Coping……just.

I know that I am not alone in this – when life gets very stressful my beloved blog and social media gets severely neglected. As this has happened rather a lot recently I am not going to apologise (although you know that I am really), rather take this opportunity to share with you how I am coping with a particularly stressful week.

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Without going into too much detail, last week started off with a long Monday night visit to the local A and E with my eldest. We plodded along until Thursday when my youngest was sick. Then, Saturday night my other two. This is on top of the normal end of term stresses.

Lack of sleep made the decision to drop out of the 10k race on Sunday easy. Did I take the day easy? Probably not enough. There were things that did drop off the to-do list, visiting a few local studios one of them :(.

When I am stressed I am really good at coping. Afterwards comes the reaction and the ‘crash!’. Today is the day I crashed. I am cross with myself because I should have seen it coming. I slept for about 12 hours and got up fine. Dropped my youngest off at school and went to the office to let them know about the other two being absent…..and came out in tears! I came home and collapsed on the sofa.

I soon realised that I had two choices; stay on the sofa in tears all day, hiding from the rest of the world or try to do something about it.

Source

I was really lucky that my husband was working from home for a time this morning so I decided to take the opportunity to go for a run.

Despite feeling like I was running in a steam room due to the high humidity, it has done the trick. On my way out I saw a REALLY close friend. It took every inch of my will power to look at her and smile before the tears started again. By the time that I had puffed my way around 3 miles I was able to stop and chat to someone quite normally.

I now feel that the day will be fairly productive rather than wasting it in tears. It has also kicked started my return to blogging.

As write this it has occurred to me that crafting would be a lot of people’s choice to help them get through times of stress, indeed it would also be mine, however this last week I have been unable to settle at anything. I did start a bracelet but it did not go very well and since then I have not had the energy to do anything. Today I am hoping that I have broken the cycle. It seems that I need running as well as craft to get me through. What about you? What strategies do you have?

My craft attempt.

My craft attempt.

(Please note that I am not writing this to get any sympathy, rather as a record to help me try to see my crashes happen in the future. Also it may help others in some small way?)

 

Back to the twins

It seems that I cannot keep away! I love the versatility of them, I also love the shapes that they make, all-stars and flowers. Happily the weather was glorious when I started this and so I sat out in the garden. My idea of happiness.

 

You make a series of these and then join them together to make a bracelet…..pictures when I finish it properly. ;)

Twin bead diamond earrings

These are quick and easy to make. Forgive the turquoise and silver – colours that I always use.

Simple but effective?

Simple but effective?

Simple and easy – what’s not to like?

One final earring pattern using twins

I am sorry if I am over dosing you on twin bead patterns….just one more for today, I promise.

Another turquoise set of earrings :)

Another turquoise set of earrings :)

Add the shepherd hooks to the loop just made.

Three patterns, all using twin beads. I shall use something different next time, promise.

Running ups and downs

I have continued to run with varying amounts of pleasure…..I have learnt that running in the heat does not agree with me (and when I say heat I mean the 25 – 29ish degrees that we get in this country). I can’t do that. I have learnt that when I relax and enjoy the run it goes far better than when I get stressed and pressured about it! Non of this is surprising, or even that new. Instead it is something that I have to relearn every year or so. Are there things like this that you go through?

This weekend was really interesting, probably the most interesting for a long time ;)sat runI suspect that most of you will be yelling YES! especially if you are not a runner. I have to admit to being a bit odd but this week it was the best thing that I could have done. I had one of the best runs that I have recently. I ran 4 miles and for each of those 4 miles I got faster and faster ending with the fastest mile of them all. I came home feeling really good.Full of energy and really happy.

Stupidly I got up the next morning thinking that it would be a similar experience if I were to go running again. So off I went – for a nice 7-8 mile run. Hummm.

It….was……the…..most…….disastrous……..run……for long, long time.

Everything that could go wrong did. I started out really well (probably too fast). It had been raining but in my unrealistic state didn’t acknowledge that this would mean wet grass when I went off on a footpath.

Said footpath was a lot narrower than I remembered and more overgrown. The grass was long and my feet were soon soaked. I then turned off the footpath too soon, climbed over a gate only to run a mile before realising that I would end up in a farmers yard who may be cross with me for trespassing. I turned around.

