Friday, May 26, 2017

Time to sort my fabric stash...

This year is dedicated to sorting and de-cluttering, organizing and giving away stuff (I've written a little about it here) It is amazing how much stuff we can collect during a period of time... For quite a while it has felt overwhelming with all these things in my home, on my computer, in my attic, in my closet... Even in my hand bag. And in my studio. 

I collected fabric for many years when I was into patchwork, but my sewing machine has been collecting dust for over two years now. I'm not even sure I can remember how to whip up a patchwork baby blanket anymore... For a while I put my fabric stash away in a try to regain control and re-find my sewing mojo, but I'm not sure that tactics worked. Now, after building my much longed for built in shelves, my fabric stash has found its way back. But honestly... When will I ever have time to use up all this fabric? And to be even more honest, I'm just scraping on the surface of my fabric collection in this blog post.

It is hard to sort your most loved things. Sorting and organizing the attic was a piece of cake compared to dealing with my closet full of yarn for example. Letting go is a tough process but very much needed.

My yarn has already been sorted twice. I've given away not less than three garbage bags full, to charity and still I have so much yarn left... My fabric stash on the other hand, I haven't touched yet. And to be honest, right now I just love having it there looking at it, but I know I have to be a bit ruthless there too. So. Don't be surprised if I throw a My Rose Valley Stash Sale campaign. One can only have so much fabric in her house, even if she is lucky enough to have a big studio for herself... Just look at those Liberty fabrics... the Vintage Sheet collection... those minty Fat Quarters... Oh my, this is going to be a tough one. Wish me luck.



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The talk about screen time continues...

There is a battle between generations... There is this ongoing fight between us that makes me exhausted and I'm not sure this fight is never to be won. By either one of us... It is the battle about screen time...

We had a family meeting about screen time and made some drastic changes. It was not a pleasant meeting. There were some raised voices, almost tears, but overall I think we handled it very well. We don't often have family meetings like this, but this felt like an urgent topic to deal with and before going down the road of TAKING IT ALL AWAY in pure frustration, we made the decision to discuss it as a family. The goal was to not put shame, anger or bad feelings into this subject and instead we discussed how we use screens, what we surf for, why we want it and how we feel about it. I know! It sounds so... I can't really find the word... noble??? Correct? Perfect? Well, let me tell you this, I'm far from perfect but I'm proud of the conversation we had and I think we managed it all very well. Everyone got involved. Everyone had their voice heard.

It was painful to face the evil in our small and big devices, and to face the pain of having to put them aside, obeying to a new schedule we all agreed upon. After a couple of weeks of limited use I can already see the tremendous benefits of taking new action. It warms my heart. Luca Bo practices flips and tricks on the trampoline and spends hours on his skateboard, Emmy Bo makes street art, Fimo clay figures and explores new skipping rope and mono cycle techniques. Nelly Bo is being a little bit more present in family life (although her room and her friends are on top of her list above EVERYTHING else of where she prefers to be at age 15. And hanging out with us parents and siblings are probably at the very far bottom or even underground... twink...). So what does our new screen time schedule look like? Well, it isn't set in stone. But it is a guide line.  

Week days: 1 hour, no screens after dinner.
Weekends: 1-3 hours, no screens in afternoons.
Devices (Luca Bo's and Emmy Bo's) are turned into charging station after dinner time to eliminate the temptation of use...

Our framework looks different for each individual in the family as we all are in different ages. Nelly Bo, who is 15, socialize a lot on her phone and for as long as she has a balance of being active, socializing in real life and staying on top of house chores and school work, she is controlling her use herself. And if not, we step in and take it away for a while to "reset" the mindset. Because that is the goal, right? It is our new generation, brought up with screens, living "in" screens and communicating with screens. We all just need to learn how to use them in a balanced way so we don't loose out on real life and turn into isolated couch potatoes. And you know what, it actually really works.

There are more humming and singing and just general happy noise around the house nowadays and we sleep deeper and better. There are less arguments about screen time and more time of playing outside, in our rooms and being together. Overall I feel we have found a good balance now. I just hope we can stick to it. That real life will continue to be the first choice instead of the computers.

I have, personally, taken a big step back spending time online (which you might have noticed over here and in my IG feed...) for different reasons, and it feels really good to be more present in life and get real things done instead of falling deep into the rabbit hole of social media apps... You know what I'm saying, right? It is not just our kids that has a hard time to control their screen time use...

Let me just round up with a little story from my past. A few years ago, before I owned a smart phone, I asked my younger brother who had an iPhone4 at the time if he thought I should get one, for my blogging and so... I had heard about Instagram and wanted to join the community so bad... He just looked at me and said: "If you don't need one, I wouldn't get one. It will BURN in your pocket and create needs you never had before." And it certainly did... But I have also had lots of fun. Life online is not only evil, we just have to find the balance of how we use it. I want to be in charge of my online life, I want my children to be in charge of their online life. I don't want the gadgets and devices to control us... that is my point. And with that I sign off today. Time for some crochet in the garden. Without my phone. 

Note: More discussion on this subject can be read in my old blog post "Time online... All the time?"



Sunday, May 21, 2017

A day trip to France

I made a day trip across Lac Léman to France and the picturesque small town Yvoire. Not often do I go on a day trip on my own, but this time I had a special treat waiting for me, Heike from Made With Loops hosted her yearly Knitting Retreat in the French Alps this year, and of course we just had to meet up for a coffee and a chat! We always do.

I arrived quite early and had the pleasure to watch Yvoire slowly wake up on this sunny morning. Delivery trucks arrived, and goods were delivered to small business owners and restaurants. Shop doors opened up and cafés started to fill up as I strolled the narrow pebble roads. A man with his two rugged dogs walked the path along the wall framing the medieval old town, just to be spotted again some time later chatting with one of the small grocery owners in town. A cheerful shop owner made it irresistible for me to not pop in to her cute store and then come out with some new light cotton purchases to add to my summer wardrobe.

The atmosphere on this side of Lac Léman is so different from the other. Switzerland is out of question a beautiful country, but sometimes almost to perfect. It is clean, proper, organized, safe and looks flawless with its fabulous poppies and lovely views of the French Alps... But here on the other side of the lake I instantly feel less tied up and so much more relaxed. It must be the French culture... And I welcome it with my arms open wide! This is what I need.

I walked along the beach on narrow paths and allowed myself to sit down on a rock and just soak it all in. The sweet air, the sound of the waves and the beautiful views all around me.

Later I met with Heike and her Knitting Retreat team including her lovely organizing partner Claudia from Wollsinn. I had such a lovely time that I forgot to take photos (thank you Heike for sending me the photo!). The hours passed by in a swisch and suddenly it was time to go back home.

Full of inspiration, new friendships and a happy filled heart, I returned back home on the ferry, to the Swiss side of the lake. My home. Maybe less laid back and bohemian but still a very beautiful place to live.

NOTE: For more information about WoolyLoops Knitting Retreats organised by Heike (Made With Loops) and Claudia (Wollsinn) visit follwing links:

Knitting Retreat 2017 Journal by Heike
Knitting Retreat 2017 Journal by Claudia
Wooly Loops Knitting Retreat Information


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