I have been posting my completely random rural updates on my personal facebook page but realised that sharing them here could be fun.
Farm life is all about the glamorous clothing when it is first thing in the morning and animals need attention! Last night my chicks arrived home with chicks in a box, and this morning I actually got to see them!
It is another cold wet day today so my boy and some friends are building a fort inside . They insisted on picking roses to decorate inside their tents, and have gathered all the trinkets they can find!
Arrrggghhhh….I have a head that is whirling with ideas and dreams and plans, but have lost the ability to translate it into action! A house full of children all day, with their demands for food, water and time (such demanding little creatures they are) is sucking the ability to create out of me! Throw in some hot weather, some unwelcome news on a different front, and a nice dash of burn out and hey presto – nothing is being made.
Well – that is not quite true. Today I actually finished a bag that I started two weeks ago(!!). But I have made more mistakes in this bag than any bag I have previously made – including forgetting to put one half of the magnetic snap in the bag before finishing it all up! Then, after unpicking, inserting the snap, and resewing, I realised that it was not quite centred! Doh! Two things I just haven’t done before! (A sign that I need to keep sticking to doing one thing at a time). I love the fabric in this bag, but after all the endless unpicking and restitching, and re-doing (because there were other errors too) I can’t bring myself to sell this one to a customer who is expecting good quality. So it looks like I have a new bag for the new year! Oh well – there needs to be a silver lining after so many mistakes!
The good news is that I am loving my new sewing room. I go and sit in there and it is like a little wave of calm flows over me. It continues to be a great move, even if I am not actually making much in there.
And that means that I have been sitting in there to calmly work my way through my planning/thinking/dreaming workbooks. I mentioned these in my last post. A fellow creative friend put me onto the site run by Leonie Dawson who produces these wonderfully illustrated workbooks and calendars that you can buy as digital downloads for a very reasonable price. Given that I am a bit stuck at the moment ( you know – the whole burn out thing) and that I am pretty much allergic to planning (which is part of the reason that I tell you so often that I am doing it – partly to hold myself accountable and partly to desensitise myself to the concept) I was a little sceptical. But I am a sucker for clear vibrant colours and messages of hope and inspiration and support. So after reading testimonials, examining the site, and loving the illustrations, I decided that the risk was minimal and the colours were worth it. (How superficial can one planning-avoider be?!)
I was just intending to buy the business workbook, but given that I have announced to you all quite emphatically that 2014 is my year, I bought the life workbook on a whim too. I am working my way through the Biz workbook first (because I printed it first!) and have already had some lightbulb moments. Some of them turned out to be blown lightbulbs when I re-examined them, but that doesn’t matter – I was thinking and reviewing and not breaking out in hives.
You start by a review of the past year. Wow – I had lost track of how much I had done in the last year! Then start on your goals, dreams, and plans for the new year. Uh-huh. Now we are talking. While you might be able to do this with lots of different tools and planners, I am loving this one so far. It has me thinking about what I need – not just what the business needs. Powerful stuff being reminded to make time for yourself! On that basis alone I am happy to recommend the products (which I don’t do that often). Then of course there are the beautiful illustrations by Leonie. I would be happy to just be surrounded by them all day! So I have become an affiliate and put a link up on the side of my page so that if you want to buy them for yourself you can! (I am also thinking of the meditation course she sells – I would love to go to a health spa and do it that way, but on my current budget think that an e-course might be a more realistic place to start! I will let you know what I decide!)
I have talked before about how much I love lists – and this workbook involves making lists. So in my next post, all going well I will share my ‘list’ with you – again working on that accountability thing!
The other thing I am doing is buying fabric! Oops! When I sat down and did an inventory of what I had I realised that I am actually in need of updating my stash, replacing some that are almost at an end, and embracing the new season’s fabrics. What a task! (Mwahahaha as my son would say!) So online orders have been happening, and tomorrow we will hit Spotlight – which starts the new catalogue sale tomorrow and has goodies on sale that I need (because when it comes to fabric we always need, rather than want, don’t we?!)
In school holiday updates – the boy has beaten me in Uno, but lost to me in Carcassone in a close run game. The two girls joined us for a game of Carcassone tonight with two add-ons (extra tiles and rules and pieces that you can add to the basic game) and it was hilarious. I went all out and strategized my placement of pieces and for the first time it worked! I cleaned up and won convincingly. Yes – I know that it is sad that a grown woman is gloating about beating three children who are all under 11 – but they have been beating me in everything so it was time for a win for the oldie!
I hope that your week is going well and that your head isn’t whirling! Remember – one day at a time. (For me and for you!)
