Bringing Agile to my hobby….

I’ve been reading and implementing Scrum/Agile practices at work. I am advocating it to my team as a quicker way to work.  We use scrum boards at work and as I was updating my Excel spreadsheet which I use for my stitching, it hit me all these projects are my current backlog.  I have even more projects which are kitted and not started so those might be my roadmap.  The two filing cabinets of patterns are my ungroomed funnel.
It really hit home when I looked at the calendar I’m using for my plan for Stitch May-nia – It’s a planned sprint.

So some things I’m missing.

  • What is my definition of done?
  • What is the acceptance criteria for the stories?
  • What is the theme of this sprint?

As I’m typing the questions, the answers are coming.

  • The theme of this sprint is re-acquainting myself with the projects.
  • The acceptance criteria is 2 days of stitching and track the progress (so I have a starting metric).
  • The definition of the project done is displayed or gifted.

My husband has started to worry as the kids move out that I will continue to start projects and buy new patterns without finishing them.  He has asked that I cut my WIP list from 35 to under 10.  I can agree with this.  However, the thought of working on one piece at a time without any new starts makes me queasy and following his plan, I would end up with 2 large pieces at the end before doing any new starts.

I enjoy rotating pieces and I feel I make progress but the 10 hour block I’ve been using hasn’t been working for me. When I get to a stopping point, I want to stop and sometimes I want to keep going when I hit the end of the time slot.

I’m thinking instead, I’m going to start creating stitching stories for the projects in the rotation.  Things like a set number of stitches or a page or a segment of the design.  Then I’m going to story point them based on relative size. This way, I can start getting a cadence and a velocity.  I find if I have too much on my plate, I freeze up and don’t stitch or quilt or do anything except play games on my tablet.  Having things pointed and knowing what is achievable each sprint could help keep the anxiety from hitting.   And if things come up, I shouldn’t be afraid to call the sprint.

I’ve been thinking about monthly FlossTube videos so that could be both my demo and planning.  If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find something to use for my Kanban board.

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Have you thought about a personal history?

I’ve been feeling like I should write more.  I used to write quite frequently (according to my archives). In an attempt to find more topics, I found a great little books of writing prompts.  Looking through them, not only may they be interesting but they could provide a way to leave a personal history for my children and grandchildren.
I know that many of my ancestors kept journals and I’m not sure what happened to them but sometimes I wish I had access to them just to know what life was like in that day.  What did they think about?  I have a few stories that I asked my grandmother and great grandmother but as I get older, the questions change and they aren’t  around to ask.

I’ve been told that one of my great grandmothers journals was mainly to do lists and grocery lists and budgets.  That still would be an interesting look at her life and a historical record.  So often we think that what the future wants to know about is the exciting things that happen but not all of life is exciting.  So much of life is what happens between adventures.

So how do you live between the adventures and with whom do you share that information?

No WIP updates this week…

Yep, there is no WIP update this week. Mainly because I was having Mommy Angst with the Last First Day of School. Yes, my baby started his senior year of school and I’m having those – How did he grow up so fast? He was so tiny (my runt at 8′ 3″)? Where did the time go? How did I get this old? And the realization I never made him a baby sampler!
Unlike the other kids though, he got his own baby quilt which is now boxed away since it’s nothing but 2 pieces of worn out fabric. The stuffing is gone and when held up the once heavy cotton is now sheer.
He was about 8 when he agreed to box it up to save for later. We may take it out of the box when he goes away to college next year. At least, he’s asked if we can or could he at least take the box to school?

If I haven’t been to bed, it’s still Wednesday – Right?

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Note, all warp threads are through the comb and through the correct (I hope) heddle and all that is left is remembering how to tie it off in back and tighten it up so I can weave.

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So this is what Fire and Ice looked like last week, and this is what it looks like this week –

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And I really wish I could figure out how to just drag and drop photos without losing the posts but that will be an issue for another day.

Life happens

Life happens and the best laid plans often go awry and plans to blog weekly turn into “Oh wow, it’s been over a month since I posted anything.” I’ve been on Facebook and the boards but just not here. One board I belong to has a weekly WIP Wednesday post. It would be easy to post that here as we’ll as there. So maybe you’ll see me more often.

WordPress says this is my 600th post

The question is with which statistics?   Does that include everything converted over from Tblog and Blogger?

Frankly, I’m not sure the tblog stuff ever converted over, I should look into that.  I do know there are issues with some of the blogger pictures but I haven’t been motivated enough to look into it. Frankly motivation has been an issue of late.  Usually I have too many things I’m passionate about and have trouble deciding what to do.  Lately though, the only thing that interests me is hiding from the world by playing games on my iPhone.  It’s a totally unproductive activity and produces nothing.

It doesn’t add to my knowledge base, it doesn’t add to my network connections, it isn’t helping me find a new job, it doesn’t improve my chances of keeping the job I have, it doesn’t do anything to help me on achieving the goals I’m working toward, and it certainly doesn’t contribute to completing any of my hobby projects.  It’s strictly an escape.  I’ve learned one thing in life, if you need an escape, books are better places to do it than video games.  At least you come out of it with a better understanding of characters and life.  Very few of the video games I like teach life lessons.  Portal being the exception.  Maybe I’ll go do some science…

Snow like I remember….

When I was younger, this is what a snowstorm looked like. And no, schools do not close for snow like this. It’s Utah, we love this stuff, it boosts the economy and keeps the skier’s coming here and it’s what makes us a great candidate for a 2nd Winter Olympics.  The walks had been cleared in the morning but the birdbath hadn’t been touched if you would like to use that as a gauge.

