Sunday, 22 January 2012

My 2012 resolution

Thank you so much for all your tips and suggestions on how to 'keep up' (or not!) with blog posts and emails, etc.  I think part of why I was feeling so overwhelmed is because (without wishing to go on and on about it!) I'm so tired and when I'm this tired things tend to feel overwhelming quite quickly.  In order to not get to that point again I'm going to:

  1. View the list of new posts in Google Reader as a menu of things I may like to read rather than a list of things I must read before I am allowed off the computer.
  2. Give myself permission to completely skip a blog post if I'm not in the mood to read it.
  3. Give myself permission to only read one post if I have more than one unread item from that blog.
  4. Remember that I do not have to leave a comment on every post I read, particularly if I'm reading several posts from the same blog back to back.
  5. Try setting a timer so that I don't end up spending far longer than I'd planned on the computer.  And switching off the computer when my time is up - wish me luck with this one!
  6. Remind myself that I read blogs to catch up with friends and see what they are making/doing/thinking.  And I do it because it is fun and I enjoy it, not because someone is forcing me!

I'm still going to be reading all the blogs I follow, it's more about altering my attitude and feelings towards having a reader full of new items and learning what works for me.   I'll let you know if it makes a difference, I hope it makes things feel more manageable...

And, because it seems we all struggle with the whole reading/commenting/emailing lark I've added a 'like' button to the bottom of each post so that if you don't want to leave a comment but would like to let me know you enjoyed reading it you can click on that.  I love comments and don't wish to suggest that you all stop commenting (I'd get lonely!) but I thought it might make it easier.  If you don't like the idea of a like button please feel free to let me know, I can always remove it!  Thank you, Hadley, for suggesting the idea and the link to Di's blog and thank you, Di, for the post about this and the link to Geri's blog!

I think it's time for some photos, don't you?!

Here are a few more hexies that I stitched over Christmas.  I've been busy working on the secret project and, after a couple of hours of doubt yesterday afternoon (when I thought I'd been wasting my time!) I'm feeling rather fond of it again!  I'll share photos as soon I'm able but for now I'll continue to tease you!

(Six pointed small blue and white check star in a white background)
I've decided I'm going to include lots of this style in the quilt as 
I think they'll provide a nice balance for the more complex hexies.

(Pale pink and white fussy cut hexagon surrounded by grey and white trapezia)
I can't tell you how long it took me to get the pattern to match on the border, despite careful
placement of my templates.  The fabric can't be as accurately printed as it looks!
And my two favourite hexies (well, for the moment at least!)

(Star in a star hexies in yellow and white - I've reversed the placement 
of colours to make mirror twins)
This is the yellow fabric that a friend gave me - it works really well with my other 'hexy' fabrics!

And I've decided (at the last minute) to join in the Resolved to Sew 2012 party which is being hosted by the wonderful Ali at Very Berry Handmade.  If you've somehow missed all mention of this (where have you been?!) then please pop over and have a look - there are some marvellous prizes to be won!  I have one sewing resolution for this year - I don't think it will come as a surprise.  I'm resolving to spend less time on the computer and more time sewing!  Don't worry, I'm not about to disappear (you should be so lucky!) but there were days last year when I spent so much time on the computer that I didn't have any time to sew so I'm going to make a big effort to change that.  I have sewing goals for this year (finish piecing hexies and put the quilt top together, start my Christmas quilt, start and finish piecing (and possibly start quilting) the blue and white quilt for my mam and dad) but, in my mind at least, they're different from making a resolution.  I'm not sure if I'm supposed to mention here what I'd like if I win the 'Bloggers' Draw' or whether it's supposed to go in my comment on Ali's blog so just to be safe I'll put in both!  This is what I have my beady eye on...

Fat quarter bundle (4FQs)  from Kate Spain’s Terrain collection from Gone to Earth

...which will go nicely with the Terrain charm packs that are living in my kitchen cupboard (I put them there so they wouldn't tempt me before Christmas and they like living with the spare kitchen roll, plastic boxes and cake cases so much that they asked to stay there for a while longer!  And yes, they're still in the wrapper they came in!).  I'm going to use the thought of a Terrain quilt to get me through the cutting and piecing of about 1500 blue and white 2.5" squares to make a quilt for a double bed and having four FQs from the range will give me more options when I start to think about the design.

