Friday, January 12, 2018

Taking each day as it comes

Life can be so up and down, constantly changing, imperfect.

This week, we started back homeschooling. Traditionally, Australians take a longer break over Summer but considering our disrupted year last year and the girls needing a solid routine, we decided to start back early. We had some new books to start on, the girls were excited about that too. 

I did a lot of pre planning again, hours of work actually, so I felt confident to start the new year. The first day went fairly smoothly apart from one girl needing an attitude adjustment (this is something we are consistently working on with this child). My youngest girl surprised me by getting stuck into her work with gusto and really enjoying it. 

Fast forward to Friday morning and, following a social engagement yesterday, the girls were late to wake and get started. After a fair bit of pushing on my part, we started our homeschool morning. It wasn't very long before there was a complete meltdown and tears from the little one. I was disappointed, I had lessons prepared. However, experience has taught me that there is no point in making an overtired, unreasonable child sit and the table and work, so it was back to bed with her, and there she stayed for the whole morning reading. The upside is she finished one novel she hadn't completed last year and got through another short novel. She was still learning, it was ok. I was able to continue the planned lesson with the other girls.

Plan A is a beautiful thing to the eyes of a homeschool Mum who has spent the time preparing, planning and researching. But, very often, plan B just has to do, and usually it is enough if we accept it as such. It's not easy to let go of hopes, but often it's the only solution.

Running a business has been very much the same. Last week was huge, I released a new pattern, there was a huge amount of activity in my online weaving school, it was all very busy and exciting. This week, the complete opposite with practically no sales, very little activity and even social media has been very quiet. A newly released Youtube video has received very little attention.

Plan A for the business is that I can make a living doing this, that all the hours I put in will finally be worth it. The reality (plan B)  is, I have to keep pushing on and endure the good times with the bad and keep hoping. 

Many times I have wanted to give up on things that seemed too hard - whether it's homeschooling or my business or something else. But every time I want to throw the towel in I say to myself "wait until tomorrow". When tomorrow comes, I'm usually good to go again, the new day gives new perspective. 

I love the words of one of my favourite saints, Padre Pio - 

"Pray, hope and don't worry".

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, new pattern!

Happy New Year to you all! What an exciting time to be alive :)
Although I spent New Year's Eve in bed with a stomach upset, today I feel well and reinvigorated. 

Today I launched a new Etsy pattern and thought I would share some details of the process for you.

I started out with some gorgeous Australian Merino from Bendigo Woollen Mills and dyed it with Landscape dyes. I had a vision of the colour I wanted and it was almost spot on. It's a very hard colour to photograph though, it's not as dark as it appears here. I planned on having the colours split in the dye pot to give a subtle variation in colour and it worked out beautifully.

I absolutely love lace knitting and wanted to create something similar on the loom. A scarf that was light and airy with a pretty pattern and warmth and softness for wearing. 

I wanted all the finished details to tie in well with the design of the scarf, so the hemstitching was pulled extra tight to create space and the fringe was twisted. (See how different the colour looks here to the first photo!)

The end result is so beautiful! I was admiring myself wearing it in the mirror until my daughter came along and asked to try it. Well, it looks sensational on her, just the perfect colour, so she may get to keep it.

The PDF pattern for the scarf is now available in my Etsy shop, ready for you to download and start weaving! 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a beautiful, quiet and relaxing day with my family.

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway, there were just over 1000 entries and if I could, I would give each and every one of you a prize, but then that would place me in bankruptcy, so I'm obligated to stick with just one winner!

A big congratulations to Christine Rose, who won the Ashford Rigid Heddle loom and a one year subscription to my Online Weaving School. I've been in touch with Christine and she is just thrilled to be the winner. 

Playing Santa Claus was fun, I hope I can do it again sometime!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

10,000 subscribers giveaway!

Welcome to this very special giveaway! To celebrate 10,000 subscribers on Youtube I have the pleasure of giving away to one of you lucky people, an Ashford 40cm Rigid Heddle loom along with a one year subscription to my Online Weaving School. How exciting! 

To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below. You can choose the number of entries you get by completing the tasks - the number you complete is up to you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will be drawn on December 26th 2017. Best of luck to you!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Weaving for Christmas

My favourite time of the year is coming and what better way to celebrate the festivities than by weaving for family, friends and your home!

I have quite a few free video tutorials to get those creative juices flowing:

Reindeer on a rigid heddle loom

Handwoven No Sew Christmas Hearts

Gift boxes on a rigid heddle loom

Winter Trees

And then there are my classes available with a subscription to my weaving school:

*Snowmen on a rigid heddle loom

*Exploring branoe 

And available as a single class or included in a subscription:

I hope these inspire you to get weaving in time for Christmas!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The point at which it gets really hard

It  was really hard seeing our normally healthy 17 year old son rushed into the resuscitation unit in a medically induced coma.
It was hard having him transferred to intensive care.
It was really hard when he deteriorated and was placed in a medically induced coma.
It was hard seeing him come out of that coma days later.
It was hard watching as he was transferred out of ICU into the respiratory ward, but didn't improve as expected.
It was awfully hard signing the consent for surgery to remove fluid from around his lungs.
It was hard seeing him experience the pain and discomfort of having a drainage tube in his back.
It was hard seeing him deteriorate again with fevers and low blood pressure and a high heart rate and having 2 larger tubes inserted in his side.
Today was a really hard day. Waiting for another, more major surgery to remove fluid again, followed by an epidural to numb his body for days (therefore numbing the pain) and then being told at the end of the day that the surgery was postponed to Monday.
Now we wait out the weekend, knowing that surgery is coming.

But you know what? I think all this has been harder on us than on him. Because he is a champion. He has endured countless procedures, needles, drugs, ups and downs without complaint. He always has a cheerful smile for us and looks forward to our visiting. He is resigned and accepting of his situation. His faith in God is strong and simple.
I think I have a lot to learn from this boy.

Please pray for the complete recovery of our son. Thank you to all those who have been praying, messaging and sending cards and parcels. We so appreciate your concern.

I've also set up a Gofundme campaign as a special surprise for when he can finally come home. Any donation is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Calculating warp for the rigid heddle loom

At a request from a student, I have put together a warp calculations sheet and a companion video. Both are available here. You do need to sign in to access the materials, but I have made these completely free for your benefit. The video can be viewed on Youtube if you prefer. 
The printable PDF includes a sample sheet and in the video I take you through another sample, just to make sure you "get it"!
I have already had a huge amount of positive feedback from students who have found these useful, so please take a look if it's of interest to you.
Happy Weaving!