Live

Today

March 18, 2016

Today I am so far inside my head that I am driving myself crazy. I am second guessing everything. I am on edge. I am paranoid. I am unable to focus.

Today is World Sleep Day. What a fucking joke.

Today I am sleep deprived, still ill and I feel like every second word needs to be a swear word. It could be the only thing that gets me through.

Today I wept as I left a crying kicking screaming Piran at school. This was just after I handed Kate over to a TA – she was wearing a Christmas jumper (not on the agreed uniform list, strangely enough) and yellow plastic star glasses that she insists she has to wear at all times or she cannot see. Kate that is, not the TA. I barely even said goodbye.

Today I feel like hell.

Today follows last night – where Kate decided that she can no longer sleep in a bed that has steps. So she slept in our bed on Mr C’s side, and Mr C slept on my side, which he didn’t like and ruined his sleep. Piran slept on the floor of his room on a mattress and I slept in his bed. Which is the most uncomfortable bed in the house. And I was so cold that I couldn’t sleep until I had encased myself in 2 duvets and two quilts and went to sleep listing the things that I HATE ABOUT CHILDREN AND SLEEP*. Piran also banged his head on a cupboard in the middle of the night and kept me up with his slightly maniacal sleep laughing.

Today I am in a very bad mood.

Today follows this week, one that started with Mr C sick in bed all day Monday and then me all day Tuesday and Wednesday. I still feel so ill that my legs don’t really want to hold me up. This too makes me really bloody cross. I have no energy. When I do something I get out of breath. Then I have to sit down and really nothing is getting done.

Today feels like the bottom of the slope again. All of the bedtime progress, all of the traction we had gained over the last two weeks is just gone again. Piran didn’t go to sleep until 10.30 again last night and the tricky behaviours are coming back. Illness means no energy, no energy means no routine, no routine means ARMAGEDDON*.

Today I feel completely hopeless.

Today is the end of the week, next week there are 3 days at school and then the holidays. 2 weeks in which we are away which will completely bugger up any kind of bedtime routine so maybe I should just give up all together.

Today the children have friends over after school and with those friends come their mums who are my friends. Who will say nice encouraging things and drink wine with me. And so perhaps, today will get better as it goes along.

Yesterday, the Hellebores looked stunning in the late afternoon sun.

Yesterday, the Hellebores looked stunning in the late afternoon sun.

*Today makes me prone to exaggeration.

 

Live

Real Life

March 13, 2016

It is Sunday evening.

The kitchen is a complete mess.
We have had a weekend full of good food, easy mealtimes and children that have started making their own drinks and snacks.

The laundry pile has burst out of the cupboard door and across the hall.
I know that there is enough uniform for the kids and shirts for Mr C for Monday. I chose being out in the sunshine instead of doing the laundry.

The bedrooms are complete chaos and the beds are still unmade.
We played bed hopping and floor sleeping all weeekend because my dad and step mum came to stay for the first time in almost five years.

The table is covered in paper and pens and books and paint, I can’t put anything down.
We have sat together at the table all weekend, chatting and drawing and creating. We played games, Piran made a book, Kate drew pictures for her Grandparents.

The kids bags are still hanging at the bottom of the stairs when I put them when we got home on Friday.
We walked home and then hung out together, read books and watched tv and had cuddles instead of doing all the jobs. It was lovely.

Every towel in the house has been used.
That’s what happens when you have guests, and now my tumble dryer has been replaced they can all be back in the cupboard by the end of tomorrow.

There isn’t a single vaguely tidy room in the house.
Poor Mr C has had a cold and been in bed all weekend, we had guests and I managed to keep everyone alive and fed.

The scooters are still left outside the front door.
We have spent more time outside this weekend than we have in ages. Even Piran didn’t complain about going out this weeekend for a walk and a scoot and an ice cream at the seaside yesterday. And then we went out again today.

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My sewing is on the floor under the chair.
I actually managed to get my sewing out one evening and do some!

