Looking at things in a different light

The long Summer days have unfortunately distracted me from my crochet. My handmade projects have taken the backseat to sunny adventures. My sister is getting married in August, so I have been preparing a speech for the day; I've sourced an outfit (I'm very pleased with the second hand shoes purchased on Ebay); we've had family visiting which of course meant dinners out in town and about; we've been sipping Pimms and eating Summer dinners outside in the garden and of course I've been enjoying the half hour running activities in the park every other day.

One project I have been working on and am nearly finished with is this "Vintage" Rose *Coin purse. A lovely lady contacted me with photos of her bedroom and explained that she was very keen to own a Rose *Coin Purse to fit in with her bedroom's colour scheme and "vintage theme". She wants to home her pearls in the purse and wondered if I would be able to create a purse in "natural" or "vintage" tones.

I started out by applying a filter on the photo of the Rose *Card Purse I recently completed to try get an idea of what this purse should look like.  I was pleased with the result of this method:- looking at things in a different way.

After taking the photo I had to decide on the yarn colours best for this job, initially looking at grey tones, however I eventually decided on a softer "sepia" approach. I'm nearly finished with the purse, just needing to add a lining and the clasp. Here are a few snaps of the progress so far:

Hope your Summer days are going well and you've been lucky enough to be distracted from projects to spend some happy sunny days with your friends and family.

Nina

 

July so far…

I’ve started a new day job. It’s nothing fancy, just a part time temp job to get some pennies in over the Summer before I visit my family. A wedding is happening and I’m quite excited! So it has been back to the daily routines of making my way to and back from an office, coming home and trying to find the creativity that was sucked out during the office hours hiding somewhere in a closet. Added to the usual ‘everybody needs to work’ and the stresses which come from that, over the years I am pretty sure the traffic here has increased drastically.  Now days instead of getting to the office by car (or scooter in my case) in 5 minutes – there are actually incidents of road rage and the unspeakable 15 min sits in traffic queues amongst the locals. Ah, the days of 2 hour (plus) commute are but a distant memory for most living here and we forget how ‘lucky’ we are to only have to endure short traffic jams. Walking to work takes 10 minutes and is a healthier stress free alternative which I often take, especially if my Tilly (my scooters name) is too scared to come out in the rain. But, even though our commutes are short, it does still create stress, especially if combined with road diversions which extend the commute time even more. If you’ve ever been to Guernsey you will know that this small island has many roads that need fixing it would seem. There is always a road blocked off and traffic diverted at any point of time down very narrow one way roads that take you along impossible to get out of routes, sometimes headed in the opposite direction of where you need to go. I often wonder who is in charge of the diversions and if they’ve actually been on the roads they reroute the public on or even if have a map in front of them, or if the person is sitting with a cheeky grin rubbing hands together plotting out the worst possible maze saying things like “good luck suckers”. These diversions can add up to 30 minutes to your journey and if you weren’t aware of them on the day that you first travel down the unknown, your stress levels quickly jump to super high. I don’t recall any day without at least one road blocked off somewhere on the island in all my time living here. I’m pretty sure the powers that be only do these road closures to keep the general public in a constant state of “where am I?”…

The mysteries of Guernsey Road diversions

Then there’s the running. Having had complex surgeries on both feet, one in 2015 and the other in September 2016, I have had over two years break from my other love. I’m trying hard to get back into it, slowly. I’ve got to take it slow, especially for my right foot which has only had under a year post op recovery. Having the extra weight from the two year slump I can’t say that I’m doing as well as I was before, but I am getting there and working on increasing the time of running compared to walking, very very gradually. I was told prior to the operations that I should not expect to be running again, especially not before at least 2018, but I’d say it’s going pretty well and I’m super proud of myself. Granted,  I’m not as fit as I was prior to the first op, so it is more of a walk run walk process at the moment, but my fitness is increasing and my weight slowly dropping. I’ve been given strict instructions not to overdo things, so I’m very happy just to have had the ‘ok’ by my dr and just to be out running again. I’ve managed to get myself in a routine – running 3 or 4 times a week. Restricted mileage mind you, but I don’t plan to take part in any competitions again. I have rediscovered my love for the outdoors with taking snaps of the beautiful Summer displays along the way. It’s been very good for the head and given me some ideas for crochet projects at the same time. Happy days.

