Friday, 4 January 2019

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







.......2018








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. 






xxx

29 comments:

  1. oh hello and happy new year my lovely friend Ms V, so lovely to see your post pop up in my feed in blogland...woweeeee so much yarny making been happening throughout 2018...so lovely to see...so very beautiful. I love the way you write like speaking to yourself. Thats so beautiful in your words. A seasonal posting is a great idea. I have really loved keeping my blog a live this year, at times when I really have needed that space to write it has really helped my soul and mental well being. The children grow so quick dont they?...im not good with change either. But how wonderful it is to watch them grow into fine young men, you must be so proud. How time has run away with us since we first started blogging...i cannot believe whre that time went sometimes. Your home always sfeels me with warmth and colour. How very cute is that glow rabbit light...Thanks for sharing this post, it was a lovely read. And you know how much it makes my heart sing when i spot you around in blogland, Kazzy xxxxx dont stay away too long ;P

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    1. Hello lovely Kazzy. It's actually been so nice posting and seeing your post at the same time. It felt like the good old days again. It's been so weird, because lately, lots of stuff has been sending back to nostalgic periods in my life that were lovely, and this felt like one of those! Not so sure if that made sense. It feels like we have both been on a long journey together, but it's flown by! Our babies are at Secondary School! Wowzers! Always our babies though hey!!!!! xxxxx

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  2. Hello 2019! :) And Hello Vanessa.
    What a lovely annual post. I so can identify with most of the things you talk about. How time flies in rapid pace, the kids growing up and with that everything changes against my will, the mundane every day chores driving me bonkers, the stolen moments of creative joy... The change... I don't like change. I find this time in life being really challenging.
    Love your pictures! Makes me want to snuggle up right there in silence and just hook away to some gentle storytelling tunes in the background or the noise of radio on a low volume... Cuppa within reach and with hours available to just be. I don't have many crochet friends around here, actually I only have one. We squeeze in an hour every now and then to chat yarn and crochet but it is never enough. In 2019 we've decided to do a full day of crochet-hang-out. Just indulge and squeeze yarn, hook away, discuss borders and stitches, makes and techniques. I'm so looking forward to that.
    Happy to hear your blog mojo is awakening slowly. You are good like that. Giving it time. You'll find your way back, don't worry. Just do. Don't think. I tell myself the same but I'm crap at following my own advice...
    I wonder what garments you will make this year? Or if all those garment ideas will turn into more huge blankets. Ha ha ha! As long as it is satisfying for the creative soul, who cares. This is playtime. Allow it to be. Enjoy your new year dear. I think 2019 will be a wonderful year. It feels like a good one coming up.
    Xxxxxxxxxx
    Annette

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    1. I'm trying so hard Annette to slow things down and just take it all in and savour it. I'm so aware if it all going by so fast. Suddenly my kids are all grown up and we talk as equals adult to adult. It's weird, it's wonderful, it's fascinating, it's also heartbreaking at time moving.

      However, 2019, let's see this year in with joy and creativity! It's been lovely being back in blogland! xxx

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  3. I am so happy seeing your blog name pop up in my feed! I see all your wonderful pictures, your use of language. I have missed you lots.
    I'm having a whole bundle of issues, which can be a bit like moving in treacle, but your posts are such a positive inspiration.
    Thank you! Sending you all the best of best wishes for 2019, Zoe xx

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    1. Hi Zoe,

      I hope all your issues work themselves out. I have been through periods where I have felt like that too. It's hard when it feels like you are moving in treacle. It always seem to me that life is a constant juggle of all good and bad in life. I try these days to have a different take on testing things in life. I think the worst makes us appreciate the best. When times are testing we find out our strength. I have been quite amazed through my life at how strong i've been in situations I thought i'd be rubbish in. Weirdly, it made me really proud of myself that I could handle it. It also, I think, made me feel that much stronger going into other testing times with this knowledge. So I guess, without all of the rubbish bits, I would never know what inner strength I had. Actually, what I found helped enormously, was writing down in a jotter the good next to the bad. When something went wrong in a day, I wrote beside it what went right. It's amazing how it focuses your mind. Whilst there can be so much crappy, there can be so much nice (however small) and by balancing it out on paper, it just always helped me not too feel too negative about life or rubbish situations.

