Today’s theme is ‘peace’ and whilst I considered going down the peace symbol, dove, olive branch route, in the end I decided to focus on inner peace. ‘Om‘ is often used as a meditation mantra so I combined it with some of my houseplant art as a calming reminder to slow down and take some deep breaths every once in a while. I expect I will lasercut this next time I’m at my cutter, so there might be some jewellery to follow!
Today’s theme is ‘orange’ so I decided to have a quick attempt at a fabric design. I’d love to get some of my own designs printed on fabric (I’ve been gazing wistfully at Spoonflower for literally years), so as I’m still learning Adobe Illustrator, I whipped this up in Inkscape instead.
Today’s theme was trees so I went with a lasercut leaf theme, based on elm leaves. I couldn’t decide whether to ink the centre vein on each of them to make it stand out a bit more, but I erred on the side of Nature and kept it subtle in the end.
You might remember that a few years ago, before I got busy with study and training and work and life, that I participated in the 30 Days of Creativity project (twice). The basic premise of the project is to create something – large, small, ambitious, simple, cheap, expensive – every day for a month.
I created some quite varied items!
The original creators of the project seem to have disappeared, and I really need to get back into being creative, so my friend Lovely Sarah and I decided to do our own 30 Days of Creativity. I asked her to come up with the themes to prevent any biased choices from me (Day 1: Buttons, Day 2: Buttons, Day 3: Buttons etc). As before I may choose not to follow the theme that day, although it was more of a challenge when I did, back in 2012.
Drum roll, please:
1 Trees 2 Orange 3 Peace 4 Oxford Blue 5 Bats 6 Flower 7 Robot 8 Maze 9 Bee 10 Button 11 Cherry 12 Anchor 13 Happy 14 Rain 15 Textile 16 Cake 17 Autumn 18 Crown 19 Bird 20 Positivity 21 Games 22 Ink 23 Lavender 24 Water 25 Sun 26 Movement 27 Rainbow 28 Herb 29 Cat 30 Jewellery
We begin on Tuesday 1st September 2015. Of course, you are all welcome to join in with us, I’d love to see what you create!
Well. Where do I even start? It’s been an….interesting year, full of highs and lows and everything inbetween. This year, I:
– Finally finished my degree with the Open University, gaining a 2:1 Bachelor of Science (Hons) after seven years of study
– Ticked off a lot of ‘firsts’, including travelling on a ferry, a tram and the Eurotunnel
– Attended not one but two rowing training camps and lived to tell the tale
– Went on a whistle-stop tour of Belgium
– Volunteered at the London stage of this year’s Tour de France as a Tourmaker
– Volunteered at a local half marathon as a Racemaker
– Had my volunteer interview for the Rugby World Cup 2015… watch this space!
– Ate Party Rings biscuits for the first time in about twenty years after they made them vegetarian
– Rowed in WEHORR (Women’s Eights Head of the River Race) on the Thames, for the first time
– Had one of my necklaces featured in a magazine for the first time
I’ve spectacularly failed to do any of my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions but I’ll discuss them anyway!
1) Enjoy the moment
This one started well, but I it’s going to take me a little longer than expected to train my brain not to worry about the consequences of my actions so much. There were glimpses of success at various points this year but ‘enjoying the moment’ needs to become something I don’t consciously think about.
2) Eat well and add to my cooking repertoire
The stress and sheer boredom of writing essays propelled me towards my kitchen oftener than it should have, with ‘just making a snack’ (invariably something unhealthy) offering good opportunities for procrastination! However, I did make a point of going through all of my recipe books (more procrastination) and mark the recipes that I would actually use. So I guess the plan for 2015 is to work my way through some of them and see what new dishes I can add to my diet. I also need to find some new ideas for lunches to take to work because I’ve got stuck in a routine with it. Any suggestions?
3) Write more blog posts
I think it’s quite obvious that this one didn’t go as planned! It’s been a pretty quiet year for doing anything in my spare time other than study. My final course was in Design and was at third-year university level, the combination of which meant that not only was it quite difficult, I had to come up with design ideas for every essay, and my final project. All that thinking takes up a lot of time you know! Also, I spent so much time looking at a screen and trying to extricate thoughts from my head into coherent essays that, to be honest, my laptop and I needed to spend a little time apart…
4) Have more fun!
Fun was occasionally had this year, in between work and training and study and worrying about the future! Everything took over my life more than I expected and didn’t leave much room for anything else. Looking forward to next year, there should be lots more opportunities to cut loose a bit – if I am only brave enough to take the leap.
I’d like to apologise for the blog silence this year. I’m definitely looking to get back into making stuff next year: edible, stitched, laser cut, who knows. We’ll see where life takes me :)
I am going to be very short of time again this year, what with work, training, studying, making, baking, creating…the list goes on! So I need some manageable yet still challenging goals to aim for in 2014.
