Every month I make plans to do a weekly update on my making and things I’m enjoying at the moment ,but then just let that thought slip through the cracks.
We are in level 2 of lockdown.Covid -19 situation has been so much better in NZ than in other parts of the world. I have so so many things to be grateful for , but in this time of uncertainty,I have been quite scatterbrained. While I keep reading and hearing about how we all navigate these surreal times in our own ways, I hate to admit that I have been struggling with anxiety as well.
I am trying , to be productive and positive. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. However , I ‘m not giving up and I try to focus on things that bring me joy.
I’m writing down everything, to keep track of my schedules, the things I do ,to keep track of things and slow down and enjoy.
Like I said before, I’m trying and giving myself grace to fall down and get back up again.
Signs of Spring are popping up everywhere in the form of daffodils, cherry blossoms and hyacinths, I just hope we will have gone back to level one normality by the time Spring and Summer rolls by.
What a couple months it has been! No one saw this dark cloud coming huh? The leaves have started changing colour . We had a couple of earthquakes like we didn’t have enough already with the Covid 19 Pandemic.
All businesses except essential services have closed and we are still in level 4 lockdown.It feels strange to see caution tape in the park near our home.
The uncertainty of days after the lock down is lifted ,kind of looks bleak at this pointNevertheless , never have I been happier to be living in NZ like at present. I admire our Prime Minister for the decisions she made during this critical time.
Moreover , since I enjoy being home, it hasn’t been too hard for me .All essential things are available without any hardship. More than anything however, I am so thankful for the family time this quarantine has allowed our family to have. It has definitely helped keep my spirits up , to notice little things and enjoy them.Like someone close to us pointed out, its a strange blessing for us.
The boys are having online classes, although they miss their friends and going out, they seem to be happy to be home. We have now become used to online Church Service, Zoom Bible study, chats and Knit groups . Its good to be connected this way, although I do miss going out to cafes with my friend.
I had to clear out my craft room for my son and now I really don’t have a designated space to hide sew or knit.My routine has gone off the window and I am trying to hold on to some sort of schedule ; successful sometimes and unsuccessful at other times.
I must admit that I have been feeling like I have ten tabs open inside my brain and unable to think clearly. So now I have decided to not check my phone as soon as I wake up. Instead , I wake up at 6.45 a.m when my alarm goes off, brush my teeth, drink a cup of warm water, pray, shower , have breakfast, attend Bible study and only after that, I check my instagram and emails.
This has helped me not feel overwhelmed all the time.Plus I’m taking it easy and not stressing over unfinished projects. I do regular updates of my day on Insta-stories, I rearranged my journaling space and now enjoy journalling my day to day updates and sometimes do creative art journaling with soft music playing in the background.
With everyone being home, a lot of food is being cooked and polished off in like ten seconds
.I may have put on weight but I have gone off sugar during this period and was surprised that for the amount sugar I was taking in, it hasn’t been that hard to give it up.
The one being that has single handedly been drawing us out of our respective spaces of the house, keeping us all distracted, entertained and our spirits up, is our sweet adorable Amber. I think she is the happiest to have all her humans at home all the time.
Have a blessed time my friends and please stay safe at home if you are able to.
I hope you all are back to work after enjoying lovely Christmas and New Year holidays.
I have been long gone from the blog ,but I have been busy posting on other social media, which is You Tube and Instagram in bits and pieces. If you would like , you can catch up on my 12 days of Vlogmas on my You Tube channel Planetpearl.
The year 2019 seemed to whiz past , mostly because it was a year of huge personal growth for me.
I started working at Outlaw Yarn HQ . People who know me really well, know its a dream come true for me.
Once I read about a research that found ,that people who worked in Flower shops were one of the happiest . I can understand that , because how is it possible not to smile when you are surrounded by flowers, right?
As a fiber craft enthusiast, I feel the same way working in a yarn store( or Wool Shop as some people like to call it here ). It is hard not be happy surrounded by all the colourful yarn and meeting some really cool people , seeing the amazing projects they make. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying it immensely.
