Saturday, 27 July 2013

Crochet!

I’ve been admiring her work for sometime and after lots of convincing / persuasion, my mum has finally caved in and said she would help me make this Bobble Flower Granny blanket. Guess who was making a happy dance after hearing her say yes? Me!

I order the yarn & pattern here. This is what it will look like when it is finished. I’m giving her all winter to work on this, when she has to take a break from golf due to the weather anyway Tongue

Both pictures have been taken from their site!

I’m kind of hoping she will enjoy being a creative person again Happy! As there are a lot more things on my wishlist that I would like. Mum, I wouldn’t mind a Granny Ripple blanket too! Maybe a project for next winter.

I’ve ordered the crochet cotton and crochet hooks! Hopefully I can deliver the contents soon so that she can get started.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Going back to what I know!

Most of you know by now that I have been trying to ‘let go’ of something for a while. Clues in past posts were: I kept on repeating the same complaints (wishing something hadn’t happened and surprised by the impact it had on me), my body was showing signs of distress (I didn’t seem to want to adapt to the ‘new’ situation I was in), I became frustrated with how my career was going, and last but not least, I was unable to appreciate all that I have, how hard I tried – and believe me, I do know I have a lot to be grateful for.

I believe we are all going through a transformation phase. Some may call it the economic crisis. We need to let go of the old and replace it with the new, although we don’t know exactly what this – new – is. We need to learn to let go of old beliefs and learn ourselves new behaviors.

I love blogging, it is like keeping a diary! Some of you see my public confessions as an act of courage. I’m unafraid to express myself, although sometimes my acts of bravery aren’t always easy. Sometimes it even gets me in trouble, because ‘others’ don’t always like and appreciate what I say. So I write, re-write, and sometimes I even ask someone to review my post, before publishing it on Blogger. I don’t want to offend anyone. It has taken me a little longer to publish this post, because recording my thoughts and views matter to ‘me’. Jotting down my feelings helps me make it better and after 7 years of blogging I know it sometimes helps others too.

‘if you get, give. if you learn, teach’ ~Maya Angelou

I’ve been really trying hard to change my circumstances the past months and I believe I’ve finally succeeded. Third time lucky, I guess!

Slowly I’m feeling serenity return to me. I’ve been yearning for inner peace and tranquillity. I’ve been a prisoner of my thoughts and emotions far too long. Although I wish I could experience this state of mind all the time, I do realize that this is impossible. But wouldn’t it be grand if this was attainable all the time? A bohemian country girl knows what she wishes for! I’ve noticed more and more that when I stay in a good place, I can feel peaceful and be truly happy.

Serenity is a state of mind. I’m slowing down (again), that is the beauty of finally being able to have that well deserved vacation. I can enjoy this time because I know that another big change will come around real soon.

The last few months have been a blur of commitments, interviews and mainly… surviving. In my battle to subdue my insecurities and fears, I have to admit that my faith got me through it. I trusted that all would turn out okay.

I’m normally a compassionate person, but the environment I was in didn’t allow for this. Compassion is an underlying tenet of peace. "Compassion is the sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). I have this strong desire to want to alleviate the distress of ‘others’. How hard I try to suppress this feeling, I can’t stop caring! Is this because I’m firstly always a nurse? Nursing encompasses… the alleviation of suffering. According to the Dalai Lama, compassion is ‘the wish that others be free of suffering’. While our motivation to seek peace might not always emerge from compassion, compassion is required for peace to hold. I need serenity to be ‘me’!

How did I come to this conclusion? I walked myself through the NLP Logical Levels of Change Model.

Logical levels - Neurological levels of change

The NLP Logical Levels of Change Model, inspired by Gregory Bateson and developed by the pioneers of Neuro-Linguistic Programming is very helpful in designing an action plan for change. It is a technique that helps you align yourself so that every part of you is pulling in the same direction to achieve a goal. You can identify whether your difficulties are the result of your environment, behaviors, skills, motivation, beliefs, identity or mission & vision. Changing something on a lower NLP logical level of the hierarchy could, but would not necessarily affect the levels above it. However... making a change at an upper level would necessarily change everything below it in order to support the higher level change. I guess I found out the hard way.