On reaching the actual place where I meant to turn off I saw a van, back doors open with music blaring. This made me nervous and worried about loose dogs. I turned around to come back the way I came.

I arrived back home late for a family lunch date with scratches to my arms and marks all over my legs. On top of all that my time was SLOW. Disheartened is another way to put it.

Hey ho it will not put me off…I am just hoping that my next run is slightly less eventful ;)

 

Looming wonderful …

Gosh. June was a really busy month with not much let up. July is slightly better but not a lot. I was lucky enough to find some time to make although at a much slower rate than normal and blogging just fell off the agenda all together. I have missed reading all your updates, it is a bit like a whole part of my life is gone :(

So … in our house we have been hit by the latest craze of loom bands which seems to have taken over the whole country. Someone said to me the other day that I bet I was glad to have boys so that I didn’t have all these bands everywhere. Unfortunately this is a craze that has hit boys as much as girls!

For those of you who don’t know what they are, they are basically tiny coloured rubber bands. They get everywhere – all over the floor, in washing machines, vacuum cleaners, pockets….everywhere. The bands can then be made into bracelets. The simplest ones can be made on fingers:

 

This is the preferred method of my youngest son - great for small motor control.

This is the preferred method of my youngest son – great for small motor control.

The more complex ones are done on a loom:

This is how you set up the loom.

This is how you set up the loom.

I have had a go myself. I started with fairly simple ones and then progressed to adding beads (obviously!). I am now mulling over a design that involves jump rings and chain maille with them…This may take some time to actually exist but writing it down here is more likely to make it happen.

Has this craze reached you yet? Any tips on how to contain the bands?

Rings

I have been making rings this week. Not that I planned it but, as is so often one ring led to another. Not that I am complaining. This is the first one:

I made it in pearls but think that crystals would look good too.

I made it in pearls but think that crystals would look good too.

I made it using 4 larger beads and 4 smaller ones.

Ring Number 2.

Another pearl ring but this time with a bit of added bling.

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My final ring never got finished and has in fact been ripped out although I am happy to show you where I got to so you can see the general idea. The first bit is a good little tutorial of a Right-angle weave.

Whether I ever return to this ring remains to be seen. For the while it has been pushed away from reality.

The gruesome side of running.

 

WARNING – This post may cause distress if you are slightly screamish.

I know that I go on and on about the benefits of running and the achievements I manage but there is a darker side to it. Not everyone will experience this, and it is the first time I have (and hopefully the last!). On Saturday I suddenly realised that my toe nail was coming off. I have to say it turned my stomach to start with. My husband assumed that I meant a false nail (not that I have ever had false nails so where he got that from I don’t know).

When I stopped to think about it I am not surprised – it has had a ridge on it for ages. It never went black. I am pretty sure it was the long distances that did it – possibly the marathon last year or the 20 miler I did this year? Not sure which but most definitely a long race. The positive is that I do have a nail growing underneath, and it didn’t hurt. It was still quite unpleasant though.

I now have painted nails on 9 toes! Why oh why could it not have waited until the winter when my toes are nicely hidden away?

For those of you with a gruesome nature here is a picture:

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Running long d

Crochet Art Project finished

Remember the Crochet project that was going to Chelsea flower show that never did? Well we have completed it and it had its first showing this weekend. I am totally stunned by everyone’s work, right from the beginners to the expert.

We had one brief – to produce something that depicts what helps to keep us mentally healthy. Mine was obviously running:

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2014-06-04 11.21.49I love all the birds in this one – the writing took ages but it is really effective.

This next one is possibly my favourite. It was completed by complete beginners, at the beginning of this project non of them had picked up a crochet hook at all before!

Here they all are. Isn't it amazing?

Here they all are. Isn’t it amazing?

Here are all the others. It amazes me how different they all are despite having the same starting point. I really hope you enjoy them:

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Here they are on display at the weekend:

This is the lovely lady who organised it all, Joanne Scrace (notsogranny)

This is the lovely lady who organised it all, Joanne Scrace (notsogranny)

Please notice the time for tea one on the left – the amount of detail is amazing considering the lady who made this considered herself a beginner a year ago!

The one on the bottom right is also a panel that I have not photographed before.

The one on the bottom right is also a panel that I have not photographed before.

We all had so much fun doing this. The sense of achievement was amazing too. A huge thank you to Joanne. Already looking forward to the next challenge. x