Friday, 26 December 2014

New Year. Old Me.

Christmas is great.
 I am off work and able  to spend  time  with those I love at home, or  out with friends and family. No one bats an eye if you have mince pies with chocolate chaser for breakfast or a glass of wine at 2 pm,and  then another one :-)  

It is a time of excess, but also of simple pleasures. It is  fun to stay in your PJ's  and watch old  movies and build Lego castles, it's something we don't do enough of. We spend our time "doing stuff" and  not just "being". There is something else though about this  time of year, the excess, the expense, the calories the claustrophobia of staying in while  the wind and rain batter the windows  that makes me crave  the new year. The new life in the spring, the longer, brighter days, the promise of bright evenings, sunshine, the future.

The new year often encourages us to de-clutter, start a diet, take up a hobby, vocation or sport, or  to give up one of our  many vices. I have been  there too many times to mention. Tried to give up  this that or  the other or to go from sloth to athlete in weeks with limited (no) success and in the long run,  ending up feeling worse than before you started.

Clearing out is  something I do enjoy, but as a naturally lazy lion I need to be in the "zone". This morning I tackled some of  the girl's old toys, all those McDonalds plastic toys, all the bits of  things  that don't seem to belong  to anything. tens of plastic hair bobbles, ripped books, broken pencils,baby books and puzzles that are no longer a challenge. It felt so good  to pack them into  the back of  the car to get  them out of  the house.

My resolution  this year is  to carry on being a bit more me. Sure I could lose weight, I could be fitter, I could watch less TV and be more disciplined etc etc. At the turn of  this new year I am happier  with myself  than I have been for some time. I like  me a bit better than last new year. I am easier  to be around and I'm not  broke, so don't need fixing. If I decide  to try the Couch-to-5K challenge I'll let you know!

Happy New Year all- are you planning  to change anything  this year?

Friday, 12 December 2014

Getting Stuff Done

Crochet tree chain.

I like to  think of myself as the creative type. While I don't  have any discernible talents  in any particular field I  do enjoy a dabble in craft projects, and writing.  The upside of all this creativity (for me) is I can ignore housework, chores, shopping cooking, ironing and the like for days on end as I am creative, I am busy being, coming up with ideas, dabbling and very importantly buying new supplies.

The downside ( for those who live with and love me) is I am messy, don't much like housework or cooking and like to bring supplies and "stuff" into our home. I don't  throw out anything  that may come in handy at a later date. my Pinterest addiction has resulted in our cupboards being filled with Kilner Jars and coconut oil , Shea butter and glitter glue, all very useful.

this is what happens to my unfinished projects, #catbed

 I love  to start a new project, I am like a child in a field of butterflies I can't focus on just one at a time, the colours!

A friend of mine had her first book published recently. in honour of this amazing achievement I thought I would make her a gift. She has always worn very striking spectacles so I thought I would make her a cross stitch glasses case. I got very excited about it and came up with a design personal to her. She is Dutch, and a nun, and loves Northern Ireland so I incorporated Dutch/ Irish symbols to make it very personal.On the back I stitched lots of colourful glasses. This was the easy part, the fun , colourful creative part. The difficult part was doing the border, the sewing up and lining. I'm ashamed to say it took me almost a year to complete and send off to her. She was very happy with it, and I was proud of the end result. This process made me realise that to get the most out of any project, to get the full joy of the creative process it is important TO GET STUFF FINISHED.


The finished article

My current thrill is crochet. I have been attending a class and  my teacher gave us a simple pattern for crochet Christmas trees.This is the ideal project for a creative butterfly fancier like me, simple, quick and you can make them in any colour/ yarn you desire. I have learned to do a ripple stitch and a couple of pretty edges too- but for  now I need to perfect my trees!!

If you fancy trying out  the trees here is the simple pattern:

NOTE: TR-CL= 4 x treble into the same stitch

Ch 4, sl st into 1st chin to make loop
Row 1- ch2, tr 3 into ring, ch4, 1 tr-cl, ch4, 1tr-cl,ch4. Slstinto top of 1st 2ch.
Row 2-sl -st into chain space, ch 2, 3tr, ch6, tr-cl into same ch space *ch3 tr-cl in next ch sp, ch 5, tr-cl in same space * repeat from * in the next ch sp. Ch 3, sl st into first 2ch.
Row 3- sl-st into ch space. Ch2, tr-cl into ch sp,ch1,5tr into same space,skip 2st, dc( double crochet)between stitches (from prev row), 6tr into next ch sp, sk 2 st, dc between stitches, 5tr in next ch sp,ch 1 5tr. Sk2 st, dc between st, 4tr in next ch sp **.
Sk 2st , dc between st, 5tr ch1 5tr in next ch sp. Sk 2st, dc between stitches, 6tr in next ch sp, sk 2st, dc between stitches, sl st into top of turning ch. Fasten off.

for base of tree

Rejoin wool to the first of the 4tr (mkd **), ch1,dc in same place, dc in each of next 3st, turn.
Ch1, 1dc in same place, dc ineach of next 3st, turn.
repeat row twice more, fasten off.
Simples x