Friday, 26 April 2013

A couple of goals

I've been thinking a bit lately, and I've decided on two goals for myself.

Can I tell you a secret, interwebs? I know I'm doing a PhD in Psychology, and it's a big thing, but I don't want to do it for the rest of my life. When I left school I went and studied fashion design, psychology was my second choice. When I was 23 all my small joint problems became one big massive ball of chronic pain, and an insurmountable boulder in my path down a fashion career - everything I though I might enjoy involved handling stuff, and any kind of gripping, turning, holding, moving, repetitive action, particularly with my wrists and hands, was a big pain-inducer. So with much frustration and many tears I went back to learn something different.

I started studying psychology with the intention of doing a PhD and getting a job doing psychology in some form (not just using it as a base for work involving people in someway like a lot of people do with an undergrad psych degree). At that time, sewing had become a maybe 30mins once or twice a week thing, and in time I sold my three industrial sewing machines, my mannequin, and my patternmaking table. It was done with a lot of sadness and regret. And every now and then I would wake up from a dream doing my dream job as a patternmaker and I would wake up and cry because I STILL wanted to do it, even though my body was trying to tell me it was impossible.

So here I am six years later, and I've learned a LOT about managing my activities and pain. Sewing still hurts me, but I'm slowly learning how much I can do at a time, how much is sustainable. For a long time it wasn't just the pain holding me back, but that it tore at my heartstrings every time I sewed or designed something, knowing I couldn't do it as a larger part of my life, let alone a career. But I'm finding that I kind of NEED to make things, it helps keep me sane. And so with a bit of planning out and breaking things into small steps I'm starting to find a few things manageable. My sense of style requires that I make clothes for myself. My desire for quality clothing (and a very small budget) requires that I make clothes for myself (I am hopeless! at clothing shopping, everything seems so badly sewn or not quite right somehow). And I'm starting to think these things just might be possible.

So here's my goal: Be a patternmaker by the time I'm 50.

I turn 30 next year, so I have 20 years to figure it all out and slowly get there. I can use my psychology to support my family in the meantime.

When I was studying fashion design 10 years ago, small independent patternmakers didn't seem to exist, not that I knew of anyway. But I've seen a few start cropping up over the internet the last few years, so I've been starting to dream again. No rush, no hurry, but a small dream to work on in the background over the long-term.

Oh, and the other goal? To reshape my wardrobe so that I can be wearing skirts 5 days a week by the end of the year. I need a few more skirts for a start, but also more tops that work well with skirts.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Oh the sickness.....

I was all mentally prepared on Thursday night to write a post last Friday. Except that I woke up sick. Like head fuzzy, throat sore, feverish, no voice, type sick. Then Saturday I was worse. And Sunday no better. Monday showed some slight signs of improvement, along with a visit to my doctor. And today I'm feeling almost like I might be nearly nearly-better. Not nearly-nearly like closer than nearly, but nearly nearly as in nearly up to being nearly. Clear as mud? Or my brain over the weekend?

So the last week and a bit hasn't exactly been productive.
No sewing done.
No exercise done.
No housework... ok scratch that, it doesn't get done often enough even when I'm well.
No planning for my return to my PhD.
Not even very much reading. I was that out of it.

I did manage to finish my marking last Thursday, which was good. And my parents came to visit on Saturday, which was awesome! Nothing like your mum being there when you're sick, even when you're grown up. They even took away Miss S for an hour or two in the afternoon (I'm not being vague, I really have no idea how long it was) to visit her other grands while the Hubster and I zoned out.

And of course now that I'm getting better, the Hubster is getting worse again. Hopefully whatever this viral bug thingy is will go away and leave us all alone soon.

So the plan for the last little bit of the week?

Field the girls a bit more so the Hubster can rest (it's holidays so Miss S is home all day too, and it's boring with Mum and Dad being sick so we can't do anything).
Try to at least finish the first pair of pants for Miss A, they only have the cuffs left to do.
Write a bit of a plan for getting back into my PhD, ease my way in.
Try not to spend toooooo much time exploring the journey and adventures of Gertie's vintage sewing over here:

Hope your last week has been better than mine. Onward!

Monday, 15 April 2013

A productive weekend... kind of

We all decided to be sick this weekend, baby included. By decided I mean we got sick, we didn't really get give a choice. Unfortunately the four-year-old recovered first and was full of beans again while the parents were sitting around going 'gaaaaaaaaah, leave us alone to our misery.' The baby just carried on pretty much as usual, but with a bit of a croak to her babbling. Throat's still sore, but at least I'm more functional today.

On saying all this, however, I had a surprisingly productive weekend, crafting-wise, I couldn't think enough to do my marking, so half of that is still waiting, but things got finished and continued and started.

I finished a skirt that had been half made for a week or two. Bright blue sweatshirting, so nice and cozy, full-length, simple elastic waist, so easy to wear.

I did a couple of rows of knitting on my hat. The first row I got to do most of it twice because I got 2/3 of the way round before realising it was a beaded row so had to undo it and start again.

