The Return of the Long Lost Blogger, or Why my head has Stopped me doing Stuff

I keep saying it. I will blog more frequently. I will. Here is a fresh new start. There are going to be lots of posts that I have accrued. It will be regular. I will be a good blogger.

And then it doesn’t happen.

It isn’t just the procrastinator in me. I have struggled for months and months now (stretching into years) to actually do anything. I mean, I eat (too much), I sleep (not enough), I go to work, I look after the kids, I do the housework (sometimes…mostly), I breathe, I exist. But that is it.

I think that actually is the crux of it. I exist. Sometimes I wish I didn’t, but mostly I do. But I have found it more and more difficult to do anything else. You know. The stuff that cheers you up, that you enjoy, that relaxes you, that fulfils you, that destresses you, that you want to do!

I sit. I think. I plan. I pick up things. But I do not do. Or if I manage to start, I stop almost as soon as I have started.

And I don’t know why.

That, I think, makes more even more sad than not doing stuff. The only thing I seem able to do for any length of time is to play mindless games on my tablet. Probably because they are mindless.

Last month, I realised that I could not remember when I had last read a book (other than stories to Maxi and Mini). Now, I love books. You know I do. I have mentioned this before. I store books rather than throw them out. My Kindle is rammed with books. But I hadn’t read for pleasure, for me, for I don’t know how long. It made me want to cry (I struggle with that as well at the moment, I think due to my changed medication). So, as I had something I had to do, although I can’t remember what but possibly planning for school, I decided to put on my long-neglected audio version of Jane Eyre. I bought it last summer to accompany me whilst I sewed quilt binding, but I hadn’t finished it. It was sitting there on Audible on my tablet, gathering dust. So I put it on. I think I managed 2 chapters in the time I had. But it was lovely. I enjoyed it. And then it made me sad because I hadn’t read in so long. I still haven’t read anything, but I have slowly made my way a bit further through the audio book. I need to do it more often really.

Picklepiemama audiobook

My first audiobook. Which I still haven’t finished!

But I still struggle with doing other stuff. The quilting has been neglected. So too has any other sewing (including Maxi’s Cubs badges which had to be sewn on in a hurry the other week as he needed them on his uniform before Camp), or baking, or anything else creative that I usually love. And I did start running last year. It fell by the wayside in the Autumn, but I tried again in January with RED January for Mind. Then I got flu. I have only run once since then.

Picklepiemama running

The only time I have run since the middle of January

I managed to make some bags as presents for my sisters (and the trial version for me). Then stopped again. Then I got my bum in gear and made some headphone/earbud pockets. I must admit I have got a bit obsessed with the lovely patterns produced by Erin of Dog Under My Desk, so I have some more bits ready to start on. More earbud pockets, a bag from a challenge given to bloggers for the UKQU website (I missed the challenge deadline ages ago, but I am still going to make the bag), and a wallet. Planning a quilt for our quilt group’s 5th anniversary. And a stupidly fiddly miniature quilt, which I designed and planned, and have been regretting it ever since, but I am not going to give up now! And all the many, many blog posts which are still almost fully formed, but still in my head.

Picklepiemama 2ZH bags DUMD

2ZH Bags and matching wristlets. Mine is in the middle.

Picklepiemama manchester tart

Manchester tart. One of the few bits of baking I have done.

Picklepiemama miniature FPP

Foundation piecing on a miniature scale. This is one section of the first block. The 50p is for comparison.

But I am still finding it so hard to get going. I finally have a counselling appointment for my obsessional phobia issue and my OCD today. I have been waiting since final referral last November! My original referral was in February 2017. At least I have seen a psychiatrist twice since November. Maybe this appointment will help. Although I am so scared about it. I need to confront my obsession. I want to confront it. But I don’t. I can’t stay like this though. In limbo. Maybe I can finally get rid of the mental lethargy which plagues me.

We shall see 🙂

 

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Adventures with Jan, Part 1

Who, you may ask, is Jan?

Actually, what would be a better question.

I need to get a picture, but Jan is my brand new sewing machine (Oh good grief, I named my sewing machine! It’ll be the car next…). It isn’t a totally random name as it is a Janome machine.

I have only had it/her (anthropomorphising- sorry Dad) for a couple of weeks. I spent a silly amount of money at the Festival of Quilts on buying a new machine because I needed more versatility for quilt-along.  Actually, trying out different makes of machine was a lot of fun, and highly amusing. Possibly another post… 

Anyway, my new machine arrived about 10 days later, at which point I realised just how big it is and how much more space than my current machine I would need for storage (I finally got a wheeled bag ordered on Friday, so hopefully that will help). On the other hand, I love the automated things it has which I didn’t have before, although I have reverted today to using the foot pedal rather than the Stop/Start button. And the main plus is the huge throat space and the quilting extension table which came with it.

I did a sampler thing to try out a load of the stitches which I thought I might use (I think there are quite a lot I won’t use), but on Saturday I decided to attempt my first project with the machine. I prepped a couple of mug bags the other day, adding the interfacing and batting on Saturday afternoon, so it was silly to not start sewing.

I have wanted to do a mug bag for a while, especially as I have been carrying a mug to and from quilting classes and groups, and at some point I will probably drop the bag it is in. A mug bag will hopefully give a little more protection. I eventually managed to find a pretty pattern (it turned out I had had this pinned on Pinterest for a while) and set about making it. The pattern is by Bronwyn of Red Brolly (Red Brolly’s Facebook page), but currently her website is unavailable due to personal reasons.

I have broken into my stash (shock, horror!) and found some gorgeous fabrics to attempt 2 bags. I went for some Tilda Candy Bloom fabric which I picked up at last year’s FOQ, and some Ella Blue Chirpy Lola fabric I got in a sale earlier this year. The Solids were Kona from my stash (still trying to work out which colours they were).

The pattern proved straightforward, and I have started to get used to using Jan. I have even braved using some of the auto-stitch features and experimented with needle position. I remembered how to thread the spool and bobbin threads, and am even getting the hang of the automatic threader (I have that on my older machine but never used it).

I finished the bags by hand-sewing the bags into the wraps today whilst Maxi was at school, Mini was at Playgroup (having started last week), the washing machine and tumble dryer were going full pelt, and the sides in the kitchen were drying.

Then I discovered that American mugs must be smaller than UK mugs, as most of my mugs do not fit! Eep! The one I take to class goes in sideways, so that is ok, but I have had to dig out a smaller mug to go in the other. Note to self: if I make these again, add about an inch to each measurement. 

Here they are. I love them regardless of their tight fit. The only thing I will change on them is that I am not so happy with the button/ribbon closure, and may change them for Kam Snaps. Other than that, what do you think? (Matching mug rugs next…)

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