Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Memorandum Monday - A list of Firsts and Lasts

Sian over at High in the Sky asked “have you done anything new this week?” and I had to smile, because that is the very reason I have not posted here recently or visited blogs that I follow!

I have spent SO much time learning how to do new things that time disappeared and weeks have gone.  Is it February so soon?! 
But before I mention the new and the firsts, let me mention the old and the lasts:

Project 365
I just checked, I have taken a photo a day since 2010.  
Is it really that long?!  
Rather than feel bad about loosing momentum I think I should give myself a pat on the back instead, because that is something to celebrate and be proud of.  The only reason I am having a rest is because my photos are in such a mess.  Due to lack of time I stopped organising them into folders at the same time as downloading them from my camera.  This means I have hours and hours of work now to tidy up. It makes finding a photo hard when I want one in particular and it is something I need to prioritise.  And I will.  One day. 
Meantime I don't want to increase the strain by adding more photos.

Tree Following
Last January I decided to take monthly photos of 2 local trees. I enjoyed this but I have other things I want to do, so no more tree following this year. I will visit them though and enjoy the seasonal surprises and change.

Design Team Member

For the past 18 months I have been a member of the That Craft Place MDF design team and I decided it was time to step aside so that I can focus more on developing my own business and ideas. I enjoyed my time as a team member and it has been exciting watching Lisa grow from a small shop owner to TV presenter.

So - what about the new?


Number one has to be submitting accounts on line for the first time.  And of all the new things I learnt and have done recently this has to be the most taxing. No pun intended!

For weeks I fretted over figures, puzzled over questions I did not understand, and checked my entries again and again. And then because something didn’t figure I got a friend to check some more!  Five hours later we sat back, wiped our brows, and punched the air. Then we went down to her newly opened micro pub and celebrated with a glass of real ale.  This visit was another first for me.  Lack of time has prevented me going sooner.

Another new - I bought a Fitbit.  I hoped it would motivate me to move more and improve my sleep routine. It's like big brother watching what time I put my book down or pick up mobile up to check for messages when I should be sleeping!  Or rather, it would be if it worked. Sadly I have one of the faulty ones. 
So, another new:  an hour online learning how to reset it only to have it disconnect once I thought it was all sorted.  Urgh!!  
But a positive outcome was learning how to take screen shots to send the online technical support.  It seems I opened the website rather than the app which is why I couldn't find the button I was asked to press.  Okay - I KNOW I am not techno savvy!  But at least I now know how to take screen shot successfully and I've done that lots more since. I'm like a child with a new toy!

Talking of which, I also have a new computer.  My old one struggled through the second part of last year and 2015 will be remembered as being techno challenging. I installed Windows 10 on my laptop last year, however, there are lots of other changes when you transfer information from an old computer to a new. Thankfully I have clever son who is my life saver for anything technical and he spent hours tweaking and setting it up so it felt familiar again. Frustratingly my computer automatically upgraded yesterday and it has upset some of the settings. I sigh as I move on....

I mentioned earlier that my photos are downloaded to my computer. Often I choose some to print and then put them into small hand made books as a way of sharing and enjoying them. But I took over 4,000 photos when I went to the Shetland Islands last year, far too many to choose from and to print. So I decided to try something new. I would have my photos printed into a physical book using PhotoBox, and here it is! Fresh from the print!

I have a blog post planned but let me just say that learning how to create a book in this way was not easy for me!!  Oh no!

There have been other new experiences and learning, but I'll jump straight into my other main achievement:  MailChimp!

As some of you know, making hand made books is one of my passions and I love to share what I do.  I have been running workshops for the past year or so and I was keen to be more organised this year. And so I went on a days training course, learning how to use a new programme that would help me to send newsletters in a more efficient way.  Well, to start my laptop had a more up to date download of the programme than the tutor or other students in the class. That meant the lay out and functions were slightly different. Also, this was completely new to me - others had already used it for a time so had some familiarity with the design and how it works.  There's nothing like jumping into a deep end and not knowing how to swim! In fairness the workshop was advertised for beginners, but most of my learning took place when I got home. With my son close at hand!  It's not a programme he has used or seen before but he is able to transfer what he knows, and sometimes I could do this too.  Long story short - my son helped me with the initial set up then I spent several days learning how to create a newsletter and mailing list. Woohoo!!!!  My newsletter was launched this week and I am celebrating another achievement and first! 

