Category Archives: Life in General

My Word for the Year – Simplify

A few weeks ago while I was feeling overwhelmed by life, and basically just STUFF, I realised the first step was to Simplify everything.  I came across Jessica Swift’s Goal And Intention Kit
2016_Goal_Intention_Kit-cover-square - word for the year - Simplify  I found this was a perfect way to focus my mind, almost the first page I filled in was the ‘Word for the Year page’.  Obviously my word was SIMPLIFY and I’m sharing my thought processes right here…

Word for the year - Simplify(You might think now being a quarter of the way into the year makes this post slightly out of date, but who says a new year can’t begin at the Spring equinox?  ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life’ and all that!)

For an inveterate hoarder who has just inherited a houseful more stuff that sounds like a tall order but ‘Baby Steps’ they say and I’m actually getting much better at donating things, giving things away and even, when all else fails, going to the tip!

As it’s William Morris‘ 182nd birthday today it’s seem appropriate to say I am using as my mantra his famous saying…

Simplify - Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautifulI’ve only got the one house, how hard can it be?  (oh, and there’s the studio….and the shed...)

Anyway, how about all you out there, my creative friends?  Are you minimalists or do you hang on to every little thing – just in case – like I have for far too many years.  I know I’m not a tidy person but I also know how much clutter cramps my creativity, and I need my creativity!

If you think a word for your year would focus your mind you can make it official on the OneWord365 website.  I joined the #Simplify Tribe! (I am definitely ‘a work in progress’)

I’ll be back with a be-YOO-tiful new magazine to review, inspiration for the simple life.

See you soon…x

Back on Planet Penny…

BlackthornHello! I’m here again, and feeling strangely shy…it’s seems such a long, looong time that I’ve been away.

Firstly, e-NOR-mous thank yous for the incredible support and kind thoughts from so many of you after my last post.  I tried hard to acknowledge you all and I really hope I didn’t miss anyone.  If I did, it wasn’t that I didn’t read and appreciate everything I was sent, but it was a bit of a blur at the time.

I am a little daunted that while I’ve been away quite a few new people have signed up to follow the blog and I’ve had to convince myself that no-one is expecting me to make a dramatic come back, leaping from the wings in fishnets and top hat, tap dancing furiously… are you? Eek!

No, it’s going to be slow and steady, accompanied by lots of Early Grey green tea, my new favourite, and sitting down.  Oh and Higgins will be around too, he’ll be helping with the sitting down.

I’ve just come home from an amazing, relaxing week by the sea on the south coast where all I really had to do was to watch the waves so now I’m ready to get back into the swing of things.  I’ve missed you all!Bexhill view

The Etsy shop will reopen on 21st March and I’ll be back here again very soon, I’m really looking forward to it xxx

A pause…

2ca1537e9754bd3d3b50a610c653727bHello, all you lovely people out there in Blogland, who have visited Planet Penny so often over the years commenting and generally joining in with projects and other jollities.

I’ve found it hard to keep the blog posts coming lately, and I think it’s time to admit that I’m struggling.  If I’d fallen over and broken my ankle I would be perfectly open about it, so admitting another part of my body is in need of repair shouldn’t be a problem.  It’s ingrained in us, isn’t it, to feel we have to hush up mental health issues? Certainly when I was growing up those sort of problems were talked about in whispers.

So I’m letting you know that I have been diagnosed with severe depression.  With medication and counselling, I’m confident I will beat it.  I know that many of you out there will be similarly affected so I don’t want to pussyfoot around and be coy, it’s nothing to be ashamed about.

A break from Planet Penny will mean I can put all my energies into regaining my equilibrium and spirit which I need to do for my nearest and dearest. My goal for the blog is to come back in good form in the Spring, and I really hope you will be around when I do!

Meanwhile, thank you all for just being out there, wherever you are.  I wish you a joyful and peaceful Christmas and New Year and I hope to back here again before very long.

xx

 

 

 

Pondering on Autumn days…

Autumn Days in Norfolk

Autumn in the UK is a constant source of surprise.

One day it feels like the sun hasn’t even risen, the gloom and rain is unrelenting and all you want to do is to snuggle up inside by the with a hot drink, a good book and a little woolly project. Oh, and in my case, a warm dachshund!)

And then another day will dawn and all you want to do is to dash of to the beach – again with small dog in tow – and breath in some fresh air and listen to the waves shooshing on the sand.

