Friday, 21 June 2019

Spring 2019........

Dear Vanessa,

You have zoomed into 2019 at such a pace. It amazes you how fast time flies. Does it get even quicker than this, the older you get?

So.....what did you get up to in the Spring of 2019?

Turns out.....not a lot. Spring seemed to pass by in a daze. You found it hard to get motivated. The mundane everyday took up, what seemed like, EVERY moment of your time. The same cycle of things OVER AND OVER again. It pains you that you don't enjoy the mundane. You just feel it gets in the way of all the stuff you have in your head you'd like to do. Have you got any better?

Your enthusiasm for crafting went down the pan. It really came with the realisation that you just didn't have ANY MORE space to store your makes. You found that putting your heart and soul into creating something, weaving memories into something, made it hard to just give away and discard. You knew you'd never be a maker to sell that was for sure.

At the beginning of the year you decided that it would be the year of the garment.

Victoria Shawl By Sandra Cherry Heart

However, even the reality of storing said garments was an issue. This just put you off being creative in any way shape or form. So the mundane took over and you felt like you were dying a slow death of lack of creativity. It was quite depressing truth be told.

Then.....there was a glimmer of hope. Just as it started to get decided to make something really thick and chunky. You decided to re-visit the Bella Wrap you made by Belinda Harris-Reid. Having loved making it the first time round, but in yarn you weren't keen on, you had always had it in the back of your head to have another go at it.

The above wrap was the first one you ever made but you dyed it and were so pleased you did!

Getting back into the knitting habit after 4 years of not knitting anything was a little daunting. Dropped stitches still scare the bejesus out of you and you pull the most horrendous faces whilst you clap the needles together. Heaven help ANYONE if they dare try and talk to you.....your stitch counting just gets louder to drown them out. You wonder if there will EVER be a time when you look back and read this with a smile because you have finally managed to master knitting.

You persevered with your wrap and didn't make a bad attempt. You made your second wrap in Drops Andes yarn in off white and you loved the colour choice and yarn so much better. In fact, you were so pleased with it that immediately you cast off, you cast on again to make another. This time a pea green coloured one. This one took even less time with you feeling more sure of what you were doing. Your strange faces became a little less, and you actually ENJOYED knitting rows! You had visions of a myriad of colours. You wanted a duck egg and a pink at some stage. You wondered what to do with the first one you knitted as you loved it, just not the shade. You decided to dye it dark blue. Not really taking into consideration that the yarn was acrylic, the dark blue came out the most perfect shade of duck egg/silver blue. It couldn't have been more perfect if you'd have tried. Happy with the fact that you didn't need to cast on a duck egg blue wrap, you immediately found the most perfect pink and cast on for that. That one came out beautifully, however, the yarn being 20% Alpaca loved you more than you'd like. You felt like you were eating it as you knitted, and you are not sure what you can wear that it won't shed dreadfully on. But the colour.........swoon.

You are like that Vanessa. You find something that you like then you do overkill. You know it's the fear of never being able to do it again. Like buses. I'm sure you've had a blog post with that title?

At this precise moment in time, you are completely forgetting the fact that these big bulky wraps will have to go somewhere to be stored. You are just happy creating. It's your happy place. Remember that you bought the Marie Kondo book this Spring to try and help in your quest to change your rubbish habits. I wonder if by the end of the year it would have had any effect or been a complete waste of a read? I fear I know what my money is on. Was I right?


You are still finding it hard to stop procrastinating and just get on with things. You have reached the conclusion though that you will never really change. It's in your make up to be this way. You are a 50% person. You waste 50% of your day daydreaming. You also realise though, that daydreaming is fundamental to your overall well being. Music too. A life without music would be torture. Your day begins with a good cup of tea (always tea), followed swiftly by a coffee and a good cinematic radio station.

You have loved this time of year. You truly love the longer light........waking up to the sound of birds way before your alarm goes off.

You love sitting in the garden with your face to the sun, breathing in life and being utterly thankful for it. You feel happier in the 'you' that you are. Has it continued? I do hope so.

You have finally got your eucalyptus tree. You hope you don't kill it. You pretty much kill everything. 'Over Love' you call it!

You think that heading into summer you need to really give yourself a kick up the old posterior. You have told yourself you need a month burst of activity! ha ha!

You have loved that Gin seems to be the 'in' thing at the moment and you can get Gin in every flavour imaginable. It's a treat tipple for you and Rose Gin is your favourite.

You have enjoyed soaking up the moments of happiness and tranquil. Appreciating the quiet, the calm, and the beauty in the everyday.

Maybe it's an age thing, but you are trying so hard to step off of the spinning roundabout to try and stop and remember everything. To really appreciate this stage in your life.

The Bear's continue to grow and become the men that you had always hoped they would. You look at them and wonder how on earth they grew so quick? Your heart bursts for them, and the day they fly the nest your heart will break. However, in the interests of keeping it real, you'll get a dog and you'll soon forget about them!  ha ha! You are also TOTALLY looking forward to only having to do YOUR laundry and not clean a boys bathroom. Did that work out well I wonder? You are also thinking more wardrobe space to store more Bella Wraps!!!!!!! this season comes to an end and another begins, you have a plan of what needs to be done. You also have an idea of what you will probably realistically achieve, but let's hope you surprise yourself.

I hope you are well. I hope you are happy and content. 

Until the end of Summer.............


Friday, 4 January 2019

The Year That Was........


