Making Music…

I have not posted anything here for a month. Just as I was getting my creative writing juices going I got distracted.

I decided to go to a nearby drop in centre that promotes positive mental health. When I say local it is a 30 mile round trip there and back for me.

With a bit of trepidation I ventured off, armed with the name and address of the place where I was told I might find some like minded souls. People who would understand what it feels like to be depressed now and then, and won’t judge you for it.  I was a bit uncertain as I have been to some of these types of places before, and the one thing that I did not want to be was surrounded by people in the throws of dark and deep depression, now that I have started to come out of it. That was more likely to just drag me down again.

So anyway, I found the alley way leading to the centre, and was greeted by a couple of lads smoking outside the door. Not letting my non smoking self be put off by the blue haze I had to walk through I cheerily asked if this was the right place, and was assured it was. They told me the name of the person I should speak to in the main room who would show me around and make me feel at home.

So in I went. Half expecting to find a room full of people staring into space in a chemically induced state of calm and nothingness.

How wrong was I?

I was greeted by a charming young man who was one of the volunteers, and offered a free cup of tea. Then a nice friendly chat ensued about the kind of things they get up too. Some of these things were not really to my liking. I have no desire to go on a tenpin bowling trip or a barge trip down the local canal, but if that is the kind of thing that suits you, well they offer group activities which, pardon the pun, may well float your boat!

A little while later, a rather loud and jovial character entered the room. He introduced himself ( no names here to protect the innocent). Lets just say he comes from Stoke, so is a Stokey Bloke, with the accent to match.  It turns out that he is one of the volunteers who helps out, and he was offering free guitar lessons. Slide Guitar to be exact.

Well I told him I used to play guitar a little in my younger days, but had not picked up a guitar in years, except for a couple of attempts under the influence of too much wine. I had forgotten almost everything I had learnt. My guitar was possibly up in the loft at my parents house where it had been gathering dust for the last 20 years or so.

So as he was doing a class that day, he invited me to sit in and see if it was something I would like to have a go at. So I did…..

So now, almost a month later I am the proud owner of two guitars! My Dad ventured up into the loft and dug out my old Spanish guitar, but that was no good for playing slide guitar on as you need steel strings. So I went to grovel with a friend of mine where I live and appeal to his generous side as I knew he had a guitar and maybe he would let me borrow it? To my surprise he said no, you can’t borrow that one, but I have another one you can keep!

It needed a bit of work, new strings and new machine heads. I took it to the local music shop, they did a partial repair on it, but then I bust a string trying to tune it. So another of my local buddies who is a mean guitar player stepped it and changed all the machine heads and fixed it up for me.

It’s amazing the generosity of people in the community I live in. At times they can be a real generous bunch!

So a month on, I can play a bit of blues style slide guitar. I think I have about 4 tunes that I can do bit of. Not got as far as playing a whole tune and singing along at the same time. (Singing lessons might be needed next). I have very sore fingers and even doing a bit of crochet has been a struggle as my finger were so sore. Typing this would have been impossible a couple of weeks ago!

But I have worked through the pain of sore fingers, and my neighbours are getting used to the sound of slightly twangy blues music coming from my house. It has opened me up to rediscovering my love of music, and I have started using a well known music streaming platform again and I am discovering stuff that I have never heard before. There are lots of resources on the internet know for learning guitar and finding music sheets to follow, it’s amazing. There was nothing like that when I was a kid.

So I now have a long list of songs I want to learn….top of my list for this week is “Little Red Rooster”.

The local pub is awaiting my first gig!

I have made some really lovely new friends, and I feel like living life again, rather than just existing!

So there is the moral of this story. I wish I had know about this place when I was in the real depths of depression because it has given me hope that I won’t go back to that dark place again.

Not unless I am playing a real Blues song about how my black dog left me all alone!

 

What colour is your mood today?

I have a big pile of granny squares on my coffee table that I have done over the last few days to make into a blanket. It occurred to me that I am using much more muted and paler tones that I am normally drawn to.

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Most of my pastel paintings tend towards the brighter end of the spectrum, and sometimes to the downright dark and gloomy. I do live in Wales now and we are victim to some very dark and foreboding skies at times. I quite like them however.

The last few days though my Grannies are coming out all pale and whimsical. It’s not really like me at all. Also considering the fact that I have been binge watching Amazon’s Viking series you would think they would all be coming out with bright red splatters resembling blood across them!

So this got me to thinking how you other arty crafty people plan and produce your work. Do you think to yourselves that today you will have a “blue” day or that you will have a bright “orange” day. How do you get yourselves inspired to create and how do you manage  to stick to that decision and actually produce a finished article? I know I get bored easily and want to switch colours. I have some more yarn coming in the post…can’t wait!

When you are in the store staring at all the endless possibilities of yarn colours and types, do you have a particular thing in mind, or are you like a magpie and get drawn to all that is shiny and glitters?

They say that your colour choices tell you a lot about a person.  I find that I am always drawn to yarns that have purple and blues in them. According to colour therapy that means I am a very spiritual person in touch with the spiritual side of life…or away with the fairies depending on your viewpoint!

What do your colour choices say about you?

Answers on a postcard please!

 

Focus on Crochet and Art and save your mental health.

