Tuesday, 6 October 2015

All is well!

It's me again. 
Bobbing back and forth. 
Determined to get back into the swing of writing something interesting but continually getting distracted.
And I'm sure you know what with.
(Did I mention we have an allotment?)
So here, in a five minute nutshell, is what I've been up to.

Other things have been afoot of course.
There's a blanket in the making.
And a hat.
A tunic is being stitched.
And of course plenty of pickling and jamming.
And soon, very soon, I will get around to sharing.

Meanwhile I'm still here. 
Still enjoying popping over to your place and seeing what you've been up to.
Just keeping a little bit quiet. 
Which is not like me at all!

But all is well.
And I hope you are too!


Monday, 27 July 2015

Thank you - I did it!

I can't possibly thank all of you enough for the incredible amount of support I received on my last post. You may have noticed I haven't been here - I've simply been 'hunkering down' and dealing with one thing at a time. But last Monday - the event that had sparked off such anxiety - took place. 

And I was there!

My gorgeous eldest daughter graduated from King's College in London and I actually made the train journey there and back to attend the ceremony. I knew that if I hadn't gone the guilt would have been almost unbearable, and perhaps it was this that actually spurred me into taking some action. 

So - how did I do it?

I had hypnotherapy.

A colleague of my husband had recommended a very well known hypnotherapist who had helped her quit a thirty year smoking habit. And he lived locally. 

Worth a try? 

I remember saying on my very first session that I would be amazed if it actually worked! But he immediately made me feel as though I wasn't alone, and had complete faith in the fact that my issue was reversible. Through various relaxation and visualisation exercises he handed me the 'tools' to deal with my phobia. Instead of that dreadful feeling of 'fight or flight' I was able to utilise these to minimise it. This handed me back control - and with this confidence - which I was able to summon as needed. There were a couple of times during the day where I did need them - and they worked. My husband didn't even realise I was feeling anxious! Now I know that I can do this I know that I can do it again! It's a bit like setting out on a long bike ride without a puncture repair kit - wouldn't you feel better knowing that you had one just in case?!

There was no magic wand. Every night I squirrelled myself away and practised my visualisation. I can't tell you how much I would recommend this - whether you have a particular anxiety or not it was wonderfully relaxing and, like anything, became easier with practice. 

I still have worries about staying away overnight - that is my next 'challenge' if you like - but now I know that I have achieved something I had previously thought impossible, I am willing to accept it can happen. 

So - my advice to you? Please never feel that your fear is 'silly'. No matter what it is that makes you anxious it is very real to you. Speak to others. The amount of support and advice that you gave me here showed that people do understand, and that there are so many different ways of tackling an issue.

I  apologise that I have not managed to get around to replying to all of your comments but I had no idea how this story would end. As it is it hasn't ended. In fact it's begun a whole new chapter. And it looks brighter than it has done for a very long time!

Thank you!


Monday, 1 June 2015

A bit of a serious one.

Okay folks. If you're reading this I've obviously pressed publish.

 You've maybe noticed that I haven't been around much lately. I've been tootling along at the allotment and getting on with some bits and bobs but truth is it's been a bit rough of late. Physically we are all well and I thanks our lucky stars every day for that. But emotionally it's been a bit tough. In March I was told I had lost my beloved teaching job alongside six others at our school through some drastic financial cuts. I still have to teach until the end of term, so the whole affair is like pulling a plaster off very, very slowly. Of course we also lost our lovely Jessie a few months ago and although time is healing matters it still comes back and thumps you in the stomach sometimes. And although mum is now on the up we have had twelve months of scans, specialists and appointments to get her to this point.

But - and I have thought long and hard about whether I should share this - I also suffer from a ridiculous phobia. For many years now I have been unable to stay anywhere overnight. I feel an absolute fear if I am not able to go somewhere and get back the same day. This fear has now developed further and I find the idea of travelling any distance by train absolutely terrifying. I have tried to reason it so many times in my head but the fact is that these things - however strange they might appear - now act as a trigger for a huge amount of anxiety. Fortunately my life isn't dominated by these issues and my family are wonderfully supportive. However I have an event coming up in eight weeks - (that's right - eight weeks!) - that I can't possibly miss and it involves a two and a half hour train journey each way. Already I am feeling the anxiety kick in. I desperately want to enjoy this event and was just wondering if any of you have ever suffered something similar - and if so have you tried anything to help?