      I hope that 2019 gets brighter and brighter for you so that when you look back in December, you'll have a warm smile and think it was a good one all in all. Best wishes Ness x

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  4. Happy New Year to you! What a joy it is to see your post pop up.
    Man alive you have been busy and I confess I have fallen completely and utterly in love with your beautiful mustard, duck egg and blush "wonky" blanket. It looks very complicated and time consuming, but aren't all the best things?!
    It is lovely to hear how giddy you are with creativity. Enjoying life in all it's colours. (Maybe not orange?!) I look forward to a seasonal post, such a good idea.
    Wishing you a kind and gentle New Year brimful with happiness, Pamela

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    1. Oh I'm glad you love the wonky blanket too Pamela! It's actually an okay pattern, but I was just a bit stupid in not making sure my first rows ended where they were supposed to. I'm just so slap dash and it's a problem I cannot seem to rectify in my creative make up!!!!! I'm so glad this year has come in and my head hasn't felt like exploding with ideas. Slowly and gently is how I want to take this year....and maybe no big blankets! I might actually do well with my makes if I keep things small this year! I hope 2019 is an amazing one for you, Best Wishes Ness x

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  5. Happy New Year. I have been looking forward to your post and have really enjoyed reading it. Yes, time seems to go quicker as one gets older. Fitting crafting around work and chores is difficult and also I feel that I want to create more. Having to work more hours per week that I have ever done in order to get prepare for retirement which seems to be pushed further away. I have also found that if I clear the clutter my mind is clearer and I can get more done. Less stuff in the house definitely means more time to create. I wish you a very creative year and look forward to seeing some of your work. Jan xx

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  6. Hi Jan,

    It's very hard isn't it, when all you want to do is create and other stuff like work and cleaning duties get in the way! I find I am getting quite annoyed with myself at having little time, and when Baby Bear is ready to not need me so much, I'll be working even more hours so time will be even less.

    You are right at being able to get more done if your mind isn't so cluttered from clutter. I feel so lifted when I have cleared everything out......the trouble is, I live with a house full of hoarders. I clear, it makes space for more clutter. I'm not sure there is an answer. Just keep plodding at it and being creative as and when one gets the chance.

    Have a super 2019 Jan xxxxx

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  7. Happy New Year!! I know realize why I am attracted to your blog so very much, and that is because I am the Canadian version of YOU! I prefer to live in my own little world most often than not, only coming out to see if I'm still indifferent to my surroundings. Your blog brings sunshine to my currently cold corner of this planet. Cheers, and I look forward to more sunshine in the months to come.

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  8. Oh I LOVE that there is a Canadian version of me! ha ha! Glad to know i'm not on my own when it comes to travelling down the rabbit hole for a bit of P&Q!

    It's absolutely freezing here today. No sunshine, just grey and cold.......candles and hot water bottles have been a must! I hope the weather warms up for you soon too! Happy New Year! x

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  9. How lovely, an annual catch up. So much prettiness and so many wise words... the way you have written about chcildren growing up is just perfect. Sob. I too feel like I am being dragged along reluctantly. Wishing you a most happy New Year!

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    1. Hello! Happy New Year to you! Oh good, I'm glad i'm not the only one to feel like that. I just feel like time is going too fast to absorb all the lovely stages of the kids lives. I feel like the memories are fading of what they were like as young boys. It's silly really, but I still have that ache in my heart for those years back. Never mind, they are so much fun to chat to adult to adult. A little weird when I still actually feel 16 in my head, but fun none the less!!!!!!! xxx

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  10. So lovely to find your latest post. I totally agree with you on the endless chore of housework and time flying by too quickly. Your blankets are beautiful and I am a little smitten with the Isle of Skye blanket from your last post. I will look forward to any upcoming seasonal posts but until then, enjoy 2019 x

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Jacqui! The Isle of Skye blanket is definitely keeping me warm these cold days. It's definitely up there in my favourites list! I hope you have the most super 2019. Take care Vanessa x

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  11. I simply love all of this. The Light Between the Ocean was such a mesmerizing movie and your blanket captures it beautifully. Is there a pattern available for your "wonky" blanket?

