Sunday, 31 January 2016

Sunlit Sunday

This week I have seen lots of sunshine in my life.  It has been a tricky week, but there has been much support and love that brings sunshine and sunlight into life.  I have a lot to be thankful for.


One morning earlier this week I looked out of the window and saw this beautiful sunrise.  In a way unfortunately obscured by the trees and houses, but actually I think they add to the photos and add great contrast.

The contrast between the beautiful and the things that get in the way of them, but which can still be beautiful in their own right if we let them be.



There have been clear blue skies occasionally too.  We have though had storm Gertrude and are now moving on to Henry apparently.  We take the blue skies when they come though!


I adore looking out for the sun shining on things during Sunlit Sunday season.  This week I photographed one of my glass bottle vases, a sun puddle - I do love a sun puddle! - and some interesting shadows.


Don't you just love seeing the patterns that the sun can make when it shines through things - or am I the only odd one in that respect!



I will leave you with some more shots of that beautiful sunrise.  I haven't messed with the colours at all, just as I photographed them. 


I hope that you have lots of sunshine and sunlight in your lives this week, real and figurative.

Thank you for bringing sunshine to my life!

Joining once again with Karen for Sunlit Sunday.  Do go and see what others sunlit moments are being shared!

Amy

Friday, 29 January 2016

Five On Friday

It has been a random week, so I thought that I would continue with the randomness today!  I present Five moments of random from the last seven days.

One

I don't know if I will have time - or the will - for Valentines decorations this year, but I had to put my button heart out.  I still love it!

 

Two
 
Hubby took me out for dinner recently.  When we arrived at the very nice restaurant there was a pebble on the table - about two inches by three and fairly flat.  We wondered what it was for, moved it around a bit and then ignored it.
 
Turns out it was there for a reason...
 
When they bought the bread out the bought out the butter balanced on the blade of a knife, they then used another knife to cut off a piece of butter and placed it, yes, you guessed it, on the pebble.
 
No, we had no idea what to make if it either!
 
Three
 
I find it really hard to get gloves that fit.  I have really big hands - long, not fat.  So when my favourite pair of leather gloves strangely ripped on one thumb I thought I would see if I could repair them.
 

There you see the hole and then you don't!  Not the most elegant of repairs, but it does for me and means that my thumb doesn't catch on things now!


Four

The latest winter storm is due this weekend - for the UK - and it is named Gertrude.  Do you know how these names are chosen?  No, me either.  So I looked it up.  There is a whole section on the Met Office website explaining it.  Which still didn't really give me an answer.  You can find the page here.  What I did find though was this list of the names of the storms for this year.  I see that we can only have 14 more this year!

Name our storms list

Source - Met Office

Five

I started crocheting with cheap metal crochet hooks, then I progressed to my aluminium "racing hook" as I called it.  Now I have progressed further and these are my new favourites.  Knit Pro's, light as a feather and so comfortable to hold and work with.  I think these are my new favourites!


Those are my five random moments from the week!

Thank you to everyone for your support over the last week and especially your congratulations yesterday about my new business.  It is only small at the moment I realise, but it is the taking the step that is the big thing for me.  Thank you!!

Happy Weekend and Hugs to you all!!!

Amy
********************

Thank you - as always! - for joining in and for going to read others posts.



If you want to grab a Five On Friday Button or get more information about how to join in the All About Five On Friday page will tell you all that you need to know.

********************

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The announcement!

I have been skirting around for what seems like ages, but on looking back it is less than a week since I started to tell you, about my new employment.  I wanted to do a big Ta Dah! post when I was all ready and set up, but it isn't going to happen.  I realise that now.  Things will go on in dribs and drabs and rather than be all coy and mysterious - which isn't what I intended at all - it is easier if I just come out and say it.

Even though I am terrified of telling you all!

I am now a small business, working for myself as Love Made My Home and I am going to be selling "things" in an Etsy shop and, which is the bit which is lagging behind, but is the thing I want to concentrate more on, I am going to sell my crochet patterns.

That is it.  Sounds so easy when I write it like that, but it has been a scary decision for me.  I have written several - 4 or 5 - posts now to try and tell you all the deep and meaningful stuff behind this, but at the end of the day I can't mange to explain what I want to say.  I suddenly realised while writing this that perhaps these words from Theodore Roosevelt's famous Arena speech might sum it up.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

I am going, therefore, to dare, for me, greatly and give it a go.  If it doesn't work out well so be it, but at least I know I have tried.