1) Enjoy the moment
I’ve sometimes got the tendency to look to the future too much, pondering the consequences of my current actions and being unable to fully enjoy whatever I’m doing. This is going to change this year.
2) Eat well and add to my cooking repertoire
As I mentioned in my review of 2013, although I have increased my fitness, my diet needs a bit more work. Most of what I eat is based on carbs (pasta, rice, bread etc) and some combination of tomatoes and/or cheese. I need to increase the amount of muscle-building protein and nutritious veg in my diet, no mean feat given that I am a vegetarian and very fussy to boot!
3) Write more blog posts
I’m sure none of you noticed but I have definitely written a lot less blog posts this year, not least because I didn’t have time to do 30 Days of Creativity this time around. This year I will write more blog posts, which means making and baking and creating more things to blog about.
4) Have more fun!
I spent a lot of time studying and training this year and I need to make more of opportunities to kick back, relax and have some fun in what remaining spare time I have in 2014.
What are your NYRs for 2014?
It’s that time of year again, to mull over what has happened in the last 365 days and look forward to what might occur in the next 365. In 2013, amongst other things, I:
– Somehow gained a Distinction in my latest (now discontinued) OU course: T211 Design and Designing
– Started supplying rowing-themed button badges to Rock the Boat
– Made an unexpected wedding cake for my friend’s wedding
– Celebrated my one year rowing anniversary
– Watched Luisa Omielan’s comedy show What Would Beyoncé Do?
– Had a ‘Health MOT’ and passed with flying colours
– Started a challenging and interesting new job
– Watched The Leisure Society live (again!)
– Won my first race final at a rowing regatta
– Had a Hawaiian-themed joint birthday party for my 30th
– Watched my friend’s long awaited, much anticipated and
very funny debut film ‘Dead Cat’
– Moved house
– Did a screenprinting workshop at Print Club London
As usual, at the start of the year, I decided on my New Year’s Resolutions. This year’s were intended to be more about ‘doing’ and less about ‘thinking’, though I could not have foreseen that a combination of rowing and studying would take over my life for nine or ten months of this year, leaving me little time for anything else (including writing blog posts)!
1) Make marshmallows, macarons and madeleines.
I managed to make marshmallows (and very tasty they were too), and some madeleines for my friend Madeleine’s birthday (though I didn’t get to try them). I’ve not quite got around to making macarons, though having not ever actually tried one I might find that I don’t like them after all! I was tempted by the make-your-own-macarons kits that I spotted in Sainsbury’s the other week, but alas the raspberry ones contain cochineal (off-limits to vegetarians) and the chocolate ones are out too because I don’t like chocolate. So this might be a longer term project. Perhaps I’ll take a class in how to make macarons, because by all accounts they can be tricky little so-and-sos!
2) Make fewer excuses.
This was the obligatory ‘floaty’ resolution but one I’ve been meaning to do for a number of years. I’ve had a tendency to blame stuff on things that are outside my control or that I could change if I really wanted to. Working on making less excuses (both spoken and in my head) has actually resulted in a lot of inner peace this year. I’ve learnt to change things and to just get on with life without coming up with feeble reasons not to do things. Hurrah!
3) Work on becoming very healthy and fit.
This was all to do with rowing, which I think I was a bit cagey about at the start of the year when I wrote about this resolution. Suffice it to say, a year’s worth of rowing training has done wonders for my fitness and figure; I actually have definition in my bicep, calf, stomach and thigh muscles for the first time in my life. The being healthy bit is going to need some work into next year though, as I rely far too much on carbs and dairy products to keep me going, and need to try to get more protein and good stuff into my diet.
4) Make my own clothes (or modify more).
I still have a pile of ‘to do’ projects in my craft room but didn’t really have any time to do them. This year, instead of making and modifying, I made a point of seeking out small boutique shops (such as my current favourite, Aspire Style), clothing brands that I know work with my figure, and investing in higher quality items that are properly tailored and will last a long time. My shape changed so much from all the exercise that I had to donate two thirds of my wardrobe to the local Oxfam charity shop (resulting in an amazing Tag Your Bag total) so really I have had to start again from scratch. I also bought my first pair of skinny jeans this year, a lovely high-waisted stretchy version that actually fits! Only a decade after everyone else started wearing them…
5) Do a photography project.
This went right out the window when the aforementioned epic rowing-and-study combo kicked in. I managed a few weeks (six, to be precise) but I think that I may have fallen out of love with my camera. Perhaps one of my 2014 NYRs should be to save up for a new one?
Did you make any resolutions for 2013, and if so how did they go?