Something dear to my heart

The Simple Things - Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand, taken by Audsley Jones

The Simple Things – Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand

Nine and a bit years ago I was diagnosed with ME, or chronic fatigue syndrome. At the time, doctors were reluctant to diagnose patients with such a label, something unknown, and something that could just be another mental illness being misinterpreted. Still now, little is known, there is still debate about wither this is a disability, an illness or something of the mind.

But this is not a story of medicine, or one of debate. This is me, learning how to adapt to something that changes daily, changes by the minute, something I struggle to explain (even to myself). I never wanted an illness to be the centre of my life, and then, I didn’t want this thing I am suffering to just have to work its way into my routine life, its a balance, a compromise, where life and health have to give, take and co-operate. I am blessed to live a life of freedom, of choice, to have the will (even tho some days it can take over an hour) to get out of bed (why do you think my alarm is set so early?). How am I to say life is “hard” when there are others suffering around me, others less fortunate, others who even tho their circumstances seem horrific, unbelievable, unlivable, or even to our perspective nothing major, see the beauty, the light, the life in every day.

This new road I am traveling, a new city, a new “home”, a new difference has challenged me, has forced me to struggle, to understand that this road is different, it is unpredictable and this illness I share life with has responded and wants to be heard. My strength comes from the beauty of life, a life God has given us to live, learn, play and struggle with, a life to love, the intricacy of the leaves, the grass, every strand of it, and what we create, for ourselves, others and just because. Life, no matter how “hard”, changing, awkward, uncomfortable, simple, life is to be lived, and lived with purpose.

How to – Cupcake lights

So moving into a new room after spending 23 years in my previous home was a bit of a challenge, how to make this strange new place “home”?

Well, one of my lovely friends mentioned I should make cupcake lights. Finding the wrappers was a mission and a half, but success in a local book store (in all places).

Here’s how to lighten up your room with a bit of delectable goodness

Supplies
– Christmas or fairy lights (I used the LED ones)
– Cupcake wrappers (number matching the number of lights)
– Craft knife

Steps
1. Cut a small cross on the centre bottom of the cupcake wrappers

2. Push light through the cross (from the outside in)

3. Place as desired, and light up

Posted in DIY

It’s been a while…

Wow time has flown by. I have been without internet for the past three weeks, plus a months worth of packing, rowing, travelling… well hopefully you get the point. But I AM BACK! Whoop! 

So whats on the cards you may be asking??
Well….

The plan is still to write up about some of my favourite indie pattern companies/bloggers/designers, just a little bit later than planned
There are plenty of craft things to share
And some stories of the past month (just so you don’t feel like you have missed out on too much, did i mention I have moved cities?)

But until then, here is a photo of my lovely rowing family at New Zealand National Rowing Champs held in Twizel at the end of February, I am missing them a tad…

Image

Things to come

So the past week has been an interesting one, I managed to come down with tonsillitis last Wednesday and have very much slept the week away (sigh). The upside to being home sick is the dreaming up of creative tasks (mostly sewing ones) for the future. One thing I am quite excited to announce is that over the next month (and a bit) I will be dedicating my posts to the many indie pattern designers I admire and the creations I have made and have planned (gosh, so many planned). Hopefully this will open you to a new world (if not one already experienced) and give you an insight into the past year of my relaxation time of sewing.

 

Dreams

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined – Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

Dreams Road Sign

Dreams, its funny to think at some point in my life I stopped dreaming, or at least ambitiously dreaming. I am learning, even the overly ambitious, and somewhat unrealistic dreams are healthy, motivating and good for the soul, without them (especially the ambitious ones) I don’t really know if I am challenging myself to my full potential, as who said dreams were impossible, they are only impossible if we allow them to be.

So here I am about to embark on a new phase in my life, leaving home for the first time, moving cities, embarking on studies (again) and becoming engrossed in a sport which pushes me mentally, physically and emotionally. And with all these things, I have learnt to dream, to be ambitious and not look at the impossible but the possible.

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? – Robert Kennedy

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams – Eleanor Roosevelt 

DIY Needlework Artwork

This is a very simple and effective gift, or something to display in the home for very little  money, enjoy…

What you need
– Stretched canvas
– Paint
– Paint brush
– Ruler
– Pencil
– Wool
– Wool needle
– Material puncher, or something to press a hole in the canvas, a large needle works well

1. Paint your canvas the desired colour

2. Plan what you want to draw, this is easiest by drawing up a grid of your canvas area and creating your desired object. I chose letters with a grid square of 2cm x 2cm (as my canvas were 20cm x 20cm this worked out quite nicely)

3. Draw up your puncher marks on your canvas using a ruler and a pencil to dot the puncher marks

4. Punch holes in desired places

5. Start cross stitching,  remember, good needlework practice is that you should always have the thread (wool in this case) going in the same direction on the top and bottom stitches. If your wool is thin you can double up

6. Tie off your wool at the end, step back and enjoy your creation

My first curtains!

