Yours Truly

Countdown to 10 year anniversary

May 20, 2015

10 years black

My life is so full right now. What with sewing and the kids, the house, walking and I have been working as a personal assistant a few hours a week. So my blog gets a little neglected unfortunately. That is the way of things, and one of the things that I love the most about this blog – that how often I post is a great representation of the ebb and flow of our life.

But there is one thing that cannot be ignored and that is that in a few weeks time this blog is going to be 10 years old.

TEN YEARS.

When I think of what has happened to me in 10 years it is amazing. From single girl to married mum of a 4 year old and a 5 year old. I don’t think that there is anything other than education and reading that I have done for 10 years. It just goes to show that this is something really special and important to me. Crikey, I even tell people about the blog these days!

Anyway, the actual 10 year point isn’t until the start of July, but to help me celebrate I have asked ten people that I have met through blogging and the internet to pop in and share a post with you all. So, over the next few weeks expect a few different voices around here. I am completely humbled and totally thrilled that everyone I have asked has said yes. Each post with have a top 10 theme, and I cannot wait to share their posts with you.

I really hope that you will enjoy them. And for now I will leave you with my first ever post.

*snort*

Thankfully even I can say I got better.

Live

Stories

May 13, 2015

Podcasts

I have discovered that I have thing about stories. Not fiction, although I love books, but true stories told by the people that they happened to.

It started after I listened to Serial, which I enjoyed but it didn’t sit quite right with me. I think that it was because these were people’s stories told by someone else. It did get me hooked on podcasts though so over the past few months I have been discovering new interesting ones to listen to. Podcasts are perfect for when I am out walking. My favourite ones by far are collections of stories. People from all walks of life, different countries, ages, race and religions.

I started with This American Life. Hosted by Ira Glass it is a weekly podcast that is based around a theme and has a number of ‘acts’. One of my favourite stories I listened to was one called ‘Do you hear what I hear?‘ about a man obsessed by some hold music. We listened to this in the car on the way home from holiday and later that week I was on hold and heard the same music. I was so excited!

This started my love of true life stories and so I went looking for more. My absolute favourite is The Moth. A weekly podcast of usually three stories, told live in front of an audience at various events. There are so many stories that I have loved on this podcast. This week I loved It matters a great deal (in fact the whole of this week’s episode about Parties, Plans and Police was wonderful) and one of the most interesting stories I have listened to is The Dunnes Stores Strikers.

The final one I would like to recommend is True Stories – a night of true stories told to friends. These are single stories per episode. A couple of the ones that have stuck with me I actually listened to both on the same walk. Nightmare at Ten Sleep tells a story of intuition and crime on a climbing trip – it had me gripped. Then Homely for the Holidays which made me laugh so loud I scared the rabbits in the field.

As with everything some stories don’t thrill me or interest me as much as others but most of the time these stories have filled my mind, made me laugh (out loud, making me look like a complete loon to anyone else about), cry and above all think about how wonderful life really is. I am sure that everyone has a story to tell and I love how these websites and podcasts are a record of everything life has to offer.

I have heard tales of love and loss. Of determination, of strength. I have learned new and wonderful things. I have been so caught up in stories that I have stood and listened to the end even though I have reached my destination. I have been filled with wonder. I have heard people stand up to bullies, how others gained new perspectives and understanding. I have listened to how people deal with death and life and everything it throws at them. Human beings and the lives we live really are amazing.

Do you listen to podcasts? I would love your recommendations. I have many more miles to walk.

Create

#1day12pics

May 11, 2015

I usually so my #1day12pics on the right day but this month I couldn’t resist waiting a couple of days and using it to record Kate’s 4th birthday. It was the best day. I can’t believe it was a week ago already.

1day12pics May1

:: She is 4 :: Cake for breakfast :: Playing with new toys :: If you want birthday treats you must brush your teeth :: Ready :: Waiting for guest to arrive ::

:: Birthday tractor ride :: Bouncing :: Ice cream :: Favourite present :: Dinner at Nanny's :: Time to play with gifts ::

:: Birthday tractor ride :: Bouncing :: Ice cream :: Favourite present :: Dinner at Nanny’s :: Time to play with gifts ::

Create

From the studio { April }

May 2, 2015

studio view april 1April was the month of school holidays and Nearly New Sale and Mr C being away and that in turn equaled no sewing time. I only went to the studio 3 times in April and not at all in the first two weeks. Bananas.

I think I feel a bit lost with my sewing at the moment. Really unfocussed. It is ages since I made anything to sell. I love making gifts for friends and just being there but I also feel like I should be doing more. I have enjoyed starting to make more clothes and completed a second Fancy Sailor Top this month (I haven’t managed a picture yet) but I get frustrated as I don’t think I am skilled enough and think I could do better. I have a problem with my machine and although I have cleaned it out a couple of times it still persists. I think it is time to give it some TLC and a service but I would rather spend the money on fabric.

I wish i could put my finger on the problem, but I don’t think that it is just sewing I think that I am just feeling a bit like this about life in general – lacking in enthusiasm and optimism. I need a good kick up the bottom I think. Or at least I need to FOCUS.

