Friday 1 May 2015

My Month in Numbers 2015: April

Hello, ahoy, how's things?

What with its combination of freezing cold showers and eyeball splitting bright light [or 'sunshine' as I believe it's called ...] April made its grand exit while acting like an interrogator wanting to know All the Secrets. I don't know about you but, personally, I stayed strong and didn't tell it anything ...

... but I guess I'd better switch to sharing mode now otherwise this post will be very short. So here we go .. here's how my April unfolded ... in numbers ...

[As always ... you're more than welcome to join me and the ever-shifting community of Month in Numbers bloggers - check here for all the details].

53 = the number of vintage baby-themed greeting cards that came into my life.
What can I say, I saw them for sale online. I liked them. I bought them.

What will I do with them? I hear you ask. [I know the seller did] and, let's face it, it's a reasonable question, one which you may expect me to have an answer to [can you tell I'm stalling here?] ...

... well ... I don't know yet. Journal pages? Collage? Include them in kits for the shop? Re-sell? All of the above? Probably. But with unique vintage things you really can't hang around and formulate a plan before you buy can you? Once they're gone they're gone ...

And anyway, if you're new here, then I should probably mention that I have previous on this kind of thing.

  • Not just on the general area of snapping up vintage treasures.
  • But on the really raher specific act of buying-up vintage greetings cards en masse.
Last November I bought a 20kg job lot of vintage Christmas items which turned out to contain 863 cards and 5 Advent Calendars. Which, by anyone's standards is a lot of vintage Christmas cards [you can find some of them here if you want to share in the vintage festivities].

And, while we're on the subject of deceptively huge amounts of cards ...

I decided that I needed to start selling-on some of the handmade greetings cards I've been amassing [ones I've created for magazine projects, which then get returned to me] because I really don't know that many people who I can send them to! Plus, many of the people I do know already make their own cards ... so they don't want to buy any more from me!

So I mentioned on Facebook that I had 'dozens if not hundreds' to sort out. And while, from time to time, and for the sake of a more interesting story, I may dabble in exaggeration ... this time around I was, if anything, under playing it!!

After bringing together all my handmade cards in one place that rough ballpark figure of 'dozens if not hundreds' turned out to be ...

247 = cards that needed matching with the right size envelope and cellophane bag!
Some of these have now made their way to James's office where he's diligently been attempting to sell them to reps who drop by trying to sell him things. There's a nice logic to that!

Some have gone with James's sister who - unlike me - has friends who aren't card makers and who might actually welcome the opportunity to buy a handmade card or two.

And the others ... are still in my office ... they're there for the taking ... I need to work on putting together some sort of Buy X for £10 type offer ... possibly on Facebook. Or indeed here - so if you want a random selection of one-of-a-kind greetings cards - get in touch. I know of one or two [hundred] you can choose from ...

Fuji X-M1 = my new camera.
Here's a photo to demonstrate that [a] I generally only take selfies when I'm having a good hair/skin day [What? I'm not an idiot. You don't think I'd share #BadPortraits of myself do you?] ...

... and - more importantly for this particular number - this photo demonstrates that [b] my X-M1 can take a pretty decent shot with very little effort:
This is straight-from-the-camera on the auto setting. No tinkering with levels or anything fancy and no tripod either ... just my wobbly little hand held at arms length. And it'll do for me. And, as I learn about all its many settings ... I'm sure it'll keep on impressing me.

Which is a huge relief as I've wanted a new camera for a long while [for reasons beyond 'taking better selfies'. I swear!]

But I've actually needed a new camera since some fluff got in the lens of my old one about 18 months ago!  And after months of reading reviews and comparing specifications I finally decided to stop thinking about the minimum requirements I needed and instead to invest in my business and my hobbies by buying something 'proper'. [By which you'd be right in interpreting as 'something way above what she planned to spend!].

And so, all the funds from selling my cards are going towards a retrospective camera fund!

Fortunately I was in a position to buy it upfront but I just thought it would be interesting to see if I could now recoup the cost of it by selling things that would otherwise just be laying around. And those 247 cards ... and counting [because the card making just never stops round here!] certainly fall under the category of 'things that are just laying around'! The same goes for some crafty stash I no longer used which I put up for sale in a Facebook group ...

32 = the number of crafty items I've sold to add to the photo-fund!
I'm really enjoying having such a clear purpose to motivate me to keep finding ways to raise additional income.

And now I feel like I ought to be keeping track of  it all via one of those charts you used to see outside churches recording the progress of the 'new roof fund'. Or one of those grids they handed out to us at my school where, when you brought in 2 pence for the 'poor children', you got to keep track of your benevolence by colouring in one of the squares! 

£20.00 = how much [how little] I had to splash out for these:
In my Month in Numbers posts [this is my 64th post!] I used to always mention the price of the latest pair of shoes/boots ... but it started happening so often I decided to stop! [It was getting the point where it was coming in a close second to how many tea bags I get through.]

However ... for these I'm making an exception and am sharing them as I still can't quite believe I found a pair of full-length, leather!!! boots by Liebeskind for £20!

If you're ever passing a TK Maxx it's your duty to go in, crouch down, and scour that Clearance rack! Trust me ... it'll pay off one day!

