Tuesday, 10 January 2017

... Focus

And all of a sudden it's 2017. I'm not exactly ready for 2017 yet - been languishing under a patchwork quilt of aloe vera tissues and paracetamol blister packs, which have become a feature of Christmasses lately. Feature of life in general lately, 3 kids, 3 different schools, maximum calculated germ pool of somewhere in the region of 2,400 children all exchanging germs with maybe 4,800 parents... all at the same time... throw in an average of one sibling, a well meaning Auntie and a doting Granada per fam and you're looking at maybe 14,000 potential infectors....

Somewhere after Boxing Day I ran out of Agatha Christies and stalked a few folks on Facebook until my eyes were too sore - wound up lying in bed staring at the ceiling.

Nothing like enforced reflection round about this time of year and so I gave in and played along - I chose a word. Been watching people on FB do this for a few years now, didn't really give it much credence until last year when I dallied with the idea of 'Simplify'. I didn't really carry it through as well as I might have, but I mulled it over and thought that maybe perhaps it wasn't a bad thing to have a guiding idea of sorts.

This year I'm thinking I like the sound of 'Focus'. I have a ton of trouble focusing - I want to do everything. All the time. I have a million ideas, there's a million directions I want to go in and I feel all creative and arty, but I often find that I don't exactly end up where I thought I would so I'm thinking Focus could be useful.

Take this picture - it's Ross Castle in Killarney, County Kerry Ireland. I have a long association in my head with Ross Castle. When I was small, maybe 8 or 9, we had a set of encyclopaedia at home. It was a complete set, you know the type, one volume per letter of the alphabet. I spent years poring over those books, soaking up bits of miscellaneous information. One of the articles I remember most was a few pages in the 'I' volume. Ireland. I knew the encyclopaedia were produced in USA and I was curious about what they had to say about Ireland, where I lived. The opening paragraph text was ranged around a small photograph of a man driving a horse and cart past an ancient castle ruin, overgrown with ivy. It was an evening shot and the image was all shades of inky blue splashed with gold. There was a light on in a castle window and the cart carried a lamp.

There was no caption to the photo and I had no way of knowing where the castle was. The article about Ireland spoke of a land filled with castle ruins and I suppose the editors felt that the image was generic enough not to need a caption. It was an image that I looked at a thousand times or more and I felt very drawn to it. I developed an interest in things historical and a fascination with Castles. As years went by I visited many of the castles in Ireland. I finally made it to county Kerry and even though Ross Castle had been restored and cleaned up I knew instantly it was the castle from the picture. I prefer the image of it that I have in my mind, the old darkened ivy crawling over the walls, the wooden cartwheels and the lamp light. I often thought that in a parallel universe I might have been an archaeologist or a historian, but I expended a lot of energy daydreaming and wandering around looking at castles instead of making up my mind to study history properly. I kind of went with the flow and followed a skill that I had - and that has been very interesting, but I am thinking that maybe it's time to pin down a few goals for myself and aim for something specific instead of floating along on a slip stream.

First thing I'm focusing on this year is making stamping videos, you have been warned, lol. I have never produced a video before and I'm expecting a few stinkers to begin with, but it's first on my list and I've cleared the desk!

So what are you focusing on this year? I'd love to hear.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Just Instagrammed

via Instagram Dressing up the wee folks beds with Christmas quilts for Christmas Eve. Good thing I made a load of these way back in '07, plenty of choice, no arguments over who gets which! #red #green #christmaseve #christmas2016 #quilt #quilting #christmasquilt #canmakeeverythingexceptmoney #blog

Just Instagrammed

via Instagram This is always my favourite corner at Christmas. This tree was a cheap ornament from Lidl stores one year and I love it!! #lidl #blog #christmasiscoming #christmas #light #tree #christmastree #wooden #wood #woodenornaments #christmaseve

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Just Instagrammed

via Instagram Cute mouse in a shop window! I would love one of these, plan to try and make one in the new year, since I missed getting dibs on any of them in the store. #belfast #christmas #mouse #christmasmouse #inspireland #visitbelfast #visitireland #blog #christmasiscoming

Monday, 19 December 2016

Just Instagrammed

via Instagram Pretty lights in Belfast, at Victoria Square. #Belfast #inspireland #blog #christmasiscoming #2016 #christmas #christmastree #christmasshopping #frantic