My year of change

This year I have gone back to paid work teaching English as a foreign language, after several years staying home to take care of our children and doing various flexible casual jobs and working on my sewing and blogs from home. It's been a big change working set hours again but I've really enjoyed the change and the new challenge.

I haven't managed to do much sewing this year at all. I did make a toy hammock for my youngest daughter which she loves and it's great for keeping at least some of her cuddly toys out of the way!

Aside from that, all I've done sewing-wise this year is fixing and mending.  I do keep looking at my sewing machine which is hiding under its cover and thinking about the cupboard full of fabric and bits and pieces I have and wondering what I'm going to do with it all.

I'd also like to get back to learning to crochet, which I've been slowly working on for a couple of years now but has fallen by the wayside this year!

I am going to continue teaching which takes up most of my time, but I do want to get back to some sewing and make use of all the fabric and other resources I have. This is my problem and challenge to figure out a plan for over the next few weeks.

We're soon heading off on a big family trip to New Zealand which will be a lovely break and a big chance to reflect on this year which has brought a lot of change into my life. 
I want to continue to develop my blog to reflect those changes and the new direction. I still have the strong philosophy of 'use what you've got' so I'll be taking stock of everything I have from physical and material resources to my own personal abilities and talent and trying to mesh them all together to form a knockout plan for 2018!

So watch this space!
Have you had any big changes of direction in your life?  What are they and where are you headed to now?

I'd love to hear your thoughts too!

Christmas Shouldn't Cost the Earth

Christmas is my favourite 'celebration time' of the year. I love the build up, the excitement, the decorations, the music and all the fuss. BUT what I don't like is the sky-rocketing cost of Christmas both financially, to buy so many gifts, cards, decorations, clothes etc; but also the environmental cost of the throw away plastic stocking filler toys, the endless packaging, the throw away gift wrapping and overall excess and resulting wastage.  

Yes you can now buy cheap Christmas goodies - ornaments, stockings, decorations etc - but images and stories (like this one from the Huffington Post) about where these cheap Christmas things are made provide even more of a reason to make things yourself! Do you want a plastic, artificial Christmas mass produced in China, or a more personal handmade - eco-friendly Christmas just the way you want?

Christmas shouldn't cost the Earth

I believe you can celebrate Christmas in a big way and in style without it costing the Earth.

You can  'use what you've got'  to make and create decorations, gifts, foods etc and do it all in an eco-friendly and sustainable way by using what you've got and being smart.

Click on the pictures and links below to see more.

There is also a group Pinterest board where I invite anyone to add inspiration they find for an Eco and Budget Friendly Christmas. There are already heaps of ideas there - come and take a look!

And here are some tutorials for things to sew for Christmas, at little or no cost - 

Use What You've Got!