In hindsight there has been a big clash between the environment I’ve been in the past 3 years and where I want to go in my life. My purpose didn’t match with where I was (environment). My habits and behaviors didn’t intertie with those of my colleagues. My skills and knowledge weren’t valuated. Shall I go on? I think you understand why I needed to reassess my situation.

Let’s go through each of the logical levels. Remember, ‘whatever is on top runs everything underneath’. This is the reason you start with the lowest NLP logical level, this is also the easiest to change.

Maybe using this technique will help you.

  • Environment (where to change?):
    Refers to the environment around you such as the community, your living arrangements, the people around you, your workplace, the tools/resources available to you etc.
  • Behaviors (change what?):
    These are your habits and common behaviors and current lifestyle. Example early riser, heavy drinker, procrastinator etc.
  • Capabilities (change how?):
    These are your abilities, skills, knowledge and competency. If your capabilities are not up to scratch, obviously there will be a problem.
  • Beliefs & values (why make the change?):
    Beliefs & values are the guiding force of your actions and decisions. It is what you strongly believe in. An example will be ‘Health is more important than money’
  • Identity (does change reflect who I am):
    Further up from beliefs is your identity. This is your definition of who you are and what you stand for. When you do something against your identity, you will feel like you have betrayed yourself.
  • Spirituality (change for whom and/or what purpose):
    At the highest level above our identity is our spirit and connectedness to the universe. Our role and duty as a spiritual being.

Gregory Bateson identified different and complementary neurological systems of changes and learning and ordered them by levels, recognizing the influence of each of them on the others, especially the greater incidence of the higher levels over the lower levels, something like a cascade effect. I now finally understand that I’ve been going through an ‘evolutionary change’ the past 5 years. Or was it just my midlife crisis?

What have I learned? If you know your own purpose, ethics, mission in life, you shouldn’t go and work in an environment that doesn’t match with it. So I’ve made a conscious decision by focusing on who I am and want to be. What can I contribute to making this a better world? How would I like to be remembered after I die?

I’m going back to what I know and love.

Keywords that define me: analytical, committed, listener, honest, intuitive, spiritual, planner, conceptual thinker, curious, authentic, accountable, advocate, mentor, connector, people-person, empathic, patient-orientated and educator.

Values that define who I am. Values are beliefs or convictions that guide and direct your behavior and support your purpose and vision. My personal core values are: integrity, authenticity, compassion, courage, trustfulness, communication, personal development & human potential, organization, creativity, intention, connection and community.

Where has this evolutionary change’ led me to?  

Keywords that define my new job: educator, facilitator, researcher, assessor, planner, resource developer, mentor, presenter (information provider), and trainer.

Can you guess what my new profession will be?

One thing is for sure, I know this bohemian country girl will not feel out of place in my ‘new’ world as I’m creating my new ‘reality’.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Christmas in July!!

Yes, I’ve picked up this stitchery again. I’ve nearly finished with the right side boarder of this quilt.

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I’m posting about my progress on the ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ quilt Batting Eyelashes

Too cool down, I’m having myself some Iced Soya milk Coffee.

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Iced Coffee in my mug from the International Quilt festival in Houston.

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Are you enjoying our summer weather as much as I am?

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Perfect scissors

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Did I mention I’ve gotten the whole set! Love these scissors from Karen Kay Buckley. Visit her site here.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Summer bee

A nice summer evening for a bee

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My mini hexagons

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A quick peak through QuiltMania!

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This is a proper vegetable patch.

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It was getting a little chilly Happy

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Close-up. Yes, this outdoor wood burning fireplace is made from a iron beer fist.

