Cabin fever?

If you’ve ever had that feeling of, “I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy—but I wish my friend could experience it for just a day…”

As I ate breakfast in the sun this morning, I’ve been browsing through the March 2012 “Creative Fibre” magazine in which crafters from Canterbury write about the destruction of their equipment, social and business lives in the earthquakes of 2011, and their stories going forward.

I wondered what stories of recovery, inspiration and kindness will come from our collective experiences of COVID-19, a different kind of devastation, but one that’s brought many lives to an abrupt halt. For some, “isolation” has been little different from “retirement”; for others, the social and financial fabric of their lives is shredded and torn.

A good news story is the astonishing success of the “New Zealand Made Products” initiative on Facebook. In less than a week, it’s gained 250,105 members who’re sharing their NZ owned, designed and made products—and getting sales. You may be sure I’ve added my bronz.beads online shop to the listings!

Yesterday, as we move into Alert Level 3, it finally hit me: cabin fever! Most of the projects—I finished knitting those cardigans!—are complete, the garden’s tidier than ever before, I’ve run out of good beading wire and a necklace I made with florist’s wire broke and beads spilled everywhere… basically, I was out of sorts.

Not sure I can blame this on the lockdown, though; some readers will know I live with depression and despite the thank-god-for-antidepressants that keep me from despair and hopelessness, there are still ups and downs, as the black dog tries to throw its shadow over everything.

Finally I stopped procrastinating and got on with collating another book in my “Words of Spirit and Faith” series. It kept me absorbed—husband had to remind me I hadn’t moved from my chair for hours and should take a break—and brought a gratifying sense of accomplishment. And a Facebook discussion led to possible collaboration with someone in the United States—my lyrics and her music.

Because there’s sure to be someone reading this who struggles with anxiety and depression, or who cares for someone who does, I’m offering some excellent and simple resources. If you’ve ever had that feeling of, “I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy—but I wish my friend could experience it for just a day”, share Matthew Johnstone’s “I had a black dog” and “Living with a black dog”—yes, amusing cartoon drawings and words about mental illness (links below).

And if you’ve ever thought someone should just pull their socks up and get on with it, please also read, view or listen to these resources. They could change your life or save a friend’s.

I trust you’re making this time of limitation a space for deciding how you’d like your life and community to be, and what sort of ‘new normal’ we can create together.

Kapiti Arts & Crafts Society Shop

 

i-had-a-black-dog-cover-image-matthew-johnstone
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I had a black dog—video

Living with a black dog—video 

I had a black dog—book

Living with a black dog—book

“Nanna says” stuff about her quirky colourful knitting (& grandsons)

You can find links here to my latest little brother big brother website “Nanna says” posts; sign up to that site to get occasional knitting related updates.

#NannaKnits
#bronzart
#littlebrotherbigbrother

…and find those colourful quirky things to buy at bronzart on felt

 

Happy New Year & lackadaisical resolution

Hi everyone! As you’ve gathered by now, I don’t blog or post often – too busy doing, making, creating, collating, advertising and sometimes even selling, to let you know what I’m up to. Which is, as I keep being advised, counterproductive.

So, here’s a summary from 2018, along with a well-meant resolve to communicate more often this year:

Knitting Lots of knitting, which you can see on my little brother big brother website, and buy from my online shop, bronzart.felt.co.nz. Knitting for my family – including the grandsons who star as my “little brother and big brother” models – and a trip to South Korea to visit them. “Little brother” asked me to knit him “a red scarf and mittens to wear on my head!” I made him a red scarf and hat for Christmas.

Also quite a lot of knitting for charity, including Foster Hope and the Otaki Health Camp, renamed STAND, soft hats for cancer patients at the regional hospital. And currently, for “Operation Brighten“, a challenge for the Creative Fibre Wellington area members, to create colourful winter clothing and accessories for women at Women’s Refuge.

Beading and jewellery I’ve made and sold jewellery this year, including some steampunk inspired things! Also enjoying a fortnightly group, part of Kapiti Arts and Crafts Society, where we learn new techniques and help fundraise for the society by repairing jewellery for members and others. We sell our work as individuals or on behalf of the group in the society’s Gallery and Shop.

Card making and selling I’ve set up a new online shops to sell cards made by my daughter and me; mostly her cards listed so far, as I need to make some more! You can see my bronzart and her azolloza ranges at lozabronz.felt.co.nz

Creative writing and publishing Produced the second in a trilogy of “Spirit and Faith” poetry and liturgical resources. You can buy both “Something new to say” and “You who delight me” from my website. My third book will be published in 2019.

I continue write and publish the occasional liturgical work on my Words of spirit and faith website, which you can follow, as well as via my spirit and faith Facebook page.

