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Friday, 27 February 2015

Expressing anger, a personal example.

Some people show their anger.

Some people stuff the anger down and hide it.

Some of us feel ashamed of feeling angry or frustrated. It makes us feel sad and we land up crying instead instead of showing our true feelings.

In some families people find it difficult to express what they feel and patterns of non-communication have evolved. They find it easier to separate, each person preferring to withdraw, and keeping to themselves. they keep quiet about what they really feel. Parents might role model what they have learned from their parents and perpetuate the cycle because they don’t know any other way. It is difficult to role model something you haven’t experienced, such as the expression of feelings or vulnerable thoughts, if you haven’t had the chance to learn how to do it.Some people decide to try a different way, without knowing how.

Let’s look at anger as an example as I think that this is a common problem. To be quite honest I didn’t learn how to express anger because in my family my father, an alcoholic was a gentle person when sober but, when drunk had a violent temper. We found it safer to keep the peace so as not to trigger his anger. Challenging him would have been dangerous. It was like walking on eggshells. I, in turn, became afraid to express anger partly because I had grown up with a bad example and because I wanted nothing to do with it. I rejected anger. Also because I had not seen a healthy way of expressing anger I chose to bottle it up for about 40 years of my life.

I became afraid when anyone (teacher, boss, husband or friend) expressed anger - even legitimate anger, almost expecting the worst kind of violence. I perpetuated a cycle to some degree, not by expressing anger in violent ways but by becoming silent and stuffing down my anger.This I think of as the "keeping the peace" cycle. I would say nothing, only cry, but inside my anger grew and grew. I did this because I didn't know how to express anger in a healthy way.

 I also didn't know how to teach my children how express it in a healthy way; for example, if my child slammed the door I would reprimand them for slamming the door (and making a noise). I was inadvertently giving them the message that anger is wrong. Let’s say I said “we don’t want you slamming doors” or “it is bad to slam doors” I shut them down without finding a better way of expressing their anger or frustration. They ended up thinking I didn’t want them to express their anger.  In actual fact the comment was made recently by one of my grown up children that “We were made to feel that anger is bad.”

Transformation is possible, as I have found out, transforming from a fearful person to courageous person in the face of anger. I have learned how to express anger in healthy ways. And I have learned how to stand my ground in the face of anger – not being threatened by it - but being able to listen to what the message is behind the anger. Slamming doors, shouting, hitting the wall etc. are often ways of showing inner frustration at not being heard; or acknowledged; or feeling threatened.

A much better way of helping your child with anger is to tell them, if they have just slammed the door, that slamming the door (or any other destructive behavior) is not going to get what they want and THEN encourage them to use their words to tell you what they need or want. This will go a long way to mutual understanding and discussion. Discussion needs to be respectful – both towards the adult and towards to the child. It is up to you to be able to listen without reacting. Sometimes it is helpful to take a break when things get heated. You might notice that your pulse rate rises – and you find you begin to say things you regret. It is better to come back to the discussion later when you have both calmed down. We all want to be heard: so listen, and really listen. Emotion is a signal to ourselves and others around us. When tempers flare up the main goals are, not to stuff them down, but that both parties get heard; that everybody’s needs get expressed and a solution is worked out so that everybody concerned is satisfied.

Remember if you have never tried this before, and you are breaking an old pattern, it takes time to learn new ways of communicating but with practice you will become better at it. Be patient.
This post is just scratching at the tip of the ice-berg. And I have given just one personal example. There is a lot more experience and information around you. Watch and listen and become aware.

A warm smile,

Friday, 20 February 2015

What are you feeling today?

What are you feeling today. Stop and think about it. Often we are rushing and so involved with what we are doing that we don’t take notice of how we are. The four main categories of feelings are: sad, mad, glad and scared. If you have grown up with people that don’t articulate their feelings, or when they do express their feelings, destructive things happen.  At times you might struggle to pin point what you are feeling. Developing a vocabulary of feeling words can help your awareness of different feelings. Keeping a journal about your observation of your and other’s feelings will help you recognize them; as well as the responses and reactions that follow. Often actions against us or towards others have emotional impact, such as thoughtless cast away comments made – we don’t intend them to hurt but they do. You could try to record as many different words that describe your feelings though out your day in your journal. At the end of the day or week you will find that reviewing them could be quite informative.

 It is a good idea to learn to recognize different feelings so that you can begin to anticipate your reactions. Being forewarned is forearmed. You can then begin to practice expressing them in constructive and positive ways. As you become more aware you might even spot different patterns of behavior that are triggered by actions and feelings.    