0 = the shape of my new silver circle necklace
OK, I know that's not exactly a number but it sort of looks like one. And it's OK, because I have it on good authority from the blogger who started My Month In Numbers that 'anything goes' ...
Because I like the idea that you get what you give / what goes around comes around I'd been in the market for a karma/circle necklace for a while and settled on this lovely one by Effie from DUST Jewellery. It was described as an 'imperfect circle' necklace and that sealed the deal for me; because imperfections are where the interesting things happen!

8 sausages, 240g of barley = part of the recipe for this sausage, kale and barley stew I cooked:
Which is noteworthy for being the only recipe I've closely referred to this month. Or indeed this year. Or possibly in the last few years.

I do cook, but I don't cook by following recipes; I'm simply not obedient enough.

But I really liked the sound of this [which you can find here from The Guardian] so I gave it a try. It was lovely. But there was waaaaaaaaay too much for the two of us. So I ate it again the next day ... and there were still leftovers!

Next time ... I'm ignoring the recipe ... ;-)

Right then, before I leave you to tackle May ... here are a few quick numbers that nearly got away:
  • 4 hours 32minutes = the length of the film The Mysteries of Lisbon which I recorded on SkyArts1. It's a Portuguese, subtitled, costume film based on a 19th Century novel. A film which we had to watch it in several sittings over the Easter weekend. [Really, my attention span does not run to 4 hours 32 minutes of anything!] 
  • 208 pages = the amount of pages - combined - within the 2 novellas I read. Which, considering I've read books with single chapters longer than that made a refreshing change to rattle through an entire story in the same amount of pages! It also took me less time to read both of those than it did to watch The Mysteries of Lisbon!
  • 4 books read in total.
  • 3 x lunches out. A trip out with my parents. A[nother] trip to Robineau [Darlington] the 2nd time this year with James for their 3 course brasserie menu [remember the one I told you about before - where we like to go because it's during the day?] And  lunch with Jo and Mam at the Olde Young Teahouse [Middlesbrough] where I've never met a cake I didn't like - here's my Caramac cake: 
And the reason there's a fork full left on the plate is not because I was planning to leave that feeble amount ... but rather because I thought I'd better take a photo while there was at least something left to photograph!

Well, that was April all cards, cameras, leather boots and food [which, honestly could be any month round here ...]!
  • If you're happy to just catch up on my statistics then - hello, I hope you enjoyed them, it's good to have you here.
  • And if you're joining in with your own ... don't forget to leave me a comment when you stop by to leave your link. Think of it as opening up the conversation which I'll continue when I come to visit your post.
  • And to all ... have a wonderful May!
I already know what I'm going to be doing for the next 4 days which is in itself noteworthy [we don't run on any kind of advanced schedule here!] ... so I'm sure I'll have plenty to share this time next month!  Hopefully I'll see/hear/read from you before then though.


Julie :-)


  1. Oh, Caramac ... do they still make it? Well, obviously they do, Alexa, unless someone has been buying hoarded vintage bars in the way you do cards :). Mmm, I remember that taste. Not surprised there's only a forkful there. I love the idea of a retrospective camera fund - I can think of a few purchases I need a fund like that for. Especially books - Himself is threatening to disable my online book accounts. Must pop those numbers onto my MIN which is in process - two months in a row will be a record for me. I am hoping to keep it up all year :). Brilliant read ...

    1. Yup! Caramac's still on the go ... [I assume!] and the cake was delicious. Really vanilla-y and a perfect mix with the smooth Caramac crumbled on top! *hungry!* And hurrah for another 'retrospective' funder ... we could start a support group ;-)

  2. Ahoy to you too!

    Have you really made that many cards? I'm blown away! You do know I would have been biting your hand off for a go at that kind of sorting: whenever I buy a box of mixed Christmas cards the first thing i do is pair them all off (so clearly that means I'd like a go at your pairs :).Probably should stop now before I get really silly. But it's Friday afternoon and I'm trying to bake a cake, which isn't my best thing..)

    Excellent boots!

    1. Oh *at least* that many Sian. around 5 years of making at least 10 a month-ish ... too scary to keep track of! Happy caking! [I'm hungry and everyone wants to talk about cake ... ] :-D

  3. All those numbers are all well and good (and not to mention interesting), but I need to know just how many tea bags you actually got through in April!
    My numbers are here:

  4. Ooh, what a delicious juicy post! Baby cards: *too* cute! Your cards: so many??!! WOW!! I would have been over to help you sort and 'ooh and aaaah' in a flash if I was camera? GREAT! So good to hear about you investing in your business! So good! LOVE your Puss in Boots boots: how FAB! I had a pair of Liebeskind boots years ago: THE most comfy and 'workaday' boots I've ever them....that stew looks de-lish!!!! LOVE the plates and cups...remind me of tea at my Grans....and WHAT????? CARAMAC CAKE? Cake made from CARAMAC...I think I've died and gone to Heaven just hearing about you've set me off down Nostalgia Lane again.....(LOVE your juicy posts - yours is the only blog where I have to take notes from posts to make sure I comment about EVERYTHING I love...(it's always a lot!)......I'm hoping to join you this month....!!! P.S. That Portuguese film sounds FAB!!!!!! I've been watching 'The Count of Monte Cristo' (Gerard Depardieu) - brilliant - but I've been taking it in instalments too, as its Very Long...........

  5. Love the boots, love the necklace, love the numbers and YES Caramac I love that too
    Jo xxx

  6. Love reading your numbers as always. A retrospective fund is a great idea! I hope to join in again with MIN soon - in fact I'm going to make the effort in May... Wish me luck!

  7. - my month in numbers - I feel tired just reading them.


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