Topic Tuesday: Failure and Mistakes

Failure, mistakes, trial and error. All ways of expressing the same thing, opportunities to learn, but heard to understand them as such in the moment.
I’m a planner, I love to plan, to come up with game plans and schedules. But rarely, RARELY, do we implement them for very long. There’s pleasure and accomplishment in the making of lists, in figuring out a good looking schedule but following comes with little of the same rewards. Once one thing slips, the whole plan feels useless.
We came up with the plan for getting content on to the site, for getting me to learn and to climb out of a lull but as I tried to research I realised that it wasn’t going to work. My brain just doesn’t take in information, reading and comprehension are just beyond me at this point. I wanted to prepare myself for writing, I wanted to have a good foundation but right now I just need to write, I need to get stories out of me and to get the words down. A good editor can help me with the things I don’t understand. So Topic Tuesdays are going to be a little different and more relaxed than I envisioned, but hopefully more fun to both write and read.
I focus on the thing that I’m not doing right now, example, I’m writing this and thinking about cross stitch. Another, last night I was desperate to design more cross stitch but all I could think about was my fantasy world. Another, I wanted to do exercise this morning so I focused on thinking about climbing a mountain, while John looked it up and I sat on the couch not doing anything. Urg!
Each cycle that I go through, each time I fail, I’m learning, and that’s what I’m choosing to focus on. Each time I get a little closer to who I want to be.
I have the time. Many people would kill for the time and the space that I have and I’m pissing it away worrying and stopping myself, but no more! (Well probably still some bumps in the road but I’m gonna try!!)
If you’ve failed, try again, change what doesn’t work and keep trying. Failure isn’t the end, it isn’t, it’s just the beginning!

Cross Stitch Corner: Experiments

At the start of this year I made it a goal of mine to make my own cross stitch patterns. I thought that it would be many months before I gained the knowledge, experience and whatnot to be able to do such a thing. But cross stitch is a wonderful thing and it’s so easy to create things. Using an app on my iPad called StitchSketch I can turn my drawings into cross stitch!

the corner of a screen shot of a cross stitch chart
A sliver of my design.

Eventually I want to sell the digital charts, if people are interested, but first I have to figure out how to make a pdf look nice and all that pavlova.
In order to test the app and to make sure that I was doing things right I used a simple pattern and the colours I had on hand. When I use this chart (are they patterns or charts? I get so confused since I’ve done many crafts) again I’ll use a lighter blue for the sky and a white for the cloud.

Progress
Finished!
Felt to cover the back

I had a lot of fun with this one, even stitching that felt on the back was interesting. I need more practise at finishing and I would stitch up the aida a different way next time but for my first original project it’s pretty great!

I’m pleased to say that the app worked and my cross stitch came out better than I imagined. The app is a little tough to use (I’m used to the ease of Procreate) but I’m sure I’ll get to grips with it. I can only use it for short periods as it only has a “dark mode” and the white writing on a black background gives me headaches and makes my eyes all funny! But I will be creating many more charts and projects.

So that’s my practise and I’m excited for many more to come! Have a wonderful day.

January Update

The sun has set on January (at least where I am) and I’m checking in with myself and you.
I’m very grateful that this year I’ve taken up bullet journaling, it makes looking back and keeping things in perspective really easy. I’ve managed to accomplish quite a bit, and much more than I thought from the top of my head.
For ten minutes or so each day I’ve been doing full body stretching and I’ve found that my back is much less painful, I recommend it!
Though the month has been overall good, there are things that I definitely need to work on in the coming months. Getting up early, getting out of the flat and more reading are the biggest things.
Posting more regularly is something I want as well, the problem with that is I’ve been working on world building, which I can’t really show, and my other projects are taking quite a while. I will have some cross stitch content coming up in the next few days but after that I’m not sure.
I’m in the midst of soul searching, trying to figure out what I like, what I want and how I want to present myself. For so long I’ve been a shallow person, somewhat of a shadow person and I’m ready to be a full, solid, colourful person. So for a little bit I may be a bit short of content, but I’m never too far away!
That’s it for my little end of the month update, in short, all is well and I’ve had a good start to the year. I hope that it is the same for you. Good luck for February.

