Take a slow walk and discover.
I haven't written here for a long time, and the reason for that is not especially noteworthy. Suffice to say I've been deeply entwined in that sprawling distraction and great euphemism we call 'busy'. Busy with Blue Eggs, busy with work, busy making work for myself...busy with the business of existing.
There have been family visits, shorter and longer trips, a residential course, special occasions, house decorating, daydreaming about travel and not to underestimate a good amount of time striding around feeling, agitated; simultaneously penned-in and lost. Busy can be good - it can be a sign of engagement with life - but busy can also be a smokescreen.
Cast in a certain light, the end of 2014 started to feel like the end of an unravelling with the realisation that I was still not, in fact, really enjoying life since moving, and this I realise stole many of the words clean out of me. Every time I have sat down to write in the last couple of months the words have tended to be melancholy and reflective. That's not to say I haven't had great moments of happiness, as with every year, just that this last one was harder. I'm grateful for almost good health, for a roof over my head, for working. But behind the scenes it took more out of me than usual. It was a harder thing to stay upbeat.
But yet here is 2015, replete as it ever is with the promise of fresh opportunities and the chance to do it all better. My resolutions amount to nothing more complicated than to embrace the as yet unknown journeys, unspoken wishes and unexpected good. I will not plan for anything new this year for the first time in many years, instead I will see what comes from creating more, reading more, climbing more mountains.
Following a long break through December, my Big Cartel and NOTHS shops are now open (links above) and I'm excited to be sending out new orders (my first to Japan!) and to carry on developing new ideas. I'm also apprehensive. Can I still bring something different? Can I still do this? The answer has to be 'of course I can'.
As with life, with resolutions, with getting back in the mix, it's all just a matter of belief and hard work. The same as it ever was.
On Saturday my Blue Eggs and Tea fat quarters arrived in the post and on Sunday I decided it was high-time I moved my sewing skills on beyond square cushions with no buttons or zips, so that I could do something nice with my trial fabrics. As it is, I plan to get help from my IG friend Emma to help me realise the more complicated plan of boxy bags with flat bottoms, but I wanted to see if I could also make a little something myself too.
So I searched for a bit of style inspiration on Pinterest and decided on a small fold over pouch. But me being me, I wanted to shake it up a bit so I went off piste and didn't use a pattern - I decided I wanted to use three different fabric scraps to practice on - a bird print, a navy stripe cotton and a navy corduroy - so I simply decided on the size and went from there, sketching out some plans on paper. The zipper I had was 8 inches and I thought it was 7 so I didn't get off to a great start by cutting the fabric too small. But no matter: I found a YouTube tutorial on cutting down zips so that worked out fine in the end.
After cutting the fabrics and sewing bits together based on intuition (always a bit dodgy) I searched online for a mix of tutorials that would help me make sure I sewed everything in the right order. You will be horrified to know it took me 4 hours to make this tiny pouch, but I got it right first time with no unpicking and no trauma. At the end I added on some of my spare clay beads from necklace trials. I quite like them on the zip!
I'm pretty proud. I doubt I'll ever get more advanced than this but it was nice to do a practice run so that maybe I can have a stab at making something out of my own material. I hope you like it!