If you would be interested in receiving a copy of my newsletter and finding out more about what I have planned please let me know!

Thanks to Sian for prompting this post. What have you done that is new or a first?!


  1. Hi Sandie. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your highs and lows of the last year. I'm amazed at the number of photos you've taken. Thank goodness for the digital age; imagine having to get all those developed at Boots like we did in the past! I like your positive approach to life. I do try, but it doesn't always work! My new venture for this year is that I've joined the Rock Choir. Early days yet but I'm enjoying it so far. Pauline

    1. Thank you Pauline! You are so right about getting photos printed. Digital is both a blessing (cheap, instant, assessable) but also a bane (overwhelm, 100's of photos where we might have taken one or two in the past).
      That's why PhotoBox worked for me. I had to keep paying for extensions as I could not meet the deadline for credits, but even so I still think it was a cheaper option and great way to present and preserve photos.
      Enjoy your Rock Choir. It sounds fun!!

  2. Lovely post Sandie. It is ago thing to start a new year doing or learning new things, I think.
    Would love to go through your Shetland book, what a dream. I also try to have a book printed with my pics. After loosing so many pics last year, due to broken computer, and my lack of backing up... well it is better to have a book than a hard drive filled with pics you never see.
    I have started learning to read the tarot. I plan to be a master tarot reader in 10 years, haha!!
    All the best in your new endeavors.

    1. Thank you Giova. I believe my Shetland book may be available to view online so I will check it out later and invite you if this is so.
      I have had a couple of scares with my own computer this past year. I am getting better at backing up and my son nags me to save everything on to cloud. Initially I thought I had limited storage but having learnt I have 1 GB I am now trying to get into the habit and that is another new thing to learn as the way the photos are stored and managed is different package to what I am used to! So much to learn!!
      Oooh!! Tarot reading! I'd be interested to know more. I have thought of buying some cards and hope you reach your goal before 10 years! haha!

  3. Wow! This was an exciting read Sandie. I am standing in awe of your mastery of mailchimp and the way you are going forward with your teaching and workshops. It's very inspiring!

    I thought of you as soon as I opened my Lonely Planet magazine: the first thing I saw was a full page ad for the Shetland Isles. And there was a wonderfully old school "fill in our form to receive our brochure" bit. Of course I intend to!

    Online filing..I feel your pain. And I'm married to an accountant. All I have to do is look over his shoulder and say "Yes, that looks right"..

    Photos? I somehow managed to add two of all my pictures onto my new laptop..

    All the best with the week ahead Sandie.

    1. Thank you Sian! I love that the advert in Lonely Planet Magazine invites you to fill in the form for a brochure. So many 'brochures' are now online only so this is even more of a treat. Maybe I will have to send for my own copy! :)

      I think I maybe able to share my PhotoBox book online, so if I cam right I will send you an invitation so that you can see it Sian. Good luck with sorting your own photos and new computer. I share your frustration over time spent and wasted getting to grips with these things. The only good thing is when you are recovering from illness sitting quietly is sometimes all you have physical energy for! Hoping you are feeling better every day, and I love this new meme. Thank you for all your ideas and inspiration.

  4. LOVE the cover with splendid shot of Bressay lighthouse Sandie! Brilliant! X

  5. I love those Photobox books and make one every year now. They're a perfect size for leaving on the coffee table and you can fit so many pictures in them. Now you've made one the next ones will be so much quicker and easier to do. I use their templates when I want more than 3 or 4 pictures on a page. If you want a look at one, let me know and I'll share it with you!


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