I have to say it's nice to come back to blogging with a ta-dah moment. Without taking a break, it may have been a fair bit longer for this moment to have come!
Thank you so much for your comments and emails with regards to my last post. Trying to find a balance between bloggy time and home life is a hard one to get right. I think I just needed a good break away and reassess how I can make a better balance for me, which means I don't feel like I am always letting someone down. Being a mum, you spread yourself thin. You try to be everything to everyone, but sometimes you just realise something has to give. I'm still here, but I will be posting less.
After being VERY unenthused in the creative department, I dug deep to get a couple of things done. I thought that if I actually got something finished, it might spur me onwards and upwards. I didn't want to force myself into picking the Evening Sun Blanket up to work on when I felt so crafty blah. I started another project first....and on completion.....and feeling happy with the finished article.....once again she sat on my lap to have me lovingly attend to her.
.......she is finished.
And, boy, she has SOOOOOOOOO been worth the wait.
I have completely loved working on her....and I have completely fallen head over heels in love with her.
She is a she. She does seem to have a personality. Strange? A bit. I think it is because she doesn't look like she has just been made.
She has come from the Narnia Wardrobe.
I have quite a few things in my possession that have come from the Narnia Wardrobe.
In my Grandparents attic, there is a Narnia type wardrobe. If you open it, push past all the clothing items, you'll find a chest at the back on the floor. In this chest are quite a few wonderous items. I have found a bag, a necklace, a brooch, a jar, a teapot, some letters, a shawl........and when I looked deep enough into this chest.......I found this blanket. It was waiting......just for me to find it and bring it to life again.
Okay....so I may sound a little off my rocker here, but that's how I view certain things that I know are going to mean a lot to me. They are sentimental, and they all come from this old chest all hidden away.
Maybe, in reality, that's what i'll do for my family and later generations, as it sounds really rather lovely.
I started her back in 2011. She was originally intended to be a cushion. A teeny tiny little cushion, but as soon as I started working her up, I knew she had to be more than that. I really didn't NEED another blanket, but I imagined her being there for us all on summer evenings, wherever we were, when the sun was starting to fade and the slight chill was appearing in the air. I wanted to have her to wrap around us as we sat outside, looking up at the summer sky, and making memories.
I wanted to have a blanket that could see us through anything for years and years to come. A blanket that would be our faithful friend, and be there for us whenever we needed her.
She was completely different to what I had made before. Maybe that was why I became so taken with her. She is a big blanket. Big enough to snuggle myself and the bears comfortably in when we are outside. She also wraps around you beautifully on a sofa for necessary sofa snuggling.
I wanted a nice big border for her. It was clear quite early on that she deserved something rather big and grand. A teeny little picot or shell edge really wasn't going to cut the mustard.
I searched for ages trying to find something that would suit her. All my crochet border books had small borders and I knew she wouldn't be entirely happy with that.......and neither would I. I found inspiration on pinterest. I stumbled across the prettiest border I had seen and I knew it would work perfectly with her.
What a lovely blanket! A link is provided on this blog post to show you where to find the edging pattern if you are interested.
I added a little extra to the end of mine.
She is big....and she is really rather heavy too. It was impossible for me to photograph her all laid out. She was actually too heavy to hang. She is definitely a drapey blanket. Incredibly warm too. She has been a dream to work under on cold nights.
I put together this colour scheme originally with ivory in the mix also. I thought though, that if I was making a cushion, then I could do away with the ivory, as there would be the ivory of the cushion cover showing through the gaps......and that would be fine. At the beginning when I decided she needed to be a blanket, I did wonder if omitting the ivory would make me love her less. I think that had I used ivory, she would have looked lovely......REALLY lovely......but she would have looked 'new'. Not adding the ivory has made her look instantly 'old' and I think that is what is enchanting about her.
It also might have something to do with the fact that not only did I mix and match yarn, I also mixed up my crocheting together.
I used different makes of yarn. I didn't really think it would matter at first as I was only making a cushion. I liked the colour combinations greatly, so that was it for me! Most were dk (but they varied slightly in thickness), and I used a 4 ply for one colour. I know that will make some of you shudder! I actually loved that I did it. The fact that they were all slightly different in weight added something different. I think along with the colours, this helps to give her this 'vintage' quality. I randomly crocheted the squares together so they were not linked in a set pattern. I just picked her up as I found her and made a few at a time, and I loved that I did this too.
So......she's probably not every one's cup of tea.......
