Posted in musings

Weekend Coffee Share

Marie Celine blog background graphic doodle drawing

If we were having coffee then I would tell you that I have been spending a little time updating the design of this blog and Craft Owl Blog. I think I have found the best way of displaying my posts now. Best of all, if you look at the sidebar, you will notice a mini display of the other blog, which I hope will drive more traffic and make the link between the two blogs more obvious and coherent.

Maybe we would also talk about the weather. I would complain that it has been too dark to take good photographs for my blog! Did you have snow this week? There has been some here on the higher ground.

stuffed toy in the snow
Photo by Marina Shatskih on Pexels.com

If you asked me what craft projects I was making then I could tell you that I finished my hot water bottle cover, but the seaside blanket is on pause. I am trying to finish a scarf for my friend. My husband gave up waiting for his scarf and went out and bought a fleece snood.

crochet hot water bottle cover
crochet hot water bottle cover

I am trying hard to reduce my screen time and increase my time spent handwriting. Can you suggest some journal prompts, or questions you would like me to answer? Comment on this post, or contact me via the link below:

https://mariexceline.wordpress.com/contact/

Shall we talk about Marie Kondo?

How many of the things you possess “spark joy” as Marie (cool name, eh?) suggests they should? If you are a collector, then it is likely that everything sparks joy … I am going to have to find another way of determining what I need to keep! I am going to concentrate on tidying up and putting things into some kind of order instead.

Marie Kondo KonMarie love mess gif

The thing about decluttering is that it is fine if you are genuinely never going to need the item again … I have some pens that I bought about 20 years ago and they still work. I have been using them in my journal and they are excellent (look out for a review of them at a later date). When I looked on Amazon to see what other colours were available, individual pens are selling for up to £50! Imagine if I had got rid of those pens and then regretted it and wanted to replace them. I certainly did not pay that to buy them in the first place.

Am I back to blogging every day?

No, not yet. I needed a break to do other things. Writing a blog post can be quick, but promoting that post takes a lot of time and energy, which I don’t have at the moment. What worked for me in 2018 doesn’t work for me at this time, but that’s ok. I am still going to post a few times a week and comment on the blogs I read.

Hope you have all had a great weekend, see you again soon!

Marie-Celine Blog Signature
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Posted in musings

Postcards from …?

When I was in the Brownies, I gained one of my badges by collecting postcards and putting them into an album.

At this point I would like to make it clear that I did not leave the Brownies because they made me sew. I left because Brown Owl had favourites and I wasn’t one of them!

Okay, back to the postcards … As well as collecting postcards, I liked sending them. Unfortunately, as with everything these days, the cost of buying and sending postcards has soared, but I would still like to revive them as part of my snail mail project.

Recently, I found some old postcards, for a reasonable price, at an antiques market. The handwriting on them was beautiful.

When friends go on holiday, I cheekily ask for a postcard to add to my collection!

I’m also investigating the app, Touchnote, which allows you to convert your own photos into postcards.

Please let me know below if you’re a postcard fan ⤵️

~ Marie-Céline ~

Posted in musings

Hope and Believe in 2019

My blog isn’t a year old yet but it has become very important to me. When I first started it was my intention to publish daily, and that’s still my aim (although there will inevitably be some gaps).

A little while ago I became secretly a tiny bit obsessed with my stats. In particular the number of views and visitors. Now we are at the start of 2019, some of the numbers have reset themselves, so maybe I won’t look too closely for a while.

I liked the way Ashley reviewed her stats here: https://wp.me/p9c3J6-1a9

What really took me by surprise was how my following on Twitter suddenly has grown, and now I feel a huge responsibility to keep those people entertained. It’s so different to Facebook where I wore my invisible cloak for so long that when I finally just melted away I don’t think more than two people noticed.

