Saturday, 3 September 2016

Stress - there's a lot of it about!

I'd like to be one of those 'always calm' people, who can smile in the midst of stuff going wrong, and keep their pulse level when waiting for telephone calls of importance. But just lately my inner calm has all been used up it seems, and I've not really got a plan... apart from clouds and sky watching sometimes.

The house - well - it's been good, it's been bad, it's hanging by a thread, it's been more money and it's been stressfully undecided. Truly. The good news is we have sold our house, and chosen a nice house at the other end, and everyone in the chain has the requisite buyer and/or seller. The bad part is that one person has more exacting criteria than might be expected (?Do you like my polite understatement there?) and it's been on and off with them, and a further injection of hard cash to get them to continue. It's not my buyer or my house, but it effects everyone in the chain, and the collapse of one link spells the end of the current round, so we're keen to keep everything going.
Now, other people's house buying woes probably aren't much fun to read about or even very interesting, but I thought you'd all like to know where I'm at. The biggest irony was I had decided I didn't enjoy living with two rooms full of boxes anymore, and with much hard work from both of us we had unpacked everything and made the house and the garden lovely again! 

 We have been doing some nice things as well though - so please enjoy trains, fungi and a long-in-the-planning stitching project which will eventually be a complete embroidered box.




The desk, day one.
 My knitting mojo has not improved, and my attempt to learn to knit gloves is on hold - I can't stand all those gapped or stretched stitches between the fingers, and I could not get it neat! Anyone an expert on gloves? What's the secret?
I did manage some simple dressmaking, and some repairs, and we even did some DIY - not our strongest point. But basically we're waiting - could be very soon, could be months, and neither of us is really the patient type LOL

Enjoy the autumn days - or the spring days to my friends 'round the other side' and watch this space...

Blessings to you and yours
LeilaMay 

 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Well, that didn't go according to plan!

Please don't get all excited and expect shots of my chaotic new house - things did not go to plan here, and the chain of house buying and selling fell through. We are now back at the very beginning of the cycle again, trying to sell our lovely house, only now it has two rooms pretty much full of boxes, and I couldn't put it all back even if I wanted to, as some of the furniture has been gifted away or sold.

The same week our house plans were falling apart I also was driven off to hospital, blue lights flashing, with what turned out to be a nasty case of appendicitis! So then it was surgery, stitches, and no lifting and so on for at least two weeks. Nothing like having three incisions for making you sit quietly with your feet up.
I did a lot of knitting in that time, and so was able to crack on with the cardigan I wrote about in my last blog. 

But July was simply not destined to be a good month it seems, and when the cardigan was finally done and I tried it on - I REALLY didn't like it, or think it looked good. Perhaps my choice of yarn didn't help - soft and with a degree of stretch - but it looked like it had some dreadful mistake in it, or even a panel missing. The cutting edge shape just wasn't working for me. So after some very frustrated modelling in front of the mirror and asking folks for their opinion, I spent the rest of that day unpicking the whole thing. So I've wetted and dried the yarn and will be starting on a less experimental but more certain pattern soon. Right now though, I can't face it.

 But I'm determined to stay happy and productive; I have so many things to be grateful for and glad about. So here are some of the better things going on here. First - the Seville marmalade is all gone, so the chef of the house has made Pink Grapefruit this time. Looks good huh?


 Then there's a new Patchwork Tarot deck under construction. For folks who don't know, a patchwork deck is a deck made up from cards of different packs. You can do whatever you like that works for you. Some folks use only cards from 2 or 3 packs, all the same size, choosing their favorites and making a 78 card deck that really resonates for them. Some folks might swap out the minor cards from one pack and add pips from a different kind of deck, making something that they prefer. Or have a theme of cards all by the same artist from different decks, or really whatever you like! I choose to make decks that contain cards from 78 different decks - all shapes and sizes are fine with me, although you do have to devise a new way to mix or shuffle. The nucleus of the decks are usually a small stash of cards from damaged decks or part decks picked up in charity shops, but once I've begun, I swap lots of cards (or free readings or other tarot-related gifts) with online friends. You can imagine this can take quite a long time, and quite a lot of head scratching. So far this new deck has about two dozen cards, but it's growing slowly. Here's a photograph of a previous deck, for folks who want to see what I mean.

 They tend, for me at least, to give very "straight from the shoulder" kind of readings, nothing gets hidden in frothy pictures or deck story-lines. I enjoy working with them very much - I have two complete so far. One was made for charity readings - a super charity called Facing The World - which helps provide life changing, and sometimes life-saving facial operations for third world patients. 

I love reading, and sometimes go back and re-read favourites. So I've pulled out the series by Garth Nix that begins with Mister Monday. I found the last book a disappointment when I first read them, so I'm hoping reading them again might help me understand what he was aiming at a bit better. The world he created within the books is certainly worth a revisit.

Finally, in place of the doomed cardigan, and with the aid of a new clip-on magnifying mirror, I'm starting lace making again. I's been some years since I was able to get to the lace making group I used to belong to, but I have several very good books, and there's also lots of info online, so I'm picking it up again with a simple pattern of just 10 pairs of bobbins and am aiming to work up to larger and more complicated pieces later. Just one afternoon and I'm already tearing my hair out - I'd forgotten how something so small can be so aggravating and mentally consuming! It's a super activity, it takes your mind off all your other issues and concentrates you. I also get to use just a few of the wonderful collection of bobbins I have. 





This is my beginning; the bobbins here are all modern and made of wood. The spangles - the shiny beads and bits at the bottom - are there to add weight, lace is a type of weaving and tension on the threads is vital. I love my bobbins, and it was a delight to unpack them (oh yes, I had at labeled my packing boxes very well) and pick out 10 pairs for this project. I'll use vintage bobbins next time. 

So enjoy August whether it's summer or winter for you, have a nice cup of tea of coffee with me, and some nice chocolate (if you can; I'm eating coconut milk variety), grab a book, and maybe write a comment about what you're making, or are inspired to make next. 

 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Moving through the process of moving

I was chatting to an online friend about the process of moving, and talking about ideas for things in our new home, and she said "you must post photos!"  So I decided it would be fun to write about the journey of moving from here - the way you have to pull up your roots - sometimes literally - and fold away your old plans and create new ones.
I have already done a small amount of packing - this followed on from selling a piece of furniture that won't fit into the new house. 


 
 So from this 


to this!









Another change is taking place in the garden - plants are being dug up and split part into pots, part back into the ground - so that I can take lots of things with me to fill the currently very empty garden space. So there's a lot of this about the place (how will I move them all I wonder?)


The odd thing is though, that at the moment we have no clear idea of a moving date, no exchange of contracts has taken place, and there is always the slim possibility that the whole process can fall down and fail. You either have to wait, doing absolutely nothing until exchange, which can leave you only three or four weeks sometimes to get everything done! Or you start work on trust, hoping that everything will go ahead as planned, and you won't end up having to show you house again in it's partly packed state.

I'm doing the 'trust and positivity' thing! 

But after packing that one room, and all my tarot decks, we've called a halt on the packing so that the rest of the house remains calm and reasonably unaltered for now. This leaves me twiddling my thumbs - there's nothing much to do except think about the new house, or knit! So both of us are thinking about the new spaces, where furniture will fit, how we might decorate, what won't fit in, what will need to be purchased (although we're trying to keep that section to a minimum.) We have revisited the new house to take lots of measurements (oops, I took mine in inches not centimeters!) and now there are graph paper scale plans of the rooms, and of the furniture, and they get played with/shuffled about as we try to fit in our favourite and most useful things. but for me there is only so much fiddling with paper that I can do.



I've decided to use old maps of the part of England we will be living in as floor covering, and that's organised, but there's not much else I can yet.










Having been knitting socks for months now I have taken the plunge to knit a larger garment again, and knitting is so easy to do and transport that this will be my project during the whole moving period, never getting consigned to a packing box. I'm going to knit a cardigan for myself - the pattern is 'Snowcloud' by Littletheorem knits, and I'm using this yarn. 

It seems very indulgent, but when finished I hope to wear and love it for years. I just have to have something practical to do with my hands, even whilst listening to the cricket - and England are playing today, so Test match Special is playing whilst I'm typing.

So there'll be more reports as things happen, and I'll chat about something in particular if you ask me. For now, may  your life be peaceful and fruitful

LeilaMay 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

All change

Well it's all change at our house - literally! 

SOLD!
 
Our long discussed house-move is underway, and fingers crossed we will be in our new setting by the end of the summer. Some folks like doing this kind of thing I know, but we like our roots settled, so this is a tense time, even though we're trusting it will all come out for the best.
We are downsizing, a smaller house now there are less people living under one roof, and a smaller garden, although making it into a wonderful green space will be very important. So furniture is being measured, favourite items are being chosen, and some things are leaving us to belong to other people. Piles and piles of books, a dining table and even a treadle sewing machine! Hard decisions sometimes, but we believe it will turn out wonderfully.
A 1933 Singer 15K in treadle cabinet is seeking it's new home.
 Those of you who have been reading here for a while will know there will still be 'several' sewing machines traveling with me! They are all table-top machines, and will be stored on the bottom shelves of bookcases whilst not in use.

There are some changes in my tarot readings too - the website is about to close, and readings will then be bookable via this blog (see tarot page) or on Facebook. During the actual couple of weeks that cover the move I won't be taking any readings as everything will be in boxes. 

For now I'm still happily tarot reading, but not stitching any new bags. There are still some lovely bags for sale though, so any of them can be packed up and posted. I'm doing some paper creativity, origami, decorated writing papers, things like that, which creates less mess and are quicker to do and then pack away.

Lastly I'm busy splitting plants from the garden, so that I can take some of my favourite plants with me, whilst leaving lots in the garden for the new folks. Some things won't move of course, trees and established roses or example. So we are making lists of our absolute favourite plants, and will be hoping to create a new garden next year. In the meantime all the pots will get well watered and cared for in the new courtyard garden. I have discovered a lilac I'd like in the new garden, the one here is mauve, but I'm thinking of this fragrant pink/white variety "Moscow Beauty"
 Do get in touch i you'd like a reading, or would like to enquire about a bag. And do comment about anything you've read here.

Blessings of the green time
LeilaMay