific e.g. knitting pattern notes page, techniques to do, favourite designer lists
  • Productivity trackers e.g. habit trackers, time blocking
  • To Do Lists
  • Writing prompts
  • Journal pages
  • Challenges e.g. weekly/ monthly
  • Calendars
  • Task Batching
  • Budget trackers, expense trackers

Let me know what you think, I’d love to know!

10 Things This Week

I’ve felt pretty rough this week and yet, I’ve been my most productive in a while.

Here’s a random list of things I’ve done/ come across/ watched this week.

1. Medium

I’ve been writing like mad over there and basically figuring out the platform. One thing I can’t seem to get my head around is the publications part. I’ve created my own, but I’m struggling to format it in an aesthetically pleasing way.

But I’ve been writing more and my few recent articles have been much better than the first ones!

Here’s my latest about selling printable/ digital downloads online:

10 Digital Items To Sell That Aren’t Wall Art!

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/10-digital-items-to-sell-that-arent-wall-art-aaa1ab9ee33

2. Knitted Baby Cardigan

I made a post about the trouble I was having with the raglan back part of a tiny knitted baby cardigan (thank you to the many suggestions in the comments on that post!). I’ve finished the left front and am now ready to cast on the right front.

I managed to do that in an hour or so when I really wasn’t feeling very well on Monday, so I actually feel like I did something crafty this week!

Front left of baby cardigan

3. Girl in Calico Youtube Channel

If you want to watch or listen to a relaxing video, this is for you! Crafts, gardening, making jam, homesteading, food.

I mean, look at the sunflowers in this video -my favourite flower. They’re gorgeous!

I think a lot of you who follow my blog would like this Youtube channel, so take a look and be inspired!

4. Cross-Stitch

I’m using up the last few threads I have. It’s a random ‘picture’ where I stitched a black frame and am just stitching random lines in different colours.

I was thinking maybe a placemat or trivet type of thing? Maybe put some wadding in between and sew it to some backing fabric. It looks pretty cool regardless of what I do with the finished product!

5. I managed to get to 150 designs on RedBubble! Yay!

I did a few simple geometric designs, a few stripes and a few random text based ones.

I’m still finding my way with the design process, and I know not all of them work. But I’m having fun and learning all the time.

Here are a few crafty ones that went up this week…they’re simple and I might take some down/ tweak them. They need a picture I think or a different font.

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com

6. The Blackberries are coming along nicely!

These bushes are on a walkway between 2 streets in my village…so I don’t know if I’ll get any blackberries from these bushes, although I did see some large rosehips which I’m eyeing for reship jam/ jelly.

But on the country lanes where I go for walks, I’ve seen a few berry bushes with their little white flowers. Just a couple more weeks I think and they’ll be nearly ready.

Definitely going foraging this year!

I love at the end of a village and there is a path by the road to walk to the next smaller one, it takes about 10 minutes. On the old red brick wall between the two, are some fruit trees that are on the wrong side of the wall for foragers, but nevertheless the fruit hangs over and I’ve always been too slow to get it, or it’s rained at harvest time or I just plain couldn’t be bothered to go out in the cold and pick it!

But this year will be different, no really! There’s a pear tree, an apple tree, possibly a plum/damson tree, maybe something else. There’s also a plum tree across the road on the path by a farmer’s field, but last year the farmer trimmed it when he did the hedges, so now there’s only really the top fruit which is too high for me to reach!

It’s a goal for this year!

I’m thinking an apple and blackberry crumble!

7. Blog re-design

If you’re reading this on the WordPress Reader (as I think most of you are!), then you won’t notice anything different. For everyone else, the look of the blog has changed a bit.

I’m still experimenting a bit, the header will get changed…the logo, icons, fonts, colours, widgets in the sidebar will get moved around a bit soon.

But it was in need of an overhaul.

Hopefully it doesn’t look too much like an early 2000’s blog now!! 🙂

Header in progress!

8. Pinterest Pins

For a few of my posts on Medium, I’ve been creating Pinterest Pins to go with them and uploading them to Pinterest.

