a little bit crafty.......

I have had a bit of a crafty week here. Probably because I have now finished my blanket and am feeling a little free! I still need to block it (if i do!) and am waiting for a bright day to photograph it but I will show you soon. I have been enjoying a flurry of crafty moments:-

This book by Kanako Yaguchi, The art of decorative paper stencils 2, appeals to me on so many levels. I do love paper crafts and it's been a while now. (You can see the little suitcase!) Kanako combines her travel memories of cities around the world with the art of paper cutting. It has a Japanese feel to the book and especially in the translations where she talks a lot about her memories of the air and the wind. This is a beautiful Japanese quality to me. She turns her work into illustrations and exhibitions. I feel very inspired.

These were the colours I had left with my origami paper. I love this combination. There is some patterned paper to try out with at the back of the book too. I'm imagining trying different mediums say newspaper print, and perhaps they could become cards or added to wrapping paper.

This week I discovered the work of Flora Bowley of  Brave Intuitive You. There is fantastic film here of her making her art. You absolutely must watch it! I think of myself as a crafter. Not an artist. Not really. Not yet anyway. But I was inspired to begin a little something small, just for myself really, that I thought I would share with you.

These were my Mum's watercolour paints. I have cut small squares of paper, and everyday I will paint one piece. It may just one colour, or maybe I will use crayons or pens. Or maybe I will stick something on it! Anything is allowed, and I will see where it takes me. It's only a small piece of paper so, no pressure just something. At the end of a month I will make a collage of all the pieces. Would you like to join me?!

I just felt like trying something new.

I have many art books which belonged to my Mum. I try to remember to open them up and keep a page open for inspiration, which I change around. I like this idea of intentional inspiration. I believe that things that we see everyday do inspire us subtly on a deeper level. This is my current page by the Impressionist Cubist, Jacques Villion. I also have books on street art and many different kinds of art. I like the idea of my son growing up with this kind of inspiration around him.

I do feel the need to be more creative in other areas of my life. I have got stuck in a rut, whether it's the food I'm eating or the clothes I'm wearing. More on that to come. I'm on the look out for inspiration, I feel like it's definitely in the air. A burst of inspiration is always a good thing :-)

I have been playing with china alphabet beads, sometimes it's the small things that bring pleasure!

and I do so want to create my life.
Well the sun's shining, so I will be off to soak some up while I can.
Enjoy the weekend,


a few November things......

I have really been enjoying the autumn colours this November. Right now the beech trees at the end of my garden are turning a spectacular russet red, the silver birch is golden and it's raining fluttery yellow leaves as I write. I'm trying to overlook the damp and the cold and the mist, but really it's allowed to do that in November!

I've finally managed to put our family rules on the board. Only five! I have found a new chalk board specially and I'm planning on them staying up and slowly working their way into our lives (subliminally if nothing else!). As I mentioned before, I have been taking the Teen triple p parenting course, which stands for Positive Parenting Programme, at our local youth club.

These are our rules:  Be Kind, first and best rule. Clear up, towels, clothes, cups and plates! Be reliable, (meet on time, keep to agreed switch off times). Make positive contributions, (say hello, say goodbye, say goodnight, smile etc!). Safe space, fight fairly, no name calling etc!

We each made our own rules up and the idea is is that you call a family meeting to announce and discuss them, and then follow a process of encouraging family members to stick to them by working out some kind of reward and penalty system. I haven't quite got that far yet! Some of us are so laughingly far from this ideal that it's ridiculous, but it's a framework to work towards. They have been some surprising steps forward as well. There have been short film clips to watch, tips shared and role play. I so loved being the teenager who wouldn't listen to anything the adult said! and I really got into the part!

Mainly, it's been about noticing and monitoring certain behaviours, and it becomes clear that there are times and places and activities, when it's not such a good time to ask, suggest, tell things. Therefore looking for more opportune times to do this and also trying to create more positive opportunities. But it's not easy. There has also been a good section on dealing with risky behaviour and how to risk assess a situation, preferably with the teenager and not necessarily by banning the activity or event, but finding a way to allow it to happen safely and within certain boundaries. It's all good stuff.

