Accentuate the positive


I’m sorry that I haven’t posted much recently.  Surprisingly, July is my busiest month in terms of having time available to do things.  You would think with the students having more or less finished for the year it would be an easier time of year, but in my case there are conferences and holidays to contend with and thus August is a time of getting back into work and routine.

That said, I have been working  on lots of things which I will write about, but first I want to do a slightly unusual post about journalling and noticing ‘stuff’.

I have kept a journal for years and years, although not every single day of all of those years.  I generally start the day with it because early morning is my best thinking time.  I have lots of my best ideas at those times and can write them down before I forget.  Yesterday I was moaning to my diary that the previous day had been very unsatisfactory and that I hadn’t found much satisfaction in any of the creative work I had been trying to do.  This is unusual because Sunday is a day that I retreat to my workroom after walking the Mighty Mutt, and I am usually really energised by my sewing.  Because I was feeling so flat, I sarcastically left a box in my journal to write down the wonderful thing which was going to occur that day.  This is an old technique from motivation courses that I used to teach on about thirty years ago.  You are supposed to look yourself in the mirror (and a journal is a kind of mirror) and say outloud to yourself, ‘Something wonderful is going to happen today.’  I didn’t really expect to be spilling much ink filling in the box later.

So I was surprised to find that I had some things to note down this morning.  I was rather hoping for a massive cheque or a book deal or an interview with Grayson Perry, which is ridiculous.  The universe is not going to deliver on major things like that on demand.  Instead, I found myself looking out for good things, and this is where I found the technique interesting.  It forced my attention onto the positive.  The day was still the day, but I was looking for things to enjoy rather than endure.  I waded through a lot of dreary admin, and marking of student drafts and so on, but I also experienced some good things.  Here is the list:

  • My monthly stationery lucky dip package turned up from  Pricey for what it is, but always contains a treat or something cool (sorry) or interesting.
  • I managed for the first time ever to return work to a student saying I wasn’t prepared to read it unless it was re-written for readability.  I am so scared of upsetting students with my comments that I would normally soldier on, but this one was so dense I had no idea what s/he was saying.
  • I found the perfect backing fabric for my Laura Ashley Regency quilt on  I have been thinking about this for months and when I saw the print on the website although it wasn’t what I was looking for, I knew it was absolutely the right thing.  I just need to work out how much to order.
  • I sat down at my work table and although it took me ages to get going, I made a special gift for a friend.  I had no inspiration and did not feel like making, but the desire to make something exquisite for her kicked in at some point and I am very pleased with what I made.  It is a wallet to hold paper money.  It has corny hearts on it for friendship and it is made with my favourite burning back technique with a very cheap remnant of a rainbow organza over some lovely leftover silk.  Then a lot of hand stitching and an awful lot of pearl beads.  All made between tea and bed time.

I will finish with some photos of the wallet.


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5 thoughts on “Accentuate the positive

  1. Looking for positives is such a good practice (and so difficult to remember to do!!)
    I love the wallet – your friend will be thrilled with it, I’m sure.

  2. It’s worth splurging on spoonflower because the postage is so expensive, plus if your parcel costs more they send it ups, which avoids the ridiculous extra fees imposed by royal mail

  3. a real gem that little pearled purse! well done. i totally get your frustration, comes with the territory of being a sensitive creator!! we just have to keep learning to manage ourselves in our environments and situations! the challenges of . . .

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