The joy of learning something new

2013, the year of “Choosing Joy”, but also the year of learning.  This is the year that I start to take time out for me and put these grey cells in my brain in to some use.  Where I try to see if an old dog can learn new tricks!


I am doing this in a couple of ways, firstly I am trying to improve my photography by taking a Capturing Childhood course.  I have started on the Collect the Moments e-course.  It is challenging me to think differently and I am learning lots of new things about my six year old camera.  I have even ordered a remote control so I can “be in the picture” more often.  The Kats’ are helpful, insightful and full of useful information and I am really enjoying the community feel of the course, plus the ability to take things at my own pace.  Plus I got a positive comment on the photo’s I take on the blog last week for the first time ever and I was beaming.

I am also looking forward to a day course on learning to use my camera better that I am going on with Cass from The Dairy of a Frugal Family.


Secondly I am taking regular lessons in handicrafts.  I have book on to a two hourly weekly lesson on a Tuesday morning and over the last four weeks I have nearly completed a quilt for Mini.  I have cut the fabric (cutting I have discovered is my kryptonite), sewed the quilt top, basted it, quilted it and made the binding for it and today I am learning how to put that binding on it.  It is wonderful to see something I have made come together and to have the support of a tutor that is there to support me when I need it.

I have also taken a couple of day courses, one on making a stacked coin quilt and one on making a zipped bag.  Neither projects are finished yet, but they are well on the way to getting completed.  There is such joy in learning a new skill and being able to do so with like minded people is even better.  Yes I am the youngest in all the lessons by a generation (two in some cases), bit boy do these ladies have tales to tell and it is great to see them making the most of their free time.

bag fabric image

I have also set two on making 2013 the year that I keep up with the cleaning and clutter within the house, as a tidyish house means that for some reason my brain is much less cluttered or that it at least has more room to concentrate on the things that matter and not stress or fret over the state of the house.  This month on A Thrifty Mum I am getting in to the habit of a cleaning routine and continuing on my declutter, which I started in January.

17 Responses

Helloitsgemma | 02.06.13

Your Comments
This is a joy to read. Am envious as these are things I intend to do once we are more sorted. Your photos are lovely. Well done Jen x

You certainly are learning lots of new things – good for you, Jen :)

Hi Jen,
I LOVE this post! I especially like your ideas on tidying and how it keeps your mind free too. I’ll be checking out A Thrifty Mum for some advice.
Take care,
Jen (your friend jacklily on IG)

Peggy | 02.06.13

Your photos are really good. I have noticed how the quality is getting better all the time. I love learning and can totally understand how enjoyable this feels for you right now x

Natalie JTC | 02.06.13

How great is this! I think taking small classes here and there will make things stick and you don’t need to overly commit yourself. Good luck, natalie x

Julie | 02.06.13

Good for you. Looking forward to seeing what you have been making. I noticed the photos last week too and the ones above are lovely. I always feel more settled and relaxed if the house is approximately clean and in order. Juliex

Purplemum | 02.06.13

This is inspirational, well done. I would love to take a photography course, perhaps you will do some tips posts and share some of the things you learn with us?

Melanie | 02.06.13

I wish I could take photos like you! Cleaning is for people who have more time than most… life is short enough as it is why worry about it. x

rachael | 02.06.13

Ooooh, I sooooo want to do those courses! I love your first photo by the way. It really has captured a moment.

Your courses sound great! It’s so important to have ‘me-time’ – we’re often so busy being mums and wives that we forget to nurture ourselves. And I totally agree about clutter. I can get quite irritable when the house becomes too untidy. Not that I am very good at keep it clutter-free though!

Col x

Sounds like a great start to the year :)

Kerry | 02.06.13

Sounds brilliant Jen. I am too trying to get sorted on the decluttering and tidy house it really does leave a clearer head. I am also working hard on trying to learn new things and have got my sewing machine out for the first time in years and had a lovely birthday doing a bit of sewing. It is a great feeling making your own stuff you have just learnt isn’t it. And fantastic pictures by the way xx

I love this blog. And your photos look great; maybe it’s seeing through newly corrected eyes…
Would you like to submit some of your captured moments to my website, Great Moments in Parenting? It’s a new idea, an “open blog” where anyone can submit their best and worst parenting moments. We have photos as well, and I’d love to see one of your beauties up there. We link to blogs. (I’m based in Austin, TX, USA, but my father was from Sunderland, so I’m sending a big hello to you in north England.)

I love the sound of all your courses, they sound like great fun. I can see by your photos that you have picked up some tips already on photography

HonestMum | 02.06.13

Well done you, all these courses sound fab and your pictures are great!

Kelly | 02.06.13

The photos of the boys are lovely. Well done Jen.

Your CommentsI’ve been thinking about your post all weekend. I chose joy, such a brilliant maxim. I sat in a freezing football stadium (not my natural habitat), my first match ever, thinking YAY I AM CHOOSING JOY, and loved it. Ds2 who is ten, had a great time too!
My house is still a mess, but I am not going to let it stand in the way of joy. In church today, there was a very good reading about Isaiah complaining he was a failure, being galvanised into action by some angels!
Have a good week.

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