Category Archives: Creativity

Thinking outside the (car shaped) box

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In the end I had to tip everything out of my handbag onto the bed, but they still weren’t there. Just like I knew they wouldn’t be. I remember taking them off my head, folding them and placing them on the table, while we drank smoothie and lemonade and discussed other people’s weddings. Before we left, I went to the toilet. When I returned, I picked up my handbag.

“Shall we go?” she said. And we walked out. My wonderfully oversized leopard print sunglasses left folded on the table. Damn.

I thought about just buying some more, but found I felt strangely attached to the old sunglasses, and resolved to get them back. I rang the lounge, and sure enough, they had them behind the bar. Problem was, they were a 30 minute drive outside the city. Sigh.

Although I resolved to go after work, the more I thought about it the more my heart sank. Walking home from work, getting in my car, sitting in traffic, finding somewhere to park… None of it appealed. What if it was sunny and I needed my sunglasses to drive?

I googled other ways of getting there and discovered that a bus leaving from the stop just outside my office would take me to a stop just outside the bar. Public transport – what an adventure! Bizarrely, I now felt excited about going.
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Things that I made in June and July

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I finished this cardigan. Wahoo! Overall, the wool cost me £36 (although I do have some leftover for another project). So making my own clothes isn’t saving me money, but I don’t think that’s the point. I am pleased that I made something that looks like this, and taught myself some new skills in the process.
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“I made it!” monthly: February 2016

I've knitted my first pair of socks!

I’ve knitted my first pair of socks!

For most of the month I continued to work on the socks that I started in January. I finished them a week or so ago and have already worn them a couple of times – I can report that they are very warm and comfortable. Luckily, they also didn’t fall apart in the washing machine.

Once I finished the socks, I did something very unusual for me and actually paid for a pattern! (I tend to either make things from books that I’m given as presents, download free patterns from ravelry.com, or make it up.) The pattern I bought was this Oversized Chunky Box Jumper from Frank&Olive.
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“I made it!” monthly: January 2016

I seem to be on a roll with knitting at the moment. Which is weird, because for years I have struggled with anything more complicated than a scarf.

I had a note from Nicole Antoinette (they’re great – I recommend you subscribe) the other week that talked about how we don’t need motivation to take action. In fact, it’s action that leads to momentum that leads to motivation.

That’s what happened with knitting for me. I felt socially obliged to try and knit this tea cosy, because my husband gave it to me and I had let it sit in its box for 9 months. Ungrateful? Not quite. I was convinced it was too complicated for me. But in the end, I gave it a go and it wasn’t that difficult. I was so proud of myself! And that gave me the momentum to try knitting a hat, which I did in an afternoon, and a sweater, which I finished in December.

Which leads me on to January.

Kate wearing the jumper she made.

This happens to be my most liked photograph on Instagram ever.

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Living to learn

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Knitting a tea cosy, hat, and then a sweater or two has brought me so much joy.

When I dragged him to Hobbycraft to buy more wool last weekend, my husband commented, “You were so adamant that you were a crocheter who couldn’t knit, and now you’re knitting all this stuff.”

Somehow I had forgotten that learning new skills, conquering something I thought I could never do, is one of the core things that makes life worth living for me.
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Breaking rules

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Yesterday I was listening to Nicole Antoinette’s Real Talk Radio interview with Jamie Greenwood. I would recommend listening to the whole thing, but one thing that had me reaching for my notebook was when Jamie said:

It’s an exciting way to live when we can begin to back off from the rules that we hold so tight.

It made me thing about the rules that I used to hold so tight, but found peace and freedom in letting go.

Here are some of my rules and beliefs that I’ve rejected. What are some of yours?
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The first time I… listened to myself on a podcast

When Jo asked if I would be a guest on her new podcast Introspectology,  I agreed right away. I really enjoyed chatting to her about my story, my wedding and how I see the world.

But when it came out I found myself feeling anxious about listening to it. When my husband put it on, I became so self conscious at hearing my own voice I had to leave the room and would only come back if he turned it off. I know, sometimes I act as though I am four years old.
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How to be playful

I have this vague recollection that I used to laugh a lot more than I do now. I never used to take anything seriously, and now I worry about everything.

It’s difficult to tell whether taking life seriously led to my anxiety, or my anxiety led to me taking everything more seriously. I don’t know if this matters, what matters is breaking the cycle.

In his book Play It Away, Charlie Hoehn explains that the cure for his anxiety was starting to play again. He suggests that we make lists of things we enjoyed as children, and start to incorporate these activities back into our lives.
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