Recently I took a short course called "Achieving Personal Success" on ALISON.

If you've not heard of ALISON before they're a really awesome free learning website with courses in everything from diplomas in psychology, or engineering to short courses in IT skills, languages, and personal growth.

I'm not here to promote though, but I've taken a few courses with them and this was the most recent.

In this course the speaker touched on something I found really intriguing, the idea that its not from lack of interests but from too many that we sometimes don't know what to do with our lives, which makes reaching any sort sense of personal sense of achievement pretty challenging.

He introduce such a simple idea.
The Life Lab Notebook.


Source
This was based on a simple concept which I won't detail here but you can learn more by taking the course if you like, I'll leave a link here (I'm not sponsored! I really just love free learning!)

ALISON Free Achieving Personal Success Course

But the basic idea is this:

Every day, keep a diary as if life were an experiment. 

Record your daily activities and reflect on how you feel that day. Are you proud? Happy? Sad? Do you feel a sense of progress or was your day just incredibly dull - I have those!

After a while you'll get a great sense of what elements of your life keep you positive, and bring you reward, and what elements of life are less enjoyable.
The man who came up with this idea realised the most enjoyable part of his day was keeping the diary! He recalled loving to keep a lab book even as a child documenting bugs in the garden, and realised he would find life most rewarding if he found a career in research. I think he went on to be a social scientist.

But you don't have to use this just in career pursuit, take advantage of the life Lab book in other areas of your life. In food and dieting, physical fitness, life planning and finding hobbies you enjoy outside work.

I love this idea and can't wait to incorporate it into my diary. Just a little "how did I feel today" section might really open my eyes to life's possibilities.

So what do you think? Do you like the idea of a Life Lab book? Do you know any other great tips for pursuing a more fulfilling life? Let us all know in the comments.

Bye for now!


It's another jewellery stocked up!
Don't forget to catch up on the rest of the series here for all sorts of craft hauls!

Today I wanted to show you some of the new additions to my jewellery making plans.
If you've seen my jewellery before on Etsy you may have noticed that I usually work with antique brass.
You might recognise some of the above a staples that I just needed to get back into stock, but there are also some new bits and bobs in there which I'm excited to try out.

Brass may not be to everyones taste but I think there's something about it that suits any skin tone.
Saying that I'm eager to try new things too, not only in tone but in style so i've been coming up with a few new jewellery designs and to give you a little hint here's a few of the pieces that will be starring in the show.















I'm really looking forward to working with some warmer colour materials, and bringing some fresh designs to the shop.

Have you ever had a go at makiny your own jewellery?

Have you heard me talk about Pompoms? I'm completely pompom crazy lately, so I'm so happy to have finished one of my Wips.

Not long ago if you'd said pompoms all I could have thought of was woolly hats or cheer leaders, but a little search on Pinterest and you'll find so many cute and wonderful ideas.
There are truly unlimited possibilities for pompom crafts.


So for my first pompom craft I created this cute pompom nursery rug.
I'm really super pleased with the way it turned out. I love the mix of sizes and colours, and can't get over how comfy and soft it feels under foot.



You can find this very rug in my Etsy store!

Making pompoms has definitely become one of my favourite crafts and I can't wait to try more patterns, shapes and colours.

If you have any pompom crafts ideas let me know in the comments!
This week has gone by in something of a blur, I'm not exactly sure what I did, when I did it, all I know is things happened, days went by and somehow I've ended up in somebody else's house, in a city I don't know, in a country that's not my own, and tomorrow begins a new week.

Sometimes we all have moment of self doubt, of confusion over where our path is taking us.



If you've ever read my blog before you'll know I've made a few posts about reaching your potential, finding out what your true ambitions are, how to enjoy a life that has more than one direction.
I've written a few more posts on my journey down that road too, with education struggles, career changes, lack of career and lofty dreams, so I'm not unfamiliar with this feeling.

Yet it still likes to repeat itself once in a while.
I've been watching a lot of TED Talks this week - that's usual a sign that I'm looking for something more.
I'm not sure how I feel about life at the moment.

I'm in a situation where I've taken time away from "work" purposefully to focus on other passions, while I'm young and can afford it.
In reality I've not taken time of work at all, I just don't get paid for the work I do now.
I've tried to fill my time productively, pursuing crafting ambitions, improving my musical skills, working hard on this blog and dreaming of drama ambitions.

But in reality, simply having more time is not the answer to pursuing your passions and I would not recommend upping and leaving your job for this so bear that in mind if you suddenly get the idea to drop it all.

There are a few key things you need to really make a go of any interest (and time off work is not one of them). I think they are something like this:

Resources
This might be money, time, a location, supplies anything, but typically there's normally something like this involved.

Time management
Being able to organise yourself, set targets and work towards your goals.

Motivation
The drive to learn, work hard, improve, achieve goals.

