Saturday, 14 June 2014

Priorities

When I embarked on this journey into Blogland, I had great ambitions. I would blog weekly. I would have lots of photos. I would design lots of new things and share them with the world. I would give anyone who took time to read my blog a little insight into the life of me. Weekly became fortnightly. Fortnightly became monthly, and now it is just when I get the chance to sit and organise myself.
Blogging is something I very much enjoy, and think about a lot. I am always thinking of what I'll write, taking pictures and organising them. But actually taking the time to down write has fallen down my priorities list somewhat - until now, when I find myself waiting for the super-late England match to kick off!
Anyone with a high-maintenance 3 year old will know that they will take up most of your time, and energy. Often when I finally get her to bed, I'm ready to hit the sack too. It's not just physical exhaustion, it's the mental too. Questions all day long, good ones too. Why is asked for everything. Why do apples float? Why why why... by the end of the day I have run out of answers!
Of course, I am happy she is inquisitive and asks questions. She's growing up so fast and most of the time is a pleasure (she is very much still a nightmare at other times!) and I love being her Mum and am privileged to spend all the time I do with her.
Spare time gets split between 'boring' household chores and routines and my little bubble of 'being me'. I have been indulging in what makes me happy and what I'm interested in over the last couple of years. Crochet fills a great deal of my creative time... and rubber stamp carving. And lots of other little things I love - music, art, plants, nature, rocks etc... When I sit back and look at my life and the things I have surrounded myself with, I realise I am very happy right now. I love my life - my girl, my family and friends, my hobbies and interests. One interest I have 'indulged' in recently is rocks and minerals... I have always been fascinated by rocks and minerals, the colours, patterns and forms they take on. I love opal... natural opal, not lab created stuff. I love my opal ring, and my Australian boulder opal pendant. I also have a small collection of stones and crystals which I am now able to display on a super shelf!


It is very much inspired by Stone and Violet but made by a friend who takes old wooden pallets and fashions them into furniture. I wondered if he could make smaller items so I dropped him a line and a day later he made the most beautiful mountain shelf! Any local people to me check out Joe's Pallet Wood Furniture Facebook page!
Nature has also been filling my time. Spring is a super time of year, and last year you may remember I was preoccupied with nesting blackbirds in our garden... well this year it has been the turn of the goldfinch. Yep, such a beautiful little bird nested in a small tree outside our lounge window. Great viewpoint! The Little Lady and I spent many an hour sitting at the window chatting and spotting the birds as they were to and fro from the nest. I love her taking an interest too. I even tried some stealth photography to try and capture one of the babies who was peeping out of the nest...


Ahh baby goldfinch and a proud parent. I didn't see them fledge however. They were suddenly gone, but there are quite a few goldfinches about here at the moment so I hope they are doing OK. Last time I spied them, they were sitting right up on the edge of the nest and looked pretty big.
I have been out and about with the camera snapping the beauty that is nature. Here are a couple of my faves:
A single Allium flower opening



A trip to see some wild orchids at a local wildlife reserve was fruitful... there was a field littered with these amazing flowers...


And some strange moths I have never seen before... No idea how I spotted these on a blade of grass in a meadow, but I'm glad I did. I since researched and discovered that they are Six-spot Burnet moths. Who knew?


Obviously crafting has been filling my time. The main project is the ongoing blanket for the craft swap with Maddy (see her lovely blog FromTwelveToTwoFifteen) The granny squares have been piling up...


And today I reached the 100 mark! Then came the laying out and colour planning, and then learning to continuously join the whole lot! I used this tutorial to help me along my way. So far I have 2 rows of 10 joined, and I really like the continuous process... it's easier than I thought it would be so far! More pictures to follow...
I also made a couple of gifts for a little man who entered the world a few weeks ago... It's a friend of my Mum's, so she asked me to make some bunting with his name on, and I made a cute little giraffe toy for him too.


Pattern is that of I Love Buttons by Emma and yarn is a mixture of Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo and King Cole Bamboo Cotton. I love this pattern - it's super easy and it's great fun to use loads of colours, even if the changes are a bind.


And there is the bunting, looking good against the blue sky. I like this bunting -  a very simple pattern by Pink Milk adapted slightly to add a border to it. Finished off with felt letters, as I find they look neater than crocheted ones.


Yarn is Rico Creative Cotton Aran in a variety of colours  - my favourite for making bunting.

Last year I, like hundreds of others, partook in making bunting triangles for Yarndale. I loved being part of a community project, thinking my tiny contribution helped to make an awesome spectacle of bunting strung up around Yarndale. So naturally, when the Yarndale team called for mandala makers, I was of course intrigued. Firtsly, I love the cause - even though I won't be able to make it this year - and secondly, I love mandalas. I have made a few previously and admit that they are totally addictive. I love playing with colour and texture... and just winging it round by round. I turned to my stash of Lily Sugar 'n' Cream, a lovely stiff cotton in amazing bright colours and set to work. Previously my mandalas had been a riot of colour, but this time I fancied sticking to a colour scheme, so I just picked 3 colours that I liked together...


I'm not sure exactly how I made it as I followed a rough pattern but adapted it a fair amount. I am pleased with it, and rather like limiting my colour use sometimes - I think it shows the pattern off a bit more in this case.
I also decided to decorate the packaging up a bit, and to keep it in my style I decided to carve up a couple of mandala stamps. I researched simple mandala patterns and tweaked them to make them suitable for stamp carving. I used jet black StazOn ink and was super pleased with the overall effect...


I also stamped up the back with some Yarndale bunting...


I mounted one of the stamps up and sent it off to Lucy as a little extra gift, as I was quite proud of it!


So that brings me nearly to kick-off time... can I manage to actually stay awake for the match now? I'm not so sure about that! I will try and pop in and post when I can, but blogging is taking very much a backseat at the moment like I said, but it is always at the forefront of my thoughts! So until next time, however long that may be...

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