It’s not something I’ve ever done for this blog, maybe because I don’t write the kind of content here that would be suitable for a pin.

I’m going to start thinking about pins…but I’m not the best at designing them!

These are two I made for the latest post on Medium (the link is above in point 1).

Which one do you prefer?

I prefer the one on the right…but that is the real secret to Pinterest…

You create MULTIPLE PINS for the SAME BLOG POST!

That way, you reach a wider audience. If someone doesn’t like one pin, they might be tempted to click on a different looking one!

9. Granny Square day 2021

I remembered about a thing before the thing was done and gone!

And that thing was Granny Square Day 2021!

Make some crocheted Granny Squares and take a picture and post to your Instagram account with the hashtag #grannysquareday2021 so that all the pictures create one huge Granny Square Blanket.

The charity is Woolly Hugs this year, which I’ve heard of, but never got the timing right for posting blankets etc. as the timing for submissions always falls at awkward places in my makes (I start knitting and crocheting Christmas things around September but their deadlines for submissions are around September/ October if I remember correctly).

They make handmade blankets to give to babies, children and teenagers in UK hospitals.

You can read more about Granny Square Day here:

https://www.gathered.how/knitting-and-crochet/crochet/granny-square-day/

10. Planning and Pondering

I’ve been looking at various ways to make money from writing and related things for a while now. To be honest, I tend to start one project, then see something else and start that and so the cycle continues. I guess you call it MAGPIE BRAIN?! Always distracted by the shiny object…

At the moment I only write on this blog and on Medium. Medium is new to me and I’ve only been on there a few months.

I’m also writing a book, at the time of writing it’s about half done. I want to get it published in August. I think I’ll manage it.

But I want to do more writing and not just any old, write whatever happens to spew out of my crazy mind. I want to write more with purpose and write with value for the reader in mind and to have streams of income, not just from places like print on demand sites and affiliate links, but streams of writing income.

So, I’m looking at Substack which is a free or paid e-mail newsletter subscription service. And Fiverr. There are a lot of places like Fiverr, like Upwork, People Per Hour etc. But Fiverr is probably the most well known and where a lot of beginners start.

The one thing I’m not really interested in are the content mills. Places like Textbroker etc. where you get paid very little for a lot of work.

I’ve seen requests on content mills in the past for ethically dubious articles e.g. one thing sticks in my mind quite clearly. Someone wanted a writer to write 3 essays for them…on clinical psychology for children! So, someone was studying at university on a clinical psychology course and was going to pay someone else peanuts to write their essays for them (also, would you want your child seen by someone who didn’t write their own essays/ do their own research at university?!)

That’s just one example that I remember, and not every request for writers is like that, but I’m not interested.

This article by The Write Life has more information about content mills if you’re interested:

I’m quite a fast typer and so joining something like Substack isn’t going to take up a HUGE amount of extra time, especially if I started with one newsletter a week.

I’m going back and forth with the options I have listed in front of me (I’ve scribbled down more than the ones I listed above…this post is getting long enough as it is!) and so, that’s something else I’ve been working on this week. Not really something to ‘show’, but thinking time is still time well spent.

To be perfectly honest, I need to sort out the Woolly Orbit branding first, before I go subscribing to things left, right and centre!


Phew! That was a post and a half!

Well done if you stuck around till the end…you’ve earned yourself 10 points and a pat on the back!

For a week where I didn’t feel very well, I think I did alright!

Today I’m going to finish another Medium article (just need to edit it, hopefully won’t take too long!). Then, look at some affiliate programmes and try and get back into the Etsy shop prep and more work on the book.

What did Bilbo Baggins say about feeling like too much better spread over not enough bread?!!

Hope you had a good week and have a crafty weekend!

Deep Work

I got a new book in the post yesterday and I read it yesterday too!

The weather has been in the 30s (Celsius) here in Yorkshire, and it has been too hot to even THINK about doing any Deep Work!

