I can tick two things off my list for today (and there is still half a day left, so I am confident that the third thing will be reached too!)
I have designed the school bag for the wounded middle chick, and hope to get to a prototype in the next few days, that I will share with you. But more importantly I have successfully used the Scan’n’Cut to produce an applique! No melted iron on glue, no double lines that splintered the fabric and no stress!
And here are the promised photos to prove it!
I ironed the correct side of the iron on sheet to the back of the fabric that I wanted to use, and while I was cooling, loaded the bike image into the machine and chose the right outlining option (yay!). I then removed the backing paper from the now cooled fabric, and put the fabric on the (still slightly messy) adhesive mat. I fed it into the machine, selected my pattern and hit the ‘cut’ button.
Roughly two and a half minutes later it finished, and I (using the right tool – a spatula) lifted the excess fabric from around the outline.
I then (still using the right tool) lifted the inner pieces out of the design.
Then I lifted the end result off the mat, ready to be ironed onto a piece of fabric and stitched into place.
Total process? 10 minutes. Wow! I just saved myself about an hour (especially when I followed the instructions and used the right tools!) I am giving my new purchase the thumbs up!
I have to finish the bags I am sewing (one of them is for the eldest chick’s birthday in two days) before I do any appliqueing but stand by for further reviews!
I hope that your day has also had success stories in it. And remember – there is still half a day to go, so you can still make your own success story – there is always time!
Half way through the week already? The long weekend means that while the week feels like it is just starting, it is half way over. Which, on a cold, wet day, when staying in bed with a good book, or curling up on the couch with a dvd and some crochet is more appealing than venturing out to school and work, is a good thing!
Tonight I am pondering the little things that can happen in a day to turn a frown into a smile. While my day was not a bad day (I didn’t have to leave work to address issues with any children – yay!) by the time I got home I was feeling a bit flat. Contemplating the ongoing juggle of trying to be a competent employee and leader while also being a supportive parent to a child with ‘issues,’ and the way this is perceived by my colleagues, had me overthinking my work-life balance once again. This is not a struggle special to me – so many parents face it on a day to day basis. Trying to be a good employee, and a good parent, when the two don’t always sit well together. Combine it with a healthy dose of judgement from the media, other parents, extended family, and so many of us feel that we can’t win, no matter which way we turn.
Of course, my life is actually quite good. I have a supportive work environment, where I can have flexible working arrangements, where my staff understand that sometimes when my phone rings I need to run out the door, where I am paid very well to do a job that I like. The ‘issues’ that my family face are not insurmountable. No one is terminally ill. My children are healthy, intelligent and loving. We have a warm home, good food, warm clothes and the ability to be safe. I have found a creative outlet that keeps me sane when the walls seem to be closing in. The fact that some of my colleagues don’t see it that way is really about them, not about me.
But my mind was working through all of this, and I was wondering whether I was kidding myself that I can keep making things, be respected professionally, keep my kids safe and supported, when one little thing came along to make me stop, celebrate a success and remember that, in fact, I don’t really care about my ‘image’, but I do care that I am succeeding in many ways in my life.
The little thing? I opened up the Etsy website, and there, on the front page, in a handpicked treasury of bright and lovely things, was one of my bags. Yes. One of MINE!! The kids were thrilled, I was excited, and the world stopped spinning out of control and returned to it’s normal axis. (It was featured as part of a treasury that you can seehere.)
I let go of all the overthinking, all the teasing the problem until a new angle could be found, and just smiled and got happy. Perspective is a wonderful thing!
And having a clear head means that I can celebrate my other small successes of the last few days, and that we had a lovely family evening because I was no longer flat. At dinner we have a tradition of each of us reporting our ‘best thing’. The artist-in-residence had us enthralled with the report of her drama class, the boy had a list of 16 ‘best things’ that had us all smiling, and the eldest chick waited patiently to tell us the news of her class’ work in preparing for their theatrical performance. So lovely to just sit and enjoy our time together – no TV, no fighting, and no stress.
On a personal level, I had my first appointment with a personal trainer yesterday in a new bid to start improving my fitness. I was very upfront about the need for the children to attend the sessions with me, and I think (hope) it is going to work. The amusing part was watching the boy, at 6, spending most of his time wanting to lift weights in front of the mirror. It starts early!
My recent efforts in getting more organised about this blog have paid off too, with a few new followers (hi and welcome!) and realising that sometime this week I passed the 200 follower mark (combining facebook and the blog). Another sign that I am doing okay in my own small way!
On the crafting front I am making up a custom order for a colleague who wants a bag for weekend wear, and wanted a zip up pouch to go in it (at my suggestion). So, here is the pouch I made – without a pattern. Something small – but I am proud of it!
And finally – I offered to crochet a beret beanie for a friend who dropped in the other day and was admiring the black one I made for the artist-in-residence. While the children were training at martial arts last night I sat and started a new hat. And, in a first, did not have to unpick it once! I have about three rows to go to finish it, but for now – looking a little like a purple sea creature – here is the beret.
So, as the mid-week ‘hump’ goes, my week is alright. As I fall towards the weekend my approach will be to continue putting one foot in front of the other, remembering that my family is more important than anything else in my world, and that I am one of the lucky ones. I wish you a great second half of the week, and lots of things that you can celebrate as successes.
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