boxing boot camp day two

For the past two days my body has been in shock. I thought I might starve as my arms are too weak to raise food to my mouth. Driving is a painful experience. C took to calling me 'old girl'. "Having trouble sitting down old girl?". I have groaned, I have winced and I have not bent in any direction.

day two

I think it was easier.  I don't feel like vomiting. Did I not try as hard, or have I actually increased my fitness after one class? Impossible. I must be cheating. My head is still doing a good impersonation of a beetroot though and my t-shirt is damp.
I spent more of this class observing than cursing. There are quite a mix in the group, young, old, fit, unfit, saggy, tight, short shorts and tank tops. One gentleman felt obliged to motivate the group as we finished the class with more sit ups and toe-touches by advising us that "Pain is living", "Pain is the gateway to life". Whatever dude. Masochist. Pain sucks.

I am now reluctant to remove my shoes as I fear I could fumigate the house. I can picture our neighbours finding us in two days time, asphyxiated on the floor. Cause of death. Gym shoes.

Four days recovery. Hurrah. Do I want a training plan for the weekend? I do not. I want wine and cheese thank you very much.


boxing boot camp day one

This post is not crafty. It's a diary I'll be keeping for the next few weeks.

So I signed up to a three week bootcamp. Why? Well in the comfort of the office at my desk I thought it was  probably a good idea, I envisaged a fit, ab-weilding, toned Alice. "That would be quite good" I thought.

A bit of background: I don't exercise. It's almost a rule. Yoga doesn't count as that's a lifestyle that gives me strength of mind and body. Not fitness. I haven't been fit for around 10 years. I consider running something that your body is capable of if you are being chased and your 'flight' mechanisms kick in. Cardio is a dirty word. Weights? Pfft, why would I want to lift something heavy when I could lift something light? I enjoy food yet I'm not grossly overweight or anything. I'm happy with my body but I'm definitely not what you would describe as 'fit'.

Day One.
It's windy. Very windy. I struggle to hear the 'Yelly man' as he asks if anyone minds if he gets up in their face and screams at you. I want to raise my hand.
Lets stand in a line and punch. This is ok, I can punch. You don't put your thumb in your fist, you keep you knuckles straight. This is great. Uppercut, punchy, uppercut, punchy. Jog a little. It all sounds great. I can feel my face gently starting to redden.

We're breaking into groups. We have heard that the lady is nice and doesn't yell so we try to get in her group. Turns out we rotate anyway so that was pointless. Start in the 'exercise' group. Burpies, Star Jumps, Press Ups.

My 'burpies' are little more than 'bad breath' after two. The man yells we're doing a good job and to keep it up. He's talking to me I think. I keep it up. My stomach sinks to the ground in press ups. I wonder if I can get away with this? I'll just raise my head up and down? Whistle.

We're with the 'nice lady'. The cow makes us sprint. and jog. and sprint and jog. and sprint and jog. I want to vomit. This is ridiculous. Oh no, I'm falling behind the pack. I stop to pretend to pull up my pants so I can get a breather. Sprint, jog, sprint,jog, where is that bloody whistle??!

Boxing, get the pads on (wise choice here as this means I can stand still and take the hits, get my breath back). I make jokes as I squint through the sweat. My turn to box. Punchy punchy, this is the best bit.

Back to the burpies. He says you can squat if you're starting to tire. I am starting to tire. I squat. I jump while unenthusiastically throwing my hands around in an attempt at star jumps. This is really starting to get ridiculous. Why are we here? How long has this been going on? I don't want to sprint again. What will happen if I vomit. HOW IS THAT WOMAN SMILING? There are very 'fit' people here. They actually sprint.

40 mins down (thank god!) and we are into sit ups and press ups and other variations with ridiculous names like 'crunchie's'. I will be sick. My long-dormant muscles are very shocked at their sudden requirement to move. The clouds are coming over. There are spits of rain. They evaporate immediately when touching my firey red face.

It's over. I'm so glad. My stomach is not happy. I feel ill. I'm glad that I didn't collapse. I'm terrified that they said each day will get harder.

Why did I park so far away? My poor legs. Get me home.


stamp my feet

I type this with ink-stained fingers as I have just been playing with my new stamp set! I picked up this beautiful little set from the Christmas Encraftment Market today. I couldn't wait to get home to stamp my afternoon away (not in a tantrum, but in a ink and rubber utopia). This set is going to be the handiest crafty accessory for Christmas present labelling, I'll post my homemade cards in the next couple of weeks.

