Thursday 19 January 2017

Mind-Shift, No Longer An Addict...

A lot has been changing here since I last posted in September. Mind-shifting, life altering changes. Last summer was the most difficult period I've ever experienced, watching my daughter being eaten by an anxiety monster was horrendous. There were times I though I wasn't going to make it, but I did. Things have gotten easier, and my daughter has just started to access some specialist support.

During our lowest point, I did think that maybe I wouldn't make it, my heart would stop from the stress. Dramatic I know, but that's just how I felt. Some nights we never got any sleep. On the nights I did sleep, I wondered if I would wake up. I though about what would happen if I wasn't there, how my husband would cope caring for out two very complicated girls. I wrote a mental list of all those wonderful women I have in my life, and what roles they could take over, the parts they could play in helping my girls to become adults. I can't believe I'm writing this, but it's truly how I felt.

I also thought about our home, and how much stuff I had around me, it started to suffocate me, stress and stuff I now know, is not a healthy combination for me. All this happened around the same time I came across the book I mentioned in my last post, Simple Matters by Erin Boyle. She and her family live very simply, in a tiny apartment in New York. As I read the book, I started to understand what I needed to do, and I started to reach out to a new way, a simple way in which to live my life. I also came across more people living a simpler life, and sharing the benefits of their new lifestyle.

Since September, our home has undergone a transformation. Every room, cupboard, drawer has been decluttered. I've been ruthless, I've got rid of at least 60% of our stuff. Everyone has benefitted from this, not just myself. We now only have the things that we love on display, and we only have things that we use in our cupboards. A cellar that was full to the ceiling of stuff, now only has a few boxes of useful things. I've got rid of drawers and cupboards, because we no longer need them. We have lots more space now to breathe.

We not only have more space, but time too, cleaning and caring for our home takes a lot less time and energy now. Can you remember the Half Hour Allotment book that I used to change the way I gardened? Well I'm adopting the same principles in my home too, little focused chunks of cleaning and clearing. Very manageable. Not overwhelming. Brilliant.

Sorting through our stuff has also made us look at the way we shop, being mindful of how and why we might purchase something. We are looking also at the amount of waste we produce, and plasticwe consume. It's a whole new path we are on. I say we, it did start out as just me, but slowly my husband is joining in, the girls have been fantastic at letting go of stuff. They are finding the waste thing more difficult. Little steps, I'm trying to take things gently with them, after all they are genetically programmed to resist change. We are even changing what we eat, and loosing weight as a result.

So you could say I'm no longer a Vintage Sheet Addict. I've yet to clear out my studio, it's my last job to do, but you know, I no longer feel the need to hoard things. So I will keep enough fabric so I can do a few projects and the rest will go. None of this has been hard, even sentimental things, if it's not something I love, has gone. I've shed some tears as I've been sorting, but then I've let go. It's been very cathartic, liberating.

But now for something more difficult. Letting go of this blog. Vintage Sheet Addict is no longer relevant to my life, it doesn't reflect who I am anymore. I would love to share my new life with you, and I've tried my best to start a new blog, but no matter how hard I try, I've just not got the intelligence, or computer awareness to create a new one, everything fails. This post has taken ages, I'm not even sure this will publish.

It's very important to me that my blog reflects my life, and is visually pleasing to me. I can no longer access any of my new images, and I can't even set up a new blog through blogger. Every avenue I take has a block. I'm a big believer in fate, so perhaps it isn't the right time for me to blog anymore. I hope I can again one day, but it has to be simple and not stressful. That Blogsy App was fab, but no longer working ;)

So I say goodbye, and thank you for your friendship and support. I will keep trying, and if ever I do manage to set one up I will pop a link on here. I am still on Instagram but not as much as before. I'm
happy_little_plot should anyone wish to find me, I know not many of you use IG. I'm so glad I've been able to get back on here, one of my biggest regrets was not to say a proper goodbye, and let you that I was doing just fine.

Sending my love,

Amanda :) xxx

Monday 16 January 2017


Hello, it's been a while.

I've been unable to post anything on here after I updated my iPad and my Bloggsy app no longer worked. I'm trying this new Blogger app, but I'm not convinced it will work.

I will keep this post short, and see if this works. If it does, I will pop back later in the week and let you know what's been happening, big changes have been occurring, and it all started with a book, Simple Matters by Erin Boyle. I've managed to upload a photo but it's teeny tiny :(

I can't thank you enough for your kind, supportive words, they have meant an awful lot to me.

Anyway, lets see if this works!

Amanda :) xxx

Saturday 24 September 2016

Finding Hygge...

