Category Archives: Personal Development

Projects – Checks & Roses, Etc Collective, The List, Ducking Fabulous…

Things that make me happy Thursday – overdue edition!

Ooops, I don’t appear to have done one of these since before Christmas! So, the run up to 2012 and the first couple of weeks of it… They have made me smile muchly…

Catching up with family over the festive break
Having a festive break – in my adult life I’ve never had more than four or five days off in a row due to work, and this year I had ten!
Getting unexpected Christmas presents
Celebrating New Year for the first time in a long time
Experimental cocktails with Rob’s new blender (notes: lime is good in SMALL quantities. Do not always follow the recipes to the letter. It is perfectly acceptable to mix two litres of lychee daiquiri, take it to a party and drink it all yourselves.)
Cooking from a Jamie cookbook. Several times. And succeeding!
Starting 2012 how I’d to continue it
Swapping socks with Holly
Seeing Anna on new years day :)
Enjoying the commute with my new toy
Dan not recognising me from behind because my hair’s so long
Amanda’s zombie app comment
Wearing floral trainers
Two of the girls who keep me sane at work going permanent
A label on a pack of ibuprofen tablets instructing me to remove all packaging before microwaving. Sure.
Catching up with Val via email
Making my resolutions/hopes/thoughts/dreams list for the year ahead

From the sublime to the mundane to the ridiculous and back again!

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Filed under Baking, Christmas, Family, Friends, Happy Thursdays, Laughing, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Technology and gadgets, Thinking

Hello 2012 – we’re going to get on famously

This will have to be quick, because I should have been in bed half an hour ago… oh, how I have really not missed the 5.30am starts at all over the break!!

I’m starting 2012 in an incredibly happy, uplifted and motivated frame of mind. I am surrounded by people I love who love me, I have my little haven of a flat and my much adored Poppy-car, changes at work in the last couple of months of 2011 mean I’m much happier there than I thought possible to begin with, and I’m ridiculously lucky that my main stresses are usually that I have too many people and fun things to fit into my social life. Terrible, isn’t it?!

But genuinely, I’m very lucky and well aware of this fact. I’m also intending and hoping for 2012 to be my best year yet… full of all the things I love to do, all the people I love to see and empty (or emptier, at least) of things that make me sad and stressed out. I’m not completely in la la land, I know that various things will be impossible and hard and tearful through the year, but right now things are rosy and I intend to make the absolute most of that.

Things I am muchly looking forward to this year:

Julia’s wedding ~ this is the big one, my best friend and twin soul is getting married on 7th July and I CANNOT WAIT! I’m honoured to have been chosen as one of her bridesmaids and I’ll do everything I can to make sure her big day is perfect.

USA road trip ~ a road trip round the southern states with my parents that we have been talking about doing for close to ten years, we’re flying out to Texas on 9th February and I’m so excited I can barely breathe!

CAE 2012 ~ Camping Auto Extravaganza with the ROC boys and girls is always a highlight of the calendar – this will be my third one, and each one makes me marvel that a bunch of people who only met each other because of their cars can be such very good friends and have such an awesome time.

Neverwhere ~ one of my favourite books by the awesome Neil Gaiman, and my best friend Lou of Contrariety Rose has been working on the costumes for the play for months and months. I’m off to see it on 20th January and am very excited!

Goodwood Revival ~ another one of those things I’ve been threatening to do for ages, Lou & Paul said they’d like to go and much to my surprise so did Rob when I mentioned it the other day… and dressed vintage too! So I’m hoping we’ll get to do that in September… fingers crossed!

My 26th birthday ~ not a traditional landmark I know, but I feel like I’m hitting my prime, and will be taken more seriously once I’m in my late twenties, and I’m hoping to celebrate with lots of friends and lots of family.

Unofficial Ireland rally with Rat Patrol, Team Allegro and Bucket of Doom ~ Assuming we actually manage to get this organised, I would completely adore to see the others again. I am perfectly prepared to abandon the idea of a banger and just go in Poppy if that’s the only way I can afford to go (as the £250 banger car spending limit would probably pay for most of my petrol and camping costs, lol). I’ve missed those guys!

