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.
The past couple of weeks I must confess have been hectic. Things that took a lot of my mental energy and didn’t leave me energy to do much else.
I had a few projects going , but however hard I tried, I just could not make myself to pick them up my needles or my hook.
So instead of just pushing myself to keep going with my projects, I decided to take some time away from it all. Until I really felt the desire to pick up my needles or hook back.
I downloaded an e book on Libby ( which is an app from the Christchurch Library that my friend Louise introduced me to) and read it. Did a little bit of journaling , tried a few new recipes and kind of went with the flow until I got the making spark again.
The break did me good and now I am back to making .
I have been working on my colour affection shawl and really enjoying it. The garter stitch fabric that the Little Bandit Yarn from Outlaw Yarn creates feels so squishy and soft. I love it.
In the first section, I ran out of the first colour , a few stitches before finishing that section. I ploughed through that with my second colour. And then I ran out of the second colour as well!
So, I decided to put it aside until I could go back into the store to get more yarn.
In the meantime, I was working on a few rows here and there on my Skyping beanie. In spite of the few mistakes I made on it, I’m thrilled , it is now technically finished. I still need to weave in the ends though for it to be officially finished .
After I completed the Beanie, I did manage to go into the store and get the little bandit Scallywag yarn I had run out on. I have started working back on my Colour Affection Shawl. However, I was getting a tad restless as I wanted to get done with this shawl and move on the other two projects I have in mind already.
As I was reflecting on my making journey , I realised that it is good for me to embrace the moments of not making, just as much the moments of making , to truly enjoy the bliss of making things with my hands and to come back with renewed enthusiasm to my projects. I even have a progress keeper to remind of finding joy in the process of making just as much as holding a finished project in my hand.
Instead of just churning out finished objects one after another for the sake of numbers (of projects finished ) I want to experience the joy of making ,with every single one of the items I make. Not just that, I also want to make time to read, walk outside with Amber , try a new recipe or skill or technique, enjoy the simple beauty of nature around me.
I feel truly grateful for having the choice to choose what I want to do with my time and my resources. I do hope this post inspires you to do the same if you are able to.
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.
I’ve always enjoyed learning to make new things and the two seasons have been really good on that front.
First thing that I wanted to learn to make this year was to learn to make socks. I did not get a good result when I attempted to teach myself. When a class was announced at a local yarn store, I did not think twice before signing up. The yarn and the needles were part of the class.
Good thing I did because, not only did I learn to make the socks, i really enjoyed it as well as one colour transitioned to another .Whats so exciting is that they fit my foot perfectly!.Im still learning to do the Kitchener stitch perfectly though.
A local yarn store advertised for sample knitters and I applied and got to make a sample blanket.The yarn and pattern were given to me by the yarn store plus paid to make the blanket.
Honestly it was so fun to work on once I got hang of all the repeats right. The yarn was really lovely to work with as well.
What I really liked about this blanket was that the edging on the blanket was also a chevron.
By the time I finished this blanket, this yarn store decided to move to a near by town . So I took a bus to go there to return the blanket which turned out to be another adventure!
I also made a pony tail headband to wear when walking Amber . The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in the colourway Lotus. Its really cozy and warm to wear.
I also tried my hand at candle pouring. Which was really fun too.Ive been using these candles I made constantly
I also took a Botanical Skin care Workshop with Tuwahiwi Botanicals , which was a wonderful workshop and I learnt a lot of face oils .
This work shop took me straight back to the days when my mom and I used to make all sorts of natural skincare powders.
My dad would tirelessly went to the local native medicine shop to get all the things from our long list of ingredients. Some of the ingredients we often collected from the plants growing wildly near our home.Beautiful carefree days to reminiscence and cherish the love that went into my upbringing.
Looking back at all these things it feels like a very productive season.
The thought of knitting with two colours of yarn was somehow intimidating to me , that I never attempted to even try it. Then I saw one of the ladies in church wearing a similar looking cowl in lovely earthen colours that I was tempted to give it a try.
It always takes some time for me to work up the courage to try new things. Once I start,I always realise that it was not as hard as I thought of it in my head! (Over thinker alert right here ). Sometimes , simply just doing it is best.
When I went searching for an easy -ish free pattern on Ravelry , this pattern came up in the search. I decided to make this pattern only because it came with the tip to look up ‘Blister Stitch ‘on You tube ,which proved to be super helpful.
I decided to use the scrumptious Nunnaba gradient and Naturally TweedI had in my stash . Once I got an understanding the stitch pattern down, it was a pleasure to work on and proved to be a quick finish.
I made a few additional rows than the pattern called for as I wanted the gradient yarn to come through.
I couldn’t however, figure out how to do the jobless join in this cowl . Its ok I think ,as when I’m wearing it, it may not be that visible .
This cowl is so so soft. I love it.
Surprisingly for this project ,I did not use up all the yarn in the gradient yarn like I wanted to.I also have a little more of the brown tweed left over as well.
Its almost back to school time! I am happy with how our holidays went this year.
I finished one zippered pouch. J wanted one to put knick knacks in. I’m in love with the post card fabric and Essex Linen fabric.
I think they both go well together.
With each bag I sew, I’m learning a new thing. Like for instances , with this bag, I learnt to pay more attention to the zipper tab I’m using. I added a little shoe charm zipper pull as the zipper I got was a lock type short one which I did not know when I purchased it.
It has always been my dream to embroider on Linen and using linen embroidery thread from DMC, I did a little freestyle stitchery because I was not able to transfer my design using carbon paper.
Right after I finished making this pouch J wanted me to make him a smaller pouch with just the linen fabric .
He gave me the specifics about the size and the features , he wanted in his pouch, like a little pocket to keep his cards
and also a zipper pouch for change.
After working on the previous pouch, I kind of made up as I went along. I should have searched up for tutorials but with busy days, I did not have much time for that.I have a lot of practice to insert a zipper pocket. But the fear of adding a zipper pocket is gone. One step forward Yay!
I added the same stitchery ‘ Begin each day with a grateful heart ‘to this pouch.
It is a simple design I drew after I decided that Grateful was going to be my word for the year.
To accept the good and the bad things with a grateful heart. Because I believe that God is in control always and makes all things to work together for good, for his children.
I’m thrilled to see J carry it around with him everywhere.