Do we need to say goodbye?

I cannot believe that today we are welcoming in December. A day when we look forward to all the festivities the month will bring. It is also, for me, almost a month since we moved home.

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Since we moved, my body made it clear that I needed to slow down in the guise of different illnesses. Looking back now, all the stress, worrying, endless to do lists and mountains of packing just feels like a blur in my head. I did not have time to take stock, to look around and notice what was happening. Maybe it was because I couldn’t…or wouldn’t allow myself.

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Before we moved, I thought we would say an emotional goodbye to a house that’s been a feature in my life, for all my life. I visited my Aunty and Uncle there when I was young. When my grandparents bought it I remember my Grandad standing at the window, pretending to cheer as I left. It was the place to meet for family get togethers. It was the go to place when my parents separated and it was the house we stayed in when my dad died.

I do wonder, because of all that, whether the house ever felt 100% mine because of all the memories it held. Regardless, it was the house that saw our lives change. It welcomed new family – my youngest was even born there.

I felt that I needed to have time to say goodbye, to put closure on that chapter of our lives but it didn’t work that way. The universe had other plans.

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After time to think it over, to deal with the enormity of moving our lives elsewhere, I realise that it unfolded the way it had to. I didn’t have chance to think of what was happening – maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have cherished what we were going to…our new adventure.

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The new house doesn’t feel like ours just yet. We are taking time to settle, unpack (slowly) and find out what works and what doesn’t. I’m itching to buy paint, new furniture and furnishings but I am taking my time so I get it right. This house comes with very few memories and I want to grow into it.

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I am relaxing into each room and enjoying the space. I love, love, love having a craft space I can lock away from prying eyes and tiny fingers to create whenever I can.

Recent festive makes…. 🙂

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One thing I’m sure of is that I’m looking forward to making many new memories in this house….that and that it’s very, very unlikely I’ll move again 😉

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Until next time,

T xx

(All images sourced from Pinterest)

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Moving on

Well I hold my hands up. I admit over the past few months my poor blog has been more than a little neglected 😦

In my last post, I was telling you lovely lot about our plans to put the house on the market. In truth, that now seems like decades ago. We did indeed put the house up for sale and promptly went on holiday…along with all the house buyers.

For the first few weeks I wondered whether we had made a mistake. I tried desperately to be positive but everyone seemed more interested in sunshine than bricks and mortar. Everyone must have thought I was losing the plot. Houses are often on the market for months and sometimes years in today’s climate yet here I was – panicking that we hadn’t had any interest in the first few weeks!

I look back now however and feel incredibly blessed. Just before our month chock-a-block with weddings, a few weeks after we saw the for sale sign going up, we accepted an offer.

Since that day we have attended a few weddings….

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We have found a house of our own….

We have got a few new grey hairs thanks to solicitors and estate agents…

Oh and we Have seen our eldest start Y1…. (Not sure where those 5 years went!)

In the last couple of weeks we have started packing and sorting years of stuff and clutter. No, we haven’t got a moving date yet but as I’ve learnt in the last 5 years, getting things done with children around makes you 10x slower 😉

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Despite the ups and downs of this interesting journey, I can’t wait for this new chapter. Stressful it may be but it is also a time of new beginnings, hope and promise.

Although I’m busy with orders at Dollies Daydream, I’m looking forward to carving some time out to make some Christmas garlands for the staircase and maybe a themed wreath for the door to my new craft room.

Until next time,

Toni x

Ps should I ever voice a wish to move again in the near future, please tell me not to be so daft 😉

My steep learning curve….

When I had my eldest daughter, as you may already know, I experienced something of a change. Yes, I was sleep deprived. Yes I was enjoying motherhood. On top of that though, I was experiencing a sudden NEED  to create. Looking back, I never thought it would lead to the creation of Dollies Daydream.

In my life I have studied for a degree in Psychology, worked in retail, undertook research projects for a local charity, trained to be a teacher, stood in front of a group of 16-18 year olds and attempt to inspire them.  Possibly most scary of all, I have become a mother – responsible for not one but two children.

I can’t explain why I felt the need to start Dollies, especially when I had begun this amazing new adventure called motherhood.  It took me by surprise. Maybe it’s partly because I wanted to reclaim something for me, partly because there was only so many things I could create for myself!  

As I have already discussed, I have never been the most patient person and there have been times in this journey where I have definately run before I could walk but it’s all slowly coming together. What I have found however, is that the learning never stops.

I may enjoy making things but during this journey (so far) I am learning to put myself out there, to be confident in my work.  I am learning to sell myself and my work.  Years ago, selling your work would mean getting out there to craft fairs, speaking to people face to face. Yes, that’s a great part of selling work today but it also entails online networking by using social media, blogging and websites.  It means learning to take great photos (again, I’m learning to be patient here and wait to set up a shot and for good lighting – I don’t always succeed!) and pricing your work realistically.

I’m not going to lie and tell you this is easy.  After spending hours playing about with my mobile website (and muttering a few choice words in the process) it is far from easy at times.  Saying that, I look at all that I am learning and feel a sense of pride of all that I am acheiving. 

I am proud of all that I am learning about myself and my audience; about the web and all the other technical skills.  When I have those moments when I feel like I could just pack it all in, I think about how amazing it feels to get a photo right or to see your work listed on a craft site.

I started this adventure hoping that someone might like my work enough to buy it (and I love the amazing feedback I do get from my customers) but it has turned into more than that.  When I do sell my work it sometimes feels like a fantastic by-product.  Every day I find out something new and apply my already existing knowledge to the challenges I face.  I am constantly looking at the world for inspiration and admiring others who are further along this path than me. I am pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and experiencing everything that that brings.

It’s not a walk in the park but although nothing can top motherhood, I have to say I would not swap this experience for anything.  Starting Dollies Daydream has introduced me to some fantastic people, amazing experiences and interesting lessons.  It’s a massively steep learning curve but I’m still here and still moving forward – how fantastic is that!

Until next time,

Toni xx