And last but not least, launching Teasets to Typewriters, rejuvenating Ducking Fabulous jewellery as part of that and hopefully becoming involved with a new website, What Simon Said, with a friend I met on the rally and have kept in touch with via Twitter. I have many, many goals this year… some of them are listed on the 2012 Things page of this site, which can be found on the tabs at the top.

So, enough photo-free waffling from me – it’s been wonderful blogging and tweeting and ‘meeting’ people (I’m mostly looking at you, @craftyguider,@fairlyairyfairy@meanyjar, @CraftyThINKer, @MissJimJams, @ShhimUK, @LucyMoose ) in 2011, and I hope the friendship and support continues into 2012 and beyond! Happy 2012… enjoy it!

xx

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Business Wafflings, Collecting, Creating, Driving, Family, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Lists, Love and Stuff, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Planning, Poppy, Projects, Recording, ROC, Thinking, Travelling, USA Road Trip 2012

Hey… it’s nearly Christmas!

Quite how it’s got to be 13 December without my noticing and making a massive song and dance about Christmas, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the weather. Yep, we’ll blame the unseasonal lack of snow, ice and general cold misery that usually characterises December in England.

However, it does mean it’s almost Christmas. Now I am usually a Christmas fanatic – I love it! I love the build up, the songs, the decorations, the food, the preparation, the licence to wear glitter during the day, the ridiculous novelty earrings – the lot!

This year, a lot of this seems to have passed me by – I’ve been so busy with all the things I do that I’d barely noticed it was December! I have managed to put up my wreath, thought I’ve not yet had time to make another one and post a tutorial; I have decorated my little Christmas tree but haven’t put many of the rest of my decorations up yet; and I’ve been to two Christmas dinners and one Christmas party. So I’m not doing too badly, but I need to up my dose of the Christmas spirit!

So, some things (not all Christmas related!) to do before the 25th:

Put up the rest of my decorations ~ Decide what to wear ~ Buy token gifts ~ Send out email greetings ~ Make donation to Macmillan (in lieu of presents and cards this year, as we lost my godfather to cancer in July) ~ Go to a carol service ~ Go on the charity SantaLash pub crawl round London ~ organise Julia’s hen weekend ~ research sewing machines ~ research tablets and contracts ~ make some more Christmas jewellery/jewellery to wear at Christmas ~ go skating on one of London’s many outdoor rinks.

Then a few days of peace, and then it’s New Year!

I’m heading up to Nottingham for New Year, which I’m really excited about, especially as I haven’t celebrated it for about three years now. While the rest of the world (or so it seems) parties, I usually curl up with a blanket, wine, a really good book and a large tub of Haagen Dazs. Not bad, but I can’t wait for this one! I  will be taking a notebook on the train (I’d prefer to drive but it depends on the weather) to make resolutions and plans for 2012. I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to see some fireworks – I ADORE fireworks even when it’s freezing cold outside!

What are your plans for Christmas? New Year’s Eve? New Year’s Day? I hope that whatever you’re doing, whoever you’re with and however you celebrate, you have a glorious few days :)

All images link back to their original source.

 

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Filed under Blogging, Christmas, Family, Friends, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Personal Development, Recording, Thinking

Brief updates and a proper domain

Having a particularly crazy few weeks at the day job, so please excuse the lack of regular posts. On the plus side, I have finally pulled myself together and transferred my domain over here. So duckingfabulous.co.uk actually refers to all my posts and works properly, rather than just pointing here in a hopeful sort of way. I am ridiculously proud of this, as I worked it out without any guidance at all. *grin*

I’m still hunting for the perfect tablet, so I can blog on the move… no luck yet though. Tempted to hold out for the Kindle Fire, but I like both the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the HTC Flyer very much – guess I’ll see what prices do after Christmas.

Have been nesting a bit, got lots of candles out and am trying to light them in the evenings to make my living room feel cosier. I need a saddle for the ijoyride, it looks too much like a bit of gym equipment in my living room, but I use it little enough as it is – if it moves to the studio I’ll never use it!

Tomorrow’s last day at work for a few days, I have Thursday and Friday off and Anna’s coming down to visit :) Very excited, although feeling a bit guilty – we were going to be going away, but I’m so broke we’re using my flat as a base and doing stuff from there instead. I hope she isn’t disappointed! (although she’s one of the people in the world I could spend a week in a shed with and still have fun!)

