Category Archives: Growing and changing

Am I good enough?

I have had to take some time off work this week due to my son being poorly. Luckily the person that covered for me was someone I knew fairly well. I say luckily because I hate having time off work so leaving it with someone I trusted was a huge help.

This post was inspired by what she said to me after the day was finished. Yes it  was all very complimentary (she is a friend!) but what struck me was all I notice are the things that are wrong and that I haven’t done. I don’t ever step back and think about what I have done well. I actually ended the day feeling quite positive and that I can actually do my job ok. This was a bit of a revelation to me. Yes there are things I can do to improve but some of what I do is done quite well.

Before you ask, I do enjoy my job….a lot,  but I rarely feel that I am doing some of it quite well. This is because I spend my time focussing on all the things that I know need to be done better. My bet is that you are the same. I knew that this was definitely the case when it comes to exercise and running, being a parent etc but with work I had never really thought about it. I just kept my head down and kept working.

So in the future this is going to be my motto:

Image result for you are doing a good job quoteI will continue to improve, that is a non negotiable but I am going to try to recognise the bits that I get right.

What about you? Are you good at recognising your strengths?

The past, present and future

You may have noticed that I have been dusting off my lovely blog space. In the spirit of the fast approaching new year I have been doing some thinking….what to do next? As I had a browse around this little space of mine it occurred to me just how much I have changed over the time and how this blog has adapted to change with me.

The beginning

When I started this blog I was so, so, nervous of the scary would of the web. It took me ages to work up the courage to start . Once I had got over this fear then I had to think about what on earth I would write about, then the name, then the look……Oh it was endless. In the end however the name that I chose summed it all up pretty well. I started off writing about running, knitting (and a bit of crochet). The trouble was it didn’t stay as simple as that.

The focus

In the beginning the main focus quickly became the wire jewellery that I was making. I was very driven and aimed to produce 1 piece per week. I then started to add to the running pages – race reviews and simple advice. As I was going along, I learnt a lot and so decided that I would start to include how to regarding blogging hence the page entitled blogging tips. See, very organic.

Moving on

After a while I was invited to blog for a local jewellery shop and so was making a lot of jewellery…….jewellery then became the big focus with some knitting and running thrown in for good measure. More recently there has been a bit of sewing thrown in too.

The slow decline

When I started this blog I wasn’t working but was bringing up my lovely children. I have since started working again, gradually increasing my hours each year until I am now virtually full-time (in work time if not contact). This is the reason the blog has slowly started to fade away. I simply do not have much spare time. I do still knit, crochet, sew, run but, it seems, not blog.

So where now?

I honestly don’t know. This little space doesn’t feel like me anymore and a lot of it is out of date….. so….do I do a major overhaul? Start again? I have no idea. The one thing that is clear is that I am very passionate about what I do. I also believe the benefits that running/knitting/crocheting and sewing can have on individuals is huge. I have a lot of knowledge and it feels right that I share it. On the other hand I am no expert. A somewhat smaller point is that I love the community that I am ‘occasionally’ part of. There are some awesome people out there and I don’t just want to fall away completely from everyone. One friend suggests that I just go to Facebook – easier and quicker to update?

The future

If I strip everything back I get back to the beginning – what I want to write about is running, knitting, crocheting and sewing (I am not at all averse to jewellery making either but it is just not that high on my list of priorities right now). The blogging tips are probably way out of date now, as are the links to knitting and crochet tips although I haven’t checked. Does this mean that I should simply overhaul the blog? Probably.

My Idea

The one thing that I do know I want to do (although how doable it truly is, I am not sure) is that I want to share my coming marathon journey with everyone. I want to show everyone that I am simply an ordinary person like them. I do not find it easy, I have loads of obstacles that are in my way all the time but I am just far more stupid than them. I want people to see that they could do what I am doing. I suppose I also want people to understand why I do it – what the positives are that I get from it as well. The big questions is how do I get all this across?

