Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 - A testing year.

2016 was not the worst year ever but at the same time it was not a terribly kind year to me.

You have more than likely noticed my, what is it, 6 month absence from my blog. My confidence and strength were seriously challenged in the last 6 months of 2016. At one point I didn't think I would make it through in one piece.

To my surprise I have come out of it stronger than I could ever imagined. I have come out fighting. I will not be defeated by people with small minds who think that they are better than everyone else, who will do what they can to bring others down. I do not give anybody permission to treat me like rubbish!

My future is not defined by my past but is in fact defined by my attitude. I can achieve anything that I want by working hard for it. The biggest lesson I have learnt this year is to not overwhelm myself. When I am faced with a big task and start to feel overwhelmed I now break everything down into smaller tasks. The smaller tasks are much more achievable and all work to the larger objective.

My 2017 word of the year is ...

I will be stronger in 2017!

I cannot promise that I will blog regularly, but I will blog more frequently (not that once every 6 months is difficult to beat). I will work towards achieving my dreams, in small steps working towards the larger objective! 

Hope 2017 is everything you hope it will be! Do you have a word of the year?

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A discovery

I recently emptied the home office/craft room due to having new flooring laid. Hidden on the shelves were various forgotten about projects one of which I started some time last year. I was also reminded about yarn purchases and patterns that were on the shelves Id forgotten about. I love discovering lost loves on my shelves.

My forgotten projects often tend to be blankets. I tend to loose enthusiasm for them after a while and put on the shelf until I feel enthused again. The discovery of the granny blanket I started ages ago for the caravan sparked my enthusiasm to start up again That may be due to the cold weather making an appearance again, despite summer being imminent (apparently)! I've not done very much on it really so I will crack on with it now until I get bored again. I love the simplicity of making granny squares, they don't require any focus as such. 

Sewing in the ends has simply not happened, as is often the way with me. There is simply loads of them to sew in. Looking at the yarn stack for this project I am almost out of the blue, pink & red required and with no visit to town (where the lys is) imminent I thought the best thing to do would be to sew in some ends then. I do love the pretty colours of this blanket and when it is eventually finished it will look great in the caravan.

As usual I am reading very slowly, but the key is that I am reading! I am reading another factual book called 'Everybody Writes' by Ann Handley. As the title suggests its a practical guide to better writing. I love to write and it is part of the work I do as a marketer. The format of this book allows me to read snippets at a time and come back to it when I can, which I love.

Today I have linked into the yarn along over on Small Things blog. I love the yarn along, it helps me discover lots of new bloggers and books.

How many abandoned projects do you currently have?

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Walking Around

There is nothing like a walk to clear your mind and help you focus. During  my lunch break I have taken to going out for a short walk, it gets me away from the office & allows me to stretch my legs.

I had never considered taking my camera with me. There is nothing beautiful around where I work, as I am on a large industrial estate. Then I opened my eyes and looked around me, just because the area is not picturesque it doesn't mean that there is not beauty and there is always a story to be told.  

out of curiosity I took a look on Google maps to view the local, I'm not that familiar area.
I am not a local, commuting almost 20 miles to work and I have only worked there around 6 months. Having taken the train to work previously I knew the river was close by, I just want aware of where about it was and how close it was. Google revealed it is less than 10 minutes walk away. filled with hope and excitement off i went with my camera and found the river. 

My camera has some funky creative features which I thought I would try out (its worth pointing out at this stage I have not really used my camera and never had a bridge camera before so its all new to me). 

After taking a few pictures I managed to mess up all the settings and it was game over!!! I did manage to capture a few pictures though...

This gorgeous horse was tethered on a small grass verge and he looked a little sad and lonely. Don't tell anyone but I had an apple in my pocket which I gave to him. He seemed grateful.

I love narrow boats, and the river had plenty of them around.Narrow boats evoke memory's of watching Rosie & Jim as a child.

The gorgeous River Don

This is the gatehouse for the boats

There was the threat of rain on the horizon but I managed to dodge the showers as I walked along the river bank.

There is beauty every where, even if its just a flower border or a beautiful river filled with activity. I will now keep my camera in my bag as I learn to use the different settings. 

If you can take your lunch break and go for a walk, take a look around you and you may be surprised.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Lets Rainbow Ripple!

There is nothing like a tight deadline to focus the mind!

Crochet is my first love but last year I spent more time knitting that crocheting, so this year I decided that I would choose more crochet projects to do & so far I have managed it (only just).

One of my favourite things to crochet is blankets, crochet & blankets were made to be together son't you think? A work colleague is going to be a daddy for the first time in a couple of weeks and I thought it would be a good idea to make the baby a blanket. They know that they are having a little girl but they are not pink or blue kinda people so I decided that a colourful rainbow ripple was the way forward.

