Hello 2015…

I always struggle to find a focus word to live by for the year and the harder I try, the more elusive it becomes. Last year it was a blend of ‘balance’ and ’embrace’. I needed to improve my work-family-life-play balance, and at the same time I needed to be more… open to new things. I think I managed to do these things…

I reduced my hours at work so that I could be with my children after school, I embraced opportunities to expand in areas I wanted to improve and I also dropped some things, because even though I was loving them, they were not helping the home balance.

By the end of the year, I was spending more time with my children, dashing about more for them! And had expanded a little on one hobby which has introduced me to a whole world of new friends. Tenfold, in fact!

I also found that by the end of the year, I was having to remind myself to breathe. For everything. I hold my breath at work, I hold my breath when I’m driving, I hold my breath every time I need to speak to anyone, I hold my breath as I walk through the door at home! So in trying to ‘balance’ and ’embrace’, whilst they have improved life and relationships tremendously, I have neglected to take the time to just let go and breathe.

This year, that will be my focus around the continued effort to ‘balance’ and ’embrace’. BREATHE…

How do I do this though?

Well, at work, I often say, “now just breathe nice and normally for me…” That really should have been my cue all along!

I’m going to take the children to the beach after school whenever I can. This is my calming place, even when life gets manic and I have a billion jobs to do.

In my hobby, I am going to say no to projects that don’t make me happy.

And at home… who ever holds their breath in anticipation when they get home? Home is supposed to bring relief after a day’s work. It’s supposed to be a sanctuary when the world outside is scary and painful.

Home is a small flat filled to the brim with stuff we’ve accumulated in the last five years – baby toys, books, materials from past hobbies, clothes the children have grown out of… You know what I’m talking about. STUFF. And because our place is small, it all ends up in my bedroom. So, I have started to rid my sanctuary of STUFF so that I can BREATHE again.

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The rest of my crafty 2014…

My last post was a little over 4 months ago. In it I shared the two swaps I had been in and the things I had made – Schnitzel&Boo Mini Swap and the Strawberry Swap.

I can’t really touch on what happened the day after that post, and I just couldn’t bring myself to write about anything without feeling like I had to spill my heart. So, I didn’t. I didn’t write anything.

Now, I have other things that have come after that so I will share those. Briefly. Anyone on Instagram will have seen pretty much everything I’ve been up to, everything that has filled my time… where was I?

The Strawberry Swap is where i left off… It felt like forever before my swap parcel turned up. Something about an angel for an angel, or something like that. It was totally worth the wait! I had the loveliest things sent to me in my favourite colours, but let’s be honest here – a strawberry theme was always going to be a favourite!

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Then there was the IG Mini Swap! My third swap ever AND I was a group leader! My partner likes dresdens and the oh, so sweet Swoon quilt by Thimbleblossoms, purple and turquoise. She also likes not having what everyone else has. That was the hardest bit! I Googled a bunch of dresden quilts and looked at hundreds of Swoon quilts before I decided on the mini I would make. In purple and turquoise, I made my partner: The Dresden Swoon! I also Googled that to make sure it was a mostly original combination… and here it is!

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The mini I received was perfect. I tried not to get too excited about the minis popping up in the group tag. Everytime I fell in love with something, it arrived on someone else’s doorstep so I decided that none of them were for me. I remember seeing this mini, catching myself thinking, “I love that,” and then swiftly telling myself it wasn’t mine. This gorgeous little Dwell mini was indeed for me and I love it so very much!!
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I also had a go at Foundation Paper Piecing, first a pineapple block for the Bee I’m in, then a kingfisher for my family Secret Santa and last for the year, ballet shoes for my niece. I am soooooo impressed with how each of these turned out! Yes, there was cussing. Yes, there was frustration. Yes, I got several opportunities to develop my relationship with my seam ripper. But look at them!

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There’s a whole lot more (four gorgeous babies were born!) but this is it for now. I need to catch up on Bee blocks and goals for this year so I’ll do all that in other posts.