Thoughts and plans

I have come to the realisation that my life is fairly boring and very ordinary. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing – I now have a nice apartment, a well paying office job, some good friends and I’m working on the social life, and I few hobbies I enjoy. But I also have a desperate urge to travel and get out there.

I’ve possibly been reading too many travel blogs but the vague idea to book cheap flights to Bergamo is now a sketched out and budgeted 5 city trip across northern Italy. Not that I really have the time or money, or it’s something I’ve ever considered before. I have a list of big trips (Iceland, southern Germany/Switzerland by train, the Norwegian coast by ferry, back to Japan…) that are expensive enough without going all out on a passing urge for a city break. I think my main problem this week is that after nearly 4 weeks medical leave I’m tired and not used to working. I also have no plans for the entire rest of this year beyond 2 trips to the theatre, which is slightly depressing and leaves a big void for the imagination to fill – and I have a good imagination!

I’m sure plenty of little things will happen to fill the gap, but I won’t stop dreaming yet:)

Anyway, here’s the plan (squashed up against my work notes) that probably won’t happen:

Little surprises

This swap was the Europe only ‘5 little surprises’ swap. It’s a fun swap with freedom to send a range of items.

Sent to Lithuania:

Postcards, writing sets, a Skegness magnet, ribbon and a mini paper bunting set:)

The idea was that the swap could be like little gifts, and the recipient also liked butterflies so…wrapped and ready to post!

Received from Norway:

Bird postcards, lovely notecards, washi tape samples, small fabric decorations and a cute magnet. The paper items arrived wrapped in ribbon too, it’s a great way to make the whole package more exciting:)

Now I’m back to (just about) normal and back home, it’s time to find some more swaps…

Swap-bot – send cats, receive Totoro!

This swap was ‘pick 3’ – select 3 items to send from a list of options. I added a few extra little papers because I still worry my packages aren’t impressive enough…

Sent to USA:

Animal themed small note papers, postcards, stickers, and handmade envelopes in a doodled envelope.

Received from Canada:

Ribbon and rickrack, Totoro postcards and an architectural notecard in a beautiful painted, stamped and decorated handmade envelope. Not sure if I’ll be creating anything pick soon, but I love the postcards!

Guess who just moved house!!!

I now have a new flat full of boxes, but the furniture is re-assembled and I can see it’s going to be great :) 

Top rental tip: when you see mold, move out before things go green and smelly. Think I just managed to avoid major problems… The new place is 10 years old and 2 floors up, if it’s a 3rd damp place then I’ll know it’s following me!

I can’t wait to make it home:)

Mountain cushion

This started as an early morning post because I was too uncomfortable to sleep this morning, but then breakfast arrived:) It all appears to have gone well yesterday but it’s going to take a while to feel better.

This cushion was last minute birthday present idea because I had no clues what to buy and had been so distracted by medical matters the date crept up on me!


Here’s the cushion, posing on my sofa with my other wonky mountain:) It’s my largest machine applique/ embroidery project so far, I’ve only made postcards before, but creating the pattern and choosing fabrics is still the hardest part.

I was aiming for mountains and a small peninsula reflected in a lake. A few years ago we were in North Wales and saw a perfect reflection of the Snowdon horseshoe, and I’ve had a poster of that photo on my wall. With the different fabrics it turned out a little abstract but the recipient still understand it:)

I didn’t take any close up photos to properly show the freehand sewing machine embroidery. The pieces were cut out of a hurriedly made pattern and attached to the cushion with ‘heat and bond’. I then freehand stitched around all of the edges a few times, for security and I like the look of several rounds of overlapping stitches – and I can never get the same line twice! I also embroidered curves across the water parts to suggest ripples, I knew I’d bought that blue green variegated cotton for a reason :)  The sky looked a little empty, so because it’s a dark cotton I added the moon and a few stars. If I had a bit longer I think I’d add more details to the view. The entire cushion is made of scraps, and I don’t have a huge amount of suitable fabric, so the back is made of dark indigo denim to keep with the water theme. At least it all turned out big enough and just about square!