Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Negative Nancy


I've titled this negative nancy because I didn't want it to be a negative start to the post but still heading in that direction. My blog is usually about what food I'm baking and consuming, crafts I'm busy with and opshops I've emptied but sometimes there is more going to my life than that. I wanted to share it here with you in case your feeling a little like me(or like I was).

For the past 4 months or so, I have been feeling very very negative. Everywhere my head went was negative. As a result, it left me pretty down and feeling pretty yuck about life. I'm going to put it down to a few reasons I know are definatly responsible, and others, things I know I will always battle with.

Firstly, and excitingly, I'm almost 4 months pregnant. So, let's put a small percentage of raging hormones in their as one of the culprits. This is my second pregnancy, and it's been the biggest shock. With percy, my first, I pretty much had no symptoms what so ever. Didn't even look pregnant for a really long time. This time, the morning sickness hit me so hard, it actually stopped me from living. For some, it's a blessing to rest and just take things slow, but for me, it took away the things that bring joy to my life. I wasn't able to cook or eat much, was in no mood for opshopping, and didn't step into my craft room. Every now and then I'd have a moment where I could manage a cake, or crochet something, but it couldn't last long. It made me really miserable, because now I had nothing to my life, except feeling sick and looking after a toddler who sadly sat in front of a tv for too many hours in each day. It's all I could do. I hated it. 
Then, on top of all that, I was very controlled by the whole keep quiet for 3 months thing. I hate hate hate it. And I hated doing it. It made me negative. It made me wait to see if I'd lose the baby. It made me overthink everything and pretty much death was on my mind. Instead of celebrating the fact I had a baby growing in me, I instead waited to see if I'd lose it. For me, and I respect other people's need to keep quiet, but for me, it's so damn stupid. It forced me to battle in silence, rather than get support from my family and friends if, and that's if , I lost the baby. I'm out of that silent time now, and it felt so dumb spreading the good news, as if now nothing could go wrong! I was sadly so controlled by all that, and I will never do it that way again.

So besides pregnancy sadly playing a part in my negativity, I've had to fight the media and news. I'm aware that there is always something on the news that is going to stir negative emotions in people. And it should, if we have any heart and concern, we should feel something. But my problem with the media and the news, is how much it's in our faces. I've really struggled with being force fed the news, when I am not a news reader or watcher. I don't buy the paper and I don't watch news reports. Yet, I found myself getting so bombarded by news headlines and stories, even when not looking for them. Part of my negative reaction to the news is my personal battles I do face. I do struggle with automatic negative thinking, as well as anxiety and post traumatic stress. I do make things personal and don't have the ability to process everything logically so get help when I need. But, I'm not going to take full responsibility when I believe the media, Internet, news, and some people, don't take any either. Here's my big statement, and sorry if you work in the news industry, but I think the news is as terrorising as the people they are reporting about. The images, shock language, headlines, they are thought about to  get our attention. They need to be shocking, scary and attention grabbing, so I buy the paper, watch the news or click the link. Yet, no responsibility is taken for how, we, the people receiving this, now have to handle and process this. And it's not just once a day, like when I was a child, when the news would come on at 6, and if you wanted you could watch what happend in the world that day, it's now every couple of minutes, whether that's a news ads, images from news papers being stuck on shop windows, headlines being pasted all over fb and social media, or even people you know, choosing to share negative stories from the day. I don't even think the news is news anymore. A lot is opinion, headlines to get your attention that aren't about anything happening, just a topic of conversation. The fact that you have news channels competing for our attention, means of course they will do what they need to get our attention. 