It also opened up the opportunity for me to meet Steven Be . THE Steven Be . Which was one the year’s highlights for me.
He helped me cast on my Pearl Sweater. Which I thought was so cool. Really who would have thought I would meet him right ? And that he would be so down to earth and humble ,to patiently take the time to teach an absolutely beginner sweater knitter , how to do a cast on, explain the garment structure and make sure I got it right. Surely if that is not being generous with one’s time, I do not know what is !
Ever since I met him, I have been fan girling gushing talking about what a wonderful person he is to know! So much inspiration, wealth of knowledge , so positive and funny.
One of the things I checked off my Bucket list in 2019, was attending Christchurch Woolfeast as a stall Vendor ,selling my Hold and Cherish project bags . Two of my close friends and my son gave me so much support and made it a wonderful success.
Another wonderful experience was flying over to Wellington to attend Craft Camp. It was such a well organised camp which helped me meet some amazingly talented women.
I learnt to dye yarn along with Steve, my younger son, which was a great exposure to art of yarn dyeing for both of us.
I also tried weaving which I really loved too.
I’m really proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and I’m really pleased with how the year 2019 went for me craft wise.
For the year 2020…
Regardless of how my personal life is going, I always get excited about a New Year. It’s always a time to reflect on the past lessons and look forward with hope, to another year of inspiration and learning .
The plans for this year include ,moving towards a more intentional ,slow living and uncluttered lifestyle.
I have already cleared out my closet of clothes that I do not wear, to be donated to Salvation Army. Which does make me feel better about putting my thoughts into action.
I also hope I will be able to keep up with my blog more regularly, sharing more of my creating journey ,towards a joyful life.
With that said,Thank you so much for being part of my creative journey , for your encouragement and support by way of likes and comments. Appreciate you all so much.
The idea to start the Chat over Chai series, has been on my mind for a while now. In spite of sharing a lot on the blog, I felt a certain disconnect, so I’m going to try a bit of blogging like old times.
This is basically simply a catch up series ; to connect a little bit more, by offering a sneak peak into things happening in my life , to chat about things I’m really enjoying ; on the crafty side , slow living , cooking , current favourites – different things , I can share to make note of, look back on , enjoy and be inspired to grow and thrive.
You might want to grab a cup of chai (tea or coffee – whatever you prefer) for this one
This year, Autumn and Winter went by really fast and we are into Spring which is really like being in a whole new world.
It’s just so lovely seeing the world come alive with birds chirping , flowers blooming , there seems to be an aura of gaiety in the air.
While I have struggled a lot with the colder months, I have learnt that slowing down and doing a few extra things, that I normally never did otherwise during these months, helped me a lot to keep up my good spirits.
How did my version of Slowing down look like?
This was pretty much my every day routine during the cold months. I’m sharing it on my blog hoping that it will help someone feeling down as the temperatures, daylight and sunshine go down
Making my cup of tea, taking time to sit down and enjoy drinking it , feeling the warmth of my tea , warm up my body
Look out my door , make note of the sunlight flooding the mountains with its golden glow or the clouds completely cover up the mountains
Send Steve off to school,
Snuggle with my baby Amber, listening to my favourite gospel music, reading the Bible and praying
Taking time to shower and get dressed in presentable clothes in the morning with care, put on my favourite perfume,
Go for a walk once in a while with Amber
Do a bit of skin care once a week
Gratitude Journal every week
Use Bargain box for dinner ( this way, I did not have to do much meal planning but still had the recipes and the ingredients ,had a chance to try something new and different.
In the evenings, I often lighted up some lovely scented candles, put on some dreamy jazz music , kept the heat pump on and cooked dinner.
I added fairy lights where every I could, added cushions and throws to create cozy and warm around me.
Once a week I went out for brunch with my friends, or invited them over to just chat over home made ginger chai, it felt good to have those little moments of just sharing and enjoying the friendships
I joined a low impact exercise class which helped immensely as well.
