finding my way through january

I have been feeling a bit cold and quite a lot sensitive. My head really feels strange. I've been wearing my very warm insulated Peruvian hat, like my head needs protecting! I'm not ready to emerge yet. I'm still in my retreated January space. I keep thinking I might be getting a cold, but haven't. I even felt a bit adverse to being on-line, like I needed to draw back into myself some more. I've made a little boundary between me and the world. I can wave, but I can't connect just now.

I am finding a new strength in that quiet place. Inside that boundary the new impulse for growth and life is quietly being nurtured. Just slowly. Sensitivity may be my middle name. Sometimes I wonder why it's there so much. Well I know where it came from. But what does it want from me now? What's it trying to say? I think it wants me to listen. I often try and barge on ahead anyway. Sensitivity squashed back down. Ignored. I think it has quite a lot of important things to tell me, and if I could just listen more, I probably would find myself creating easier situations that don't need to shout quite so loudly to be heard....!

So yes a sensitive January it seems. Perhaps it's a good time of year to notice this. Some things can make it worse I think. Noise, intensity of different kinds. I'm ready to blame the wi-fi quite indiscriminately. Who knows about that really? I am reading Brene Brown's The gift of imperfection. I am quietly opening up to her ideas about owning our own story and being 'good enough'. If you haven't watched her TEDx talk on The power of vulnerability it's definitely worth watching.

I am still stretching and doing crafy/shop things. I've fallen into a rythym where there is more emphasis on one than the other each day, a kind of taking in turns. But they are both still there. Today I need to stretch, I can feel that. Yesterday was a day of photos and editing. It's been so hard with the light.

'winter white' by my little red suitcase
This is my new 'winter white' cushion. I love it here with the light from the window, but the light casts a shadow. So I can't use the photo in my shop. I need to experiment with holding a white board and reflecting the light back. It's all a learning process, and I am actually enjoying it. Thank goodness for the new camera!

So near the end of January and we need little glimmers of warmth now. Small hopeful jollies of sunshine and friendly faces and yes that will include human interaction too. Here's looking forward to that.


Across the valley and home.

This is the view from the end of my garden. I have to walk down the slope to underneath the Beech trees to see this. The field at the forefront is my neighbors. It's very sloped and has a huge badgers set on it. Once he told me he was thinking of getting organic certification. The large badgers set makes it too dangerous for horses to be in the field. I don't think he will do anything with the field and we're not allowed to go in it...., but it's nice to know it's being protected from being built on. Much further down the slope there is a small river and woods. Sometimes in the summer the noises from the house across valley bounce over as though they are really close.

I feel like I have been a bit disconnected from the garden lately. It was time for a winter wander, camera in hand of course. I love the smell of the wood smoke up at the house, it's so cold here right now. There has been many a night of wind gusting up this valley, I have been praying the roofs stay on. They seem to be quite well built. I didn't build them myself, they were already here. They are on stilts, because of the slope. There are a lot of cabins in this street, and a whole little community of cabin dwellers. I just kind of miss having a cabin space I can use. Not that I have ever really had one! But in terms of income this just makes more sense.

I'm still finding my way with this camera. My son forced me to take it off auto the other day to teach me how to do Bokeh. I was pretty chuffed to manage it. I will show you that soon! I thought it was rather fab that he had learn't that as part of his Music and Media lesson at The Door.

I love the yellow Winter Jasmine, it reminds me of my Mum. She always had some growing.

Winter stars, I'll call these. I'm not sure what they are, but they are pretty. Actually I think it's little Michaelmas Daises , could it be?

I have to say this camera captures the red and green so well, and it makes such a difference. Just look at these orange berries. Lovely.

And so back indoors, this is calling. There is always plenty calling right now! I have re-discovered this colourful piece and am now happily turning it into another cushion. Right now it's keeping my knees warm. I have brought some light denim coloured fabric to make covers with. I'm having a bit of a denim moment I think. So my next job is to get out that sewing machine and start. I just thought I'd call by here first, as you do! Have a good week.


This cup is just right!

