Monday, 31 March 2014

My Month in Numbers 2014: March

Hello hello.

Unlike last time - where I bemoaned the lack of days in February - this month gifted me one extra!

The calendar I'd been referring to all month had the 31st all the way back up to the top of the grid next to the 1st ... and so I entirely forgot that today existed!

And seeing as it does in fact exist it means I get to round-up my month on its final day as usual ... and here it is.

Or should that be 'here is was'?

7 = the number of friends I spent 3.5 days with in a converted barn during a crafting/eating/laughing weekend in the countryside:
It really was very countryside-y too, so much so in fact that we backed on to a farm. And, when the direction of the wind changed ... the smell proved as much!

Apart from the country smells ... over the weekend I experienced ... my 1st piñata:
Its 6 pointed star was soooooo hard to break open that none of us could even dent it until ...

... until someone suggest we imagined it was someone we really didn't like and, funnily enough, it didn't last long after that.

Despite being in the heart of an area where many people go on walking holidays beating the life out of that piñata, wandering to the end of the drive to pick up a phone signal, and climbing the step up into the Land Cruiser to visit the craft shop was the nearest thing we got to exercise all weekend!

Crafty-wise, for me, it wasn't an especially productive weekend but I'd made up for that before the month ended ...

I spent 6 hours with 12 other people picking up mono-printing / gelli plate tips from Kate Crane last Saturday:
Photo courtesy of Kate Crane
As I don't have a gelli-plate I just wanted to try it out, play with techniques, maybe make some fun backgrounds for other projects and just spend some time listening to someone who knows what they're doing! After spending the day playing I'm a little bit tempted to get a plate of my own ... but you know what I'm like ... if I can't do it [without making a mother of a mess] on my knee, while sitting on the sofa watching TV ... I probably won't get round to doing it. Unless of course I book myself on to another full day workshop ...

3 = the number of little boys[about 6 or 7 yr old] who waited with impeccable patience and good manners in order not to photo-bomb that group shot above! They were about to whizz past us on their scooters when they realised that we were lining up to take the photo and they just stopped in their tracks and waited.  They were a credit to themselves, not moving, commenting or giggling until someone told them that is was OK to move on past us.

Which they did.



I think they were perhaps a little bemused as to why on earth 12 grown-up women were standing outside proudly holding-up their paintings!!

7 = the number of new embossing folders I accrued in March. 
I say 'accrued' rather than 'bought' as I only actually paid for 6 of them.

No. I didn't steal the 7th! What do you take me for? [Is it the piñata bashing? Or the territory battle we had with The Quilters earlier in the month? Are you worried I've got myself in with the wrong crowd?]

No, the source of the 7th was Heather, one of my loyal shop customers who very, very, kindly sent me an embossing folder which wasn't her kind of thing but which she thought I might use. [For the record: I had no idea she was sending me it ... I honestly don't solicit embossing folders from all my customers!].

Anyway, Heather had posted her gift out to me on the 18th of March which was 1 day BEFORE I wrote the following on my Facebook page:

"I'm browsing for embossing folders - a task which I thought would be straightforward / quick / relatively cheap - until I saw all the *really* nice designs I've somehow overlooked before ... hexagons, birds, dandelions ... oh dear, this may turn out more expensive than I thought!"

Weird isn't it? That at the time I was writing that there was a surprise embossing folder already wending its way through the postal system for me! Well, the whole scenario left us both changed women. While Heather confessed to being slightly freaked out at the coincidence I on the other hand ... began to wonder about what else - embossing folders aside - I could draw into my life just by thinking about buying some for myself! Let me try ...

"I'm browsing for an amazing new dress / pair of cowboy boots / era of world peace ...."

I'll let you know if any of that drops on my doormat tomorrow.

Speaking of gifts ...

57 days after my birthday a friend [who I only see in person a few times a year] gave me not only this handsome chap she'd needle-felted for me:
 ... but this rather appropriate book too:
 Perfect no? It's full of useful/useless number-based facts such as:

And speaking of Shakespeare ... [almost as if I'd planned it like this ....] this leads me to my final statistics for March:

BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Drama spot really spoilt me!  As I had 0 hours of work on campus in March [hey, what can you expect from a 'zero hours' contract?!] I've purely been working from home on magazine features and shop products ... while spending my day listening to the radio. And while Radio 4 is my favourite place to rest my ears week in week out ... this month it excelled itself giving me:
  • 2 new episodes of Rumpole - one of my all time favourite radio dramas. Court room intrigue. Humour. Benedict Cumberbatch. Need I say more?
BTW: 5 minutes into the 1st episode some misguided fool - who clearly hadn't read the radio schedule for the day - cold-called me trying to tempt me into buy a nonsense warranty. While. I. Was. Listening. To. Rumpole! What kind of a person does that?
  •  and finally ... during each of the 5 week day drama slots last week Shakespeare's Hamlet graced the airways. And as that totalled around 225 minutes or 3 hours 45 minutes it meant that it was a pretty faithful adaptation of the full gloriously wonderful script! 
A rare treat which, as so often happens, proved yet again that when you hear Shakespeare done well, you can see through the hype and unfamiliar language to actually understand not only what he was saying ... but how he was saying it.  

