Monday, 17 February 2014

So much for good intentions!

It was my unspoken intention to get back into blogging on a weekly basis. I'm glad I didn't announce that intention because in reality, it isn't likely to happen. It's combination of being generally busy and really, truly, not having much of interest to share some weeks.

I do have some news - I have a casual job. It's one set day per week and the option of filling in extra days. I'm at a gorgeous little gift and home wares shop - Wish Fish in Ocean Grove. It's a lovely drive down there and there are glimpses of the sea from the footpath in front of the shop. I know I'm not using many of my Business Admin skills, although the Customer Service module is coming in handy. The thing is, almost any job is a good job in our local economy and I'm certainly not complaining about spending a day a week surrounded with beautiful home wares. It's nice to serve happy, relaxed customers too.

You can find Wish Fish on facebook, if you wish. ;)




Sunday, 26 January 2014

Where did all the craft bloggers go?



Okay, so some of you are still here, posting away regularly. But I'm quite amazed at how many of my old craft-blog favourites haven't posted in a year or more. I can hear echoes down the hallway of my blogroll!

I shouldn't be amazed, really. After all, I've had a few six-month blog breaks myself. (Aside- I can't believe the spell check dictionary still doesn't know what a blog is!)  A while back, I thought blogs might be phasing out of popularity as more people and small businesses started using facebook and Twitter to keep in touch. And yet, cooking, diet and 'foodie' blogs are still huge, as are journalistic style multi-author blogs like Huffington Post. Recently published books on starting your own enterprise or business still advocate having an up-to-date blog as an essential part of your repertoire.

So why have some of my favourite craft bloggers gone off the air? Do we just run out of things to say?

I know I spend more time on Pinterest and Instagram these days than on  reading the blogs in my Feedly reader. Then there's Ravelry for the knitters, Threadbias for quilters and sewers and Down to Earth forums for the suburban semi-self-sufficient set. These fit with the modern trend for quick bites of information and lots of visual stimulation. Long blog posts - I admit I can write 'em, but I don't always have time to read 'em!

Perhaps other priorities take over, like health, study, work or family; sharing seems less important even irrelevant and a blogger moves on to something else. I know if I am tired or stressed and doing gets too hard, I spend more time looking at other people's 'doings' on the internet. This goes on until I get thoroughly sick of looking and itch to get making. Then I disappear from blogland for a while! I found that it's okay sometimes to just Do without having to Share.

This reminds me of the older generation of makers, crafters, growers and doers. In my town, there are many senior European immigrants. They often grow incredible, productive vegetable gardens. Some make vino and grappa, cheese and salami. They had the first suburban water tanks, harvesting rainwater before the rest of us saw the necessity. Some have backyard chickens and ducks.  The older women I remember from my childhood wore crocheted tunics over their house-dresses and had bright clashing granny square blankets on their sofas. And you know what? They never blogged about it. Amazing, huh? They just did it. Initially because that was the way to obtain food and warm clothing; in their senior years no longer from necessity but because it has become a way of life. And it feels good, as those of us who also make and grow know.

On the other hand, I've missed the blogosphere. I wonder how Tania is going in her Out Back and what Gina is stitching these days over at Patra's Place. Is Wanda still making pretties?  And how is Leah from Handmade Bits and Pieces going with her cute little creations at the markets? Blog posts allow us a depth of connection that is only eclipsed by real-life, real-time friendships, especially if those friends share similar interests.

(Source)

So here I am again. If you're in my blog feed and you still post on your own blog, I'll be dropping by your place soon.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Whoooo.....That's me blowing the dust off the blog :)

Hello blog readers. It's been a while.

EDIT: Yes, I just changed the name of the blog!! It's been on my mind to change it for a long time, as I haven't done much of either quilting or collecting lately. Quilting is still definitely on my to-do list but as far as collecting goes, I've made a conscious effort to step away from accumulating too many things. Learning to appreciate something without having to own it is the aim these days!

Home Base is a much better representation of the type of things I post about. Fact - I'm a confirmed home-body and happy to be one. Fact - my interests are almost all home-based. Fact - working at home is my first preference. Fact - a home-based, home-centred life is one of my core personal values. I believe in it. 

I've finished my course and had a few weeks break over the summer. Being at TAFE was a great experience; I really, really enjoyed the course - didn't even mind the homework! It was a boost for my confidence to know that I could keep up in class, learn new things, improve techniques I already use and even able help problem-solve once or twice.

Finding part time work is still challenging. It's a difficult time to be a job-seeker in my part of the world. However, I'm not despairing. Summer holidays are here; I'm enjoying being at home full time, spending a little more time with one son (the other is working now so he's not around much during the week) and catching up on gardening, home things and of course, CRAFT!

This little beauty was made for a friend's baby shower:

I whipped up a few quick cushions for some instant gratification:
Anyone with children will recognise the Minecraft theme on the left. The other two are from the movie Tron. These were made from my son's outgrown t-shirts and he's now rapt to have them on his bed. Especially as he has permission to use them for pillow-fights, unlike the other handmade cushions in the house!

At the moment, I'm getting enthusiastic about some plans in my head, with the help of the book "Be a Free Range Human - escape the 9 to 5, create a life you love and still pay the bills" by Marianne Cantwell. It's too soon to make any announcements, but let's just say I'm looking at things with a new perspective. If I can keep up the momentum, you'll hear more on this soon.

I appreciate you're stopping by, and bearing with the long breaks between posts. 

Joanne. 


Saturday, 27 July 2013

I'm back at school!

It's been a long wait from application to enrolment, but finally I am a student again!  I shifted my focus from Book Keeping to Business Administration and the course I'm in at TAFE has a medical component.  This will help me to find work in a reception or office situation, perhaps in a medical clinic.  I'll still have the option of following up with Book Keeping or possibly doing the Cert IV in Health Administration if I feel drawn to that aspect once we start the medical units.

So, for the next 6 months I'll be packing my own lunch 3-4 days a week when I make the boys'.  The campus is a bit of a maze, so at lunch time I went for a little wander, just to get my bearings.  I sampled the cafeteria's coffee (not bad) and eyed off the yummy-looking lunches in the bain maries.  Might have to stretch the budget to a 'lunch order' once in a while.  I have a student card that gets me cheaper movie tickets. Our class even got homework on day 1!  Grumble, grumble.  Just kidding- I actually wanted to review everything we learned anyway.  I was relieved to find that I was able to keep up with the classes and I didn't feel at all out of my depth (at least not yet).  We are a mixed-age group; there are a couple of women who seem a little older than me, quite a few of similar age and a heap younger.  There are four men, also of varying ages.

The Next Phase begins.

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