I'm not an avid collector of china. But I've been eyeing this cup for a while. It's a nice size, but not too big. The handle is roomy. I can hold it comfortably and hug it's warmth close. I like it's rustic, slightly quirky qualities. It's not too heavy, but heavy enough. I love the colours and the glaze, and it reminds of far off travels. I may have found the perfect cup.....and no one else may use it!

This morning I was crunching through the fresh snow on the common, there was some lovely sunshine too. It's always great to get all that vitamin D in January. You can see there are some houses up here with amazing views. The extremes of weather too. A few days ago I had the spritz and blast hydrotherapy treatment, all free, thanks to the gales and rain! Very revitalizing.

It really is the highlight of living here. I'm not sure how far I walk, but I'm considering getting a pedometer to find out. I probably do about a 30 minute quick march. Sometimes it's a wander and chat depending on who I bump into.

Home to drink a welcoming latte and to meet the plumber who has come to fix a burst cold water pipe in the cabin. I always manage to pick his brain about heating and kilowatts and frost thermostats. I think he may charge me for the time he spends giving me advice...., I think it may be a form of anxiety! Do you worry about your pipes in the loft?....Anyway, discussions about heaters and insulation and boilers, and the realization that there is only so much you can do to prevent cabin pipes from freezing was the outcome. My hardy cabin folks have survived gales and cold this week without any complaint. For them, home is where the wood burner is!



a 30 day craftathon

This is so happening too!

And thank you the encouraging nods and requests for more info on my last post. Stretching and movement is my other passion. It doesn't mean I do it all the time, but it's part of who I am, just like creating and making is. I need to have a little think about how I can best bring that here, I'm not a qualified teacher, but I will come up with something.

In the meantime I am re-connecting with my unfinished projects. There are so many! Each day I move a little further forwards with something. I have two more finished cushions for my shop now, and that feels good. I will show you soon.

I wanted to show you these.

I know twins......I found another. It had just been cleaned and put out on display, and then I appeared. I just couldn't leave it behind. Look it's exactly the same, what are the chances!

It's a double sign from the universe. For gods sake, just get on with it!.....

I always wondered if I would have twins at 45, (almost 46 now, so that's not going to happen!)

Also, not  trying to make that happen.

I'll take these though.

I think it's time to double those aspirations. Onwards and upwards!


fairy lights, stretching and movement

Oh yes, I still need my fairy lights for these dark winter nights. These vintage lights give a lovely soft glow, such a brilliant invention. They are quite old now, I love them.

I have been doing my daily stretching on the mat here in front of them. Lets see, I am at day seven. I'm starting to feel a bit looser and have began to work through the initial stiffness that immediately appeared in several places!

It tends to be in the evening. I'm remembering how it feels to stretch out and move in a certain way. For me movement is the answer. I need this. I know how important it is to stretch and rotate all the joints. Keep things moving. Stay supple. I just do it in my own way. A combination of things I have studied. I would call it more like a gentle stretching and movement meditation, with a bit of self Shiatsu thrown in for good measure.

I really admire how in the Oriental culture gentle movement is practiced everyday. I love the fact that even the older people will go out into the parks and practice. They know how important it is. It is what everyone does. Our culture tends to just stop moving.

I remember on a trip to Edinburgh watching a group of older Chinese people stop and go through their routine in the city park one morning. They just chose their own spot and started to gently move in a meditative way that would probably be known as Tai chi. I was quietly watching, in the distance. Once they had left I went and stood in that spot and thought how inspired I felt to move the way they did, how easy it looked. For me I would have felt self-conscious there, but for them it was a totally normal occurrence.

I want to be able to stretch and move everyday. Of all the inspiring stories I have read from older people who are living interesting and happy lives, they all have in common the fact that they practice some kind of body movement. They have kept moving and practicing, as well as engaging and connecting with life!

Please join me if you want to. You can make it up! See what stretches your body feels like doing. Give yourself some space and listen. Just move slowly and gently of course.


a little sad to be putting away christmas.....

But whole heartedly happy to be able to wear these, (now that I've shown you of course!). I've made them a little shorter than the pattern, more like wrist warmers, because I like to wear them all the time, including driving in them. This way I can easily push them up above my hands, and do householdy things while wearing them!

