Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Crochet! ... and potatoes?

I'm trying to teach myself at the moment. I've got a pile of books from the library full of tips and patterns, and I bought "Stich 'N' Bitch, The Happy Hooker" by Debbie Stoller which is the one I'm currently using to teach myself. I've found out english and americans name the stitches differently so the ones I'm learning are the american names at the moment. Here's my very first crochet attempt:
It's darker blue than that. I completed it a few days ago but only just uploaded the photo. It's a 4inch square(ish) of single crochet (double crochet in english?), and don't laugh, but it took me about 5 hours to figure it out and make *is embarrassed*

Now I don't know whether to do another sample square to teach myself the other common stitches, or to just throw myself into a simple pattern so I can try to make something, but I don't know what I want to make either, and patterns look like a foreign language still.....

Also, I don't know why but I can feel the veg growing itch starting up again. It usually waits till March or April, but I'm distinctly feeling the need to pick my potato type and start my tomato seeds off. It's bloody freezing outside so I'm going to stick to planning for now and hold off on the planting till at least February. I may have to buy my seed potatoes soon though, I'm going to nip in B&Q to see what they've got on offer....

Sunday, 20 December 2009


I picked my proper camera up again today, it's a Canon 350D. It got sadly neglected when I bought my previous mobile phone as the camera on that was quite impressive, and I always carry my phone so it was easy to use. However the camera on my upgraded phone is awful if you're not outside in the sunshine, so when it snowed today I couldn't help but go back to old faithful to get some shots of my puppy experiencing his first winter.

I admit that I wussed out and took the shots on auto settings as I didn't want to dig the instructions out and miss the snow. But I'm happy with what I got. Of course it could be better but now I've used the camera again I'm eager to do more.

Here's some of my favourites from today, even if they're not in focus in the right places they're here to show what I'm aiming for:





That's Darcy my 6 month Collie cross. He's had a great day chasing and eating snow.

I also started my first crochet attempt yesterday. I've not actually picked anything to make yet, I'm just learning the stitches. I've got 3 books out of the library to help teach me, and another couple reserved, and I still caved and bought one because the library didn't have it in. I'm hoping it will come before xmas and not get lost in the crazy xmas post.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

My current interests

So this is a record. A second post on a blog, I've never got this far before. *gives self sticker*

Right, in the first post I explained what a scanner and daybook are, and gave a bit of a bio for myself. Well done if you read it all, I'm not sure if I'll have an audience for this blog or who you'll be, so if the style is all over the place then forgive me.

This blog is hopefully going to become my Daybook. I tried having a notebook version but I didn't get past the first entry. I've never been able to keep a physical journal or diary, but I am fairly addicted to the internet, so I decided to have a blog instead. I'm less likely to come back and delete posts than I am to tear out notebook entries so this could actually work for me.

I'd like to point out at this stage that the book I was quoting in the first post, while being wonderful and explaining who I am and how I can cope, still sits unfinished next to my bed. I'm such a scanner I still haven't got around to finishing the book about being a scanner.... Anyway, this is my first real effort towards applying the system in that book, so I'll be picking it up again soon.

So what currently are my interests? I'm going to try and list all the interests I would like to pursue:
  1. Run my own business
  2. Become more involved in Wicca
  3. Crafts- knitting, crochet, making clothes, jewellery making (silver and beaded), xmas decorations, pyrography, drawing, fimo clay, wood carving
  4. D.I.Y- wallpaper, fix damp, board up under the stairs,
  5. Garden- Growing fruit and veg, fix the greenhouse
  6. Keep chickens
  7. Learn car maintenance
  8. Learn Japanese
  9. Play guitar
  10. Animation
  11. Pole dancing
  12. Finish some computer games
  13. Writing, e.g. NaNoWriMo
  14. Healthy cooking, including compiling a book of recipes I like to use
  15. Juicing, at least twice a year
  16. Travel the country in a live in van (preferably a VW camper)
  17. Photography
  18. Make my own rabbit hutch/chicken coop/wooden rat toys
  19. Learn about herbalism and wild food
  20. Web design
That's all I can think of for now, some are more current that others, some get returned to regularly while others take years to get back into. I lumped all the crafty ones in together because I thought it would be cheating to list them separately, some have only been read up on so far.

Useful sites:
43Things: You can keep a list of 43 things here that you want to accomplish, read how others did them and post how you achieved them too.

What is a Scanner?

I have created this blog to act as my "Scanner Daybook". So for those who don't know what either of those words refer to, I thought the first post should be one that explains.