It started to make me think the world is going crazy. More things are happening, more bad is in the world. But I've decided, this is not so. Instead, we are hearing the same thing, over and over in the day, that we cannot escape it, so it becomes how and what we think and see. Here's an annoying example. I recently bought a new laptop. While trying to install some software, I had to connect to the Internet so it could connect to windows. Laptops these days, now come with your home screen being live news reports and headlines. So when you are connected to the Internet, which most of the time we are, you are FORCED to see images and words that even if you did not seek out to see, you now have in your brain, your thoughts and now you need to think about it. I think this is very wrong, and that's where I think, although there is stuff making news, where do my choices come in? I'm forced now to know what's going on, who's died, what disease is spreading, I'm forced to think and be negative when all I wanted was to install publisher 2007 on my laptop to make my magazine. That's where I believe the news/Internet etc is as responsible at causing terror and fear as the people/topics they report about. When do I get break so I can live in my reality and not have to constantly be forced to think of these issues. I don't think that's being selfish and or unrealistic. But I cannot take on board every news article, and I am being forced to. I had to avoid fb and instGram for a really long time, as people on there were sharing links of sad or bad news. What about just writing funny status updates and sharing a picture of your dog or two???!! Part of the problem Is devices like smart phones. We didn't have these not that long ago, so having one means there is more chance of hearing something or seeing something as you are connected to the Internet and millions of people at every moment your phone is turned on. 
Don't get me wrong, technology and the Internet, do have an important role to play and are life saving and changing, but with every good there are faults. 

I guess to conclude, ive had to work really really had to get out of the horror I was living the past 4 months. Thank goodness morning sickness has settled, so that's helped my fight, but I really was frightened and living with so much fear, sadness and negativity, despite my personal life not being filled with those things. I was taking on board these news reports, words and images and because of how often they were forced on me, my brain had no room for reality, had no room to process it and no energy to think positively. The negativity was replacing my positivity and I had to make a huge effort to replace the negativity again. My brain can only handle so much. The two cannot live side by side. Maybe it's just my brain, and it's lack of not being able to function 100% correctly, but I have to do what works and what bring life to me, not what brings me down.

I hope this hasn't made you feel to negative. Instead, if you've been struggling like me, to think positively about the world and your life, perhaps I've given you an idea of what might be bringing you down. Turn off the news. Spend less time on social media. Return to your reality. If you trust in a God, trust God, and now get on with life. That's what I'm choosing to do. And the decision to do so, has given me so much energy and clear thinking. Choosing to say no to the negativity and actively avoid it, actually is life giving, despite how big and necessary we are made to believe it is. 

I don't want you to start thinking negTivly towards people who run the news and media. But for me, I'm not a fan of how they work. They are always negative. Very negative. The news is no longer censored. It's raw and upsetting and we are expected to switch off once they've finished sharing the negativity. There are good people doing good things. Where are they?? Where's the balance? Why do we need to find the good and the bad is just shared with us! They hang out on fb and main stream tv a lot, they print trashy newspapers and love it when your connected to the Internet on smart devices, so maybe use those less if your finding like me, life was looking miserable. Because my life is this, I live in Ringwood. I have a son and a husband. I have a baby I'm dying to meet growing inside of me. I like sewing and baking. I have picnics. I make a handmade magazine. We spread news as well. News on now to make cake. News on wonderful people. News on how to make bunting. Anything and everything is news. I'm choosing to fill my life with positive, happy news, as I will then feel positive and happy. We are controlled by what fills our lives. We become what fills our lives. If it's negativity, we become negative. It's simple. I didnt know this. But now that I look back I can see it. 

Hope you can to!

P.S I do hope this does not upset or offend anyone. There is crappy news and I'm not saying just get over it or that it's your fault for reading the paper. For some people the news is an important part of their lives. It may bring comfort knowing whats going on. But I've had to identify what's been bringing me down, and it's the unhealthy amount I am exposed to this information. It's in my face more than my choice to buy a newspaper or watch the 7oclock report. We are only human. We cannot understand everything. We are controlled by our emotions. At some point, for some of us, like me, too much of one emotion, in this case negativity, can rid us of life. It becomes our lives and I cannot live that way anymore. And this post is sharing how I learnt about it for me and how you may be being affected as well. If your not, then hooray for you and your ability to think calmy and logically and keep living in your reality. I've got a long way to go to get there. I don't even know how I will maintain this positivity but I've got to try for my sake and my families. Life's good. Can't they show that on the news!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Things I want to make this year.

