Monsterful Monday- Happy birthday, yer Maj

Queen’s Birthday!

This bank holiday creeps up on me every year, because we don’t celebrate it in the UK, but that can be a good thing because it means I often end up with a stretch of time to do my own thing (though this year I wish I’d realised as I could’ve booked flights to go see the Best Beloved). But it’s meant plenty of time to relax, tidy, sort through more of my stuff and put more of it ready to go, and of course sew and knit.

I’ve started a Super Sekrit Birthday Gift project which I won’t post a photo of here, but I’ve also finished the Grey Gardens turban. It’s very bright, and very quirky, and it makes me look like I should be a fortune teller on Balamory and I love it.

Photo of Ellen in finished Grey Gardens turban


I’ve also cut out the fabric for the Mad Tea Party dress, and I’m excited to get sewing on it.


I try to do this every morning and the past couple of weeks in particular, it’s been really great. I recently discovered The Purpose Fairy, who has a weekly guided meditation on her blog. Different types of meditation work for different people but I’ve found that guided meditation and using affirmations really helps me quiet my brain down- normally I have 100 ideas before breakfast, so switching off is a bit of a challenge! I especially recommend the Six Phase Guided Meditation- so relaxing and powerful.

Clearing the blocks and serendipity

I definitely believe that decluttering is a way to open the way for good things to come into your life. The way I see it, if you put things back out into the world they can find their way to the people who are seeking them, and the things that are seeking you have a space to find their way to you.

I’ve also been finding that when I want to get rid of things, ways open up for me to do that. I went to a local op shop which opened just the right distance from my work for me to head there and drop things off on my lunch break, and saw a poster advertising a Social Wool Fair in a few weeks- you’d better believe I got straight in touch with them about a stall to sell my excess yarn (if you’re going, come say hi!).

I’ve got a ways to go, but I’m getting there.

Special mentions

My flatmate Jenni finished editing her novel and I’m so excited for her! Cute texts and Gchats from the Best Beloved, finally getting my camera and its battery charger in the same place, lovely sunny weather (I’m enjoying being able to do my laundry while I can still dry it outside), flatmates being patient with my love of strange, experimental vegan cooking- tonight it’s portobello mushrooms asada;  X Men: Days of Future Past, Maleficent (silly but had great costumes), the new Dresden Files novel on my Kindle. Finally, The Tiny Owl Knits Care of Magical Creatures charm bracelet is a really fun project- I’ve just knitted my first charm (the toad, if you were wondering)- you have to complete a challenge before you knit each one. It’s a lot of fun!

What about you? What are you thankful for this week?

Monsterful Monday: Unlike other Robin Hoods, I speak with an English accent…

Time with my Best Beloved

I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Auckland. Being in a long-distance relationship, time with the Best Beloved is always top of my gratitude list. This time it involved him very patiently accompanying me and his flatmate to Dress Smart, takeout and laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe in a game of Cards Against Humanity. There were also many many snuggles and movies, in particular ‘Spaceballs’ and ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’- we have a shared love of Mel Brooks, but it’s been ages since I saw either movie. There were lots of bits I’d forgotten which made me laugh all over again. A benefit of coming back to cold Wellington is that whenever I say goodbye, I come back here freshly motivated to keep decluttering and downsizing my stuff for the planned Big Move.

Reconnecting with my little brother

I’ve had actual e-mail conversations with my brother this week. It’s a big deal. In the past we haven’t been close, but I feel like now that could change. He also got me a birthday present, which was very kind of him- I sent him a list of patterns on my wishlist from Colette, not in order of preference, and he picked the two I wanted most on the list! I’m excited to get sewing on one of them this coming weekend- a long weekend means extra sewing time, always a good thing. Watch this space for a Mad Tea Party Ceylon dress…

Learning new things

I had a mild bout of startitis this week, which led to me casting on the Grey Gardens turban. It’s a turban! It’s inspired by Little Edie! What’s not to like? I grabbed a ball of rainbow coloured wool last time I was in Auckland and when I saw this pattern I knew it was meant to be. I’ve never tried entrelac before, and I know a lot of people approach new skills with trepidation. But, as always, it’s much less scary to just dive in and give it a try. The great thing about entrelac is that you don’t need to know anything that’s not covered in a basic knitting book to do it. And it looks so pretty! I love the way the colour repeats lend themselves to the little entrelac squares:

Entrelac knitting example

And yes, those are leopard-print knitting needles. Why? Why not! I’ve had them for a while after winning them in a writing contest, and they add a little bit of fabulousness to the knitting process. Like so many things with knitting (I do NOT include lace in this), it looks a lot more complicated than it really is. Lace is my Great White Whale, but I’m determined to land it.


Also known as Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy. I’ve been reading any of her books I can get my hands on (and expecting some more in the post any day now), and I love them. Easy to read, inspiring, uplifting and positive. I especially like the Nap Book, and have actually started having little naps when I’m sleepy (usually on a Saturday afternoon). One of the big things I’ve got from the books so far is the idea of having permission to take care of myself and give my body what it needs. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on ‘Transformation Soup: Healing for the Splendidly Imperfect’ as part of the ongoing process of healing the past and moving on to the future.


Special mentions:

Hot cups of tea, flannelette sheets, sushi from the friendly sushi place, Silk Naturals Black Label Lip Treatment (GORGEOUS), friends who ask “what are you doing tonight? Sewing or decluttering?” (it’s like they KNOW me), meditation, buying crazy ornaments in the Typo outlet, awesome friends who give you a lift not just into town from the airport, but all the way home, cinema trips in the offing (Godzilla and Maleficent, oh yes indeed) sewing excitement and the prospect of a glorious long weekend with no fixed plans.

What about you? What are you happy about and grateful for this week?