A few of my friends have commented recently that they have not seen much of me since the beginning of the year. They think that I have turned into some kind of crazy crochet cat lady who only wants to be with their wool and creations. Well this is true to a certain degree. At […]

A few of my friends have commented recently that they have not seen much of me since the beginning of the year. They think that I have turned into some kind of crazy crochet cat lady who only wants to be with their wool and creations.

Well this is true to a certain degree. At the moment, or for the last few weeks at least since just before Christmas last year, that is all I have wanted to do.

There is a reason for it.

For most of my adult life, and possibly in my teens as well, I have had mood swings that go up and down. For years my mother thought it was just my hormones. I am now approaching the time of life when hormones should stop swinging all over the place and calm down, but my mood swings have not!

So there must be another reason for it. Looking back I noticed that all my major drastically life changing decisions had been made during the months of November to February. These were when I was depressed with life and really low. I would quit a job or break up with a boyfriend, and often it was a spur of the momet decision taking whilst in the depth of despair.

Come spring or summer I would be full of the joys, and the life and soul of the party. I would start new jobs with energy and ethusiasm that evaded me at other times of the year, or go off on wild trips and adventures totally on my own. More recenty I would have my most creative painting surges at this time of year, and not sleep properly for days as I was constantly seeing my next creation in my head!

I have not painted anything yet this year, or since November last year when I was inspired to paint poppies after Remembrance day.

I slipped into a winter depression, helped by the fact that I had two bouts of winter bugs, and felt totally exhausted. In November I quit one job and started another, and by the middle of January had quit that one too. Exhausted and depressed with life and really not wanting to do it anymore.

I went to the docs, and was given medication, and now I am on the up again. Probably too much to be honest. However I think that it is the crochet rather than the medication that has helped bring me out of things. It has given me focus and allowed me to practice some type of mindfulness in ways that other activities can not. I am hopeless at meditation in groups, getting distracted way too easily. However I find that I can crochet all day long with the TV on in the background and totally miss the programs as I have been so focused on my crochet. It is the same when I paint, but I need light for that and in the winter it is limited.

Yesterday was the first day for a while that I did not crochet anything. I was messing about on here getting things set up. I think it may be a sign that my brain is now able to cope with other things other than just repetitive patterns. I am feeling better than I have for a long time, and finally slept better the last two nights as well.

So Crochet and Painting, have helped me at times when I really felt depressed and anxious. It’s helped me calm my mind down and focus on other things than all my worries.

Being a crazy crochet cat lady has helped me at a time when I needed it.

To me that is not crazy, that is sensible!

There are a few articles out there that may be of interest. I have added the links below.

Aunty Stella

 

20170201_162810

thea

Knitting, crocheting and jam-making improve mental health, study finds

Woolbeing – Crocheting your way to Mindfulness

Crochet saved my life

Focus on Crochet and Art and save your mental health.

A few of my friends have commented recently that they have not seen much of me since the beginning of the year. They think that I have turned into some kind of crazy crochet cat lady who only wants to be with their wool and creations.

Well this is true to a certain degree. At the moment, or for the last few weeks at least since just before Christmas last year, that is all I have wanted to do.

There is a reason for it.

For most of my adult life, and possibly in my teens as well, I have had mood swings that go up and down. For years my mother thought it was just my hormones. I am now approaching the time of life when hormones should stop swinging all over the place and calm down, but my mood swings have not!

So there must be another reason for it. Looking back I noticed that all my major drastically life changing decisions had been made during the months of November to February. These were when I was depressed with life and really low. I would quit a job or break up with a boyfriend, and often it was a spur of the momet decision taking whilst in the depth of despair.

Come spring or summer I would be full of the joys, and the life and soul of the party. I would start new jobs with energy and ethusiasm that evaded me at other times of the year, or go off on wild trips and adventures totally on my own. More recenty I would have my most creative painting surges at this time of year, and not sleep properly for days as I was constantly seeing my next creation in my head!

I have not painted anything yet this year, or since November last year when I was inspired to paint poppies after Remembrance day.

I slipped into a winter depression, helped by the fact that I had two bouts of winter bugs, and felt totally exhausted. In November I quit one job and started another, and by the middle of January had quit that one too. Exhausted and depressed with life and really not wanting to do it anymore.

I went to the docs, and was given medication, and now I am on the up again. Probably too much to be honest. However I think that it is the crochet rather than the medication that has helped bring me out of things. It has given me focus and allowed me to practice some type of mindfulness in ways that other activities can not. I am hopeless at meditation in groups, getting distracted way too easily. However I find that I can crochet all day long with the TV on in the background and totally miss the programs as I have been so focused on my crochet. It is the same when I paint, but I need light for that and in the winter it is limited.

Yesterday was the first day for a while that I did not crochet anything. I was messing about on here getting things set up. I think it may be a sign that my brain is now able to cope with other things other than just repetitive patterns. I am feeling better than I have for a long time, and finally slept better the last two nights as well.

So Crochet and Painting, have helped me at times when I really felt depressed and anxious. It’s helped me calm my mind down and focus on other things than all my worries.

Being a crazy crochet cat lady has helped me at a time when I needed it.

To me that is not crazy, that is sensible!

There are a few articles out there that may be of interest. I have added the links below.

Aunty Stella

 

20170201_162810
Here is my crazy cat 🙂
thea
And here is a Pastel I did of her 🙂

Knitting, crocheting and jam-making improve mental health, study finds

Woolbeing – Crocheting your way to Mindfulness

Crochet saved my life