Monday, 15 October 2018

I'm Fine - Here and Now in October!

We were out on Saturday night to another fabulous village event - a fund raiser for the local branch of the NSPCC where my friend Sarah was performing with her stage partner Ros as the totally brilliant Pulsatillas. On arrival Sarah greeted me and asked how I was. "I'm fine" was my reply and Sarah laughed... "Really? We've got a song about that tonight". And it's true isn't it. How often do we say we are fine when actually we are struggling with something or another. To be honest it has been a long time since I've been absolutely fine. Some of the things that are going on I have written about here over the year, other things not and if you ask me I'll say I'm fine. Because that is what we do. But I heard something else on Saturday. One of the customers in the cafe left us with a little quotation:
"Always be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" attributed to Plato
And I thought that is true too... so be kind because behind the words "I'm fine" there might be all sorts of struggles going on.

Which is by way of an introduction to a post about finding some mindfulness and meditation in our day to day life which came about from reading a lovely blog called Dolly Henry from where I found a  "Here and Now" link up from Say! Little Hen. I'm not sure I'll manage to join in every month but it seemed a good way to stop and reflect on what is good now and then!


Loving// this new little book from Beth Kempton. Last year everything was about Hygge but I suspect it won't be long before we are all talking about Wabi Sabi, a Japanese concept that is about appreciating simple beauty in the world around us, appreciating the passage of time and imperfection as well appreciating the here and now. Or at least that is my interpretation which is rather apt  for this post. I'm certainly appreciating the feel of this beautiful little book in my hand.


Eating// far too many of these little raspberry Friands. Similar to a French Financier, they are a little cake popular in Australia and New Zealand made from almonds, egg whites, butter and icing sugar. They are easy to make and easy to eat with lovely light fruity centres and slightly crispy edges. And they are rather delicious!


Feeling// cosy indoors on a second day of continuous rain. We didn't get a weekend walk yesterday, only the usual dog walks but made the most of being indoors, catching up with jobs around the house


Making// a scarf. Having a day at home meant I was able to finish this scarf which I have been making for far too long. It was meant as a birthday present for my daughter-in-law except her birthday was in September... the beginning of September! Fortunately she is lovely and pointed out it had been far too warm for wearing a scarf yet so it would be perfect timing for when it was finished. Despite looking very complicated it is just a simple repeating pattern of decreases and increases in garter stitch but using two different colour balls of variegated yarn. You can find the free pattern here. I'm on the look out for something else to knit now that evenings are drawing in.


Thinking// of new ways to generate income from my creative work, which doesn't actually feel very mindful or "here and now" just stressful. I seem to have totally bombed with the patterns for my embroidery hoops and have only made two sales. Maybe they are too expensive... but I did a lot of price comparison beforehand... or maybe they are not what people want or like, who knows? But they haven't been a success story. Megan from Dolly Henry made the point that the pressure from trying to generate an income from creative work and constantly coming up with new ideas is actually enormous.

Dreaming// about a holiday and being able to generate enough income to go away next year... either that or hope the house finally sells! I'm not complaining - we had a glorious couple days in Elafonisos for my Son's wedding this summer but it has been three years since our last proper holiday together. It would be good just to get away for a break.
But do you know what... I'm fine!

Linking up with Sarah for October's Here and Now























36 comments:

  1. A lovely , thoughtful post. Stiff upper lip Brits are we...definitely all is fine :). Liking the sound of that Japanese books and the gorgeous scarf. I’m looking for something different to knit. I’m in a bit of a sock knitting rut at the moment, not that that isn’t pleasant. Fine even! Hope your creativeness makes lots of money, it really should. B x

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    1. Thank you Barbara. I've discovered a whole bag of yarn that I bought as a kit for a sweater, years ago... I cast it on last night! Xx

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  2. Lovely to have discovered your blog through the Here & Now links, Gina. Your embroidery is lovely! (I must pop back later on and have much more of a look at all your embroidery projects!) The colours in your scarf are gorgeous and I like the zigzag pattern to it very much. Meg:)

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments Meg. Hope you come back again xx

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  3. This is a lovely post Gina. Your creative work always looks so lovely.
    And yes, that is so true that it is a good idea to be mindful that others may be struggling and a gentle word might go a very long way.
    I've taken this year to be more mindful, meditate, practice yoga and all sorts of things that might be good for me. It hasn't done any harm that's for sure.

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    1. Thank you Tracy. I think we could all benefit from being more mindful x

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  4. A gorgeous scarf, beautifully done. It is hard to earn a reasonable income from creative work I think, but people do, and I think resilience is a big part of it. I hope things work out for you and that you find something you enjoy doing that is also profitable. CJ xx

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    1. Thank you CJ, it's not an easy road to make money from creative businesses but having another part time job helps! Xx

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  5. I hadn't realised that since moving into my flat, I have been living the 'Wabi Sabi' life. I have made a note of the book and will look out for it.
    Those raspberry cakes look delicious. I'm on my way to bed but they've made my mouth water.
    Love the scarf - the colours and pattern are so attractive. What a shame about the embroidery hoop patterns. Maybe as Christmas approaches interest might grow. Good luck, anyway.