Typically, on the occasions I did sew I forgot to take a photo. I made a set of two drawstring bags for a friend’s birthday. I made my new top, it is in the wash now, I will share when I wear it again.

I am working on a hand sewing project at home, and when I go to places like the Brighton Sewing Bee each month. This picture was taken there this month.

Cake✔️Tea✔️Hexagons✔️ Chatter✔️ It's Sewing Bee time.

One thing that completely cheered me up was receiving these pictures from Kat. I will do a proper post on this quilt and the whole process as it is one of the things that I am most proud of but seeing it out in the wild made me so happy!

Regram from @thatkat of my Tiles mini quilt that I made her after seeing a picture she posted on IG last year. This has cheered me up

Isn’t it amazing? I want to make a big one but quarter square triangles weren’t my favourite I have to admit.

What do you do when you feel you are lacking in sewing mojo? How do you get yourself out of a sewing funk?

Fresh Sewing Day

and

Small Blog Meet
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Kate { April 2015 }

April 28, 2015

Kate42015You are so close to being Four, just nine more sleeps.

All you want for your birthday is a Care Bear and a Daddy Pig Speedboat.

You are such a little comic, you love being silly.

You have discovered a love of poetry, Boa Constrictor by Shel Silverstein is your current favourite.

You love your brother very much indeed.

We have started going to ‘art class’ each week and you love it.

You also love repeating stories back to me at the moment.

*** *** *** *** ***

BOA CONSTRICTOR

Oh I’m being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don’t like it – one bit.
Well what do you know?
It’s nibbling my toe.
Oh, gee,
It’s up to my knee.
Oh my,
It’s up to my thigh.
Oh, fiddle,
It’s up to my middle.
Oh, heck,
It’s up to my neck.
Oh, dread,
It’s upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff…….

– Shel Silverstein from Where the Sidewalk Ends

Live

Piran { April 2015 }

April 26, 2015

Piran42015I have hardly seen you this month – you have spent it all outside.

You loved pulling faces for my video.

We had a great holiday – you loved being away and with our family.

You discovered you love to play tennis, especially with your Dad.

You love to write – I wish you would confine it to paper not the side of your bed.

You are still a steadfast Chelsea supporter.

You are the best big brother ever, I am so happy you will be there when Kate starts school.

Live

Recently

April 24, 2015

I don’t seem to have the time to blog. A mix of school holidays, running a Nearly New Sale for the local toddler group, working and life in general hasn’t given me much spare time. I was just about to head to bed, but have decided to just spend 15 minutes on my blog. I think it must be missing me.

:: School :: Last Thursday I got the notification of Kate’s school place. I knew she would get into the school, so no worries this time round about what it would say but getting it knocked me for six. Such an insignificant little email but it felt like such a seismic shift in reality. I know she will be ace, that she will take it all in her stride. I think I am just sad that life was such a struggle at times over the last few years that perhaps she didn’t have the best of me. And now she will be gone all day everyday. She is just such brilliant company these days and we are getting on so well. I just have to make the most of the time we have left.

Completely engrossed and bathed in sunlight today at The Arty Space drop in group.

:: Four :: Kate is Four in 10 days. How is that even possible?

:: Early nights :: I am going to bed between 9.30 and 10 every evening. I feel much better for it especially when I wake in the mornings. I have started getting up at 6 to work which I really like. I think my children have turned me into a morning person!

:: Walking :: I am still out there, walking as often as I can. I still love it and get twitchy if I haven’t been out for a couple of days. This week I walked into Lewes over the Downs and then I decided to walk back again. The route up to the top of the golf course nearly killed me on the way back but it was so worth it. Walking at sunset one evening was blissful too.

Usually I walk down there. Today I'm headed up the Downs on a new walk. #amonthof

:: Sewing :: Time has been short in the studio this month, and I have lost a bit of my sewing mojo. Next week I need to focus on a commission for another website and write some really good lists of things I want to make.

:: Blogging :: Plans are afoot to celebrate my 10 year blogging anniversary in July. I am very excited about that. I can’t think of anything else that I have done consistently for 10 years.

:: Honeymoon :: At the start of June Mr C and I are going on honeymoon. So exciting. We got married nearly 7 years ago but had to cancel our honeymoon when I got pregnant with Piran. 7 nights all inclusive with no children. Is it sad that I am most excited about the sleep!

:: Friends :: The last week has been a lovely one with friends. Evenings at people’s houses, a little coffee and retail therapy, a unexpected afternoon with good friends in the pub. I should do it more often.

Today's new thing is not being able to use my phone when out and about as I've run out of data allowance *sob* so this is a latergram of the sign above the Patchwork Dog and Basket's new shop. The sky is the best colour today #amonthof #nofilter

:: 15 minutes :: Is all it really takes to sit down and write a post and give my blog some love. That wasn’t so hard was it?

:: You :: What have you been up to recently?

Yours Truly

Blogtacular Meets…

April 12, 2015

I am over on the Blogtacular blog this week. Click on the picture to find out my thoughts on blogging, including why I started, why my blog is called ‘A place of my own’ and my sage words of advice to others thinking of starting a blog. Oh and why I am going to Blogtacular 2015.

