Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Gym Tail Begins.

I have never been to a gym before. That is, until last week when I went to look around one. It was lovely. Peaceful, impressive and local.
I joined.

What do you think?
I feel brave and scared all at once.

I decided that I wanted to swim again. I haven't swum for a year since being poorly with post viral fatigue and I miss it. I really miss it.
I could probably go to gymophobics, which would no doubt cater for me very well with my lack of gym experience, but they have no pool. I want to swim and if I get some gym fit experience too then that will be a bonus.

The local pool where I used to swim is freezing cold, mostly and as it is the local swimming club practise club, does swimming lessons,so there is limited public times available for me and the best one for me is too late at night as I still need my sleep at night.

Last year, my progress has been working from walking 10 min utes a day and last term to be back at work full time in a new job and have remaining energy for a few things in the evenings and weekends.

Now I am looking at increasing my energy capacity.

So, I decided that, as I enjoyed swimming over Easter so much that I would look into going somewhere warm to enjoy swimming and finding somewhere that might look after me a bit considering I have never been to the gym bit before. Ever.
When I was at school, in the sixth form, we had a great deal with a local pool to do a gym swim thing. I have always loved swimming. We just used to do the swim bit and then go and sit on the gym equipment and chat before cycling home. Ha x (The gym equipment was partly broken and no one ever showed us how to use it!)
So, last week was a first for me.
I loved the pool and the place is beautiful and if I ever go for a spa there I will get discounts, which all sounds pretty good to me.
On Friday, I went for my induction in the gym bit. The instructor couldn't quite believe that I had never been on a treadmill before.
Only at airports, I said.
The theory is, they give me an individual programme and a key which I put into the computer at the beginning and end of my time in the gym and each piece of equipment as I go round. It records my "progress"...
My initial aim is to do 10 minutes on each thing: bike, cross trainer (I always want to call it cross dresser) and treadmill. Otherwise known as the "dreadmill", for now, I think.
I did 2.... and felt quite proud. And tired.... and then went for a swim. My comfort zone.

I went for a swim yesterday again after work and loved it.
Tomorrow I will try and brave the gym again.

I wonder if I can remember how to use any of the equipment?
If not, I can either ask, cheat or press stop, right?

Are any of you gymophobics, like me?
I'd love to hear from you.
I will let you know how I get on too.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

This week in April for my 365

Monday 109/365 I went to look round this. Very tempted as the pool and spa look great. Just a little daunted by the word "Gym". Gymophobics would describe me to a tee, but they have no pool and I love swimming, so I think this might be the place for me.

Tuesday 110/365 Adding the finishing touches to my sister's birthday present.

Wednesday 111/365 Happy Birthday big sister!

Thursday 112/365 Creative Girls Night with Jen. We each made one. Aren't they fantastic? thank you Jen for patiently teaching us.

Friday 113/365 Tried out the treadmill for the first time.Ever. The instructor said she couldn't believe I had never been on a treadmill before. I said: Only at airports!

Saturday 114/365 After a morning scrapbooking with friends, I sat in my garden reading magazines, drinking tea whilst enjoying the sunshine and these beauties!

Sunday 115/365 Ahh. Welcome, my lovely tulips! I planted you in October!

I hope you have had a good week in 365.

Friday, 23 April 2010

A Birthday Doorstop

Was it wrong to ask my sister for sand to put in her own birthday present?
Well, I asked her for some sand that I needed to make something stand and didn't tell her it was for her!

So, this week I have been making my sister her birthday present. Her birthday was on Wednesday, the same day as the Queen.
Here is what I made for her:
I had seen similar ideas around in stores, but they all seemed to be bright pinks and reds and not quite what she would like.

I chose the pretty burgundy and pink colour fabrics that I thought she might like.
I got sand from my sister in a bucket from behind her shed left by the builders. I dried it out on the radiators and added some pot pourri to make it smell nice :-)
So here is how I did it.
Step by step if you want to make your own doorstop. You could do any kind of "house", cottage, castle,zoo, greenhouse...
1. I drew a quick pattern. I used my cutting board as a guide.

Then cut out the pattern and the pieces in the colour fabrics you like.