Vlogging

Someone mentioned to me the idea of vlogging. I really like this as what better way is there to show everyone what it is really like other than seeing what a mess I get into and what the emotions are that I go through at the time? I just am not sure whether I can really do it. I know that I haven’t got time to edit it but then would that matter? I am not after a polished thing as I really want people to see everything, warts and all otherwise there isn’t really any point. Am I brave enough? I really don’t know.

Help!

Do you have any insights? What is the best way to achieve my aims? What do you see as the answer to the future of this blog? Come on you lovely people…….give me your wonderful ideas. What would work for you? (My children are horrified of the idea of me vlogging which kind of makes me more determined to do it!!!!:))

 

 

Coooooeee

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Well hello everyone. It has been a long time and I have missed you all.

The excuses:

I have increased my hours at work (rather drastically). All the work that I do at home tends to be on a laptop and the last thing that I feel like doing is firing up another one. However this weekend the urge is too hard to resist. I am returning.

Older and wiser

I cannot promise that I will post regularly but I figure that some is better than none and I will definitely be a better person for it so here I am. 🙂 I am going to try to be a little less obsessive and more relaxed. We shall see…….

So what have you missed?

Duhh. LOADS. Obviously! I shall not bore you with a very long post now but catch you up over time. For now here is a little taster:

  • I have knitted a couple of top-secret knits for notsogranny that were very enjoyable. Hopefully  they will be coming out soon so I can share them fully. One involved stranded knitting which meant that I had to learn knitting with yarn in both hands:Oh I am so proud of myself!         Source
  • I have re-committed to  running stumbling around the London marathon for the charity mind.        
  • I have rejoined the local running club.
  • I have started to teach 4 children to knit.
  • I made a dress! (yes really)
  • Currently I am crocheting this hill top hat (again by notsogranny) Hill Top Hat

So, enough for now methinks. What about you? What have you been up to?

A Virtual Hug

I have just read this post from Notsogranny. At the end I wanted to give her a huge hug. I so recognised the feelings that she was experiencing, in fact I had been so caught up in my own ‘problems’ that I had failed to see how she was feeling. (Bad, bad friend).

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It is no secret that this has been a tougher than usual week for me and, yes, I had let myself get a bit melodramatic and caught up in it but perspective is a funny thing. I view Joanne’s life as a real achievement, something that is to be aspired to but failed to recognise that her life, like mine has its ups and downs too. Yes she has a wonderful family, built up an amazing business around her teaching, designing, tech editing and producing but there are times when burn out happens to her as well.

Not So Granny

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We all get so busy, caught up in all sorts of amazing, exciting opportunities that sometimes it is hard to step back and remember who we are and what is truly important to us. My illness should not really come as a surprise as I had been saying for a little while that something needed to give. It turns out that this is my health!  I am a firm believer that everything that we encounter makes us who we are. I may have started today morose but I am not going to end it that way.

Last night I got out my wire and had a go at doing some wire hearts. I had a play and enjoyed myself. I relaxed a bit.

This is the biggest heart.

This is the biggest heart.

A middly sized heart.

A middly sized heart.

A tiny heart.

A tiny heart.

 

That is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed everything that I have been doing recently. I have. A lot. But I do push myself. Constantly. I am always trying to learn new things and take on something new. Even this week, when I was ill in my bed I ‘took the opportunity to have a go at Viking Knit’. Hmmm yes, even when ill I am pushing myself.

The beginnings of a Viking knit

The beginnings of a Viking knit

So, going forward I am going to try to step back a bit, and take a bit more time. I am writing this here so you can all remind me. Starting from now. I don’t think that I am going to defer my marathon. I may not be preparing in quite the way that I expected, or even, be able to quite achieve what I wanted to but I am not an elite athlete. I am going to go out there and enjoy myself. It is an experience that I am going to enjoy. I had a *cough* big birthday this week. Life is for living in the best way possible for you in the here and now. I am going to try to remember this. Always.

