I can’t quite believe that a year has passed since I started my blog, and boy, so much has changed in the last 12 months.
I started my blog after leaving my job to become my dad’s full-time carer. He had Alzheimer’s. I wanted to have something else to focus on when time allowed and I needed to keep my brain cells active so that when I did eventually return to work, it wouldn’t feel like too much of a shock.
My world changed in May when dad died unexpectedly. It was the start of dementia awareness week a few days after he died. When I look back at the posts I wrote to raise awareness about dementia, they make me sad and angry all over again. The posts take me back to that raw feeling of grief I was going through at the time.
I’ve shared numerous stories on social media about the therapeutic benefits of craft on mental health. Working on my projects during the summer was a real godsend. There were some days when I was inconsolable, but if I could pick up my crochet, it distracted me enough to pull me out of the slump that I was in.
I had a break from blogging over the summer, but kept myself busy with a different sort of project. A while back I found lots of strips of old photo negatives. There were about 800 images so it would have been very expensive to get them developed professionally, especially as we didn’t know what was on them. As soon as I discovered that you could process negatives at home with the right sort of scanner, I treated myself to one. I can’t tell you how much pleasure I got seeing the photos for the first time. They really were the gift that kept on giving, just when I needed it most.
A lot of them were of my mum and dad, taken in the 1950s/60s, photos that my sisters and I had never seen before, some were of my dad with his brother and sister when they were children. I started to restore the photos on my laptop but foolishly did a system update, which is now making my photo software run extremely slowly. It’s a long, slow task, but one that I’ll keep working on. I just wish that I’d started this sooner, so that dad could have seen them.
I’ve continued to make things for various charities. I find this a great way to improve my crochet skills. Year on year I see improvements in my understanding of crochet. I was especially pleased with my crocheted Wizard of Oz doughnuts.
I also revisited a couple of crafts that I first did over 20 years ago – cross stitch and miniatures.
But my favourite make of the year was my spring wreath. I have it up all year round because it just looks so cheerful.
My plans for 2018
It’s going to be another big year of changes as my main priority is to get a job. The thought of having to start over again fills me with such anxiety.
I’m aiming to blog more frequently, and I may start an Instagram page – I’ve been thinking about doing this for a year now!
I had my first attempt at upcycling last year, and I hope to do more in 2018.
I had a brilliant lesson on how to use a drill, from my brother-in-law (why don’t they teach you this stuff at school!). With my newly-gained knowledge, I think my next upcycling project will be to make a table for the garden out of some old decking. I had to have a lot of work done on the garden in the autumn, removing trees and hedges, and it looks awful at the moment, but I have big plans for it. I can’t wait for spring to arrive so that I can get started.
I’m definitely going to be making more toiletries. My cherry-scented soap was a great success. I made some frankincense-scented soap at Christmas, together with some myrrh bath bombs, which also went down well.
And of course, I’ll keep on crocheting.
I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone that reads, follows or comments on my blog or social media posts. I really didn’t expect anyone other than my family and friends to do this. I was completely overwhelmed when people that I didn’t know wrote such lovely, encouraging, comments. The craft world is truly a very happy, positive and kind family that I’m glad to be a part of.
Well done Lisa! You write so beautifully and I always like to read the articles you find about all things crafty. Shall look forward to seeing what this year brings for you!
Sarah x ( PS: Have just finished the Moorland blanket!)
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Aww, thank you lovely xx
How wonderful to have so many images to remember your family by – must look into the scanner as I know I have a box of negatives of my own. Hope that the new year brings much to look forward to.
Thank you. I thoroughly recommend a scanner – mine was an Epson one. I have a box of slides that I can also process with it, but all in good time!
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