Tag Archive | Crafts

Weeks 4 and 5- Facing the world

worry

 

Anyone who has suffered with depression and/or anxiety knows how difficult it is to face the world. Since starting my annual break back in February I have been quite happy to remain indoors quilting, sewing and even organising my office in preference to venturing outdoors.

It’s a good job therefore that I have plenty of previous experience in dealing with these issues and know myself well enough to kick my own ass into gear. Challenging my negative thoughts I set myself some goals to try and recover some normality;

  1. I arranged to visit Will at University so he could drive me to IKEA for a mosey round the aisles then treat me to lunch. This was my agreed Birthday present carried forward from February and which I had been putting off.
  2. I agreed to go out with the girls for a pasta night-and thoroughly enjoyed myself!
  3. I arranged to go to the local Farm Shop to meet a friend for lunch-this was a big step and it had to be with someone who understands why I am not actively in touch for months but remains supportive and non-judgemental.
  4. I started to join in the Jasper/Feri walks-taking him to the fields for a good run and play in the muddy puddles and found that there is something incredibly uplifting watching a dog enjoy himself so much with total unbounded joy and
  5. Helping Will with distributing and collecting questionnaires in the town for his University dissertation. This involved talking to several strangers about his work and the flooding which affects our town regularly. I found it energising and interesting and it took the attention away from me and my thoughts to thinking about other problems and solutions.

All in all, my objectives were to become less focussed on remaining in my “craft-cave” and to be more interactive. It worked a treat and starting the process with people I trust led to me being more comfortable venturing outside those boundaries.

So over the last couple of weeks I have been busy out and about. A welcome change but, although it’s nice to go out, it’s nicer to come home.home

 

 

Week 2- “productive”

After last week’s hectic schedule, this week just gone was a lot more relaxed and productive.

One of my favourite 2016 projects was revived for 2017 and I spent a couple of days putting together a “fidget” or “dementia activity” quilt following a request from a friend of my Aunt who had seen previous examples of mine on Facebook.

This project is more personal in that I have some information about the person I am making it for; I understand that he is a retired priest, a poet, loves Christmas and has an allotment. My task therefore is to tailor-make an activity quilt designed to be interactive, stimulate memories and discussion and to keep a sometimes troubled mind occupied.

I’m pleased with the result.

I also included a card printed with one of my favourite poems by Gerard Manley-Hopkins;

Pied Beauty.

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced –
fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

I hope he likes it.

 

Wet Weekend

As if we haven’t had enough rain here in the UK, yet more is on its way and it is pouring down as I write. Sadly, for many people in the South and West of the country the wet weather is causing much misery and I feel for those who have been flooded out of their homes and businesses yet again. I cannot imagine what such upheaval would be like and I am very grateful that we don’t live in a flood area.

For me the wet weather means a crafty day indoors and I’m sure that I will be able to turn my hand to something. I feel another page of my nieces wedding scrapbook coming on and I wonder if the gorgeous Kaisercraft papers which I ordered on Monday will turn up in the post today? Here’s hoping they do when hubby’s out so I can steal them into my stash without him noticing! Bless him, as soon as I “open my shop” as he calls it, he finds a friend to visit for a few hours, leaving me to spread my stuff all over the dining/kitchen surfaces. He hates mess and is better off out of my way than watching me wreak havoc with his über tidy kitchen.

creativity

Two days back at work and I am already noticing the fatigue brought on by the extra travelling but this will improve as I get back into routine, lose some weight and continue with my healthy eating programme. It seems to be working and so far I am 3lbs down on my starting weight. That seems a lot to lose in a short time but it’s how my body reacts and I know that next week it will be on full alert to conserve energy and my weight loss will slow down or come to a halt for a week. I am prepared for this which is just as well as it can be very demoralising to lose weight one week and nothing the next when you have been soooooo good. I have learned not to take much notice of weekly weight loss but look at longer periods like a month-6 weeks. If you keep going you will notice a trend and individuals will have their own ups and downs as their bodies adjust. It’s also a lot to do with the hormone cycle and again, everyone is different in this respect so week-on-week it can change dramatically and affect weight loss.

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I find however that it’s easier to keep to my new habits when in the daily work routine than at home where temptation lurks in every corner. The first weekend is always difficult but my determination and resolve is still intact and I will get through to Monday with no blips.

Fingers crossed!

Mystery quilt

I am relatively new to the craft of patchwork quilting and the more I find out about this fascinating pastime, the more I realise I don’t know much!

Today I went to a local quilt exhibition and discovered yet more quilting delights and surprises. The exhibition was hosted by the Lutterworth Piecemakers, a quilting club based in South Leicestershire. There was a number of standalone designs, beautiful quilts clearly made with love and so much patience, but what really caught my imagination were the “mystery” quilts.

The idea of a mystery quilt is that a person designs the eventual finished quilt, then month by month, provides the group with a panel to complete based on given instructions. Each individual quilter can choose their own colourway and add their own embellishments and interpretation of the instructions so that at the end of the given period, when all the panels are finally put together, bordered, quilted and bound, you get a series of “same but different” finished results.

It is amazing how different the same design can look in different colours so that there can be no two quilts the same. Incredible. Here are some examples of the finished quilts and the individual panels which make up the whole.

The mystery quilt is called “House and Home”

It was a lovely couple of hours wandering around admiring the details and hard work which has gone in to making these heirlooms. One lady had taken 6 years to complete hers.

We even had time for two cups of tea and a piece of cake whilst talking to some quilting afficianados who could have been talking a different language….jelly rolls, fat quarters, layer cakes, in the ditch, long-arm quilter…..etc etc. As a novice, I could have been quite overwhelmed, but as I keep telling everyone. How difficult can it be? It’s only sewing in straight lines!

I may have to change my opinion!

The Big Textile Show

Yesterday I visited the Big Textile Show which was held in nearby Countesthorpe, in my county of Leicestershire. It is so nice to have an exhibition/show held near to where I live instead of having to travel for hours to get there so I made the most of it.

It was a fantastic exhibition of a number of crafts but my overwhelming memory is that of colour. There was colour everywhere; patchwork quilts, embroidery silks, wool, felt, material. Everywhere vibrant, vivid, verdant colour. I am also a very tactile person and found myself touching the exhibits and tracing the contours of the quilting even though there were lots of signs saying “Do not touch”. I just couldn’t help myself.

I wasn’t looking for ideas, which is just as well as I was completely overwhelmed by the amazing colours and complexity of some of the exhibits. I was in awe.

Here’s why;

Imago

I have been very busy the last 2-3 weeks. Plenty of little creative projects keeping me busy on my travels like my patchwork quilt, knitting and crocheting poppies for friends and family, making special occasion cards and reorganising my stash.

However, my main preoccupations have been losing weight/getting fit and securing myself a new job.

I can say that I have rejoined Weightwatchers and lost 3lbs in my first week-a solid start to my latest campaign but I can’t say anything about my new job yet other than I am incredibly excited and thrilled to be given this opportunity and can’t wait to start on my new journey. It looks like this won’t be until January but that gives me some time to prepare as best I can, and get organised.

It will be a huge challenge, but I love a challenge!

Go me!