Friday 20 July 2012

July Bits & Bobs

Hello there! Things continue to be a bit quiet around here as I'm still suffering from creative block (ugh), but I've got a few snaps to share of things I've been up to lately...

My shops are all still open, so I've been keeping up my usual routine of parcel-packing and posting a few times a week. I like listening to Agatha Christie audiobooks while I'm packing up my orders and I'm currently 3/4s of the way through Dumb Witness. I'm so familiar with the plots of these books, and they're so light and gentle-paced that I can half-listen to them easily while I'm focused on writing customer addresess, etc. 

I have been doing a little bit of sewing here and there despite my creative block - I finished a batch of small poppy brooches earlier this week. The poppies have always been one of my favourite designs to sew.

Unfortunately I hurt my hand a couple of weeks ago and had to stop knitting for a bit, so I've fallen a bit behind with my sky blanket. I'm still taking careful note of the sky colours each day though... there continues to be an awful lot of grey!

I've been trying to switch off the laptop as much as possible when I'm not working, as part of a wider effort to develop more regular & less workaholic-y working habits. Being self-employed it is all too easy to get into the habit of just working all the time and not properly "switching off" from work, but I'm trying to make a determined effort to stop work at a set time in the evening & take proper days off (just a small bit of emailing in the morning and evening on my days off, which honestly can't really be helped when you're running an online business which is "open" 24/7).

So instead of reading blogs I've been reading stacks of library books, and instead of writing emails to friends I'm doing my best to send them cards & write them proper letters. I'm currently reading Philip Pullman's Northern Lights (a.k.a. The Golden Compass) which is just ace. I am a huge fan of novels like this and read soooo many of them as a teenager, that I am completely amazed / slightly baffled that it's taken me so long to get around to reading the His Dark Materials trilogy! Mmm... lovely books...

On my days off I've been enjoying the slightly unseasonal pleasure of curling up with lots of blankets, reading books or watching DVDs. The "day bed" in my studio is covered in comfy cushions and cosy blankets, including the giant granny square blanket which I crocheted last year. The double-bed sized blanket was my very first crochet project, and a huge amount of fun to make. I finished sewing in the ends just before I suddenly moved house last autumn & it's been packed up in a box ever since... it's very nice to finally be using it, and I think it looks rather snazzy with those vintage florals! I must remember to try to get a photo of the full finished blanket in all its stripey glory sometime :)

I've also been going on some day trips - yay! I'm currently living a mere hour and a half from central London so I'm trying to get up to town as often as possible for trips to galleries and museums and to meet up with friends and some of the lovely folks I've got to know through Etsy over the years. I've been buying a postcard or two from each place I've been to, as a little memento of my travels...

... with so many great galleries & museums (almost) on my doorstep I'm determined to visit as many of them as I can while I'm living here! The Natural History Museum is next on my list, and then after that I'll be giving London a miss for a few weeks while the Olympics are on and going to places like Oxford & Windsor instead. You can see Windsor Castle from my parents house on a clear day, and as local residents we get free entry (yay!) but I haven't been for at least 15 years. I am quite looking forward to it.

UPDATE: My poppy design is now available as a sewing pattern! Visit my shop to see all my printable PDF patterns


Sonya Vengrova said...

It's so good to finally meet (sort of) somebody who listens to Agatha Christie stories over and over again! I have TV series playing on my laptop while I do crafts, and I don't need to look at it because I remember almost every word. Actually, I do the same with some books – re-reading them from any page, as I know the text more or less by heart. I've never met anyone before who did the same.
«His Dark Materials» are also among my favourites (but not for re-reading – too thrilling), I wish I could erase all memory of them and read them again as for the first time.
Your blog and other websites are very inspirational!
Best wishes,

bairozan said...

Sounds cozy and fun - curling with a book under a blanket and going to museums but I wish you to get out of the remporary block, get inspired and make more of your amazing creations!

Tumus said...

You are very lucky to be so close to downtown London ^_^ Btw, how are you dealing with all the Olympic craziness? I can't imagine having to commute to work with all the tourists and athletes coming in. Also I wish I could crochet a giant granny square blanket. It looks like so much fun and lately I've been obsessed with purple, pink and gray combos.

Swirlyarts said...

His Dark Materials are my favourite books ever along with 39 Steps and Nineteen Eighty Four! I can't read them again until January though as I'm on a self imposed 'I can only read new to me books this year' in a bid to try and get through the thousands of books we have here!

davybidosa said...

Nice to hear that you have a good chance to visit London museum attractions - it often happens that we never visit interesting places right close to us. and i think your blanket is quite an inspiration for me :) anyway, have really good days off!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Sonya - Agatha Christie is the best accompaniment to an afternoon of crafting! Thanks for your lovely comments x

bairozan - thankyou! my crafiness is slowly coming back again :)

Tumus - I avoided London during the Olympics as I thought it'd be super busy but apparently it wasn't too bad as the crowds were spread through the day (and I guess a lot of people stayed away if they could work from home, etc). You should definitely give a giant granny square a try, it's super easy you just keep doing the same repeat over and over as it gets bigger and bigger :)

Swirlyarts - I can't believe it's taken me so long to get around to reading it! I like the idea of your challenge - hope it's going well.

davybidosa - thanks! I am determined to try to be a "tourist" in my own area, there are so many things around here I've not seen & places I've not visited.