Time Management and Perfume Shopping in Paris

I always wish I were Portia.  Portia has so many posts written in advance and can take off on holiday for I think a year, and never have to write on the road.  As my trip for Paris gets close, work is crowding me hard to get things done before I go, and I haven’t even thought about packing yet.

Fair Isle Blanket

That is this year’s year-long knitting project – Marie Wallin’s Fairisle blanket.  Isn’t that stunning?  I’m hard at work on Block 1 –  over halfway through –  and my poor little hands are exhausted.  When you do Fair Isle, it works best if you have one color yarn in one hand and the other color in the other hand, and you throw them as needed into the knitting.  I’ve gotten it down really well on the knit side, but I still somewhat suck purling back with two hands.  But I love this project.  Well, now I do, but I figure the hate will set in  about June.

Last year’s year-long project was the Debbie Abrahams blanket.debbie Abrahams mystery blanketI haven’t actually finished it yet.  I still have 9 squares to do and then need to sew together the strips (we pick up from square to square up and down so only have to sew in between).  It’s really gorgeous, and I’m about four months overdue to finish, but my sons’ Christmas sweaters took up about 5 weeks of knitting time to get done.

So Paris!  I’m so excited!  Iunx has released three new things, there are 3 new Guerlains in (yes, absolutely will sniff that Ne m’Oubliez Pas if it’s still in stock), and I’m hoping the new Malle is out there when I’m there.  There have been so many great new things the last month or so, I’m suffering a little letdown as I browse around and can’t find anything new that is crying for my writing attention.

Winners of the Tom Ford Soleil Blanc samples – Sunnlitt, Peppy Obrien, Maureen and petunia. Just click on Drop Us a Note at the top, send me an e-mail, remind me of what you won and get me your mailing address. I’ll send you a quick e-mail to let you know I got your e-mail and it didn’t land in a spam filter and then get it on the way to you!

What can we draw for since I’m ignoring sniffing this week due to time problems? Oh, I know!  How about two sample sets of new things I bring back from Paris – the Iunxes, whatever Guerlains new I buy, etc?  Just comment to be entered.  Have you ever taken on a year-long project in some craft or another?  Do you break out in hives just thinking about it?


  • Stacie says:

    I tried a few craft projects, but they always turned out to be much more difficult than I had expected, so I’ve given up. All the stress of preparing for your trip will be left behind once “wheels up”

  • AnnieA says:

    Just getting back into needlework again so projects have to be short or I will lose momentum.

  • Irina says:

    great skill- beautiful results
    I remember I once knitted a pullover for myself- it took a year-yeah and I was XS back then…
    Enjoy Paris, should be wonderful

  • Winterlude says:

    Wow, that blanket. Is. Gorgeous. The only year long projects that I I undertake are gardens. As a matter of fact I am on year six and not even halfway done with my plan. I live in New England though, so I’m only able to be outside working for half of the year, if I’m lucky and the weather cooperates. Speaking of the weather, I hope the current situation has not interrupted or interfered with your plans. Have a great trip!

  • Gigi says:

    Your projects are lovely!
    It wasn’t a craft project really, but I once documented a year in my life in photos. Snapped a shot once an hour, wherever I was, for a year. Sadly, it just solidified that I had a pretty boring lifestyle!

  • katrin says:

    These are some very nice blankets in the pictures! Anything beautiful takes a long time to make. Once I actually did a craft project that took almost two years to finish. I nearly gave up. It was a knitting project. A Norwegian style woollen sweater that you start knitting at the right arm and end at tip of the left, and the yard was very fine. Yes, I know it sounds weird because the whole thing is knitted in the crosswise direction from right to left (and not from bottom to top as usually) using circular needles and you sort of keep knitting a tube that gets big in the middle and then smaller again towards the end in the symmetrical fashion. In the end you cut two slits into the knitted tube, one for the neck opening and the other for the waist opening and this is the hardest part…Because you don’t want those cuts to be done wrong or your whole effort is wasted.
    But thank you for the draw and good luck with the perfume hunt!

  • flowergirlbee! says:

    i am not well enough for craft projects but i love fair isle so much and would dearly love some cardies in it. my friend knitted me a plain vaguely 40’s style cardy from an angora and silk mix and it is my favourite gift ever.thanks for the draw.i would so love to win this.i can imagine i have been having perfume adventures in france : )

  • Sapphire says:

    I have had some cross-stitch projects that took almost a year. My husband is worse about it. There was a Santa that took about two years. Lots is shades of red and white. But it got him an honorable mention in the Texas State Fair. Have a great trip. Thanks for the drawing. Crossing my fingers for the Guerlains.