A Peek in our Window

I’ve just got in from the weekly shop for food. Well, that’s a bit of a lie, I’ve been home for awhile, but I was spending time with John. He’s not well again and he’s having to go into work, so I feel guilty. Since I can’t work (anxiety) or even claim benefits (anxiety again, whoot) it means that John is solely responsible for our income. I know that he doesn’t mind but when it comes to being ill, it makes it hard for him to take time off work since we lose a fair amount of money. But that’s not what I wanted to ramble about. I’m sure it’s not interesting to hear me worry.
I don’t really have a point to the post, though, I just wanted to have a bit of a check in now that we are almost at the end of the second week of the year. I’ve been doing rather well with goals, however, I was slightly less productive this week, causing me to feel a little low, but I didn’t let it stop me and that in itself is a victory.
How is your year so far? If you think you’re falling behind with what you have planned, take a step back and see if you are achieving other things, habits that are making a better life or little victories that will make the whole plan easier. You can do this, I believe in you!
Maxi (our bearded dragon) is doing well, yesterday he had a great day, hunting for worms and having fun evading us as we try to keep him warm. Today he’s a bit calmer but no less cute.
I’ve been doing some experimentation with cross stitch, trying to find how much thread I use per stitch and I think I finally have the number, well for 14-count aida. Each time I try something new I will note it down. It’s all for the goal of creating my own patterns and to allow me to better anticipate how much thread I’ll be using. I get a bit nervous when I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing, is that clear yet 🙂
Today, I’m going to do some world building, I’m working on it constantly but I’m putting it on the computer in order to have a better grip on my ideas and to have it more accessible when I’m writing. With each pass it changes a little but gets better.
What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope that it is great!

My First Cross Stitch – A Review

I have long been searching for a crafting hobby, a hobby that creates a result that appeals to both me and my family. I like to have a reason for spending time on things, which has limited me in the past (and still), so something that has a use is preferable to me. Last year I decided to get stuck in to knitting. I loved the idea of making jumpers and other items of clothing for both me and John as we as family. But it was not to be. After making a few things, including a blanket you will get to see in one of the following pictures, I noticed that my wrist hurt quite badly. So that put a stop to my knitting dreams.

Next I took a stab at needle felting, but the fibres get everywhere, I couldn’t quite get the hang of creating the result I wanted.

So nearing the end of the year I was feeling at a loss, I love to create things and give handmade gifts but I was just struggling to figure out what I wanted. Until, while watching a TV programme I saw something that tickled my fancy, cross stitch. It was on an episode of Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, a contestant was making an advent calendar made of little hoops of cute cross stitch. And that was that, it triggered something and I knew that it was something that I could get my teeth into. But first I had to test whether my wrist was up to the task and that is where this kit comes in.

John, the wonderful husband that he is, took me to Hobbycraft and let me wobble back and forth for a long time between the many kits until I settled on this little Alpaca.

The kit plus an embroidery hoop

The kit comes with the threads (aka floss), a needle, the fabric flag and the wooden rod with which to hang the finished flag, as well as a little booklet containing the pattern and some instructions. Oh, and six little orange tassels to adorn the finished item.

The beginning of the project was a little difficult. Finding the middle proved to be tricky and the chart was a little unclear for me but once I was started it went well (though, I miss calculated the middle and had to shorten the legs!).

alpaca cross stitch in progress
Working on a cross stitch alpaca

Initially I used a hoop, but found it very annoying to use my needle inside such a small diameter and the design was a pain in the arse to get on. So after a little while I went freehand.

The finished Alpaca

It took me a few days to finish the kit, and it was fun. I got a bit excited an popped on the tassels before ironing it so I couldn’t get the ring out but, to be honest, I quite like the placement of it, I might add a ring of flowers along the line at some point.

And the best bit of all was I had no pain in my wrist! Which means that I can get into cross stitch fully! Although the product of cross stitch is decorative, I love the range which can be accomplished and I have ideas for my own patterns.

Now, to the kit as something that others may want to buy, I think that it is a cute design and the idea is great. However, the quality of the kit is a little lacking, well my particular kit. The flag was glued a little sloppily and fraying at points and there was a black mark I couldn’t get off. The outer packaging was also damaged, but that could be customers rather than the kits fault.

For a first kit, I think it would be good for someone who has watched videos on cross stitch and doesn’t mind fudging the design a little if they get it a little wrong. It’s good practise.

So that is my first cross stitch and my first review. I hope that it was somewhat informative and interesting to read. Let me know if there is anything that you would like to see, or format changes etc.

Coming up in 2020 are more reviews, short stories and my adventures into bullet journaling. I’ll see you soon!