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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A Happy Dance in the Present

Becca from Finding Flapjack has come up with a great idea for blogging prompts.  Here is the current one:

It's been said that to be happy, you have to live in the moment. Do you agree with that statement? Why or why not? How well do you think you live in the moment and why do you believe that?

"Living in the moment" is very much the philosophy of this year, Mindfulness is the "buzzword" with many new books being published on the subject.  It's all to do with savouring the here-and-now instead of wishing your life away hurrying to be in the future or living in the past dwelling on past mistakes or past happiness and not appreciating what you have right now.

As well as selling several books about Mindfulness we have also stocked a wide range of "Grown-up Colouring Books" (that is colouring books for adults as opposed to Adult Themed Colouring Books which we have also sold!)


The idea being that as you colour in the gorgeous pictures you are focusing on creating something lovely and achieving "flow" through that activity.  What is "flow"?  

"In positive psychology, flow, also known as zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity." Source - www.wikipedia.org

Most of us will recognise that state from our stitching (or knitting/crochet/crafting) but we probably call it the "Just One More Stitch" Syndrome!

So back to Becca's question - I would say that I am indeed very happy when I am in a state of flow with my stitching.  I am naturally a planner, a worrier, an over-thinker, I plot out difficult conversations in my head (usually when I am supposed to be going to sleep!).  Having my stitching and my blog does at least give me something positive to focus those thoughts on.  That's why I am always planning Blog Hops!  Ironically, my stitching is one area of life I do not worry about; I stitch what I want, when I want and so what if there is a big pile of WIPs and unstarted projects?  Their time will come, it just gives me choice.

I do get a lot of pleasure out of looking back through my blog and through my life.  I can clearly remember being the Large Boy's age (I am blessed with a highly retentive memory for experiences) and enjoy thinking about what I was doing when I was 12.  Was life better then?  People look at the past through rose-tinted glasses, my husband is always moaning that the boys don't play out like we used to.  But that's because there is so much more available to them in organised activities and in home entertainment.  The Large Boy's friends have a huge range of sporting and recreational groups they can go to, not to mention the room full of toys, Lego and computer games.  Their parents have much more disposable income than our's did.  Probably because both parents tend to work now.  My son has definitely seen less bullying, less poverty, less violence, less hunger and worry than my generation did.  His worries and concerns, and those of his peers, are listened to and taken into consideration.  OK, it's not perfect and there are still problems for many children but there is not the systematic bullying we experienced and were powerless to prevent.  As he gets older, the Internet will become more of an issue but on the reverse side, he will be able to make contact with more like-minded people than he could ever meet in our small town.  Maybe even start his own blog!

I am conscious that he is on the cusp of teenagehood and will change soon.  Harry Enfield has a brilliant sketch on this subject - Kevin Becomes a Teenager.  So I am trying to live in the moment and enjoy the days where he is happy to cuddle up on the sofa and watch a film with his Mum.  Yesterday's choice was Jack Black's School of Rock.  Very funny film.

And while we were watching, I was stitching!  I completed On The Beach by Madame Chantilly.  Here it is in all it's glory followed by a few close-ups.

On the Beach by Madame Chantilly
Stitched on Kynance evenweave by Sparklies






The fabric is especially dyed by Kate from Sparklies.  I made several colour changes, the blues are 798/799/800, the starfish are 950 and the shell is 842.  The dark tips to the seagulls are 3799, the charted black was just too harsh.  Albert is my cousin's baby.  Yes, old man names are back in fashion!  I can't wait to get this framed and to go visit them to present it in person.

Finally, we are approaching Easter, the weekend 3rd - 6th April.  I will be hosting my Annual Easter Treasure Hunt again.  Each participant posts a picture of something stitched on an Easter or Spring theme along with a letter I allocate to them.  Over the Easter Weekend everyone hops around like a bunny, finds the Mystery Phrase the letters spell out and reports back here with it.  Prizes for the lucky winners chosen at random.  If you'd like to be a Picture Poster please drop me an email.

Here is the link to last year's Treasure Hunt if you are wondering how it all works - Easter-treasure-hunt-blog-hop 2014




30 comments:

  1. My dear I love your stitching project so much
    Sweet hugs x

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  2. Congrats on your finish!! It looks wonderful :)

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  3. I would love to sign up for the Easter Hop. Love your finish!!

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  4. I have been seeing the "living in the moment" saying come up quite a bit and it's very true. It's important to try to do this but hard when one does need to plan at least a wee bit ahead. I find stitching does give me that "flow" and happiness too. I've let go with the feeling that I can't have more than 1 big wip on the go and just embrace the diversity of projects I have at hand. Love your little beach finish! It's adorable! The fabric for it works perfectly! Almost as though the sky is blue and the sand is beige! Hmmm, maybe I'll participate in the Easter blog hop this year. Throw my name down! I'll try and whip up something good for Easter this spring break! Hugs!

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  5. Sounds like a lot of fun. I look forward to the Easter Hop. I love the stitching it came out so well. I try hard to live in the moment.

