some changes....

bathed in pink blossom
Some new changes, a new approach, a new commitment, a new boundary of my time, dare I say it. These are the things I have been thinking about this week.

 This week my blog turned three, I turned 46 and the Himalayan earthquake happened. The last obviously being the most significant. I usually manage to side step most of the news, but this story reached into my very being and touched me. I would even say changed me. That first night I dream't of these people who were trapped and felt their fear and despair.

pink blossom in the park

As I looked around me in the world I couldn't help noticing how meaningless and pointless a lot of things were. It felt like a kind of mirror of truth to hold everything up to. Of course none of us are perfect, I know that. But sometimes we are quite far of the mark and totally caught up in our own pain. We lose sight of the bigger picture, which can be our lives or indeed the world.

a beautiful creation

I can very easily find myself filled up with insignificant things. Stories which don't matter. I can lose track of what does matter. Forget where I am or how I want to be in the world. And we can be in the world, we are not trapped. We can step into our lives and be present. We are so fortunate. We can spare some prayers for these people and we can give up something so we can contribute to the aid effort. It's all we can do. 

And we can stay focused and present for our lives at the same time and the people in them. Nothing else matters.

Museum in the park
I can't read every blog post of everyone I follow. First thing! But I'm a faithful soul, and will be back round at some point. Unless we have both just kind of moved on. I'm trying to shape out what I feel I'm moving into myself, what I'm trying to bring to life here. I have to focus on here to give this a chance.

I'm trying to create a creative business and also negotiating though life with a sixteen year old in the last few months of school. Most of you know I'm a single-parent. My income's going to change. I'd like to create a business plan that will catch me and provide in a new way. I want to work for myself, I'm quite sure of that. And it needs to be creative.

I love what I'm creating here and what I'm learning. I love what's developing and how idea's start to come to life.This is my moment to follow this, to stick with it and see where it leads.
I love how it's looking right now and how the inspiration for changes come without you knowing!

So back to boundaries. I can't read every post and I've had to narrow down who I do follow. I think this must happen to everyone in the end. I've stopped following most big blogs, even the ones that I read from the beginning. Which surprised me. But I think I'm ready to find my own path. I'm hugely grateful for the inspiration though.

Okay so I will be around now and again. I still love flickr. I will try and look through my contacts once a week. Same with instagram. I don't do big follows because I actually do like to follow! and I can't actually follow loads....

So what will I do?......! Well the new boundary for me, who seems to have her day chopped up by many different things is that I am keeping my week, just for me and my son of course and the dog!I'm not going to be available to anyone else until the weekend, for anything.

I'm going to follow this creative business idea. I'm going to be making and stocking my shop. Which may mean quite a few shop posts.So I hope you don't mind about that, but it's time you see.

It's time for me to hear my voice amongst all the background noise and stand up for what I want to represent. It's time to get clear and focus. It's time for me to commit myself to that,
and it feels quite exciting :-)

Thanks for reading.


colourful and funky new cushions!

my little red suitcase colourful and funky
And finally! did you think I had forgotten about cushions?.....I almost thought I had! These have been finished and covers made. 

my little red suitcase
I am pretty smitten with this one, it just pops so brightly! 

I am very excited to use a light weight denim colour on the reverse. I really like this. The combination is good.

cushion pile - my little red suitcase
 I crochet is hand sewn to the cover and I love the edging. It's a lot of effort but worth it :-).

my little red suitcase
Did I tell you I love the denim!

my little red suitcase
Me and denim are going to be friends.

my little red suitcase
Letting go is hard I think....

but I can always make more!

my little red suitcase- colourful and funky!
Conchetta Conchetta my creative assistant is already choosing colours for more. This woman is bringing me to task I can tell you.
She even has her own pinterest board now! Apparently we have to go and put more on it.

She wants me to tell you that, all the cushions here are kept very carefully, clean, zip locked and treasured in vintage suitcases until their departure. No gathering on dusty shelves here!

