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Friday, 30 December 2016

It's that time of year......

.....when it's only natural to look forward and backwards at the same time.  I've loved so much of this past year and even the other bits haven't frightened me as much as I thought they would.  Others still have made me feel sad but accepting in equal measure.

Although we don't celebrate New Year as in partying etc, we do always go for a seaside prom walk and I love a good clear out and tidy up. (And yes, the change of pronouns is deliberate.)  Lots of plans to make - especially travel - but that's for later.  Right now it's more about the backward glance - learning so many new things has been a joy, catching up with old friends and new family arriving.  Not such a bad year.
And there has been sock yarn


as well as learning to use a camera.
Looking forward to so much more in 2017 xx

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Advent

This Advent is feeling pretty good so far - helped by visits to Harrogate and Copenhagen, no doubt! There was also a significant birthday which ended up being....ok.  In fact better than ok, with family and friends and good food and presents.  Though mainly I think I'm enjoying it because it's here - and we're here to participate.  
The decorations this year seem different - same ones, but definitely used in a slightly different way.  Not lots and lots - we don't have small children anymore! - but more a few areas with greenery, candles, fairy lights and baubles.  My biggest outlay so far has been on a skimmia japonica and a Christmas rose.  Though foolishly I've totally forgotten to take a photo of them - they're decorating the front porch.







And let's not forget the sock knitting!  Which, obviously I nearly did. One is complete and the other is about to be started this afternoon.  I fully expect to be wearing them on my next pj day.

P xx

Friday, 2 December 2016

Camera issues part two

I'm still not using the camera outside as much as I'd like, and I realise from reading around that it's not just me! From what others are saying, the answer is usually in making it easy for yourself to do it. Which is why I'm researching camera bags with a vengeance. But I know exactly what I don't want in a camera bag - black, non-descript and screaming out to the world 'There's a camera in here!'
Joy oh joy, there's a whole world out there dedicated to such an issue.
Of course they're expensive and of course lots of them generate from either the US or mainland Europe, but when really looking at the price I can see the value is there too.  No need for a lovely handbag AND a camera bag - these ones do both jobs.
And breathe....just need to choose one now.


P xx

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Giving Thanks

I don't often adopt days from other continents/cultures, but today I am.  It has been too easy faced with illness and a bit of a thing going on with the world lately, to think everything is wrong.  Well, of course it isn't.  The joys far outweigh the downsides in my life and for that I really am thankful.
Family, friends, garden and making.


P xx

Monday, 21 November 2016

Socks and Hats

One of the many joys of doing an online course is the flexibility - doing the modules whenever you feel like it.  Both the photography and the paperlove courses have allowed me to follow them at any time of day or night and even in which order feels natural.  Both are pretty wonderful and both bring joy; the paper course means I can do more of the stuff I love and taking photographs seems to be a totally natural way forward now.  So much so I'm even looking at new cameras.....

Anyhow, in other news, the knitting continues.  Another piece of the learning jigsaw is continuing to produce items for a small boy.  When he looks back at photographs of himself as a baby he will definitely question the amount of hand knitted items.....


The lights are not only there for sparkle effects - but today is one of those decidedly grey days where all light is a pleasure!

P xx

Friday, 18 November 2016

Daily Rituals

Or not, as it happens.  I seem to have lost the habit - of so many things - but as I've been laid up with the flu (what is it with me these days?!)  there has been plenty of time to think about lots of things. And listen to stuff too; I've found so many wonderful podcasts to listen to over the past ten days - on every subject from food to farming to creativity. Everyone creates in their own way, at their own pace and in their own preferred environment. But what most people have in common when they're happy with what they are doing is - the Daily Ritual.  Nothing weird or outlandish; more on the lines of always making fresh coffee at a certain time each day, going for a walk, listening to a piece of music or making breakfast early (or the night before) to kick start the day. Thinking back to when I've been happiest, most productive etc, I see that those small daily rituals are always a part of it. So, I got to thinking that now is the perfect time to start new habits and rituals - simply because I'm not having to replace any existing ones!

And it starts at the beginning of the day, with breakfast. Not the Full English or anything, more taking a pause with good tea or coffee, homemade bread for toast and the chance to sit and think about the day ahead. 
I really do feel better already.

and yes, this really is me painting the pages of an old book to create pages to be written on in a ....new book! But I love it so that makes it OK.

P xx

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Fear

Such an amazing emotion - terrifying and debilitating and often at the same time. I love taking photographs - flowers, what's happening in the workroom, found things, the garden. But. I'm not always happy taking photographs outside of those areas unless it's using my phone.  A whole other thing when on holiday, but that doesn't really count. No, what I'm on about is the ability to walk along the front street of where I live and snap away happily with an actual camera.  I often see things which I'd like to capture....but no,; I always seem to 'forget' my camera when next out walking.

And it's becoming a thing for me.  So, when I came across a blog which addresses this very problem - well, it seemed the right time to face it and get over myself.
Of course today, the first day, it's blowing a gale and the rain is coming down in horizontal sheets. Hey ho.  I can use the time to plan where I'm going to walk and which pictures I'm looking for.


Actually in the workroom, this is what has been happening - lots and lots of paperlove! From making books to stars to paper tape. And I love it all! After the paper tape it was an easy jump to making fabric tape - a brilliant way to use up some of those leftover pieces of gorgeous fabrics that tend to get lost in the scrap bag.  I have discovered a couple of things while doing this paperlove course - one, writing using a pen and paper is amazing for starting a thought process, and two, I really do have a very difficult relationship with liquid glue. Meh.

