Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Light


It's that time of year for taking stock of the year that's passed and looking forward to the year to come.

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, last year I chose One Word to guide me through the year. That word was ‘light’, and I interpreted it in the sense of light that comes from the sun, and a lightness that is not heavy.
In January I was a newlywed, learning a whole different way of life that’s shared and open, all the time. We’d had a month or so off our commitments and were about to dive back into it all. It’s a big change

I’d love to say that my whole year was characterised by light and the sweetness that accompanies it. That wasn’t the case, and I’m sure I’ve shared enough about my challenges online here that you don’t need to hear a lot more! Needless to say, I spent probably six months all but drowning under the pressure of a hectic schedule and responsibilities that were far beyond what I could handle. It was dark, and it was heavy

I had to let go of something, and over the Summer I stepped down from volunteering for a children’s charity that is very close to my heart. Somebody spoke to me over a year ago about my work in that part of the city, that I was to walk lightly on the ground, and I believe part of that was to be able to let go when the time came. Even now I’m gutted not to be a part of it, but I have to trust that others will step up to the plate and build on what I have done.

The light since that time- Wow! In both senses, I have rediscovered the joy of life and can commit to things because I want to without it being an additional burden. All of these crafts that I’ve gotten into are partly because I’ve got the time now, but they also help me to switch off and relax (except when I set myself crazy deadlines...) so that I’m in a better frame of mind for my other activities. I would expect my husband would say he appreciates me not crying on him weekly now, and I’m a much lovelier person too.

So I suppose in a roundabout way, this year has been the journey through a long and winding tunnel to the light. I’m still on my way, learning to set my own limits and prioritise where my energy can go, but there is definitely a lightness to my step that wasn’t there this time last year

Next year’s word will be announced... next year!

Did you have any new year’s resolutions in 2014? How did they go?

Monday, 29 December 2014

Festive Fun

What a month December has been.

Today has been my first chance to stop at home. I have pottered, taken some photos of all my festive creativities and cleaned the grout between every single bathroom tile with a toothbrush. I'm not really sure where to begin here, so I think I will just re-establish the blogging pattern with some follow ups of all the different things I was in the middle of before the Christmas mist descended!

First of all, this is a long-overdue picture:


FINALLY, it is framed and gifted! I had to re-arrange the text a bit as the pattern puts in a length which I didn't know, so I added the time as well. The sparkle in the fabric looks great in the frame and they loved it!

Also already gifted are my snowflakes. I starched and stretched them in batches of 5 and am so pleased with how they look, blocking them made all the difference.  Here is my little blizzard:


 And a surplus one that has made it onto my tree:


 It was a bit of a panic by the end, and for the first couple of days after they were all given out I didn't quite know what to do with my hands any time I had a free moment!

Finally, project number 3. There was no chance of me making the Christmas deadline and I'm already anxious about the March deadline for his first birthday, but here is the current structural state of Noah's Ark:


Getting there, slowly but surely! It would be no good for anybody colour-blind, just a hundred different shades of brown and yellow.

I've plenty more to write, some exciting crafty Christmas presents to show off and my "OneWord" for 2014 to review, but I think this will do for now. Just another long-overdue TUSAL to broadcast!


Monday, 1 December 2014

Totally Useless at keeping up!

Now for all the crafting. I'm beginning to feel the pressure a bit, and last Saturday I took the decision to do some crafting instead of writing about it. I'm also struggling to take pictures because the sun has been MIA for a week or two now so there's never any decent light! But hey ho, we can pretend the grainy, amber hue is some kind of vintage effect.

First things first, the "Old stitches, New tricks" competition! Thank you for the lovely feedback. Unfortunately my little basket was nowhere near the winners in terms of skill, scale or time invested. I did get a special mention on the blog though which I was pleased enough with! I hope you looked at the other entries, they were great.

I'm a week or more late on my TUSAL update, so here is my jar:

You'll see that I did cheat and put the ends from the basket in there as well (well it was kind of cross-stitch...) I can't show you the finished Doctor Who sampler as it's away being framed and I somehow neglected to take a photograph beforehand. Noah's ark is getting there (slowly) though:

That roof was a weekend's work. I'm dreading starting on the boat itself. Not going to make it by Christmas I don't think.

I've also been working on some snowflakes:

They've been quite fun to make and I feel like I'm almost getting to grips with crochet, at long last! I'm making one each for a group of friends so still quite a way to go, but they aren't slow to make. They are quite handy on the train, I can make one in a couple of days' commuting.

Finally, I made some crafty friends last Saturday! Kate of Beak Up Crafts had arranged a get-together in Leeds of people who like to make things. She wrote about it here. It was great fun; I don't think I would have been brave enough to go if it had been any further away but I'm glad I did. Everyone there was from such different backgrounds in the 'day job' but people were very open and we ended up having some quite personal discussions. I'm looking forward to joining them again for some 'crafternoons' in the new year.