 And here's your Archie fix, taken about half an hour after we got back from our walk yesterday morning. 

(Archie curled up on his bed, looking tired)
Look, it's been a hard morning, what with all that sniffing I'm required to do 
not to mention maintaining my territory.  Off you pop and leave me in peace.
(Archie still curled up but with his back turned to the camera)
Well, if you can't take a hint or even a direct command then you can take 
photos of the back of my head...see how you like that!

(Archie looking sleepy and slightly shirty)
For the love of all things holy will you leave me alone?!  Now I know 
why those people on telly complain about having their privacy invaded
- I wonder if Lord Justice Leveson would be interested?

Time to go - I have a busy week ahead of me...more of that next time but I'll leave you with the thought that it involves a dozen children, scissors and doesn't that sound like fun?

Have a good week!

P.S.  Thanks to Rachel at mammafairysews I now have a link to my Pinterest boards over there on my side bar!  I got it from the 'about' drop down menu on Pinterest...simple when you know where to look!

P.P.S.  Random Fact Five  I once had an allergic reaction to a packet of prawn cocktail flavoured crisps!  My lips and eyes swelled up, I had an awful excema type rash on my face, felt quite awful and got sent home from work.  I was off for three days until the reaction subsided and I could see (and speak!) enough to go back!  Not much fun at the time but it didn't stop my colleagues laughing about it every time someone mentioned prawns/seafood/shellfish! 

Monday, 16 January 2012

Breaking my 2012 blog duck...

Well, I think it's time for my first post of 2012!

Sorry I've been absent for so long but I've been so exhausted that I just haven't had the energy to write a new post.  (I hope this doesn't come across as whinging, apologies if it does!)  I'm slowly catching up on the rest (and sleep) I need but I think it's going to be quite a while before I get back to where I was before Christmas.  Not to worry, this is quite usual for me.  Every Christmas leaves me absolutely shattered (even if, like this year, it was very relaxed and didn't feel overly demanding) and it usually takes me until somewhere around the end of March to get back to where I was at the beginning of December.  I just have to accept that there are things that won't get done for a while so I do the things that are important and a bit of sewing to keep me sane (usually hand sewing as I find it much less tiring than machine sewing) and everything else has to wait until I'm ready to tackle it.

Something that really made itself felt over Christmas was how nice it was to have permission (from myself!) not to try and keep up with all the happenings in blogland.  I missed you all (a lot!) but it was lovely to not worry about 'keeping up' with all the new posts and emails and I had much more time for sewing (and resting!) than I usually do.  I'm going to have to find a way to reduce the time I 'need' to spend on the computer reading/commenting on blogs and reading/writing emails - any tips?  At the moment it takes me two or three hours a day to read (and comment on) all the new posts on my list and read/reply to emails.  And that's without writing a blog post!  And I'm a quick reader and relatively fast at typing so it's not like I can speed up that bit.  It's just too much for me and I need to find a bit of balance.  How do the rest of you manage?!! If you have any wonderful tips please share them, after speaking to a few people about it I'm not the only one struggling with this so maybe we could pool our ideas and find a workable solution...wouldn't that be great?!

Now, time for a catch up!

Before Christmas I had a lovely surprise when a prize appeared in my in box - I was lucky enough to win Flossie Teacakes Three Bears Sleeping Bag pattern and although I haven't yet made one I've had a good read of the pattern and it's very well written.  Once I get some energy I'm going to have a go!

And from one Helen to another...there's a lovely new blog on the block.  Helen has just set up her blog, Fabric Twitch, and it would be lovely if you would pay her a visit and leave her a comment.  And maybe even become a follower?  She's just made the most wonderful cushion out of a Rose Star block...

Shamelessly pinched from Fabric Twitch!, wouldn't you like to go and visit the blogger who made that?!!