I made new curtains for my room!! I have been dreaming of this day for over a year. My lovely curtains (if you call them that, a piece of thin yellow material covered in a decorative voile, yip I thought it was cool at the time) had passed there used by date. In winter my room was a ice box, the breeze outside would lift them up, even with the windows closed. Our lovely fat cat Misty, as a kitten used to swing on them so the rips mixed with age have been getting progressively worse. My mum made the originals for me when we re-painted me room over 13 years ago, my mum, super women, could make any curtain, and would be asked regularly to make curtains for our friends (my old church, St Georges actually has some Pam Jones curtains hanging in their vicars house), so naturally, with anything sewing, if mum could do it, so can I (so far I have not been proven wrong).

So after many months of convincing dad to let me buy some new material (“if you want new curtains you need to pay for them yourself”), the left hand side pull snapped, the morning I had to leave for the Christmas regatta (my second weekend back home), good bye light. As dad is getting ready to sell the house, he was a little more willing to buy some material (well he was happy for me to live the next two months at home with broken curtains, but had some flip 180 one morning and got excited about buying me material). So I sent dad on the hunt.

The first thing he did… open two trunks full of material, dad seriously, you have been holding out on me. Yes two full trunks of glorious (and hideous) material of my mothers, and going through the sort, did anything get ditched, nope, nothing (I had to inform dad that you cannot ditch material  even if its ugly as anything, someone will love it), did we find a curtain replacement, close but sadly not enough material (and I am also a little picky).

Dad spent the week taking measurements and popping down to our local furnishing store (I sent him to the less expensive one), and he found a beautiful double sided material of cream and gold with a reversible floral print (and for $20/m dad was sold). This same material if you look closely around our house is actually on the lounge cushions, mum made, seems my mum and dad both have similar taste. The fabric was purchased, yet to find time to sit at my machine didn’t happen until after Christmas (and this was my first sit down since coming home, nearly a month with no sewing, two if you count Nepal).

I cheated and copied what mum did (don’t fix it if it works), the material was narrower but I managed…

Say hello to my new curtains (excuse the terrible iPhone photos, my camera is failing to live up to expectation)

Getting my sew on

All wound up

Hanging down (and yes it is sunny outside)

Eulogy of the Safety Orange Drink Bottle

A sad day has passed where I have had to bid farewell to a consistent companion, my safety orange drink bottle.

You have followed me on my travels, slotted in beside me on long drives, partook in Urban Search and Rescue training, rolled around the boat on a daily basis, sat patiently while I exercised my way to exhaustion and survived the fateful double novice capsize of 2012.

But sadly this time has come to an end, the tragic accident of the Mardi Himal trek has taken its toll, where we thought you had been revived, your degradation soon became apparent.

Thank you for keeping me hydrated, nursing my fatigue and brightening up my day. You will be missed but not forgotten. Even tho you have been replaced by the awesome purple and blue combo, you will always be the safety orange drink bottle.

Where has the time gone?

Wow I cannot believe I have been home for over a week. So much has happened it is crazy! I thought as it has been over two weeks since my last post I should say hi, I haven’t forgotten about my blog, just finding the time to sit down and compose all the thoughts going on in my head has been rather hard.

I am looking forward to sharing about my last few days in Nepal and the very quick but fulfilling trip to Pakistan (God has blessed me abundantly) but sadly these will have to wait for another post.

The past week at home has been an adjustment, I have suffered from crazy jet lag, a really bad stomach bug and my chronic fatigue syndrome has relapsed (after nearly a year of being under control, sigh).

I feel as tho my creative spark has come back, I have started making earrings and necklaces (my first attempt I am wearing below) and my sewing to do list is growing!

I was very blessed to be pressured into partaking in the West End Rowing Club Amazing Race, after our annual Christmas Party on Saturday, I was a tad stressed about the work still to complete for Nepal (which is taking forever), but I decided and prayed that I would have some fun and not worry about everything else in my life… any man did we have fun.

I got epically sun burnt! Crashed my car (well no damage to both mine or the other). We ran and drove around Auckland like maniacs, asking strangers to help us, take photos of us, give us the fingers etc. The most awesome part WE WON!!! my first ever trophy (sad I know). I really enjoyed bonding with my team mates and having a heck of a fun time doing things I normally wouldn’t. Life is great!

TROPHY!!

TROPHY!!

Team ROWBOTS

Team ROWBOTS