Creativity · Designing · Life

Making it

Today while having a tidy up I found the drawing of the Maxi Ear Warmer. I love drawing. And look how it turned out! I reflected, rather smugly, that I am achieving much of what my teen self wanted; although I wondered if my teen self would be particularly overjoyed. True, I am a designer, musician and fitness professional, however my teen self would have wanted ‘famous’ to preface those professions. That fame was as important as the actual thing that earned it. I guess it’s part of being young. Now in my 40’s I’m delighted I can pretty much do what I like. We have enough.

This got me thinking about the idea of ‘making it’, you know when people say they want to ‘make it’ as a singer/designer/artist/whatever. The idea of being a celebrity/household name/whatever for doing something. How hollow, how temporary and how little it has to do with the act of creating something. There are many many artisans /artists etc who pretty much do what they like and have enough to live but whom few people have heard of.

Our little girl has recently started playing ‘pop stars’ with her friends at school. I’m not entirely sure what this entails. And so it starts again. I hope I can help her see that it’s the act of doing that’s the important bit, not the fame that might or might not come as a result. And why is that important? Because when ‘Making It’ is measured by fame and mass recognition by oneself and others it’s too easy to be encouraged to have ‘back up plans’. My back up plans sucked and brought me very little happiness; I wish I’d had the confidence at the time to accept my own judgement as valid enough rather than relying on external recognition.

Life

Let’s hear it for the girls!

It’s International Women’s Day. We get a whole day dedicated to us and the wonderful, brave, resourceful beings that we are. Yes, these are all qualities that men have too but today’s about us…❤️

So anyway I’ve spent today with some pretty awesome women, like the beautiful ladies in the aqua aerobics class I covered today, giving it their all. It used to be my class before I gave it up to pursue my Oh My Makery dream pretty much a year ago. It was lovely to see them all again. You know if I’m honest I really do not enjoy teaching aqua aerobics; jumping up and down on concrete in a humid 30 degrees C, the acoustics of a biscuit tin and a head mic with an intermittent fault …. Yey.

Each Thursday I would teach spin followed by aqua, and each Thursday I would be filled with dread and loathing of the coming aqua class and then the magic happened. The ladies would turn up. Contrary to popular opinion they were not all in their 60’s in skirted costumes and flowery swim hats, however the ones that were rocked! No, ladies if all ages, shapes and sizes would come along and that dreaded 45 minutes would be transformed.

Where am I going with this? Well for me, this proved week after week that you could be happy even though superficially you were doing something you didn’t think you enjoyed IF you choose to see the beauty in others, the light that shines in all of us and connects us…

And today on International Women’s Day I have had the opportunity to reflect upon this in the presence of wonderful women and also to feel proud of myself and how far I have travelled this year,

Namaste 🙏🏼

Creativity · Designing

Work in progress.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything ; I’ve not been idle. A few things have come up so I’ve had to think creatively. Some of the colours in the super chunky range have been discontinued by the supplier. The blue, the orange so I’ve been looking at other colour combinations and also another suppliers of a similar yarn and seeing how it compares. So far it’s very favourable, working through the patterns,making sure they knit up the same size, feel good, look good.

I’ve found a really rich red, and a powder blue that sing to me and work well with the other colours. Also I’ve been working with some different chunky colours. Also I’ve been working on some new designs.  I can’t help feeling somewhat distracted, disconnected. It’s not a great feeling but sometimes I think we have to sit with our feelings. See where they lead us, Sometimes I learn more this way, new things present themselves, things I wouldn’t have found otherwise. There is also a risk however that I take a route that has no benefit at all other than to be a mistake to learn from!

So while I dilly and dally (or at least that’s what it feels like) I’m working on nice little lined summer bag and I’ve been asked to knit a hat for a friend. I’ve got a new design in mind – aran weight knitted top down.  I’ll share the pattern when it’s finished.

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You know what you know

I’m on a mission to learn some cool new knitting tricks. I’ve got my books out and sifted through the pages; maybe this is the year I knit socks? Just no!

1) I really cannot relax when using dpn. I’ve tried, really I have and every time my jaw aches with the concentration and effort . Not really what I’m after when I knit.

2) There’s 2 of them. Even if I start them both at the same time the thought doesn’t fill me with joy because ….

3) 4 ply!! What the hell! Just no!

So no to socks. Well not all new stuff needs to be difficult, it just has to be something I’ve not done before…. Reversible knitting.

I’m having a go, revisiting my baby bunting. Each little triangle is 2 triangles back to back. I’ve got to be honest, it’s not going so well. Maybe small triangles isn’t the best application for this… maybe the bigga bunting would work better … pots maybe… I’ll give it a real good go.

Maybe I’ll grow to love it… because I don’t love it right now. If not I’ll try something else. Because life’s like that!!

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The Power of One

Today I was delighted to give these beauties to my good buddies Sonia and G. I think they liked them too, well they certainly liked the cans of G&T inside!!

I’ve enjoyed working on the ‘Cup Cosy’ (purple) and the ‘Mug Mitt’ (brown). The cup cosy is a simple sleeve while the mug mitt comes with little pockets to keep your fingers warm. I’m going to knit one for me next.

I know some coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own cup but even if they don’t you can just enjoy the knowledge that it’s one less cup to landfill. Now I’m sourcing bamboo reusable cups…..

