Life, Love, Craft

Life, Love, Craft


Sorry my blog posts have been missing from action this past couple of weeks. My chronic fatigue has been kicking my backside this past fortnight or so and, combined with little sleep, I’ve had very little energy to do much apart from work (and I only work a 4 day week). I’m hoping my energy levels are going to rise for June as I have quite a few things planned. Fingers crossed!

(Skip down to “Love” if you don’t want to read the ramble about fatigue!)

I do have several posts in the pipeline (notebook reviews, a paper-cut review and a castle visit post), but it’s just having the energy and brainpower to sit down and complete them.

For those who don’t know, chronic fatigue isn’t just physical fatigue, it’s mental fatigue too. Brain fog clouds memory and numbs creativity. Fatigue isn’t just tiredness either, it’s so much more. It’s hard to describe real fatigue to people… If you’ve ever had an operation or medical procedure, imagine how you feel when you’re coming around from it. Imagine how you feel when you have a bout of flu (and I mean proper flu where you ache all over and can barely get out of bed, not a cold or man-flu). Imagine how you’d feel after running a marathon. Fatigue is that kind of tiredness. It’s like pushing against a wall all day long. Even if I get a good night of sleep (which I had been getting up until this past fortnight), I still feel like I haven’t slept. I’ve actually forgotten what it’s like to wake up feeling refreshed.

I find chronic fatigue so frustrating because it means I can’t do everything I want to do. I can’t work a 5 day week every week (which of course has an impact on my income and expenditures). It’s had quite an effect on my (now almost non-existent) social life (though I do try!) and plans are very much dependent on how I feel on any given day.

(Rant over!)


No, not my love life. That’s pretty non-existent at the moment, but after last year’s stressful drama, I’m not too bothered about that!

I love getting out and about with my camera and whilst the fatigue has meant I’ve not visited the places I’d hoped to this past couple of weeks, I did manage to get out in the garden with my camera (although I forgot to swap to my macro lens!).

Granny's Bonnets
Granny’s Bonnets

I love this time of year and seeing the flowers and plants springing to life. I love seeing the bees buzzing about the garden, although I wish they’d sit still a little longer.


I don’t really do new year’s resolutions, but I did promise myself that 2017 would be the year I took more time out for myself and got back into crafts. So I’ve been having a go at making my own Traveller’s Notebooks.

Traveller’s Notebooks are basically leather covers with elastics which hold a number of notebooks inside.

Traveller's Notebook
Traveller’s Notebook

I made this one as a gift for my friend Sarah. It’s made from black leather, with rainbow elastic and a porcelain letter charm. Inside I slotted in 3 Calepino pocket notebooks, but Sarah can switch these out and replace with new notebooks when she’s done with them.

My Dad has asked for one in burgundy leather (which I’ll make for Father’s Day next month) and I’ve got some purple leather to make myself one with. That will leave me with leftover black, burgundy and purple leather… Guess what everyone’s getting as gifts this year!


  1. Kelly says:

    I just finished a letter to you which I will send off tomorrow. I was asking about the leather notebook covers in my letter and while you’ve mentioned them above, I don’t see a photo! (maybe a glitch on my end?)

    All of your flowers are gorgeous! Your marigold looks a bit different from ours. I’ve always liked to watch bumblebees, but now that my husband has hives, I’m much more aware of the honeybees.

    The chronic fatigue sounds awful and you certainly have my sympathy.

  2. Jo says:

    Reading between the lines, it sounds as thought your fatigue comes and goes so I do hope it doesn’t hang around, especially now the better weather’s here and you could be getting out and about. Your flower photos are fabulous, I especially like the bluebells and the anemone. I haven’t used the Travellers Notebooks, I think they’re still too restrictive for me, even though the books themselves can be changed around. I prefer a ring bound folder so I can chop and change my pages around so I use a Filofax. You’re very clever though making your own.

    • Nikki says:

      Hi Jo…Thank you for your lovely comments on the flowers. The fatigue is always there, but it’s usually fairly low-level unless I’ve been overdoing things. I hope you’re well 🙂

  3. Barbara says:

    Hello Nikki,
    It must be really difficult to keep on top of everything feeling the way you do. I remember the feeling of utter exhaustion after an operation but that only lasts for a short while, thank goodness. I guess you just have to be kind to yourself and allow your body the rest it needs. Your photographs and beautiful, your pending posts sound really interesting, and I love the look of the traveller’s notebook.

  4. Hi Nikki,

    I would like to echo everyone else’s Best Wishes and the hope that this particular bout of fatigue will pass soon. The weather looks as though it is going to take a sustained turn for the better this week and over the Bank Holiday weekend, so perhaps by then you will feel more up to getting out and about.

    I have so many craft projects on the go, or in mind to start, but I just simply never seem to have the time to work on any of them. Your ‘Traveller’s Notebook’ looks amazing and personally I would probably stick to the black version, although I suspect that the purple and burgundy examples will be eye-catching.

    The spring flowers have been particularly good this year and hubbie has managed to get out and about with his camera quite a bit. The rhododendrons and azaleas have been spectacular. You have some excellent, colourful shots there 🙂


  5. Jaz says:

    So sorry to hear about your fatigue, I had a severe bout of flu last year, which knocked me for six; can’t imagine what it’s like to constantly feel like that.
    Your flower pictures are stunning and I don’t know about you but I feel so much better when the sun is shining and I’m surrounded by the beautiful countryside.
    Jaz xoxo

  6. Ant says:

    It’s so important to take time for yourself. If that means letting a few things go, no biggie. Your craft idea came out nice. I’m sure your friend loves it. It means so much to me when I’m given something from the heart.

  7. Tracy Terry says:

    Thank you for such a brave post. I can remember when this condition was labelled Yuppy Flu, those that battled with it merely lazy. Still not a condition that many know much about (perhaps because of the previous labelling) I’m so glad that you have featured it here.

    Loving your traveller’s notebooks, what wonderful gifts.

  8. Wendy says:

    Hello Nikki,
    Thank you for the like on instagram! I am also a chronic fatigue sufferer and please don’t feel the need to apologise for ranting! Its so frustrating because it’s so hidden – even depression is more ‘acceptable’ somehow, otherwise, surely you’re just lazy aren’t you. That’s how i feel sometimes anyway, and it’s so difficult in this modern life of everyone comparing achievements and what you should be ‘capable’ of.

    Hope you have a lovely bank holiday!

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