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If you are having a wobble for what ever reason then please accept a hug from me. Life is busy, it even gets in the way but whatever you are doing try to enjoy it. xx

Please Help Me.

I have a bit of a conundrum about this blog. As you are the ones that read this (and for which I am very grateful) I thought it best that I share this with you and allow you to share your views with me.

In the beginning…

The name of this blog is knitnrun4sanity. I started out writing about my knitting, crochet and running. Simple and fairly self-explanatory. Occasionally I would write about something completely random but mostly I stuck to the identified topics.

Then….

A few months ago I took the step to write about blogging, how to set it up, tips that I have learnt etc. Nothing to do with the title directly but, according to the feedback and comments, something that people found useful.

Now…..

Even more recently I started writing the Blog for a bead shop called Spoilt Rotten Beads. In order to write that blog I have been making jewellery. Not knitting, not crochet and not running. I aim to write three posts a week for both blogs. Something which most of you will be aware takes a lot of time, especially when you consider the time it takes to make, photograph and research items and subjects for each of these posts.

So the problem is….

  1. I have spent a lot of time building up this blog. I enjoy the relationships and interactions that come from this and I am reluctant to stop.
  2. I also am enjoying building up the other blog and want to give it my full energy and effort that it deserves. (I am not being paid but, in a way, I feel like it is a paid job.)
  3. The summer holidays are coming up and my time will be way more limited with three children running around all day.
  4. I have come to write my Handmade Monday post and have not got nearly as far on with my broomstick Crochet as I would have liked to. This makes me feel sad and as if I am letting people down as the content is not really as it should be.

So do I……

  • Go for more of a crossover between the blogs? This is something that I have been trying to limit as far as possible because :
  1. I am worried that my content is becoming too broad and therefore the readers will start to feel that they are no longer getting what they signed up to get.
  2. The name no – longer reflects what I am writing about.
  • Change the name of this blog so I can write about all the things without feeling that I am duping anyone e.g: knitnrunnbead4sanity? (except for all the wonderful people who have already signed up to follow me before the change.)
  • Do nothing and carry on as before?
  • Change the name to an umbrella term such as Uniquely Alice which is the name of the shop that is almost, but yet to open? (I have also just got a load of business cards with knitnrun4sanity all over them)
  • Reduce the number of posts I do? (which feels a bit like neglect to me).

And Finally

I follow a lot of blogs….a lot of very interesting blogs that I enjoy very much. There are a lot more out there that I would like to follow but, at the moment I am struggling to keep up with all the ones I am already following. In short I am spending too long doing all this ‘blogging’ but am unable to see (or unwilling) to know what to change. Maybe I don’t really need to do anything.

I cannot be the only person who feels like this, or has been through this before. Can I?

I would really, really love to know what your views on this whole conundrum is.

Before I go this is the progress on the broomstick crochet diary cover. The broomstick crochet is all done (I really enjoyed that part). I am now on the more mundane part of trying to fit it onto the cover of the diary.

The front.

The front.

The inside

The inside

I also made a bracelet for a christening but that is not crochet, knitting, running or blogging so not sure if I can show that on here yet 😉

I am now going to head over to Handmade Harbour where there are people who know what they are doing. I shall now spend a happy hour or so catching up with their makes this week. Fancy joining me?

2012 – an amazing year…

I have had an amazing year! This time last year I had not really heard about blogging, had fairly negative views on social media and had never, ever heard of knitting and crocheting with wire.

Now I cannot imagine life without social media. I have ‘met’ some amazing people who have very much helped me develop and expand my skills. A Happy New Year to each and everyone who has visited my blog, read some of the ramblings, taken the time to comment and generally be very lovely. It is all really appreciated.

This year in summary:

Feb: I bought a book and had a go at making jewellery by knitting and crocheting wire.

March: I took my first few tentative steps into the blog and social media world.