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  6. Hooray! Albert's sampler looks great! Old man names. ha! I love "old" names, hence Mabel and Henry. ;)
    I would love to be a Picture Poster please!

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  7. Oh I love the fabric you stitched this beach scene on. How PERFECT for such a piece. Great job!!

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  8. Cute piece. That makes us think summer especially on a day like today when there is so much snow on the ground and it's snowing a wintery day out there! But Spring is coming.

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  9. Interesting question! Will have to think about that one. Great finish - your colour palette really goes together well.

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  10. Brilliant post. I love your blog <3 That is a truly beautiful stitch. XOX

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  11. On the beach is fantastic and the fabric is too incredible, so perfect finish, real great gift for lucky Albert the beach boy (just get around). Hugs.

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  12. Congrats on the awesome finish Jo. The fabric is great.

    Linda

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  13. All true, Jo, but I am sad for the lack of innocence, I suppose I mean, children aren't given time to be children so much these days, I look at little girls, and they are little, but dressed like 25 year olds. Re Mr Jo's comment about playing out.......I can remember going off for the day, sometimes on my own, in Germany, and Mum never seemed to worry, doesn't seem to happen these days. However, definitely more choices in everything and I still marvel that I can chat to you and others and get a reply within minutes! Love the stitching, yes, young friends have a Stanley and a George!



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  14. It's very true, it's important to live in the moment and enjoy the little things. Life changes so rapidly. Congratulations on the beautiful finish :-)

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  15. Congrats on the finish, Jo!! Nice to read about your thoughts on the topic.

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  16. That's a gorgeous finish. My Dad's name was Albert, (even though everyone called him Keith), I think it's nice to see some of the older names coming back into vogue again


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  17. It's so true what you say about living in the moment and appreciating the here and now. And it's so wonderful to experience that flow when stitching or reading or doing another kind of activity that fills my mind in a positive way. Even gardening can do this although I'm not a passionate gardener, lol.

    Great that you could finish your beach piece, it is looking so gorgeous on this beautiful piece of fabric.

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  18. Love this finish, I want to be the girl on the beach!
    A very interesting read Jo.

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  19. Really interesting to hear your thoughts on this topic Jo. This year I am trying to be more mindful of my stitching and giving in to my creative side rather than letting my perfectionist planning side take over! I love love love your finish of On the Beach, it is the perfect marriage of fabric and subject!

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  20. On the beach is just adorable I love all of the fun little details!

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  21. The fabric is perfect for the design!! Great job, Jo. A beautiful piece!!
    Hugs,
    Lili

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  22. Oh I love this piece! Congratulations on your finish! It's perfect.

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  23. I love that coloring book...I used to have one if mandalas, which I found very relaxing as well :) That was a lovely essay about enjoying the moment you wrote there, I do feel much of the same about many things. I too tend to over-think stuff and just getting lost in my stitching, gaming, reading or a good movie is my happy place that will recharge my batteries, at least a bit, no matter what else is going on in life.

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  24. Congrats on such a fun finish. I love that you added the boy's name to the flag. That makes it extra special.

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  25. I tend to "script" too, particularly when stressed. Usually the conversations have no bearing on reality! I just can't stop myself. I would think I live in the moment outwardly but inwardly, my mind is somewhere it doesn't need to be! Hmm, all the frogs have a reason, huh? :b

    Hooray for the finish! I like the little seagulls. They're much nicer in stitches, I think haha. This will make such a great addition to the nautical nursery :D

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  26. I love everything about that piece: the wavy shoreline, the huts and characters, and the beautifully dyed fabric! Your cousin will love having that on the wall.

    I've (finally) done my writing too- we came at it from different perspectives this time around! But I do like the idea of mindfullness, I think I need to find it a bit more :-) Thanks for joining in x

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  27. Love that piece. I could probably stitch it four times and have lots of takers in my family. :)

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  28. Slowly catching up with everyone's posts..... I love your beach scene - the fabric you had dyed is perfect for this design :o) How wonderful that the "older" boys names are coming back into style again.
    It's good to know that I am not the only one who "practices difficult conversations"! Of course the actual conversation never goes to plan!!
    I also like to plan and be organised with my life... in my day job I need to be very organised as my boss is super organised and I often find he is ahead of the game and I am running behind him so I have to operate at a whirlwind pace just to keep up with him.... that's probably why I love stitching so much - I can just take my time and while I may plan a little bit, I generally just stitch what I want when I want.... and it is just so relaxing to do... wish I had more time to do more!
    Your post does make for interesting thinking... I don't have children but I know from experience with my niece and nephews that while a couple of them are very outdoor type kids, the others are quiet "inside" kids... I think the difference with today's kids is quite "inside" kids play computer games so we think that they are wasting their time.... I was a very non-sporty kid growing up but I spent all my time reading books (very boring compared to other kids my age) and as my parents only had one income there wasn't that disposable income for bikes etc for the 4 of us that parents seem to have these days. I do think though that the kids of today have a lot more opportunity than we had in our day....
    Enjoy every moment you can with your kids and loved ones - and live in the moment!
    Hugs xx

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