They are all new in the shop today. 



the way we were......

That's me and my Mum sitting in the garden, it's the summer of 1978. I am eight years old and my Mum is 45, the same age as I am now. I couldn't let a mention on my last post, about The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews, go by without showing you this picture! Here is my Mum with her Julie Andrews haircut wearing her very lovely 1970's embroidered blouse, although you can't quite see that. 

I remember my outfit so well, I loved that red gingham top, the red trousers with a Snoopy patch on the knee. The little purse round my neck and that hair. I think someone must have brushed it for me. I seem to remember just pushing it back in a hairband unbrushed most of the time! I imagine I was hoping it was looking like a Farrah Fawcett flick. My feet look so long I think they grew to an adult size before the rest of me did. I don't think it was an accident we were sitting in front of the red rose bush either.

My Mum was having quite a hard time I think having lost my Dad the year before, and as a child that perhaps was all a bit surreal. I was happy to be in that safe little world with my Mum and local buddies roaming around the street and gardens, I think that kept me going. Play was the order of the day, little clubs, mini adventures, off on our bikes. I think my Mum lay on the couch and watched Wimbledon. That's what I can remember! 


a thing or two about adventures....

I just wanted to say a thing or two about adventuring. For me adventures don't have to be far and wide. Sometimes just a little of the beaten track is all that's needed. Or even in the same old place, with eyes held open wide for treasure of course. A band of merry mates is a good thing, but sometimes alone will do, or even with a little dog. New discoveries are the thing.

yellow gorse on the common
The other day while walking on the common I dropped down the hill a little further than normal and discovered this lovely yellow gorse. I`ve only ever seen it at the coast so I was mighty pleased I wandered a bit further. Another thing that connects me to that wonderful place where the land meets the sea.

view of Woodchester village from the common
There it is on the slopes, with the little town of Woodchester below. Sometimes I'm quite sure I might be living in one of those Hornby railway sets with the hills and the houses and the church. I think if you press a button there might be the toot and a train might come winding through the hills! The chimes of the church and the sounds of the children playing outside at break time carry on up here in the breeze.

little dog posing in front of the gorse
There she is, my merry mate! Always willing to be in the shot.

I found a red pencil!
And did I find treasure? you bet I did....I found a red pencil! Just a bit further up. I took it as a sign, I take everything as a sign. Well the good things anyway. I think every adventurer/photographer should have a red pencil in their bag. To make handy notes and things you know.

wood anenome
And while having a `Sound of Music' moment,  I thought I might have found an Edelweiss. But that would apparently require travelling a bit further a field. I was duly informed by two people I found peering very closely that it was actually a Wood Anemone. So there you go. Urban girl traverses the Cotswold Hills!

Have a good week all.


`happy hearts`

I wanted to say thank you for all your comments on my Conchetta Conchetta post. I had no idea that in the middle of my photography course that I would be announcing her arrival. I was thinking about it and already had a draft post in my journal from last year, (don't tell her that!).
I wasn't sure the world was ready for Conchetta Conchetta, pronounced Conch(ee)tta Conch(ét)ta, or indeed I was.

another postcard from Conchetta Conchetta's suitcase
Then one night I had a dream about a piece of paper covered in glitter, (purple glitter funnily enough) and a glittery covered pen, and I knew it was time. Her name was quite certainly Conchetta Conchetta. On looking up the meaning of her name, in Spanish it is a reference to the immaculate conception. Which made me laugh when I considered her double name and thought about this post!
A little bit of further investigation led me to this, and it seems as though her name has other similar deviations from around Germany and Italy, so although her exact home village is a bit of a mystery she is indeed a creative maker from over land and sea.

Anyway today is the day to announce that we have made some little cards. 'Happy hearts' with folding cards for messages no less. In the hope that should you wish to send a dear one a little heart and message, you might consider these.

