Thursday, 16 January 2014

Turning a negative into a positive frame of mind.......swim

Turning a negative into a positive frame of mind.......swim

Woke up this morning after a disturbed night, this black cloud of negativity.  The news, the porridge, my weight, everything was wrong.   Wrapped in duvet type coat, faux fur hat, ski mittens and crocs walked out into the hailstorm.   Sugar lump ice everywhere.    Headed for the sea and undressed by the wall.   Bright pink swimsuit, swim gloves and sea shoes and waterproof camera in hand.  White splash hit the promenade.   There was no one else around.

The parallel railings and steps beckoned.   Unfortunately the rain had stopped and some sunshine bloomed in the distance.  Another disappointment, wanted to swim in the rain and preferably hail stones.  

Oh, the joy of the sea.  Negativity jumped to positivity in seconds.  Wow, so lucky, loving it, the bounce, the salt, the crest of each wave.   Exhilaration from the core.  The sea lifting me effortlessly over the waves.   Made my way along the roller coaster until I hit target second set of railings.  Body now warmed by the exercise in the 11 degree sea, pace and stroke moving faster for another 10 minutes.  Heavy thunderous clouds above, tempted to stay in longer to catch the rain in the sea.  Alas need to get out, getting cold.   Changed quickly and headed home faster than the journey to my destination.   Positive energy flowing.  Straight into work,  creativity bounding out of me and oh, so so positive.  Thank you sea.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Talking about favourite scissors. The best from my collection.

Talking about favourite scissors.  The best from my collection.

I am prompted to write this blog after reading a Facebook comment regarding scissors 

"Trying to wrap xmas presents... oh the irony.. the only scissors I can find are an inch long from last years xmas crackers"   

The collection of scissors that I use most are shown below.   I have a real affection for each pair and each has its on specific use.  The basic rule is to keep one pair for paper, one for fabric, one for thread and one for everything else. Plus keep a pair handy in the kitchen for food.  Scissors blunt fast if used on paper then fabric. 

I have so many pairs of scissors that I am almost embarrassed to confess to how many, for some women its shoes, for me its scissors.  I cannot resist to purchase just in case they turn out to be better to use than other favourites.   Its true to say that my most precious pair (see image below Ist left with purple identification spots) is the pair that I have used most, workhorse fashion over the last 11 years and surprisingly was not the most expensive. I think I purchased them in Lidls for less than £5.00.  They have never been sharpened and still cut a beautiful clean line.  Over the years they have cut paper thousands and thousands of times.  I have purchased many similar looking pairs over the years, for some reason none have met my expectation, the feel, the clean cut. Just not the same.  

2nd  and  3rd left.  Gingher scissors.  Over 20 years ago I did hexagon patchwork workshops in Vero Beach in Florida.  Margaret Whiteman, the organiser presented me with these afterwards.  At the time I did not appreciate how special they were and it was not until the arrival of the internet  that I learned each pair is tuned by hand. see The smaller pair cuts many many layers with ease and have a real luxury feel.

4th and 5th left were both purchased from the pound shop and both brilliant to use.   The pair with the longer blade found on the do-it-yourself shelf designed to cut wall paper. I find them perfect for cutting long straight lengths of card or paper and in my view better than a guillotine or craft knife for single layers.

6th pair left, instantly recognisable as traditional Friskars dressmaking scissors for cutting  fabric only, hence the nail varnish warning on the handle.  Woe betide anyone who uses them for anything else.  

7th pair left.  These scissors are heavy and not comfortable.  I picked them up in a car boot sale and can be used for a multitude of tasks.  Great all round scissors.


Finally, image below another pair of scissors I own that are very old and completely blunt with short blades.  In bygone years they were probably a luxury treasured tool and I feel honoured to be their current custodian.  They are delicate and most uncomfortable to work with.