Lost, not found

I feel lifeless.  Just one blog post in June so far.  I’m finally not ill anymore but it seems as though I’ve been zapped of all my creative juice.  I haven’t crocheted, crafted, or stitched in days and it is a lonely and confusing feeling.  I am happiest when I am making and when I come up against a creative block, I feel lost.

I want to run away sometimes. Hide from life. I would love nothing more than to have more space. Space to create, to stash my fabrics and papers and yarns and hooks.  Space for my children to play, to stash their own treasures, to stop the cascade of toys that is currently overtaking my bedroom and living room and kitchen…

I have an oppressive feeling of being trapped. Of not being able to dig my way of this tangle of a mess I call my life right now.  Each time I feel I am moving forward, creating a plan of how to do great things, I feel knocked back.

I. HAVE. TO. GET. OUT. OF. HERE.

My kids are constantly fighting, screaming, jumping, pinching, whining.  Running amok like caged animals worked into a frenzy by their imprisonment.  I’m tired of being referee. And I’m tired of yelling. And tidying. And cleaning up mammoth messes. I have a collection of cleaning sprays and scrubbing cloths at the ready to tackle the endless finger smudges on walls and pen scrawls on the furniture.

I am a single mom. In every sense of that word. I single-handedly take on the job of mother and father, judge and jury. I am the “fun” parent yet also the one who has to mete out punishments.  I do school runs, parent-teacher meetings, grocery shops, doctor and dentist appointments, ballet classes, homework help, baths, bedtime stories, kisses, cuddles…  I don’t remember the last time I managed to eat breakfast before rushing out the door to get Emilie to school.

I’m not complaining, I guess I am venting.  My kids are what keep me going. But I’ve almost completely lost my sense of self through my devotion to them.  My name is Liam’s mum/Emilie’s mum/Zoie’s mum.

Who am I really?

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Just a little under the weather

I’ve been ill.  This past week all my stresses caught up with me.  At one point I couldn’t even move from my bed, burning with fever, aches and pains in every joint, and a thumping headache to match.  Blogging was out of the question. Breathing was hard enough…

But crochet I could.

And I did.

Behold, my Gumdrop Slippers, careful crafted.

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Someone needs to have a baby so I have an excuse to make more of these sweet things! 🙂

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P.S.  I’m pleased to report that I’m on the mend and have some exciting new projects in the pipeline!

Cheeky cherry baby booties

Just a quick post before bedtime (and just before midnight) to show you my latest crochet project.

Yesterday I was laid up in bed feeling pretty crappy, for lack of a better word.  I reached for my crochet hook and a ball of yarn I had purchased at a craft fair a few months ago but had forgotten at the bottom of my basket.  I decided it was soft yet sturdy enough for a pair of baby booties and I got to work. (you gotta love a hobby you can pursue while lying snuggled up in bed!)

I made the first bootie and saw it was good.  Then I made the other.  Then I decided I wanted to sweeten them up a bit. So I designed a pair of cherries and they looked awesome! I was super proud of my effort!

Here are the finished booties:

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Aren’t they just too cute?!  And if they really take your fancy, they are available to buy in my Etsy shop!

Until next time,

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How to Make a Fabulous Fabric Flower Clip – Tutorial

Recently I’ve been collecting fabric like a mad woman.  Remnants, and trimmings, and offcuts, oh my!  All the lovely colours and patterns have inspired me to create loads of cute projects and this fabric flower clip is one of my favourites!

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This tutorial includes an extra special touch as it uses embellishments from a broken necklace I found in the bottom of my jewellery drawer.  If you’re like me, you’ll have the odd earring whose match has gone missing or a necklace with a broken clasp.  Time to UPCYCLE!

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I grabbed a gem from this necklace (hence the gap between the bird and the bead) and used it as the centre for my flower.

Here is how you can make your own fabulous flower!

You will need:

  • gem or bead from an old/broken piece of jewellery
  • fabric of your choice
  • sewing machine and thread (or needle and thread)
  • elastic thread for bobbin (if using a sewing machine)
  • hot glue gun
  • alligator clip

How to make your clip:

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1. Cut a strip of fabric 2 inches wide by 9 inches long.