There is a pile of paperwork on the dresser.
All from the solicitor and once I have had a look through it and replied tomorrow we will be one small step closer to selling our house and buying the next one.

My to do list for work is getting longer by the minute.
I have had a lovely weekend with family, the kids have on the most part been a joy to be with and the days have been full of fun. IMG_7914

The kids didn’t have their Sunday bath this evening.
They thought that it was Christmas because I let them watch another episode of Scooby Do while I had a glass of wine and laughed my ass off to Room 101 in the kitchen. #winwin

The floors need cleaning.
I got inspired to write a blog post and I did.

Create

Making – What it means to me

March 11, 2016
Recent Work

Some of my recent City & Guilds work

One of my favourite podcasts – A Playful Day has just relaunched and as part of The Maker’s Year Kate is encouraging us to share with her and with each other what making means to them.

I was having a cuppa with a mum friend after school a couple of weeks ago and we were talking about when we were at school. She is a Politics teacher and therefore academically minded. I made a comment about how I was the same at school, how I loved Maths and Physics and was completely rubbish at anything ‘arty’.

She was really surprised. Because me now is very different to the me then. Before I had Piran I couldn’t use a sewing machine, did nothing that was arty or crafty at all and in my spare time I was studying Maths with the OU. Fast forward six years and I am now known as a creative person. I think that is so funny, and so brilliant. She just assumed I had always been this way. I wear it so well 🙂

These days I know that making, creating, sewing, crocheting, writing, drawing, playing, painting, cutting, sticking are all things that make my life better. I know that my mental health (as wobbly as it is) would be so much worse without these things in my life to feed my soul and rest my mind. Over last summer I took a real dive, and my anxiety was through the roof. One thing that saved me was working on my sketchbook as part of Sketchbook Club. I have always found getting absorbed in an activity to be the best way to relax and recharge.

I thought that when Kate started school I would have lots of time. In actual fact I have sewn so little in the last six months. A myriad of reasons exist why, but thankfully one of those is the fact that I am 2/3 of the way through my first year of my City & Guilds in Textiles. With that and working and children that take hours to go to sleep I have little time to create, and so I am glad that some of the things each week that I ‘have’ to do are creative.

I cannot tell you how much I am loving my course. There are 9 of us, and the tutor and everyone is lovely. I go once a fortnight to class and I would say that I have about 2 days worth of homework to complete between each session. It is never a chore though, and the design work has been a real revelation for me. It took me a while to get settled into the fact that is wasn’t so much about the end project, it is about the creative journey, which has to be recorded and analysed each time.

We have to complete a wall hanging for one of our final pieces. Never one to make life easy for myself I have chosen a large-scale project which consists of 3 meter square panels that go along side each other. It represents me and my depression and anxiety and how being creative helps me manage myself and my mental health. It is a very personal piece and could be quite complicated but making it will definitely be a lot of fun. It is called #makegoodfeelgood in response to the hashtag run late last year that encouraged people to share their connection to craft and how it helps their mental health (also started by A Playful Day!)

I will share the process as I go, if anyone is interested. There is nothing more exciting to me than the feeling of something I have dreamt up in my head becoming a reality.

Finally, in answer to Kate’s question, What does making mean to me?

Everything.

Live, Yours Truly

Sorry. NOT Sorry.

March 3, 2016

Every single day at the moment is a struggle. Things are not going well and I am desperately trying to stay on top of everything despite our home life being really, really hard work.

That’s one way to start a post.

And it is the way I feel like I should share everything at the moment. Why do I insist on adding some kind of disclaimer at the beginning or end of something?

I am sick of apologising.

Not if I actually do something wrong, I am actually quite good at owning it and saying sorry.

I am sick of apologising for my choices in life. I am sick of feeling like I have to apologise for the way my life turned out. I know I am lucky but why does that stop my feeling being valid? I am sick of feeling like I cannot be honest with people because I might sound ungrateful or insensitive. We all have our shit, why do I feel like I am not entitled to be honest about everything.

