Thursday, 27 February 2020

Anyone for Green Tea?

Hello, Lovelies!

I'm going to say what everyone is saying...February was two-weeks long! It absolutely whizzed by! I know it's a leap year February, so we have that one extra day but, February was still two-weeks short!

I hope you are all well in Crochetland?

Before I launch into this post I want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who commented on the last post about boundaries. I'm still working on replying to each and every one of you Lovelies. I know how hard boundaries are to impose, and I know how much self-discipline and soul-searching has to happen before we make those decisions to draw a line in the sand. I loved reading through your comments, which made me feel that our world is indeed a small place and that we are all fighting the same battles no matter where we live.
We are all connected through our common experiences. ๐Ÿ’—

I've been slogging through the Green Tea Block, which you may remember I said I was NOT going to begin in the heat of Summer...yet, here we are. Clearly a crochet addict, right? I must be, as I've proven to myself that I will literally crochet anytime, any place, through any weather! In between rounds I have forced myself to do " something nice " for myself. I set up a little rewards system as a way of motivating myself to stop crocheting and get outside. Step 1: Go to the Theatre! So Mr HooksnTales and I visited "the front side of Table  Mountain" ( we live behind this iconic chunk of rock ) to see one of our funniest local comedic talents, Alan Committie at Theatre on The Bay  As always, his show was hilarious BUT what really got me tingly all over was the incredible view over the Bay as we stepped out at intermission. To be honest, I did not want to go back into the Theatre, no matter how funny Alan Committie was.

The mist was rolling in from the Atlantic ocean across the fancy-schmancy apartments along the edge of Clifton Beach, up and over the Twelve Apostles mountain range, which is where Table Mountain tapers off. And the light was positively celestial.

I reminded myself too, to take those afternoon naps and it wasn't difficult to do, seeing as the heat and high humidity, to begin with, makes me incredibly limp and tired. One afternoon, I napped on the couch with my darling Augusta and woke up to this. Which made me want to lie there forever. Somehow she has turned sleep into an art form. Nisha, for example, still curls up tightly or sleeps in a jackknife position, like someone about to make an elegant swan dive into a crystal pool. Augusta, on the other hand, lolls ( no, she doesn't laugh...ok, maybe inside )...she spreads out, lies on her back and just, well... lolls about, as relaxed and at ease, as ever a Cat was who knows it is madly loved, and safe. She is a constant reminder to me to lower my shoulders and exhale.

I don't know about you but I am a Magpie. Yesterday, when Roxy and I were galavanting about our local forest, I found these on the edge of the road. Seed pods from? Can you guess? This might be a fun question for today? In the comments section below leave a comment and let me know if you can guess, or if you positively know, which Tree belongs to these seed pods. Don't forget to also leave your Ravelry name to win a free copy of this lovely pattern. by Rachel Beth.

And lastly...tadaaaaaa! The Green Tea Block, done and dusted! You can find the pattern HERE! I had lots of fun digitally changing the colourways. Initially, I wasn't going to share the results but then I thought, oh wait, these could be very useful to help everyone connect with their colour creativity and choose different colourways. I'm looking forward to working on the Extension for this Block as the weather begins to cool down. The Throw will be ready just as Winter kicks in for us "southerners". I can't wait for the coolth!๐Ÿ˜Š

I've listed all the yarn and colours I used in the NOTES section on the Ravelry pattern page for Green Tea. The colourway that initially inspired me was this. But I've sort of toned down the palette and ended up with nothing like my original inspiration. That's how the designing dice rolls I guess?

This is the original colourway. The next four are digitally coloured.

Today, I will be sending out 10 x copies of the Green Tea Block to ten randomly chosen recipients of our last Giveaway, so do watch your Ravelry inbox!

And on that colourful note, I am going to say byeeeeee and see you in Crochetland!
Happy Friday and Happy Weekend to you all! Don't forget to nap.
๐Ÿ’— Jen

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Be your own Valentine!

Hello, Lovelies!๐ŸŒน

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you who celebrate this Saint's day. Although... * reality check *...he did get his head chopped off for being an all 'round nice guy. There's a moral there somewhere but I'll leave that up to you to interpret?๐Ÿ˜Š

This year is my big SELF-LOVE year, so every day is treated as a Very Special Occasion and I am, at every opportunity, reminding EVERYONE to practise some much-needed self-loving. Believe me, it's so much, much, much harder than it sounds. I don't know why so many of us don't feel deserving of self-love? I realised too, many of us don't really know what it means " to love yourself " beyond what we see in commercial media who, let's face it, are usually trying to sell us "things", or products or more services. Sure, self-love is also ( most definitely ) bubble baths, mani/pedicures, regular visits to a good hairstylist! However, and more importantly, it's about creating healthy habits that promote a sense of authentic, longlasting well being.

I've touched on various examples of this in previous posts but one I did leave out and it's the one many of us find EXTREMELY difficult to create ( and then enforce ) ...and that is...BOUNDARIES!!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this? Have you created some healthy-for-you boundaries? What were some situations that required Boundaries? How hard or easy were they to enforce, especially if it involved people close to you? You can also email me privately if you'd like to share your story but feel reluctant to expose your private boundary-enforcing experience. These are the sort of things we'd share in a Knit/Crochet Natter Group, right?

Creating boundaries doesn't have to involve people though ( although it usually does! ). It can also be how you self-negotiate your eating habits, or chores, family obligations, visitors, over-time at work, holiday destinations or staycations, spending/budgeting and so on. For example, I created a boundary between me and the 'fridge. I do not allow myself to step over that boundary to eat the last slice of Tiramisu, after 6pm. See? That is self-love at it's best!

What the above is, is a love letter to you, to remind yourself that it's nice to get Valentine's Day gifts from your SO but it's SO MUCH nicer to learn to unconditionally love your Self. There's isn't anyone out there quite like you. You are an original work. Own it, 'kay?

That's enough thinky thoughts for today! ๐Ÿ˜Š Moving on to crochet! I promised a sneak peek of the in-progress Green Tea Block but at the last moment I chickened out. I weighed up the sneak peek and the !! SURPRISE !! factors and the SURPRISE factor outweighed the Sneak Peek. I can tell you though, that the pattern for Part 1: The Block is very, very close to being released. So do keep those hooks warm. I will definitely share a little preview post about the colourway I used.

I won't keep you much longer but before I go I'd like to share a FREE pattern by Julia Hart called Sweetheart Soiree. I love all her patterns but this one is so very cute and clever.

๐Ÿ’›Congratulations to the three lucky Winners of our last fab GIVEAWAY! ๐Ÿ’›
You'll find your lovely pattern gift in your Ravelry Library. 

Today's GIVEAWAY is 10 x copies of the upcoming Green Tea Block pattern!!! Eeeek! All you need to do to stand a chance of being one of the ten lucky recipients of this GIVEAWAY is tell me about one important boundary you created that worked out for the best. Leave your comment below in the comments section and don't forget to add your Ravelry name!

Wishing you a truly lovely weekend and enjoy spoiling yourself!