Friday, 11 February 2011


I have done some spring cleaning over at my Etsy shop which has been sadly neglected over the past couple of months, as I was so poorly before Christmas and then became pre-occupied with G's birthday quilt.

I've just listed some great little patchwork lavender sachets like this one.

I raided my scrap basket for fabrics in my favourite sort of spring flower colours - pinks, lilacs, creams and the occasional dash of red.  The sachets measure 10cm square and are stuffed full of my Mum's homegrown French lavender, which smells gloriously pungent thanks to all that Mediterranean sunshine.  Just a little squeeze of the sachet fills the whole room with the smell of lavender.  Go and take a look at them here.

My mind has been on patchwork in more metaphorical ways too.  I am currently figuring out how I can get back into work over the next few months, and have been struggling with some conflicting claims:
  • my accountancy training, which I would like to keep using in some way
  • the need for flexible, local and part-time work which will fit around the rest of the family
  • my creative life - sewing and writing - which perhaps should also be incorporated into my working life in some way
I've been tumbling over all these thoughts for a few months now and not reaching any useful conclusions.  I am also increasingly intimidated by the actual process of looking for part-time work in such a challenging economic climate - writing a good CV, filling in application forms and actually working out what jobs are out there.

In the New Year, help and support came in the form of a phone call from Women Like Us - a recruitment agency (currently, sadly, only based in London) that specialises in bringing employers and mothers who want part-time work together. 

At an hour long coaching session at Women Like Us earlier this week, my new career coach and I talked about patchwork, and she pointed out that taking a new direction in my working life may not be a bad thing.  My career overall may end up resembling a patchwork quilt - with some very different fabrics in there - but if there is a common thread holding them together, that's okay.  Not surprisingly I liked this analogy very much.  I came away from our session very motivated, with much food for thought, and also with a list of nicely practical things to do before our next meeting.  If you live in London and are looking for part time work, or a part time employee, I can't recommend Women Like Us highly enough.

In other news, excitement for G's 40th birthday on Valentine's Day is building rapidly.  I have a whopping great leg of lamb marinading in the fridge ready for a family party tomorrow, and this afternoon I am making a start on the first of two birthday cakes.  Pubs, fancy schmancy restaurants and top secret presents are also involved!

Happy weekending everybody!


  1. oooh those lavender sachets look gorgeous, hurray for wonderful support in the return to work plan, and oh what fun the birthday plans sound!

  2. I admire you for taking the first step in re-entering the workforce. My long term plans involve intensive retraining and will affect my home life enormously - so I am dragging my heels until the time is exactly right. For me, I don't think it is yet. I do fear I'll never be sure that there is a right time.

  3. Have you ever thought about having a stall at local craft fairs - that is what I do in NZ.

  4. I've heard of Women Like Us, they've been on Woman's Hour a few times, sounds like they offer a great service. Good luck with job-hunting!

  5. If you find the solution, let me know! Seriously, good luck with your plans.

  6. Gosh. Well done, you. I wish there was such an agency here. Facing the end of a teaching stint this summer that has allowed me to earn just more than enough for only one day a week in school, and trusting that there will be excatly that elusive balance of money and mini-men around the corner!

  7. I'm liking the patchwork analogy very much.

  8. My career is a bit of a patchwork, too. But I'm not too convinced about its common threads

  9. Love that sachet :-).

    Regarding the work, one of the best pieces of work advice I've heard lately came from a friend of mine last fall who told me to stop being afraid of asking. It was simple but effective advice for a sometimes shy person like myself!

  10. Good luck with your efforts at exploring work options. I commend you for seeking out something that totally fits with your life. I hope you find what you want, or it finds you!

  11. I've been struggling with a lot of the same issues re work. Women Like Us sounds really interesting.

    K x


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