Nobody is perfect…ย 

โ€‹…apparently! 
However, when I have a look at all the channels that I follow on YouTube, I sometimes find it hard to pick fault! The drawings from the art channels are awesome, the people who do the fitness and weightloss videos are fit and skinny.
Some days I find so much “perfection”, I am using this word a little loosely, intimidating. It puts me off trying to draw something or trying a new workout.
It seems a lot of people start their channels once they have already reached whatever goal they set or once they have mastered a certain skill.
Is it just me or wouldn’t it be nice to see someone who is literally just starting out and watch them progress? This especially goes for drawing and other arts and crafts. 
What do you think?

New Year, same old me?

Ok, maybe not old. 42, according to my daughter, isn’t old. 

Overall, I am very happy with my life at the moment. The weightloss has stalled a little, because I had surgery on my foot two weeks ago and I have pretty much eaten what I wanted in that time. Now my stitches are due to come out on Wednesday, so I am hoping to be able to do light exercise again after that and get back to work at GymEtc asap so I can return to my normal day job soon.I need to be able to walk quite a bit to be able to get there.

I have fallen out of the habit of tracking my food on Myfitnesspal, which is definitely something I want to take up again, because it did help me lose so much weight. 

As for nutrition, I will go back to low carb and low fat, because that worked the best for me so far. It will be a hard couple of weeks as my body will go through the sugar withdraw and I really am not looking forward to that, but I will try and keep myself busy with knitting, crochet and of course my new love, drawing!

By the way, I never showed you guys the finished Mad Hatter. Well, here he is!

The Mad Hatter Finished 

I finished this quite a while ago and now there would be a few things I would still tweak, but I am leaving it as it is to keep track of my progress. I have included the link to my Instagram and if you’d like to follow me please feel free and I’ll return the favour ๐Ÿ™‚ 

So yeah, I guess this year isn’t much about changes, but more about fine tuning the changes I have made last year. However, I have set myself a few little goals I’d like to achieve in 2017, these are:

Be able to wear shorts and look good in them.

Take the kids on holiday to Greece.

Sort out my finances so in the end I’ll have more available money to spend on another holiday just for myself…That reminds me, I have not told you guys about my amazing time in the states! I’ll do that soon ๐Ÿ™‚ 

And I want to move house. The place where I am at is a bit to of a mess, me and the kids deserve something nicer.

I might not be able to achieve all of this within a year, but I definitely want to work at getting to the last two goals. 

Thanks again for sticking with me! 

What are your goals and hopes for the new year? Let me know maybe you will inspire me!

Love Mona xx

 

The Matter of the Mad Hatter

In one of my recent posts I have told you about how I have picked up new hobbies. One of them is drawing.

I have just done the odd hand and eye picture so far, but after watching the film Through the looking Glass I got inspired to do my first portrait. 

I just wanted to draw the Hatter so bad, as I thought I could practice a variety of skills, like drawing hair, blending and how to go about different areas of light and dark. 

This is the original picture which I am drawing from.

I am not quite finished yet, he still needs his jacket and his chin finishing off, and maybe a little background adding, but I thought I’d share my first real portrait with you. 

Please feel free to give some tips on how I could improve or where I went wrong, I still have so much to learn ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Cut the cord – My 61lbs weight loss so farย 

โ€‹I have always been a big girl and an even bigger comfort eater. Over the last ten years the weight just seriously kept creeping up and up and suddenly I found myself at 280lbs. 

It was a picture of me and my, now ex, boyfriend at the time (cutting the cord in more than just one way lol), which triggered my first small attempts at losing weight. He was a 6ft4 athletic guy and then there was me stood next to him 5ft7, and just looking massive.  I stared at the picture as we sat in the car and started crying. 

Me at 280lbs.
It was then that I decided to do something about it, so I started going to the gym and had a half hearted stab at eating better. I say half hearted in hindsight, as back then it was a case of eating well for most of the week and then pretty much spoiling my efforts by pulling into McDonald’s at the weekends.

Over the next few months I did lose a bit of weight, maybe 10lbs, but then me and my boyfriend split up and I went through a short phase of not caring.

At the new year I made the usual resolutions, but not changing much, until that one night I went to a gig of one of my favourite bands, Shinedown. I wanted pictures of me there, but the memory of the last picture of me still stung badly.