There are a few things in the blogosphere I have chosen to stay away from. I have enjoyed reading other bloggers “12 Lessons in 12 Months” but there’s nothing relatable that I am ready to share about my life, so I’ve not taken part in that tag. I do appreciate being tagged though, so please carry on including me, because I find these things are useful for private reflection.

The next stage of my therapy will hopefully be Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and if I can pass on what I learn from that then I most certainly will.

I’m joining in with a self care challenge this month, organised by ThoughtsWithN on Twitter. DAY ONE was to “read part of a book” and I read a few more pages of my Susie Dent book (the one which inspired me to write about our tribe’s language). At the time of writing this post I should be doing the DAY TWO activity, which is “go for a walk” but, I’ve swapped that for DAY THREE “listen to a podcast” … I have chosen a podcast about crochet.

Generally I don’t make resolutions, but I have written two words in my journal for the beginning of this year; hope and believe.

Posted in musings

Sunday Coffee Share

If we were having coffee today then I would tell you that before Christmas we saw Mary Poppins Returns, and it was such a good film – I would encourage you to go and see it for yourself!

We have since watched The Secret of Mary Poppins on BBC followed by Saving Mr Banks. I now feel like I need to read all the Mary Poppins books!

We also watched the ITV Docudrama about champion ice skaters, Torvill and Dean. It was intense but enjoyable. I remember sitting in front of the TV with my Mum and watching them skate to Bolero at the Olympics.

I like finding out the back story to these things. There were a few tweets complaining about the accents not being authentic, and some of the music not being in sync with history, but hey, it was part fiction, so who cares?

If we talked about Christmas food I would tell you that we bought fresh cranberries from Aldi this year, and that we made our own cranberry sauce – it was delicious!

If you ask me about my plans for 2019, I would tell you that I just want to concentrate on getting my mental health problems sorted.

I’m having a really stressful time with photos right now, so I would be telling you that I have to dash off immediately to finish an important job. I had 5000 or more photos in my Flickr account, and they’ve changed the rules so I can only store 1000 for free. If I don’t start deleting them, Flickr will do the job for me, and I don’t want that. Where’s Mary Poppins when you need her?

Marie-Céline

Posted in musings

Don’t compare yourself to others – set your own goals

Life’s not fair, so don’t compare

The only person you should be comparing yourself to is – YOU!

Honestly, life isn’t fair. There will always be somebody better off than you. It’s also true that there will always be someone worse off than you.

Set achievable ‘SMART’ goals for yourself

Setting and reviewing your goals is one of the best ways to check where you are in life. Nobody else is living your life so you have a unique place in the World, and you have your very own unique timeline.

S – Specific, Significant, Stretching

M – Measurable, Meaningful, Motivational

A – Attainable, Achievable, Acceptable

R – Realistic, Relevant, Rewarding

T – Tangible, Trackable, Time-based

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Don’t make your goals difficult to achieve, and break each goal down into smaller steps if it helps.

Good luck!

Posted in musings

All our hopes and fears | Carols at the Cathedral

The informal carols at the Cathedral today were just right. I had a couple of wobbles but didn’t need to run out halfway. I know that lots of people find carols emotional, and last week I got caught out by choirs in the shopping centre … Choirs and brass bands always get me. Choirs of children and brass bands probably worst of all.

Meanwhile back at the Cathedral, like I said, things went ok. I think there were several reasons for this…

The service was very informal. It was intended as a drop in for shoppers, therefore there was no choir. I realised very quickly that I can’t sing. So did a lady behind us who moved away from us after the first carol! Anyway, no choir and no children with candles. Nothing for me to get too emotional about.

The service lasted just over an hour and there was a tag team of three different clergy. They spoke about what Christmas meant to them, but they also spoke throughout on the theme of hope. They were mostly light-hearted and amusing, but they all acknowledged how Christmas can be difficult for some, and indeed there were other people in the congregation having their own wobbles during these moments.

One of the clergy reminded us that Mary didn’t have an easy life. She was an unmarried mother, who had to deliver her child in difficult circumstances, miles from home. Later she was to become a bereaved mother and weep at the cross. Her love for God helped her to cope.

