Happy Father’s Day

In our house, to my friends’ amusement, Mother’s and Father’s Day involves absolving yourself of all parental responsibility. After all, every day in reality is Mother’s Day or Father’s Day; the continual drudgery of bottom wiping, cooking and cleaning is never ending. It’s nice to have a day off for a change. And a nice present too. Yes, I know I should be helping the girls to make something nice or taking them out to pick something, but really, life is busy enough. In fact, DH got his present last week when I took the kids away for the weekend to Grandma’s. He had two whole nights of child free bliss. I won’t embarrass him by publically revealing what he watched all weekend Gilmore Girls.

I still wanted to get him a present. I originally wanted to make him this lens cap case. I love the camera print fabric, but it is about £16 a metre and I only wanted one square. I don’t love DH that much so I had to come up with an alternative solution.

I’d been admiring this polaroid cross stitch by NerdJerk for a while, but when I looked into it I realised she is selling it as a kit, and it is in the US so too expensive to send to the UK and not enough time for it to arrive. So I tried to construct my own one. Now using someone else’s idea is Not Cool, and really, if you want to do a similar one yourself and you are in the States you really should buy her kit because it is ace. I hope she forgives me for copying her by directing you all to her cool etsy shop.

I got my fancy gridded paper out and a picture of a Polaroid camera in order to devise my own pattern. Here, I’m a regular Da Vinci, right?


I used the tutorial linked above to finish off the pouch. Now I’m an intelligent person, I’ve got a Mater’s degree. I’ve passed visio-spatial reasoning tests, I can ride a bike, I can drive. But for some reason it took me three goes to put the pouches together in the right right way. Ok, four goes. That’s after sewing them together. For reference I also took three goes to pass my driving test. Ok, four. Anyway, eventually I managed to put the inner and outer pieces together in the right inside-out/right way combination. I managed to procure an unused lanyard from work from which I recycled the clip. The idea is that DH can clip the case to his camera or his camera bag instead of invariably misplacing his lens cap. The linked tutorial recommend either a magnetic clap fastening or elastic. The magnetic clasp looked a bit too difficult, and I wasn’t sure the elastic would work with the aida, so it currently doesn’t have a closure, but I’m not sure how much of an issue it will be. If it is I might try Velcro. And here is the finished product:


I’m pretty pleased with it. Hope DH is.

Also this week I managed to remember that I didn’t only have DH to think about, but my own dad too. I don’t see him very often so I find buying him a present really difficult. I struggle to find the balance between cool, pointless and childish. I know for a fact he has the same problem with buying presents for me but he gets around it buy giving me money, which is great for me, but you can do that when you are a dad. As a daughter it’s just weird. So I settled for a homemade card instead. I already know he likes it despite drafting this post on Saturday night because he is incapable of delayed gratification and already opened it!


He is an excellent juggler and can juggle with lit clubs you know [proud smiley]!

So, after a lie-in and breakfast my wifely Father’s Day duties will be disposed off and I can settle down for the long wait till my own day off next March!

Psychocraft. Or something.

Recently I have been having somewhat of a career crisis. My job is fairly respectable, but I just don’t love it. I like the idea of it more than I like doing it. It is actually the job I wanted to do before I left university, but the reality wasn’t quite all it is cracked up to be. I was always very career oriented and felt like I was destined for big things. Having children tempered that somewhat, but the biggest factor has been a loss of confidence in my abilities. I did really well at school and university. I’ve got a Masters degree you know, and I got a distinction. I don’t get to say that very often, much though I often want to when at work I am having to grapple with a task like trying to get 10 people in a meeting together.


I studied psychology at university, but by the end decided I didn’t want to be a psychologist. After 5 years I didn’t to want to spend any longer at university or in training, I wanted to be getting on with my career. Hmmm. That worked well didn’t it? It turns out actually maybe I do want to be a psychologist. Or a writer. Or a professional crafter. Therein lies my problem. I want to do so many things, I’m afraid to commit.

A few years ago I found a fantastic book in a charity shop. It was pure fate that I found this book, someone had obviously given it away because they didn’t rate it but for me it was like a window into my soul. One man’s trash and all that. The book was What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything? The basic premise of the book is that some people just flit from one activity to another, never sticking long enough to go deep; never really feeling like they have achieved anything. The author, Barbara Sher, calls these people ‘scanners’, and lists several different reasons why these people behave like this such as fear of commitment, looking for their niche, or simply just a need for novelty. Scanners are sometimes derided as dilettantes (hello, have you seen the name of my blog?) but often they are their own harshest critics, feeling like they are failing or not achieving anything. To read this was amazing, the book described me to a tee and Barbara goes to great lengths to reassure scanners that they way they are is perfectly normal, and can be harnessed. One of the suggestions is to try and combine your passions which is what I have attempted to do.