Then they played the song that pretty much changed it all. 
Cut the cord – By Shinedown 

And then I knew that it was exactly what I needed to do, cut the cord. Stop making my life and happiness revolve around food and people who don’t appreciate who I am and what I am about, and therefore drag me down. 
I started to eat low carb again for about 80% of the time, because hey, I love food and there was no way I would go without certain things. I can easily skip bread, rice and pasta these days, but potatoes, I love potatoes! So maybe once a month I’d have those or I’d have the odd pizza. On those days I just do some extra cardio at the gym to level it out or I simply accepted the tiny bit of weight gain and got on with it. But it wasn’t really down to the diet change that made all the difference, it was the change in my head, that little switch that got flicked that let me know, yes, I can do this and I will do this! Once that thought was in place it was all so much easier.

And here I am, nine months down the line…


Not too sure if this was January or earlier, but yeah you get the idea.


I still have a long way to go, but things are definitely going in the right direction.

Cheekbones ๐Ÿ™‚ 

I think my mental transformation still needs a lot of work, because I still catch myself now and then wasting energy on people who really don’t deserve it, but I am definitely setting more goals for myself and for most of the time really don’t care what other people think of how I live my life, because it’s my life and it’s a good one!

Yes, I am still alive!

Yes, I know I have done it again! Life just has the horrible habit of happening. I am sorry! No, I seriously am. And even more grateful that you are all still around. 

The last few months have been challenging, to say the least. I was not really myself for a very long time, come to think of it. I used to be the most creative and knowledge thirsty person ever and all that slowly disappeared over the last couple of years. Amazing, what hanging with the wrong people can do to you.

Luckily, this issue has now been rectified and I am back hanging with the people who bring out the best in me. 

However, a few things have changed in the Renton residence. There is nomore spinning wheel. I sold it to fund my trip to the states and to be honest, I don’t think I was too good at spinning anyway. I am still knitting and crocheting like a mad woman so don’t worry, this will not be a complete topic change on the blog, but I do want to make a few changes. 

First of all, I have two brand spanking new hobbies. I know am learning how to sew and I have discovered that my drawing skills are not as bad as I thought they were,  so I will be adding a sewing and a drawing category in place for a spinning one. 

Secondly, I have lost a bit of weight. Ok, I have lost quite a bit of weight, 4 stone to be exact. For my American friends, that’s 61.7 lbs or 28 kg. 


So, I would like to write more about healthy eating and the odd workout or reviews, what do you guys think about that? Is it something you would be interested in or should I keep it in a separate blog? Let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s on my wheel Wednesday!

Yay, not written one of these in what seems A G E S!

So, today we have some sort if mystery fibre. I assume it’s BFL, as the staple is quite long and the fibre nice and soft.
It was sent to me by a lovely lady from the states as part of a fibre exchange.

Considering it was my first spin on the Woolmaker’s Bliss TT it is not too bad, but a little under plied.

I managed to get 523.20 meters from 111. But what am I going to make with it??

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No idea what to spin next either got quite a bit of choice.

Ok, so I have a new wheel…

It’s a Woolmakers Bliss TT and it is lovely!

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Sorry for the lousy screen shot, but it’s all I could find just now.

Anyway, she spinning lovely and, most importantly, quietly. It has four different ratios and scotch tension. The break is very sensitive but after a while, like about ten minutes, you get the hang of it if you are an experienced spinner. For newbies maybe a little longer, but don’t let that put you off this little beauty.

I do love the modern look of this wheel and it was put together very quickly.
The best thing was that I ordered with the extra bobbins so I now have an inbuilt lazy kate for FIVE bobbins on the wheel! The flyer comes off easily for a quick bobbin change and the wheel is practically no maintenance, other than a bit of a dust now and then.
To cut the long story short, I love my Woolmakers Bliss TT ๐Ÿ™‚ and here is my first bobbin is have filled. By the way, if you spin nice and neatly you can fit about 150g on the bobbins, which makes them awesome for plying.

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Trying to make the most of it

Now that I am concentrating on losing some weight, I find it hard to find time to do some crafty things.

I finally managed to finish my weaved scarf. This time it actually turned out to be a scarf and not some short piece of material like the first project I made.

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I can’t wait for autumn to come for it to get cold. It feels so soft and squishy.

I also did start another seacoast jumper, however I think I will pull it back as I doubt it will fit me by autumn. So I am just sticking to scarves and other bits that are one size.

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Here is my “English Weather” scarf. Grey with some bright spots. I am just using some left overs from the schoppelwolle reggae ombre and a random grey yarn. We had a four hour journey ahead of us so best time to get some knitting in as at work I just seem too busy.

So yeah, nowhere near enough time, but better some than none.

Changes…

To say that it’s been a while would be the understatement of the year…

First of all, thank you to all of you who have stuck around ๐Ÿ™‚ I really do appreciate it and was quite surprised.

