The Changing Seasons: July 2020

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“By all means use sometimes to be alone. Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear.” — George Herbert. Early morning, Waikato River at Mercer, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2020

I consider it a success in life that I can accept (if not entirely understand) the ebb and flow of my emotional state. I’ve learned to recognise when I’m struggling, and not to make the bad times worse by beating myself up about having a bad time.

I’ve also learned that eventually (so far) I will find something — however small — that triggers joy and that a little turn of the screw in the right direction can re-set the machine and get the cogs moving again.

July, it has to be said, has been a month largely lacking in cog action.

A short road-trip (in lieu of visiting my dad) provided an opportunity to read, think and relax away from all the usual chores and responsibilities. I didn’t venture too far from home, and despite the rain and school holidays, enjoyed re-visiting Hamilton and the small towns of the Hauraki Plains. It struck me though, that even as we’re being told the country is open for business, Covid 19 has taken a huge toll on many small communities, especially in the tourist-dependent hospitality sector. Those cafes that were open at all were operating shortened hours — which led to some “interesting” ad hoc meals.

Even the wonderful Hamilton Gardens seemed straggly and bare, with several of the themed gardens closed. I know that is partly a consequence of the time of year, but suspect the vastly reduced number of visitors has provided an opportunity for low-impact maintenance and repair.

Since my return, I’ve pottered about and made a little progress on a few projects, but generally got to the end of each day and wondered where the time had gone.

As the month-end approaches, I’m feeling a sense of being able to draw a line under July and move into August with some enthusiasm. I’ve got two weeks to prepare for the first “posh” dinner I’ve hosted in years, and I suspect I’ll be testing a few practice dishes on The Big T (like he’s going to complain).

I’ve also set myself the challenge of doing one creative, just-for-fun thing every day in August (is Arty August too cheesy a title). I have a few biggish projects that can only be done in stages, but think I need to also set little goals — like a daily doodle or something similar. In announcing my intention, I’ve made myself accountable; if only to my end-of-August Changing Seasons self.

 

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them.

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

Update

Please visit these bloggers to find out how July played out for them:

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Little Pieces of Me

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Ladyleemanila

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Sarah at Art Expedition

Suzanne from Life at No 22

Darren at The Arty Plantsman

 

 

 

 

 

Where

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If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau. Image: Su Leslie

I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be. — Douglas Adams

Ok, lots of words. But I’m still posting this to Debbie’s One Word Sunday | where — because when I started thinking about it, this is where I ended up.

When the packaging’s part of the present

Finished! Toy sack that doubles as gift-wrapping for the mokopuna‘s* Christmas gift.

I am trying to reduce the amount of packaging waste I generate, and while I can’t do anything about the plastic and cardboard encasing the little one’s train set, I figured I could at least deliver it in something useful.

‘Cos seriously, what boy doesn’t collect stuff?

*mokopuna (often shortened to moko) is the Maori word for a young grandchild, niece, nephew — or in our case, first cousin twice removed.

Isn’t moko so much nicer.

In love with the lustre

obi-sash cushion lustre

Another up-cycled kimono sash cushion cover. Image: Su Leslie 2018

(Still) feeling too lethargic and woolly-headed from my cold to get out and do much, I am amusing myself with simple projects — like up-cycling kimono sashes (obi).

The latest cushion was made entirely from the silk in the sash itself and required very little sewing.

I love these fabrics; the beautiful colours and designs, and the wonderful lustre of the silk fibres.

Posted to Ragtag Daily Prompt | lustre.

Working in colour

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Getting ready. Image: Su Leslie 2018

All the spring-cleaning and re-organising of my stuff that’s been going on has revealed the true extent of my fabric stash, and I am determined to start using it.

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Green certainly seems to be my colour. Image: Su Leslie 2018

These shades of blue and green seem to form the palette of my life, and I think look really good on my newly painted work table.

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New work table, new enthusiasm. Image: Su Leslie 2018

Sanded, sealed, splashed and sealed again; our old table repurposed. The surface is smooth enough for working with fabric, and waterproof so I can use it for painting too.

It’s amazing how having a fun, colourful workspace improves my enthusiasm for a project.

Of course the painting helps. I bought it about 30 years ago from a friend who in turn bought it in an art school graduate show. I love the colours, and the landscape is Auckland’s west coast, probably either Piha or Te Henga beach.

Posted to Ragtag Daily Prompt | colour

The Changing Seasons: July 2018

Early morning light behind the Tor at Waiake Beach, Auckland. Su Leslie 2018 Morning. The Tor, Waiake Beach, Auckland, NZ. Su Leslie, 2018

July is proving to be a very inward-looking month. From my photos, it would seem that pretty much all I’ve done is sew, eat and walk on beaches and in gardens.

The sewing started in June, with the “Art Matters” tote I made (supposedly just to hold paints and brushes). It got such a positive reaction from people I seriously considered the economics of making some commercially (not viable). But since I had a stash of fabric and image-transfer paper, I made a few more for friends, and then thought I could do more for going plastic-free if I had a bunch of other totes. The library bag followed, and then some simple calico bags that scrunch up small enough to carry around, and after that a holdall for all the stuff (notebook, pens, glasses, iPad, phone, etc) I carry from office to living room so I can work in either. My journal is filling up with more ideas and designs and I think I am officially obsessed.

I’ve already shared so many food photos this month, I’ll leave you with this shot and the question: what did I make with these ingredients?

img_2870 “mystery box challenge” (ok, I’m watching MasterChef Australia on TV). Su Leslie 2018

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

UPDATE

Be sure to check out how these other bloggers have experienced July

Max at Cardinal Guzman: Version #1 and Version #2

Deb at The Widow Badass Blog

Marilyn at Serendipity, Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ladyleemanila

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Klara

Mick at Mick’s Cogs

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Yvette at Priorhouse Blog

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful