Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

Every knitter worth their weight in wool has a project that is a work in progress. Hell, any knitter worth their weight in wool has at least 3 or 4 works in progress at any given time!

Me - I've got way too many to count. There's the scarf I started from a magazine about 4 years ago that I decided in my wisdom would be as long as the ball of wool I was knitting it with was. Of course, I totally ignored the fact it was a 500gm ball! Then there's the topsy turvy Cinderella doll I started for my little diva Rebecca about 2 years ago as Yule gift - I'm hoping she'll get it this year. Let's just say I have a LOT of WIPs

But I've decided, as this is my first time doing Tami's WIP Wednesday I'd concentrate on what I'm actually doing at the moment.

First off my pride and joy - my rainbow cardigan! I've had the pattern saved over on Ravelry since like forever so when Kezz suggested getting people together for a crochetalong I jumped at the chance. I've spent the last 12 years going into our local hippy shop and drooling over the rainbow jumpers and convincing myself that I wouldn't pay that sort of money when I could knit one myself. I even practised by knitting each of the kids their own rainbow jumper but somehow never got round to doing mine so when I saw Kezz's post I thought it was about time I treated myself.

Of course, me being me, I'm a total miser when it comes to spending money (add to the fact that I'm skint!) so I decided I would buy one of each ball of colour and separate them into 2 50gm balls. Which means that 1 1/2inches from the end of the first side ... I ran out. I won't get up to Ramsey to get more wool until next week so don't be surprised to see this one here again.

Anyways - here's what I've done so far: (The colours are a LOT brighter in reality - the red's definitely not that orange for starters)

And again, me being me, I couldn't go for more than a few hours without working on something so I got my knitting needles out to start a Jean Greenhowe Pierrot doll for my littlest pixie Jessica for Yule. I decided to go with black and pink instead of the usual white and black but, after knitting one trouser leg and half a hat I decided I was actually in crochet mode so I went looking for the perfect pattern and propably going through a 3rd of a small rainforest printing out patterns for my collection I settled on a circular cardigan - another pattern I've been wanting to do for yonks but never had enough or the right wool. But, strangely enough on the night after the rainbow cardi came to an abrupt halt, my friend up the street called down with a humungous box of wool - with just the perfect colours for a practice at the cardigan. I'm actually nearly finished this one so hopefully you won't be seeing this one again :o)

Agin I'm sorry about the sizing of the pics - I'm not the most technological person and unfortunately the one person in the house who is has taken the kids off to bed.....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

January and February Craft Challenges - what have I been up to?

Okay - so as if I don't have enough to do with 4 kids and a 48 year old to contend with, I signed up for some craft challenges at the start of the year. Having owned and run my own craft shop for 8 years, I'd seriously neglected a lot of the crafts I'd done during that time (cardmaking, jewellery and my ever growing collection of Scrapbooks) and decided that this was the perfect way to encourage myself to actually do (AND FINISH!) some projects. I also decided at the start of the year to attempt to destash my ever bulging bag of wool - and these weekly and monthly challenges seemed ideal for that.
What I forgot however, was that while we had the shop, I had somewhere to escape to to actually work on my many projects! I could stand up there and work to my hearts content creating greetings cards, scrapbook pages, artist trading cards and jewellery. At home it's a bit more difficult, there's kids that want my attention, housework to be done and at the moment all my craftiness has to take place at night, when I've made sure that the wee ones are alseep.

But I have managed to get some things done. Hell, I've even managed to get them finished!!!

I've decided though that since I am so late at posting them, I'm going to lump them all together here. Most of them are for Crafty Mums weekly challenge but things like the purses and a little owl I sewed were for Annies monthly challenge over at The Felt Fairy. (Of course I forgot to photograph the owl so I'll have to do a quickie edit after he does some serious catchup posing :oD )


Sorry about the sizes - I will get better I promise :o)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Well, it's a Saturday night and I'm sitting here, on my own. The tv has was turned off hours ago when Tony took the last two kids to bed and I basically couldn't be bothered turning it on again. Trouble is it's been that long since I've actually had an opportunity like this that I'm totally at a loss. Oh there are things I should be doing - Tony's dishes from dinner have been sitting waiting to get washed and I've got knitting I should be getting on with but you know when you just don't want to. It's not even a case of can't be bothered - I'm just enjoying the silence, enjoying the peace and quiet that this house lacks having four very active children running about it.

It's not often that I get an opportunity like this - to just sit by myself and not have someone in my ear about this that or the other. I've been so busy lately with job interviews or the kids during the day and my new found love of exercising at night when they go to bed that I feel like I've hardly managed to sit down let alone relax. But tonight I'm having a night off. Tonight is for me - my new MP3 player is in my pocket with my favourite meditation cd on it but even that feels like it will interrupt.

So I'm just going to sit here, reading through a few of my favourite blogs for a while until either Tony or one of the wee ones wake up needing this or that. I give it another 10 minutes at the most..........

Thursday, January 6, 2011

You know when you do something which at the time seems like a good idea... well way back in October I felt a bit guilty of staying at home all day while Tony hunted for a full time job. He had plans to continue working part time for Tescos as a driver as he loves that aspect of it, and, as usual my guilt pangs kicked in. Now don't get me wrong, I love staying at home with the kids - after working since I left school over 20 years ago and running my business for 8 years which, lets face it is basically a 24hr job in reality, I justified it that I deserved the rest that being a stay-at-home mum would give me. (Yeah, we'll just ignore the fact that I forgot that 4 children = no rest!!!) Anyways, as I was saying, way back in October I decided that I should at least try to help out financially. In reality I couldn't get a job as, with the amount of overtime Tony was doing to build up hours, no employer would have worked around his hours, so I figured that perhaps I might be entitled to some sort of benefit from the government.

