Do you choose fear or joy?

Today I have a deceptively simple question for you:

Are you holding onto your stuff from fear, guilt and/or grief

or from love and joy?

I’ve asked this of myself, and found the answers to be incredibly powerful and healing. I hope it works the same for you.

I know what I want my answer to be!

Now to clear the fear and guilt-ridden stuff out of the house…

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Some resources to inspire your spring clean

Here’s a few things I’m currently finding to be useful sources of inspiration and food for thought as I work on my spring clean of my home and my life:

  • The life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo (aka KonMari). You’ve probably heard the term ‘KonMari’ mentioned wherever someone is talking about de-cluttering. Marie Kondo has developed a distinctly Japanese approach to tidying that is inspiring many people, including me. I particularly like the idea of choosing to keep those things that ‘spark joy’ – such a simple critieria
  • Leave your mark by Aliza Licht. The first few chapters of this book weren’t so relevant for me, but the later parts have really got me thinking about my approach to social media and my wider online life, as well as that vexed question of ‘personal brand’, and who and what I want to be (still figuring that out).
  • And I’ve just discovered that Brittany of the Nested Nomad blog is just starting a series on simplifying your life. Her description of simplicity as “living life with an uncluttered soul” really resonates with me. That is what I aspire to!

What’s inspiring your spring cleaning (or your autumn taking stock)? Let’s have a link fest in the comments, so we all get super motivated!

What I’ve been making (August 2015 edition)

There’s been a lot of yarn in use! And some fabric too…

I’ve been trialling a new approach to managing my yarn projects. In the past, I’ve had a tendency to have at least half a dozen (and if I’m honest, a lot closer to a full dozen) things on the go at any one time, because I love starting new things…

I only took one (yes, one!) project on my trip to Sydney. I found I really enjoyed the simplicity of not needing to think about what to work on. If I wanted to do something, I just picked it up and got on with it – no thoughts about whether I felt like doing this one or that one, and no guilt about all the things I wasn’t working on.

When we got home, I got to thinking about how that had felt and worked for me, and I realised I liked it. So I decided to try having only two active projects on the go – one for upstairs and one for downstairs! Everything else in progress got piled up neatly in a corner of the studio.

So far it is working well. I really, really enjoy just being able to pick something up and get to work. And I’m really not missing the angst of constant decisions!

I’m also ploughing through the finishing of things πŸ™‚

Recently finished:

The Granny Square blanket I introduced to you back in May. It now looks like this (and is super cosy):

Photo5564

A shawl for a friend (which I can’t show you just now, because I haven’t given it to her yet)

My grassy-green version of Suvi Simola’s Fold and Turn – a deceptively simple and deliciously cosy loose shrug (I love the stripe detail down the centre back):

Photo5567

I’ve also sewn up a range of skirts for myself (which has been part of a whole wardrobe refurbish) and made myself a hat from a skein of camel hair yarn I’ve had for *cough* years:.

I did make a woollen coat that was meant to be for me, but after wearing it for a few weeks, I realised it would look a lot better on one of my friends, so it’s living with her now πŸ™‚

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Currently on the go:

  • Finishing a grey jersey for myself – just the sleeves to go (upstairs)
  • A sock yarn oddments crochet shawl (downstairs)

And I have a wee confession: I’m not counting the glove project I keep by my laptop for when the updates take too long to install… It’s there to boost my patience and will enter the official list at some point πŸ˜‰

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Patiently waiting their turn:

  • The green bolero I mentioned in May
  • The final band of a blue-violet-green shrug
  • A green crochet lacy blanket

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Itching to start:

  • A lace shawl from the gorgeous green yarn I bought in Katoomba (I have bought the pattern already)
  • Some blankets and shawls for friends
  • A brown polar fleece coat (which will have a steampunk twist or three)
  • My spotty pantaloons (I was going to make these last weekend, but got distracted by gardening and dancing…)

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What have you been making?

I’d love to hear – or even see: you’re welcome to share photos on the Facebook page πŸ™‚

From work room to studio

Over the years, I’ve attempted to de-clutter my work room and create space forΒ  my dance.

This gained urgency at the end of last year, when the Supper Club, my dance group, lost our practice venue and everywhere else was twice the price.

With our first dance night of 2015 coming up fast (this Thursday!) sorting it out became extremely urgent. (Fortunately, I work well to deadlines…)

My work room has evolved from this (in 2011)

2011 Work room 5

through this (in 2013)

2013 Work room in progress

and this (2014)

2014-07 work room2

to this, as of noon today: Welcome to The Oasis!

2015-01 the Oasis

(Disclaimer: this photograph may have been taken from the most flattering angle and may not show clear views of the fabric and yarn storage or of the [very] dwarf date palm)

I now have enough room for 4 or 5 people to belly dance in my studio (Yay! I can call it a studio now! This makes me unreasonably excited!)

I now also have only the supplies and other bits that inspire me to create. That has taken a lot of work; hand-in-hand with transforming my inner creative landscape. I am now much clearer about what I do and don’t enjoy, and what sorts of creating call out to me. I’m looking forward to heeding that call and having some fun!

In the meantime, anyone want some beads?!

And roll on Thursday night πŸ™‚

Savour the ‘Ordinary’

Some good advice:

William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

The poem continues:

You will have to constantly contend
with the pressure for ever more,
and ever bigger,
that culture seeks to impose
on your children
and you.
It takes courage and discipline
to go slow,
live simply,
and see clearly.
But the rewards are great.
What ordinary thing can you do together today?

Being honest with myself

It’s not comfortable, nor is it easy…

… but it is worthwhile.

It is all to easy to turn towards busy-ness and away from one’s self – especially at those times when you most need to sit with yourself.

I’m fighting that tendency (now I’ve noticed it).

I will sit

and drink tea

and enjoy my own company…

… with pen and paper to hand (a nice flowing ink pen)

I will make time and room for myself

I will let my inner voice speak

and I will listen

 

Photo commute – texture & line

These photos come from looking up, down and around. There’s a wealth of beauty and possibility all around us – the art is in the looking…

Close up of a wall
Close up of a wall

 

Playing with line - looking down
Playing with line – looking down
Looking up - a boring ceiling?
Looking up – a boring ceiling?
Heading downstairs
Heading downstairs
Texture and line in simple paving
Texture and line in simple paving
Texture and line playing nicely together
Texture and line playing nicely together
Looking up again
Looking up again
Pattern and texture with plants
Pattern and texture with plants