Although I am still focussed on making the bags that I listed in my last post, and have in fact been able to sew a couple in between wrangling children in the midst of a heatwave, I have also been designing and developing a completely different type of product from my norm, in response to a request from a friend. I have learnt to sew through plastic, to insert plastic snaps, and tonight am walking around the house with wet pieces of bamboo terry towelling sitting on my linen top so that I can see how much moisture wicks away! The things we do!! (Don’t worry, all will be revealed when I have finished my testing!) It is perhaps fortunate that we are experiencing the heatwave – doing this in winter would be dreadful, whereas now it is quite pleasant!
I have finished the blue canvas satchel, adorned with blue police boxes, that I gave you a sneak peak of earlier in the week and will take proper photos of that, and the other bag I am working on tomorrow, using my new light tent, but for now, as you have already seen at the top of the page – ta da!
My other news is that I received my photographs from the delightful Grace Costa, a wonderful and very talented photographer here in Canberra, who gathered a group of creative souls together last Sunday and took photos of us so that we could update our websites etc. I have updated my ‘About’ page, but thought that you might like to see the shot that I selected to use. (So glad that I went to the hairdresser that day!)
I hope that you have had a good weekend. Ours has been a combination of cleaning out and driving a trailer to the rubbish and recycling depot (where I demonstrated quite successfully that my ability to reverse a trailer has deteriorated) and organising the complex school holiday social lives of my chicks. This week has temperature predictions reaching 39 C (102F) so I am aiming for lots of cool indoor activities to help keep tempers and temperatures under control. Wish me luck!
The camping (or glamping) trip is over and the chicks have departed for a trip with their father for the remainder of the school holidays. The house is strangely quiet. Miss N is still here with me, but she is off doing something and the only sounds are the keyboard, the hum of the house staying warm, and the gusts of wind outside. It is lovely.
The camping adventure was just what we all needed. The weather was perfect, the sea was cold, the rockpools were teaming with life, the kangaroos weren’t too intrusive, our neighbours were nice, and the chicks met new friends amongst the other campers.
The obligatory kangaroo shot for my overseas readers!
The middle chick had been complaining at home of ‘being too stressed’ which is, while slightly amusing coming from an eight year old, a sad indication of how we were all feeling by the end of school last week. On the camping trip she smiled, laughed, relaxed and agreed with me that she felt much better. She learnt to ride a skateboard and had a great time doing laps of the campground and gaining confidence and speed. The boy found new friends everywhere for the first day or so, then found a lovely boy to play with, whose parents were equally lovely so we shared some time with them. I didn’t give the boy any of his ADHD medication while we were camping and he just ran, talked, scootered, dug, ran, and enjoyed each hour of daylight – then passed out in his stretcher. He didn’t need to be focussed on anything, and there was so much open space for him to burn up energy in, that I decided to just let him go. I think it was good for all of us. It was strange to be away without the eldest chick but she had a wonderful time on her road trip with her father.
Another sunset shot from Monday night because it was just so lovely I have to share!
Now, while I try to clear my head and get myself mentally stronger so that I can go back to work in a week or two with all the energy I need to do my job properly, I have time at home without the chicks. Time for crafting. Time for planning. Dangerous time really! My ‘to-do’ list is long. Too long. So I am going to dive in and see what I accomplish before something bright and shiny distracts me!
My plan (in no particular order): Finish the memory quilt. Take the boy’s quilt-top to the quilter to be quilted. Renew my driver license (because my birthday is soon and that is when it expires!) Make a present for the middle chick’s birthday. Prepare for the middle chick’s birthday party. Prepare a submission for a grant to support the boy. Make some bags for the Etsy shop, and for the December stall. Make some cushion covers for both. Make some overnight bags for both. Make some nappy mats for both. Make some zipped pouches. Make some ipad covers. Make, make, make, make. Finish my shelf stands and paint the shelves. Make a screen frame for the craft stall. Work on my business plan. Oil the front and back deck. Oil the kitchen bench. Oil the outdoor furniture. Mow the lawn. Clean the carpet. Tidy up the disaster that the boy created in his room before leaving. Change over the chicks’ wardrobes for the change of seasons. Relax and rest and get better. Join the gym. Go to the gym. Walk the dog. Prepare my papers for the accountant. Visit the accountant to do my tax return. Do some bulk cooking so the freezer is re-stocked. Go on a diet. Recover the lounge chairs. Plant a vege garden.
Hmmmmmmm……..I stopped typing, not because I ran out of things to type, but because as I typed I realised that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Again! Might need to work on priorities, or outsourcing, or ignoring some of the list.
Back to enjoying the serenity for a while as I contemplate that! I will, of course, let you know how I go!