As for crochet projects. I’ve been working on a few *Card pouches. One I’ve given away to my customer mentioned in my previous post and three are custom orders. The only one ready for my shop for now is the *Owl Card Pouch, but there will be more coming as I get adjusted to the new routines.

I’ve sold a *Bunny who has gone to a new born baby. I love hearing about new babies and it just so happened that I was reading a crochet magazine which had published a pattern for baby booties by Dedri Uys. I thought they were gorgeous and had to give them a try. I’ve made these and posted both bunny and booties off to the new baby girls parents.

I’m also working on a crochet hook case. I don’t have a pattern for this, but used the daisy square pattern by  Tillie Tulip which I used for May’s blanket. I’m putting in a lining but I just need to find a zip at the local haberdashery first before I continue.

The mystical lantern blanket has also been staring at me from the back of my WIP cupboard which I’ve taken out again this morning. It may go back to its slumber as I’ve just received a request for a custom purse!

I hope your routines and lives have had a wonderfully harmonious July so far and that you’ve managed to get in a few quality positive and creative hours.

Nina

Rose *Card Purse

The two purses are now on their way to their new home. It took a lot of time, but I really enjoyed making these. The Forever Spring Garden and Rose purses’ were ordered in time to be part of the funds I’ve donated to Lisa. It almost spurred me on to make the very best purses I could, thinking of Lisa with every bead sewn every flower and rose created.

I haven’t been updating my blog much recently and I apologise for not being around much to read my fellow bloggers posts, but I plan on doing a mass catch up over the next few days. It has been an emotional journey – the #MakeHerDay event I ran on Facebook created a huge response. Messages from people all over the world sending well wishes and praises for my work. I had an emotional cry nearly every day of the whole of June.

I learned only once the custom order was about to set sail, that my customer too is fighting her very own battle with Cancer. Not only that, she also knows what I am going through with a sister going through the same. I was so moved. Here she was, helping me support Lisa with her order, when she too deserves the very best support and love too. She doesn’t yet know (but probably will do once she reads this post) I have included a little something extra in the parcel just for her as a gift from me to say thanks and wish her and her sister all the best in their battle too.

Here is the completed Rose *Card Purse

All my love to you

Nina

 

 

Forever Spring Garden overview

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who ordered one or two things in my shop over June. The final total raised for Lisa turned out to be £350! Lisa is a rather extraordinary person and sure does deserve as much love and support anyone can give. My sister has had cancer many times from starting with her initial cancer diagnosis at about 2 years old.  After several battles with the big C, she was eventually diagnosed with “LFS” (Li-Fraumeni Syndrome) which resulted from genetic testing. Without going too much into this, very basically it means that Lisa is missing a gene in her DNA which has tumour suppresser tendencies. Unfortunately, without careful monitoring and crucial management, Lisa is more likely to have (certain) cancers at any point. Last year I had done a fund raising to help pay for the genetic testing which worked out wonderfully, but Lisa is very shy and was not happy with the idea of asking for more help.

Cancer has many complications. There are the countless surgeries complex and minor, after surgeries, there’s the chemotherapy and the complications on your body from taking the “essential” poison, there’s the side effects and necessary procedures following treatment of the tumour, the life long testing, the emotional trauma… the list just goes on forever. Unfortunately, the medical world is not a funny place to be dependant on when you have a unique history such as Lisa’s with multiple cancer diagnosis’. Your medical insurances don’t last forever and there are always limitations on the help from the “bank of Mom and Dad”. Over this last month I have concentrated my efforts, despite her shy objections to raise some funds to help her. I’ve been very clear, the funds made in my shop she can choose to help pay medical bills, however I want her to have something to look forward to so, however she decides to use the funds – she will have some pennies available to hopefully take some stress off her and focus on something fun.

