I have a massive ‘to-do’ list for May and may have added too much to it as per normal. Not to worry though, if I don’t get it all done it’s not the end of the world. My main aim is to once again get back on top of the general spending and food shopping. I’ve made a start by doing an inventory of the freezer, from that I can create a list of meals and try and use anything I think has been in there a little too long. This week I’m off for the first LARP event of the year so I’ll whip up a quiche and some sausage rolls from what I have already, much tastier and cheaper than store bought, and maybe a few cakes to add to it too. My only large outgoing this month will be new tyres for the car, I’ve already had this months treat as I bought an expansion pack for a game I play online.
Over on Make Do and Mend LIfe there is a whole group of like minded people getting onvolved in #menditmay. I’m going along with it but I’ll miss a whole bunch of Instagram prompts this week due to being in a place with zero phone signal. I’ll try and post my catch ups after I come home though.
In the same lines as saving pennies and making do my allotment plot is looking great and the seedlings are coming on really well. All of my fruit trees are in blossom but the pear tree takes the crown this year for most flamboyant display. I have a feeling I’m gong to need to reinforce several branches again this year! Last year it was so heavy it snapped at the base and I thought I’d loose it. I literally stuck it back together with an iron rod for a splint and duct tape and that seems to have worked well. Amazingly well actually.
Now it’s time for a hot chocolate before I head to bed with a good book. I’m currently reading A Croft in the Hills by Katherine Stewart and it’s making me long once more for a life I know I can’t achieve. Chronic illness sucks by the way. Either way it’s a lovely read and she takes you on a lovely walk through her life. Sometimes you just have to change your plans a little. I may not be able to have a croft bu I have my plot and garden and that’s good enough for me.
The past week has been busy. Every single day has been filled with people to see, places to go, things to do. There has been work, allotment club meetings, official letter writing, work in the online shop behind the scenes. I’d planned to spend today catching up on housework and perhaps having a little for myself but even that wasn’t destined to happen. Best laid plans and all of that.
Unfortunately me and Eldest made a disastrous find yesterday in the form of clothes moths. We were quite happily packing things ready for the upcoming larp and she spotted a single moth on the outside of a box stashed on top of the wardrobe. We opened the lid and I could have cried, my step-grandmothers rabbit fur stole had been eaten by the nasty little blighters! Empty larvae cases were over everything and a cloud of little brown moths tried to take flight as we unpacked everything and threw the infested things into a bin bag. Today was spent clearing out the affected boxes, washing everything that had come into contact with the moths and wasn’t disintegrating, and vacuum packing anything that was real fur or fibre. Luckily I didn’t loose too much and I now have moth repellant everything in every cupboard and drawer in that room.
I’m glad now that I took the trip to Ikea last week to pick up another box or two for my studio. I needed something with a sealable lid for my needle felting supplies and undyed yarns. I found this white board in their office furniture section and it made giggle. Thanks Ikea!
I know I’ll never truly beat the bugs that like to invade my old art deco house but I can at least stop them eating the stuff I want to keep. Well, maybe on the inside, now to deal with the insane snail population in my future veggie bed.
Today the holiday adventures continued with visits to several small towns. We started off with Lynmouth but it was still too early really and only just above freezing, the wind chill factor had it down to -2, so we ended up hiding in a cafe trying to warm up. From there we headed through Lynton and Comb Martin to Illfracombe. Tea and cake was consumed half way through our exploring and then we headed onward to Barnstaple.
Barnstaple was actually lovely even though I had my doubts about it. It had a great market, plenty of local produce, and wasn’t too big. We had a good look around and then went into the local cinema where we watched The Jungle Book which I highly recommend. Back to Minehead for dinner before coming back to the beautiful Gables. I’m sad that we have to go home in the morning but I feel rested and ready to get on with things once more.
Things at home have continued to be equal parts quiet to equal parts busy. Lovely MIL has been in and out of hospital several times now, each time for something different, which causes worry to both me and the Husbeast. We try to continue as normal but it’s not that easy to do when a family member falls I’ll.
Today though we are taking a much needed break as it’s the Husbeasts birthday. We have had a lovely day with a nice drive down to Dunster Castle, dinner in Minehead, then to the beautiful B&B in the village of Porlock.
Tommorow we will head off to Illfracombe on our adventures. For now though an early night is much needed.
The past 9 days have been long and hard as my lovely MIL has been hospitalised. We’re hoping to her back home within the next 48 hours but we’re also aware that things can change very quickly. Whilst it hasn’t been physically tough it’s taxed both me and the Husbeast mentally.