You will need a lining too for the sand or dried peas that you choose to weight your doorstop with.
2. Sew up the lining ( I used curtain lining fabric) without a top and fill it with desired filling and then sew on the top.

3. Cut out windows and a door in plain fabric and any other details - like curtains or bunting or welly boots, or bird house, or wheelbarrow etc in desired plain and patterned mix. I used plain fabric for the base fabric, another plain fabric for the windows and patterned for the curtains. I did 2 pieces of fabric for the base to give it extra strength.

4. Cut out the same of each of these pieces in interfacing. I used iron on interfacing as it is easy to use. It strengthens the fabric slightly and stops the edges fraying when you applique them on.

5. Zig zag stitch each window etc and then the 2nd contrasting fabrics and details like bunting and curtains. Pin or tack them in place as they are a bit small and fiddly. I used a contrasting thread too for all of my edges, but you could match it for the fabric. Your choice!

6. Sew up the front and sides and bottom in the plain fabric using a straight stitch. I used a green coloured fabric.

7. I decided to use a patterned fabric for the roof, but plain would also work. I pinned and stitched a line of pastel pink bric brack onto each panel of the roof for decoration. I then used some lining fabric and hemmed it all around the 3 edges (like a pillow case) onto the patterned roof shapes. Turn it inside out and sew up the edge. I did it on the machine as an extra edge pattern.
8. Sew the 2 roof panel shapes onto the house shape edge.

Add any buttons or funky stitches you like. You could do roses around the door using a mix of cross or chain stitch and french knots in pretty coloured embroidery threads. I added a "with love" label too which I bought by the metre. my doorstop is a bit of a gardening theme as my sister likes gardening. I used a watering can button and plant pot button. I added a few coloured buttons to make a plant pot to sit by the front door.

9. Stuff the sand/bean bag inside and then hand sew the top edges of the 2 roof panels together and Tada!
You have your doorstop.

10. I put it in a gift bag and took it round to my sisters for her birthday along with the empty sand bucket I had borrowed. She said it was a heavy parcel and I said: "thanks for the sand." We giggled for a while and she said it was fab and smiled. Then she sneezed. Oops. I guess she is allergic to the pot pourri in the sand! Happy sneezy Birthday!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Week of 365 after the Easter Holidays

102 Monday. Back to work is a shock to the system. Good to be back though and not be doing my first day but nice to be home in time to notice my winter pansies have finally decided to make an appearance today!

103 Tuesday. Planned to scrapbook with friends but people cancelled one by one, so I decided to do some anyway.

104 Wednesday. Just chillin'

105 Thursday. We started talking about this book we are beginning to read (whilst eating chocolate biscuits) at housegroup this week.

106 Friday. Phew. Successfully completed the first week back after Easter and the weekend is here! Time to do some washing!

107 Saturday. A great chance for a relaxed start to the day with breakfast before spending time with the family.

108 Sunday. Time to be creative.

How was your week?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Wednesday Already?

Going back to work this week has been a jolt to the system and yet I can't quite believe it is Wednesday already. It is quite nice though. Only 2 more sleeps until the weekend.
Before the weekend though, I have my evening with the girls tomorrow night. Just a little alot excited. We chatted about the term ahead and thought about ideas we could do each week. One of the girly chicks, Abbie our talented artist, made the list all fancy on a designed and printed this postcard for each of us. Isn't she clever?High on the list came cake and our lovely encouragement nights and cheese and biscuit nights too! We are going to do some creative sharing nights where we will each take turns with leading a night with something creative to share and for us all to try. It should be great fun. I have to decide what I am going to do as we are such a creative and crafty bunch that it is hard to think of something at the moment. Hmm.What to do? I guess I can see what some of the other ladies do first as I am way down the list. We also decided to study a book together. We chose this book: "Live Like You Mean It" by Eric Delve. It carries the subtitle: "Discover the life you were made for" and so far it is quite good. We thought it would both challenge and be something to take us deeper in our desire to know God more and to hear his heart for the best for our lives. Only just started and we are looking at the first 2 chapters tomorrow!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

More Easter 365 for the holidays

95/365 Monday and my long Easter scrapbooking weekend continues with week 2 of the school holidays.