Included in the monies raised, I had been contacted for a custom order. Two purses. One a “Rose *Card Purse” and the other a “Forever Spring Garden *Card Purse”.

I’m still working on the Rose purse, but I have finished the Garden purse. This design has been quite popular. I think each one made may be ever so slightly different from the one before, however, all have the same concept. a garden frozen in time, forever in Spring.

Here is the latest one which also fits credit cards:

I thought I might show you the timeline – the evolution of this purse from the first one made:

Quite a difference when you see them together like that 🙂

I’ll show you the Rose Purse once I’ve managed to complete it.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Nina

Two *Card Pouches

So this week has been filled with lunches with friends, running, spring cleaning and great excitement for me – the arrival of a fitness watch to track my steps, stress, sleep heart rate and even stairs I’ve climbed. The watch has proved useful in that it reminds me to “move” if I’ve sat for too long… although I’m not entirely sure how long that will remain disabled when I’m engrossed with orders 😊

I’ve had two custom orders this week from two different people for two unique items. I’ll be sharing the post about the one a little later, but thought I’d update you on the progress of the *Card pouch order I had.

I’ve finished both the “Summery” and the “Wintery” *Card Pouches. If you haven’t seen the previous post about the watermelon pouch, read it here.

The “Wintery” *Card Pouch is in Silver and has pearlised beads and a floral inner lining. Perfect for storing credit cards and notes on a night out when a sleeker pouch is called for instead of keeping the cards loose in your evening purse.

PS – how do you like my nails? I painted them myself and am very chuffed that I didn’t go over the edges (for a change 😊)

Thanks for stopping by 😀

Nina

Summers here! Hooray!

We’ve had a bit of a heat wave this week. It has been GLORIOUS!

For me, nothing says “Summer” more like a watermelon. It brings back childhood memories of watermelons floating in the pool whilst we were all playing a game of seeing who could get to the pool in the shortest amount of hops from one shade spot to the next – so that we didn’t burn our feet. The bobbing about and spinning the watermelon in the pool. Mind you… thinking back to those days in this crazy health and safety world we live in now – I’m not entirely sure if when we ate the watermelon how much of it had absorbed chlorine in it… mmm.. best not try this at home kids 🙂

I was busy making Watermelon *Card Purse, when I was contacted for a custom order. “Not a purse with a clasp please. I want something that will fit my credit card(s) in, but flat enough to go in my evening purse when I’m out. I usually carry my cards loose in my bag. I want two – one that is “Summery” and another a Winter version.”

In steps Watermelon *Card Pouch. I’ve thanked Jo for the idea and am busy making a wintery version for her. I may just make a whole line of these. They’re very convenient! Holds more than one card, I’m sure it will also fit in a few notes with it too. Like the purses, I’ve also lined the pouch.

Now to bring out the Pimms, grab a towel finish my ice cream and go for a swim – its not usually as lovely as this! Make the most of it!

Here’s a couple of photos I took on the beach to get you feeling a little warmer if you’re stuck in Winter whilst reading this 🙂

 

Two favourites

Following my last blog post Rainbow Cloud *Card Purse I’d put the purse on my shop listings and within minutes of the post being published, the purse was sold! Thank you – the proceeds of this will also be going to my sister. I’ve had requests for more another. So you can see what I’ve been busy with this weekend – making a second Rainbow Cloud *Card Purse and can see that this sweetheart purse is going to be quite popular!

Another popular design – the Cherry Blossom *Card purse has also been finished off and added to my shop listings.

Happy Sunday – and a HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all the Dad’s out there.

Nina

 

Rainbow Cloud *Card Purse

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud” – Maya Angelou

So I’ve come to an end of a stressful situation. It’s not often I make a stand for myself, but when I do, I find it incredibly hard and believe me – it has to be a particularly hard push to get me to that point of just saying ‘enough’. Its so much easier to let things go by to “save the peace”.  On review, lessons learnt are that if the things you’ve tried to change are not working out or won’t change and when things are not right, its ‘ok’ to just let go and move on in the best way you can.