Confidence that you can!
This is very important because a lot of time and energy can be lost when you have little faith in yourself. Having a supporting network it always invaluable but if that's not there you need need need to believe in yourself.

Self-discipline
This is a big one. I think this often gets confused with any and/or all of the above, but this is a very separate and challenging thing to overcome, and the place where I am currently struggling.

Lacking self-discipline doesn't mean you "just don't want it enough" that's the easy response from the person without the answers to give you, but it is important. Self-discipline is what will make sure you stick to your goals, you manage your time, and reach your potential, an this week I've definitely been lacking.

I won't go all in-depth on it now because I still need to figure it all out.
But you can see why this week has been very contemplative. Contemplation in itself is an important part of any journey. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing with myself right now, but I'm hoping a week away will go some way to helping.

If you ever have weeks like this let me know in the comments, I'd really like to hear from people who are or have been in similar situations.


Hello!

I'm back with another Stocked up. If you've missed the beginning of this series you can find them here:

This week I've been getting all the bits and bobs I needed to finish off some Pips (projects in progress) that are well overdue for completion.

I won't give it away just yet but I'll share the finished project with you very soon!
As always I got a little carried away and bought far more than I needed but I just couldn't let go of anything. Some of these are still waiting for a project plan but the foxes, sheep and penguins are all lined up for Pips.
I just think they're so adorable!















These ribbons were also a bit of a "I can't not" purchase! I was looking for a single colour, but when I came across this gorgeous collection I knew I was going to have to get it. Look at the colours!




What's your favourite? Any suggestions for future projects?
I'm collecting ideas for a DIY series so let me know in the comments below if you'd like to see something crafty soon!
xx


Do you have any hidden talents? A hobby you loved to do and takes up all your time? Have you ever thought of holding a workshop but have no ideas where to start?

Well just last week I was in the same situation and hopefully the research I've done can encourage you to take the plunge too.

The good news is you have the skill already so thats a big part of the work done. Always go with a craft that you've done time and time again. That way you'll know it inside out, you will have likely tried and test several methods, and will know how to overcome any challenges that might present in the workshop.

Now you've got an idea of what you'll be doing, you also want to time it to make sure you can fit it into a reasonable time slot, but also that any complete beginners will still be able to complete it before the time is up. A good timescale is around 1.5 - 2 hours.

Before you getting carried away planning, buying supplies and booking venues, ask around. Put your idea on some local forums, see how people respond. Do they love the idea? Would they be interested in crafts but a different activity? Do they love the activity but think its too complicated? Is it in there price range?

Then once you've got a good idea of what your customer wants do some research into other local crafts. Get an idea for whats already available, how to fill a gap and the current going rates for attending a workshop. This is also a really useful way to get an idea on how you'll then design posters and publish your event.

So you've not got an idea, shown interest, and a good idea of your niche and the going price for workshops in your area.

Now you can start your planning.
You're going to need to purchase sufficient supplies, book a venue, prepare posters and a webpage with a registration form, make sure your covered by insurance, and start to get the word out!

There's a lot of work involved to start but once you've got the tools and the know-how running workshops is going to come quicker and easier with every event you do.

Most importantly persevere and don't get disheartened if your first one doesn't quite go to plan. 

I hope this was useful and if you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments!

This week I had nothing planned. I thought I was going to have a relaxed week of reading, crafting and sunning myself.

So I was totally taken aback by the frantic planning that became me week.
To start off I was asked to house-sit in London (more on that soon).

On Tuesday I got the details for an Arts and Crafts festival I was invited to join this Autumn and I became very aware of the fact I've never run a workshop before - ever.
I've taught little kids maths, bigger kids violin, and students and adults of all ages a range of psychology topics, but crafts? never.




With nerves rising I thought I should probably get some practice in. I sent a post out on Facebook to see if anyone would be willing to be a guinea pig for a trial workshop and 1 hour later I had 5 people already signed up!

It was a huge surprise that anyone responded, but also really exciting.
The week turned into a hubbub of activity, planning, preparing and publishing the event.

I have to pinch myself that it's happening but I'm so excited.
If I can apply my teaching experience to craft workshops I know it will be a great success, and hopefully a lot of fun!
I've seen this tag going around on YouTube in the crafting community so I thought I'd put my hand in and show you some of my yarn craft 'essential' non-essentials!

Of course we have our true essentials that you really can't do without:






Knitting needles
A Crochet hook
Yarn
Tape Measure
Scissors


But then we have the non-essentials. These are things I always carry no matter what and get used all the time:




Counters
Counter are so useful, especially on big projects and they can save so much time that would usually be used going back and re-counting for the upteenth time how much you've done. It can be so easy to lose count of convince yourself you did 100 rows when you've only done 99 - Life saver!

