Wednesday, 19 June 2013

My Wight Life

Here's a little bit about me!

Many of the #Elevensestime crowd know me as @loves2crochetuk some know me as Sarah, to 3 very special little people I am mum. My eldest son is 15, my daughter is 13 (she'd tell you nearly 14 actually and say that there are only 5 days left 'til her birthday but I am holding on to the younger numbers as long as I can) and then there is our new addition who is just 5 months old! So as you can imagine our life is a hectic jumble of teething, exams, friendships, relationships, hair straighteners, football and tons of other stuff too!

I am currently a stay at home mum on maternity leave and seriously hoping to remain that for a while if I can. Unfortunately money might mean that's not realistic.

Things that I love or am proud of! :

  • Watching my babys' face light up when I pull a silly face or make a funny noise at him, watching the wonder in his eyes when he spots something new going on around him!
  • Watching my older 2 with him, seeing that (somehow) they have both turned out to be amazing loving children!
  • Seeing the oldest 2 doing so well at school after I home schooled them both for 8 years!
  • Seeing my partner play and chat with our baby everyday!
  • Spending time with family!
  • Overcoming depression.
  • I love the smell of freshly cut grass, petrol, freshly baked bread, good coffee, early morning, snow days - they do have a smell?!
  • I love every season, for different reasons.
  • Crochet - obviously!
  • Blogging  - not quite so obviously!
I could list things here for ages but I'll stop now before I send you to sleep! 

A Settled Life on The Isle of Wight

I have lived on the Isle of Wight since I was 14 so just over 20 years now, I  haven't always felt settled here but I'm in a good place in life now and happy to be wherever me and my family are. I wonder if moving away from the area I grew up in at 14 is what made me unsettled here in later life? Like everything I had grown up knowing was suddenly not there anymore and I (and my parents) had to start again in a completely different environment to what we had been used to? To be honest that's not something I have seriously thought of until now and I feel its not something I need to over-think either, I am here now and I am very happy so all is good :)
I have recently created a new twitter account @WightHour to help promote local businesses here and the popularity of #wighthour (Mondays 8-9pm) is growing week on week.
One of my items available @
Made on the Isle of Wight
Bullen Road, Ryde, IOW
PO33 1QE
And Online here

I Love to Crochet

My username on twitter is @loves2crochetuk - I had wanted to learn to crochet most of my life, my Nan was a crocheter but not the best teacher! My mum is an excellent knitter - something I can do but don't love. A few years ago I came across a few crochet hooks stashed away in the loft and finally had a go! I have tried many different crafts over the years, lace making, candle making, cross stitch, drawing, knitting but had never taken to any of them.  Crochet is different! I love to crochet. I enjoy making a variety of pieces generally quite modern and fresh looking items that would fit in with most styles. I always use 100% natural high quality yarns.

I blog from time to time (never as often as I intend to!) and it is something I intend to try! to improve on. I actually enjoy writing when I just let myself go a bit! If you have enjoyed this short post by me then I would love you to stop by my blog Loves2Crochet and say hello!

I have been a participant of #elevensestime on twitter for a good few years now, everyone there is so nice and friendly and it is nice to share my morning cuppa with you all :)
Sarah x

Monday, 3 June 2013

Festivals as a Way of Life

It happened a few years ago when I was living in Dublin: I fell in love with the Festival of World Cultures. The following year I was browsing their website and found the volunteer section. Why not give it a go, I thought, and signed up. A few months later Life is a Festival was born. Ever since my first experience as a festival volunteer I’ve been hooked. ‘Festival’ became a magical word for me, a sort of road sign to a place called Being Happy. My new passion was like a favourite piece of clothing, I took it with me everywhere I went. From a jazz festival in New Zealand, a Japanese street festival in Vancouver to a documentary festival in Donegal I worked at any event that intrigued me and absolutely loved it.

Sometimes people ask why I would ‘work for free’. It wouldn’t even occur to me to see volunteering that way. In fact it’s a win win situation for everyone. Festivals get enthusiastic helpers while volunteers get to attend events and often get an exclusive behind the scenes look. At really good festivals (happy to give recommendations) you feel appreciated as a valuable member of the crew. You are a sort of goodwill ambassador for the event and it shows. It helps to have a bit of an altruistic streak and to enjoy meeting new people. Having said that, if you’re more of a shy type, there are usually plenty of alternative opportunities to get involved with a festival.

So you’ve never volunteered at a festival before and aren’t sure if it’s for you? The good news is: it can be done while working a fulltime job, with a family in tow, at any age, if you’re in a wheelchair, do not own a car or are just visiting a new place for a few days. Just follow these steps: 1. Find something that interests you or simply google for upcoming festivals in your area. 2. Do they have a volunteer section on the website? Good. No? Email them anyway and offer your help. It helps to mention that you are friendly, enjoy working with people, are flexible, reliable and punctual. This is what ALL festivals are more or less looking for. 3. You get accepted. Great. You don’t? Ask them to put you on the standby list. A word of warning: give it your all but don’t over commit. Sign up for a reasonable amount of hours that fit into your schedule. Being tired and stressed doesn’t make for a great experience and you do want to have some time to actually attend events. You can always add more shifts later. Let the volunteer coordinator know if you have any special skills or experience and whether there are any artists you’d particularly like to see, but be flexible if you don’t get the exact shifts you are hoping for.

Festivals have become such a lifestyle for me that I stopped doing regular sightseeing a few years ago. Whenever I visit a new country or city I search for community centres, independent bookshops, cultural events, meetup groups for writers, co-working spaces, indie music venues, and libraries and take it from there. What interests me about travelling is how other people live, think and create. Rather than following the well-trodden tourist path, it’s so much more exciting to meet the locals and learn about cutting edge projects, such as a novel writing marathon, a 24 hour film contest or a circus in a rainforest

Festivals are what you make them. They are neither mindless entertainment nor boring lectures, but a living, breathing organism made up of creative people, projects and audiences who are open to learn something new, be amazed and connect with like-minded souls. Some of my best friends are people I met at festivals around the world. It’s not always easy to stay positive when we are constantly bombarded with bad news. Festivals can be a great antidote. They are their own universe, an escape from daily life or, in my case, the start of a completely new way of life. One of my goals when I started writing Life is a Festival was to keep the time between festivals as short as humanly possible and to get others excited about festivals and volunteering in the community. Both are a work in progress and I’m immensely enjoying this beautiful journey I’m on.

What are your favourite festival moments? Let us know in the comments section below. If you have any questions about festival volunteering or festival trips around the world, just drop me a line. I also offer one to one twitter coaching for musicians, writers, artists and other creative people.