Last Shawl of 2022

A few weeks ago I finished another shawl from the Westknits painting shawls book. This one is called Painting Lines. I purchased the main color for the project but then used a number of different scrap yarns in my collection. Some were handspun, some were commercial yarns, and a few were even hand dyed by me. I started by incorporating all of these colors into the shawl. Then I used the Tiny Decisions app to create a color wheel of all the scrap yarns. I then used this randomizer to choose the next color. The only rule was that I would spin the wheel a second time if the wheel lined up the same color in a row. This kept the shawl very interesting, perhaps even one of my most interesting knits of the year.

It was rather a long knit but I didn’t get tired of it at all.

So, with that, I have completed 6 of the 13 shawls out of the book this year. My ultimate goal is to knit every pattern in the book and to also use stash yarn as often as is logical to do so. I currently have painting diamonds on the needles, again with a purchased main color but stash yarn as the contrast colors. And I’ve got painting bricks on the needles which is entirely out of handspun stashed yarn. But, I will be unable to complete either of these before the new year. So I pause at 6 shawls from the book thus far.

2023 Beauty Inventory

In anticipation of a replacements only low buy through to November 2023, I spent some time this week doing an extensive inventory. Makeup is separate as I keep that in an app, this inventory was specifically for skincare, haircare, bodycare and fragrance. I am going to take a little time to post my categories under each and also my current numbers. That being said, please understand that the vast majority of these items are tiny sample sizes, particularly when it comes to haircare.


I like to keep a mineral sunscreen as well as a broad spectrum, so sunscreens are two categories.

Mineral sunscreen: 2
Broad spectrum sunscreen: 7

I use a gentle cleanser in the morning and a more intense one for use in the evening. So these are also kept in two categories.

Gentle cleanser: 2
Cleanser: 6

For makeup removers, I prefer to use a balm or an oil but I do currently have makeup wipes and a biphase item in my collection. I won’t replace those two categories once they are gone.

Makeup wipes: 1
Biphase makeup remover: 1
Cleansing oil: 1
Cleansing Balm: 5

For actives, I like to have a retinol type product, a vitamin C product, and some acids.

Retinol: 2
Vitamin C: 1
Acids: 2

I like to have 2 eye creams, one for day and 1 for night as well as a serum.

Eye cream: 4
Eye serum: 3

Lips, it’s important to me to have a lip balm in different areas of the house and also at work and in my bag. I only keep one scrub. The number of lip balms that I will always have going at once is 5. (Work, handbag, bedside table, makeup table, craft table) And 1 lipscrub. I currently have 8 balms and one lip scrub.

I like to have a daytime moisturizer and a thicker nighttime moisturizer.

Day moisturizer: 6
Night moisturizer: 3

Toners-for me, the best thing is to have a moisturizing toner for day and an active/acid one for night. But I am a bit flexible on this.

Day: 3

I enjoy having moisturizing serums with various actives, but I’d like to get this category down to 2. Currently I’ve got 8.

Face masks. Honestly, this is the category I really struggle to even use. Mostly these collect in my drawers and I have to really force myself to use them. I actually did use my very last sheet mask today so that I didn’t have to bring it into the new year. A good moisturizing face mask is probably my best bet but it seems I’ve got a number that don’t work as well for me. In any case, I’ve got a total of 5 face masks, none of which I love.

I do keep a face oil on hand though I rarely use it. 1 is good.

And I have 1 acne product, which I keep on hand and rarely use.


This is, honestly, where the vast majority of my itty bitty sachet items are. I’ve kind of just been saving them up because this year I concentrated on using up two liter containers of shampoo and conditioner. It’ll be another year before I can just purchase what I’d like to be using I think, but we’ll see. I also use a lot of hair products because I have weird hair which I like to stick up as much as possible. In any case, I am completely overloaded in this category and would like to get things down to what I would most conceivably use on the regular.

Shampoo: 12
Conditioner: 12 (The vast majority of both the shampoo and conditioner are sachets or travel sizes.)

Hair repair items, currently I have 5 none of them full size.

I have 1 smoothing balm in a travel size.

Gels/balms, I have 3 in this category, all of them sachets.

Hair oils/masks: 3

Toner, this is a necessary item for my silver hair, I only have 1, I only keep one, and I don’t scrimp on it.

I currently have 4 hair powders, I use these so often that I do rather stock up. But I am going to “spend” them down.

Texture spray, when I am not using hair powders I am using texture sprays. I’ve got 2 favorites and am trialing a few others. Currently I own 5.

