Category Archives: Thinking

thoughts on life and people, inspiring quotes or tweets, things that have caught my attention

Oops, fell off the healthy wagon

So i was doing sort of ok with the healthy thing… Haven’t managed another run yet, but have done lots of walking in the days and have been on the ijoyride.

Until today, when i met Val for lunch and had pie and mash, and then the trains were shocking on the way home and i was already late from work and picking up some tap covers for my parents, so got McDonalds and ate it on the way, and tomorrow when I have a play to get to so will be having fast food on the train again. Oops.

However, as I’m still on said train I’m not going to beat myself up about it, small steps are the way forward and I’m definitely starting to make small changes. Stairs at work, less chocolate, less Pepsi max…

On the sanity front, I have managed to do housework and craft this week too… At the expense of phoning people, but sometimes I really do just want to go to bed with cross stitch.

Work is completely mad and the days are flying past…  Sad news of the week is that Rob is no longer adopting my family’s cat – my uncle decided he actually liked Shadow and wanted him to stay. Also had a pesty letter from the doctor which I won’t elaborate on but will be keeping an eye on :s

So there we are, a not very interesting round up of my week so far to pass the time while I wait for this train to eventually get me home… Hope yours are more exciting, dear readers!

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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

As we say goodbye to 2011

I have a proper roundup post coming, but there’s no way I’ll finish it tonight so I thought I’d better do a quick post instead! I’m up in Nottingham and we’re going to head out for drinks at a friend’s house to see in the new year, which will be lovely :)

On a quick sprint through The List, I can now cross off:

319 Replace light bulb in hallway (I tried, I was too short, Dad did it for me)

318 Replace air filter in MR2 (on Boxing Day)

311 Participate in internet swaps (the curiosity project in September and at Christmas)

281a Incorporate my alter-ego’s behaviour and style into my life (heehee, Lotta is good for me)

252 Keep a stock of cards for birthdays, anniversaries etc (now I just need to remember to send the bloody things at the right times!)

204 Keep website and blogs updated (duckingfabulous.co.uk is now this site and I’m doing ok with the blog. Project Pin Up could be better but I have Plans for it in 2012)

168 Get a subscription to a magazine – I’ve subscribed to Cloth to keep me entertained and busy when the new sewing machine arrives in my life

101 and 102 organise and decorate new flat beautifully, unusually and craftily

Not bad! I hope your 2011 has been as mostly fabulous as mine has been, thank you for being part of it and I hope that your 2012 is even better!

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Filed under Absorbing, Blogging, Recording, Thinking

This weekend I have mostly been…

Buying: Christmas decorations, presents, food

Reading: The Wheel of Time

Listening to: Christmas songs!

Visiting: friends, Selfridges, John Lewis, Primark

It’s been a lovely weekend, although I’ve missed my laptop – we went to a carol service my friend Caroline was singing in on Thursday evening, and I’ve stayed in London ever since… Friday night spent shopping and eating in the new Westfield shopping centre at Stratford, Saturday at Spitalfields and Selfriges (complete with the random guy in boxers ambling around the menswear department), Santalash (600 Santas on a pub crawl, started 5 years ago in aid of the hospital where Julia’s brother was being treated for cancer) on Saturday night and a lazy Sunday with brunch (at 2pm!) and shopping and a massive roast dinner in the evening.

The evening’s films of choice have rapidly deteriorated now… we’re watching (well, I’m not really) Bruno, lol – I’m finding it more weird than funny but apparently this is because I’m not watching it properly!

Lovely though it’s been, four days of being with people all the time has definitely made me appreciate just how much I love living on my own!

Hope you’ve all had fabulous weekends – despite my grumpy stint today resembling the Grinch, I’m looking forward to next week, then Christmas, then New Year… eeee :)

Happy Sunday night!

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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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Decisions, freedom and infinite possibility…

I am typing this on the train, sitting next to a woman with an ipad and an iphone. I feel a strange mixture of clunky (my laptop is ENORMOUS in comparison and I don’t have mobile broadband) and smug (I can type so much faster and more accurately than she can, mweeheehee).

The last few weeks have changed my life, overwhelmingly for the better. For various reasons I can’t talk about any of those reasons in detail, but one of the net results is that I have signed up for a season ticket loan for a train ticket, which means I’ll be at work for at least another year. This will give me time to get my finances straight and live my life a little without worrying so much about the future and what’s round the next corner (in the job and finances side of life, anyway).

Secondly, I have decided to put my shop plans on hold for the foreseeable future and concentrate on making things for fun and learning, rather than pressurising myself. The same with vintage homewares and clothing – I’ll buy them for me or for presents, and I’ll continue to research them and blog about my finds because I find them fascinating, but I need to remove the pressure for a while so I can focus on other things.

2012 contains, among other plans, my best friend’s wedding, my parents’ long awaited move into their new home and another rally, closely followed by a Canada trip to watch ice skating in early 2013, so now is not a good time to be starting up. Quite apart from the fact that although I know I’m capable of running a business, my finances are most definitely not, and I’m not sure I’m yet ready to sacrifice my social life in favour of it.

Thirdly, but possibly most importantly, after the weekend that’s just passed I am left with a feeling of happiness, peace, freedom and infinite possibility. My sense of self is fully restored and my inner pin up is well on her way to being part of my everyday life! Although I am never taking a train that far again – driving is SO much more fun and less hassle!

So I’m going to make the most of feeling like that, use the sense of purpose to get my flat and my life in order, and then focus on doing fun stuff… and blogging about it all, of course!

Sorry, this is somewhat of a stream-of-consciousness post, but it does feel good to write it down rather than just have it floating around in my head! A little part of me still can’t quite believe I’ve come this far and made this life for myself. When I look back to how I was four short years ago, and realise just how much I love my ‘new’ life… I wonder how the Carla I am now and the Carla I was then can possibly be the same person. I wouldn’t go back now if you paid me, I love who I’ve become and everything that I do. It’s amazing, empowering and really rather lovely. Ok, enough of the soppy crap now.

Right. Before you all throw up, I’m going to get off the train and go and make sausages and chips for dinner :)

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Filed under Blogging, Collecting, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Planning, Recording, Thinking, Thrifting, Vintage

Working from home, with ice cream

I spent far too long at the station this morning, trying in vain to get on a train to work.

Having established I could work from home, I went to Asda. The sky was absolutely beautiful….

DSCF4940

DSCF4943 Then I decided to console myself with the special-offer Haagen Dazs. So after lunch (marmite toast) I dug into both of these. Happy days!

 

DSCF4944 DSCF4945

It was surprisingly relaxing being at home and working from my sofa under a big snuggly blanket – not as social as the office, but I did get my work done! :) And now, no commute, so I can blog and chill out before making dinner. It’s enough to make me want to work from home all the time!

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Filed under Photography, Recording, Thinking, Week in pictures

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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