How (not) to store your wool…

As Karen alluded to in her last post (a super helpful tutorial!) this blog post is about Type A vs Type B personalities.

Personality Psychology is a huge area of psychology and this is not the space to dissect, or even explain, what it is about. Wikipedia is always your friend so if you are interested in learning more please feel free to head over here for more information!

For brevity (and wit) today I will be focusing on one particular personality theory: Type A and Type B Personality Theory.

You may have heard of this theory before as it is a common one. What you may not know is that it was developed not by psychologists but by cardiologists! Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman conducting a longitudinal study into risk factors for heart attacks and found that more competitive, ambitious or aggressive men were twice as likely to have a heart attack than those that are more relaxed. They labeled these as Type As and Type Bs respectively.

Since then these personality types have been researched extensively and Friedman even went on to write a book about Type A behaviour as something that can be pathologised and treated.

So here we come to wool.

I think it is safe to say that Karen would define herself as a Type A personality: organised, sensitive, anxious. While I think I could safely define myself as a Type B personality: reflective, impulsive, disorganised. And there is no better place that this manifests than in our approach to knitting.

Karen has a beautiful craft room with everything in its own place, she keeps here WIPs (Works In Progress) in bags so that they can be stored tidily, and she sometimes even winds her skeins of yarn more neatly before knitting with them!

dsc_0336

I, on the other hand do none of the above. My friend Molly does a lovely impersonation of me storing my knitting. It looks a bit like a person scrunching up a piece of paper and ‘shoving’ it in a bag. She even uses the word ‘shoving’ to describe what I do. Invariably this leads to frustrating tangles that take hours to unwind, but I never learn. Because I am spontaneous, I rarely think ahead and so I keep doing it because it’s easier and faster in that moment.

16177476_10209430983584451_3118821498923985917_o

This is where I depart from Friedman and Rosenman. They saw Type A as a problem and Type B as desirable. However, they were cardiologists, not psychologists (and definitely not crafters). I can definitely see the merits in being more organised and more of a planner. While I am often less stressed in any given moment, I would probably (definitely) save more time if I was organised.

As with anything, maybe it is about balance. It’s probably just a behaviour that I could choose to practice (because by now you all know that behaviour is a choice!) and so I continue to work on it. In the meantime I will continue to be a source of much mirth to all my friends and my husband as, interestingly, they are almost all Type As.

And to inspire me to change my unhelpful behaviours, if anyone has any wonderful wool-spiration or craft rooms-to-die-for, please comment and show me a photo or a link below!!

Interested in finding out what personality type you are? click here for a quiz

If you want to know more about different personality theories check out:

The Personality Project (http://www.personality-project.org/index.html

Simply Psychology (http://www.simplypsychology.org/personality-theories.html)

Advertisements

A productive day

I love getting a ‘free’ day off. On Tuesday it was the Melbourne Cup public holiday. I know there are controversies around horse racing and I don’t want to use this space to discuss them. So I am going to share with you how I spent my day!

This probably falls outside the realms of ‘craft’ (and I’m not sure there was any mindfulness involved) but Stuart and I spent the day gardening. We ripped out a very overgrown hedge/creeper thing that had overtaken most of the front fence, and was slowly working its way around the tree, then planted Jasmine instead.

We also planted some Camellia out the back and painted the wall in order to make the outside space more of an ‘entertaining’ area and less of a dark, cluttered mess. It still needs a table, but once the Camellias are flowering it should look nice and colourful!

IMG_4887.JPG

After doing this on Tuesday, we then spent Wednesday night playing with the cats out in the front garden. It was enough to kick start a change in our routine (although I’m sure the longer nights help!). This reminded me of a basic tenet in solution focused psychology:

Small changes lead to bigger changes

This is such a simplistic quote that I actually went searching for something more meaningful, but it sums up so much. The small change of removing something we didn’t want and putting in something we did, has caused us to want to spend more time in the space. This led to us soaking up the day’s last rays rather than our usual routine of ‘TV on, mindless watching’. We felt better, we connected, and the kittens loved it!

kittens in garden.jpg

I think that surrounding ourselves by beauty is great, but taking pride in our surroundings is probably greater.

Christmas in July – with instructions!