I mentioned that I might actually want to be a psychologist. Well I am considering doing another MSc, this time in Occupational Psychology. I could do it part time and through distance learning, but even so, with two young children and a job I couldn’t do it for at least another year. I also want to give myself time to figure out whether it is what I really want to do.


In the meantime I am spending my time crafting (God, that is such a wanky word, I cringe every time I use it!). But much as I love making stuff, I don’t find it intellectually stimulating. Now before all you other crafters lynch me, I’m not saying its not difficult, there are some amazingly talented people out there. Crafting can be technically and physically challenging, but trying to understand a pattern isn’t the same as trying to understand why someone behaves in a certain way. So I’ve tried to put some psychology into my crafting, I’m combining my passions to create Psychraftology. Craftology. Psychcraftisvism. Psychocraft. I can work on the name.


I have three items to showcase for you as part of my new genre. The first is based on the Myers-Briggs Trait Inventory, or the MBTI. You may have heard or it and even taken it. The results come in the format of 4 letters, E or I, N or S, T or F, and J or P. If want more info about what these letters mean check out this website. The MBTI is a licensed test which can only be administered by licensed practitioners, but this website has an example if you want to find out you personality type. For the even keener reader I recommend the book Please Understand Me II, which is slightly different from the MBTI but maps directly onto it. For the record I am an ENFP, which incidentally is quite commons for scanners.

What's your type?

These are going to be badges, but for now they are just buttons. They are cross stitched MBTI types so you can wear your type with pride! The are cross stitched on 22 count aida which is used to cover self-cover buttons. You can remove the button bit, which I have done, and super glue a badge backing onto the button, which I haven’t done yet.


Exhibit number two my cross stitched interpretation of a Rorschach ink blot. “Why?” you might ask. Well, why the hell not.

Tell me what you see...

The Rorschach ink blot is traditional projection test used to assess personality characteristics and emotional function. Tell me what you see in mine and I will tell you if you are crazy or not.


The piece de resistance in my show and tell today is an embroidered diagram of the brain, showing labelled lobes and some well known areas of the brain. Broca’s area is involved in the production of speech, and Wenicke’s area in the understanding of it. The visual cortex is where we start to process the images that come from our retinas. They travel along the optic nerves to the back of our brain, the parietal lobe. The brain is a marvellous thing, and we should nurture it, look after it, and not take it for granted. There is an excellent documentary on BBC iPlayer about the brain. It’s available for about another week so watch it while you can.

My brain is pretty and full of flowers and lace.

For me, this embroidery is about using a craft that is more often used to depict twee little birds and flowers and fluffy things, and creating something with a little more depth. If you like this you might also like a brain colouring book. It certainly helped while away those hours studying neuropsychology at university.


So, these are the projects that I have been working on for the past couple of months. I’d really appreciate any comments you have. You are probably going to see more and more psychology related stuff, not just crafting, on here. Does that put you off? The main thrust of this blog has been crafting, and it is certainly easier to market a niche blog. I’m debating whether I should branch out into a new blog, but as someone pointed out, the USP for my blog has always been about doing lots of different things. Any comments will be welcomed.

I need your inspiration – a prize to be had!

A few months ago I posted about my charity shop finds, and one of them was this teeny tiny picture frame. I really want to cross stitch or embroider something in it, but I am lacking in inspiration, so I need your help. Something funny or ironic would be quite good, or just a lovely little picture of something. I have no idea so give me some of yours!

In return I am offering a book from my stash Stitch & Sparkle by Charlotte Liddle. It’s cute little book with ideas for colourful accessories. My favourite project is the peg dollies, which you can customise with lots of different outfits with scraps of fabric and ribbons.

Anyone who comments on this post with an idea for my picture frame will be in with a chance. Follow my blog or follow me on Twitter (@dillytante) for extra entries (but leave a comment to let me know that you have done so). It’s a fairly small book so I’m happy to post anywhere. Make sure you leave a blog/email/Twitter address so I can contact you. I will have Betty draw a name out of the Peppa Pig bowl hat on Valentine’s Day, so channel your muse and get posting but Midnight 13th February. Oh, I will actually stitch the one I like best put it into the frame. The aperture of the frame is 4×5.5cm, so I need big ideas that are small in execution.