Saturday, 16 March 2013

Birthday Cushions

Another hobby of mine is sewing. Quite a departure from Pole Fit but there we go, no one can say I'm not well rounded! As I'm saving to buy a house I have tried to focus more on home made gifts this year and for family & friends birthday's it has become tradition that I make them a cushion. And here are a few of them below.

I try to make sure that the cushion somehow matches their personality or something they really love and I hope they can tell that I have enjoyed making it for them, perfectionist meltdown's aside (see post below)

I was hoping to be able to make a day trip to the Knitting and Stitching show this weekend in London but looking out of the widow this morning I am mighty glad that I decided against it. Its on again later in the year so I am planning to go then when funds allow and I have got more confidence to go with a bit more purpose and hopefully go to some workshops.

My next journey with craft is crochet. I have got the basic stitches but I want to get some proper tuition and learn what I can make. My craft bag is a graveyard of half started mutant things right now, hopefully i'll be able to cobble them together and make some crochet frankinstein object!! I have just subscribed to Gathered magazine (A digital craft magazine) by Mollie Makes which is gorgeous and they have a subscription offer on at the moment. If you are at all into decorating or craft I really would recommend a read.

On that note I am off to download the latest issue...have a good weekend!

Perfecting the art of perfection

Well today's post was actually meant to be posted yesterday. The reason why it wasn't? I am a perfectionist, and I choked. I spent nearly an hour writing and knew after about 2 minutes that the post wasn't coming along how I'd hoped but I battled on regardless, hoping that maybe it would turn out okay.

It's a funny thing perfectionism, the goal is to create something that could be described as unsurpassable, the best, something to be admired and awed by others maybe, but in the process of striving for perfection we can in fact cut off our nose to spite our face. Trying to create anything to such a high standard is by definition a tall order. It's something that personally I find stressful in the making, whilst hoping that if I reach the goal, my anxiety will somehow be soothed. If you're a perfectionst like me, you'll know that achieving Nirvana rarely happens and often, what started off as a pleasurable project can turn into a frustrating meltdown. Or is that just me?

Yesterday though, I was so pleased to find that I might not be as alone as I thought in my love/hate relationship with my perfectionist tendencies. My job requires me to be super organised, not just for me but sometimes for others too, and I quite like this responsibility. My perfectionist nature shines through and helps me to be as good as I can be at my day job. But when it comes to my hobbies, the other side of the perfect mask shows its face.

During a Blog Boss class this week we touched on the topic of perfection and all the points raised, hit home with me. I realised that sometimes I am way too harsh with myself and I need to stop holding back and waiting until my projects (whatever they be) are perfect, as my "very good" is more than likely good enough. I should enjoy the ride and not get saddled with too many doubts as really my harshest critic is me! All I can do is try to be and do the best I can and not worry about how that compares to what others might do.

This realisation touches all areas of my life and one of my not so secret hobbies is attending Pole Fit classes and after yesterday's "epiphany", I had my best session yet and got a bumper sticker to boot! I think I surprised a few people by taking pole up, as it requires confidence and body awareness which I find a bit awkward to say the least. I have been struggling the last few weeks as I didn't feel I was making enough progress compared to others, and this was the problem. By comparing myself and not being perfect in my eyes I was instantly a loser. But it wasn't an even playing field! Why was I trying to compare myself as a beginner to girls who have been pole-ing for a year or more? Last night I un-consciously let myself go, focussed on what I wanted to achieve out of the session and in doing so go the best "pole high", it's fired me up even more for next week.

So in the week ahead, I am going to try my best to let go a little more, not focus so much on the perfect ending, but make the journey more interesting and enjoyable for what it is. If you are a perfectionist too then why not give yourself a break, even just for 1 blog post :-)

**The images are from Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook so I'm afraid I don't know who to credit. The pole one I believe is from Pole Nation and was shared by my teacher from their site.

Monday, 11 March 2013


So, this is a little bit scary. it's my first ever 'real' post and I find myself with a case of bloggers block! There are so many different topics I could start with, but just as many questions rise to the surface as the number of ideas that come to mind. Hmmm, so what to do...

As I introduced below I am taking one of Holly Becker's blogging courses and the one I am taking now is 'Blog Boss'. As of today I am a week in and the lessons have been just what I expected, although I have come away feeling equally excited and daunted by the prospect of being a Blog Boss. Well, I say 'being', I should really say, 'becoming', as evolving into a Blog Boss is not an overnight affair. Rather than crawling back into my novice blogger corner though, I am trying to dig deep and find some confidence to apply what we are learning in class. So the first collection of images that I am going to post, rather fittingly, is one of inspiration to me.

The mug is rather affectionately named, "Madame", and drinking from it whilst working helps me to feel more like a Boss. Years ago for a birthday, I was given the journal with the word, "Fearless" on it. I am certainly not fearless but I hope to be confident and to fear less about blogging one day. The last image is of a sweet card from a dear friend. It reminds me that we all need help at times and acknowledging this help or expressing gratitude for a gift is seriously underrated and commonly overlooked.

So bolstered a bit by a lift of inspiration, I am buoyed into relishing this week's lessons with a little less fear and a little more Madame!

Do you have any images that inspire you, or keepsakes that you keep around you to keep doubting niggles at bay?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

First Things First- a post of first's

Hello, welcome to Thirteen Paper Planes!

As I write this I am embarking on a few new projects in 2013, both at work and at home and this blog will document my progress. There are a few firsts happening this year and on Monday it's my first official class on the Blog Boss Course run and created by Holly Becker from decor8. You can find out more about her courses here; I am really looking forward to learning more about blogging, as my experience is very limited and I am so glad that a friend recommended Holly's courses to me.

This leads me to my next "first". Last year the company that I work for as my day job expanded and my responsibilities changed. This has meant taking on a new challenge and working for the first time in a marketing role. The industry I work in is a technical one, requiring specific knowledge and experience, and as one of the non-technical team members my job is a little more complex. I am learning to juggle between forging ahead with the aspects I feel comfortable with and asking for help and guidance with the areas that require collaboration. For the first time I am experiencing what it is like to use Social Media for business purposes, learning the do's and dont's of newsletter writing and finding new tools to help me along the way, which I will try to share with you.

The final "first" for this post is a fairly major one... I am in the process of buying my first home with my boyfriend. As a first-time buyer, the experience brings the unexpected at every turn which is a bit of a shock to the system but will be worth all the up's and down's when the process is complete. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn a lot too, so I am sure there will be a few posts dedicated to this "first" along the way with some tips from my perspective on surviving one of the most stressful of life's milestones.

So this brings us to the end of my first post on Thirteen Paper Planes. I'm looking forward to sharing updates with you on these first's and other's that will inevitably pop up over time. I'm sure the blog will develop to cover many more topics. I'd love to hear about your first's too and if you want to get involved, please post a comment or ask a question below.