Adventures, bliss, challenge, challenges, changing seasons, comfort, confidence, contentment, cosy, cottage, craft projects, crafting, creations, creative, creativity, domesticity, doodling, embellishments, embroidery, encouragement, English, enjoying the moment., fabric flowers, fabric scraps, hand made, hand sewing, hand stitched, happiness, heart and home, holiday, home sewing, inspiration, learning, life lessons, Life skills, mindfulness, October, pleasure, positive thinking, practise, present, quick projects., relaxation, sew, sewing, simple pleasures, simplicity, soul food

Stitch Meditation Practise

Respect your body

I don’t know about you, but I find traditional meditation and mindfulness nigh on impossible, so it was a wonderful revelation to discover stitch meditations.

What I am enjoying most about this is it allows for experimentation – what is important is the process of creation – the stitching itself. It really does calm the mind and because the concept is that you are only creating a small embroidery really just as a meditative practice there is no sense of having to make something out of it. Instead, Liz suggests that you simply allow the stitching to flow in whatever direction feels good.

Embroidery in progress

I have always enjoyed quotations so I decided to include these in my meditations – this is one I took away with me on Holiday recently, as you can see I began with a very rough outline of a couple of pink chalk circles on the left hand side. The picture above was the result after one evening’s stitching – experimenting in this way, I was combining practising my French Knots (a very new skill) and the different effect that you could find by using varying thicknesses of thread. Those simple ovals – lifted up from the background because of the thick cotton Perle – in the centre, but I worked a thinner flat floss around the edges to create anchor the flower onto the canvass. The stems were created using lovely chain stitch, and fern stitch worked well to create feather like leaves.

fullsizeoutput_a60

The second evening I decided to fill in the circles – but what I intended to do did not quite work so I ended up doing a long and short stitch in two colours – topped off with yet more lovely French knots. This process is amazing, because when I looked at what had evolved it was so much nicer than my original idea!

fullsizeoutput_a5c

The quotation was really apt for me, I really needed to rest and when you work from home it is hard to relax so spending time away was perfect. We were staying in a National Trust cottage in Devon – rather than going to various locations – we decided to spend our days, enjoying walks in the beautiful gardens and surrounding woodland and rolling hills of the Tamar Valley. The rest of the time we enjoyed quiet afternoons with the log burner crackling away, while E read and I stitched away merrily. One afternoon I discovered a TV channel called Talking Pictures that was showing a 1940s version of Rebecca! complete bliss!

IMG_0848

By the end of the week, the stitch meditation was complete –  I felt completely restored by the rest and we said goodbye to the cottage taking fond memories of a wonderfully relaxing time.

Let life flow

I am still doing these stitch meditations at home and I am finding it has really helped to ease work related stress.

If you would like to know more about this practise there is a wonderful group on Facebook, just look up the words ‘stitch meditations’ and it will take you there.  You can see all the other wonderful pieces of work done by ladies from all over the world, USA, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Stitch Meditation is a process developed by Liz Kettle to help develop a creative mindfulness practice that is simple and easy to implement.

It is for those who choose to explore how to meditate with stitch, to share your practice with others, to inspire others and as accountability for yourself.

See Liz Kettle’s video explaining it all here

Adventures, English Afternoon Tea, enjoying the moment., flowers, food, glitter, good food, gratitude jar, hand sewing, happiness, hat, health, healthy eating, heart and home, home craft, home sewing, interior, making the most of life., organic, painting, photography, positive thinking, project, projects, quilting, self acceptance, self love, sewing, simple pleasures, simplicity, Staffie, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, stitching, summer, Sunday Sevens, tea, tea and cake, tea cup, time, vintage finds, yellow

Sunday Sevens – post op and enchanted convalescence

Post op

I went in to have foot reconstruction surgery two weeks ago; I suffered osteonecrosis when I was a teenager and had radical surgery, over twenty years of dancing and walking around left my foot in a very sorry state – and I am so grateful to the surgeon and hospital staff for their wonderful care. It is marvellous to live in a country where you get the health care you need without having to worry about the costs involved. So I find myself having to sit down and recover – which is harder than I imagined!

yellow gerberas in blue vase

E picked me up from hospital with the most beautiful bouquet of sunny yellow blooms, Gerberas and Yellow Roses to brighten the bedroom and here they are two weeks later still looking bright and beautiful. I love the contrast of the blue vase – and our home has the most delightful French doors that give such a great soft light for photography.

