Wednesday, 29 January 2020

2019 - A Year To Forget.......

Goodness me. 

Best intentions and all.

My plan was to blog more. My plan was to blog every season from 2019. My plan was to be creative in 2019. My plan was for it to be the year of the garment, not the year of the blanket. My plan was to try the new. 

I failed. 

I failed in it all.

I had many plans. I had wanted to push myself with my crafting. I wanted to make garments. That meant reading tricky patterns. I usually am a cop out and just do the easy.....but I wanted to stretch myself in 2019.

It never really took off.

I constantly found myself low on time. Working part time, left the days off being for the mundane and playing catch up with the never ending household lists and chores. I became resentful that I never achieved anything or got anywhere. I did the same old things everyday.....stuff I needed to get done before I could even contemplate starting on anything creative. And then I had no time.

I went on a family Holiday in the Easter. A much needed break away with the family, but I just found that I was really anxious before it. Anxious because I was so looking forward to it and so needing it, that I was sure something was going to happen to take away that happiness and pleasure. Glass half empty girl here.

Nothing happened and I had a lovely break away.......but I felt odd. I felt dissatisfied still with my lack of achievement in the year. I felt like I was wading through VERY thick treacle. I felt disorganised in my life and in my head.

No garments were made. I had stalled creatively. I had patterns and yarn, but absolutely no enthusiasm.

So I did what I always do.......made another blanket.

Actually, it was born out of seeing a lovely knitted patchwork blanket on a cottage bed on a pinterest picture. It looked homely and cosy and I was sold on making one for myself.

Using up old oddments of yarn, and in my predictable palette of I went. I think I just needed to feel like I was actually making something. I didn't want complicated. I just wanted to craft and watch something be born from nothing.

I loved making it. I joined as I went. It meant that for a few moments a day I could be transported into creative happiness.

Spring, turned into Summer and I pootled along. Semi happy that I had at least started on something creative....even if it was not what I had had in mind at the beginning of the year.

Then, my world was turned upside down.

I lost my big brother.




That was 6 months ago now. I still can't believe it. I can't come to terms with it. It feels surreal. 

I've mentioned many a time on this blog, how Christmas is a time that, as much as I want to enjoy it, I can never seem to. Family Birthday's take over the last three months of the year. As well as my little family bubble, my outer family also. Painfully hard when still so raw and distressed over my brother's death. The onset of Christmas cheer everywhere just made it that much harder. I felt no desire whatsoever to indulge in anything of a Christmas nature. It was made very easy by the fact that we were not having a tree this year........

A puppy made sure of that........

Meet Minnie, our Wire Haired Fox Terrier.

It just seemed easier not to even think of decorations to go alongside it. The Bear's weren't too bothered. To be honest, I think it's only me that enjoys the ritual of Christmas decorations. So that was that. No festive feeling entered the house, and I found it hard to look at everyone's Christmas joys and happiness when I was feeling so rubbish inside. I just wanted to blink really and it all disappear.

So.........we got through Christmas. A milestone. Next year might be a little easier mentally.

We saw in the New Year. Other happenings beyond my control, lead me into an uncertain 2020. 

All in all, 2019 was a year I'd like to forget, although one that I'm sure that I won't.


Hindsight is a funny old thing. As I came rushing towards the end of 2019, I looked back and realised I had started the year with a feeling of foreboding. I couldn't put my finger on it. I realised I had been waiting for life to be turned on its head. I knew it was coming in some way shape or form. Really quite weird.

Goodness knows how I'm going to feel by the end of 2020. Probably quite exhausted.

I wake up and quietly repeat to myself 'choose your mood'.

It's quite a hard thing, to summon up enthusiasm and energy when you feel quite numb and raw. 

Ah well, we soldier on. We get through it. We come out the other side, and hopefully, all the stronger for it.

I seek out the light, the softness, the gentle, and the reassuring at the moment. 

I know it will take time.  I just have to gentle on myself. 

My plan to blog more was sadly interrupted by life.......and sadness.

Hopefully, I can get myself back on track. Not that this is a particularly happy post with lots of creative joy to share, I guess I felt the need to jot things down......if just for myself.

“Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.”

L.R Knost


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.............