The last few months have been very stressful, and I can't see when it will end. I know I've not really been paying the attention to this blog that you, my very lovely readers deserve. Thank you all so much for your support, I still have lots of comments to publish on my last post, I will over the next few days.
I'm trying to find peace where I can, recharge my batteries. I treated myself to this lovely book the other day...Hygge, the ultimate way to find comfort, strength, love and hope during those dark days.
I'm going to take a break from blogging, I'm not sure how long for. I do hope I will be back when things are more settled and less difficult. Sending you all much love, and gratitude for being so good to me.
Amanda :) xxx


Friday 16 September 2016

Notes To My Daughter...

My Dearest Sweetheart,
If I could change places with you I would, in a heartbeat. All I can do is standby and watch, as your mind goes faster and faster, and your thoughts race towards that imaginary disaster. (I do know to you however, it feels real, very real).
I'm trying to do my best for you, getting that balance between giving you the love and support you need, but letting you also find you're own way through this. You see, there's really only you who can change the way you feel, but we will be there with you every step of the way. (We are your marathon support team, handing out refreshments and encouragements when you are flagging).
And to that fear in you head, well if I could clamber in there, and throw out those muddled, unwanted thoughts, then I would, but I can't. So you're going to have to fight them, you're going to need to stand up against them...tell them to sod off, that they are lying to you, and have no place in your head. (On this occasion, if you feel you need to swear, I won't mind...I swear at them too).
Next time, when you are chatting with your friend, and she accidentally spits on your face, and a tiny drop lands in your mouth, stay calm. It's ok, it's not going to hurt you, or make you ill. In fact, thank your friend! That tiny exchange of bodily fluid means your body is now making extra antibodies, making you extra healthy...hooray for any bits of bodily fluid that comes your way! (Eventually there will be someone you really want to kiss, I'm hoping this will be quite a few years away, but it will happen, and there's a lot of bodily fluid exchange in a kiss, think of this as preparation for that day).
Find your happy place, your calm space. Find somewhere that makes you forget all your worries and woes, somewhere where those silly thoughts can't find you. You are very creative, I'm sure you will find a place, and it will be somewhere that's amazing. (Mine as you know is my garden, and studio...feel free to join me anytime, I'm always grateful for an extra pair of hands for weeding!).
We love you with all our heart, your dad and I. We love the very bones of you. We love your creativity, your very kind heart, the way you make us laugh out loud every day. We love that beautiful smile of yours, and the way it makes your eyes twinkle. We just love you. It's makes us sad, and angry when we see you like this, but it doesn't have to last forever. YOU have the power within you to change. Believe in yourself.
Love Mum :) xxx
(Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, thank you for sharing, thank you for your support).
Learn to chill like Otto ;) xxx


Tuesday 13 September 2016

Creating Happy...

We can only really be the creators of our own happiness, our own peace. We can try to instill happiness and peace in others, we can wear ourselves out doing so, but we can't really make others be happy. We can't give them peace. It's something they have to find for themselves.
This is a very difficult thing to come to terms with, especially if you are a fixer. If you are the sort of person who feels the distress of others, absorb it into your soul, like it was your very own pain. It's very hard to stay strong, when you are feeling spent. When you've depleated all your energy, trying to lift someone else's spirit, to fix them.
In our house we have little demons who visit us at night, when it's dark, when we feel at our most vulnerable. They torment us with visions of horrible things, don't let us rest, they steal out sleep, they steal our peace. They cause us to twist in pain and panic, to be truly terrified. So terrified that even the person you feel closest to, can't help you.
Being a parent can be full of awe and wonder, you can't quite believe you've bought this incredible human being into the world. It can also be the most difficult, challenging job on the planet. It can make you feel like the biggest failure, totally, utterly rubbish.
As parents, we don't talk that much about our young people and about the mental health issues they may have. Maybe it's because we feel guilty, after all it must be our fault, we must be doing something wrong. Parents are supposed to make their children happy, we are supposed to be able to banish demons, aren't we? Be the ones to give peace. This message is given loud and clear, if a child is sad, troubled, it's the parents fault. It's my fault.
I can't banish the demons, as hard as I try. I'm exhausted fighting them night after night. And yes, as a parent I feel a failure. Once again we will turn to the professionals and their coping techniques. Childhood mental health services are stretched to breaking point in the UK. Our children's mental health issues are much bigger than we let on.
My hope is that one day this will pass, with maturity, some new strategies, and with oodles of love and support. That eventually I will pass on this message, that whilst it's good to have people around us who love us, we really are the creators of our own happiness, our own peace.
So right now, I'm sat in my beautiful peaceful garden, enjoying the clear September light and warm sunshine, and I'm listening to the birds. I'm creating my own peace, my own happiness...I'm recharging my batteries.
Amanda :) xxx


Saturday 10 September 2016

First Week Of Autumn...