Fast forward a few months:

1. I have had 7,993 visitors to my blog. (Averaging out at 26 visitors per day although I started off with 8 visits in March and have got to 40 in December!)

2. I have written 113 posts.

3. I have an amazing 87 followers on WordPress and 26 on Hellocotton – that adds up to 113. Wow, thank you so much to each and everyone.

5. I have 170 followers on Twitter.

6. I have 36 likes on Facebook.

A couple of other highlights include:

1. I made and sold 3 bracelets to order.

2. I did a guest post for Claire from the amazing blog Claireabellemakes.

3. I took part in a blog hop and hosted a giveaway in celebration of the launch of the Make and Craft Magazine.

4. I took part in the knitting and Crochet Blog week where I had to post a blog every day for a week!

It really has been the most amazing year for me and I have enjoyed it all. I again wish to thank you all because without your time and input it would not have been anywhere near as enjoyable. THANK YOU :).

Now I am supposed to write down some goals for this coming year but I am going to revel in 2012 for a bit longer. I wish you all a very happy and successful 2013. 🙂

Now, for the final time this year I am going to link up with Wendy over at Handmade Harbour. She has also had an amazing year and I am looking forward to reading everyone else’s summaries too – fancy joining me?

I don’t believe it!

 This week I have been in a reflective mood and it has struck me how much people change over a period of time (or maybe that is just me!). I have composed a list of things that 5 years ago I would never believe I would do:

1. I quite fancy a smart phone: 

New phone / old phone (Before) Up until about a year and a half ago I was using a phone not too dissimilar to the one on the left and was more than happy. (Now) I am using this phone which was quite high-tech for me! Until recently this was fine – I only needed a phone to ring and text people on!Nokia X2I now would like to be able to use the web when I am out and about!

2. I use the computer everyday and can spend ages on it! – (Before) Computers were only any good for e-mails, most of which I didn’t want anyway. Oh and internet shopping of course. (Now)  I love connecting with different people through the internet. 

3. I use social networking sites – (Before) What a waste of time, there is no replacement for real people. (Now) I am trying to get to grips with Facebook and twitter but it is very slow. I can, however, see the benefits and why people use them. I now believe that this is another useful and different aspect to socialising. I will keep persevering and if any of you can give me any tips then I would greatly appreciate them :). (Please do – I need as much help as possible!) 

 

4. I publicly write and show photographs about my achievements. (Before) I was so shy that I was apologetic for everything I did (good and bad). Therefore I would keep quiet about anything I did or achieved. (Now) Although I still don’t find it very easy I show what I made, write about how my training is going and even my intentions for the future. I am even very close to setting myself goals publicly.

 5. I wear colour. (Before) I would wear anything that would help me hide and didn’t cost that much. (Now) I like to wear colour and have a competition with my son who tries to catch me wearing black (It doesn’t happen very often!) 

6. (and probably the most important of them all) I am not afraid to be me. (before) I didn’t know who I was and was literally scared of having an opinion or standing out in any way. (Now) I am happy being me (mostly). I know that everyone is different and I have a valid opinion. It doesn’t matter whether other people agree with me or not. I am who I am. Also people are far nicer than I would believe – I always thought that people would be hurtful towards me and laugh at me behind my back. I now realise that this was a reflection on my low opinion of myself and not of others. A consequence of this is that I am able to open up to other people a bit more and therefore form closer relationships than I ever have before (or so I hope!)   

7. I have confidence in my abilities (well more than before anyway!) (Before) I didn’t believe that I was at all creative and could only follow patterns. (Now) I recognise that I am able to have a go at making things up for myself. I am also happier in my ability to run so that I am not afraid to tell people what I am doing.

Conclusion: Overall I am much happier than before despite having put more pressure on my time!

At the end of the last blog I said that I would have a go at making up my own pattern for a flower. I have done this but, as I have rambled on enough today, I will save that for another one.

Thanks for reading this – I would love to hear any ways in which you or your views have changed over time. Please share. 😀