Showing posts with label learn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label learn. Show all posts

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Pushing the limits

 When I first started this blog I spoke about a few challenges I had set myself - all part of encouraging myself away from the TV and into life a little more.  My first challenge has passed so I thought it an apt time to reflect and blog!

 The Great South Run was on Sunday and me and my sister ran it.  We were horrendously badly prepared - both of us started this great plan with wonderful intentions and expected to be fully fit and merrily jogging round the route with ease and enthusiasm by the time race day arrived.  Reality bites hey!  We had both been on a  few runs ( her a few more than me and a fair bit further than me ) but neither of us managed the regular commitment which builds fitness.  But we ventured out into the beginnings of the approaching storm anyway.  With a moto of slow and steady and a determination that we would not stop running (however slowly) we made it round 10 miles in 1hr47mins crossing the finishing line together.  A pretty good time in my opinion.  I have no idea how I made it through the last 2 miles.  It's a beautiful course and the finish is along the seafront but on this particular day we had strong winds against us and we were both regretting our lack of training.

 Finishing made me think though - so many times before and during that run I thought I wouldn't be able to do it.  I don't think I have ever pushed my body so hard in my life and yet somehow I made it through.  So often we put ourselves in boxes - pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones rarely and taking as tiny steps as possible.  But actually our bodies and minds are stronger than we realize - my body and my mind went further than I ever thought they would - and that was without the preparation that would be recommended.

  Now I'm aware that this is simply a 10 mile race and thousands of people do this and much more regularly - but for me it was a pretty big deal.  Applying that confidence to other areas of my life could really be a good thing.  When we are at school we are constantly encourage to try new things - a new class, a new sport, a new social group or a new school.  As we grow up things change around us and we are constantly being pushed to experience as much as possible.  Somehow as we get older this seems to reverse.  We get a job and settle into it, life becomes a bit of a routine and we stop putting ourselves out there.  We stop experimenting and enjoy the safety of the things we know.  This can be a great place to be but for me I started to think that it was actually a bit of a lazy place to be.

 So not only am I slightly inspired to continue running (at least in the summer anyway)  it has also got me considering if there are other areas of my life where I need to push the boundaries - explore the un-explored and simply push the walls of my box out a little bit.  After all it is in the new and sometimes challenging situations that we learn and grow the most! 
 I'll keep you posted - my next challenge is to successfully pull off a craft fair stall!  

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Adding a little something

This week I've been busy stitching various bits and pieces for Christmas.  Some mini stockings and a few gifty pieces.  All of the thought to winter inspired me to turn my attention to my living room.
All of my furniture is second hand and starting to look somewhat tired.  I decided to attempt a bit of a dye job on the sofas to add some colour.  We live in a rental property so the walls are neutral and when we moved in the biggest and most comfortable sofa we could find was cream.  I love it - space for two to stretch out, just the right amount of squish and the right height - generally it's a great sofa.  That said there's only so much cream one person can take. 
  So I embarked on upgrading my sofa.  I bought dylons burlesque red which is a deep purple-red and looks gorgeous on the box.  Armed with a few boxes and lots of salt I stripped the fabric off the sofa.
  I have to admit it was a bit of a mission.  Dividing the covers into roughly equal loads.  Washing with dye.  Washing without dye and then drying all the covers.  I didn't dare to put them in the dryer in case they shrank so for a few days we had sofa covers draped from chairs and clothes horses all over the place.
The finished effect?  Well it certainly isn't completely progressional.  I think a larger machine would have allowed more movement in the fabric.  My tiny machine has left a bit of mottling and crease lines across the covers where it couldn't move enough.  I was concerned that I had ruined the sofa but once the covers were on I think it looks pretty funky.  It has a bit of an aged effect to it and I think the mottling blends in with the age of the sofa.  All in all I'm happy plus I've learnt some good lessons about dye and fabric.
  I feel inspired to play about more with colour and try to experiment with dye a little bit more - here's to some more experimental upcycling! :-) who knows maybe a little bit of art coming up.
Watch this space.