And I cut out a couple of pairs of warm cozy pants for Miss A, one out of the same bright blue a the skirt and the other a patterned pink and white sweatshirting, and started sewing the blue pair cos there was blue thread on the sewing machine already.

So the crafting was rather encouraging, but now I need to get back to marking :(

Sparrows enjoying the rain on Saturday.

Friday, 12 April 2013

The week past

It feels like it's been a rather unproductive week. I haven't done anything crafty since last weekend as my wrists have been recovering from doing a whole 2 rows of knitting. I am determined to finish that hat eventually, it looks awesome even only half done, but the needles are too small for my hands to be happy doing it. Sad that I love finer knitwork (though I also love fine wool knitted on chunky needles, so might just have to stick with that).

I have however managed to get through over half my marking, mostly done during Miss A's micro-naps. And been for three (yes 3!!!!) walks, one of which was the whole family and the other two just me and Miss A. None very long, but it's the getting out and moving that's the important bit at this stage. I've only had one day without a shower, even if yesterday's was in the evening after the girls were in bed. (Yay me! Celebrating the small things round here.)

Little Miss A is growing out of her 0-3 month clothes, so I burrowed through our under-1 box under her cot and found the next-size-up things. Yay for growing babies!

This of course means that I've found some gaps, like warm pants, that Just Need Filling. So my list of things to do keeps growing.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Embracing motherhood

I'll say it straight out, I'm somewhat apprehensive about going back to fulltime PhD work on 1st May, but I'm doing some marking this week, so it's on my mind. Miss A will only be 3 months old and, unlike when I first became a mother four and a half years ago, I'm actually enjoying it and wanting to be with my baby.

With Miss S it was somewhat a relief to return to fulltime study when she was 6 months old. She had really bad silent reflux which was only just coming right after diet changes for me, and had long hated lying down as it made her uncomfortable and so therefore we didn't get much sleep. And I had No Idea what I was doing. I'm not really a natural baby or kid person. I had (pre- and) postnatal depression and really struggled with anxiety. So despite having to then express milk every break I got at uni, it was nice to get some semblance of normality and time to myself, and to have space to think about new things.

This time around I am much more confident in what I am doing. We've changed my diet straight away to help with the reflux (and the fact that we knew what to look for with reflux, or what reflux even was certainly helped!) and she's usually only waking once in the night for a feed. Daytime I'm much happier to go adventuring with baby (it helps that I can feed her Not Lying Down, like I still was with Miss S at this stage), and we invested in a good baby carrier to help things. She'll only catnap most days and want milk more often than I might like, which can lead to us all being rather tired by mid-afternoon when Miss S (who is endlessly busy and chatty) comes home from kindy. But she's usually good at getting herself off to sleep, which is such a relief after Miss S who would only sleep when upright.

I'm planning to work as much as I can from home, especially during kindy hours ;) but I'm really finding myself actually embracing motherhood, rather than just being a mother, this time around. So I'd like to somehow manage a more working-from-home style balance to things. I mean, I'm happy to express milk, but it takes large amounts of time and really hurts my wrists doing it constantly, so if I can do this less (or at least delay it) I'll be better able to do other things, like crafting which also kills my wrists but is so emotionally rewarding that it is worth the pain and then some, at least to a point.

At the moment the only problem with going back to fulltime work is, well, umm, the work, fitting it in during sleeps (which are far too short at the mo) and around cuddles. There's always things that need doing (or are maybe just preferable) at home. I might end up spreading my "40hr working week" over into evenings and weekends a little.

Speaking (typing?) of doing work, I should get back to my marking.

Monday, 8 April 2013

A return

I've been thinking of reawakening my blog.

It's been a long time, but I feel like it might be a good thing to have a place to set goals and share the things I manage to get done.

I'm in quite a different place to a few years ago when I was last around here, but in some ways still similar, echoes of the past. I've had another baby and am about to be back full-time studying, and as ever I am trying to fit more crafting into my life while balancing the fact that crafting causes me pain (lack of crafting also causes me pain, but emotional/psychological rather than physical).

So goals for the next month/wee while?
1. do a little bit of something crafty every day. I have long skirts to make, clothes for Miss S (who's now 4!!), a bit of knitting that has been waiting to be finished for a few years that I am determined to get done.
2. Take photos more, of said craftiness, baby Miss A, not-baby Miss S, and other things that catch my eye.
3. My book pile is growing rather than being kept up with, so I want to be a bit more deliberate about it.
4. AND there's that pesky PhD to work on ;) Might do another post of goals for that one. Though I'm not officially back into it till 1 May, I'd like to be able to ease my way in.

To help enable number 1, I've got my sewing machine sitting out all the time, with the laptop away, instead of the previously usual other way around, though bits and pieces still need to be put away from curious little hands.

Another thought of getting back into blogging is to get myself writing more, even just blog posts, and to help myself 'think on paper/keyboard' again which will help my PhD writing.

We'll see how we go :)