Amidst it all, I came across the above quote. It was beautiful. I wanted to be that rainbow in someone’s cloud.  I want to be remembered for the positive things I’ve done. I want to be recognised for my achievements. I had tried hard and really thought I was that rainbow. Doubt crept in.  

Out of the blue it hit me. Like a ton of bricks… I am! I am a rainbow in many other clouds. 

I’ve come to realise that actually, I am a big ‘ol shinning glittery and sparkly full HD rainbow deluxe! Especially to the relationships that matter most to me. And it feels great!

This purse design is dedicated to all my friends and family who have helped me through this time by reminding me that even faded rainbows in dark clouds can brighten up with a little sunlight and for some magical reason, shine best in clouds you love.

Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Always.

 

 

Something bright for the light in your life ☀️

Looking for a little Summer fun? Look no further than the Candy Stripe *Card Purse. This sweet purse will suit any age. Sweet and simple.

Another purse inspired by a beautiful find on a jog – a whole hedge covered in hues of pinks, oranges, purples and yellows. I just had to try replicate the display. Isn’t it pretty?

IMG_1869

From the brightness of the flowers, comes the brightness of the purse…

I’m really enjoying finding inspiration in the sights and views on a jog… I wonder what I’ll find next time 🙂

 

 

Jade Cherry Blossom *Card Purse

The popular *Cherry Blossom design returns in a beautiful shade of Jade.

Warmer weather has eventually made its way to Guernsey and I’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful days to try and get some exercises in and hopefully shift a few of the long winter pounds added to my figure (mind you my “winter spell” of exercise break has been over 2 years since my first foot operation). I’ve been making the most of the weather and going out on morning/evening jogs and walks around Guernsey. This new found energy I must say has, although very good for the headspace, left me after a long day at work with a strong desire to continue making the most of the outdoor weather and so J and I have been having evenings outside watching sunsets and it has also encouraged earlier bedtimes, unfortunately forcing me to neglect my crochet work a bit.

As you may know, running is my other love.  I was devastated 2 years ago being told that I’d need both feet operated on and I’d most likely not be allowed to run again. The views I come across whilst on jogs or walks are what make it for me, and they can honestly be so amazing that you don’t mind the pain of a run. We live in a truly amazing world and people often don’t get to see the beautiful views the world around has to offer. It is so humbling to come across a view that even if you’ve been in the same spot 100’s of times, in a certain light the view can be breath taking and you just know it will never be the same again. And so I take my phone with me on my trails and I try to share the beauty over Facebook / Instagram. If you are on Instagram and are following me, you may see some of my photos “views on a run” from places I’ve captured on my travels.

But please do not worry: I am being careful and when I say “jog”, being back to it over 2 years of no exercises, my “jogs” are more of a “run-walk-splutter-walk-jog” at the moment and no longer than 30minutes. Following doctors orders re my feet, I’m not planning on doing long distances again and definitely no competitions and only doing this for me.

It was on one of my jogs, a morning that started out quite foggy that I thought of using green. The *Cherry Blossom design has proved popular in Blue, Pink and Yellow so far.

 The beautiful soft green shades in Cambridge park inspired me. IMG_1860And so the Jade Cherry Blossom *Card Purse was born.

As you will know from previous posts, ALL proceeds made in my shop until 1 July I am donating to my sister, Lisa. Lisa has had numerous operations over her young life and the last being an internal prosthesis stretching from her thigh to her ankle in her (only) leg, being rather scary. I want to make her day and give her some pennies to plan for something special, something to look forward to.  Thank you for the purchases made already, I have just under £90 to give her so far!

This purse will also be in my shop soon and is also included in my shop event for Lisa.

Thank you for visiting! HAPPY SPRING!

Nina