Some days when I just did not feel up to it, I just let go, ordered food from Uber Eats and spent time with my kids watching re runs of Castle lounging on the sofa.
Weekends were a little bit different. We slept in , cooked some delicious meals to last at least a couple of days so that when I felt uninspired to cook, there was something to heat up and eat ready at hand.
I’m sharing these here in the hope that it will help someone who needs it. However these are not set in stone things to do, do what soothes your soul the most .
How do you cope with the Colder Months?
If you also do some of these things please share them with me.
Or if you have some other things that helped you cope through the colder months, please share them as well.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. The highlight of our weekend was going out together as a family to a sweet engagement party.
In other weekend news, all the agonising about the border for this poncho, came to a satisfying end.It lays flat and adds a bit of interest, I cannot be more pleased . I’m also happy that the two very different colour ways somehow work together.
I have a WIP that I have no idea what I’m going to use it for. For now, I’m just happy to see how the colours work up.
There is a small mushroom patch in my backyard.Could fairies have come by for a visit ? On cloudy dull days these sweet flowers in our front yard just make me smile .
I did not know foggy winter mornings could be so beautiful! The entire landscape appears softened .Intriguing light behind the silhoutte of trees far away adding to the mystery. I had never seen that building before yet it adds charm to the panaroma. It seemed like a watercolour painted scenery to me.
I wonder if the Master Painter sits there tapping his brush on his chin musing what colours to paint that day . Each morning so grand yet so different than the day before .Never ever the same yet always a treat.
I feel completely blessed to be able to just stay in the coziness of my home and enjoy the view through my window .
I would go out more if I did not always end up with a headache and ear ache in spite of being wrapped under layers of Merino and Down on cold cold days. That’s why I prefer my little bubble, warm and cozy.camping on the couch, with my knitting and crochet, basking in the sunshine that makes its way to the couch through my large glass windows listening to podcasts or breakfast shows.
The shortest day of Winter just went past us . Now Spring must be just around the corner , no? School is out in two weeks and I can’t wait. Nothing beats lazy sleeping in days during Winter. I know the boys will drive me batty with loud music and non stop bickering during the day.Still knowing they are under the same roof as me, leaves me at peace.
A cowl scarf got done and dusted at the said camping .Inspired by the Kuwaiti head dress . Made of 100% NZ Organic Merino with 4.5 Addi hook,its very soft and warm.
It is going into a raffle package for a very worthy cause.
That and trying out a few middle eastern dishes have kept me distracted from getting overly cranky over J’s crazy work hours throwing off our routine and all. Oh and laughing over showing up a week earlier for Big B’s troublesome wisdom tooth extraction appointment.
Saturday started out as a gorgeous gorgeous day not only because it was a sunshiny and balmy winter day, but a day filled with snippets of little things which when stringed together at the end of the day ,leaves a smile on your face as you lay your head down on the pillow to sleep.
To have such a day following a Friday evening of ugly tears, flared tempers and tantrums ,makes it all the more special. Because it gives you hope ,that not everything is lost after all and lifts your heart from the depths of desperation , that one tends to get into during those not so lovely moments .
The day started out with J and I going to the Airport to meet some people who were coming to NZ for the very first time.After coffee and some time alone with J, We went together as a family to Kawa Cafe for lunch.
It was Big B’s treat for us with his first ever earning .It was a delicious lunch . It felt surreal, filled with mixed emotions, pride at my son’s milestone, sadness at how time just flies and excited for all the new things and experiences that await my kids as they move from one stage to another.
Then, when we came back, there was a package waiting for me at the doorstep, for which I was waiting too! Sometime during last week, there was a call out for Test knitters on The Woven page on Facebook. The willing test knitters had to finish a haiku that started with
Knitting is awesome. Now I’ve never attempted a haiku before, but I did try
Knitting is awesome
With two sticks and some soft string
Creates a spl’ thing.