  • Ingeborg says:

    I love the blanket to the far left in your photo. Good colours for winter. No craft projects here, I tend to fall for the most complicated patterns or models knitted or crocheted with very thin yarn, complicated stuff I know I would not be able to finish. I even gave away the yarn I had (from earlier projects). I know others will make good use of it knitting for charity. Enjoy your trip, please share some shopping tips with us when you return.

  • jackie b says:

    I need a deadline to finish anything… knitting, assignments, tax return etc!
    Enjoy your trip, we will enjoy it vicariously when you return.

  • Jenny Katz says:

    My long-term project is my next album. It’s taking me so long that I may have forgotten how to play guitar by the time I get around to actually recording. Maybe I need a new perfume to inspire me. Hmmm…

  • Amy says:

    I am an avid knitter, but I tend to remain fairly monogamous to huge projects, so none has lasted more than a year. I do adore Fair Isle knitting, but in the round, so I totally avoid those dreaded purling-with -2-colors maneuvers! I went to Paris for the first time in August, and that’s what caused my headlong fall into this fascinating perfume world. I can only imagine returning there with a list of must-visit boutiques! So envious of your Malle visit! Also, I so want to try La Belle Parfum, which Francis Kurkdjian composed for the 150th anniversary of the Printemps department store. I nearly blind-bought it from his MFK website, but it recently became “not available”. I am sad. Tuberose, orange blossom and Lang-yang, by one of my favorite noses. ????

  • Ashley A says:

    Ohh, have a blast in Paris! I’d love to be entered in the draw, and thanks for the offer. I actually am currently attempting a year-long project that is going pretty dreadfully. I wanted to learn Janacek’s “In the Mists” on piano this year (the year started last May for me) and I am still only on the first movement, although getting close to the end of the first.

  • tefportland says:

    Love your blanket projects! I am a hand-quilter, and hand-piecer so I have many longterm projects in process. In fact, about the only ones I ever finish are the ones that are presents for people, like for baby showers or weddings or the like. In the last few years, I have taken up applique-ing Baltimore-album type squares, so the timeframe has slowed down even more. But that doesn’t bother me, because I do it for relaxation. Who needs more stuff, anyways?

    please enter me in your drawing as I love many of the older Guerlain’s. Don’t know too much about the latest offerings of anything. Thank you!

  • AmyS says:

    I’m currently working on a pair of socks that has turned into a year-long project. My daughter might grow out of them before I finish! I love fair isle, and that looks like a gorgeous blanket. I cannot wrap my head around knitting a blanket now but I might start a sampler journal if I ever finish knitting these socks.

    I discovered your blog today doing a Google search on aldehyde perfumes. So glad I found your blog!

  • SublimiSomnium says:

    I don’t do year long personal projects to create things. I have gone on months long diets and exercise regimes, and professionally I have had several projects that I have been committed to for a year or longer.

    Hope you have a crazy good time in Paris, and I’m excited to see what you bring back! I’ve never gone, but it is most definitely a life goal. Let us know if you have any travel advice for future explorations!

  • Sarah says:

    Blankets of such beauty! And I bet the sweaters were magical. That fairy tale of the sister who makes her seven brothers shirts from nettles. I just repair my sons keeper uniforms and gloves!
    Enjoy all the smells of Paris-may your trip be filled with joy.

  • pats133 says:

    I took on a project knitting sweaters and tops for a friend’s shop. I progressed well but eventually the pressure with getting things finished was overwhelming. The next project was much more chilled and no rush – it was an oversized black mohair jumper with a knitted in rude comment on the front (for a big bad biker)! He was overjoyed and told everyone who commented on it, that it was all my work! LOL. I can usually stick to projects if i am able to take my time over them, Anyhow, i hope you have a tres wonderful time in Paris. Bon voyage and hope you come home with many scents. Thanks for the draw!

  • Tena says:

    I think your blanket projects are amazing. I have decided that 2016 is the year of my home. When I recently divorced, I decided to keep the 160 year old farm house in rural Nova Scotia Canada as it was close to work, and had lots of room and a fenced yard for the greyhounds. It is a huge, rambling mess, and I love it. Now, to make it everything I want it to be.
    I know how stressful the week before a trip can be, but try and fall asleep dreaming of the lovely fun you will have.

  • Kathryn says:

    I’ve never intentionally started a year long project but I have a few small knitting projects that have lingered around for more than a year. For unknown reasons I just can’t seem to finish a pair of socks all done except for one toe and then there’s that single mitten that has been waiting for its mate for ages. They don’t stop me from starting other projects, mostly scarves, hats and baby sweaters which mostly get finished in a reasonable amount of time. I am in awe of your Fair Isle blankets. Maybe in my next lifetime I’ll be gifted with that skill and patience. Have a great time in Paris!