2. Using your sewing machine with elastic in the bobbin, sew all the way down about 1/4 inch in from one edge. This makes the fabric ruffle nicely.  If you don’t have a sewing machine, simply sew a wide running stitch all the way down one edge.

3. Grab the loose end of elastic (or thread if hand stitching) and pull gently to create the ruffle and bring the two ends of the flower together.

4. Stitch the two ends together

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5. Grab your lovely jewel/gem/bead

6. Place a dab of hot glue on the back

7. Attach jewel to the centre of your fabric flower (I pulled a few of the loose threads from around the flower to create a frayed look)

8. Place a generous dab of hot glue along the length of your alligator clip and attach to the back of the flower

All done!

Now you are ready to clip your flower to anything your heart desires! The possibilities are endless:

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Hair clip

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Headband (simply clip onto a plain headband)

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Handbag clip (my personal fave!)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial — if you make a clip please come back and share a link so that I can see your gorgeous creation!

 

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Five Minute Friday – Brave

Today I am participating in a freewriting exercise called “Five Minute Friday”.  You can read all about it here on Lisa Jo-Baker’s site.

The challenge is to freewrite on a topic for just 5 minutes – no more, no less.  You cannot edit, backtrack, or change what you have written. This is pretty much the whole point of freewriting, you see.

This week’s topic is: BRAVE

Here is what I wrote:

I have a little boy. He stole my heart. From the moment I laid eyes on that tiny bundle, snuggled myself against that soft, warm cheek, I was in love. Unconditionally and inextricably.  My boy is the embodiment of brave. Poked and prodded from just a few weeks old. Many nights spent on hospital wards. Endless lists of medications, supplements, tests, trials, and all that comes with being “special”.  Because he is special, in every possible definition of the word.  He never lets his challenges hold him back.  He is bursting with energy and love and kindness.  He minds his manners yet can also be loud, rambunctious or downright over-the-top.  He does silly things like hug random strangers and slightly embarrassing things like lick the shopping cart handle.  I once filled up with tears when he threw a tantrum in public until I realised that it was me who wasn’t coping, not him.  I needed to be brave. Like him.  He has taught me about myself in ways I could never imagine and I am eternally grateful that I can call him my son.

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And that’s it.  When I looked up at the screen and re-read what I wrote, I felt a tinge of pride.  Not bad at all.

I found it therapeutic and enjoyed the challenge of not being allowed to alter the words that flowed freely from my heart. I am notorious for editing, perhaps to a fault.  I find myself tweaking things that I wrote back in high school — now some 15 years in the past.  This was a wonderful exercise in restraint and I welcome it.

Freewriting is something I have come across in the many creative writing and literature classes I have taken throughout both my degrees.  But this is the first time I have used the technique as a blog post.  And I rather like it.

I think I will try to keep up with “Five Minute Fridays” — it’s always good to step out of your comfort zone.

Have you ever tried freewriting?  What do you think of when you see the word BRAVE?

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(credit goes to Lauren @ The Thinking Closet for inspiring me through her own “Five Minute Friday” post today!)

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2 minute hairclip – Tutorial

My girls go through loads of hairclips, headbands, bows, etc.  Most often I will send Emilie off to school with some beautiful adornment only for her to return home with it broken in 3 places or simply gone altogether.

I needed a fast, cheap, hair-holding solution.

I came up with this:

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Things you need:

  • snap clip
  • half a pipe cleaner
  • button
  • hot glue gun

This sweet little clip literally takes about 2 minutes to make — a seasoned crafter might even be able to get one done in under a minute!

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Here’s how to do it:

1. Curl your pipe cleaner half up into a neat little circle, tucking the sharp end underneath

2. Apply a dab of hot glue to the end of your snap clip

3. Attach your pipe cleaner circle to the snap clip

4. Add another dab of hot glue to the centre of the circle and apply your button — all done!

5. Stand back and admire your work. 🙂

My girls love these clips and I don’t have to worry if they lose them — I can whip up a new set in no time at all!

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This is a basic clip.  You could always dress it up by using coloured snap clips, covering the clip with felt, adding a sparkly button, or even using metallic pipe cleaners for a different effect.

Let your imagination loose!

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