What is a Scanner?

A Scanner is someone who struggles to do just one thing at a time, because they'd much rather be doing a dozen other things too. They are constantly being fascinated by a new subject or career, and as a result struggle to stick to one thing for very long, although they may return to it often. This type of person can struggle to fit into modern society and ideas of success. For example the phrase "Jack of all trades, but master of none" will sum up a majority of scanners but is often used in a derogatory way.

As far as I know Barbara Sher is the one who invented the term "Scanner". In her book "Refuse to Choose: A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love" she says:
"Scanners are the victims of a fashion change in history, and a recent one at that. Until the technology race with the Soviet Union after World War II changed our views, the kind of people I now call Scanners were admired. But by the mid-1950s, a dramatic change had occurred.
Departments of literature, the humanities, even history were seen as irrelevant luxuries. And with that decline in respect came a radical change in the stature of Scanners. No longer described as "well-rounded," "Renaissance people," or "erudite," almost overnight they were seen as irrelevant, silly, irresponsible. Now, regarding Scanners, this change in thinking is complete. Almost everyone in our society takes it as a self-evident truth -- obvious, simple common sense -- that Scanners are doing something wrong. Unfortunately, that has come to include Scanners themselves."
Scanner's will often feels like failures for their inability to choose just one career or job and stick with it like "normal" people. Barbara Sher's book contains reassurance that it is not some kind of laziness or character flaw that makes Scanners jump from interest to interest:
"It's not self- indulgence at all; it's the way Scanners are designed, and there's nothing they can or should do about it. A Scanner is curious because he is genetically programmed to explore everything that interests him. If you're a Scanner, that's your nature. Ignore it and you'll always be fretful and dissatisfied."
The book contains advice and exercises aimed at getting scanners to organise their time and projects, with the aim of continuing to dabble in anything that takes their fancy and feeling content with their right and need to do so, while also earning a living, whether that comes from a "good enough job" that exists to pay the bills, or from multiple income streams generated from a selection of interests.

What is a Daybook?

One of the exercises in the above mentioned book is called a Daybook. It is a kind of journal for scanners where they keep track of every new interest, thought, or plan. Scanners can often become so overwhelmed by every new interest clamouring for their attention that they freeze and end up doing none of them. The idea behind the Daybook is that by writing them all down you still have a record of them without having to constantly be aware of them in your mind. You can prioritise some, while some may be content just to be recorded and never get any further. A Daybook can help to organise projects and highlight common areas or themes that may indicate a suitable career.


Incase you haven't guessed yet, I consider myself to be a Scanner. I was in my element at school where we were expected to master a wide variety of knowledge and skills, and were rewarded for doing so. I tended to do equally well across all subjects, although I didn't score as well as predicted on tests. By the time we were expected to sit exams I had already lost interest in the subjects, as schools tend to finish the curriculum with a few weeks spare for revision. I hated revision, I already put all my time and effort in at the start when the information was new and exciting, I'm not about to sit and go over it all again. I'm sure if the school year had been compressed I would have had more chance of getting the top grades I was constantly predicted at. I've always been a perfectionist and like to have things done properly, so it was always a disappointment to receive my grades and know I could have done better.

Everything went downhill from school on. In aptitude tests I always score evenly across all sections. For careers advice I was equally curious about many varied jobs and the advisor couldn't help me. I struggled to pick just 4 subjects for college, I filled in two forms for the same college with different subjects, and only decided which one to send in at the very last minute. I got swept up with one of the subjects and pursued it to university before deciding it wasn't what I wanted to do. If only I'd known beforehand that I was a Scanner I might have tried to step back and look at it more before I chose to go onto university. I can't knock the student life for interesting experiences though, I was able to dabble in many new interests while I was there, some of which have stuck so far.

I've had several jobs, but I find I get itchy feet very quickly, I don't think I've stayed at one job for even 12 months so far. I think I've hit the crisis point now, where I need to take control of my life and sort myself out. I have no wish to become a "normal" member of society, with a 9 till 5 job, I can't picture a more horrifying thought. So, short of winning the lottery, I'm going to have to work out how to earn enough money to pay the bills and keep a roof over my head, while still living as the curious, creative person I really am.

Wish me luck.....

Relevant links:
Are You a Scanner? By Barbara Sher:

P.s. I've just noticed I gave the US title of Barbara's book as that's the version I own. The UK title was:
"What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?: A Revolutionary Programme for Doing Everything That You Love"