P xx

This is the link to the blog I was reading - Christina Greve

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Getting to grips

With what exactly, I'm not too sure, but it's just the way it all feels right now.
If September and October were all about learning new things - from sock knitting to understanding the camera on my phone - I'm pretty much carrying on with that into November with a Paperlove e course. Maybe I just need the focus.


The outcome has been that I feel much more settled and that in turn means being able to cope with every day stuff so much more easily.


Who knew that sock knitting and cameras could do that?!


These blooms were all in the garden this month - October! - and it did feel a little unreal snipping them from among the brown and gold leaves.


One of the best things I learnt from the photography was - to move your feet! Taking a few shots and choosing between them is always a good option:


It's hard at first; or rather it's too easy to stay in one place and look at the world purely from that point.


But moving, seeing different angles seems to be the way forward.

I have to say, when I stopped to take some photographs of this church, there was a couple there walking their dog and we got chatting - not just about the church and weather, but also about how easy it is not to stop and chat. 

P xx

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Ready to ship

The colours of the blanket and the helmets are pretty much my favourites right now.
Let's hope mama and baby like them too!



It's a bit dismal here today - damp, cold, dark. Going to light the fire and knit - the only sensible thing to do.

P xx

Friday, 7 October 2016

Pink



That sort of a day.  Things can be beautiful even when they are at the end.

P xx

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Friday, 30 September 2016

KIY

This is new to me; always late to the party.  Knit it yourself - so easy when you know about it! And the reason I have found out about it, is finding a gorgeous pattern for a sweet little baby hat with earflaps. Only it is in French.  Hey ho. How difficult can it be?
Not very, is the simple answer.  Once I was into the knitting itself it became quite intuitive - the beauty of having been a knitter for most of my life I suppose.
Anyhow, the photo of the (first) hat is on instagram and was so easily knit up in less than a couple of hours.  Perfect for getting back into the knitting.  My arm still has the shooting pains and I worried about holding the needles.  It was fine.

In a week's time I'm going on another workshop; this time sock knitting. Now I realise it should be a walk in the park for someone who has knitted for so long (see above) but........
I've never knitted with four double pointed needles before. 
To get into the swing of it all - ie to allay fears and think about something else! - I've made a couple of Bento Bags to hold the projects.  One for me and one for my daughter:









And now I'm all ready to go! Maybe I should have a little practice with those pesky needles in the week before?

P xx



Thursday, 22 September 2016

Roses in Autumn

And how lovely is this:


The perfect amount of freshness in the air, yet still so warm and bright.
Pretty much perfect.

P xx

ps  The shingles pain is being managed now so I hope to have a bit more energy to do real blog posts very soon!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Getting it together

The Autumn of Learning New Things continues.....


Looking for papers, scraps and threads.


And then practising with butterflies.

I've booked myself onto a paper love course - happy days!

P xx

Monday, 12 September 2016

Enforced rest

Ah well.  It's such a long time since I was ill, it was fairly obvious it wasn't going to be easy when it did finally come my way! Shingles.  Who knew how painful that could be?!  Anyhoo, lots of rest and sleep and meds.  I can do this.
The crochet blanket which was supposed to have a fabric border, now has a mid grey crochet edging. Still deciding which to go for.


I suppose the beauty of crochet first is that it's so easy to undo. 

P xx

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Planning for Spring

Two deliveries this week - one of tulip bulbs and today's of wallflowers.
Yay for Spring!




P xx

Friday, 9 September 2016

In the workroom

This workroom is feeling good again; a place I want to spend time in again. 
Alongside the sewing there's an awful lot of reading, thinking and shopping of course!
The difference in the light is becoming more than noticeable - darker, sooner.
But that's ok. 


It can all help to see things differently - this corner appeals even though it is cluttered.
The camera helps like that too.


Whereas this part above the laptop is really not doing it for me.  Not too sure that it ever did, but it's about to have a revamp.


And although I love the little dress hanging there, I don't like how it's hanging there if you know what I mean?

I fully intend to get all the little jobs done very early tomorrow so that a day of sewing and playing can happen.  

P xx

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Instruction Manual

Who knew!!! The things on your old camera that make taking photographs so much easier. Probably very late to the party, but hey ho.

This one is taken in normal mode.

And this one in normal mode with macro option..

Need to concentrate more I think, on what's out there already.

P xx


Saturday, 3 September 2016

Bento Bags

It's pretty obvious that there's been a whole raft of things happening in the sewing world while I've been....missing in action? Having got myself back in the blogging world (yay!) I've noticed a couple of new things - one, how much better they all are! and two, Bento Bags. Having cleaned, sorted, tidied and thrown out in the sewing room over the past few months it made it very easy to just decide at ten last night to try one for myself.
And I'm already addicted. Not only are they a great way to use beautiful fabrics, but they're just perfect for crochet and sock knitting projects.  What's not to love?


Opened up it's so easy to see right inside the bag,


and tied up they look like knotted handkerchiefs


ready for a Famous Five adventure.
Which pretty much sums up how I feel about life right now.

P xx

And thank you so much to Melissa of Tiny Happy who posted such a brilliant tutorial xx