Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A Propensity to Procrastinate.

The past week has been a strange mix with each day bringing so many things to work through and time racing past before I have the chance to clear the list. Orders are pouring in more than I remember of other years for January and new designs sit partly finished at the end of my cutting table. As for the dreaded tax return...well, let's not spoil things. As ever, it will get done and the new product range will be completed, photographed, copy written, uploaded....heaven's to Betsy, it makes me feel tired to even think of it!

Of course, my propensity for procrastination comes to the fore at such times with my determination to get out into fresh air calling to me even on somewhat dingy days. A recent promise to take a friend over to the north Cornish coast saw us heading over to Porthtowan and St Agnes, both very lovely in different ways.

Trevaunance Cove was stunning as ever and peering over the cliffs onto jade seas so clear the rocks appeared with each receding wave meant I was able to capture this image. It makes me think of a painting rather than a picture frozen by the camera.

The wide open spaces and clambering cliffs cleared my head and proved the worth of dipping out just occasionally to steal such a day.

The cold weather has been more acceptable to me in terms of sewing lately thanks to a lovely gift from the equally lovely Jane who very sweetly offered to knit me a pair of fingerless mittens after I mentioned how cold my hands were when toting my camera. They also get pretty cold when embroidering as I am hardly moving enough to get myself warm.

The heater pumps out plenty of comfort in my sewing room, but still my fingers get chilly. Jane's thoughtful gift has solved the problem and the pretty shade of spring green makes me smile just to see them.

Thank you so much dear Jane; they are perfect!

And talking of spring, these dainty crocus are lighting up the garden at the moments in clumps which are naturalising more and more each year. Even when the sun is absent they seem to shine and hint of what's around the corner.

Of course, a little sunshine does make them even more beautiful.

Ahh, I can't wait to be in my garden, pottering around and smelling the earth again. In the meantime, it's back to the sewing room and I really will do my tax return tomorrow...maybe...

A Propensity to Procrastinate - there's a book there surely! x

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion!

Did I mention I now have an Etsy shop? No? Ah well, then I clearly won't have mentioned that there is 20% off all my products until the 31st of January will I? That means 20% off notebooks such as these:

Little House Winter Notebook

and Little House Notebook Journal

or even this Personalised Berry Journal.

It also means 20% off sweet scented things such as my:

Seeds Lavender Cushion

or my Grasses Lavender Cushion

not to mention my Personalised Berry Lavender cushion.

Of course, I mustn't forget this pretty

Cornish Harbour Tea Cosy

or maybe the Personalised Berry Tea Cosy is more your style?

Anyhoo, there is plenty over there for you to have a look at so why not grab a cuppa and get a bargain while you're at it? All you need to do is click here and put PIPANY2 in the comments box on checkout to get the 20% discount.

Thank you for reading! x

P.S. Be lovely to chat to you on my Facebook business page too if you have time!!!

Byeee x

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A Moment of Calm.

I have been making myself hold the thoughts from my last post firmly in my head this week and am already feeling the benefit of doing so. When I first got back to work I found myself full of enthusiasm and energy all day only to dip drastically in the evenings, lounging on the sofa in a state which reduced me almost to tears at the very thought of having to move myself in order to make a cup of tea. Not good and most annoying when the days were so in contrast. Yet gradually, oh so gradually, a change is taking place as I settle back into my routine once more...with a few changes that is.

One of the signs I placed in my sewing room states 'Make Time', another: 'Be Inspired' and so I am making time to get outside for a little while every day to breathe the air and be inspired by what I see around me. This inevitably means I am once more toting my increasingly bedraggled camera around with me and collecting images for future reference, images such as these taken straight after the school run on Swanpool Beach close to my home. Purple clouds drifted in a sea of spring-soft blue, the sun growing in strength through the misty haze enveloping the cliffs and warming - yes, warming - my face as I stood at the water's edge.

Just hearing the shshshooooshhh of the tide sighing onto the sands, myriad pebbles churning in its wake as it dragged itself back once more, calmed my mind and made a minute seem to last an hour.

Calm - another of the words on my wall. This morning I achieved it with a little help from nature.

My time on the beach lasted all of half an hour and was fitted in before the day was too far underway, but the benefits will last me throughout. I feel refreshed and alert, ready for the little stack of orders and some rather pressing design work on my cutting table. I am not saying that by this evening I will still be feeling this way. Tea time, bedtime, tidying up - they all are enough to ensure the grumps as far as I am concerned, but hopefully this little time outdoors will mean I achieve today and therefore feel happier this evening.

And then maybe I really will start knitting those fingerless mittens instead of just talking about it. My hands were frozen by the time I got back to the car!

Here's hoping you can get outside and feel a little calm today too x

Friday, 6 January 2012

Hello! x

Hello again. It's been a long, long time since I posted here as work took over in its usual pre-Christmas fashion. In fact, I broke my previous record on order numbers in a given week...twice! I now know how many orders I can take and complete in a given week as a business of only one member before complete collapse is inevitable, so a worthwhile exercise all round. Can't wait for the next year and plans are bubbling away in my head.

Another less pleasing reason for the lack of blogging is that the computer refuses to let me upload any photos at the moment, a situation which will hopefully be sorted this weekend. I have missed using the camera and realise just how much it makes me slow down and look at the world around me - in the meantime, please forgive these previously blogged images, though they are all from winters of earlier years. It's amazing just how blue-skied and shiny a January day can be isn't it?