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The Holiday’s Over!

I’m back home after teaching my first class of 2018, and it was good to be back. The girl goes back to school tomorrow, her uniform is all ready to go, mainly because we had to buy new on account of her growing, so that’s it; the holiday is over.

Tomorrow I’m back on it. Let’s see what the year holds.

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Decision made…..?

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I’m not feeling very decisive today and I’m also being massively allergic to something today, streaming nose, sore throat, itchy mouth and eyes, the works….but it’s STILL on my list of things to do…”Choose colours for ‘Home Spun’ range.  It’s been there for over a week, winking at me from the page.  So, I’ve sorted the internet out – should have a new box in a few days hopefully, hoovered, cleared through a load of stuff that needed sorting…you know the usual procrastination.  Enough!

After much deliberation, I think I have arrived at a decision for the colours.  Artisan, Mallard, Geranium, Pretty, Ice Gem, Flax.  They all work well together as well as independently and will work well with the designs I’ve come up with.

Later today I’ll order the yarn and the knitting needles but first of all I need some time out, to let the decision settle. I’d love to go for a run to clear my head bur my knees are sore today.  I’ll go for a walk with some good tunes and come back to it… see if I feel the same. I’d have loved Marni, the red… I still might.

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Best Laid Plans….

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Today had an appointment first thing and then was going busking in town. Later on I had intended to do some weights after  the little one was in bed.  That was before I woke in the middle of the night from a weird dream with such a jolt that something went twang by my shoulder blade.  It’s happened once before so this time I didn’t think I was having a heart attack, I just hobbled downstairs, took the last dose of cocodamol and tried to get some sleep.  Luckily for me I am blessed with friends who will take the little one to school as I can’t drive the heavy old van like this and also that our village, however tiny has a pharmacy.

I got overtaken on my way to the pharmacy by a gentleman in a mobility scooter. I bought coffee and a newspaper from the Spar Shop…. Today my body is less like a temple and more like a Dystopian theme park.  When it hurts less to breathe I will do some gentle stretching and if I can find a tennis ball anywhere I’ll do some rolling against a door frame as I can feel a knot as hard and bumpy as a walnut by my shoulder blade. In the mean time, the best policy is to keep moving and keep busy as what I really want to do is just moan a lot and maybe cry a bit …. neither of which will help as much keeping mobile and anyway there’s no point moaning if there’s no one to hear you do it!!!!

Onwards and upwards.  I now have the day to finish off Beaky. My shoulder means that any proper housework is out of the question but a bit of cutting and sewing, a bit of knitting maybe later or maybe even starting to make Bo, the basic head puppet will keep me busy and be food for the soul….. I’ll see how I get on.

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Nothing is wasted … ever.

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Today the house is quiet except for the gentle hum of the fish tank. I’m beginning to feel calm after a number of days feeling a bit ‘stabby’; I’m starting Beaky, a puppet; a beautiful birdy-style puppet.

I’ve made the foam head. I’ve burned myself on the hot glue more times than I can count. I’m smiling  I’m making first pattern for the covering out of carrier bags, and I’m smiling. Let me tell you why.

When I was 14 I found out that a friend’s brother was going to Falmouth School of Art and Design…. the most interesting fact was that in those days you got a grant to live away from home.  Yep the local authority gave 16 year olds money to go study art…. CRAZY!!!! Anyway, I wanted to leave home, at the earliest opportunity and so a plan was made.  I could draw, the deal was sealed.  Fast forward on a couple of years and there I was, living away from home at the tax payers expense doing a BTEC ND in Fashion Design.

I didn’t pass the course. None of my work satisfied the ‘commercially viable’ component and I didn’t have any money to put on a final show. I didn’t really care.  I was my own (utterly irresponsible) person, living on my own I had loved every minute of the life drawing and finding out about different media and I had learnt about pattern cutting. So, what! I didn’t pass!  move on to Plan B .  Not that I had a Plan B… Let’s be honest, I hadn’t really thought Plan A through that well!

So many years went by during which I developed a CV that looked like a Yellow pages. I mistook being good at something as a reason to try and make it a career … including jobs that involved wearing suits and taking responsibility for stuff I wasn’t interested in (not my happiest epoch), I enrolled on a music degree course only once again to run out of money, I applied for jobs for which I was totally under qualified and gained them due to my creative writing skills on the applications.  All the while I felt like a failure.  I felt like I never knew enough, like I had achieved nothing and would never amount to anything. However, I realised during many dark nights of the soul that in each of my incarnations, I learned something, I gained skills. That I was luckier than most in that I had experienced so much and had so many opportunities to learn new things.

Fast forward loads more years.  My baby girl loved the muppets… ok I loved the muppets and it was a good reason to watch them again.  She loved puppets.  I decided to have a go at making them.  ‘How hard can it be?’ I thought – it was this thought that was behind many of my creative job applications.  And it was hard but I didn’t care because when you want to do something you don’t mind, and I started to remember my pattern cutting and I smiled. It was a light bulb moment.  Truly, nothing is wasted.  Everything I have done or not done has taught me something. Sometimes the lessons are harder to spot than others.

So anyway I have no qualifications in making puppets other than I make puppets. I use skills that I have learned my whole life. Surely that’s the most important thing.  The Doing Something Because You Love It.