I want to say – I am still not coping.

I say – Well I am so lucky that I didn’t need to go back to work and I know how lucky I am but I still don’t manage to keep it all together. Ha ha.

I want to say – Being a mum is the hardest thing ever in the world and some days I just don’t think I can do it.

I  say – I know how lucky I am that I got pregnant easily and had two healthy happy children but I am finding it really hard at the moment.

I want to say – I really need some support and cheering up, being a parent is slowly wearing me down and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I say – Being a mum is a rollercoaster but this is the life I chose and so I shouldn’t complain.

I want to say – Oh my god being back at college learning something is amazing. I feel like I have found my place in the world and it feels great. I finally feel engaged and excited and creative and it is amazing and I am ROCKING it.

I say – Yes I am really loving college it is fun. It is so nice to do something for me. I am so lucky I have the opportunity.

*head desk*

I think what I am asking is this. If I come here and shout from the rooftops that things are good will you understand that doesn’t mean all the time? If I come here and write about how parenthood is a complete mindfuck and I wonder if I will ever be the same, and you wish you could have children and can’t, will you still understand me? If I come on and write about how bad my week has been will you still want to employ me?

Is this all in my head? This need to apologise to everyone out there? Are you out there thinking the things I think you are thinking?

Or are you all just living your lives wondering what other people are thinking about you and not thinking much about them at all.

Because as I write this I realise that is exactly the case. I read your tweets, look at your Instagram, read your blog posts. I hit like because I get it, I leave a comment to say you are not alone. I am by no means perfect but neither do I judge every single person I know, in real life and on the internet all the time. Jeez, I barely have time to string a coherent thought together most of the time.

I read something somewhere recently (must have been online as that’s where I read everything), and it suggested that instead of apologising all the time we should instead thank people. So instead of me saying to Mr C – “I am sorry that I am bat shit crazy most of the time” I should say “Thank you for being there and understanding my oddness”. And instead of saying “Sorry I am late” say “Thank you so much for waiting for me”. And so on. This has really stuck with me and although I forget daily I am really trying to do this more. I think it is brilliant. It is about being grateful instead of sorry and I love that.

And so, I am going to try to write here, free from the worries about what everyone is thinking and feeling and I am just going to be myself and share my shit. And if you feel I am being self-centred or tactless I think it might be time for you to read something else. And if you worry too much about me because of my posts, don’t read, just ask me how I am. And if I work for you then I promise to tell you if I cannot manage.

Sorry that this post is a long and jumbled brain dump. Thank you for reading to the end. You are all amazing.

Me. Tired, cold and pale but hanging on in there.

Live

A difficult start

February 22, 2016

2016 has been a bit tricky so far. It started with a burst pipe on the 3rd January which resulted in all our floors downstairs being ripped out and big dehumidifiers and fans moving in for 4 weeks to dry us out. The good news is that 7 weeks later we are dry and the rooms have been decorated and the floors are going down today.

The house however is utter chaos, we have been moving things round and round for weeks and now I have no idea where everything is. As soon as the floor is down I have a day to get back up straight and then we have to be in tip top condition on Thursday as we have people coming to view our house.

Yep, while everything was utter bonkers and disorganised mayhem we found a house around the corner that is bigger and we made an offer which was accepted and now we really need to sell our house.

It is no wonder that I feel like I have so much in my brain that I do not know what to write. On top of all this there has been college and work and the kids. Who are delightful and also complete nightmares. Piran gets so cross and they both refuse to go to bed. I can’t even begin to say how much this is affecting me and Mr C. I am just taking each day at a time for now. There was half term in Cornwall, lots of bad weather, broken fences. I really hate February. It is officially the worst month in my book.

I have a lot to do, and time to do it in as long as I stay organised. However I am going to try and add a little more regular blogging to my list because it is good for me and I like to share. Something has been holding me back recently but I am yet to work out what that is and why I feel this way.