.....I used mixed yarn and, for the size and weight, most would have single crocheted her all together to make her firmer.
But that's great she wont be every one's cup of tea....because she's my cup of tea.
I made a row of 12 squares by 17. A simple granny circle in a square. I have no idea where the pattern originally came from. I have used it quite a few times in projects, and I have seen it used on many makes in blog land. I just like it. Six rows of treble clusters to border it before the big lacy edge was added. Sewing in the ends took a while. 204 squares with 8 ends each to sew in, plus all the edgings. Over 1,632 ends to sew in......YIKES. I was deliriously happy when I saw there was one square left! ha ha!
When laid out, she measures approx 60 x 78 inches which is a nice size.
Boy, are we looking forward to making good use out of her.....
.....and do you know what....
....I swear I can hear her saying the very same thing!
Here's to you Evening Sun.....
I have loved creating you....and we will spend many a year using you.
Several weeks ago, as I was doing the school run, I was mentally running through what needed to be done for the day. House tidy.....wash loads on......food shop.....yah de yah.....
First stop.....a hot cuppa.....then an email check....then crack on with house maintenance.
I sat at the desk and opened my inbox. One thing led to another and when I looked up at the clock it was midday. I still hadn't managed to plough through all the emails and what not. I had tried to get a post written that wasn't happening. I was flitting on Pinterest. I realised that this was actually my day the day before too. I sat and thought about it. This wasn't right. The balance was all wrong.
I make a point of not being on the computer in the evenings and generally at any time over the weekend. It's 'family' time. But, I just wasn't managing to get everything done during the week that needed to be done.
It sort of coincided with this feeling that I was having. A sort of flat feeling. Winter blues? A little late, but quite possibly.
I saw my house was suffering. My crafting was on the decrease. My enthusiasm was waining on every level. I realised I needed to retreat back at bit...... take stock of a few things, and decide whether I needed the computer as much as I thought I did.
So.....I turned it off.
I thought I would actually have a little experiment as to how long I could go without feeling the 'need' to be on it.
So, that's the explanation as to why I have been quiet.....why I have not posted....and why I have not been visiting. I simply turned the computer off.
I re-joined the 'real world' full time.
I wondered whether I would miss blogging. Miss commenting. Miss interacting in this wonderful community. I wondered whether I would feel the guilt lift. The guilt I feel at not being able to stop by so many blogs and comment. The guilt at not replying to everybody who comments on my posts to say a big thank you for doing so. To say thank you for taking the time to do it, how much I appreciate it, and how fab I think you are. How come you all can do it and I can't seem to? The guilt at realising in the early hours of the morning that someone asked me a question, and I never managed to get round to answering. Oh the guilt.......
I wondered whether the restless feeling I was having inside me, was me saying, the time had come to say a fond farewell to my blog and all you lovely peeps. I sort of felt like I was maybe in repetition. I wasn't taking pictures of things I hadn't taken before. I wasn't making anything that wasn't something you could find on any other crafty blog. Boring? Quite possibly. Inspiring? Hardly. So was there really any point?
I think I just lost my mojo, and have had to wait for it to return.
I did't go completely cold turkey on the techno thing though. I finally pulled my finger out, and after having the instagram app on my phone for many, many months, decided to take the plunge. I have already met some of you on there which is fun. I love it's casual-ness and that it's instant. It doesn't take up so much of your time and you can flit in and out as and when. I'm cocorose1 on there, so if you are on there too and want to stop by and say hi, it would be lovely to meet you! Maybe that hasn't helped my feeling of bloggy lethargy!
I felt a bit stagnant. I felt like first and foremost I was writing a little diary of snippets of my life and thoughts and makes. I thought it would perhaps be a nice thing for the bears to look upon one day...but then I thought, actually, they would find it soooooo boring! There are so many lovely blogs out there that can give you a crafty fix, it really wouldn't matter whether I was around or not.
The break has done me good. Maybe it's what I have needed. Sometimes, it's not until you pull your head right out, you begin to see how far it was in!
I have some of you asking if i'm okay as i've been quiet, so I just wanted to let you know that yes i'm okay (bless you for emailing and commenting), and thought popping a little explanation as to why I have been absent all round, would be the jolly decent thing to do. It sort of feels weird typing.
I don't think I am ready to say a complete goodbye yet, but I think my postings might be more sporadic, and please forgive me if I am a bit behind in the comments area.
If I can pull my finger out and get a post together I might even have a 'ta-dah' moment some time soon!