And I was too late to join the party over at Rhonda's blog but I'm going to be keeping an eye on all of you who've joined the Finish-A-Long and I'm planning to join in the fun in the next quarter.  In the meantime I'm going to concentrate on my Winter Stitching List and I'll also be joining Sarah's Quilt-A-Long (button is in my sidebar).  There are a few photos of the original quilt here.  Isn't it lovely?!  And as she's planning a slow and relaxed pace to the QAL I'm hoping to be able to keep up!

What have I been up to in the past three (ish!) weeks I hear you ask...well, I finally opened all my presents and here's what was in the one from Judith

(Dorothy bag made with wonderful doggy fabric in blue with a contrasting
orange fabric for the drawstring casing)
There were some dolly mixtures in there as well as the other sweeties and Archie treats but they didn't quite make it to the photo taking session.  They must have got distracted by the lights on the tree or something *wink*  Archie has been trying to persuade me that because the bag has dogs on it then it was made to hold dog treats...he's not going to win that one!  Thank you, Judith, I love it!!

You may remember that I had prepped some hexies ready to stitch over Christmas and over the weekend I finished stitching the last of that batch.  I have the fabric chosen for my next few hexies but I'm still waiting for some more white on white background fabric to arrive...sigh...I paid for it over a week ago and I'm still waiting for it to arrive.  It's coming from less than 300 miles away, it must be taking the scenic route!

I'm going to spread the photos of my new hexies over my next few posts as I'm also working on a secret project at the moment (or I will be once I get some energy back!) so I may not have much to share with you over the next couple of weeks...and it saves you getting 'hexied out'!

I changed the green in my 'giant star' hexies to white and I think they look a lot better

(Three tumbling blocks that come together to form a six-pointed star)
I haven't put them with the others yet but I'm hoping they don't still stick out like a sore thumb!

(Grey hexagon in a white hexagon in a pink hexagon)
Doesn't the frosty background look lovely?!

 (A spinning windmill hexy - pink patterned centre, blue blades and a white background)
 I love the movement in this one!

 (12 blue and white striped segments that form a smarty pants star in a star in a star in a star...)
And I do love a good stripe!
(Hexy with a green patterned centre, narrow white band and a purple and white dotty wide band)
I love the white band in this hexy.

We've also had Alfie to visit a few times and one night he came for a sleep over.  Whilst I was in the shower he decided to guard the door...
I hope you're not going to be long in there - I'm in need of a fuss!

And no, that's not one of Archie's beds he's lying's my bedding!  Fortunately I'd just taken it off the bed (it was waiting to go in the washer!) rather than it being a clean set!

And the next morning Archie decided that he'd quite like a go on the bed that wasn't a bed...

Oi!  What are you doing?  This is my photo!

...but 'someone' couldn't bear to be left out of the photo!

Just before I go (and Giles, I think you'll like this!) I now have proof that not only does the biscuit fairy exist but that she's visited our house!

This is what I found when I was taking down the Christmas tree

(Dog biscuit resting on a branch)
Can you imagine how excited Archie was when he found this?!
So, if you're good maybe she'll pay you a visit when you least expect it!

Oh, and after weeks of looking (I started at the beginning of October!) and trying on dozens of pairs, I've finally found a pair of winter boots that fit and that I like!!  Want to see?

Balanced on two tubs of bird seed!  Never let it be said that I don't know how to take a good photo!

I love them!  And even more so once I found out that they were supposed to be £65 but reduced to £20 in the sale!  I just wish they'd had another pair in my size...

I think that's it for now, I hope to be back soon but can't promise anything!  In the meantime I'm going to attempt to (once again!) catch up with all your blog posts - if I leave short comments it's because I'm struggling to keep up!  There's just one more thing...

Random Fact Four Archie, Alfie and Charlie (Mum and Dad's dearly departed first dog - I'll share a photo of him sometime, when I've scanned one in.  He was one of the cutest dogs to ever walk this earth but was as stubborn as they come!) are/were all rescue dogs and they were all collected from their rescue centres on the fourth of the month.  Archie on 4th August, Alfie on 4th October and Charlie on 4th November (all different years, of course!).  We didn't notice until after Dad got Alfie but it's one of those odd coincidences that happens every now and again! 

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