I also forgot my needle covers were in here too. I don't use these as often as everything else, but they are great when you're working with a lot of stitches or if you're travelling, just pop your project in your bag and your off with no worries of stitches falling off.


(look at the size of them!)


Giant Safety Pins
These I just cannot knit without! They are so useful for carrying stitch markers, smaller safety pins and other bits and bobs. But they are especially great if you spot a dropped stitch you want to come back to later, for saving stitches for a different pattern, or for stitches you'll re-join at a later date. A lot of patterns might recommend putting stitches onto a loop of spare yarn, or onto another needle e.g. double pointed needle, but safety pins just make everything easier, and you know those stitches are going nowhere until you need them.




Clover PomPom makers
These are a very new addition to the collection, you might have seen my post on these recently. I have no idea how I've gone so long without them. They have revolutionised my previously sorry looking pompoms into pompom kings and queens. I now have the longest list of pompom inspired crafts to do, and they are so easy to whip up!

(Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see a tutorial).

Spool
A spool is another one I am using all the time. Although I like to knit the traditional way I also love to loom knitting, and have really enjoyed experimenting with different shapes, sizes and patterns. The Spool loom is one I always carry around, its great for making embellishments or accessories, and has a whole range of other uses. I've made quite a few pieces with spools on my Etsy store.




Needle Ruler
Another handy-dandy tool. This one doesn't always travel with me but always gets used. I tried where I can to buy vintage or second hand needles, but that means the sizing might be in US or UK sizing, so this is a quick and simple way to make sure i'm working with the right size needle. It also has that nifty little ruler at the size which is great for inromptu measurements that don't need me to go hunt for that tape measure I keep losing!



Spare Yarn
Its always useful to have a little spare yarn in a bright colour on hand. If you're not carry stitch markers a quick loop in another colour can come in really handy, and takes up no space at all.
(Music is always a non-essential too. This just arrived, so excited!)

Brush
And last but not least a brush! I forgot to take a photo of this but I always carry a small powder brush in my knitting bag. If you've ever worked with yarn you'll know that little bits of fluff end up getting everywhere, especially when giving those pompoms a hair cut! Having a powder brush on hand is just a really quick and easy way to clean up all those loose strands and avoid getting that I was slept on my a purple cat look.

Knitting goals
Although I don't have one, something I've seen a few experienced knitters with is a ball winder. I wind everything by hand at the moment but the envy monster has got me again, so thats definitely going to be the next thing to make it into my collection.

So there you have it my yarn craft non-essentials.
If you're a crafter let me know what item you can never go without.

Thanks for stopping by!
xx

Its 7am, you've gone for a jog in the forest and just 10 minutes in you've come to the realisation that all that couch time this year has seriously caught up on you, jogging right now is not an option.
You decide to tell the group to go own because you know the way back. So when you decided to carry on walking a little while...what were you thinking?

So that was how I started my adventures in New Forest, lost among the trees, with no phone, no food, oh and it was raining!
haha!





But no, although I won't deny the panic that was slowly rising boy was it beautiful.
When I was a child I spent a lot of summers in the forest, and it had been a long time since I could remember walking through such high reaching trees so it was still magical (even with the panic).
You'll be pleased to know, I made it back. Turn out the path I ended up on was just the other side of the wall to our cottage (phew).

If you've ever been to New Forest you'll know how full of wildlife is it. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful secluded cottage, home to rabbits, squirrels, wood peckers, snakes (not everyone's friend) and even a herd of roaming deer!




While in the forest we explored the local villages, cycled, kayaked, got lost looking for the archery site, had lots of tea and cake, enjoyed the countryside in relaxation, and introduced ourselves to some of the locals.

New Forest is definitely a great place to get outdoors and try some fun activities, but actually our primary goal was family. For just 5 days, New Zealand and Wales met in a little English cottage to reunite, share stories and enjoy each others company.
That was the most special part of the journey.










This break I've made some very special memories I hope to never forget.
Still, even though I love to explore there's something really exciting about the lead up to starting new projects, making plans and seeing progress so I'm really pleased to be home too, and onto my next adventure.

Do you have travel plans this year?


Hello!
I'm bringing in another new series to Theas Thinkings.

We've been very busy crafting of late, so I wanted to bring in a series that would bring back more variety to the blog. In my new "Staples" series I'm going to be doing something of a 'show and tell' surrounding life, travel, food, fashion...pretty much anything you can think of!
If you like this series please let me know anything you'd like to see as a future staple in the comments section.

Today is my Jewellery Staples.

I wouldn't say I have one particular style, my wardrobe is full of variety, and my outfits generally reflects my mood and personality on the day.
But for a little while now I've had a few staple pieces that are always my go to options.

I suppose there is something of a theme here, so maybe that's an indication of my true self. As I have olive skin I'm always drawn to warmer tones, brass, bronze, gold, copper, brown... These all pretty much fit under that category.