Last weekend it was Stuart’s birthday and, we decided, the perfect weekend to celebrate Christmas in July. We have lots of Northern Hemisphere friends who find it hard to get into the ‘Christmas mood’ when it is hot and sunny. So this is our way of celebrating in the cold (and any excuse for a party in our house!!).

Christmas collage

We wanted the day to be about friends, food and fun; so we wanted it to be as stress free as possible. This involved a lot of preparation and a lot of simple decorating ideas.

A week before the party we decided to draw up a list of everything we needed. We asked everyone to bring something (either the cheese, starters, vegetarian option, dessert etc). This meant we only needed to provide the protein and root veg as well as one dessert.

We then worked out what could be prepped the day before. This was essential as I was working on the day and was going to be one of the last ‘guests’ to arrive!! So anything that wasn’t done had to be done by Stuart or by people once they arrived.

For decorations we went with a simple but lovely idea to put down plain brown paper and crayons then decorate the table cloth with questions and activities. We then raided my parents’ Christmas box and just made some bows for chairs, put some baubles in a bowl and bought some Christmas Crackers! Done.

The day went off without a hitch. We had been able to boil the veg and brown it the night before so it only needed a bit of cooking on the day. We had also prepped the dessert and got the utensils out as well as setting the table. The meat was all cooked on the day and everyone stepped up and brought amazing contributions to the meal!

DSC_0010.JPG

On the day we had a Secret Santa where each person brought a present then got to choose one at random. This saved the hassle of having to draw names out of a hat and, again, minimised our stress. It was also a lot more fun as you can choose to either take a present from the pile or steal one! Look what I stole!

IMG_4364

(you may have already noticed that the dress theme was ‘bad taste Christmas jumpers’ – mine was a cashmere and pearl number with sewn in shoulder pads from an op shop!)

In the end we had a lovely evening with close friends. It was the least stressful Christmas I’ve ever had. And we got to share a fantastic moment as it was our friend Maddi’s first ever Christmas!! Low-key was definitely the theme but it didn’t feel like that on the day as all our friends made a huge effort and our shortcuts didn’t show once we’d had a bottle of champagne!

DSC_0048

 

Before I go I wanted to share with you the dessert we cooked. It’s stolen off my aunt and a real family favourite!!

DSC_0084

This is a Bread and Butter pudding with a twist. We make it with Jewish sweet Challah and chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • One loaf of sweet Challah, cut coarsely
  • One (or more!) block of chocolate- milk or 70% cocoa solids, according to preference
  • Around one block/stick of butter
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs

Method:

  1. cut up the Challah and place in a single layer in a baking tray. break the chocolate into small chunks and place throughout the bread.
  2. warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter is melted, take off the heat. add the vanilla and sugar then, once it is cooled slightly, add the eggs and beat in. make sure the mixture isn’t too warm as it will cook the eggs.
  3. pour the milk mixture over the bread making sure it is all saturated. if you don’t have enough mix at this point I have been known to pour a bit of milk over the rest (it’s a bit of a cheat but I’m not a precise cook and it seems fine!)
  4. place in the oven at 160°C (or 150° fan forced) for about an hour. keep your eye on it, when the top is beautifully brown and crispy take it out and check the middle is hot. some people like to cover it with foil for the first 45-50 mins so it doesn’t over cook on top, but again, I’m not that precise (and I love the crispy bits!)

 

 

 

 

 

What’s On 29-31st July

This weekend is Open House Melbourne where you get to explore hundreds of properties across Melbourne, many of which are not open on other days.

You can find out more details at http://www.openhousemelbourne.org/ and I highly recommend you check it out. Last year I went on a tour of Melbourne Cemetery with some friends.

If you are in the mood for exploring then why not check out some other interesting tours that you can take part in!

  • A while ago we got together and did a ghost tour of Melbourne which was great fun (even with a lot of ghost skeptics between us!

IMG_4325

  • Another one we have had our eye on for a while is the moonlight kayak tour where you get to eat fish and chips on the water in your kayak!! We haven’t done it yet but I think we will wait until spring or summer now!
  • If you want something on the water but a little less energetic, I love the look of the Botanic Garden Punt tours. I had a friend who got married on the edge of the Ornamental Lake and it is such a beautiful part of Melbourne to explore.

 

Let us know below if you have any other tour ideas. Or share cool Open Melbourne ideas!!