The book I got was called Deep Work by Cal Newport and is basically about cutting out all of the time wasting activities like answering e-mails etc. and focussing on spending a few hours a day on concentrated and productive work (Deep Work).

It’s a good read, he gives a lot of examples and the idea is pretty simple. I don’t think there is anything groundbreaking in the book, it all seems pretty obvious to me. Although, as in so many of these cases, what we know we should do or how to work, we never actually do, do we?! (I mean, we KNOW we should do more exercise and eat healthier food but do we actually?).

The section about switching off from Social Media I had to laugh at, because if anyone knows me, they’ll know that isn’t a huge area of my life, and I just don’t understand anyone who CAN’T turn off their mobile phone (the generation below me I guess!). So, I admit I skimmed through that chapter.

But finding a space for yourself, making it a productive space, focussing on what you’re doing and not all the time-sucks and tiny life admins…that I can get behind.

The examples are mostly academic ones, but the author is a Professor I believe. I would be an eternal student if I could, racking up the degrees in different universities if I had the money! I love the academic lifestyle – the library, the lessons, the lectures, note-taking, handing in assignments a month early (that’s not a random example, I actually did that twice at uni!).

I love the idea of writing a book in your own time and not running yourself into the ground doing it. I am about halfway through a book myself and I’ve been struggling to get back into it…so I might try the Deep Work approach and see if I can publish it in August.

I have to add though, that setting aside a few hours a day to do some really focussed and concentrated work is a good idea but only if you’re organised beforehand. So, with that in mind, I’m going to go through my planners and diaries, and all my odd bits of paper and sort them out and plan a couple of hours a day to work on my book.

It got to a point a few months ago when I was doing 15 pages a day at my fastest. I want to get back to that!

Below is an affiliate link to the book from Waterstones if you want to have a look yourself…

https://tidd.ly/37qgM4t

The idea of Deep Work is good, I felt it kind of stretched to fill the book, maybe that’s just me. I like the idea of working solidly without distractions.

I think I need to read this book again. And I will, in a little while.

As of late I have been struggling with productivity (and I don’t mean the last 4 or 5 days of this heatwave, because no-one wants to work hard in such high temperatures) and maybe with motivation too. After being unwell for a few weeks about 6 weeks ago, I sort of lost the plot a bit and have been finding it really difficult to get back into the swing of things.

Which is why I bought this book! To give me a push into thinking about what I’m doing and when. I have a few books like this on my shelf and now I’m inspired to re-read some of them again.

But I need to beware! Too much reading about being productive isn’t very productive is it?!


[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!]

Latest Posts:

Medium First Story Posted

My first post is written and published on Medium. Yay!

It says it’s a 7 min read…well, all I can say is that it didn’t take 7 minutes to write!!!

And I managed to sign up for their Partner Program too. 1 story (it’s a blog post really, they just call it a story) down and only about a hundred more to go.

I didn’t even think about having a nice picture to go with it, so it’s currently image-less. And it’s more of a stream of consciousness kind of post of where I’m up to with things.

I’ve decided to keep this blog as a more crafty space, which is more about knitting, sewing, crochet, baking, maybe a bit about reading and writing, and everyday life. Maybe some design elements will creep in here and there, but for the most part this will be more of a diary, old style type blog.

What I write on Medium will be more of my Passive Income financial journey…what new sites I’ve signed up for, what I’m learning about whether technology or money based. And be more of a curated and sort of professional-is space. Although I realise the irony of saying I’m going to be more professional and not having a picture to add to the post, but you get my meaning.

Here is the link if you want to have a read. You get a few free stories to read a month before you have to pay $5 a month for a subscription.

If you like writing here on WordPress, it might be an option to sign up to their Partner Program, I’m sure there are lots of ways you could re-purpose your content!

Read my first post on Medium here

Below is a random picture of a sassy looking pigeon because I’m obviously prepared for writing this blog post…see I have a picture ready to go and everything!

Goals for May

I started this little blog in January 2021.

I intended it to be a record of my crafty creations, both good and bad, and I thought it would consist of knitting, crochet and sewing finished objects and patterns, links to sites I like, Youtubers I follow etc. Maybe some daily life thrown in, recipes, baking, new crafts, that kind of thing.

