What, with the Chinese New Year and everything, there's been a bit of a sheep theme going on here over the past few days and in celebration of this gentle animal the photo above is a picture I took on the South Downs last winter of a "two headed" sheep.
In terms of Chinese astrology, the year of the sheep follows on from last year's year of the horse, which galloped along at a fast and bumpy pace - for many of us it was a case of grabbing onto the reins and holding on tight! But the year of the sheep is said to be about contemplation, renewal and appreciation, enjoying the calmness, taking a more steady path, being kind and generous to others, being creative, connecting with nature and keeping the peace. Well that all sounds pretty good to me so bring it on!
Getting Some zzzzzzz's
Sheep have been very much in my head recently due to bouts of insomnia - it is said that counting sheep jumping over a fence helps because the activity switches the mind off from all other thoughts (those worrying thoughts that keep us awake at night or just an over-creative mind which doesn't want to shut up and go to sleep!) and the act of counting something is said to slowly lull us into slumber due to the gentle repetition of the activity.
Well my sheep are always a little misbehaved and some of them refuse to jump over the fence. This in turn has the effect of keeping me awake as I get annoyed with them and try to round them up in my mind. But now I've found the answer, and its based on the same principle of a breathing technique used my many people who practise yoga - its called 4-7-8 breathing and its good for stress and calming the mind and when you need it, can really help you drop off to sleep (and sleep well, once you're there!). Read more about it here courtesy of Byrdie.com
Never Felt Better
Finally, this week, in honour of the sheep, I continue to work on my latest felt project. I love working with wool because its soft and comforting to touch (and in winter its warm to handle). I'm a very slow knitter and even slower crotchetist but I like working with felt because you can work with it sculpturally for 3-D shapes and also work with it in a 2-D format almost like painting on canvas and, whichever technique you choose to use, they can also be combined and work well together.
I'm linking up once again with Planet Penny's Happy Friday