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  6. There's so much to enjoy about this post...a lovely scarf, delicious-looking Raspberry Friands which I just must learn to make, and Wabi Sabi.

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    1. Thank you... the friands are very easy and there are lots of recipes online.

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  7. What a gorgeous scarf ... very Missoni!!
    And you know what Gina, I hope you really are fine very, very soon!

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    1. Thanks Vivienne. Things will work out one way or another before too long... they always do! Xx

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  8. Hi Gina! I loved reading your Here and Now and feel very flattered at the mentions you have given my little blog - thank you! :-) I confess I have never had a Friand but they look delicious and I must add it to my list of things to try! I heard of Wabi Sabi from a friend a little while ago and I thought the two words sounded fun, especially when I said them out loud! Don't lose heart with your work and patterns Gina, they are beautiful! Sometimes things just take time. I looked at your Etsy shop, your hoop designs are wonderful and they aren't too expensive at all. Megan xx

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    1. Thank you Megan for your kind words and generous feedback! You have a lovely blog xx

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  9. I really enjoyed reading your thoughtful post Gina (I would kill for one of those friands just now!). I am not speaking from experience but I imagine generating income from art is never easy. Art takes time and time is costly but the market demands rock bottom prices because this is what people are used to from mass produced throw away stuff.

    I love your scarf, one of my favourite patterns ever, I have made three altogether. A joy to knit and the result looks far more sophisticated than the simplicity of the pattern repeat might suggest. Have a lovely week. x

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    1. I just feel the urge now and then to voice how difficult it can be at times. I sometimes get the impression that people think a career in something creative is all fun. Which it is a lot of the time but it's a hard slog too!
      I think I may have originally found the pattern for that scarf on your blog. I might have to make one for myself now! I hope your week is good with lovely things in the post x

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  10. Funny that I’ve been very conscious of this since my Myasthenia diagnosis. In fact it’s getting a bit of a pain when colleagues at work see I’m back in and the question is always the same “are you better now?” Although I have to say I’m starting to take a perverse pleasure in not giving the expected “yes I’m fine” but instead saying “No and not am I likely to be”. If nothing else it’s a great way of doing my little bit to spread aware of Myasthenia Gravis! But even that simple pleasure is starting to wear thin.

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    1. I do think it is that assumption that because you are not actually complaining about something then everything must be okay that gets me. Like I say we all have our own battles, big or small, and none of us really know what others have to put up with... so the only answer is to be kind! 😁

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  11. I think you're right to voice the difficulties of making a living from one's creativity. If only people did buy from sources they knew rather than buying all the plastic gimmicky things (another story entirely). I hope you have some luck with selling your house soon. It's a difficult time all round at the moment I feel. I love your embroidery hoop patterns but sadly I'm not doing that kind of sewing anymore or I would be investing. Keep going, you'll get there. xx

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  12. Once your house sells, you can open a new chapter, but that waiting in limbo ...
    Four years almost since we (sold! and) moved here. FB is bringing up posts and reminding me of the step by step, now kindly and gratefully blurred by time passed.

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    1. I think you are right Diana, it is the uncertainty as much as anything that I'm finding difficult. Looking forward to that new chapter!

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  13. I know we keep saying it, but we must meet up! xx

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    1. That would be lovely, it's been too long!

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  14. Oh wow, that scarf looks amazing, Gina! I thought it was woven when I first looked at it. What a clever pattern. It's going to look fabulous when it's finished, such a lovely gift.
    Thank you joining in Here & Now! It was so lovely to discover you blog and I really enjoyed your post.
    Selling patterns isn't easy, there are so many reasons that particular ones do or don't sell. I haven't got it all figured out yet, either :-)
    All the best,
    Sarah x

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    1. Thank you Sarah! It was fun joining in this month and I will try to do it again x

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  15. Firstly - please hand me a friand, they look delicious. Secondly, I loved your honesty and openness through the post. I've gotten better at not saying 'i'm fine' of late but then I do wonder if people really want me to be ranting about whatever is not fine....but I continue anyway!
    Making money from things you are passionate about can be hard. Creative stuff seems like it would be a tough slog. No words of wisdom but sending virtual support.
    Uncertainty doesn't make things easy either. Take care though and don't 'be fine' if you need. Cheers, Laura

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    1. Thank you Laura! I think you've hit the nail on the head. People don't want to hear other people's tales of woe... but we all have them. Xx

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  16. The scarf is gorgeous and the little cakes look very tempting. Such a shame embroidery hoop sales have been disappointing. Sadly, I can't offer any advice as I'm about as creative as our dog. Hope those dreams of a holiday become reality. You never know!

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    1. Okay... you really made me laugh with "as creative as my dog"! Always lovely to know regular readers are out there!

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  17. Hope things get better for you soon and you can be "absolutely fine" <3

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