These are the first to show you. This leaf necklace I just adore. I feel like it goes with almost anything in my wardrobe, and I love that its a real leaf that's been ironized somehow (I may have just made up that word but you get where I'm going with it) - Magic!
Little fact, my nick name since I was a baby has always been "Leaf" so I've collected quite a few leaf necklaces over time.

The watch is a new addition and one I love. I like the subtle rose gold, but the deep chocolate leather strap and sleek think watch face is what drew me in. I also love that it doesn't have a second hand so its silent as a mouse.

Finally the necklace on the left, used to be a silver spoon! I bought this from the streets of Brooklyn, and watched it made for me there and then. I love it because it gives me a silver option, something I don't often wear, but paired with the dark leather strap its just perfect.


These rings I wear almost everyday. Both were heirlooms passed down by my mother, the first being hers, and the second being my grandmothers wedding ring. Both are incredibly precious to me.

The flower necklace was a new buy, bought at Cardiff craft and vintage market, and is a real dried orchid flower encased in a little glass globe. I like how it gives a burst of colour, and a statement piece to my more simple outfits.





Lastly, some bold brass. The solid round necklace is one I wear a lot. Again great for simple outfits needing a statement, it also looks really classy and smart when I need to look that little bit extra made up, and finally the wrap around bracelet I bought on the steps of the Eiffel Tower, Paris.

I love this because I don't really wear bangles or bracelets anymore but this is just so flexible, I can make it into any shape, or pattern, and use if as a bracelet, bangle, arm cuff or necklace! A real, keeper, I only wish I'd bought it in more colours!

So that's my staple jewellery collection.

What do you always turn to to complete an outfit? Leave me links in the comments.


Hello folks, it's another weekly post.


So we're a few hours late but if you follow me on twitter you will know that I've been away on a short break in New Forest with my family, so a little late is okay!

It's been so nice to get away from technology for a few days, and get back to nature.

The week has been filled with outdoorsy activity, forest exploring, and family catch ups.






I somehow managed to rescue another animal - that's two in as many weeks. I'm a regular David Attenborough!

This time she was a very poorly little Hedgehog. After findings her lying flat on the pavement and contacting a local hedgehog sanctuary she got bundled up and taken to be cared for. Don't worry they are taking her back when she's good and well again!

Having spoken with the rescue centre since it turns out she was very sick. She was super skinny with lots of nasty parasites and dehydrated from the summer heat we've been having, but the good news is she has a fight ahead of her but she's doing really well. Fingers crossed she'll be back out in the country in no time.

Stay tuned for my Travel Diaries soon to find out exactly what we got up to.

I'm off to unpack so I hope you've had a lovely week. In the comments below let me what your holiday plans are this summer.


Hi,

If you're new you might not know that I run an etsy shop, and if you do you'll already know that some of my pride and joys are the jewellery in my celtic knot collection.

I've really enjoyed branching out into jewellery making I'm coming up with ideas faster than I can make them. It's been so nice to have such positive feedback from customers too that its really motivated me to get even more creative.


So as usual I had another stock splurge and bought some new charms for my collections. I went of for a steam punk sort of theme and love everything!


Do you have a favourite?
Let me know what you think.
xx

p.s. I also do custom order so if you see anything you love feel free to ask!
Hello there!
As things have become might crafty of late I thought I'd share with you some of my current works and projects in progress.

I've been working on quite a few things already this month, some are stocking up on staple pieces for my Etsy shop and lots are brand new things I've never tried before!

The first thing I wanted to show you it my first ever baby jumper. Not long ago a lovely customer of mine complimented some of my nursery decor suggesting that she would love to see more gender neutral things on the market, and ever since I've been on a wild adventure to test my skills and incorporate a gender neutral collection into my shop.



This jumper is my first ever attempt at making tiny person sized clothes and I'm super pleased with how it came out. I love the colours, I like the pattern, and its so so uber soft, now just seam it all together and you'll be able to find it in the shop very soon!

I've also been working on a ton of different pompom crafts. Its amazing how much you can do with pompoms and I'm obsessed with my new pompom makers (you might remember I wrote about these in a post last week) so I can wait to share all my creations with you.

For now I'm going to keep them a secret but if you can guess, some of the clues are in the picture! Let me know in the comments if you think you figured it out!


I'm also expanding my Celtic knot jewellery collection to include an assortment of new knots, links and colours. Although I think these look a bit shocker in the photos (thank you bright sunlight!) I really think they are going to turn out great.


Lastly on my current Pips is a collection of bunting. I think knitted bunting can have a high risk of looking super out-dated, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to really make these special.


So that's everything I have to show you this week.
I'd really like to start doing tutorials on here, so if there's anything you've seen of anything you think of you've always wanted to know how to make, let me know in the comments and I'd love to start a simple DIY series.
Thanks for stopping by!
xx

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