Author: Polo

Bullet Journal Inspiration #2

Okay, so maybe I failed a bit last week at getting back into some kind of blog routine, but that’s fine. It takes a while to get back into the swing of things when you drop the many balls you were juggling.

I can’t juggle. This metaphor is going places.

To continue with a few weeks of bullet journal inspiration, I’d like to share another bullet journaler whose videos I watch regularly even though she humanises her stationery and it drives me a bit bonkers. (I think she lives in France, so maybe she just forgot that nouns don’t have grammatical gender in English.)


Before I introduce a video, let me remind you to check out what a bullet journal is in my previous posts.

Now we’re ready to get going! This is Sunshine and Stationery, and one of the reasons I’m suggesting you watch her videos is that she’s got a great way of explaining what works for her and what does, and why she switches things up. Since that’s my favourite part of bullet journaling, I had to share!

This video is very recent. Many bullet journalers put out a monthly video showing them creating their monthly spreads in advance, and I’ve got to be honest, I watch a lot of this type of video while I draw or write in my own journal. It’s so relaxing and inspirational.

You’ll notice she has amazing hand-lettering, too.

I’ll be continuing this for a few more weeks until I can figure out a way to take decent pictures and video of my own bullet journal, though this may be a dream I abandon depending on the viability of it in a basement apartment. What I wouldn’t do for some natural light…

If you’re interested in seeing more of my journal, let me know below. I’d love to see yours if you have one, too!


Bullet Journal Inspiration #1

If you’re wondering what a bullet journal is or why it keeps popping up over here, check out my last two posts on the subject, here and here. That way you’ll know what the eff I’m talking about when I gush about awesome creative people I watch on YouTube.

Part of my wind-down routine lately is to watch mindless videos of people journaling on YouTube. It sounds like it would be totally boring but I find it inspiring. On the offchance that you do too, I’m going to share a few people I adore in the next few weeks.

It would be weird to start this without first introducing Boho Berry. She’s a long-time bullet journaler, and her style has pervaded a lot of others, including my own. She has a very distinctive style and she was one of the first people I started following when I began my own bullet journal.

She’s very, very perky but not in an obnoxious way, and I always click when I see a new video comes up.

You can find Kara:

I’ll be back this time next week with another journaler I like, but if you have any that you watch or know of, definitely share in the comments below!

The Emptiness.

The Emptiness.

As some of you will know, I did a stupid thing a month ago. I sat with my arms propped up on the chair while I knitted for two days straight, even though my thumbs went numb after the first day. Then I didn’t knit for about three days. …Then I picked up my blanket and knitted for six solid hours.

Yeah, since then I haven’t been able to knit at all. I haven’t even tried. Guys, don’t do this. Don’t put your elbows on arm rests while you knit. Learn from my stupidity.

At the moment I’m having MASSIVE knitting cravings, but there’s nothing I can do about it, not even with babies on the way in the family. I’ve considered replacing my hands with robot machines, but unfortunately my wage doesn’t quite cover becoming a superhero/villain, so I’ve had to make do with boredom.

In the meantime I’ve tried bookbinding, drawing, journaling, cross stitching, and spinning. The latter is really the only one I can do without discomfort, as long as I rest my hands every few minutes and stretch regularly. At the last mosque knitting group, I played with my Turkish spindle for the hour. I’m not very good at it yet, but that’s the point of practicing.

It helps that at the Knitter’s Frolic this year I bought 300g of cloud, AKA merino. I need to be good so I can spin that. (See the featured ima

There is an end in sight. I’m going to a massage therapist next week, and if that helps I’ll keep going. If it doesn’t, I’ll go to my doctor. I can’t be not knitting for this long! My identity will crumble! I will be a shell of my former self!

Or I’ll just be really damn bored.

Let me know if you’ve ever had something like this happen and how you got past it. Help me, friends!

Sewing in the ends

Sewing in the ends

It’s the hardest thing to do. Not because it’s a complicated endeavour, but because if you put that finished project down for five damn seconds, it’s impossible to get around to picking it back up within a month.

No? Just me?

I do this all the time. A few months ago I decided to knit my partner a hoody since she wears them a lot and I don’t care about the sweater curse, we’re basically married anyway (we’ve been together nearly seven years, when did this happen, and if living on different continents for some of that time didn’t break us, the sweater curse hasn’t got a chance). I finished it just after Christmas, then decided I was done with it and would give it to her for Valentines, honest.

It’s May. This weekend, mid-concussion and still unable to knit because my tendons hate me, I picked up the hoody. I took ten minutes to sew in the ends, and suddenly I have a completed project on my hands.

She likes it. I’m giving it to her just in time for it to be too warm for her to wear, but no one ever said I was made of logic.Hoody for Nari - Knitter Nerd

It’s currently spread out behind me on my blocking mats, mocking me by taking roughly five bajillion years to dry. I also have to sew on the buttons but I won’t put that off once it’s dry – my partner now knows it exists, so I have to get around to it. Them’s the rules.

(That didn’t work when I made her the Avengers blanket, though… That took about eighteen months to give to her.)

This is clearly something I need to change. I sorted out my basket of random projects the other day and realised roughly 25% of them are about ten minutes from being finished. Do I just not like finishing things? Do I have commitment issues? Or do I just get too easily distracted?

Since my hands aren’t letting me knit at all these days, I may as well take some time to weave in some ends and finish up some older projects. After all, that will make me look super productive with minimal effort. Why yes, I did finish a sweater and a pair of socks and a shawl all in one weekend! (I started that shawl about 4 years ago, but that will go unsaid.)

