Posted in musings

Merry Christmas!

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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 craft, crochet

Friday Favourites and 2019 Crochet Goals

Crochet

This week I thought I would write about one of my favourite things to make.

For a long time one of my hobbies has been crochet. I was taught by my Mum when I was little, but I didn’t make anything much until recent years when I taught myself how to make traditional granny squares.

Granny squares are the basis for many projects, especially blankets. You can either make one big square or lots of little ones and join them together.

The pattern I follow is always the one where the stitches are in clusters of three with gaps between. The solid granny has always been a mystery to me.

However, yesterday I finally figured it out for myself! It was obvious once I knew how. I’m so pleased as this gives me a whole new scope in the blanket making game, and it’s an accomplishment. Well done me!

You can see my most recent make on my Craft Owl Blog, where I mixed stripes and squares. I had also just figured out how to make an offset square, which made my blanket look very random.

http://bit.ly/Owlcrochet

I am trying again to make a stash busting blanket. If you read the post above you will see that my last one went a bit awry.

My crochet goals for 2019

  1. Shop my stash > this means checking what I have before I buy more, and making sure I start projects which will use up my stash.
  2. Organise colours > I tend to mix everything up, which suits me but isn’t to everyone’s taste.
  3. Label my WIPs > WIP stands for Work In Progress. If I start something and then leave it a while I often forget what size hook I’m using etc, so my plan for 2019 is to label my projects with details of the hook, yarn weight, date started etc.
  4. Buy only neutral colours that I can use to join my stash busting squares with > this speaks for itself really, and goes along with me trying to organise my colours.
Offset granny square

As you can see from my photos I have lots of “tails” of yarn to weave in now, which I shall do before I make the next batch of squares – promise! 🙊

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Posted in Journal, lifestyle, papercraft

Journal along with me | Creating a future log

One very obvious reason for having a planner or [bullet] journal is to be able to see ahead.

Upcoming events and tasks are recorded in a future log. You can create one for any period of time you choose. You could make one for the whole of the coming year, or for the month ahead, or anything in-between!

I would recommend starting with the month ahead.

A future log is useful for remembering things like birthdays though, so jump right in to the year ahead if you want to be very organised.

Decide how much space you need for each day. You don’t need much detail at this stage because you can put more detail into your weekly spread as it comes round.

You could divide your month/year into columns for different things, depending on how busy you are. Mine is very basic.

Remember to update your index

My example above shows a full six weeks and has space for notes or a quote at the top. I’ve used my favourite calendar stamp in the top right. I can use this as a tracker or to highlight important dates …. Or just to cross off the days as they happen.


I do hope that you are finding this series helpful. Please share your planners and journals with me.

My Journal Pinterest Board


If you would like to collab with me in 2019, please fill out the form below, include your email and website and the subject you would like to write about, and I will reply as soon as I can.

Posted in Journal, lifestyle

Journal along with me | Positive affirmations for your first pages

In my post about creating a weekly spread, I suggested you skip the first few pages of your new notebook. Now it’s time to write on them!

One of the things you can use these first pages for is to write some positive affirmations, to remind yourself of the special place you hold in this world.

I’ve turned to my Twitter gang to bring you some beautiful ways for you to tell yourself you are the best.

Geraldine from the blog Geraldine Talks

  • My thoughts matter
  • I will continue to learn and grow
  • I refuse to give up because I haven’t tried all possible ways
  • I am doing the best I can and that is enough
  • I believe in whatever I’m doing and no one can take that away from me

Alison from Little Blog of Positivity

  • Even in the midst of chaos I can always maintain my inner peace
  • I accept me just as I am
  • Every day I have the power to choose, and today I choose to happy

Write down one or all of these quotes, and add some of your own if you wish – then read and repeat as often as you can.

Comment below with your favourite affirmation if you have one!

Pin This!
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 😊

Posted in craft, Journal, lifestyle, papercraft

Journal along with me | Creating a weekly spread

In the first post in this series, I wrote about buying a notebook.

Now you have your book you will probably want to start writing in it straight away, but that can be quite daunting.

My best advice is to skip a few pages

Leave yourself some space to come back to. I will make some suggestions for those blank pages later in this series. Number a few pages then start writing on page 3 or 4.

I suggest you make yourself a simple weekly spread first, because you can get your immediate time organised straight away.

Even if you’re starting your journal in the middle of the week, it doesn’t matter. Draw yourself a grid for seven days.

Beginning on the Monday, write the dates in and fill in your appointments for the week, including those you have already been to.

Add a to-do list with check boxes ☑️ so that you can keep track of your important tasks. At the end of the week, transfer any unfinished tasks to your new to-do list for that week.

I have created a space to write important reminders for the following week too.


The next step is to create an index. I start mine in the back of my notebook. On the left hand side of the page, write the title of your spread eg “weekly spreads” and next to it put the page number. When you add more weekly spreads, just write the page number next to the title, so it will look like this:

INDEX
Weekly spreads ….. 3, 10, 15

Update your index every time you create a new page.


If you would like to share your “before the pen” pages with me, I would love to see them.

Journal weekly spread

Either leave me a link below, or comment on my pinboard 

related content:

which notebook should I buy?