And it started off that way, for sure, but it has been a bit deathly quiet on here for the last 6 weeks or so because I got such a sudden burst of energy at the end of March, that pretty much most of my craft projects got put aside and I haven’t even thought about them, let alone worked on them!!

I am still working on my Neon Fair Isle knitted bag, I did a few rows about a fortnight ago and that was that. I read a book called I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi (spoiler, no he won’t as I don’t invest in stocks and shares!) and I did a couple of cross-stitch projects…that’s it for the crafting!

But crafting is really another way to talk about your creativity and oh boy have I been creative lately!

A couple of posts ago I talked about making by own fonts with Calligraphr, I’ve since got an app called ifontmaker which is much easier and quicker to create a font – I’m not exactly graphic designer level yet, but it’s a fun side hobby.

I’ve signed up for a Medium account (the writing platform) and I’m getting my profile sorted and stuff like that before I sign up with their partner program. And then of course I need to start writing articles, but that parts the easy bit for me, I’m quite a fast typer and once I’m in the zone, the words just flow.

I’ve been using Procreate and Photoshop a lot as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I realise that for designing icons and simple pictures for my RedBubble shop I need to look at creating vector designs, so I bought the Affinity Design app whilst it was half price (it might still be, so have a look if you want to snag a bargain) and the free app Vectornator.

Both have pros and cons and I’m still getting my head around vectors and paths and nodes etc. It’s hard for me because I have no design experience AT ALL! But it’s fun…is it the challenge that’s fun? I don’t know (God knows the drawings don’t look fun – so far I managed a vector heart and a button!).

I signed up to RedBubble and now I like the idea of the Print On Demand type of passive income so much I’m seriously thinking of joining other sites too.

I would love to make repeat pattern designs for sites like Spoonflower and other specifically fabric based printing sites. I need a little more practice at it, but it’s nothing extra really, especially since you can sell the same designs across different platforms.

I opened an Etsy store too for something I have seen for ages and thought I would be good at but just never got around, or got motivated to do before…and that is digital downloads. I know I’ve posted a few simple freebies here on this blog before, but the ones I would sell on Etsy would be far superior! I’ve signed up to Creative Fabrica to buy fonts that I can use commercially, and I now have a Canva Pro account.

That’s all to come though because I want to do something at the same time as creating printables which is…

…putting them into a book! I joined Amazon KDP and am thinking of putting the printables into a book that can be photocopied by the buyer. So, you buy the paperback book which is in either A4 or US Letter size, the reader then photocopies the worksheets as they need so they don’t have to write in their book (which they could always do too of course).

I’m having a few issues here. The biggest of which is deciding which software program to use to create them with. Canva, Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, Google Docs, Apple Pages…and then I need a commercial license and there’s the fonts too which need to have commercial license/ permission to use them. If I make an e-book then the fonts are typically embedded into the e-book software, right? But so many font licenses have clauses against embedding…argh it’s a minefield, it really is!

BUT, once I get all that figured out, the actual creation process will take no time at all, especially since once the printables are made, I will be able to make bundles of them for Etsy, sell them separately AND put them in the book.

I could even open a Gumroad or Creative Fabrica store and sell the printables there too.

So, there are a lot of things going on and in my mind, but it’s getting the right licenses etc before it’s full steam ahead.

Saying that, I do have a few goals for this month.

  1. Upload 200 designs to RedBubble in total (I have 74 so far) and weed out any ones I don’t like anymore or that could be improved.
  2. Finish all back end Etsy stuff and have 5 printables listed in the store.
  3. Actually create the printables that will go in the Etsy store and the book! Decide on which software to use!
  4. Write 5 articles for Medium – finish my profile and sign up to Partner Program.
  5. Sign up to a fabric printing Print On Demand company eg Spoonflower.
  6. Sign up to Skillshare and use their free trial to have a look at vector drawings, digital designs and creating my own fonts
  7. Try and make a font good enough to sell…might not manage this one!
  8. Sign up to Creative Fabrica as a seller…need to apply for this so need a portfolio of places first e.g. Yes I have a RedBubble, but what else? Woolly Orbit Pinterest is only just up and running!
  9. Think about a ‘proper’ website where I can put affiliate links etc.
  10. Create digital stickers – maybe to sell and maybe to put on here for free!