  • Tatiana says:

    I’ve never taken on a year long project. The most I’ve ever taken on is a month long sewing of Halloween costumes. Once made a hand-beaded flapper dress for my daughter for Halloween. I think in my life I’ve managed to finish two sweaters. The rest are in varying stages of being half finished. I donated part of my yarn stash to one of the local elementary schools. Deciding what to do with the remaining stash.

  • maggiecat says:

    Paris and perfume shopping…my idea of heaven! I’ll make it there one day – in the meantime, have enough fun for all of us!

  • malsnano86 says:

    Stunning blankets! I don’t knit, and can no longer crochet anything with smaller hooks due to incipient carpal tunnel issues, but I did manage to make my daughter a bed-size afghan last year with big fuzzy chenille yarn. It turned out gorgeous. I started it in January and finished it in September, with a big hiatus in the warmer months – I couldn’t work on it then because having it on my lap was just TOO HOT. It’s so funny how even crocheted things with big holes in them wind up being toasty warm.

  • FeralJasmine says:

    My main lengthy, in fact permanent, project is my slowly evolving permaculture landscape and garden, so I try to keep other projects more time-limited. However, I often don’t succeed at this????

  • Kandice says:

    You are so lucky to have a job that takes you to Paris to buy perfume! Have a wonderful time and thanks for the draw!

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    Love the projects–particularly the Fair Isle blanket! Here is a silly question: Is it wool?
    Enjoy Paris; I hope you find some lovely things there. And thanks for the draw!

  • rosarita313 says:

    Those blankets are GORGEOUS. My mother and sister are very talented in the world of fiber arts, as were my aunts and grandma, who used to tat lace. While I’m the grateful recipient of some of their work, I have absolutely no skill or desire to do the same – I hyperventilate at the thought of threading a needle, and now arthritis prevents it anyway. Have a wonderful time, Patty!

  • HeidiC says:

    You had me at Guerlain! I haven’t tried IUNX yet, though. Your blankets are gorgeous! I haven’t had the nerve to try Fair-Isle knitting. But I have a sweater commissioned by my mother-in-law for my father-in-law that’s taken me 2 years — OF COURSE she picked a very intricate pattern done on size 3 needles, so it’s taking me For. Ever. I hate even picking it up. I still have to do both sleeves.

  • jane says:

    I thought IUNX had disappeared! I have them all, so I must try any new ones. And I am Madame Guerlain, although I am dissatisfied with Thierry Wasser.
    I cannot knit to save my life. Your projects are gorgeous! I am in the process of finishing a crocheted blanket for a king sized bed.

  • Ann says:

    Hi, dear Patty! No projects for me as I do NOT have the craft-y gene, although I did do a cross-stich pillow with my college mascot on it back in the day. Hope you have an absolutely wonderful time in beautiful Paris and have a macaron and some Mariage Freres for me! 🙂 BTW, any chance of you getting that lovely Costes 2 again? is that from Iunx or am I thinking of something else? Bon voyage!

  • Dina C. says:

    No year-long craft projects here, but I have two friends who are knitting temperature afghans, where every day you knit a row, and the color of the row is determined by the weather. They end up being very ombre rainbow striped from what I’ve seen. Every ten degrees is represented by a different color. Neat, huh?

    Have a great trip in Paris. I would love to sniff new Guerlains and Malle scents. Iunx, too. I always drive myself a little bonkers before a trip because I want the house to be in great shape so I come home to a clean, organized place. No pressure there! 😀 Thanks for the drawing.

  • Pam says:

    My mother used to love getting ready for a trip even more than the trip itself. Go figure. Please enter me in the drawing. I go crazy over anything Guerlain, and even own the dreaded Mahora. As a quilter, I often take on year-long projects and it has taught me patience over the years. I used to rush and that shows in my earlier work. But there is something about the new year that makes me seek a new project, even though I’m still working on one. Have a great trip!

  • Portia says:

    Hey Patty,
    Being Portia is pretty cool but YOU get to travel the world shopping for perfume as a JOB!
    I reckon we are even.
    Luckily I have crafty people around me. When I get home I’ll do a post on the beautiful things they have made me over the years.
    Woo Hoo PARIS!! I promise I’ll leave some frags at Guerlain Champs Elysees for you.
    Portia xxx

  • london says:

    I used to do tapestry but at the moment I’m lucky if I can keep my eyes open. In fact usually the only thing keeping me awake is my husband’s snoring on the sofa next to me! I love L’Ether so I hope the new IUNXes are going in that direction.

