I feel out of sorts; unable to settle. Do you ever get that? I’m not really sure why. I’m always anxious about the children and their future, about how I fail them constantly, about how I should do ‘more’, of whatever it is I’m currently obsessed about. And I shut down. I end up doing nothing. I’ve picked up knitting, and put it down; I’ve picked up paints, then put them away; I’ve planned exciting things to do, then cancelled.
People say ‘fake it till you make it’, but I honestly think my life is one long fake. So I go through the motions not really knowing what the game plan is, or where we’re heading, or whether things will be OK. I plod on, alone, in these endless feelings of failure.
I think what makes it all right are nights in front of the fire eating rice pudding by lamplight as the boys either play games or watch footy. Maybe I’m under-estimating the restorative benefits of simple togetherness. I’m not sure it will be enough, but as that’s all I’ve got it will have to do.
Ever want to stick two fingers up to it all to go live in a shack on a mountain somewhere?
No doubt, if you follow me on Instagram, you will know many of these images are weeks old. I’ve been getting into acrylics in a big way. At first I really didn’t like them and decided that watercolours were probably ‘my thing’. But after a bit of a pep talk from my sister (also an artist), I gave it one last go. And fell in love.
I’m trying to paint every day, and it really isn’t a chore. I think this might be it for watercolours – I’m smitten with this different way of making marks on substrate. I’m learning a lot about colour, colour mixing, light and tone. Each new study leaves me feeling frustrated and elated at the same time. I think I love the underpainting more than the finished piece. Maybe I’ll leave a few ‘unfinished’…
I have been trying to break up the none-stop paint fests with a bit of sewing and ink painting. But it doesn’t take the itch off the paint bug.
Now… who’s for oils??
When the eldest turned 12 I had managed, after several years and non-starters, sewn him his own heirloom quilt. The idea being that both boys would eventually get one. As in, hand pieced, hand sewn, hand quilted.
There might be a reason the second quilt is only four blocks in so far.
There is no way any quilt will be ready in time for the youngest’s twelfth birthday. I’m aiming for thirteen. Or fourteen. Or thereabouts. Maybe a house warming quilt for when he leaves home. Or a wedding gift. Or congratulations on the birth of your first child. Or something.
I don’t know why I pile the pressure on like this…. maybe there is a chance he will not even notice he doesn’t have one.
If hell froze over.
I think I know what my winter crafting is going to involve this year….
It’s started; the urge to knit all the things has begun, I’m not broken after all. My knitting itch is well under way and I have several projects on the go. All is well.
Out come all the sweaters and shawls; far fewer than usual as I had forgotten that I had given most away. More reason to knit!
Oh, and have fires been lit and heating switched on? Is it OK to cave in now? I always try to make it to November, but I’m sure I always give in round about now … life’s too short isn’t it?
What are YOU knitting?
A snapshot of where we’re at these days…
Have a great weekend everyone!
I thought perhaps new supplies might kick start a crafting mojo. I have good ideas and good intentions; and laundry. Those three don’t mix and I spend most days drowning in chores. And now my wireless printer is refusing to connect to the hub, so I can’t print off the new patterns anyway. Such is life.
The fabric was from Celtic Fusion, a shop that has all the best fabric! And the felt and doll making supplies from Cloud Craft. Hopefully I will actually MAKE something with them this season. If not, at least I can pet the fabric. And that will be good too.
Conkers don’t lie! If the cooler air and shortening days didn’t convince us then the start of the annual tree drop has certainly let us know which side of winter we’re on.
And we’re enjoying lovely crisp walks, finding lots of nature treasure, and it’s cool enough to require take-along tea! I love this time of year.
I still haven’t gotten back to the sewing machine. I still haven’t fixed the sewing machine. I still haven’t moved everything blocking the sewing machine, so I can access the sewing machine, so I can FIX the sewing machine so I can sew.
But I have been playing with fabric, and I honestly think that’s the best part of making things.
Last year I culled my compulsive fabric scrap stash from one (or two, ahem) bin liners down to half a carrier bag. I kept only the things that made my heart sing, and pieces big enough to actually use, as well as a few stitched up things that had no real purpose but were too pretty to throw. I’ve been playing with colour combinations and ideas.
I’ve also taken the Heather Ross fabric I have slowly accrued and been playing with quilt ideas with this too. I’m not going to rush this – I want it to look just right and I’m in no hurry. I think Kona cotton is going to play a major part.
Surrounding myself with colour, and potential, is quite invigorating, even if I don’t get to make anything at the end of the day. There’s always tomorrow.
Some days, well most days really, I sit here in the lull of evening – after classes, meals and most prayers are complete, before bed, when bellies, hearts and minds are full, and I knit. Or play board games with the boys. Or listen to their chatter as I stare into the (fake) fire sipping soothing tisane. I like this time of year, even though I suffer terribly from the confusing shortening days that play havoc with whatever part of my working brain that registers these things. In summer the boys play outside until it really become socially unacceptable and bedtimes must be mooted. And then ten more minutes after that. We play a lot as a family in summer – days out, beach trips and the like, but we rarely sit in this room together as we do in the darker months.
It’s a rhythm we easily remember and pick up year after year. Evenings become family time. Sometimes I reflect on how this has altered over the years from the time when the kids would make dens with every piece of furniture and cushions we owned, and/or run relentlessly around the coffee table until they were dizzy, sweaty, hyperactive and on the cusp of meltdown. Now it’s calm. We read, or talk, or play. And it really is a wind down to bed.
It is in these moments, after struggling some days with keeping on an even keel, that I am genuinely grateful. I see the light. I see the positives. Things are going to be OK. This is OK. I have a warm home, masha’allah. Whatever storm rages outside, in here, for all it’s shortcomings, it’s alright.
I say a little prayer of thanks, alhamdulillah, for this.
It’s nice to enter a new season with fresh corners, but failing that, fresh things IN the corners is good too. Last week I crossed off a non-essential, but niggling, job that had been on my to-do list forever: to clean and oil the spinning wheel. It needed some TLC and given how hard she works, she doesn’t ask for much in return.
It was one of those little jobs that gave greater satisfaction than belied it’s status on my to do list – finishing up I felt I was one step ahead of the game, ready for winter, ready to call that corner of the house ‘done’.
Let’s just forget about the other corners. And the bathroom. And the kitchen. Yes, let’s just concentrate on that ready-to-use, pretty corner for now, shall we? It’s how I stay sane.