Right then ... I'm going to leave it there before all I do with this extra day I'd forgotten all about is sit and write about the previous 30!

I must get something else done, I mean as there's at least ... no, wait, I daren't count how many ... things on the ironing pile ...

If you'd like to join me by sharing your vital statistics for the first time then do check out the full how to guide here. And if you're one of the regular number-crunching crowd ... then it's over to you ... link me up ... I'll stop by for a visit soon.

Julie x


  1. Goodness me you certainly did cram a lot in to the last 30/31 days Julie.
    I have a "thing" for embossing folders too & purchased 3 more in the last month, are we starting a trend ...?
    my MMIN is here x

  2. Love the look of that book! You've certainly had a busy month. Please don't ever make 'number of things that need ironing' part of a communal count.

    Mine is over at

  3. There's a lot of good stuff to love in here (especially that zebra. He's gorgeous. Or is he a girl? which would make him just as gorgeous, but in a more girly way). Embossing folders! I think that might be my next whole crafting experiment. maybe a few inspiration posts?

  4. Fab MinN and I'm proud to have been involved in so many of them this month. ;-)
    Only 7 months until our next weekend away but hopefully I'll see you in real life before then!

  5. It was great to see you at the workshop Julie ... but I know what you mean about the gelli plate ... it's not the sort of activity you want to be doing in your front room ;-) I see you have listed your washi tape rings on Etay - I just shared it on FB.

  6. Love all the workshops and crafting meetings you get to go to. Lol at the piñata story! :D
    Gorgeous folders. Looking forward to what you do with them while watching Tv. ;)

    I need to go and do some exciting things. March was pretty simple on my end:

    One more month till my second MMIN anniversary!

  7. You've had a lovely crafty month! I too had a fab weekend scraping in a barn :) Your zebra is gorgeous. So lovely to catch up on your numbers as always. Will try and do mine this week... I hope...

  8. That zebra is just so cute, what a kind and clever friend.

    I think a two-handed over the shoulder swing would be more successful with the piñata, but I agree, they are very, very hard to break into.

    Sounds like you had a very big crafting month.

    My numbers are here:

  9. How funny that you were writing about embossing folders and one was on its way to you. Love the little zebra. I finally have some numbers and they are at

  10. Laughed out loud when you mentioned the country aroma on your crafty weekend . . . I get that alot here as you'll see on my MinN ( Such an adorable zebra and the book, oh my! Have a wonderful April!

  11. a lovely creative month for you - love the zebra you were gifted. I've posted my march numbers

  12. Bit late, but here's mine:

  13. Sorry didn't have time to read your MIN Julie! So I am back now! Looks like a wonderful weekend away, and I love the book! LOL about the coincidence with the embossing folders:)

  14. What a beautiful place to craft in ... and I've just had a weekend away playing with a gelli-plate too! A gorgeous zebra - isn't he (she?) lovely? I caught a bit of the Hamlet but cross I have missed Rumpole. I think I will have to start buying the Radio Times again, and marking things in a red pen :). I have greatly enjoyed your month in numbers (blooming heck about the zero hours - I can empathize) as always, and look forward to seeing when your crafting efforts are published. I've just re-read your article ~(again!)in the Art Journalling magazine. I always find myself inspired here!

  15. Another great month captured in numbers Julie. I love the picture I have of the three boys! and I'm with you on listening to Shakespeare done well, so beautiful.
    I've posted my numbers this morning Julie.

  16. Finally managed to join in this month. Love that zebra

  17. March was obviously the month for crafty retreats in converted barns. Love the little zebra, very clever felting. Finally managed to put my post together last night and you can find it here

  18. What a wonderfully creative month for you - seems everyone pops off to barns for retreats in March.

    Better late than never with my numbers -

  19. Late again I'm afraid by here is my month in numbers -

  20. Soooo late! But here are my numbers
    I stumbled across hamlet too and it was such a treat. I love the randomness of listening to list of radio 4!


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