My lovely place

Recovery is so delightful – I finally had time to do a little painting – and what a beautiful spot to paint! I managed two canvasses: one was a still life of tulips I had photographed, once again the combination of cobalt and yellow the other was a fun butterfly using various shades of glitter. I managed to get most of the glitter on the canvass but was a little bit sparkly for a few days!

Sweet peas and summer hat

These delightful sweet peas were a get well soon gift and I am so humbled to receive so much kindness from friends and neighbours. Get well soon cards have overflowed from the mantle shelf to the dresser and visitors have been very frequent and welcome. It has surprised me just how hard it is to be on the receiving end of so much kindness, but it has certainly aided my recovery and made me feel appreciated.

food journal

This lovely bowl of fruit was a welcome thoughtful gift – the apricots were delicious. I am struggling with my diet at the moment – since discovering lactose is triggering my migraines I have been migraine free for a while. However, I forgot to mention it to a dear friend who invited us round for tea and cake – only to discover she had made a full afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones cream and jam! I was too embarrassed to ‘make a fuss’ I thought it would be ok, but the following day I suffered one of the worst bouts of migraine and sickness I had in years. So much so that it has made me frightened to eat a lot of things.  I now keep a food journal which has helped me track some of the foods – but I am still having digestive problems. I know that I was given strong antibiotics during my surgery so have been using probiotics.

chocolate parcel

Of course I could not live without chocolate – and the current trend for Veganism has made this a little easier as well as the food labelling laws. So my weeks of indulgence included a package from Montezuma’s – organic, dairy free chocolate. This is sublime and I find I don’t need to eat that much to satisfy the craving now and then. I’ve since discovered that there is a vegan chocolate factory not far from where I live! So it is on my ‘to visit list’ once I am mobile again.

Little embroidery

I am enjoying enchanting afternoons spent listening to radio plays while stitching – my winter embroidery is coming along – I have also found time to do some much needed hand sewing repairs to my clothes. It is such a calm, meditative practise that is fast becoming my preferred method. The sewing machine is not as accurate nor is it quite so relaxing.

IMG_3075

Mr Barnykins has been really enjoying his time with a wonderful local dog walker – I think she gets far more fuss when she arrives than I do, but then I am here all the time at the moment. I think he is trying to pretend it was someone else who is responsible for the inside snowstorm!

Happy Sunday.

 

Christmas, crafting, enjoying the moment.

Making Merry

Happy New Year!

What a a great Christmas break
!  Despite my earlier postings of my potential meltdown, I had a fab time, even though:
 My Christmas Puddings were an absolute disaster (consistency of stew rather than pudding)
We had our Christmas dinner on a lovely piece of fabric that I had not hemmed -it still looked lovely.
I did manage to enjoy all the decorations without my bunting, heart felt garlands, handmade stocking,  etc etc.

So… note to self, (when the magazines and shops are revving up their ‘best ever Christmas’) it doesn’t matter! What matters is having fun with your nearest and dearest without throwing a wobbly over the handmade thingamy that is supposed to be the pinnacle of the celebrations but you feel you have to finish like a sweat shop sewing machinist on Christmas Eve. Everyone just wants a glass of wine and play a game or two! (Luckily I ditched all the ideas of the handmade thingamys way before Christmas eve and was happily playing a word game with my beloved over a glass or two snug as a bug).

January is nearly over; I  kept up a new year’s resolution to take regular exercise – (I have managed wii fit plus now for 6 days running – (with the exception of Saturday)) so the plan to be fitter and healthier is on its way. Although the healthy eating is postponed until all the Christmas Chocolate is eaten.. (hopefully it will be Easter by then!)

My resolve was further enhanced by creating my body double for my dressmaking… oh la la.. all those curvy bits that have become even curvier!

Yoga is proving to be absolute bliss..

I had a fabulous birthday,  whisked off to a famous London store to spend a little credit card! Needless to say it was well and truly swiped clean of the credit in under half an hour in the fabric department! See photo above and try and guess which store… (I am the one in the middle) the shop is  famous for bodices, fabric, (did I mention fabric?) the arts and crafts movement.

Oh.. the shop itself is absolute bliss, little fireplaces tucked away with exquisite tiles! It looks like a tudor building but really isn’t that old… Of course delightful Mr D, did recognise that I do have certain endearing qualities. The way I strolled through the jewellery department without a second glance, my eyes fixed on another one of my passions… stationery. Notebook (with cream pages) the latest edition to my growing collection.

cheerio
 (that used to be a way of saying goodbye before the breakfast cereal!)