A plume with a hue

Archive for the tag “embroidery”

Review of my autumn exploration project

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Back in September, I set myself a list of intentions for autumn. You can read about them here:

Now that autumn is transitioning into winter, I thought I would see how this went.

1. Spend a long weekend visiting my daughter. I’m pleased to say I did this and spent Thursday to Sunday in a rented cottaged in Essex, meeting up with my daughter to go for lunch and walks and generally hang out together.

2. Go for a walk in the autumn countryside. We have had a mild autumn in the UK and took the opportunity to do a four mile walk around Westcott in the beautiful Surrey countryside. It was warm and peaceful and made me appreciate the amazing places I have within a short drive.

3. Have a weekend away. My partner and I had a weekend away in Kent where we relaxed in the hotel spa, walked around Godinton Gardens, and went dancing.

4. Go to the theatre. I’m pleased to say I made two visits to the theatre: one to see the musical Come From Away and the other to see The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonough, the latter being one of my favourite plays, emotionally draining and powerful.

5. Read eight books. I’m not sure how many I have read but it is more than eight. This year I set myself a target of 52 books and have so far read 96. I’m now aiming for 100 by the end of the year.

6. Work on and complete the soul4thesoul book. I’ve worked on this but haven’t quite got round to completing it yet. I’m nearly there though with just pages 13 and 14 to finish off, and pages 15 and 16 to start. Find out more about Anne Brooke’s projects here:

7. Master a ballroom dance to a level that gets me round the dance floor. My attendance has been a bit erratic and I can’t seem to get the momentum going. However, I did learn a waltz routine that I particularly liked (and could do!). I would, however, feel a whole lot happier if I could get past the heel turn in the foxtrot.

8. Blog about creative projects. I’m too busy doing them to blog about them. I’ve recently taken up embroidery and slow stitching, and have returned to knitting.

9. Host an evening of dance. I had planned on doing this in November. However, I keep getting invited to meals and parties – I think people are making up for lost time. This will have to move to next year now that we are entering the busy Christmas period.

10. Do something spontaneous or different. I am a big fan of spontaneity and last weekend I booked myself on a yoga nidra workshop, which was both interesting and nourishing.

I’ve found this kind of seasonal focus beneficial as it helps me to attune myself to the changing seasons. Consequently, I plan on writing a winter wonder list in the forthcoming week.

Intentions: review and setting (week 28)

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Health and Wellbeing

Last week: My intention was to scale down the number of items on my to-do list in an attempt to decrease that feeling of overwhelm and stress. It worked! I highlighted one or two tasks to focus on each day, which made life far more manageable.

This week: As part of the above effort to cut down on stress, I am practising extreme self-care by taking time out for a one day yoga retreat. It’s been a tough eighteen months so this feels much needed. Hopefully, the weather will brighten up as there is an outdoor pool and it would be great to have a swim as well. It seems to have been cloudy and rainy all summer so far.

Intention: Relax and refresh at yoga retreat.

Personal Development

Last week: I decided to make a start on the embroidery ordered from Craftpod[1]. I’m new to this so had to go on Youtube to find out how to do the stitches but the instructions were clear and this lack of experience didn’t prove to be a problem. It’s relaxing and strangely addictive, and I’ve almost finished. I’ve ordered another kit and, in a familiar fit of over-ambition, some materials to create my own design. It’s good to get back into a creative mode and I’ve been inspired to sign up for a fabric art and stitching workshop.

Intention: Finish the Craftpod embroidery.


Last week: I had two novels to read, both for book clubs; the first, The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley, I’ve finished; the second, Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse, I’m about halfway through.

Intention: Finish Black Rain.


Last week: I had planned on spending the London Writers’ Hour session working my way through the Making People course I signed up for with Writers’ HQ. However, dog-sitting got in the way. I did, however, attend an online Flash Fiction course with City Lit, which was amazing. In just a few hours, I drafted five pieces, which I can now start revising.

Intention: Review the Making People course content.


Last week: The idea was to tidy and organise my desk and surrounding area. This is almost completed. However, I’m off on holiday next week and so need to focus on preparing for that.

Intention: Get organised for holiday.


Intentions: review and setting (week 27)

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Here is a review of last week’s intentions, and my aspirations for this week.

Health and Wellbeing

I ate healthy snacks in the evening and went to ballroom and Latin dancing. I also did more yoga and walking than usual.

I’ve noticed that my to-do lists and becoming too long and overwhelming, causing unnecessary stress.

This week: Reduce the number of items on my to-do list.

Personal Development

I made a list of the outstanding reading from my Critical Reading course, which has now finished. I will work through this in my own time.

Although I haven’t done any art journalling for a long time, I have been feeling a spark of creativity return but have a desire to explore with fabric and stitch rather than paint and paper. Inspired by this post on the Willow in Winter blog, I ordered the Craftpod summer box:

This week: Make a start on the embroidery in the Craftpod box.


I finished listening to The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey. The next books I need to read are The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley and Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse.

This week: Read The Hunting Party.


I finished working through the first section of A Swim in the Pond in the Rain by George Saunders and wrote an outline for a short story I’ve already drafted in order to give it more structure. I’ve also signed up to a Making People course with Writers’ HQ.

This week: Begin working through the exercises in the course, applying them to my short story character.


I managed to tidy the spare bedroom and the kitchen.

This week: Organise my desk and workspace.

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