We've finally supported the raspberries, they look much better now. I've pruned out this years fruit bearing canes and any week ones, just as Monty told me too.
I've made homemade pizzas for my girls, the first day back after the summer holidays needs a treat, doesn't it!
Caught up with friends, one of whom came armed with beautiful sunflowers, marvellous.
I've enjoyed the warm sunshine, whilst changing the veg beds, and planting out Autumn crops...these were bought from Rocket Gardens, they have 20% off this weekend too!
Trying to identify unlabelled squash! ;)
Oh, and Otto turned one!!!
Happy weekend folks!
Amanda :) xxx


Monday 29 August 2016

Down The Garden Path...August

Oh my goodness, August already, this year is running away, far too fast! It's been a hit and miss kind of summer here in the UK, but in the last few days of summer, the heat has arrived. Sunny and warm.
My honeysuckle has started to flower, it's romping away. Initially I was really happy with my wiggly box hedge, but as the summer has progressed, I'm thinking it's missing something. Colour, height, interest.
A few of the boxes aren't in the best of health, they seem to be prone to disease and just aren't growing, so out they will come. I just love the Agriframe arches, so shall get two more, put one half way down the path, and another at the bottom of it. Now that my pension pot has been spent I'm afraid I have got to do what I've always done before, and save. Yuk. Can't tell you how lovely it's been just to get something straight away. Anyhow, I'm back in the real world...maybe Santa will bring me one ;)
I will grow something beautiful and colourful...and scented, up and over the arches, then train them along the fence. It will give me something pretty to look at as I'm drinking my morning coffee on the bench.
The raised beds on the top garden have been wonderful. Some of the plants are going over, I've chopped a few back, and got a couple of extra autumnal plants to plug the gaps. The sweet peas are now blooming, it's took some getting there. It's been a little too crowded, so I will need to rethink next year, and perhaps a little too much verbena, so friends will be getting some freebies again.
The vegetable garden has just exploded this month. It's done far better than I could have imagined. My Birdie Garden Products raised beds look beautiful, well you can't really see them anymore...and the no dig method, really seems to produce great compost, to grow vegetables in.
The cutting patch has produced countless bunches of flowers, I've given away so many, as well as having vases full in the house. I've really, really enjoyed growing my own flowers this year, it's not something I've really done before, but I will again.
I've been buying from Sarah Raven too this year, and I've been really impressed with the quality. They are on the more expensive side, so I don't think I will be getting as much next year, but I think Munckin Pumpkins have been superb, and the Zinnias...amazing! I've had a few plants from Rocket Gardens, they are a great company, and the plants have grown beautifully. I would really love one of their mini constant gardens...hmm, birthday pressie perhaps?
My sunflowers are at least 9ft tall, I want to save some of the seeds this year to eat, as well as sow next year. I'm not sure how's best to do this, does anyone have any tips?
Watering hasn't been too much of a problem this year, we've had plenty of rain, I always fill up my watering cans when it rains, then once a week I've been feeding the pots and beds with comphrey tea, they seem to be appreciating it.
I've not really been supporting my plants very well, as you can see the raspberries have flopped. My last bit of pension pot has gone on a sturdy frame for these, hopefully in the September update I will be able to show you. Monty Don pruned his summer raspberries this week, so I think I know what I'm doing!
Yes everything is growing at a rapid pace. I've had very few weeds in the raised beds, which has been fabulous, it's making gardening very easy. Exactly what I had hoped for. My thoughts are now turning to Autumn, it will be sad to see some of these plants die, but that's the circle of life really. That's what gardening is all about. We plant, we tend, we harvest. Thank you garden, for bringing me such joy.
So jobs for September:
Continue to harvest and eat!
Decided on which fruit trees to plant, Autumn is the best time to plant bare rooted trees, which will be more cost effective too.
I'm going to get a few Autumn crops to grow, probably buy some plug plants, just so I can keep gardening through to Christmas. I'm really feeling the benefit of gardening, physically and well as mentally. Sadly I won't have my greenhouse to hide out in during the colder months, but I still need to be out in the garden as much as possible.
As usual, I'm joining in with Sarah, and quite a few others, hop over for a look if you get the chance. I've been sent a couple of free things from some lovely bloggers this month, so will share them later in the week.
Amanda :) xxx