Also at the market I managed to get my paws on some vintage linen teatowels from Follow the White Rabbit which should be morphing into something soon!

Here are some more stampy things that I have found on pinterest... hmm I can see this developing into an obsession.. Time to crank out the rubber eraser and craft knife?

Source: via Wayward on Pinterest

Source: via Wayward on Pinterest

Source: via Wayward on Pinterest

Also, I hope everyone exercised their democratic right as citizens of New Zealand today. I feel so lucky that we live in a country where we can participate in the election of our leaders.


mad granny

I have an addiction. These square gems are meditative to create and bring little leaps of excitement seeing them grow in number. I'm thinking a blanket? I love the retro styling and appropriate name of 'granny squares'. I do feel like a granny, ferreting away with my crochet hook on the couch!

Summer must be here, it was gloriously hot today - in retrospect we should have gone to the beach for the first swim of the season. Maybe next weekend?

Here are some more granny square treats I found on pinterest for inspiration:

Source: via Mary on Pinterest


DIY 1940s fascinator

If you're heading to the races or perhaps a wedding or other special occasion this fascinator is a great way to accessorise. It's really simple to make and should take around 2 hours. You will need:

A strip of netting
One shoulder pad or other base
One hair clip
20 strips of the fabric of your choice (50cm long x 4 cm wide)
needle and thread

Start by sewing your hair clip onto the reverse side of your shoulder pad (the inside curve).

Turn the pad over and sew the netting along the straight side with some overlaps.

I recommend trying the fascinator on at this stage to make sure the netting is sitting correctly. You want some of it sitting over your face - more so your eyes than your mouth (you want to be able to eat and drink!).

Get one strip of fabric and iron the long sides together to create a fold down the length.

With your needle and thread do a running stitch down the length of the fabric about 1cm away from the open edges.

Once you are at the end, gently pull the thread so the fabric bunches into a flower shape.

Pull it tight and sew the ends together so the "flower" holds its shape. Choose its positioning on the shoulder pad and sew directly on. I suggest starting on the edge with the netting.

Repeat this process with all of your fabric strips, placing them closely together, until you are finished. Viola!

Position perfectly on your styled hair and you're done - use some bobby pins for extra hold if required.
You can easily add jewels, feathers and other embelishments if you desire.

Here are some beautiful ideas for inspiration.

Source: via Sophie on Pinterest


lavender harvest

four baskets full sir

I've been waiting for a day over the last few weeks that has been warm enough to harvest the mass of lavender at the front door. Today was that day. I expertly made my way around the thousands of bees who were not too happy that I was taking away their bounty and now we are over-loaded with lavender for drying. I have hung up around a third of it in the garage and will now wait for a few weeks for it to dry into the aromatic loveliness that will be stuffed into all sorts of wee treats.

I was lucky enough to receive this magnificent book for my birthday and it details all the magic that lavender has to offer, including its antiseptic and sedative properties. Here are some of the ways that I use lavender and some recommended from the book:

- massage lavender essential oil into temples in a circular movement when suffering from eye strain or tension headaches, it relaxes you straight away.

- add a few drops of oil to a bowl of boiling water then cover your head with a towel and inhale to help colds and flu.

- dab the oil on 'neat' to grazes, burns, insect bites.

- dry for pot pourri just like nana used to. There is something so homely and french-provincial about having dried lavender hung around the house.

- dry and sew the broken up heads into fabric sachets for drawers and wardrobes to get rid of moths and make your clothes smell nice.

- put a sachet of dried lavender under your pillow to encourage a better nights sleep.

- add 10 drops of oil to 1 litre of warm water, 1 tsp of baking soda and a few drops of liquid soap for a green spray cleaner - Thanks Wendyl!

- and sometimes - I don't know if this is recommended - I put a dab of oil behind each ear to keep those nasty stress monsters away in the corporate showdowns.

Ideally you should have English Lavender in the garden if you are looking to get the oils and a really fragant dried end-product, but French (like mine above) will do just fine for drying etc.


embroider me

I have been keeping my fingers busy over the last few weeks after receiving this magnificent book for my birthday. The book has detailed pictures of how to perform anything requiring a needle and the pictures above are of my first effort to try out some of the fancier embroidery stitches.

I'm not entirely sure what the project will result in, perhaps an applique on a t-shirt, a circular cushion or a framed piece. I welcome ideas from any of you clever folks out there!

Again we have been given the gift of stunning weather for the weekend and it is so tempting just to sit in the garden and do nothing/ponder.