The best thing though is college. I am halfway through the first year of my City & Guilds Level 3 in Textiles and I love it. So much. It is a complete thrill to do something just for me. After a bit of a wobble at the start I have been completely emersed and it is brilliant. I am learning so much and could happily play all day long. I have filled one A3 sketchbook already. I will share it soon, which should be a great way to get me blogging again.

For now I will just leave you with this beautiful sunny picture to distract from the grey outside and then I will go and do some proper work. Spring is coming, and soon the start of the year will be a distant memory.

Reviews and Sponsored

Scarily Good Pancakes

February 9, 2016

I am a strong believer that pancakes should be eaten with every meal on Pancake Day. If not as every meal on pancake day. (I once made a spinach and ricotta pancake bake thing. Not very successful if I am honest so these days I just stick to the normal ones). This is my go-to pancake recipe.

To celebrate the release of Hotel Transylvania 2 the pancake artist Sai has made this amazing video. I can watch these speeded up cooking videos all day long, and this one is no exception. Kate loved shouting out the names of her favourite characters.

We had a go ourselves at making some slightly less ambitious monster pancakes. It was a lot of fun, but I really have very few skills in this area!

Photo 09-02-2016, 07 12 56

If you’d like to have a go at monster-themed pancake art yourself, please share using the hashtag #HotelT2Pancakes

Hotel Transylvania 2 is out now on Digital HD and on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray & DVD 15th February. I have a copy to giveaway to one of my readers.

HOTEL T2 CDR6386_3D

To win a copy just click on the blue bird to tweet, or leave a comment below telling me your favourite pancake topping. The giveaway is open until Midday GMT on Friday 12th February. I will contact the winner via email or Twitter.

Tweet: I would love to win a copy of Hotel Transylvania 2. Monster Pancakes with @Kellyfairy at A place of my own #HotelT2Pancakes

Frank (Kevin James and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) watch the birthday celebration of Dennis (Ashler Blinkoff, center) with Wanda (Molly Shannon), Dracula (Adam Sandler), Mavis (Selena Gomez), Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Picture Animation's HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2.

Frank (Kevin James and Jonathan (Andy Samberg) watch the birthday celebration of Dennis (Ashler Blinkoff, center) with Wanda (Molly Shannon), Dracula (Adam Sandler), Mavis (Selena Gomez), Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Picture Animation’s HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2.

Live, Yours Truly

Clinging on for dear life

February 8, 2016
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Feels like we are all hanging on for dear life in this weather.

I don’t know if I can write this post, but I have to write something.

I am stuck because writing helps me, reaching out to friends online helps me. But I don’t think that I want this ‘out there’ in the public domain. Writing about how I am feeling and what is happening in my life has become such a part of me. But I wouldn’t want people to read about it and worry too much about me. I wouldn’t want my children to read it some day. In the past I have been completely honest and written about everything but there is a point where it is not just writing about me, it is writing about other people and it doesn’t feel right anymore.

Just read that back – overly cryptic and dramatic much? In short, still depressed, struggling as a parent to deal with behaviour at home, sleep deprived, bedtime even more of a shambles as ever.

So I don’t know where that leaves me and this blog. I miss writing, I miss posting. I am doing lots of interesting things that I could write about but in a way it would feel wrong, I have always been honest. I don’t want to be false, I don’t want to be one of those people that just shows the highlights and not the real bits of life. Like I am having such a tricky time that my depression scores have nearly tripled in the last month. I don’t want to show lots of lovely crafts and sewing and share the things we have been making at home without some kind of disclaimer that says, this was the best hour of our entire weekend, the rest made me cry.

This post makes little sense but I do want people to know why I haven’t been posting. I will post tomorrow, because it is pancake day and I have a post arranged. Mmmm pancakes.

Create

Finish Along 2016 – Quarter 1

January 14, 2016

Here we go again. Hold onto your hats, it is Finish Along 2016.

FAL 2016

I am starting small this year, sewing time is taken up by college work some of the time, so I have cut back a bit.