Dear Vanessa,

Goodness, that year went so fast. It seems that with every year that passes and one grows older (and hopefully wiser), the years just go by at a quicker rate. I'm sure soon it will feel like each year is only a month long.

Well, as I touched on in my November post, 2018 saw a creative year for you. Whilst 2017 felt really rather non-existant in creative terms, it seemed that as soon as the New Year of 2018 rang in, your brain exploded with a never ending list you felt you HAD to make. It was a bit of a shock actually, to go from really having no inclination to want to make anything, to ones brain just going haywire with a gazillion ideas all at once.

There were a couple of small projects........and there were a few LARGE projects.

You had started a blanket at the end of 2016, inspired by a patchwork quilt made by the talented Alicia Paulson from Posie Gets Cozy Blog. You've just about finished it. You found it hard going in 2017 to make any real progress on it. It turned out to be a huge blanket. It was slow going, the pattern on it was slow to emerge. You needed a lot of room to get all the colours out to do it. As much as you loved the blanket idea and knew it would look lovely when it was done, I have to say it's been your least favourite blanket to make. It took all of 2018 to finish it. You still have the border to do, but that's ok. It actually looks ok without a border and you have been in two minds whether to add to it. You have realised that you could have actually learned how to be a master quilter and made a proper quilt in the time it took you to crochet your version.The irony is not lost on you.

As lovely as the blanket looks now, it took you a whole year as you kept having to start new things just to get them out of my brain. You are usually a one project girl at a time. Especially blankets. You like to focus solely on one thing. However, this year, you felt like you needed to just keep starting things that were in your head. You felt like if you got them out of your head then your brain might slow down a bit and give you some peace. You found it both exciting and exhausting at the same time. Anyway, four blankets were on the go at the same time. It was super crazy. They were your usual big blankets too. What is wrong with you woman?! Even when you tell yourself that your next blanket will be a modest sized lap blanket, they end up being HUGE. You guess it's the whole snuggle thing. You just hate the thought of only one person being able to use them. The 'Isle of Skye' blanket was lovingly made, soon followed by 'Winterberry'. 

Three turned out nicely (although you have just remembered that 'Winterberry' needs the ends sewing in. Something you forgot when Christmas took over), the other (oh my, how you love it so much), did NOT turn out so well. That was actually due to the fact that it was a cushion pattern made in the round and you adapted it to make it a blanket. You were NOT paying attention to your first 20 rows and it went all wonky. You use it every evening to snuggle on your sofa, but you cannot bring myself to sew in the ends because it's not right. Actually, unless you lay it our flat you'd never know it was wonky, but you have the yarn to start again and produce another one, a perfect one. You love it THAT much. There goes your plan to not make any blankets in 2019. I wonder when it will get made. Remind me in a later post!

As for everyday life, things are ticking along ok. Life has its ups and downs and good and bad. You haven't really had a sense that you have achieved that much this past year. You seem to have found that time has been in such short supply. You work part time now, and on your days off you split it between trying to maintain some semblance of order in the house and trying to get creative stuff done. A domestic goddess you are NOT. You find it tedious, unrewarding, soul destroying, life sapping.......and many other things. The monotony of spending hours first thing every morning doing the same old stuff to just start your day with a clean house slate is...well....quite frankly...utterly pants. However, you have come to realise that this has been more of a problem recently because you have allowed way too much clutter to take over. Less stuff means less dusting. Remember that Vanessa for the future.

This was the year you came out from the 'rabbit hole' that you were lost in in 2017. It felt good to reconnect with people. You wonder why you feel the need to retreat into your own little world at times and just live with yourself, your thoughts and your little bubble of a family. You think you like your own company far too much. You have reached an age where you do what you feel you need to do in order to keep yourself happy, not what is expected of you. You realise it's actually quite 'freeing' to think like that. You are who you are.

Your Bears are growing up. Two now at College and one at Secondary School. Goodness, where has the time gone? You ache for the days that are slipping from your memory of Wibbly Pig books, cuddly toys, Lego and toy cars; of boys being small enough to scoop up and embrace entirely. The older Bears now scoop YOU up. You feel like you are being pushed into your new role in life instead of walking willingly. You still hate change that you haven't initiated.

Having said that, you find it a wonderful thing seeing your boys growing into fine young men. You feel that despite all the things you wish could have been different, you haven't done a bad job at the whole mother malarky. You have rather surprised yourself on that score.

You have also missed blogging this year. You have felt at times over the past 12 months that you've really wanted to get back to this little space of yours, and jot down a few thoughts and feelings. Never in the last few years has the desire felt so strong. You are reminded of how pants you are at computer stuff. You are also reminded how bad your memory is on how to actually blog. You have been feeling that you might like to do seasonal posts instead of yearly catch up posts. You have loved picking up your camera again and seeing the world through its happy lens instead of your phone.

So Vanessa, you have welcomed  2019. You wonder what the year will hold for you. Your creative brain has been ticking along on an even keel so far. That makes you happy at least! You hope to make this year the year of the garment and NOT the year of the blanket. Time will tell. As always, you have at least five blanket ideas in your head you want to get made at some point, but for now, you have around ten garment patterns that can keep you occupied!

Ness, I will leave you with some reminder pictures of how 2018 was for you. It is evident that you never stray too far from your favourite colours.....

Cheerio Ness, I'm sure when I say it, that it won't be so long until we next catch up.