I have been on a little jaunt. I recently took myself off to the tree arbortorium at Westonbirt near Tetbury in Gloucestershire. The Japanese Maple trees were just stunning. I had a lovely wander around. Absconding on two social events to come here instead. It left me wondering if I do in fact prefer trees to people, and whether it will always be like that. I'm hoping I will find my social mojo again eventually! Today I even had a little thought of a pop up shop at home before christmas where I would invite the neighbours and local folks. That would be giant strides. 

and I am finally wearing my mustard cowl, made last November. It was really easy to make and a straight forward pattern. I found this mustard hat in a little vintage shop and this also has been waiting to be worn. It's a little odd, the top which seems to be faded, but perhaps looks a little dip-dyed has taken some time to get used to. Anyway I'm very happy with it now.

I am almost there on the blanket making. I am joining now and then the border to go, it's getting very exciting. I darned in the ends before I joined. I know it was such a swotty thing to do! I just couldn't face having to do it after the good bit. Next time I will do each square as I make them. Anyway I forced myself to do it. Bargained with myself half way, then continued, then counted it down in fractions (home-schooling myself!) and finally it was done. Phew. Now just the good bit. I will show you soon.

There have been some happy little soapy hearts left by one of our hardy cabin folks by the little sink in the WC. Aren't they sweet? of course I had to swipe them and photograph them. I would love to be able to make soaps and potions. They would make sweet gifts. One day!

Hope you are all good,
life is a journey,
sometimes tricky,
sometimes good, 
and sometimes really challenging weather conditions fared by some.
take care,



this morning I have been......

* watching my world slowly warm up from the first cold crispy frost last night. I woke up cold in the night, now I know why! There will be extra layers on tonight.

* wanting to connect back here again, after slightly losing my way.

* hoping the desperately needed aid reaches the people in the Phillippines.

* deciding that today I will practise asking people 'and how are you today?' in a way that sounds like I mean it.

* feeling glad I remembered to bring in the Geraniums before the frost.

* wanting to find a way forwards for my teenager who is now at home. Can I really teach science.

* wondering what happened to the little green pea planet called Pluto, which seems to have disappeared from the now 8 planet solar system! did I miss something.

* trying to make my mind move forwards out of my inertia. We can live life in a way that works for us. Even if it's not the norm.

* reminding myself i can make empowering decisions. I don't have to wait for other people to act. Could be waiting along time......

* looking forward to finishing my new blanket, my knees are cold! I will show you more soon.

and how are you today?



it's a kind of magic......

Golden birch leaves, shining in the sunshine, against a bright blue sky. One of my favourite sights in the autumn. it makes a kind of magic........,
in fact days like this make everything a-okay.

just stunning!

Pale gold twinkling leaves, fluttering gently in the breeze. A beautiful park strewn with crunchy leaves.
A blue sky and the sunshine. Big lung fulls of fresh air. What more could you ask for.

oh yes, pretty shops and coffee, had that too!

and this autumn I have been bobbed!
and I look a little worn here, and am feeling a little worn.......but that aside,
I now feel a whole lot lighter.

I am lucky that I have a lovely hairdresser, who works in a little shop upstairs on her own.
and probably due to this discreet location, said lovely hair dresser now knows far more about me than is probably necessary. And I'm sure this is true of most!

She works her own kind of magic too.
An absolute character. I would say a healer disguised as a hairdresser.
We had silly girl giggles over the word 'elevation' and we were talking about hair! 
a really most necessary word when discussing 'bobs' you know.

and she gives you a big hug when you leave, she tells me she hugs all her clients,
even the little old ladies,
so sweet, we all need a hug sometimes don't we.

Anyway, I now feel elevated, hair wise.
and I'm still getting used to the 'new' me. 

oh and a lovely rose for you found on my travels!
have a good weekend,