Yesterday was a bit of wobble in this house.
A wave of energy arrived from another household. I picked up the teenager and also the roller coaster of energy from difficult happenings he was carrying. Transitions in this house are tricky. Everything needs to land again. Frought difficulties between the adults and other children there, came home with him. It effects us all. We are all connected. We're all part of his life. His family.

There's a kind of download, which always catches me unawareness. A sensitivity which then reacts to any reaction I have. I was totally caught out, before I remembered that the best thing I can do is let it just roll past, let him process it. Try not to interact too much with it, and stay neutral and present. Otherwise I put myself in the line of fire. So I felt a bit challenged in my thinking. Teenagers are good like that. I felt like some wrong belief had been exposed. Because I tried to keep my boundaries intact. I wasn't prepared to jump at some suddenly new ideas. I ended feeling maybe I was wrong and needed to think differently? Perhaps there will be a different approach I could adopt to the story in the end. 

Or maybe that's the voice of doubt speaking. Perhaps at some point I could build more bridges again. But I need to know I'm moving forwards with my life first. It can be so easy to get swept up in other peoples lives. It's so difficult for him to be the child in the middle of everyone. As you get older the adults begin to tell you more things, which you then have to take on and process. It's not easy, I do feel for him.

So here we are back to bare January again. Bare branches, a new beginning of projects to reach out to the new year in. I was grateful to remember to stretch and craft to take my mind somewhere else.

An indulgent post of pink and blue. To create some January cheer. This packaging is gorgeous, I keep noticing lovely packaging!

and can I just show you my Texas cowboy card! So cool. Thank you Tammy.

The lovely fingerless glove pattern is from Maiike at crejjion.


creating new habits over 30 days

beginning a new diary and some new ideas

I must tell you about some new ideas I have been thinking about. I really took a lot from doing the 30 day prompt during December, and blogging every day. Stepping into the process was a real revelation for me. I knew I had to show up, in some way, every day.

It was the beginning of forming a new habit.  I would switch off as many distractions as possible, sit down in front of my screen and show up. I would even announce to myself, okay I'm here! This is me showing up. To whatever is there. Something will happen. Even when you are feeling unsettled or it feels difficult. I started to follow a thread, that weaved it's way in and out of my life and my day. It became easier, it became something that I do. It became part of my day. And the beginning of a new way was formed.

I want to see if I can apply this to other areas of my life. What can do for 30 days that will create a change in my life? Two big areas for me are wanting to go forwards with my craft business and needing to make stretching/yoga part of my day.

I'm think it may be best to begin with one thing, so that the process of that one thing really has the possibility to come alive and be heard everyday. It will slowly find it's way into your awareness and start to speak to you. Take up a space, or find a way to!

I have chosen two, I am a little concerned. They both feel important. I think keeping one as the main focus could be wiser. I'll let you know if it does feel like too much. I don't want it to be an overload of 'shoulds'. So I've put the word 'gentle' above both ideas. It's a gentle beginning. A 30 day stretch and a 30 day craftathon. It may mean five minutes of stretching fitted here and there or an hour of stretching out on the mat. It may mean crocheting a few rows or creating a new listing on etsy, or just sitting at my craft table and giving myself the space to think about what I want to do.

It's a gentle picking up of the thread and starting to follow it. See where it leads. I think the point is if I can show up to it, it can begin to happen. You may have to show up feeling tired or not in the mood. But show up anyway. I think you will be surprised.

There's so many things I could think of doing this with. Even simple things, like 30 days of noticing the people around you more. 30 days of connecting more, in some small way, everyday. 30 days of walking a mile. 30 days of journaling or drawing. So many things. Would you like to join me? Does anything spring to mind? Make a little card and put it up. Mark off the days in your diary. Give yourself stars!

So 30 days. Start today, start now. In some small way. Remember go gently.


You can read more about the Earthpathways diary here.



welcome in a fresh new year!

Fresh lung fulls of air have been blown through the house.
There is a fresh new water filter in my jug.
The plants have had a good drink.
Some laundry is in the making.
I feel a new burst of fresh energy and a little bit of my old self emerging.
A good beginning.