September 28, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, crafting, Me, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 10 Comments
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Heavens to Murgatroyd, the woman with more hobbies than days of the year nearly forgot to write a third annual blog week post with the prompt hobbies!

Well, where do I start? I’ve done ‘crafty stuff’ since I was a tot, especially needlework. I can remember learning to sew a simple picture in pale green cotton on a slightly darker green background (fabric that I think was part of the ‘Daisy suit’ I had when I was four … and I can’t have been much more than four when I was sewing that picture). I haven’t stopped since really. On top of that I love to crochet, I do botanical painting/drawing, I’ve recently started making felt (and even taught a class on it recently … don’t ask, just don’t ask … I think I have to do that about once every ten years to remind myself that it is NOT my vocation!), I read a lot and I’m learning Spanish. I love to go for walks in the country, I’m very interested in entomology and especially plant galls, but natural history in general and … I write a blog … about once a year for Annual RA Blog Week!!

I’d say all my hints and tips from hints and tips day earlier in the week also apply to ‘managing’ ones hobbies, and I have to say when it comes to pacing yourself I kinda fail … well, with this many hobbies how the heck am I supposed to pace myself? I mean really … BUT I do try (with some gentle nagging from hubby) to stop doing whatever crafty thing (or painting thing or Spanish thing or natural history thing) is occupying my brain by about 9 pm each evening so that I have an hour to wind down before I go to sleep; and I do try really hard to pace myself at least by saying if I’m, for instance, going on a felting workshop one weekend, I won’t do a painting workshop the weekend before or after. (Epic fail on that this last month, but never mind – I had a ball on both weekend workshops!)

RA has slowed down or almost stopped some of my hobbies – crochet is the biggest problem. Just last year I worked on, and completed, a big project crocheting a waistcoat (vest to those across the pond) which went brilliantly, but this year I’m finding my hands just won’t put up with hours at a time of crochet, so I’ve been concentrating more on other things – hey, no shortage of those … especially as I also work full time! The other one is going for walks – I still do, and I still love it, but walks have to be either carefully planned (so that I know I can stop and sit) or just short! On the whole they’re short! Luckily we have three beautiful nature reserves close to where we live so we have a good choice of walks – even though one of the reserves is the size of a postage stamp. Some of the hand sewing I really enjoy has slowed a bit too – I certainly do less of everything than I used to … maybe fatigue … maybe just age!

I love all of my hobbies and I’m very grateful that I haven’t had to give any of them up altogether. Having hobbies keeps me (relatively) sane and takes my mind off both work and health problems. In fact painting (when it’s going well) is like a good meditation – I just forget about the world and focus on the painting and can get lost in it for an hour or two and wonder where the time has gone. I find all my hobbies relaxing (unless I’m trying to teach them) and fun, and I think having fun and relaxation in life is vital to keeping things balanced and happy. I’ll never be a master of anything because I’m too busy having fun being a Jack of all trades, but that’s just fine by me.



A little bit of trumpet blowing

November 16, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Posted in Me | 4 Comments
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Actually trumpet blowing was one thing I didn’t get round to over the weekend, but I did finish off these three craft projects, and I’m especially proud of this bag.

Miranda day bag s

It’s not my design, it’s from Joan Hawley’s Lazy Girl Designs (And no, she hasn’t sent me a free pattern, I don’t know her personally and I am in no way being paid to endorse her designs!) The thing is that I don’t DO quilting – in fact my friend Steph and I are kinda proud to stick out like sore thumbs at our sewing group as the ones who DON’T DO QUILTING. And yet I managed to follow the instructions in the midst of period and fizzle … so well done to Joan H for making them so nice and clear. (OK, so I did have to sew one bit on three times ’cause I kept messing up, but only one bit …)

I also completed the crocheted twirly scarf, which is a lot nicer ‘in the flesh’ so to speak than it is on the photo.

crochet twirly scarf s

And finally, I have at last completed this wall-hanging which is part of a City and Guilds embroidery course I’m doing. I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been working on this on and off. It’s  ‘all my own work’ in the sense that I designed it as an embroidery/applique from scratch, although it’s very closely based on part of an old Japanese print.

Japanese girl

If anyone’s very familiar with the print they’ll notice that my girl is a mirror image of the original. Oops! Wasn’t meant to be but by the time I realised, it was too late.

So now I have to start on the next bit of my City and Guilds module, and I’m not looking forward to it because it has to be an abstract based on my face! I don’t like abstract much and I don’t like my face much either! Oh well, it’ll be a challlenge!

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