So I tottled off down to our local DHSS and signed on for Jobseekers aka the Dole. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't happy about it - knowing as I did that I would probably get turned down for any job I applied for but, from the time I'd left the dole office to the time I got home I felt excited. What if I did get a part-time job? It would get me out of the house and for a few hours every week I would get to enjoy the company of grown-ups - and get paid for it! It would also give the kids a bit of a break from me, and give Tony a small insight into what I had to cope with at home. So, for the last few months I have dutifully filled in application form after application form and, what with it being an employers market at the moment, heard no more about it. Until now.

Suddenly I find myself inundated with various companies getting back in touch with me. Many of them I've had to turn down, due to the fact that they're basically totally unrealistic in one way or another - either they wouldn't pay enough to realistically help out with the family finances or I'm just totally unqualified for them. But, and it's totally typical of Sod's Law, I have interviews for the 2 jobs I really would like. Tomorrow I have one with the Body Shop - a shop I've loved since I was 14 years old and discovered their Dewberry perfume (I still have a small bottle I bought way back then - and it still smells lush!) and on the 10th I have one with the Manx Museum. This is the one I really would like to get and not just for the almost £10 per hour payslip that goes with it. I love history - a gift from my dad who was obsessed by the Egyptians and taught me to love learning about times past. I myself am hooked on anything Medieval and Celtic - something which was encouraged by by dad and my aunt who both fuelled my passions with the Arthurian legends and other myths of the time. The position is firstly for a retail assistant but there is some guide work involved too - I would be in my element getting to learn more about the Celtic past of this magical little island in the middle of the Irish Sea, and getting to teach others about it. Basically a back door onto the path I wanted to go down after college. But I don't drive, which could be a problem, though at wages like that, I could afford to go for my driving test again. Both positions are part-time, at least 12 hours a week so if, by some miracle I was offered them I could probably accept both. And, although I am realistic and not daft enough to think that yes I will be offered both - you know when you get that feeling...

And for some reason I'm not nervous - Tony's more nervous about it than I am! I've got my outfit sorted - no suit - I need to be comfortable so it's "dressed but casual". I want them to see me - not the suit and the act. Maybe it's a sign that I'm growing up or maybe it's just the rebellious hippy in me but the thought of dressing up in a suit that's been hanging in my wardrobe for the last 10 years, just doesn't feel right if you know what I mean. Yes it may banjax my chances but at least I'll feel like they've met the real me.

Just hope the "Real Me" doesn't scare them off too much....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Normality

I can remember my mum telling me a few years back that she used to love school holidays when my brother and I were at home, and how much she hated it when they were over and we had to go back. I, for my sins, am completely the opposite. Over the past few years I've found myself dreading those times when all the kids are at home together. Now don't get me wrong, I do actually love having them all here with me,when I get to forget about things like housework etc and have an excuse to have fun and do the stuff mums are meant to do with their children. But I know that most of the time it won't be like that.

The problems all started when Ryan was about to go into Year 2 of infant school and we went through what has now become know as the Summer of Hell. It was only the week before he went back that we discovered he'd been getting bullied, something which we immediately took action about. Unfortunately it took 3 years and us eventually having to move Ryan to another school to stop it (apparantly it was okay for this other kid to pick on Ryan as his parents where getting a divorce....???). In the meantime though we discovered that when Ryan has a bad day at school, we get the backlash at home. Well, his dad, his sister Rebecca and I get the backlash. And so, I spend summer, Christmas and both Half terms in a constant battle of trying to entertain 4 children while also trying to stop 2 of them from killing each other. Is it any wonder that I'm so tired and grumpy all the time ;-)

Anyways, today the older two went back to school while Jonathan started back to pre-school. And it was strange. I woke up this morning at 6am - full of beans and ready for anything. Breakfast table was set for everyone, all children were washed, teeth and hair brushed well in advance of leaving the house - usually I run after the car with the wetwipes and a brush so they can do it onroute! Granted, by 10:30am I was ready to crawl back into bed for the duration but you know what it's like - us mums never stop.

Tomorrow we'll start to take the tree and the decorations down and then it really will be back to normality. Once everything is packed away, I can finally sit down and see what this year may have in store for us. My birthday is next week and due to it's closeness to the start of the year I make my resolutions then - the start of MY year. It will be a short list - the usual will be on there - get the weight off, exercise more etc, etc, etc. But I have a feeling that this year has something else in store for us - that we all have our own adventure thaat we will be going on. I've had a restlessness and an excitedness in me for a while now about getting back on the path of my Craft, rather than the usual frustration that I never get the chance to do much about it. My Goddess cards and Archangel cards have been sitting on a side table in my living room for months but now it feels like I can hear them calling me, almost feel them vibrating in their boxes in urgency to be used. And instead of feeling thwarted that I can't get the time to look at them, I feel instead that they're getting themselves for when the time is right for me. That I'm getting ready, or rather prepared for the right time.

Who knows, maybe this year won't be that normal after all!