So there it is. A bit of a serious post but knowing how lovely you all are I feel sure that you will be able to offer some wise words.

And if you've stuck with it and managed to read this far - thank you.


Monday, 18 May 2015

I'm still here - it's just that I'm over there!

Truth is I've been distracted. 
Completely and utterly distracted. 
And for the last few weeks I've been spending the majority of my spare time over at the allotment. 
I know. 
I've kept it very quiet! 
I don't want to bore you with all of the details but if you do want to pop over and take a peek you can see me here.

Meanwhile I've been enjoying my own garden. 
What a fantastic time of year it is out there. 
So here's a few of my favourites.

Meanwhile I'm off to don a wet suit and lash some poles together ....
Hope you are enjoying the flowers wherever you are.

(All will be revealed soon!)

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The robin that came a bobbin'

As you know I love my garden birds and, after the recent disaster of the poor little blackbird chick, we have had the joy of a new clutch of robins. The mum and dad have been very attentive and become braver than ever fetching food. 

Then the other day this happened.

It was quite magical!

Hope that made you smile!

Back soon with some makes.


Monday, 27 April 2015

This was the weekend that was ...

It started with this.

The annual Floating Market was back!

A whole array of different traders turn up once a year to sell their wares - and of course look very pretty!

Of course Mike soon found his favourite.

And me!

Peek inside.

Of course one of the hidden treats is sitting in our garden listening to the conversations of people going by. No - it's not in the least bit nosey it's - errrr - ummmmm - being interested.

Closer to home we've had the robins nesting in the ivy. They are now so used to us that they are almost eating out of my hand. Not sure what the people walking by would think of me though - hand full of dried mealworms outstretched as I cheerily quip 'come on little fella.' I don't know how or when this actually happened but that seems to be my default response to any creature I now come across. 

Not sure what would happen if one of them answered me back. 

Here he is posing on the bird feeder (he's that tiny dot).

As for our poor old blackbird chick - sigh - he was doing very well until last Friday when we found him lying in the path. Not a scratch on him. So much so that Mike even tried to do a mini resuscitation. 

It didn't work :( 

Here he is in happier times (the chick not Mike).

Mike's a bit taller.

With a bit of a beard.

And trousers.


I've starting knitting a sock! Winwick Mum is hosting a wonderful sockalong - do pop over and see what she has posted so far. But in typical impatient fashion I wanted to get started. 

So I have. 

Feeling positive so far but haven't 'turned the heel' yet.

 Wish me luck.

And the 'eyelash from Oswestry' fabric has been cut out to make a simple skirt. Now I'm concerned it's more of a craft cotton, without much give, and I - erm - need a bit of give! I've decided I'm going to stitch very narrow seams in a bid to convince myself that my size hasn't gone up.

Other than that we've been spending a fair old chunk of time at the allotment. 

'The WHAT? You kept that quiet!'

We've even started to pick a few lettuce! I foresee a future where I develop a serious lettuce aversion in an attempt to not have to eat it three times a day.

And other than daily doings that's about the weekend summed up.

Hope you've had a good one.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Allotment Update!

The evenings have been too lovely to stay indoors so we've been creating mischief at the plot!

What's going up in your garden?


Sunday, 19 April 2015

A song, a journey and some fabric!

To the tune of For He's a Jolly Good Fellow.

I met a girl called Jo
Who told me what she knew
About a fabric gold mine
About a fabric gold mine
About a fabric gooooold miiiiiiiiine
In a place called Oswestry.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooo ...

I knew I had to go
A long way off I know
But I knew of a lovely cafe
I knew of a lovely cafe
I knew of a lovely caaaaaaaaaaaaafeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Where I ate and fed the ducks.

Theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen ...

I carried on my way
On such a lovely day
I asked for lots of directions
I asked for lots of directions
I asked for lots of direeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeections
To get me to my shop.

Whispers in awe - Textile Express  

I walked into a dream
Bulging at the seams
With every kind of fabric
With every kind of fabric
With every kind of faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabriiiiiiiiiiic
All at a bargain price.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd ...

I went from room to room
The choices made me swoon
With linen, silk and cotton
Corduroy and chambray
Lace and velvet and poooopliiiiiiiiiiin
I had to make a choice.

Soooooooooooooooooooooo ...

I didn't know where to start
So decided to follow my heart
I chose some jazzy cotton
And then some floral poplin
With lots of lovely lineeeeeeeeeeeen
And a couple of trimmimgs too!