For this project I have used Rico creative cotton, which comes is a range of vibrant rainbow colours and I like the feel of the fabric it produces. I have used this yarn several times for baby blankets in the past, it feels nice and cosy and I image it would keep a baby snug & cosy! with only two weeks remaining I have 14 colour changes to complete and then I need to decide if I will add a border or leave it as it is (I guess time will dictate that to me). I really need to get a move on with this blanket!!

I have really lost my reading mojo lately so I have been reading through some magazines. The only magazine I subscribe to is Pom Pom Quarterly and the others I just buy adhoc, if there is something in there that peaks my interest. I recently discovered Flow magazine and picked it up based on the first article. It have proved to be a very interesting magazine indeed.

Today I am joining in with A Yarn Along. I'd love to hear about your reading and current projects.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Eugene is my New best friend!

It is true when they say sock knitting is addictive! patience is required though, especially when you are a slow knitter like me. I don't get a lot of knitting time these days and what little time I do get is diminishing fast as other things take over so when a pair of socks is produced I have a sense of delayed gratification. 

Coop Knits socks are especially good. I own her 2 sock books and I don't think there is a sock in either of the books I don't want to knit. I have knit the Dave socks (re named the eventually socks) for Mr M. Now the latest addition to the sock collection is Eugene socks this time for me. As with all of my latest projects they have been awhile in the making, I started them in February (so not my oldest project).

Coop knits socks are so gorgeous the only issue with them is that, other than the Dave sock, they are all patterned and there is very little plain knitting so they require a lot of concentration. The end results are simply amazing though! 

I have been very good and used stashed yarn (something I am trying to do a lot this year).Eugene was made with Old Maiden Aunts, handpainted yarn in 100% superwash merino. The colourway was Cold sheep. I have had this yarn for a little over a year now and Eugene seemed the perfect pairing for it. The colour of the yarn on these socks is spectacular, I think that coop knits socks require a solid/ semi solid colour way so that the pattern of the sock stands alone looking amazing. 

I am continuing with my WIP down so no new sock cast on for me until I have finished a few things from the basket of WIP's! 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

An Economy Run By Robots

Sebastian is working hard!
For some time now there has been concerns over the rise of robots in manufacturing plants and taking over the repetitive jobs that we do. Workers have concerns over what this means for them in the work place, reducing the amount of work for humans, however industry argue that through the cost savings business make and the increased productivity that full time employment will increase due to the rise in output. 

For me though, it could be argued that the economy is already run by robots. Today's company's expect more and more from their employees. Zapping creativity and individuality leaving very little energy for themselves at the end of the working day/week. In this way it could be argued that employers are in fact already employing robots because we as employees go to work everyday and loose out individuality, our creativity and our lives, Since we spend pretty much more time at work than we do with out loved ones.

I myself get up for work on a Monday morning and go through the same routines throughout the working week acting like a robot, I fight against it but at the end of the day I have very little energy left for myself and have given over Monday to Friday for work as I am capable of little else. I feel like a robot! 

The reality is that I am not a robot I am someone that at the heart of it, like everyone else, has the ability to be far more than I currently am and the world we live in in suffocating me. I work so that I can live but I believe that work is taking over all of our lives! 

One day this robot may find away to become a full time human being!

(Sebastian the Robot is a little fella that I made using Sara from Annaboo's House pattern. I used Rico creative cotton & he is super simple to make.)

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

When you don't know what to say

Get yourself & brew and settle down in a chair because I have eventually managed to write a blog post (shock horror!))!

It is no secret than when a space (lets say this blog) is left abandoned, unloved, lets be honest, totally neglected, that no one visits any more assuming (usually correctly) that no one resides there any more.

The longer it is left the harder it is to return, not knowing what to say any more.  The period in which you are absent gives you time to reflect and wonder why you wrote in the first place, do people really care what you write about?

So little house on the corner has been left for some time now, why? Well we could say work commitments, family life and many other excuses but the reality is that a sample lack of enthusiasm and anything to say. 

So rather than concerning myself with what has been I thought it best to start a fresh and dive straight in, joining in with A Yarn Along.

I love to read and find little time for reading an actual book, I do listen to audio books more and more these days. That said I am reading A proper physical book by Gretchen Rubin called 'Better Than Before'. The book tackles the issue of how habits are formed and broken. Appealing to two elements of my personality it is an addictive read. The marketer in me loves to understand why people behave the way that they do and then the control freak that I can sometimes be loves to understand why I do what I do. The book is informative and enjoyable, the only negative I have on it is that I find sometimes there is what I would call Filler content to pad the book out but ultimately I find it an intriguing read. 

One side is complete!

In terms of projects, I have not been that productive this year, I am currently on a WIP down, I have dragged out all my WIPS from my basket. I have decided that before I cast on anything new I need to finish a few things. Next in the firing line is my Peachy crochet top. I have been working on this since the 28th December 2015, then other things come along so it got pushed to one side. This week I have finished my Wispy cardi (Posted about it here) and my Eugene socks. I hope to show you these in the coming days as I get back into this blogging business!