Tag Archives: energy

Two steps forward, one step back

My small start back into sewing went quite well last week.  I made a few more iPad covers, remembered (well – was reminded) that I still ‘owed’ my kids a few promised sewn projects, and started developing some new designs.

One of the products that I want to develop is a man’s wallet.  (I also want to make a woman’s wallet/purse but with Father’s Day around the corner thought that the men’s products had to take priority!)  I played around with some ideas and then made this prototype.

01f32406710fefd058d74a1d9c3c599894889ae81d 01c80a1d274faee49861f47c05c07a562b87fb0abe

I put it up on my Facebook page and asked for feedback.  Quite a few of my lovely female followers responded, with many of them commenting that it needed a closure of some description.  There were also comments on fabric, leather, colour etc, but I am not too concerned about those as simply making items with different combinations addresses that issue.  However I was concerned about the fastening issue, so I put a post on my personal Facebook profile, asking for input from males on the question of fasteners on wallets.  The first response was ‘No fastener for me. If you need one of those you’re not a man.’  And the following 40+ responses followed that pattern, except for one friend who responded that he had a fastener, then read the other comments and made various ‘manly’ statements to reclaim his manhood.  The respondents were of varied ages, educations, locations, backgrounds etc, so I think this is a fairly definitive indication that men do not like fasteners on their wallets!   I will tinker a bit with the design and hope to make some more this week, and will be sure to label the wallets as ‘man approved’ so that the women buying them don’t think they should have a fastener!

I also put out some feelers on whether people preferred baby bibs to fasten on the back or the side.  The responses were mixed, so I have decided for my next range of bibs to do a bit of both!  This was a custom order, but I plan to make a few more, and make some square ones with teether chews.

01b023bb27cfedac2beea42ded8e9af389b6de4110

I then had a great Saturday afternoon and produced a Kindle cover, shoulder bag, and library bag for my chicks (finally!!)

011cedd40adce9e29f9bcdeb72df8d0b5b173e2bb8

The shoulder bag as a work in progress

01953d2d8a51e60f4b98c326676c85866d1f90ae89

Kindle cover

0123b2708739c4f19fe04835624fca327e230cc47a

Library bag for the boy using the fabric he chose some weeks ago.

My steps forward were going well.  But I feel like I am going backwards this week.  The boy only managed to last 40 minutes at school today.  Last week he was there most days for between one and two hours, so I had some time to get things done.  This week, although we have only just started, I am feeling much more dejected about my ability to sew, to earn a living on my own terms, and to keep everything afloat.  I have finally decided to apply for some government benefits to help out.  While part of me feels grateful that the services are there, the other part of me is falling into a deep well of self pity wondering how I went from high-flying lawyer to government benefits.  Of course I know the logical answers – parenting a child with special needs means a change of course – but it is still sucking the energy out of me.    My mission this week, then, is that, in between filling out many, many, many forms, and organising my financial records for my tax return, I will find time to make things that are fun, and will re-energise me.

One of my ideas is to make a few more stencilled bags.  I made these two over the weekend as gifts, and enjoyed it, so a few more will be fun!

01a61a703a0f4f646b99698c1da4504f4d741f5624 010a1726190a702448c685b1dda267e7a3eaa6d8c7

I have also been playing with ideas for handwarmers and road tested a couple  with my boy and his friend yesterday – and received positive feedback from them, so will try to make a few more – sure to get me up and going!

0105fb3b7e9e99fc61bef2a468cacd6998a5847263

Right.  Here I go, off to get re-energized and move forward again!

 

February frame of mind

I have kicked off the new month with a big session of de-cluttering, and catching up with people who are important to me.  Those of you who receive my newsletter you will know that I had set myself the task of de-cluttering my wardrobe after reading some very sensible tips on de-cluttering.  I am proud to say that I did it!  I was ruthless.  Amongst the clothes that I have put in the ‘donate’ pile were two dresses I have had for 15 years, a suit about 16 years old and a skirt I have had for 18 years.  Yes – I am a hoarder.  But no more.  In addition to the old bits and pieces (that I haven’t worn for years and really just carry around as a comfortable habit) I also assessed newer pieces in my wardrobe.  I have two beautiful designer label skirts bought at different times about three years ago.  I can count on one hand the number of times I have worn each.  No matter how beautiful they are, they are obviously not right for me, so they have gone too.

01a937b69958473c65079f1b51fd00c3bce96363ec   The “Before” shot

   0118cca41cc3547f26a81692a2dbd7f507fbfc4f48_00002    010e99e5c10f49039a0e22cb1f1fa7e3d45d3a3fdb_00001

And “After”

I even sorted out shoes.  The walking boots that I wore around Europe in 1998?  Gone.  My wedding shoes that I didn’t really like and hurt my feet and have just gathered dust ever since?  Gone.  Those beautiful neutral peep toe wedges that start each day feeling great and end with me thinking that my two little toes have been amputated?  Gone.  And finally, the completely impractical, spur of the moment, never ever worn pink satin and diamante stiletto strappy shoes?  Also on their way out the door.  Because if they haven’t been worn in 3 years, they aren’t likely to ever be worn.

0178ddbd959a5a6f4514f29d9e0bba4dbf25e0b73f_00001

Farewell

 And you know what?  I feel great!  Isn’t it funny how one little bit of tidying up and sorting out can make your head feel lighter?  My plan is to keep going, one room, or one cupboard at a time, and work my way through the house.  Some things will be donated, others will be freecycled, and others will be repurposed, but I will be looking at everything in my house and assessing whether it has a purpose, a place, a need, or a plan.  Shock, horror, I am even eyeing off my overflowing bookshelves – all five of them ……..

My other part of starting the month off well was to spend time with people who are important to me.  Last night I had dinner with some very dear friends (and ate one of the best home-cooked meals I have ever had – seriously 5 star restaurant quality) and reconnected with them after our holiday break, our busy family lives, our respective personal dramas of 2013.  It was just what I needed.  Then today I rang one of my oldest friends and we talked, as we always do, for well over an hour.  We caught up on each other’s news, family, work issues, relationships, tragedies, and dramas, and offered each other insight, advice and support.  If we can’t be in the same room then just having that connection with her voice was the next best thing.  Another very dear long term friend popped in for a cup of tea this afternoon, just to spend time catching up with each other, while another rang for a quick chat this evening.

I am so incredibly lucky that I have so many amazing women (and a few men) in my life who share their lives with me as I share mine with them.  I look at what some of us have dealt with over the years and am amazed at the fact that there are still smiles, jokes, support, love and optimism.  They are all very good at pointing out to me when I am being ridiculous or overreacting or missing the obvious, but they are all the first to offer up their own human frailty for examination too.

The results of this day?  No sewing, but a wonderful sense of peace and joy (and a tidy house!) – which means that tomorrow should see great things in the sewing department!!  All of this was topped off by a text message from my boy that attached a video that he made for me of his Lego characters having a battle, complete with the best line, delivered in a deep serious voice “Now we need to go and get the Mega Weapon.  And icy poles.  We need a Mega Weapon that makes icy poles.”  He makes me laugh!

I hope that your day has been energising, and full of lovely moments.  If it hasn’t then my suggestion is to ring someone you love who you haven’t spoken to in a while, and let the conversation flow.  It works for me!