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooow ...

My purse is nice and light
But what a lovely sight
I'm not sure what to do with it
I'm not sure what to do with it
I'm not sure what to do with iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit
Any suggestions please!

And as a final thank you for the tip off

For Jo's a jolly good fellow
For Jo's a jolly good fellow
For Jo's a jolly good fellooooooooooooooow
Pop over and say hello!

Find Jo over here.

(Apologies for the dire use of rhyme)


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Much Ado About Bloggers ...

... or as Mike would have me put 'blogging' as it is more akin to the original 'nothing' of the title.
This is the sort of conversation we were having at 5am. I couldn't get back to sleep and I was wondering how I could write about our lovely bloggy meet up that we had on Saturday in Stratford upon Avon - home of the great Bard himself. Amy and Jo have already written about it very eloquently so I was trying to think of a different angle. I thought about using the magic of song - but being a blog of the written word this proved tricky. So the Shakespeare link was broached. By 5.10am I was chuckling so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks. Looking back it must have been pure hysteria as the suggestions were at best mildly amusing, and at worst - not amusing at all. When Mike realised there had been ten of us he suggested The Tenpests. Whilst I sunk the lowest with Macblog.


We met and drank tea and visited Sew Me Something and nattered ten to the dozen and wandered through the park where there was wonderful music then travelled back to the 1940s and I ate some comical eggs and carried on nattering and took lots of photographs and received some wonderful gifts and had lots of hugs and then had to go home.

It was the best!

Sadly my camera decided to play up and wouldn't allow me to take more than a few pics but I hope they will give you a flavour.

And here we are!

Back row:
Mel from Mel Makes
Sarah from Sarah's Pigeonhole
Front row:
Gilly from Gilly Makes

And of course we can't forget our very lovely Ashley from Lazy Daisy Jones who joined us later and even brought along her pin up man!

Thanks so much to Gilly for organising such a warm and wonderful day.

And to the rest of you:


Monday, 6 April 2015

Allotment - April

The second visit to my lovely new allotment - just two months behind schedule.

Hope this finds you all springing into the new season!


Monday, 9 March 2015

Hen's Teeth Workshop

I've admired the work of Viv Sliwka from Hen's Teeth for a while now, so when a chance came up to attend one of her workshops I couldn't resist. 

Known for her use of  beautiful old textiles, combined with embroidery and other ephemera, she creates all manner of delights.

So it was that on a murky Saturday morning several weeks ago I set off for Weston Park

The brief had asked us to take along any bits and pieces that we would like to incorporate in our work, so I had spent the evening before cramming my basket with all sorts of 'tat'!

As I pulled up I was greeted by the friendliest black cat. Monty has 'adopted' Weston Park and, more particularly, it's visitors in exchange for lots of attention and the occasional titbit.

He showed me to the workshop and it was there that I suddenly realised everybody looked like they knew what they were doing, were incredibly creative and would soon be sniggering at my embarrassing attempts at French knots.

I needn't have worried.
The other participants were lovely. All had different levels of expertise and all were willing to share what they knew.

Viv was an absolute star. She encouraged us to just 'have a go' at something, take ownership and go with our instinct. I think this was my biggest barrier. I am so used to following a pattern and working within a framework that I found it quite difficult to just let go.

The only thing I knew was that I wanted to make a needle case. So, using some templates and a stamp that represented dear old Jessie, I got stuck in. 

Early thoughts

Or rather I stared at things a lot, had a look at what everyone else was doing and ate some cake.

Then got stuck in.

And do you know once I got started it was difficult to stop. I ate lunch between stitches. I drank coffee between stitches. And it was only as the workshop came to an end I realised that I hadn't even visited the ladies room between stitches!

There was cake. There was laughing. There was the inevitable discussion as to who was going to win the Great British Sewing Bee.

And I even found out how to do a French knot! 

I was a bit worried about the group photo as I knew my work wasn't in quite the same vein as the others but, do you know,  the more I looked at it the more I liked it! And it was for that very reason of having let go and creating something that was completely my own. Something I will definitely tap into in the future.

Can you spot Jessie Dog in the middle?

I completed the case over the following few days.
Want to see?

 If you ever get the chance to go to one of Viv's workshops grab it! You can find out more about them on her blog.

Meanwhile look what popped through the letter box the other day. 
Could I?
Bit scared!

 Watch this space!