Today I have sketched nine faces with different expressions and clustered different words with the expressions to illustrate and stimulate you to think about different emotions that you might experience. 

Regretful, embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, inferior, incapable, vulnerable.

Glad, confident, proud, happy, content, kindness, love, open, understanding.

Bored, confused, worried, lonely, discouraged, suspicious, powerless, upset, sorry.

Disgusting, detestable, miserable, crushed, very sad, abandoned, disowned, rejected, grief.

Grateful, excited, impulsive, thrilled, ecstatic, hopeful, amused, amazed.

Quiet, calm, peaceful, content, empathy, cautious, shy, smug, aloof, arrogant, preoccupied.

Shocked, panic, hurt, humiliated, surprised, afraid, scared, alarmed, terror.

Sad, disappointed, unhappy, stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed.

Angry, mad, bitter, jealous, hostile, enraged, irritated, annoyed, aggressive .

You can look up a comprehensive list on the internet here.

I hope you have found this post thought provoking and encouraging. Keep observing and journalling and I'll be back with the next post.

A warm smile,

Friday, 13 February 2015

Our emotions and feelings…

Emotions are strong feelings or moods that come from responses within. You will notice that you experience them when interacting with other people, observing things around you or even when you are alone with your thoughts or memories. You observe and experience the world through your five senses:  sight, taste, smell and hearing. You also experience feelings as physical reactions and responses within your body which helps you know what you are feeling emotionally, for example: pain in the tummy for stress, smiles for happiness, scowls for grumpiness, tight throat when you feel unable to express something, headache when you’re concentrating etc.

As an artistic person I find myself experiencing life through a kaleidoscope of emotions. We all have been given the message in life, from time to time, that emotions are to be hidden or stifled. We're told to: Stop crying… don’t laugh too much… it’s not good to feel sad… anger is bad… and we quickly learn that talking about our weaknesses exposes us to shame …    etc. Emotions are not wrong or bad or (make you a weird person). How, when and to whom you express emotions is the key to a positively fulfilled experience and expression of emotions. In the next few posts Diella and I would like to share more specifically about this.

It often happens, as with myself, that you choose not to show your emotions or feel them for varying reasons. You stuff them down and hide them until you are numb to the feelings and eventually aren’t at all sure what you feel. It eventually becomes a pattern. I have found that the more I admit and accept my emotions the more I experience life and I feel deeply satisfied in all the things I do. Admitting and accepting feelings are a bit like holding a fragile butterfly or containing a hurt animal. You need to be gentle but firm but it doesn't give you license for hurting others or yourself. Accepting your emotions will help you become more in charge of them; and you can put them to good use as I will explain in each post. 

Some areas in which you could expect to see a difference is: being more authentic, honest; brave, bold, courageous; having more positive energy to accomplish things and creativity is enhanced; relationships are improved and grow etc.  

We are looking forward to sharing about specific emotions in future posts and hope it will be thought provoking.

A warm smile,

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Change of Plans

Okay so I have had a slight change of plans.

I will still be posting here with my mother... but I will be sticking more to the topic in future and less about my stuff. If you want my thoughts on things, stay tuned here. If you want to see what I get up to during the next year head on over to my new blog Lellie Loop.

Well that's about it from me for today,
Bye :)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Blogful of Beanies!


Okay so yesterday I was looking over my posts and I noticed that I often start with "Hello again" so today it is just Hi.

Last week and part of this week I have been working on ribbed beanies for my stall in March. In total I want to have ten ribbed beanies to sell. At the moment I have made five. They actually take quite a long time to make. It is about 4 hours if I just sat down and focused really hard. But considering I take time to make tea and do some house chores and answer the phone and have lunch it lands up taking me a whole day to make one. (in case you were wondering I charge as though it were four hours. I timed it the first time and I made it without stopping.)

I am so tired of making these beanies that I am going to change to making some of the other stuff before I make the next five.
Here are some photos that my sister took for me. I even got my other half to help me model them.

Blue Beanie without PomPom

Pink Beanie with Pompom

Red Beanie with Pompom
Blue beanie without Pompom, not folded

Blue beanie without Pompom, folded
all 5 beanies, although two still need sewing up.

As you can see the beanies are quite stretchy due to the ribbed stitch. There is only one blue beanie and I can wear it and I have a small head (I choose my glasses from the children's range) and my man has a large head. He struggles to find hats that fit him and as a consequence gets sunburned on his face quite often.