96/365 Tuesday. Do you recognise the view? THE famous Pride and Prejudice view when Mr Darcy looks and swims across the lake? I went to see round the house and wander through the gardens on my way to my retreat. In THE film it is known as "Pemberly" as it is known in the book but it is actually Lyme Park on the edge of the rambling countryside of the Peak District National Park in Cheshire/Derbyshire. A beautiful day, although I couldn't quite believe just how many people were re-telling the moment when "he" came round the corner and "she" saw him...Remember? Well, in case you wish to see it again, here it is. Ah, I love that film.

97/365 Wednesday and a bit of a spa pamper day!

98/365 Thursday A chance to wander through the town and listen to the music before returning home.

99/365 Friday. A lovely family day playing and feeding the ducks.

100/365 Saturday. I made these chocolate orange cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream topping. I quickly put them in a tin and we took them round to friends for lunch.

101/365 Sunday and the last day of the Easter holidays. I paid 99 pence for this piece of pink card. Cardstock right? A bit if a rip off, I thought, but it reminded me of the colours for my sister's Wedding. I used some vellum for the border and for the photo mount as it reminded me of the soft fabric we had for our dresses over the rich pink fabric.

Scrapbooking and Pamper Week

This has been the 2nd week of the Easter Holidays and I have loved it.
I have read, relaxed, retreated and refreshed.

I have been using more of this week to do some more scrapbooking. I am new to scrapbooking although heard about it a lot these last few years. My niece sent me home a couple of years ago after a visit to her in Boston, USA with what felt like a case full of scrapbook papers that she didn't want. We also chose a few bits and some card. I had armfuls of the stuff and there it sat untouched until I got to know my fellow scrapbooking friends here at church who inspired and encouraged me to start. So I have just started these last few months and we often meet each month. This holiday has been ideal to relax and unwind whilst being creative and do some more on my scrapbook pages.
I do still very much feel like the new kid on the block with it all, learning all the jargon and what I might need and making up page designs (or are they called layouts?) I recently learned what brads are (I called them fancy stick pins) and last week I realised what cardstock was! (I thought I just had a pack of card.) I have even used a few brads this week and thought they are funto use!
I have decided to go back through my life and replace all those yellowing/browning edges from those peel and stick albumsI had. I am now about age 8 and proud to be in new retro 1970's designs all quite funky I think on my 12" scrapbook pages. It has been such fun going back through my photos and all the memories adn fashions that go with it.I loved those knee high white patent plastic boots with the buckle. (Yes, I know they just look like I am wearing knee high socks but they were boots!)
I also have had a couple of days away on a bit of a treat myself to a spa retreat in a lovely hotel. I swam, did my nails, read magazines, took walks in the beautiful nearby parks and gardens and had a massage. The town is historically an old spa town so it was fun seeing where the old mineral baths originally were. They are now mini arcade boutique shops which were fun to mooch around but the corridors still had the beautiful turquoise tiles with the ornate coving to admire. I came back feeling all silky smooth from all those relaxing treatments and moisturisers and wanting to vow never to shower again for fear of removing all those delicious smells!
Sadly, perhaps, the shower has beckoned long before other less delightful smells overtake.
Back to work tomorrow too.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter Holidays and 7 more for project 365

School is out for the Easter Holidays!
A great chance to lie in, relax, meet up with friends!
Here is how my first week of the school holidays has been for me in 1 photo for every day:
Monday 88/365

Raining but good to meet up with my friend Rachel and her boys. a great chance to find and buy some seeds to plant and I also got these beautiful primulas at a garden centre. Of course we had tea and cake too!
Tuesday 89/365

I met up with another scrap booking friend Tonya for coffee but forgot my camera! I took this photo later of some scrap booking I did later in the day. Oh and more rain.
Wednesday 90/365

Met up with my sister for the day. Still raining and it tried to snow but I made these cards for Easter. They apparently could have been done by a 3 year old according to the packet but I had fun making them!
Thursday 91/365

Easter egg hunt night!
Friday 92/365

A little Easter gift!
Saturday 93/365

A beautiful sunny day and coffee and cake in a rather lovely new cafe that is run by a Swiss family. The cafe had a lovely distinctive European feel to it and it was fantastic to catch up with another lovely friend. Oh I love the holidays!
Sunday 94/365

Happy Easter!