I did it!

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Hey there guys and gals! I hope everyone had a great weekend. The sun was shining for one day here in Ireland so that really made my weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

I am with news! I have finished my first ever amigurumi pattern and I am so proud of the finished result! He is sitting on my desk smiling at me now as I type ๐Ÿ™‚ I have typed up all the instructions for the pattern and now my task is to make it look pretty before I unleash it to the world on Wednesday. However I am feeling slightly daunted by this. Why? Well I am not too sure exactly. I think maybe it is because it is the final step, and once that is taken that is it and there is no going back. It may sound a little silly but hey, our emotions can be silly things right?!

One thing that I have definitely learned from the past couple of weeks though is how important it is to have fun with what you are doing. I went through a stage of putting so much pressure on myself, everything had to be just so before I would even put pen to paper, but now I am more, “let’s just do this and see how it goes”, and I have to say I am really enjoying it and I have a finished product that I am so proud of ๐Ÿ™‚

So the lesson for today: Have fun! Let go! Be creative! Life is so much better when you take things from a sillier perspective. And if all that fails just “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”

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Hey there! I hope every one is having a great Monday ๐Ÿ™‚ Today I just wanted to quickly post a sneak peek at my first ever amigurumi pattern ๐Ÿ™‚ He is almost finished and is dying to get out there and meet everyone! This guy is going to be a free pattern and I am currently working on digitizingย  my notes and researching the best way to make it available here on my blog for anyone who would like to have a go at crocheting him.
When everything is done and ready to go Mr. Art Badger tells me he will be writing a blog post all about his friend and that will be available on http://www.moonofarann.com.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter or hit the “Like” button for Facebook (links in the side bar) if you want to stay updated on the latest goings on ๐Ÿ™‚ I am also on Instagram and the link to my profile is also in the sidebar. Hope everyone has a great week, bye for now ๐Ÿ™‚

Shhhhhh…….. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here he is, almost ready to make his debut into the world, he tells me he can’t wait!

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Are you meditating?!

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Are you meditating?!“……that was the question my brother asked me a couple of weeks ago while I was busy crocheting!!! Let me set the scene a little.

We have a small kitchen and like most homes it truly is the heart of the house. In this kitchen there is a really comfy and much coveted armchair, which just happens to be positioned beside our range (a fact that also adds to it’s desirability!) and this armchair is one of my favorite spots to crochet in. Now as anyone who has ever even attempted amigurumi knows, counting is a vital component ๐Ÿ™‚ Counting stitches and making sure you are on track is inherent to any well finished piece and I for one take this aspect of the craft very seriously! Everyone in my house now knows not to talk to me or even acknowledge me while I am counting, lest they run the risk of incurring my wrath!!! Also I feel it is important to note here that I like to count out loud (not too loud though, I am always respectful of other people in the room).

On this particular day my brother and mother were having a chat and I was crocheting (& counting) and dipping in and out of their conversation. After a little while of this my brother asked me “Are you meditating…..?!” I looked at him in a puzzled manner until he made an attempt to clarify the question (I had just finished a round and was taking a little break). “It’s just while you are crocheting, you make this weird sound and it sounds like Om, or something like that and I was just wondering if it was some weird way you have of meditating?!” That made me laugh ๐Ÿ™‚ I explained that I was only counting the stitches but it got me thinking all the same.

I am a big believer in mindfulness, and try every day to live as much in the present moment as I can. I rarely achieve this, but I like to think that every day, even in some small way I am getting better at it, as the saying goes “Everyday in every way I am getting better and better”, right?! I am also a big believer in meditation and try to practice it for 10mins each morning and night. I have read many books on these subjects and I am slightly aware of the Zen concept of turning every single action, not matter how big or small, into a form of meditation. The interesting and ironic fact that I discovered through my brothers observation is that I actually achieve this state when I am crocheting, without even trying! Isn’t that one of the frustrating aspects of practicing mindfulness though, you have to be aware of what you are doing, but not so aware that you start stressing out and focusing too much and worrying if you are doing it right…..or maybe that is just me?! Phew!

I think ultimately this is one of the greatest pleasures we can have in life; to find something that occupies our minds, and our bodies to the point where we enjoy doing it so much that we relax, let go and just flow along with it’s natural rhythm. Nine out of ten times, crochet does that for me, and I am very grateful that I discovered it. Does crochet have the same effect on you?! Or maybe it’s knitting or drawing or just spattering paint onto paper ๐Ÿ™‚ Whatever it is I hope you get to spend some time on it this weekend and that you remember to be mindful…..but just not too much ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. I always like to include a photo of some kind with my posts, so here is a design sketch of what I have been working on this week. I almost have the first prototype made and when I am happy with the pattern I hope to post it here for anyone one that wishes to give it a go. Can you guess what it might be????? I know so difficult, right?!

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The week ahead :)

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Hello! Another week has begun and with it a fresh wave of challenges ๐Ÿ™‚ Progress has however been made and Mr. Art Badger is one small step closer to being complete….he now has a head!

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Now the above is just a draft! There are so many things that I want to work on and change; the eyes are definitely not right (they were the only ones I had to hand!), the stitches are ragged and some too lose, and his nose/ snout will be changed completely. I also plan on adding cheeks, to puff his face out a bit. Oh and I also plan on making him bigger, a lot bigger ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I think the biggest challenge I face is how to inject personality into him. I know when the eyes are changed it will help, oh and also when the small issue of giving him an actual body is resolved! I think for the coming week I am going to take a step back from Art, let it settle a bit and work on another creation; this one being much simpler, which I am hoping will boost my confidence a little and get my creative juices flowing more. Also I find one of the best forms of motivation for me is seeing a finished product, it makes all the doubt and second guessing worth it.

So that is my plan for the week ahead ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope if you are working on your own creative project that you find it rewarding and can overcome any challenges you may face along the way, learning as you go. No matter what you get up to this week I hope it is enjoyable and fun ๐Ÿ™‚

And now for something completely different…

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Hey there ๐Ÿ™‚ Another week almost over, and here in Ireland summer has officially begun! This week has seen only minor developments in Mr. Art Badger, but a minor development is still a development, right?! Today I was inspired to take a trip back to my past, my younger self, and as a result I have decided to take a leap of faith and post a poem that I wrote roughly 8 years ago! It was the first poem I ever wrote and seen as this week has been one of endings and beginnings for me I thought it a good choice. I don’t consider myself a poet, I just love to open a blank page and write whatever comes into my mind (although I regretfully haven’t done this for some years now, but I would like to start again). This poem was inspired by a relationship between a man and a woman, the woman holding back and never completely giving herself to the relationship, the man being called to war and never returning and the woman living with the regret of never telling him how she truly felt. It would appear my thoughts were a lot darker in my younger days! A big departure from crochet & amigurumi, but what is life without variety?!

 

Down by the river and the willow treeImage

she weeps and cries and thinks of him.

For what is now and is to beย 

is bleak and twisted as the willow tree.

For he is gone and will not return

but still she waits and waits forlorn.

To hear his voice, to see his face

still images of him she cannot erase.

She loved too much but never said.

Her soul was his but now it’s dead.

Down by the river and the willow tree

she weeps and cries and thinks of him.

For what is now and is to be

is bleak and twisted as the willow tree.