When I was small, we would make snow forts and snow caves and get soaking wet and cold even with the mittens and hats.  Yes, our mothers sent us outside and they didn’t come with us.  Except maybe that one mom who made snowballs for us to throw at each other. That’s right, we considered other children targets and knew that we were targets too.  It was considered healthy to have a little competition.  None of us would have stood for bullying and everyone got their fair share of hunting and being hunted.

I’m just sorry that my kids are too old to build snow forts now that we have a decent snowfall.

Should be Happy Dancing but not sure I can find the path…

So this year I’ve been stitching on some of my older pieces.  You know the kind, WIPS who have become teenagers and lay around the house moaning about how hard it is not to be an adult (completed).  I have finished 10 pieces so far and framed several.  You would think that having finished some of my older pieces; things I’ve been working on for so long, would be a relief and a cause for much rejoicing.  I’m finding, however, that I miss them.  I’ve become accustomed to having the unfinished pieces around the house and it’s not as much fun trying to figure out where I’m going to hang finished pieces or how I’m going to finish them if I don’t frame them.

I had planned to start some of my fully kitted projects this year  (one start for every 2 finishes) but I’ve had absolutely no desire to do that.  I keep wondering if the lack of desire to start anything new has to do with my deteriorating eyesight.  My favorite fabric was 36ct linen, now I have trouble seeing anything over a 28ct and I have to wear reading glasses to do that.  So part of me wonders, are my days of “fine” handiwork over without ever having done a sampler or something on 50+ count linen like the children in the past did?  How huge will some of my large pieces be if I start them on 28 ct?  What do I do with the pieces I have fully kitted with 32ct and 36ct fabrics?   I could bypass all of these questions by starting to work on my Needlepoint and counted canvas pieces.  After all, I can still see the holes in an 18 count canvas without any glasses on at all.

The Rules:Post 11 things about you…

The Rules:

  • Post these rules.
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions set for you in their post.
  • Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  • Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
  • No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 Random Things about Me:

1.  I inadvertently caused a rules change at the conservative college I attended.
2.  I’ve always owned dogs
3.  More people know me as Stasha than under the name my mother gave me.
4. The only way I’ll eat peanut butter is if it’s mixed with something else like chocolate, chocolate ice cream, Thai spices, etc.
5. My favorite college classes were World Philosophy Symposium and Logic
6. I started working as a file clerk at age 11, processing medical claims at 16 and auditing at 18.
7.  I took my test for my driving license in my Uncle’s secretary’s car because my parent’s forgot about my appointment.
8.  I used to play cello
9.  My youngest child turned 16 last week.
10. My mother asked me not to learn to knit so my sisters would have a craft they can do better than me.
11.  That knitting thing?  I gave up trying to learn when my Grandmother told me it was too hard to teach a lefty and I had a shop teacher give me a refund and a gift certificate to drop the beginners class.

Questions for me to answer:

  1. What is your favorite movie? Casablanca
  2. What is the first movie you remember seeing at the movie theater?  Jungle Book at the Drive In
  3. Is there a type of movie or an actor/director that you refuse to watch?  Never made it through an 80’s slasher pic and not about to start.
  4. What craft or hobby would you try if money and time were no obstacle?  I would have a long arm quilting machine.
  5. Name your favorite kitchen tool. – – Henckel serrated blade
  6. What is your favorite type of trip/vacation? Active (like hiking), museums/history, beach, mountains, theme park, etc. – – Laying around the beach
  7. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?  I’ve never been to the Caribbean
  8. Would you ever seriously consider living abroad? If the answer is no because you now have a family, do you think you would have considered it when you were “young and single”?    If the circumstances were right I would live abroad for a few years, even with the family.
  9. If you could choose any profession other than your current one, what would it be?  Something allowing for research and analysis which paid good money.
  10. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Let my kids make their own mistakes, and not bail them out afterward.
  11. When is the last time you felt really free (whatever that means to you)?  The first week after being laid off last summer.

Questions for those I tag to answer

  1.  Have you ever dyed your hair?
  2. What would you do if you knew you would never be caught?
  3. If money were no object, where would you be right now?
  4. What is your favorite song?
  5. Did you ever recover from your biggest life mistake?
  6.  How do you feel now about the event in #5?
  7. If you could tell your teenage self one thing, what would it be?
  8. What was the last movie you saw in the theater?
  9. Have you been to a live performance (symphony, opera, play)?  If yes, when and what?  If no, why not?
  10. When was the last time you performed volunteer service? What did you do?
  11. What’s the worst question you’ve ever been asked and expected to answer?

So I’m jumping in a little late…

I know that a lot of you are wrapping up the 101 things that you started about 978 days ago.  I’m now at a point where I feel I have enough control over my life situation to focus on creating the a list to work on for the next 2 and 1/2 years.  It was harder than I thought to create the list.  One of the things that I want to do is read at least one business book every 2 months.  I ended up listing out 15 books to be determined since I’m not sure what business books I want to read right now.

I took a gamble with the hobby stuff.  It took me 3.5 years to complete the 100 project challenge and most of what I did in that time was small stuff or finishing.  I’ve set a goal now to finish 4 big projects that I am currently working on (the year of Carousel Horses) and a few other older pieces that are fairly close to being done and just need some focused attention to finish them.

I’ve created a separate page in order to keep track of the goals (the link is over on the right).  The scary thing is that I started 2 weeks ago and I’m already behind.  I’ll catch up on the reading schedule though.  The stitching schedule is actually a little ahead.   A lot of the other stuff will come once I find a job.