Create

Finish Along 2015 – Quarter 2

April 8, 2015

Spring Quilt Progress

Well in Quarter 1 I had 14 projects on my list and I finished 12. I am really pleased with that. I wrote about and linked up most of them, with the exception of a Coco (Tilly Button’s Pattern) for me. I did make it but it didn’t turn out brilliantly. It is sad because I would get so much wear out of a top / tunic like that. I need another go but I think I need to do a class on sewing with knits first because I found it really hard.

So onto my plans for the second quarter of 2015.

Rolling over:

1. Christmas Quilt – I unpicked a table runner that I made this year because I decided it really should  be a quilt. I expect this will roll over into other quarters though.

2. Oakshott Quilt – I have had fun making and playing with some blocks using a fat eights bundle that I have had for the past 18months. This is a #sewmystash project. I like where it is going but it is an odd size at the moment so need to work out what to do next.

Adding:

3. #cottonandsteelminiquiltswap mini. I have started this with a paper pieced centre, I just need to extend it before finishing it.

4. #alisonglassminiquilt mini. I have made the front I need to baste, quilt and bind.

5. #IGneedlebookswap Needle book to be made. I have a pattern in mind, and have decided which fabrics.

6. Spring Stitching Club lap quilt. I am making this for me. It is so sweet and it is using up all my scrappy hexies which I love. And it has embroidery on it too. As it will be summer at the end of this quarter I really hope I have finished this (see picture above).

7. A drawstring bag for a friend’s birthday

That is all that I can think about at the moment. I am sure that there will be much more but for now my mind is blank. Hopefully I will get some selfish sewing done too.

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

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

 

Live

A month of…

April 6, 2015

a month of walking header

I thought that it might be nice in March to have a month of walking. I knew that it would do me good to get outside every day. It was much more than that in the end. I walked my way into Spring. It cleared my head and made me feel great.

A month of walking5

The month started well with ‘Bike to school week’ or in our case scoot to school. The competiton element of it at school meant that Piran was adamant that we scooted or walked every day the first week. We live just under a mile from the school. In the past I have been relucant to walk as it is along a busy road and two small children on scooters was always a little too stressful really. It is definitely better these days. The week ended and I just carried on walking them to school most days. Shh don’t tell them.

A month of walking

The second week I started to walk the longer way home on the days that I drop them both off. Making Kate do both directions is a struggle. I borrowed a buggy around week 3 but I felt it made her lazier and so it went back to its owner and she got back on the scooter. I have to push her a fair bit but that just means I am getting more exercise. I love walking the long way home on Monday and Friday mornings – I get back between 9.30-10 and I feel great that I have already had some head space and exercise.

A month of walking4

I think that in past years Spring always seemed to just happen. This year I have really watched it. It is amazing. At the start of the month it was all bare branches against blue skies and then suddenly there was blossom. A tree that was bare a few days ago can be in bloom a couple days later. Daffodils popped up everywhere – so many different types. Everything has gone from brown to green. So many little shoots poking their heads up. The snowdrops are now gone and tulips are filling their places.

A month of walking3

I found new routes, I went a bit further when I had time. I found my way around the back lanes of my village. I got caught out by the weather – both too hot and wet and cold. I walked during the day, I watched the sun set and the moon rise and I walked at night.  I saw rainbows that ended in the sea. I was usually on my own. I always have my headphones. I listened to audiobooks and podcasts. I occasionally listened to music.

A month of walking2

I have done a lot of thinking. I have bought maps and considered routes. I bought a fitbit bracelet and I count my daily steps. I am aiming to reach 12,500 per day and I managed it almost every day. There was only one day in March that I didn’t walk somewhere and that was the final Saturday. I was feeling so very lazy.I went on adventures – set off without really knowing where I was headed and had the perfect walk. I saw my first bee and butterfly of the year. In the last week I have been amazed by how busy the birds are.

A month of walking1

Now I am at the end. I have walked a really long way (average 40 miles a week when you add up my steps). W on my Alphabet of Intentions was for Walk More. N was for Notice things. I think I have definitely done those two. And I am going to keep on walking.

On the 16th May I am going to take part in The Chestnut Tree’s Night to Remember – a 10 mile walk at midnight along Eastbourne seafront. Chestnut Tree House is the only children’s hospice in Sussex, and cares for life-limited children and young adults aged 0-19, and provides support for their families. I am doing it for a couple of reasons. My friend Kim has a disabled son and uses the hospice services. She asked me to join her as part of her team so there are 15 of us walking to raise money. The ‘Ringmer Rampage’ team :)

Secondly I am doing this as a challenge to myself. I need to be more active and so this gives me something to aim for. As the weeks have gone on I have been extending my distances – doing one ‘long’ walk a week and will continue to do so until I do the 10 miles in May. It isn’t much but for someone who rarely moves herself it is a real challenge. I want to be more active and fitter and what better way to do it than for a great charity.

If you could spare some money to sponsor me I would be really grateful. We are fundraising as a team so you can sponsor me via Kim’s Just Giving Page. If you would prefer to sponsor me in the old fashioned cash way just let me know.