So this has been the week on Planet Penny.  The wet days and the gloomy days have made persuading Higgins out of the door quite a challenge and I don’t think he appreciates the delights of the autumn hedgerows AT ALL, but I do…

Autumn hedgerow - Nightshade berriesAutumn leavesMin dachshund in coatBut then the sun came out, and after a couple of hours battling with a large overgrown honeysuckle in the garden, Higgins and I headed off to the seaside to catch the last of the Autumn light…Autumn on the Norfolk coastWaxham 6It’s amazing to get there when it’s completely deserted, just me and a little dog, who just runs and runs and runs, and get a bit frustrated when I don’t join in!

miniature dachshundI spend a lot of the time with my head down looking for treasures, sea glass which is a rare find here…sea glassBrightly coloured seaweed…seaweed on the autumn beachjust appreciating the colours of the sea…Waxham 4The clocks go back this weekend, I hate losing the evening light, don’t you, so these Autumn excursions will become even more precious.

And talking of the dark evenings, have you entered the giveaway for the Dayight Lamp yet?  I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments about what you love best about Winter but there’s still some time left to join in, just enter HERE for a chance to win.

Here’s sending you sun filled Autumn days, and cosy crafty Autumn nights by the fire!

See you soon…x

The Complete Beginners Guide to Knitting

If you’ve always wanted to knit but don’t know where to start, or if you have a friend or family member begging to be taught, this handy infographic sent to me by Clippers Ireland, The Complete Beginners Guide to Knitting might just be what you are looking for!

(And it’s pink!)

beginners-guide-to-knitting-clippers-ireland-infographic6inchYou might have to zoom in a bit, but I hope you find it useful.

I’m away for a few days now, off to the seaside, (hooray!) so I’ll be packing my crochet and my knitting to keep me busy.

I’ll be back soon…x

Spring cleaning…in September!

September sunshine - Norfolk UKThat September ‘new term’ feeling never goes away really, does it?  All those years of seeing the ‘Back to School’ displays in the shop windows, the new school sandals (yuk!) and the new pencil case.

So it always seems a good time to start something new, or give something established a freshen up and that’s what I’m working on with the blog at the moment.  I’ve been blogging now for seven years, I can hardly believe it… there are 569 posts!  Because the whole thing has grown up a bit piecemeal over time I need to have a tidy up.

But it’s a bit like deciding to sort out the box of photos under the bed.  I’ve got right back to the beginning re-reading every post, it’s a lovely trip down memory lane!  I’ve gone back to past holidays, the arrival of Higgins and all the cute baby pics, the building of my studio, the passing seasons…It’s such a lovely record of my life and I’d never have done it without the blog.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the new Planet Penny header.  There’s so much going on here that than just wool so although I’m very fond of my sheep, I hope the new look encompasses the fact there’s a lot going on, and it’s all colourful!

But as well as beavering away at the computer I’m trying to make the most of any September sun which comes our way, (which, alas, has been a bit elusive.  I’m listening to the rain as I type!) I’ve been in charge of dog walking this past week so my camera has gone with me, and also a little friend of Higgins called Coco.  I’ve had my hands full.

mini dachshunds in September sunNorfolk UK - SeptemberThe hedgerows are full of berries this year, I don’t know when I’ve seen so many.  It’s a sign of bad weather to come so they say… memo to self: Knit more socks!hawthorn berries - Norfolk UK - SeptemberJust such a fabulous colour, aren’t they?  I always think the Nightshade berries look like necklaces the way they twine through the hedgerows…

Nightshade berries - September - Norfolk UKHaving a supply of poo bags when out for a walk is jolly handy if you want to do a spot of spontaneous blackberry picking…blackberries - SeptemberBut there are still summer flowers…scabious2015-09-19 16.26And bees…

2015-09-19 16.09and a fairy ring…Fairy ring - September - Norfolk, UK toadstools toadstools2But the fairy dogs weren’t interested…Mini dachshunds Higgins&Coco3…until I mentioned the word T-R-E-A-T-S…mINI DACHSHUNDS Higgins&CocoHiggins gets quite bossy about treats!Mini dachshunds - September -Norfolk UKMeanwhile, back home and I’m crocheting up a big warm sweater with cold days in the studio in mind.  After my lovely weekend at the Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive I was inspired by Ruby’s big chunky crochet creations and so I was delighted to find that the issue of Simply Crochet magazine I bought last year (because I’m in it too!) had Ruby’s jumper on the front.Crochet Entrepreneur in Simply CrochetI’ve customised it (because I’m not a sylph-like twenty year old) and I think it’s going to be very cosy.  It’s a brilliantly simple pattern, no shaping and only the one stitch all through.  What can go wrong? Picking up the wrong hook and doing half a sleeve with it before noticing, that’s what went wrong!  2015-09-20 10.11

So, not quite finished yet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my September ramblings, do you spring clean in September too?

I’ll be back soon…x

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