I hope you enjoyed the little peak into my life,
Keep Drinking Tea,

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Harfield Village Carnival 2015

Hello again lovely readers,

I am sure that you have noticed me hinting at the market I am going to attend, but I decided that it was high time that I actually gave you some more details.
Last year I went to an indoor market at Longbeach Mall and I met a lovely lady called Lucretia who was selling her crochet goods. We started chatting about our shared love for crochet and we exchanged details. Fast forward to this year. Lucretia contacted me some time in January to tell me that she was working with the Harfield Village Carnival and she wanted to know if I would be interested in having a stall.

To be honest I had not been so sure about going to markets because it is summer in South Africa and that means most days it is like 32 degrees C and even doing crochet is very hot never mind wearing it. I was also admittedly a little nervous of trying to figure out who to contact about getting a stall and how the whole process worked. So when Lucretia contacted me and sent me all the required forms I just felt like it was meant to be.

So what am I planning to sell?
Beanies, scarves, wrist warmers, bags, bracelets, milk jug covers (aka fly nets), head bands, shawls, and possibly some cushion covers if I have time.

So what happened to me complaining about the South African heat?
Well I figured that

Okay well it is only March so it is more like Autumn is coming... but since February is often the hottest month hopefully things will be better in March. Otherwise I suppose the fly nets will do well. Heehee.

Well that is it from me for today,
Keep drinking tea,

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Letter Case

Hello Again,

I love all things hand crafty, not only crochet. Crochet is my passion but I do do other handy work as well. Yesterday I sewed myself a letter case! And I am going to share the process with you.

As most of you know I majored in English Literature. And during the course of my studies we of course read a little Jane Austen. So two years ago when I was at a book sale, I found Jane Austen's Sewing Box and I just had to buy it. After that I was so absorbed in my studies that I did not actually make anything from the book. Yesterday however I decided it was time to break out the sewing machine again. I am sure that these projects are supposed to be hand sewn but as I am currently preparing for a craft market and I have a lot of crochet to do I decided to save time and machine sew it.

I decided on the Letter Case partly because I already had some material that I could use and partly because I am an avid fan of writing hand written letters and posting them to my friends and family. I am not going to share the whole thing with you but I will share the basics and what I did to change it. I won't share the pattern from the book because I am sure that that would contradict the wishes of the author.

The shape is 42cm tall and 20cm wide.

Now comes my first deviation... (did I ever mention that I suck at sticking to patterns.) I was supposed to use two panels of patterned cotton and one panel of interfacing. But unfortunately I did not have any interfacing that I could use. However I did have some stiffer material. It is either a very stiff cotton, or I suspect it is some kind of linen. But I decided that it would be nice to have a different colour fabric for the inside of the case anyway. So I cut one panel of the cotton (floral), and two panels of the stiffer striped fabric.

Okidoki think that we are done with deviations? Think again. The pattern called for an extra square pocket to be sewn on. But I got out one of my usual envelopes and measured... and decided that this would make the case way too big for my liking. I wanted something that could easily stay in my handbag until I could post the letter. So I went with out the pocket.

Now I pinned my three panels together. The floral and striped facing each other and the third panel doesn't matter which way it faced. Then I got my sewing machine and sewed up the one side, round the top and down the other side. I left the bottom open. 

Now you turn the case the right way round.

This part is a little tricky. You need to fold the edges of the bottom inward to face each other. This is made slightly difficult by the middle panel. If I did it again I might have made the "interfacing" panel slightly shorter than the other two. Anyway the stripes on mine made it slightly easier to see that I had the fold relatively straight. Then I pinned it and did a hem stitch across by hand.

Then the rest is rather easy. I just folded the bottom up to make a little pocket. I checked with the flap that the proportions were to my liking. I pinned it in place in the middle not along the sides. Then I ironed the sides flat. This made it easier to take through the sewing machine. And there it was done.

Well it was done in theory. But for me I decided to cut some lace/ribbon and decorate it a little further. My mother showed me how to lay the ribbon log cabin style, apparently this is a patchwork thing. and I sewed it on with the machine again.

And here is a little picture of our tea pots... haha my mother and I drank soooo much tea yesterday that we had our own tea pots. Mine is the pink one with the blue butterfly. We also had a power cut yesterday. South Africa is starting to feel more and more like a third world country. We now have scheduled  weekly/daily power cuts depending on the stage of the electricity problem. So we had two hours yesterday where my father couldn't work and I couldn't use my sewing machine or the internet (my phone uses the home wifi) or my computer. This is a problem for my getting patterns. 
But this got me thinking. The next thing that I sew might just be a tea-cosy so that next time I will be able to have warm tea. Hehe. 

Keep drinking Tea!