ME! And you know what, I think that's ok. It's like extreme mindfulness: if you live for the present, enjoy what you've got and let things happen around you, there's not really anything to worry about. Not that I haven't ever striven for things, and enjoyed the thrill of success - I have, in my own directionless way. It's just that I've never been a big planner. In fact, I think the only big thing I've ever done absolutely intentionally was get pregnant. You know, you're at uni, half-arsedly trying to convince the world you're the next big West End thing, and then you wake up one morning, having just been told you can't have children because of PCO, and you realise that the ONLY thing you actually want in the whole wide world is a little girl of your own? Being totally stubborn, I managed that one - here she is, about 17 years ago at a festival, (left) learning to be the free-spirited, confident and open minded creature that he is now (right). (Photo credit www.wyvernphotography.com)
Nope, that wasn't a typo. Yes, I stubbornly achieved the little girl I wanted, but then the universe howled with laughter and gave me the most beautiful transgender teenager in the world, so now I have this totally amazing young man in my house instead. Sticking two fingers up at the sniggering universe, I embraced that situation as confirmation that plans are useless to me, and laughed right back in its face. I might talk more about sometime...but for now, it's just one of the random occurrences, and it really makes no difference. It's true, you really do just want them to be happy.
So, having succeeded in my one true quest and abandoned any vague ideas I had harboured about a career in the theatre, I found myself very much wanting to concentrate on bringing up my amazing homemade human being. A couple of years of being at home, all earth-motherly, creating a world of stories and playtime and friends and growing food and just being, and then it became clear we needed some more income. Random happenstance intervened and a good friend happened to mention the local pre-school were hiring. With no previous intention of going into childcare but a lot of enthusiasm for the amazing sponginess of toddlers - wow aren't they incredible?! my Mikey and all his little friends just lit me up about being with small people - I waltzed along and got myself a part time job. A college course and an NVQ later and that was that. Random career. Ta-daaaa!
But I've got a busy brain. So I need other stuff to keep it occupied. There are things I've always done, like am-dram, a few of our be-costumed moments above!) playing guitar, exercising, exploring my little portion of the world, going to festivals, reading anything I can get my hands on. Amongst all that I randomly happened on sewing and Bags of Loveliness was born. (you can read a bit about that here). And then I got addicted to running and being healthy. And then I got addicted to crochet. And then I got (rather horrifyingly) addicted to Pokemon Go...And because I don't have A Plan, I can just enjoy doing all those things as and when I feel like picking them up, and pause them if something else comes along. I think it's ok to just go where the world takes you - literally or figuratively. That's what I've done, and despite some setbacks (I really suck at adult relationships, hands up, but I'm working on that!) I'm pretty happy with my life.
Today, I'm find myself with an empty house and no pressures to go anywhere or do anything. So I'm going to noodle around with my new alphabet stamps and some fabric paints and work on an idea that I've cooked up with a friend for a new product for the shop. I'm working on a compact wet and dry bag to help make toddler toilet training less stressy - a double zipped pouch, one side lined with waterproof lining for 'accident' pants, and the other side for clean dry clothes, so you can dispense with the nappy-bags full of wet undies and cut down on waste, because that's always good, right? At least, that's my plan for the day. Unless something else crops up, of course!
So, do you have a plan? Are you where you thought you'd be? Do you embrace the random? You should, it's fun! Happy days everyone,
...by sewing a simple hanging toilet roll holder. Yep. 30 minutes. Even if you haven't done much sewing. It's very very simple! Dive in, pick a fabric to fit your bathroom, or one the shows off your very favourite thing, and get going! Bathroom decor made easy.
And that's it! Fill your hanger with spare rolls, and be properly proud of what you and your sewing machine accomplished every time you visit the bathroom!
If you make one of these, I'd love to hear about it in the comments, and I'm always on hand to answer any questions about any given step of the instructions :)
One Sunday morning quite recently I was sewing away, having a wonderful time, when I received a message via Etsy requesting help with a very very special custom order.
A really lovely lady, let's call her S, was about to fulfil her lifelong wish to own a mini dachshund puppy, and was having the devil's own time finding a dog-carrier to suit her. She wanted something soft and comfortable so that the pup could feel close to her when she carried him around, but strong and practical enough so that he would be safe and supported when travelling in it. S had already ordered, been disappointed by, and returned multiple dog carriers...Could I help, S asked? Why yes, I said! And here's how the process worked, from start to finish.
This bag was discussed and ordered on the 15th, and on the 16th I'd provisionally finished. Super fast, no? I sent S photos of the bag, and she was then able to request an extra 'extension' for the snap-fastening closure flap, for if the pup grew and needed more space. Again, no problem, I said.
I'm impressed with how neat the bag's looking now, even though I hear Papageno's been testing his teeth on it!
And I feel really lucky to have been able to work on S with this project, and in doing so to have made a new friend - I hope very much to meet Papageno one day soon.
If you've got a special bag you'd like to be made, contact me. Or leave me a comment below if you just want to talk about puppies. Or bags. Or anything, really :)
I buy pretty fabrics and make stuff...