For whatever reason I have acquired 2 spray waxes. I actually do like these items but I also have 2 waxes in a pot and I don’t really need 4! Let’s see if I can get at least one used this year as I don’t use them often. Concentrating first on those in a pot.

Hairspray is a category I use a lot and I currently have 2.

Mousse is another item I use a ton of, I have 3 currently though one is almost done.

Thickening products: 3

Now on to body care! I made a bit of a misstep this year which I am looking to rectify in the upcoming year. I tried the original soap and glory scent in a body lotion, loved it, tried another, loved it, and somehow decided that meant I should try all the scents. Turns out the original is my favorite and I am now stuck working my way through a bunch of body lotions I don’t love. Currently I have 6 to work through.

I have 3 body washes at the moment, they are all from lush, and I love them all. However, I suspect I will finish my yog nog at the beginning of 2023.

I am ridiculously picky about hand cream. I like one kind and one kind only, and that’s First Aid Beauty. I can usually get it on a good sale, and like to have as many as I have lip balms. Currently I own 5 but could make do with 4.

I have 2 cuticle oils, and that number will remain the same.

And finally, fragrance. I have 44 fragrances, the vast majority of which are itty bitty sample sizes. It’s my intention in the upcoming quarter to go through ALL of them. I’ll be categorizing them into 4 piles. Wintery scents, springy scents, scents I don’t want to wear at all ever, and scents that are masculine enough to give to Mr. Ink to see if he wants to wear. I’ve got an ongoing perfume project pan I plan to continue in hopes I can whittle down that number well.

I think it’s a very easy conclusion on why I can do a replacements only low buy until next November. I will update these numbers quarterly during 2023 and see how much I can move out of my collection. I am also going to bring back empties posts, but only with travel size or larger items. I am going to simply get rid of sachet or sample size items. I do not want to keep those for an empties post.

2023 Makeup/Beauty inventory stuff

Last year I had hoped to get my makeup stash down from 239 to under 200. I was unsuccessful. In part, I blame little sample sizes. I thought I had done way better than I did but then I had some time off and I really dug in on what little sample items had arrived in my collection and it turns out my collection currently stands at 228. I may still do a bit of eyeshadow decluttering in the upcoming week or so, but it’s clear that 228 was not at all where I wanted to be at this time this year.

Further, in an upcoming post I will be telling you about my project pan plan for 2023, but the spoiler is that it’s not to project pan basically. I know I will finish items during the duration of the year but that is not where my focus will be.

I’ve been around the block enough times now to realize that the vast majority of the really good sales are around black friday. Or rather, during the entire month of November. With a bit of a bonus in late December. I want to really dial in on that in 2023. So, I am going on a replacements only low buy for the majority of 2023. Basically, no makeup, bodycare, haircare, or fragrance at all unless I am replacing something in a category that is gone.

With a few caveats. The first being that I fully intend to purchase a beautylish lucky bag. And, I previously signed up for the lush kitchen subscription box and I want to see how that goes. If it’s good and fun I’ll stick to it, and if not, I’ll cancel and call it good. But I signed up in November and haven’t yet received my first box so I haven’t even remotely had an opportunity to see how it is.

For makeup, I’ve got more than enough in every single category that I will not have to purchase any at all. I’ll keep a running list as to what I find interesting during the year and see what deals can be had next November.

For skincare, haircare, and body care I should have enough to get me through the year but there are a few items I could run out of. The idea will be to see if I can use something else from another section of my collection before making a new purchase. But, I can purchase if nothing else can substitute in and I am completely out.

And for fragrance, an area of my collection that grew by leaps and bounds, I buy nothing. I can again keep an ongoing list of things I’d like to try but instead it’s all about using what I have.

Quite frankly I’ve done this over the years with my yarn stash and it has gone so well! My yarn stash is quite small, I purchase what I need when I need it now and knit it right away, and the stuff that sits in my stash is generally handspun yarn waiting for the perfect project. I want to do the same for my makeup, beauty, and fragrance stash.

Tomorrow I’ll post a few more details about the inventory for stuff other than makeup which will have clear goals in mind during the year. For today, it’s simply stating this important intention.

Painting Waves

Another shawl from the Painting Shawls book complete. This is the 5th out of 13 so I am moving right along. Painting waves was a good easy knit that was quite enjoyable.

The main color is jojoland harmony reclaimed from a sweater I never wore. It goes from blue to purple to lavender. The contrast color is handspun yarn, this one:

Working with two yarns that had moving colors was an interesting endeavor. I liked not having to think about a color pattern, instead just using the two yarns and letting them do all the color change work.