I’ve also had the added stress of anxiety attacks hitting from nowhere on a regular basis which has impacted how I cope with things. I’ve felt lately that I have lost my creative mojo. My inspiration to make jewellery has been lacking even though I’ve tried all my normal tricks. Some days though you have to let your hands guide you. My head is busy with so many things that it’s almost blocked the fact that my hands have a way of creating things without me thinking about it too much. I found myself wandering up and down to the studio today and then all of a sudden I was getting out supplies. I let my head continue going over mundane things like shopping lists and does the laundry need doing. I ignored what my hands were doing until something had started to take shape.
What surprised me is that it wasn’t jewellery my hands were making, it was a doll. As a rule I don’t like dolls, I find them disturbing and creepy, but every now and then one turns up that I take to. I have a Monster High Laguna Blue that sits on my desk for example and a couple of the Living Dead Dolls keep her company. Perhaps I should say that ‘regular’ dolls aren’t my thing as I do like the creepy and weird ones. The one I formed today has no head as of yet, it hasn’t shown me it’s face, but the body has and is being worked on and taking shape well. A wire frame has been made and covered in soft stuffing material that is slowly being needle felted is as far as I’ve got but it feels good to once more create something. I’m already considering what fabrics to pull from my stash in order to make to make this spirit some clothes for when I have finally pulled him from the ether.
We all need a little pick me up now and then and I’ve been feeling a bit low with all the gloomy weather of late. I’m also fighting a fibro flair that is attempting to knock me sideways with no signs of letting up. I’m not a shopper, I dislike wandering around shops and I hate clothes shopping, but I do like to be inspired and I love to support small businesses so I hit Folksy to see what I could find. Whilst browsing I came across Martas Eco Crafts and her little inspiration packs. My package arrived swiftly and when I opened it I couldn’t believe just how much had been stuffed into the envelope!
I’ve already had quite a few ideas of what to do with it some of which will use both my jewellery skills and needle felting. Sometimes all you need is a little parcel of goodies to kick start the creation process again.
In theory I have four days off during the week. In actuality I rarely have a day off at all. I work part time, my husband works full time, so I have the lions share of housework on a daily basis. I’m not complaining, we both have our parts to play in running the household, it’s just the way it is. It doesn’t mean that I sit around doing nothing on days I don’t go to my paid job though. So far this week I’ve had Tuesday and Wednesday off but not off.
Tuesday was spent down at the allotment and it was the first day I’d managed to get there in over a month. Between torrential rain, Christmas, overtime, and illness I hadn’t been able to find any time suitable. I was pleasantly surprised that the weeds hadn’t taken over completely and there was actually a bit of veg worth saving. I spent all last year buying scrap wood and making raised beds which have been a godsend with the wet weather. My plot is a layer of topsoil over clay so drainage is an issue. Please excuse the fact my shadow is in the picture, it wouldn’t get out of the way 🙂
I left at 9am, picked up a car load of things from my Mums, went to the plot, and didn’t leave until 3pm. After a hot shower I dressed warmly and headed off to a meeting of the allotment club as I’m club Secretary. It was somewhere around -1 when I headed out and the paths were ice covered. Needless to say that by the time I crawled in to bed I was beyond tired and slept well for the first time in a week.
Today was different but no less busy. Three loads of laundry, the bed has been changed, a trip to the green grocers, forum queries answered,dinner cooked, and all the veg I brought home yesterday has been processed. My spoon allocation was pretty poor for the day so I’m more than happy with it all but it brings me back to the beginning of this post again. There’s no such thing as a day off. There is always that one more thing to get done, one more cup to wash or shirt to iron, one more job to be added to the list. There’s no point in stressing though, there’s always tomorrow!
Over the winter I thought a lot about what I wanted to do here, what I wanted to write, what I wanted to share with the world. I’m clearing the decks and starting again. So much has changed in the past 12 months. I’ve learned to drive, become more confident at my day job, lost 70lbs of weight, and started to take on more complex jewellery commissions. I’m not the same person I was then so this blog is now reflecting that.
I’m starting my year a few weeks late, I don’t make resolutions, and I am going to make a few changes. Time to start simplifying. I’ve started with my blog list as it was the least daunting thing to do, much easier than sorting through my books, and I’ve cut it down to a third of what I use to read. I know it seems odd but I feel much better for it. I’ve also gone through my email subs and removed all but 3 of them. I was finding blogs and emails taking up too much of my time in the mornings. I like to browse through them while I have morning coffee and it’s too easy to get caught up and spend an hour or two wandering around the net. Digital clutter can be just as stifling as physical clutter and it’s good to do some early Spring cleaning.
I have also decided to challenge myself a little more often. My first challenge is a knitting one. I’ve never made an actual piece of clothing for myself, never tackled lace, and fight terribly with circular needles so, in order to get past this, I’ve picked a pattern that has all three of these things. My ever so wonderful Extra Dad bought me a starter set of KnitPro circulars as a Yule gift to help me along and I’m using a favorite yarn of mine. The pattern I’m attempting is the simple lace shrug, a free pattern listed on Ravelry, and the yarn is James C Brett Marble Chunky.