  • poodle says:

    I have projects like that. I’m a very slow knitter so any knitting project is a commitment for me. I’ve also got the supplies for lots of other crafty things that I have good intentions for but never make time to actually do. I’m going to try to address that this year.

  • Mariann says:

    A year long? I can even commit to doing a thing a week long. Interestingly enough I can do something regularly as long as I don’t set it as a goal, my inner rebel I guess. Have a great time in Paris! Looking foward to hearing about any interesting finds. I’m going myself in April.

  • Jane Elisabeth says:

    I started a mystery quilt 5 years ago. Every month for a year I received instructions for a part of the quilt. That was 5 years ago and I still have a drawer full of pieces! Thank you for the draw.

  • Wow! You can see my hives from there? Scarves, baby, just scarves and I can’t even cast on yet. Ugh. Pathetic. Iunx samples would be amazing, Patty! I just know you’re going to have a terrific time. I mean just the Museé D’Orsay alone……and remember you’re in a big city and you forget something, you can always find it close by!it’s such a help that each Arrondisment has by law, one pharmacy open every night! Bon voyage Cherie!

    xoxo Robert H.

  • Danielle says:

    And just think how once you are on the plane all your woes will be gone. Keep that in the forfront.

  • Danielle says:

    Oh gosh! I did Project Life about 3 years ago now. Or was it 4? Anyway, I didn’t just do it for me, nooooo, I represented an online Scrapbook supplies store, one of the prominent ones in fact. Every month I HAD to do the daily thing, plus create multiple additional projects from the supplies. It turned out to be one of the years from hell and I had to report on it month by grisly month to everyone and their brother. It stretched me, I will say that, but it also killed everything creative in me for the last three years. I am just beginning to consider being creative again now.

    So yeah, I feel ya! And prepping for a trip is my least favorite thing to do!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I’ve never taken on a year long project since I seem to have commitment issues. I keep saying that I will finish one bottle of perfume before I buy another. But I never seem to finish a bottle before I get another bottle. The day before I leave for a trip is the worst. I dithering on if I should take one bottle of perfume or a couple of decant with me. Picking out what I will wear isn’t a problem for me.

  • Nemo says:

    Those blankets are so intricate and beautiful! I have so much respect for anyone who can take on (and finish) such a big and long-term project.

  • SnarkyShiba says:

    If by year-long, you mean I start something, and years later, it sits half-complete, waiting forlornly for me to return? Then, yes! I have a scarf that I started knitting when pregnant. My plan was to finish something similar to an infinity scarf. Well, my daughter is now a toddler, and my neck is none the warmer. Sigh. One of these days… or years!

  • Jennie says:

    I start lots of year-long projects, but unfortunately my years keep getting shorter so some of the projects need to be re-labelled as decade-long ones!
    Fingers crossed the projects are still in fashion by the time they’re finished.

  • Lynne Marie says:

    Last year I knit the mohair monster, a giant blanket with a continuous carry along yarn paired with various and sundry mohair yarns. It almost took over my life! Your blankets are amazing and far beyond my skill set?

  • springpansy says:

    Your projects are amazing. No, I wouldn’t take on a year-long project – on purpose. Our house remodel is threatening to become a year-long project, however. Please enter me in the draw and good luck getting ready. Have a wonderful time!

  • hajusuuri says:

    I know ALL about those year long projects. When my 2nd niece was just born, I decided to do cross-stitch alphabet sampler….never finished…decided to do it for my youngest niece…never finished and finally for my youngest nephew. It is still not finished (I got up to B) and my youngest nephew is now 16. Le sigh…

    The week before leaving is THE WORST. Hang in there. Enjoy your trip to Paris.

    • malsnano86 says:

      I have got a metric ton (okay, not really) of ancient cross-stitch projects I’ve never finished… it makes my hands ache and go numb so I gave it up. I did manage to cross-stitch at least one thing for each one of my children, though.

      I can still crochet, but no more doilies with fine thread on steel hooks – I have to use the big fat ergo hooks now.

  • LaDona says:

    I JUST blind bought Malle’s Musc Ravageur, and am completely in love. Anyone who can take Satan’s gym shorts and Mick Jagger’s sheets, then bottle it, has my vote for fave perfumer. I’m dying to try more, but that’s some dear stuff right there. I’ll be playing catch-up stateside, with Lipstick Rose and Carnal Flower, which, to be honest, scares the pants off me. I’ve heard things. Please tell ALL and kiss Paris for me. I am so jealous.