So, where have I been hiding? Mainly at the gym and at work to be honest. I guess I went through quite a bit of a mental rough patch, so I needed to focus on something and not look sideways to see how upset I was with life. Well, it seems to have worked and I seem to have come out of it better and stronger than ever.
I now have lost 21 lbs since January and work is going really well too.
Sadly, in my stupid phase, I did something really, really stupid…  I Sold my spinning wheels ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
But don’t worry, what’s on my wheel Wednesday will return next month once I have a new wheel.
Maybe in the meantime you guys can give me some advice on a new wheel?

I definitely want a castle style wheel again, like my Minstrel, but I found the Minstrel a little loud at times.
At the moment I have my eye on the  Woolmaker’s Bliss or I am thinking about a Schacht wheel, either the Ladybug or the Sidekick. Of course there are huge price differences so I am looking online for a bargain. Hehehe, so if you come across one let me know.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll try and update you, in the next few days,on the very little knitting I have been doing over the last few months. And maybe I can finally manage to get that post out about the last yarn I have spun.

Also, I am looking for a name for my new instagram account… Any suggestions?

A slightly different Christmas

As per usual, I started writing a post and didn’t get round to finishing it for days. It’s been a very relaxing day with the kids sat in the livingroom eating, drinking playing games and just general chilling out. It has been a more than eventful year for us. Boyfriend moving in, new jobs, boyfriend moving back out again… It’s ok though, we just don’t seem to be able to live together ๐Ÿ™‚ maybe we will try that again at some point further down the line.

So, how was Christmas apart from that? Different !

A few weeks back I went to hobby craft, a big craft supply retailer in the UK, and I bought some Christmas supply for all the projects I had in mind. We came home and I put the shopping away until I had the time to actually do some crafts. Well, the date came and guess who couldn’t fine that silly bag of craft supplies?! The kids and I searched everywhere and couldn’t find it. I was absolutely gutted, because I did spend quite a bit of money on the things and I wanted to make ornaments for the tree :-(.

The tree… Oh yes, the tree, another little funny Christmas antic! For the last ten years of living in the UK we have always had an artificial tree. Simply because without a car, as I don’t drive, it was hard to get a real one. This year however, I was finally in the position to get a real tree, but I was debating whether to go for it or not because in the end, buying a nice, a bit more pricey fake tree would last me a good few years. So the other half took me shopping for threes I looked everywhere for a nice fake one, but just wasn’t happy. Then outside of our local supermarket there it was, my tree, a real one and the most beautiful thing ever. Quite tall, but so full and nicely shaped, I had to have it. The other half isn’t a fan of real trees, so out came the puppy dog eyes and the “Oh babe it’s SO pretty!” and when the guy who sold them offered free delivery the deal was done. Oh I was so happy! Until it got here hahaha. It was delivered and well, let say my eyes were bigger than my living room. This thing was HUGE!
It took quite a bit of a joint effort to put it up and I did have to trim a bit from the back to make it fit in the room lol not to mention the furniture I had to move around hahaha, the kids were giggling about me and the tree, and I was ever so slightly cursing myself for wanting a really tree in the first place, but in the end, it was so worth the hassle as we have a gorgeous tree.

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Shame though that we didn’t manage to get the ornaments made, I thought. So a day before Christmas in a desperate attempt me and the kids looked once more for the “bag”.

There I was retracing my steps from when I went shopping for them. ” I came in the house and sat in the sofa, unpacked everything and looked at the craft supplies and then… What did I do with them then?” Then all of a sudden my little one, I say little one, he is 13 in two months, jumped up and shouted:” Ha, l know, I know!โ€œ, then walks to the side of the couch and picks up the box for the new shoes I bought on the same day. He opens the box and, TADAA! My crafty things!
Needless to say, we didn’t end up using them as I didn’t have the time so shortly before Christmas. So stay tuned for some out of season Christmas ornament post haha. I need to use the air dry clay soon before it dries.

Christmas itself was, good. I didn’t make a mess of dinner, which was a nice change. It was different from the nice family event I had wished for as the other half went to his mums, but he was here boxing day, which was lovely. Now that we have put a bit if space between us, we get on so much better again. I guess after being the boss in my house for 17 years it is very difficult to share again. I am just glad that we managed to pull our relationship around again and not break up for good, because after all we do love eachother like crazy.

Despite everything going different from how I wanted it, it’s been a good Christmas. The kids were happy with their presents and the other half has outdone himself yet again by giving me a 32 inch Ashford rigid heddle loom and this little beauty!

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A yarn bowl from Little Wren Pottery! I can’t wait to use it!

So get yourself prepared for my newest weaving adventures in the next few months!

I hope that all you guys had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all a happy New Year!  Thank you for sticking around and your lovely comments, which are always very much appreciated.