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    1. Hi Linda,

      The pattern for the 'wonky blanket' was an adaptation of a cushion cover pattern called 'Cushion Olle' by Stephanie Haytink. It was purchased on Ravelry. The cushion cover was made in the round so i adapted it to make it a blanket......I just wasn't really paying enough attention to the beginning rows to get me off on the right footing! I am desperate to make a non wonky version......and a cushion!!!!!!!


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  12. <3 - loooove all your huge blankets - and your way of "talking" this post...hope to see more <3

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  13. Hi Vanessa! I am so excited and happy that you're back!! I haven't really been reading blogs much lately - very sporadically over the last year or so and the last I recall hearing from you was that you were taking a break. But now you're here : ) And I just love the way you wrote this post and the photos you took are simply glorious and that blue puff stitch pattern looks amazing!! I have to know where to get that pattern and what yarn you were using...the embroidery is just so sweet as well. Good to be back and good to have you back!

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    1. Hi Asa-Marie,

      Yes I took a long break! It was nice to get away from social media for a while and just concentrate on 'real living' 24 hours a day. I have missed blogging so came back with a yearly round up post just to remind myself in years to come how my life has been. I have especially missed blogging this past year. I have felt like I have had a lot on my mind to say, so i'm thinking seasonal round ups instead of yearly ones......and you never know, I might just get back into the swing of it again on a regular basis!

      The blanket you mentioned is actually an adaptation of a cushion pattern. It's called cushion Olle and I purchased the pattern on ravelry. It was such a pretty stitch pattern, I wanted it as a blanket instead of a cushion. The cushion was really beautiful though!

      Take care and have a super 2019! x

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    2. Ah yes - I actually find it hard to use social media as a habitual thing! I'm always too busy crocheting...though when I do it's normally a bloggy rabbit hole I can't get out of for at least two hours! I think I need to get back into my blog as well and that's exciting because it's been a few years now. I'm looking forward to it. I hope that you do the seasonal updates and then come back more frequently - but I'm just happy that you're back at all.

      Oh how I love that blanket - you chose just the right pastels for it and I think you're absolutely right, that stitch is far too pretty only be featured on a cushion. It's too small! Now I want it as a blanket too!!

      The pattern that caught me in the first place though was the deeper blue puff stitch pattern in the photo that is third from the top of the post. It looks like a triangular shape so maybe it's a shawl? It's featured next to a tea tray with a cactus on it. I like that pot with the smiley face as well : )

      Thanks so much and I hope you have a great year ahead as well.

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    3. Ahhhhhh, yes that was a shawl! It was on Ravelry, called the Puff Spiders Crochet Shawl by Elena Kozhukhar. I wasn't so keen on the name though, not being a fan of spiders! I thought the puff stitches looked more like Caesar's Laurel Crown so thought of it more like that!

      If you are not on Ravelry, if you look up lacy spiders and puff stitch crochet chart online you can get a link to the pattern as it is a free online pattern. It gives a chart if you find that easier. It's a lovely stitch pattern and very satisfying seeing it come together! x

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    4. Oooh thank you so very much this looks like a beauty! I can't wait to get started - I didn't see the spiders at first but it makes sense now...yes it is a bit scary to name something spider related in Australia!! Oh how I love a chart! Thanks again so much : )

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  14. It's so good to see you here again now and then. Your pictures and words are so beautiful. I'm so glad you're finding time for your creative life! See you again soon, lovely lady. xoxo

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  15. Hi Kristen,

    It was so nice to be back and write here! I'm finding more and more that I don't know why I feel so guilty.....I never used to! I guess life goes through seasons of change and you have to adapt to it as it ebbs and flows. I'm hoping to get that balance better so I can visit here more and visit blogs more. I miss it. I hope you are well lovely xxxx

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  16. That blanket pattern is lovely, was it one of your own? I'd not would you mind sharing it? Thanks Nancy ❤🌟❤

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    1. Hi Nancy,

      The blanket pattern was not one of my own. I adapted it from a cushion pattern I found on Ravelry and Etsy. I believe it was called Cushion Olle. I loved the pattern but wanted it in a blanket rather than a cushion so i just adapted it to work in rows instead of the round it was worked in. It went wrong though. I wasn't paying attention and did the first 20 rows or so wrong so it's wonky! I love it though. Probably one of my favourite blankets. I am definitely going to make another one, I just need a bit bit of blanket space though this year after blanket overload last year!!!!!

      Take care x

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