Emotions a bit up and down for all sorts of reasons… exhaustion not helping. So on that note, I shall quit waffling and go to bed. Have remembered to take my SD card out of the laptop and put it back in the camera at least, so might even manage some photos later this week!

xx

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Journals…

I’ve been massively inspired by journals lately, and especially art journals. I’ve always loved the idea of recording your life, and probably my only regret in life so far is burning my teen diaries and deleting my typed uni diaries, which I did for reasons I won’t go into here.

There’s something magical about keeping snippets of your life between pages, to be kept and remembered and looked back on in days, weeks, months and years to come, and it also leaves a record for future generations.

I once came across a box full of tiny notebooks in an antique shop, and, intrigued, asked the owner what they were. She said she had another two boxes in storage and they were the handwritten diaries of a young lady who had started, in the twenties, aged 9, to keep a diary each day, and had written faithfully every single day until she died in her 90s. At the time I was still a student, and this collection was on sale for £250 – well out of my price range (although the lovely owner did say I could pay a bit at a time and she’d keep them aside for me, it was still more than I could justify spending on non-necessities at the time. But I sat in that shop for a good couple of hours, reading the living history of this lady who had lived through a war and through unimaginable changes in her world, and had recorded it all, huge world events and things that were important to her (first kiss, meeting a friend for lunch, all sorts) for us to look at.

On my 25th birthday, inspired by that find, I started a five year diary. I’d like to think I’ll keep it up till I’m 30, although I’ve already missed the odd day – I love that it’s laid out so that each year you can see what you wrote the year before, and it’s a small enough book to carry around. My own little piece of magical history.

Recently I’ve also started to see lots of art journals – Ashley at The Creative Place did a fabulous post recently about her completed travel journal, which made me think I could (and should!) do something similar for the rally. I have been meaning to create a scrapbook/journal of my life since just before my 18th birthday – bought the albums but never quite got round to putting things in them. (Actually, with hindsight that’s a good thing, if I’d completed it age 18 it would have been mostly full of my first love… while he is obviously an enormous part of my past, he is entirely unconnected with my recent past, my present and my future, and I feel a journal I make now will reflect that).

I also love the idea of keeping a journal of my creative inspirations – at the moment my laptop and Pinterest serve for those  ‘squee’ moments where I can keep snippets, and this blog records my wafflings and thoughts and other things, but I’d love to have more physical things to look at when I need inspiring. And of course, a diary-journal (as opposed to a scrapbook or a journal for a specific event or trip) would show you how your crafting has grown and shaped and developed over the time you take to complete it.

So this weekend I shall be buying (or repurposing) some box files – they shall live in my studio and into them shall go anything relevant – photos, notes, fabric scraps, labels, broken but significant jewellery… anything that might help shape my journals, and perhaps in 2012 I’ll be able to put them together and make something wonderful to look at.

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Filed under Blogging, Inspiration and inspiring things, Life Plans and Goals, Lists, Personal Development, Photography, Planning, Projects, Recording, Thinking, Writing

Fear and exhilaration in equal measure

** Warning – waffly post, no photos and may not even appear because has been scheduled. My fingers are crossed.

I am having a feel-the-fear-and-do-it-anyway phase in my life at the moment… with a whole plethora of things in both my work and my personal life. Taking the plunge and just doing something, and leaving my comfort zone way behind, seem to be the order of the day.

This is not a bad thing, but it’s not particularly restful either… my naturally fretful side (which is usually eclipsed by the laid back, anything-goes side of my personality, but which does rise to the surface during times of stress) is having an absolute field day worrying and analysing and generally freaking out.

However, I am doing these things regardless and I have to say, afterwards, it’s a fabulous feeling! We’re talking a relatively long list of things ranging from wearing red (proper red) lipstick and a vintage dress to work on dress-down Friday, to starting skating again, to organising the company’s Staff Day (which is a massive undertaking I would have sworn I wasn’t able to do, but have actually managed ok so far, touch wood) to my biggest piece of madness to date, agreeing to go on this utterly mad rally.