Several of you have shops of different kinds or making and selling enterprises and you have inspired me and given me courage that perhaps I could do something, in a small way, that is similar.  I hope that in a way you don't think it is a massive thing because that means you are happy and confident and doing well at it.  Probably though some of you were at least at the start as nervous as me and as scared as I am.

For me this is a massive step, I really am daring in a very great way.  I have been terrified ever since I started, I dream of yarn - or water leaks, not sure what that means, don't tell me if you know, I don't want to know - think of all the things that I haven't done, or am struggling to do - like sort things out with stupid tax website.  Today I have decided though to grasp the nettle again and get making and creating and to just get on and tell you all and then I can stop dancing around the subject!

My patterns are not yet ready, but I will tell you when they are and where you can find them.  I can though give you a link to my Etsy shop - which is sadly empty at the moment - and I can show you a few things I am working on to fill it up.  This is the link HERE.  These are some of my efforts and things in progress so far.


These are prototypes for a little valentines something.  The one above is pretty, but too big!



It is all well and good making things, but then you have to try and photograph them.  Which means you cannot have pictures in the background.  You have to move the furniture too.


Suddenly your home becomes a photo studio.



You are trying to take pictures in a scene like the one above in order to get something presentable to show online to try and entice a sale.  I don't think that piles of yarn and my slippers are going to help really.


After a bit of cropping though, and taking pictures down, and touching up the pictures to get rid of the screws holding up the shelves, you get these shots.


Which are far more presentable aren't they.


I have also added a widgety thing to my sidebar to link to the shop and that will also, I believe, show you new stock when it appears.  Rest assured I will not continually go on about this and once I get into a routine and get settled I don't suppose that I will mention it much.  Please bear with me in the meantime and we will settle in together!

I know, because I know you a bit!, that you will all be supportive and I will no doubt go on ad nauseum with thank yous, but in advance of all of that THANK YOU for  your support in this venture, and in blogging in general.  Really, you have made such a difference to my life and to be at this point, compared to, as my best friend and husband will tell you, where I was a few years ago is a massive change.  That is, dare I say it, down to my own efforts in a large part, but also because of the support of those like yourselves.  THANK YOU!

That is it really.  I will go away now and leave you in peace!  I am off to go for my walk because the SUN is out!  Yes, really!!  I can even see blue sky.  Should have just told you in the first place.

I am self employed, working for myself, making and creating, a shop owner.  Love Made My Home!

Amy

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Hmmmmmmm

Today it is STILL raining!!!

Things are still mixed.

I have laughed though.  At myself of course.

Good News

I made a pom pom.


I don't think that I have yet thrown away any vital piece of paper.

We are having bubble and squeak for dinner.

I am having homemade - from the freezer - soup in a mug for my lunch, and the mug is from a very special friend so it is making me feel loved.


I haven't started any sentences with So so far today.  I can now also spell sentence correctly.

Not so Good News

I shredded the first pom pom I made by not tying it up tightly enough.


My desk is a shambles.


I have a load of paperwork to deal with that I don't really know what to do with.  Things that I need to do things with, not things I can ignore!

I need something to file bits of paper in and wouldn't you know it, a while ago I cleared out all of the things that would make good things to keep bits of paper in...  For now - like a true crafter - I am using a crochet basket.  At least I then know where the things I want actually are.

Mixed News

I went for a walk, it rained on me.

They tried to overcharge me in the post office and then wanted to give me a cash refund on a card payment.  I declined their offer and told them to just charge me the right amount.  They did.

Onwards and upwards, positive and stronger I go though.  I am NOT going to be beaten by myself!!!  It is bad enough letting myself get beaten by others, I am not going to beat myself!

Oh, and the chocolates did help last night, I only ate one layer - they are very small layers - and I have at least one or two more to go.  Yes, I did share with hubby - I gave him two of my chocolates!

Leanne, I am glad that the boiler man is coming today!

Thank you for cheer ups!  I feel Anne's hand in my pocket and I know that Leanne is sending me buttercups!