So, another year and for once I haven't made specific resolutions. Hopping around the land of blog it seems resolutions bring out strong feelings with some people loathing them and some finding them a means of embracing the notion of regeneration. I fall into the latter camp and, as I have said before, never view the non-achieving of aims as failure as long as I enjoyed the planning!

This year though I fancied a slight change; so many thoughts were in my head yet I couldn't seem to find specific aims out of them, or perhaps it was that there were almost too many aims to list! I found certain words and phrases kept popping into my head as I sorted the sewing room ready for the return to work, and decided they worked well for me. I have printed them out and now have them as company on the walls of my sewing room. Here they are - let me know what you think:


It occurred to me as the orders poured in and I became busier and busier that I was not feeing remotely frazzled. Previous years had been almost as manic and I had struggled with the guilt of having a little one only at school part time. Not my favourite year I can tell you. This Christmas saw a different scene and the result made it feel easy(ish) in comparison making me feel much more in control. I handled any problems immediately and worked through the piles of orders without any sense of panic. I had children home ill and was very ill myself for three weeks, a state which would usually tip me close to the edge with worry, but I carried on and even took myself to bed for a day without batting an eyelid ( I NEVER go to bed when I'm ill!), a sign that I was feeling CALM and because of this I was able to cope with whatever came my way, thus I stayed calm. Even the one night I worked right through to finish the last of the orders didn't finish me off!

Lesson learned:
Calm breeds calm and makes for a much nicer/happier me who is in control and productive rather than feeling like I'm chasing my tail just to get by.


I honestly think if you want something enough there is always a way to get it (not talking about winning the lottery here) - you just have to find a way and believe in yourself. Not always easy is it? The best way for me is to draw a stepladder and write the aim at the top, plan the steps I need to take to get to that aim and make each step a rung of the ladder. By breaking it down in this way it seems more achievable plus I have to make sure I have really thought about it first to actually plan it out. This means I can see potential problems before I start and work out how to get round them. I love the sense of crossing off each step and the ability to see the aim getting closer to being a reality. Visuals like this work well for me, especially when the ladder image is pinned on the wall above the ironing board where I cannot fail to see it!

: Whatever you need to achieve Pip it can be done - just find a way that suits you best (step-ladder works for me but you may not be a visual kind of person) and plan it out. If you can't plan it, it isn't a realistic aim so move on or change it!


Sort of speaks for itself doesn't it? For me this means not always adding the 'but' to a line in conversation or the thoughts in my head (an ever-fertile yet not always helpful space!) For example, when someone compliments me on something I have made/done I almost always used to say thank you and follow it with a but it was easy/ it has this missing/ it would be better with... you get the picture? If I really feel like that then why am I making it? Why would I expect someone to want to buy it? This negative way of being comes from that Britishness which suggests that to agree would be arrogant. What poppycock!!! If I can't show I believe in myself then what am I teaching my children about themselves? So, I will try to change the 'but' for an 'and' so that 'thank you but I think it needs' to 'thank you and I think next time I will add...'. Small change but so much more positive.

REMEMBER: But sticks you in a rut; and lets you expand (I made that up - can you tell!!!)


Despite all my talk on planning, I realise it is sometimes good to just grab an opportunity by the hand and fly. I can often talk myself round in circles and then lose the impetus to follow a thought or chance. If it is something that feel like it needs planning then I will use the stepladder, but if it is something that springs out of nowhere, feels exciting and 'right', then I will leap and see what happens. I guess this also means keeping your eyes open to possibility - you never know what may crop up and bounce over your head if you don't keep a watch for it.

: Be excited by possibility and step outside my comfort zone a little more than I do.


I know I respond well to being inspired by many things but don't always make time to allow this to happen. Reading certain blogs can make me want to rush outside and grab the day, cook up a fab meal, turn the garden into a paradise (oh, if only - it currently is knee deep in mud) yet I don't set myself time to read them. Certain magazines can be inspiring as I love reading of other small businesses and their success stories, the paths they took and where they hope to go next, yet I rarely make time for this either. Meeting up with people locally who work for themselves is something I hope to do more of as a chat with a friend who shares the same concerns/thoughts can be such a great stress-buster and need not use up much of that precious time. As for 'inspire', bit difficult this one as I revert to sounding all coy and British again but (and I do mean but here) I hope I may inspire someone somewhere a little with my blog/work/something just once in a while!!

: Allow myself to read about, meet with & generally enjoy people who inspire me and try to write the flipping blog more than once every two months!


This really links in to the one above, but also encompasses
making time for the things I need to make me able to be me. Making time for walks on the beach and in the woods which I really haven't done enough of in the last year; making time for my garden which I have sorely neglected of late; time for creating for myself, whether that is sewing quilts or dressmaking, knitting or crochet, baking or preserving. None of these things have been done on the scale I usually do them and I have felt a little lost as a result. They are imperative to my well-being and I miss them, so they will be very much back on my agenda starting tonight when I shall start another pair of fingerless mitts for myself as I have lost yet another pair! Oh, and I miss blogging too as love my little space for whittering on.

: Schedule time for these things in if necessary as they are too important to be left out and affect how creative I can be in my work and how happy I feel in my head.

And last, but not least:


Totally linked as if you are enjoying what you are doing you will inevitably achieve, and if you achieve things you will inevitably be enjoying it!

So there you have it and there I will leave it (thank the good lord!). The headings are printed out and pinned up as daily reminders of my New Year's Thoughts & Solutions - of course, I'll let you know whether they work, but if not there's always next year!

Have a lovely weekend xx