( initially I had written’ Creates a special thing’, which someone pointed out as having more syllables and so I changed it to Spl’ so as to cut down the syllable .)
I got selected to Test knit.Yay!!I kind of like that I wrote my first ever haiku and got to try some new yarn and a yet to be published pattern in return. Yay!)
The Woven sent the yarn , needles and the pattern. Isn’t it wonderful!I cast on right away and its coming along swimmingly.
We also saw a movie called Inkheart together as a family. Its the story of a guy who has a special gift of making the characters in the book he reads out loud , come to life. It was not a wow movie, but was interesting in its craziness.
Sunday was a quiet rainy day. I realised that when the sky looks like this at sunrise,it turns out to be a wet cold day .
That colour inspired me to start a new crochet project as well. Its a pattern I have made several times before.Although I’m not entirely in love with the way the colours look worked up in the pattern as opposed to the way it looked as a skein, I will continue to work on this , because it feels so soft and warm against my skin.I’m really loving that it takes less than 30 mins to make a motif and I enjoy seeing the project grow one little flower motif at a time.
So that was pretty much my weekend, how was yours? Do tell
I’ve been feeling under the weather lately . So I thought it would lift up my spirits to make note of the lovely little things in my life on this day. Things that may seem so insignificant to others but makes a whole world of difference to me.
It is no secret that I love Yarn. All my resolve to keep check on my budget, usually gets thrown out the window when I see new hand dyed yarn online.Specially after coming here to NZ, there are so many natural fibres that I’m spoilt for choice really!
Can we just take a moment and admire how gorgeous this yarn looks?And is oh so soft . Go read about this hand dyed yarn at Nunnaba Artisan Yarn
Ever since we moved into this home, we have been treated to some gorgeous sunrises .Somedays I miss it in the busyness of the early morning rush. Isn’t it amazing how regardless of who stops and stares, the sunrise continues to remain magnificent in its glory? On this particular day, the sky looked like it had been set fire on.
From friends and from nature.
The pillow like I said earlier is a handmade gift from a friend here.I’m a big fan of handmade creations .Not only does the handmade item carry the unique imprint of its creator .It also offers the privilege , to have a peek into the beauty of the creator’s heart, their dream,and creativity through the making and giving of the said gift. And that little piece of the giver remains with you to hold and cherish. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?!
Same goes with the bounties of nature. The Creator created all these amazing charming creations with such precision and attention to detail , just for us to find and admire. To be able to look around and take in the beauty that surrounds us is a wonderful gift I believe.
These pinecones ,are ones we gathered from our very first family camping trip in Kaiteriteri, near Nelson.
Both of these gifts make my heart swell with happiness for the very reason I mentioned.
So tell me what makes your heart swell with happiness?
It was lunch time, and I had to get lunch ready or it would get late when the man comes to pick up dh’s lunch.
M was quietly ‘cooking’ in his favourite corner.I really didn’t mind all the vessels strewn around in the drawing room, or the noise of ‘cooking ‘as long as he kept out of my stuff and interupting my own cooking.
My stuff was in the bedroom so there was no way he would go there , I thought.I should have known better.
It was all so quiet_ too quiet so I peeked in to check on him.
I had to pick up my jaw that had touched the floor by now.
“M,What do you think you are doing?” I asked , my voice almost a feverish high pitch by the end of the sentence .
“Pactising (Practising )to go to your school mumma” (meaning my quilt class ),came the calm, collected reply with look that said, ‘whats the fuss about?, you should really be happy!’
Do I laugh or cry or bang my head against the wall and scream ” Lord ,I need a break”?!
Mommies are not allowed tantrums ,you know, so I just thanked the lucky stars , he didn’t cut his fingers and went on to think about the best solution to redeem the situation.
Two completed quilt blocks slashed in random places with the rotary cutter.
Well, I didn’t have too much work to do all over again like I thought first .All is well that ends well I guess 🙂