  1. Simply Solids Collection Quilt – this is a 9 part block of the month, learning hand applique as I go, so by the end of the year I might have the quilt completely finished! I have done parts 1 & 2 so far.

    By hand My first block is complete for the #simplysolidscollection BOM. First attempt at hand appliqué was actually a lot more enjoyable than I thought it might be. Not as straight as I hoped but not bad for a first go. #simplysolidsmakes #kellyfairysews #kellyfairylearns

    By hand
    My first block is complete for the #simplysolidscollection BOM. First attempt at hand appliqué was actually a lot more enjoyable than I thought it might be. Not as straight as I hoped but not bad for a first go. #simplysolidsmakes #kellyfairysews #kellyfairylearns

  2. Bee Hive Quilting Bee Quilt – top sewn together, I just need to baste, quilt and bind. I might make it for Kate’s birthday and have a go at quilting myself.
  3. Crochet Star Bunting – this is nearly finished, just need to block the stars and string it all together.
  4. Sew Together Bag – I feel that sufficient time has passed for me to attempt another of these. Planning for it to be a present.
  5. Stitch Love hanging decorations. Kate has asked me to make her some stitched decorations.
  6. Lined Drawstring Bag for Kate – to replace a previous one I made that I have re-purposed.

I will not finish the first couple this first quarter but it is nice to have a list of what I plan on having a go at. There will also be college samples and Bee blocks to keep me sewing.

Create

Finish along 2015 – The Finish Line

January 5, 2016

Of the 11 projects I had on my Q4 list I actually finished 5. One is a secret sewing project so no pictures and one I forgot to photograph. That said I did complete the 3 projects that just kept rolling over from quarter to quarter last year and I am really pleased with them and how they turned out.

Completed top - this was hand tied and bound sometime in October.

Completed top – this was hand tied and bound sometime in October. I really should do a finished photo, but I was too busy using it.

{Handmade} A quilt for my SIL's 40th, finished yesterday and gifted today (phew!) Super quilting by @trudi_wood, design, piecing and binding by me. Love giving handmade gifts but it's always a bit nerve wracking. She seemed pleased though. #handmadechristmas #ayearofmoments_festive #littlestoriesofmylife #quilt #kellyfairysews

{Handmade} A quilt for my SIL’s 40th, finished yesterday and gifted today (phew!) Super quilting by @trudi_wood, design, piecing and binding by me. Love giving handmade gifts but it’s always a bit nerve wracking. She seemed pleased though.

{Dreams} Last year two of these blocks were a table topper. I loved them so much that I wanted to turn it into a whole quilt. 12 months on, a quilt completed. Every time I worked on this I imagined cuddling up under it watching Christmas films and pictured it draped over the back of the sofa. I love it so very much. Screen printed Christmas Trees, made by me after my @karenlewistextiles class, made into wonky star blocks and sashed by me @simplysolids #simplysewinretreat, quilted by @trudi_wood, bound by me. It's one of the best things I have ever made, a dream made into a reality, and I feel so proud. #handmadechristmas #simplysolidsmakes

{Dreams} Last year two of these blocks were a table topper. I loved them so much that I wanted to turn it into a whole quilt.
12 months on, a quilt completed. Every time I worked on this I imagined cuddling up under it watching Christmas films and pictured it draped over the back of the sofa. I love it so very much. Screen printed Christmas Trees, made by me after my @karenlewistextiles class, made into wonky star blocks and sashed by me @simplysolids #simplysewinretreat, quilted by @trudi_wood, bound by me. It’s one of the best things I have ever made, a dream made into a reality, and I feel so proud.

All in all, over the year I completed 25 projects and linked them up. I love the focus that the finish along has bought to my sewing over the year. I am not sure how this year will pan out, with college and work taking up a lot of my spare time but I think I will continue to join in and link up.

I am linking up with Adrianne from On the Windy Side.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

 

And ready for next year, hosted by not one but nine quilty hosts:

FAL 2016