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Hopefully we will be able to fit in another summer bee in August.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Enjoying the summer!

I’m slowing down! That’s the beauty of this situation. Then one of the prime devices that keeps me connected to the world decides that it was time to slow down a little more and enjoy the ‘present’.

My PC has been infected by a bug. Silly me, thought I would be kind and answer the questionnaire that Firefox popped-up on my screen. It really looked like the genuine thing, but I was wrong. Hubby has been busy with my PC since Friday. Getting a little frustrated as the malware really dug itself into my machine.

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I love spring but I look forward to summer even more. It usually seems to go by way too quickly. I really try to hold onto the summer as long as I can, especially as our winters seems to get longer and longer the past 3 years.

We aren’t going away this year. We are breaking our routine. No memorable summer holiday away this year. We are staying home! Like many ‘others’ we need to live on a smaller budget these days. So this year no fancy vacations abroad.

Not to worry for I think this might be the best summer yet! After having no PC for 48 hours I’ve decided I’m going to shut down the computer as often as I can the next couple of weeks. Being online too much will distract me from enjoying this beautiful summer.

I’m not letting myself feel depressed over the things I can’t do this summer. Life might have been handing me lemons for quite some while but I won’t let my anger get the better off me. I’m focussing on all I CAN do. I’m letting myself find delight in small pleasures that ARE accessible to me this summer. One of those pleasure is this:

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The coming weeks I’m also going to get creative and fill up my mind with information. I’ll be reading all those books I’ve wanted to read for a long time. I will be doing this at our ‘residence’ while basking in the sun. I’m going to learn not to feel guilty about setting aside time to enjoy a simple, unhurried, no pressured life. I’m might even get some more quilt projects a little further along.

Will my world really fall apart if I took a week or two off of the internet to play and soak up the summer in our backyard? Slowing down, is not frivolous or a wasted time at home. It is a way to refresh and renew my spirits and energy! The big question, will I be able to allow myself to slow down. Because slowing down means I will also have time to think about what is happening around me and ignoring the not so good things won’t be that easy. It is a lot easier when I let myself be distracted.

But I’m going to give it a try (real hard) and embrace a simple life.

And, if that doesn’t work

when life gives me more lemons, I will just make lemonade Smile

 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Zoë’s quilt is finished!!

After 7 years I finally finished Zoë's Quilt! It survived the washing machine & dryer. I was able to gift-wrap a clean and dry quilt Saturday morning 6th of July 2013.

Re-cap of the past couple of days. Got the binding ready.

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Sewing the binding on. Yes, using the sewing machine Happy

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I like the fabric choice of the binding! It really makes the quilt come alive.

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The Wonder Clips from Clover are great. Using them for the first time ever, although I have purchased them sometime ago.

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Sewing on the binding is not easy on the fingers. Using ThimblePad ® Leather Adhesives made the sewing less painful. You can get them here or at your favourite quilt shop. I think they are a great invention. You can use one pad again and again, so don’t worry about the price. I used one for sewing on 670 metres of binding Winking. There are 12 in a pack.

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These are the other notions, scissors, needle, thread and the iPhone.  

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The last 60 centimetres!!!

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The finished result. For the non-quilters, this is the backside of the quilt.

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A photo of the quilt in the Bear Chair.

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Washed and folded

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Zoë (on your right) with her best friend wrapped in her quilt.

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All smiles!

However, I’m wondering if it will hold up on the wear and tear of everyday use. It is kind of funny that I have to admit that I didn’t expect that it would be used. In a couple of hours I saw it being used as a towel, as a blanket and laying all crunched up on the floor. Guess who is not used to kids Blushing

This is the last post on Zoë’s quilt. Don’t worry, the next order has already been submitted. My other niece, Tess, would like to have a new quilt. She’s outgrown her baby quilt (lol). Which was my first completed project 7 years ago. Guess you don’t know, but Zoë’s quilt is only my third completed quilt.