Not very crafty goals are they?!

So here’s a few to stay on top of things (and hopefully make a bit of room!)

  1. Finish Neon Fair Isle Bag – knitted about 2/3 so far, only the second half to finish knitting and sew together
  2. Start The Testaments book by Margaret Atwood – once I read this, I will have all my books on my bookshelf
  3. Do some more on my knitted orange jumper
  4. Cut out the fabric pieces for a denim rucksack I want to sew…I may need some more fabric, but we’ll see how much I have first!
  5. Leather handbag…all cut out, dyed, oiled, ready to sew…it’s on my shelf ready. Started this a year ago, so we’ll see if I still remember how to do saddle stitch!

Phew! That’s about enough for May I think! And this blog post which is about 3 times what I normally write! If you got this far, well done!

Lot’s to do, lot’s to create, lot’s to dream!

Hope you have a lot make too in May!

——————–

Just so you can see my skills with vector drawing…below is about my level of skill – not perfect, but it’s a start, right?!

THIS BUTTON IS MY FIRST EVER VECTOR DRAWING!!!!!

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com

Have a good weekend and go do something nice for yourself – have a cup of tea, bake a cake, sew yourself something…do something creative!! xx

Medium – for writers and bloggers

Last week I came across a site called Medium. I had never heard of it before then but now I’m intrigued.

At first glance I thought it was a bit of an upmarket writing platform, like ACTUAL articles by ACTUAL professionals, and in some ways it kind of is. But after looking into it a bit more, it seems to be another platform for bloggers, but with one catch which makes it a little bit more exclusive.

If you land on the site as a guest you only get to read a few articles every month before you’re asked to sign up. It’s a whopping, massive $5 per month to read as many articles as you want, which isn’t that bad compared to some subscriptions out there.

But, you can also make money as a writer on there. It’s a little confusing to explain here, but you get a percentage of the monthly read time of the reader’s $5…I think. So, if a reader spends a long time reading your article and only reads 5 articles that month, then you will get a bigger percentage of that reader’s $5 monthly subscription fee than someone who reads 200 articles that month. Does that make sense? You can check out the website for a better way to explain that!

Basically, you need a large and engaged audience to make any real money and you need to be writing quality content. Which is the same with any writing or blogging platform, really.

You also have the chance on Medium to get Curated or Published. Curated means a member of the Medium team highlights your article and so it could end up featured somewhere like on the Homepage, which means more people are likely to see your article than just writing it and hoping people see it.

You can also apply to publications through Medium to have your article featured in them, they have a bigger audience and have specific rules and submission guidelines. I’m not sure if these publications are only in Medium itself or what, I am slightly confused with it, but then, I’ve only just discovered it and need to poke around the site a bit more!

I like the idea of a blogging platform that is specifically for writing (so you won’t get people posting a lot of spam or lots of shop links, although I think you can link out to other sites in your articles if you want) and the one thing that makes it seem a little more ‘professional’ is…THE PAYWALL!

If people are spending even just a little bit of money a month just to read articles then the quality of the writing is generally going to be a bit better than on your average blog, at least, one would hope!

It’s not a get rich quick scheme by any means, I’ve seen some people making $10,000 a month and then some only 37 cents!

But it’s something I would want to look into further, to practice my writing more than making money!

The way I see it, it’s somewhere between here on WordPress and getting published in a magazine somewhere. I don’t know if that’s a good analogy or what, but it looks to be a good stepping stone to greater writing projects or even another stream of income.

Search for Zulie Rane or Ayo The Writer on Youtube if you want a writer’s take on making money with Medium.

What do you guys think, have you used Medium before, have you even heard of it? $5 well spent or wasted?