He also spoke about the very special Nativity we have in the Cathedral. It is made of Sheffield steel.

It’s an unusual scene because Joseph is holding baby Jesus, not Mary. Also, Joseph is wearing a Steelworker’s apron.

At the end of the service we spent a while looking round the rest of the Cathedral. It is a beautiful place, with part of it being rebuilt following damage in the Sheffield Blitz.

Looking towards the main altar
Sheffield Cathedral
Looking back towards the main entrance and the Lantern
Sheffield Cathedral
Sheffield Cathedral

We also upheld the tradition of lighting candles for departed souls. It’s a sad fact that the older we get, the more candles we have to light. It’s heartbreaking that some of these candles are for children and young adults who died of cancer.

So I took my fears to the Cathedral today, like many who have been there before me, and I did find some peace in the moment. I left with the hope of starting new traditions, and trying to find the courage to let go of the hurt and pain.

Seasons Greetings!

Posted in musings

Support Groups and Self Help

There are shelves full of self help books in the shops. It’s big business. While I don’t doubt that some may be useful, my feelings are that the only winners are the writers and publishers, cashing in on our problems.

To truly know and appreciate something, you have to have been there yourself. That applies to everything in life.

You could read a fantastic travel blog for instance, but until you get chance to visit the places you read about, the articles are just words and pictures. I’m not dissing travel blogs, I love them, but they are not a fully dimensional experience and you can only imagine the feels.

Support groups are made up of people who have been there and done that. They will have similar experiences and common ground. For instance, if you’ve never slept on a camp bed beside your sick child in a children’s hospital, you couldn’t understand everything I have to say about it. Another parent who has done that, may have been in a completely different hospital, but they would still know about the machines that bleep all night. They would know about the fear that keeps you awake. They would know about the comfort of the communal kitchen at gone midnight. They would remind you to bring a blanket and a cushion from home. They would remind you to bring earphones and suggest a calming playlist.

The one piece of advice I remember from my English classes is “write about what you know”, and I think that’s true for speaking too. Don’t pretend to be an expert if you are not!

For the good times

Support groups don’t have to be for the bad times. They can be for the good times too. I’m so grateful to be part of my blogging group and gain new knowledge about this hobby from other bloggers, and passing on to others what I’ve already learned.

Related post:

Twitter Friends Tag

I like being part of the crafting community too, and swapping tips and ideas, or just spending time together making things with my friend Christine or my Mum (but she’s miles away so it doesn’t happen often).


I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you’re getting the best support and the best advice.

Marie-Cêline

Posted in musings

Friday Favourites

Review of 2018 – Part 1

As 2019 is approaching, it feels right to look back at the past year.

One of my biggest achievements, aside from this blog, is starting my YouTube channel.

Marie Schofield YouTube

please click here to visit my channel

I have created videos of days out with my husband, which I hope people have enjoyed watching as much as I’ve enjoyed making them.

I have become an avid YouTube viewer as well, both for relaxation and to study the content in the hopes of picking up some good tips and learning new techniques.

We live hundreds of miles away from our family, so my videos helped me show them around this part of the country.

The whole process of recording the video, taking photos, editing, adding music and the voiceover, has been so enjoyable and totally absorbing. The only disappointment for me was not being able to grow my subscribers.

I desperately wanted to get more than 100 subs so that I could get a custom URL. That prompted me to look at alternative ways to get that prize, and I found a temporary solution!

https://mariexceline.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/how-to-get-a-custom-youtube-url-with-under-100-subscribers/

My goals for 2019

  1. Grow my channel and get a custom URL
  2. Get more confident talking to camera
  3. Make more vlogs

So pleeeeeease, if you haven’t already watched one of my videos, go and take a look at my channel and become a subscriber! It would give me such a boost to be able to name my channel. I would feel like a proper YouTuber then!!

Thank you 😊