It’s going to be exhilarating and freeing and liberating, and it will be a massive sense of achievement when I’ve done it, knowing I can drive abroad and sleep in cars and cope with not knowing the language and be in a different country every day and make new friends and let’s not forget talk to blokes on an even footing (as opposed to melting into a terrified puddle every time one approaches). There are all these positives and I am still terrified.

But sometimes, life really is too short not to do things that scare you. And that kind of mood comes around so infrequently (to me, at least) that I’m embracing it and doing things I definitely wouldn’t normally.

On the list of things I would like to do while this mood continues are things like attend a vintage themed event, set up another collective, this time with a theme (that’s an ongoing project anyway, but is going to take courage and luck to actually launch), finally get my shops back up and running, make a start on the book, read my old diaries, have a jumping lesson (on horseback), drive through London, etc. They’re all quite small individually but looking at the things I’ve done, I do and I want to do, and comparing the girl I am now to the girl I was just a few short years ago makes me realise how far I’ve come and how much I am, now, the girl I want to be.

Here’s to adventure and happiness… and a healthy dose of recklessness! (Hell, I’m in my 20s – it’s practically compulsory!)

What do you do that’s unusual, that scares you or that you know might not be entirely sensible?

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Filed under Absorbing, Adventuring, Driving, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Personal Development, Planning, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Thinking

Things that make me happy Thursday

Ok, so I’ve missed a couple of Thursdays… this week I’ve been ill Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and off work Tuesday and Wednesday, so have had more time than usual to scribble stuff down that makes me happy.

  • Weddings. I love wedding blogs, I love helping to plan my friends’ weddings, I love going to friends’ weddings. They just make me daftly happy!
  • Inspiring business planning with Lou at the weekend – I think between us we might do the kick starting we’re not really managing alone while working full time and juggling all our other commitments.
  • Skating – see previous post, I think I have a new addiction!
  • Daft girlie films – Legally Blondes, Aquamarine, Glee…
  • My blue hair had its first outing and got lots of compliments, this made me happy :)
  • Slapa 2! For those not in the know, Slapa was lovely Les’s car (yep, an MR2, how did you guess?!) which sadly met her demise on a corner in Tuscany… she rolled. Les and Anne got out unhurt but Slapa is no more. This made me incredibly sad, but yesterday they posted that they’ve found a new Slapa, she’s silver and can have the plate transferred – so they’ll be at CAE with a ‘2! :D
  • Christina Perri. I have a bit of a (unrealistic, as I don’t do tattoos lol) style crush and I love Jar of Hearts. Which I very much wasn’t expecting to! Adore the dress she’s wearing in the video as well!
  • The Pinup Body workout. I’ve not been to one of these yet, but Naomi happened to mention it and it looks amazing! Definitely on my to-do list :)
  • A new member for Etc Collective, on the strength of our exhibition – can’t really put into words how happy this makes me. However this also means the pressure is on to find a new exhibition space!
  • My vintage duvet cover – it’s absolutely gorgeous! And fits my floral/vintage room perfectly… and is so much better quality than I could buy new. And has withstood three hot washes without shrinking or damaging or fading. Perfect.

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Filed under Driving, Happy Thursdays, Personal Development, Planning, Thrifting

One day in May

Today in May I had the most hideous migraine… I am unimpressed! Had to take the day off work and lie sadly in a dark room for most of the day – couldn’t have TV on, couldn’t read, couldn’t look at my computer… the light made me flinch :( Only dragged myself outside to go to Asda when I realised I had no more painkillers! Feeling marginally better now but heading to bed very shortly, I’m still not 100% and I have to go in tomorrow, I have so much to do!

I had a glorious car-filled weekend and have come back much happier, calmer and ready to deal with whatever life and the job have to throw at me. Which is a feeling I haven’t had for a very long time – it’s amazing, I feel like I’m finally myself again! Have committed to doing the Rat Rally in September – more about this to follow but it’s going to be SO much fun… and I shall be blogging between now and then and all the way through the rally itself!

On the craft side of things I have finally finished the Checks and Roses website! www.checksandroses.co.uk is live and I hope we’ll have confirmation of our first stall soon – it’s very exciting!

Work is completely insane but when it’s calmed down a bit I’ll post some more :)

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