Conference admin This year I’ve been occupied, and preoccupied, with admin—committee secretary, marketing, website, bookkeeping, registrations—for NZ’s 3rd Progressive Spirituality/Christianity Conference in September, hosted this year by St Andrew’s on The Terrace Presbyterian Church in Wellington. It was a successful event, despite the organising committee’s initial trials as not one, not two, but three guest speakers were unable to make it, one dropping out after we’d begun marketing. The overall theme was environmental—“Creation: ecology, theology, revolution”.

I ran a workshop, “Creating down to earth prayers” for people who don’t believe in a literal, interventionist God but still want to participate in liturgy of an inclusive, progressive kind. I plan to publish the workshop notes as an ebook.

I’m also involved in fundraising for refurbishment of the church’s unique pipe organ.

Gardening As we come to the end of 2018, the gardens are flourishing—it’s been a great spring and summer for lovely, lush flowers and now the veges (lettuce, beetroot, beans, courgettes etc) and fruit (apples, plums, figs, grapefruit, raspberries and currants) are abundant. The downside of growing your own produce is the amount of water (we’re on water meters now and seem to pay per drop) needed to wash strawberries and lettuces to get the slugs and sand out. It’s great to have a prolific lemon tree—my husband’s limoncello is delish!

Early Christmas Presents Finally, our apartment in central Wellington sold. We plan to use a wee bit of the proceeds on refurbishing our place here in Kāpiti—new carpet, some painting etc. And maybe a little overseas travel…

For early Christmas presents, we’ve bought each other brand new laptops, with Windows 10 and all, which has taken up an enormous amount of time wrangling all the downloading, synchronising and general looking up the how-to stuff online!

Web spinning and FB page admin In case you’re wondering, I’m admin of my 4 personal websites, several Facebook pages and 3 online shops, as well as web-spinning the Progressive Christianity Aotearoa website and media presence. I create monthly posters for Kapiti Arts and Crafts Society to promote exhibitions, manage its 3 Facebook pages and this year will probably take on the role of webspinner, as the website needs a bit of TLC.

Discount OFFER! If you’ve read this far, and there’s anything you’d like to buy from my ranges of knitting, jewellery, cards, publications etc, QUOTE “BLOGGING SELLS” in your subject line or order form for a 10% discount on any one product of your choice.

I do get around to posting on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram, and tweeting from time to time. But if you’re wondering why I don’t post more often… I’m probably doing this:

 

 

3 funerals, no weddings, not-so-new website, not much writing…

So since I last posted here, I’ve been to three funerals – each one totally different from the others in style and content – and missed another funeral and a memorial service because I was just all “funeralled out”.

I’ve been knitting a lot, and blogging about knitted items on my not-very-new website www.littlebrotherbigbrother.com and for sale via bronzart shop on felt.

The past year or so hasn’t been great for creativity, but I’m getting back into it now. Here are my plans for the next few months, so you can check on me if I don’t get onto them:

  1. Check out converting my book “you who delight me” to an ebook and selling online.
  2. Self-publishing another collection of writing as an e-publication (rather than through brilliant but costly publishers).
  3. Revisiting a novel I haven’t worked on since 2005. I kept copious notes, timeline, character descriptions etc – but I didn’t think clearly about plotting and need to find a resolution and meaningful ending.
  4. Keep on knitting: items for sale, winter woollies for my grandsons, and for an exhibition of the Kapiti Arts and Crafts Society, whose Facebook pages I curate.
  5. Take more photos. I mean, apart from the hundreds of my grandkids who are just too gorgeous and cute and smart and charming (of course!). I’m beginning to take cityscape and quirky images again. I’ll post a few recent ones here.

And I think that’s it for First Quarter resolutions.

If you’d like to check out my occasional knitting blogs, written in the imaginary voice of my real grandson, you can follow my Nanna Says posts.

And, depending on your hemisphere and beliefs (or lack of): Happy Easter – Blessed Samhain or Eostre – Shalom Pesach!

Blessings and peace. The light will return…

 

still care? Still knitting…

I’m frantically knitting things to sell at Paraparaumu Playcentre Fair this coming weekend. So far. a “Scorch the Dragon” hat – and another started; baby ugg boots in green+purple Opal sock wool; purple mittens for my grandson which he won’t wear and might as well be sold; mittens in progress made of leftover blue Flutterby yarn (acrylic, so it doesn’t knit well or keep its shape, but cute) with some freebie blue yarn intertwined for strength.

Also three cute flower hats in shades of pink!!! I cannot usually be having with pink but these colours somehow got around my emotional barriers. With knitted flowers on.

Now I need more polystyrene hat stands to display them.

Good grief, look at the time! I’m still in my pyjamas.

Knit five,purlfive, get to the end of this row quick; oh heck it’s on circular needles, endlessrows Do-I-have-time-for-a-shower? Knit-knit-knit-knit-knit-knit-ohshit-that-should-have-been purl….