It turns out knitters are a predictable lot, so I know I’m not the only one to do things like this. Has anyone got any tips for getting past it?

Beating perfectionism with a bullet journal

Beating perfectionism with a bullet journal

If you’re a perfectionist, you know what it’s like. You start a new project, you’re all excited, then three minutes in you make a mistake. What then?

For me, that often involved rage-quitting, though my rage is a quiet one. I have, for example, left many knitted items to languish for months or even years because of a mistake I cannot see by the time I pick it up again. This is a thing I do regularly.

However, it’s a thing I’m trying to avoid. I’m also doing my best to improve my productivity and time management, especially since I’m starting a Master of Education course in September, gulp. When I heard about bullet journaling I didn’t realise it would be for me, but I’m really glad I picked it up.

You can read a little about my bullet journal in my epic post from a while back. I talk about the fact it is for flexibility instead of perfection, and that’s exactly why I do it.

In a bullet journal, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake. You either fix it or you move on. If you do something that doesn’t work for you for that month, you can switch it up next month, or right now (as I did!). It’s an unplanned space for your own brain to process, and it’s very freeing.

Oddly, the bullet journal method – or how I use it, anyway – has made my creativity spike. It’s not that I have more ideas; it’s that I’m not afraid to try any of them now. When I realised I had an old leather journal with no space left in it, I decided to cut out the binding and re-bind it myself with my own paper. THEN I ACTUALLY DID THE THING.

Knitter Nerd: Leather journal

Here is the difference: bullet journaling is helping me try new things with less panic about it going wrong.

It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good or useful.

I know this isn’t the only way to avoid perfectionism; there’s a lot of methods out there. The way I see it is anything that lets you rewrite that narrative on the importance of ‘perfect’ is great. Perfect might exist, but I sure as hell doubt many people will ever reach it.

Bullet journaling has helped me enjoy the process and witness my own growth as I move from month to month and spread to spread. It’s not perfect and never will be, but I’m getting much better at accepting that and being proud of myself despite it.

Since the bullet journal world has changed mine, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite YouTube videos and channels over the next few weeks to hopefully bring a few of you the kind of inspiration I feel from the whole method.

If you have any thoughts on either bullet journals or other ways out of perfectionism, I’d love to hear it!

I return!

Hey. How’s it going? Good? Yeah, long time no see.

This is probably the longest I’ve left my blog for… a few years at least. Turns out damaging my hands, getting a promotion, and getting a mild concussion all at once means I throw my arms in the air and nap a whole bunch instead of writing.

Anyway. I still can’t knit (stupid hands), but I have some other things on the go and will be filling in the blanks soon enough. I just thought I should post to break the silence so I don’t get intimidated by my own lack of a schedule.

So… hello everyone! I missed you!

Continuing pause

I apologise for the silence. I can’t think about knitting much right now because if I do I’ll want to do it, and I did a stupid. Not only did I get my hands sore in the first place, I then spent an entire day (I’m speaking around 6.5 hours or so) knitting a large blanket the first time my hand wasn’t sore. Can you guess what happened next?

The pain was so bad that I couldn’t move my fingers in one hand and I woke up from the pain in the night. It’s gone now, but I’m being careful. I’m not knitting any more for a few days at least.

Last week I also got a promotion at work, but this will just give me more energy to focus on this blog once I have time. You see, I am super productive the more I have to do in a day. (Until I burn out, but I’m getting better at avoiding that too.)

If you have any interesting things on the go right now, I’d love to see them. I can live vicariously through you at least.

I did a stupid

The other day I spent two days knitting with my elbows propped up too high. It starting hurting after the first day but I didn’t immediately notice why, because I’m super smart and observant.

By the end of the second day my thumbs were cramping so badly I couldn’t move them, and then I realised my rookie error.

I’m still sore a week later despite barely having knit anything at all, and I’m sure it’s going to take a little longer to ease my poor tendons back into shape. Yep, I’m that shade of brilliant. Still, I’ve never had a knitting injury before so I suppose it was time.

On that note, I’d better go do things… that aren’t knitting. Huh. What are those things again?

Craft group success

When organising an event you can never tell if it’s going to go well. As a kid, I hated birthday parties for this very reason. I’ve mostly avoided organising things in my adult years, preferring the method of ‘turn up and hope others do too’ socialising. It’s easier that way and you don’t have to get so invested in the outcome. However, I took a different take in organising the craft group at the local mosque, and I’m glad I did.

With a lot of help from a lovely woman at the mosque called Asma, the event was a resounding success. (Read about it here if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Not only did people come, they enjoyed it. People started mingling the moment we opened the doors, and everyone was smiling and enjoying themselves.

Every time I think about it I want to cry or laugh, possibly both. It feels good to foster decent relationships and bonds in the community. It feels good to see people stepping outside of their comfort zones and the strict social lines we follow in order to have fun and meet new people.

It’s a small thing, but it felt wonderful.

The event is going to be a monthly deal, so if you’re local to me (hello Oshawa) let me know and I’ll give you the details.

Official announcement

The event at the mosque is finalised. We’re meeting at the Islamic Centre of Oshawa on Lloyd Street at 6.30pm-7.30pm. If you’re anywhere near me, please come along!

It’s an open, friendly event. You can bring any kind of craft that isn’t going to damage their gorgeous carpets. You’ll need to take your shoes off so take the chance to show off some nice handknit socks if you have any. You don’t need to cover your hair.

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