Three weeks. It sounds like a lot, at the start. But then we blink, or we turn around, or we something, and it’s over. Between the Christmas Eve stuff and the Christmas Day stuff and the camping in the mountains and the New Year stuff where we went to bed well before midnight because that’s what happens when you have a small army of sleep thieves and the camping at the beach, those three delightful, blessed weeks of having not only my babies but their daddy as well are over, and Mr Dove is back to work. It has been wonderful, this three week intermission, a break from real life and routine and get-up-go-to-work-come-home-go-to-sleep grind. We spent time with family & friends. We had three lovely nights up the mountain, camping in the rainforest, where a fresh-ish morning (as fresh as a December morning can get) saw me stitching as I sat in the sun to warm up, but got lost in my own rhythm and thoughts and ended up with sunburnt legs. We swam in the creek and had campfires at night and in the morning and cooked our bacon and egg jaffles in the coals. We welcomed a new year at a semi-decent and sunlit hour, because that’s how we roll around here. It’s been a long time since we’ve made midnight for new years. We spent a few nights camping at the beach, playing in the sand, paddling in the waves, watching Boy2 learn to ride without training wheels.
It has, in short, been a very good holiday. As well as spending time with my loves, I also had a chance to get some creative time in. While I packed my Dear Jane stuff when we went away, and even managed to start on my next block, it didn’t seem to grab me, so I moved on, and focused on a couple of little projects that did. The first was a kind of impromptu one. While away on our first camping trip, I set aside my sewing for a bit, and pulled out the iPad while the big children went swimming with daddy, and the Beetle rocked out a corker of a nap. Soon 370 odd words had appeared. Then I decided to grab onto the power of habit, and start a “write chain”. This is something I first heard about from Car, the idea being you set a goal each day, and every day you complete that goal is another link in the chain. And so that’s what I did. 350 words a day, I told myself, until Mr Dove goes back to work, then 200 a day until school starts. When we came back on the grid after camping (as nice as it was to disconnect), I put it out there for Car to join me in the chain, just for the holidays. And it seems that accountability, and the mindset of getting those words down, was enough to keep me plodding. Small steps made it much easier rather than focusing on the end point. The first chain I ended up with 12 days and 4306 words written. Most in my original fiction. Some as blog posts. A decent amount as a fanfic. Then I fell off the wagon, but the chain concept makes it easy to climb back on and start a new chain. Right now I am on day two of chain three, with 236 words written yesterday, and I am about to sit down and do today’s fiction writing. Plus of course, there is all the words I’ve strung together for this post. Since December 28, I have written 4929 words (plus a couple of blog posts I didn’t count because I didn’t need to pad my count). Not too shabby really.
The other project that has enchanted my mojo this holidays is my stitching. I am so excited by this project (one of my Kick The Bucket WIPs), and can’t wait to see it finished and framed in my studio. I am happy with the progress I’ve made the last few weeks – I’ve finished off the red lines on the right, filled in that pink around the teal tear drops on the left, the red triangles and their teal background on the right, the red down in the bottom right corner and in the centre top. Some more outlining of triangles and crescents in the hoop, another row each side of the yellow down the bottom. Plod plod plod. It’s so fun watching the cream fabric get coloured in by thread.
And now the mister is back at work, but I still have my small people with me for another couple of weeks. I might hit up Pinterest for some fun stuff to do, and I might just hang out with them and build lego and shoot the breeze on the back lawn. We definitely will take it easy, and shop for school stuff, and roll with whatever whims catch our fancy. It’s holidays, it’s supposed to be low stress. Blogging will be still hit and miss, depending on how the weeks pan out, but I am playing with a little instagram mini-series at the minute, sharing snippets of our holiday crafting, that I’m tagging #LWDonholidays if you’d like to follow along (my instagram handle is, predictably, @thedovenest, if you’d like to come have a peek at my current crafting). I’ve got a stack of fun stuff in the works for 2014, but I’m easing into it. Lots to share, lots to plan, lots to enjoy and soak up the memories.
How are your holidays so far? What fun crafty stuff have you been up to?