Better go and do some work now, I feel very guilty and as though I am skiving - which I am - and which is something that I haven't done at work for a loooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg time.  Feels very odd!  Do you think that I can have the TV on in my office while working if I work for myself?

Right, really must go!

Amy

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Good and rubbish

The last couple of days have been an odd mix of good and rubbish.  In fact I feel very up and down right now, veering from one to the other in one moment to another.

I know why it is and I know that it will pass, and that it isn't - oh gosh I hope - anything that is too serious or cannot be resolved, but I don't like it!!!  In fact I could stamp one of my not so little feet and pout and possibly scweam and scweam and scweam until I am sick!

Just to illustrate the point, as I am writing this I published it after just the two paragraphs above!  So if you are reading this right now - I will publish it again! - come back in a minute! 

Back AGAIN!

Agggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

See, life is like that right now.

Today should have been a great day.  The first day that something actually happened with my new employment venture, two things actually.  However, I spent soooooooo long today online trying to figure something out that was in the end solved by googling the problem after spending at least an hour searching for the answer, and wouldn't you know it the answer was so obvious - when you know how....

Tomorrow will be better, and the good news is that I have actually earned some money today.

One thing goes upppp up and away and another crashes down around me.

I made a great dinner and then managed to drip food down my clothes.  I needed to go and run some errands and it has poured with rain all day so I had to go in the rain.  I forgot to buy some new daffodils to cheer myself up and the scented candle that I have been holding on to for ages still isn't smelling scenty even though I am now half way down. 

That my friends is all the signs of a bad mood!!

I think that I am stressed actually.  Tomorrow is a new day and - as I already said - will be better.  It will!!

So, what I am going to do.  Stop starting sentences with SO and learn how to spell sentence and then go and get the box of very posh chocs that I got for Christmas and start to eat them and read blogs and then do some tapestry.  Then bed and tomorrow will arrive and be much much better!!!

Oh, I do have something else to say!  As far as my employment goes, I WILL tell you ALL about it, but I just need to wait a teensy bit longer.  Also, about Basildon Park, I am not paid for my work there, but I do work there, as a volunteer, and I treat it as work, am there regularly as work (although not five days a week!), and they expect people who volunteer there to work and be as professional as if it were a paid job.  So as far as I am concerned it is work - which I happen to love and adore - and it is easier to describe it on my blog and to others as work.  Hope that clears up any confusion or misconceptions!

I am going now, I have rambled enough!

See you tomorrow - in a better frame of mind!!

Thanks for listening.

Amy

Monday, 25 January 2016

Sunday Stroll

Yesterday I took myself off for a little walk that was supposed to be a stroll rather than my weekday walks when I try and go as fast I can.  This was a wander, so I took my camera to see what I could find.

Do you want to see?


When the gorse is flowering kissing is in fashion...  I didn't kiss anyone on my walk though!



The allotments were very quiet and looked rather forlorn and bedraggled, which isn't surprising given all the rain that we have had and the time of year.  I will keep an eye on them this year and see what happens.





I saw some well trimmed hedges though.  I prefer to see plants growing in a more natural shape, but for hedges it is nice to see them well kept and trimmed and they can still provide a home for birds and bugs of all kinds.  They don't mind what shape the plants are!




I didn't go tramping in the woods as I only had my walking trainers (sneakers) on, but when I remember (!) to get my boots out I will go and have a look down the muddier paths.


I find the tree barks fascinating, so many different textures.  I also enjoyed looking at the different sorts of buds which are appearing on the trees.



This ivy had a lot of berries on it.  I am not sure if the birds eat them or not, but I know that the flowers are a valuable source of nectar for insects.



Everything was looking very damp and wintery.  This beech tree - below - still had its leaves though.  They hold on to them through the winter which is why they make great hedges.



Above is some more gorse - but I still hadn't found anyone to kiss!  Probably just as well.  There was plenty of mud though.  I managed to avoid this lot though thankfully.



A few rosehips still hanging on.  I wonder if something will eat them.




Perhaps someone can tell me, I think that this is some sort of viburnum, but it might be a daphne of some kind.  There wasn't any fragrance that I noticed.  Any guesses?


I hope that you enjoyed the walk, especially those of you who are snowbound right now.  I do hope that you are staying warm and safe.

Amy