I am off and running on the next shawl from the book and looking forward to seeing how that one will turn out as well!

Big Changes

In July, in order to accommodate a surprise litter of foster puppies in our home, we removed almost all the furniture from my craft room. We then put a piece of sheet vinyl flooring over the top of the carpet in hopes of keeping the carpet clean during our time with our fosters. The sheet fit the majority of the room but had about a foot and a half at one end of the room that went uncovered. So, we cut a piece away from the door in order to make the door swing open easily and blocked off the exposed carpet. Which worked, for a time, until mama learned how to move the pen to get to the door. And then one day when she really wanted to get out, she tore up the carpet.

You can see that under the carpet is some old linoleum, and Mr. Ink said “That seems ok, let’s just tear out the carpet and use the old linoleum?” To which I said “no.” So, I ended up choosing some luxury vinyl plank figuring it would be about the most hard wearing thing I could put on the craft room floor in case we ever do puppies again. Once I purchased it from the flooring company they informed me that they couldn’t get an install done until December. I honestly wish I had known that before I purchased, but ok.

I ended up being pretty pleased that I didn’t stick with Mr. Ink’s idea of keeping the old linoleum since someone was clearly very careless about a paint job in that room. Plus, it would have looked horrendous even if the flooring was pristine.

The new floor was a lovely improvement.

And while not everything was perfectly placed yet in this photo, it’s clear that the room looks so warm and inviting. I really love it!

Panning, highlighting a few big wins

While I don’t have any current project pans running beyond a perfume one, I have had a couple of really big finishes lately. I don’t keep my empties or do empty posts right now so I don’t typically highlight what I have finished. However, there are a few I’ve been working on for years that I have finished and I wanted to highlight them. I am going to use the last available photo I have for them.

The first is my Tarte timeless smoothing primer last shown here:

This photo was taken at the end of October. Basically about 2 months of use finished it up.

Then there’s the mac foundation I’ve worked on bit by bit all year. For the majority of this year we’ve had to wear masks at work and this is a foundation that did not work under a mask. So I had been using it bit by bit on weekends and at times I wasn’t at work. Then, later in the year we were allowed to stop wearing masks. So I then concentrated on the foundation and was able to finish it. I am delighted!

This photo is from mid-September when I had finished the project I’d been working on all year. I’d been using a pump from a different foundation, and right around this time I had to stop using the pump because the tube did not go to the bottom of the container. For a long time I just had to keep the bottle on its side, then I flipped it upside down and kept using it, and in the end scraped out the sides with a tiny makeup spatula. This now resides with my back to mac items.

And finally the latest finish, the oldest perfume in my collection is finished now.

It also goes down in history as the first time I have ever finished a full size of perfume. I am ridiculously proud.

All of these items I’ve had in my collection for years. All of them I’ve worked hard on all of this year. It took effort, but I am thrilled to call all three of them finished.

I’ve also had a few skincare finishes and haircare finishes that I am super proud of, but I did not save the empties. I finished a liter container of shampoo and a liter container of conditioner. I’ve never finished a liter container before and I will never purchase a liter again. But they are done. I also finished a 6.7 ounce container of face cleanser from Tula. I’d received it in a subscription box ages ago and I thought I would never finish. I am delighted that I am done! Also from a subscription box was a 30 ml container of eye serum from mudmasky and let me tell you, 30 mls of eye serum is a lot of eye serum! Took me over a year to finish it.

I am now enjoying two makeup related activities. The first is opening my homemade makeup advent calendar. My daughter wrapped up makeup from my own collection for me to open each day of this month and I am enjoying that immensely. The other activity is simply planning what I am doing for a project next year, and honestly? I don’t think I am going to have a project that works on finishing anything specific. Instead, I believe I’ll choose items to use for 3 months, see what kind of progress I make, and then roll in a full set of new products for the following 3 months. I feel like 4 sets of a full face of makeup used for a solid 3 months at a time will set me up well for future project panning plus serve the purpose of rotating through my current collection. If I do a project pan it’ll probably be body or haircare related or both.

There’s an interesting cycle that happens with every new hobby I take up that I’ve noticed over time. The first part of the cycle is an initial excitement to try all the things and acquire certain tools, etc. Then there’s a feeling of being overwhelmed by stuff, and also settling in to the hobby enough to know what I like and want to do and what tools I like to use which puts me in more of a “don’t buy more, just use what you already have if possible” zone and that’s the best place to be with any hobby. That’s where I am with makeup now and that’s where I’d like to stay over the next year.