Hello again. It's February and I have no idea what I did with January. It has inspired me to spend the rest of the year a bit more productively. So I wrote this list. This is a creative list. A list of things I want to make. Things I've already started, some almost finished, some no more than an idea. If they don't get done this year, that's ok! But I really do have lots of time so would love to end the year with a few being ticked off! Sharing it with you I thought, might just inspire you, but also it's good to share ideas so I can be reminded and encouraged! Ok, here it is in no particular order...

#Make a new backpack. I've had the fabric ready for a few years, just need to make it!
#A camera bag for my new camera I bought myself with Christmas money
#Finish crocheting a granny square camera strap
#More dresses with button up fronts
#Dresses with zips, more fitted, perhaps from a pattern!!
#Make more issues of Hundreds and Thousands magazine with Mezz
#A teepee for Percy using my vintage Childrens fabric
#Work on my box of clothes to be mended, altered, changed
#Crochet a triangle bunting like this one. Love the ric rac. Found this in a knitting book called The Gentle Art of Knitting by Jane Brocket
#Make more felt balls to then make this with. Found at Stef Collections
#Make Percy homemade natural, safe paint
#Finish our bedroom curtains
#Cover our couch cushions in bright vintage fabric
#Make dates for more craft workshops at Unwind Craft Cafe
#A paper doily bunting for the entrance hall at home
#Work on my cuckoo clock decoupage with vintage wallpaper and other pretty paper scraps from magazines
#Add to our potholder mat
#Make plans for my dress swap to get started
#Make a decision about whether or not I will start selling dresses again

I might not do any of these and might do a whole lot of other things, but I'd just like this year to be a creative one!
Any lists your working on for this year?

Taz x

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Upside down plum cake

Hello again.

I'm back and with another recipe. This time using home grown plums. My mother in law has a plum tree and on our last visit there, I was invited to pick as many as I wanted. For everyone I picked to take home, I ate another. They were so good. So, I thought I'd make a cake with some of the plums and this is the result. 


Upside down plum cake.

You will need:
75gm melted butter
200ml rice malt syrup or honey
2 eggs
200ml milk
2 generous splashes of vanilla extract
200gm spelt flour or regular flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
about 10 fresh plums

Preheat oven to 180C. 
Line a round cake tin with baking paper. 
Cut your plums in half and remove the pips.
Lay the plums, cut side facing down, on the base of your tin, until covered.
Sift the baking soda and flour into a large bowl. 
Add all the other ingredients then the melted butter.
Mix well.
Pour this mixture over the plums and smooth.
Bake in the oven for 45 min or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let it sit in the tin for 30 minutes before turning onto a plate.
Eat warm or cold with lots and lots of cream!

So if you have a plum tree, a mother in law with a plum tree or know where to get good quality plums, this is a delicious way to use them. I'd love to know if you make this! 
What ways do you like to eat plums?? I'm thinking a plum ice cream will be next!

See you soon,


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Take time for tea.

I received some very useful advice today. I was told (in a lovely way), to take time for my tea. Tea drinking was supposed to be enjoyed as a ceremony, and its been a little forgotten. Tea is now as quick and instant as ever, and we usually have it on the go. There's always a half empty cup around the house, often left there because of how busy and distracted we are. Tea is such a healing thing, both physically and mentally. But only really when we take time for it.

I was told to take time choosing the type of tea you want to drink. There are hundreds of lovely herbal teas out there, or just your normal black tea, but take the time to choose.

Choose a teacup. Take a moment to find one that's dainty and sweet. One that makes the whole experience a bit more special.

Take time to make your tea in a pot rather than straight out of the kettle. The action of pouring and straining the tea from a teapot is part of the healing and relaxing experience. Even choose a tea cosy that you like. All of this takes a bit more time and effort, but your able to then experience tea for the wonderful thing it is.

And the best bit, drink the tea, sitting down, with your feet up. Don't walk around pottering, but make an effort to sit. Sounds funny, but its so hard these days to force ourselves to actually stop and sit. And putting your feet up just makes the experience even more wonderful!

So I did this today. I chose an organically grown loose leaf spearmint tea. Chose a lovely teacup and saucer and made a pot. I sat and sipped it slowly, with my feet up. I watched the tea as I strained it into the tea cup. I smelt the tea and tried (with a toddler running around) to focus on nothing but the tea. It was lovely and 1 hour later, found myself ready to get up. Im hoping to try do this a few ties a day. Maybe not as long, but choosing to stop and make the tea the only thing going on.

You may love the way you have your tea already, but if you find the time, even if for 5 minutes, try a few of these tips just so you can enjoy the tea a different way.

What's your favourite tea?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pics from our annual seaside holiday.

I have finally gotten round to taking the photos off my camera from our Rosebud holiday so now I can share the summery pics with you! 


And here's some of my favourite finds from the trip..

this cute handmade brooch

this pretty handmade skirt made from linen, from a fab shop in Dromana called Felix

this opshopped dress

opshopped tins and cutlery.

Did you go away over new years or are you still planning to go anywhere? I love the seaside, so am always excited about heading to Rosebud each year with my family.

See you soon,


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Strawberry Sour Cream Cake

I've done my first bit of baking for the year, and it's delicious. I had strawberry jam and sour cream lying around, as well as really wanting to eat something sweet, so I got baking!

The original recipe comes from this website. But I changed the recipe, as I like to do, and came up with this one. I baked mine in a loaf tin but you can do a round cake tin if you like!

Strawberry Sour Cream Cake

You will need:
125 gm softened butter
1/2 cup rice malt syrup or honey
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
zest of one orange
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup strawberry jam plus a few extra dollops
a few fresh strawberries, sliced (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 160C fan-forced.
Grease and line your tin with baking paper so that it extends over the long sides.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and syrup together until smooth and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat them through then add the vanilla.
Scrape down the sides and beat again.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients into the big bowl and mix on low.
Add ⅓ of the sour cream and mix on low.
Continue like this until the dry ingredients and sour cream have been mixed in.
Stir in the orange zest.
Spread a 1/3 of the batter in the tin. 
Spread half the jam over the batter.
Spread another 1/3 of cake batter, then the rest of the jam, then the last of the cake batter.
Dollop some jam ontop and with a skewer swirl around. 
Place slices of fresh strawberry ontop.
Bake the loaf for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Slice and enjoy!
P.S If you have some while it's still warm the jam is all gooey and sauce like. Its very good.

Have you done any baking this year yet?


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello hello!

Oh my goodness, its been quite a while since my last post. I'm sorry! To both you if you read this blog and to me, as I really do enjoy this space. I hope to find more time and energy to blog here. I'm pretty excited about this post, and think for my first for 2015, its a wonderful way to start both the blogging and the year! We have just got back from our holiday in Rosebud(a post and pics to come) and I was delighted to see a package waiting for me. I knew who from, I've been expecting it. Zara and myself decided to do a dress swap with each other and it was her dress for me!!! How fabulous and exciting. We decided to basically, make each other a dress, and send it to one another. Lovely hey! Her dress for me is so pretty, and lovely Zara used a pattern which I think is just so clever. The style is perfect for summer both loose and belted up! It really is the perfect dress for me, and the fabric is wonderful. I knew it would be. She has a very good eye for vintage prettiness.

Love the vintage button!

Yay, giant pockets!

The card Zara sent me, a photo she took of her amazing vintage sheet stash!

Belted up..

Loose, perfect for hot days we are having!

I was pretty excited to make Zara's dress because I knew just how much she would love and appreciate the vintage sheet I chose! I'm pretty happy and proud!

Her little bundle of goodies in the mail!

So ive started the new year making, giving and wearing a one of a kind, handmade dress. I don't really think it can get much better than that. Its got me all excited and inspired to perhaps host a dress swap here on my blog! The joy of making and receiving something so personal, totally for the person is wonderful! Let me know if you think it would be something you would like to take part in! I will probably go ahead with it anyway haha, Zara and I already planning another swap together anyway, but the more ladies making, giving and wearing handmade, the better!

Happy new year to you all, and I hope yours can be a handmade one someway or the other!

Taz xx