`smile` a happy heart gift card by my little red suitase
You can see the heart now becomes a card! And the heart if you so wish can easily be detached.

Leaving a little card with a message underneath....

`happy day` gift card by my little red suitcase
All that's left to do is dangle the heart in a happy place. All the heart gift cards have a happy place tag on them. They now rather remind me of teabags, the kind with a message attached!

`dear you` a happy heart gift card by my little red suitcase
And of course each little card comes with it's own little matching envelope. The card and envelope are made from recycled paper and the hearts from glorious vintage sheets!

a collage of happy heart gift cards by my little red suitcase
I may be back with some more shop news soon, in between the odd mini adventure of course, as there has been much happy making of late.

So all that's left to say is Olé!
and have a good weekend.



the seafront at Clevedon
This Good Friday we went on a jolly. This was quite an achievement for this household let me tell you. I didn't let the fact that I didn't leave the house with my reluctant teenager until after midday put me off. Neither did I allow the fact I had to navigate around two bridges I wasn't going to drive over stop me either. One of these being the Clifton suspension bridge....

One day I will drive over these bridges, as I have before. I will find my nerve again or possibly a wing man. Or the teen will learn to drive, whichever comes first. Perhaps I've reached the point where it can't all depend on me, I need to able to say okay you can drive now.

The little faded town of Clevedon is just south of Bristol, technically perhaps the estuary of the River Severn where it leads out to sea. But as we arrived the long awaited smell of salty sea, and that wide expanse of water with South Wales on the other side, the sea it surely was.

Clevedon still has it's beautiful Victorian pier. I think this really is the attraction. A walk along this truly vintage pier is the thing to do. The day was overcast, but the light and colours of the clouds and sea were just so amazing. I was in photographer heaven. It was all so beautifully calm, no breeze, or cool air. Just a quiet hush of clouds hovering over the sea. It was so tranquil. So Zen.

Walking down the wooden planks you can see little memorial plaques embedded all the way along. Fishermen quietly set up their rods here. The pier feels almost almost Japanese in style here, with it's little tea room sitting at the end. Almost other wordly, sitting in the middle of the calm sea. 

The end of the pier was like being on a boat. In it's heyday I think paddle steamers would pick passengers for boat trips from here. The passengers would climb down the staircase inside the building and embark there. We had several conversations about climbing the Eiffel Tower and being on the Titanic. The pier felt very evocative of those things.

Here's the little tea room in the, where you can sit inside and drink tea! We didn't do that this time, probably because I was trying negotiate the dog too. But I imagine on a more stormy day, if the pier is open, it must be quite a surreal retreat.

After doing Susannah's course I noticed how when I was telling a story I wouldn't usually be in the pictures, so I thought I would put myself in this one. It's a bit cheesy. But then so is this.

We tried to take a picture of us both here but the lady who helped us couldn't really work out my camera. But I did manage to get this one instead.

I love the way he's looking at me and the dog is gazing out to sea!
A very rare teenage photo.

This was Harry the adventurer. And I know that because I watched him career around the pier and Clevedon, determinedly many paces ahead of his parents, who were incredibly relaxed about it too. There was a huge amount of trust operating here and my heart was slightly in my mouth. Interesting to see how differently people do things.

No visit to the seaside would be complete without an ice cream of course, This was me trying to juggle the camera and dog's lead. 

Who says you can't go to the seaside when it's cloudy! A very dramatic shot. The tide was out and we took a carefull walk down the slippery causeway. By the water we could hear the waves gentle lapping. It was so relaxing I felt almost drunk on the atmosphere. Back on the beach we searched through the pebble for treasure.

There is so much seaglass at Clevedon! I don't think I looked up for an hour. You just need to dig down a bit.....

Further along the seafront wall there is an old-fashioned amusement arcade and a pub where we had little buckets of chips in the beer garden. No pictures of these to show!

A beautiful Victorian drinking fountain by the pier.

As we turned around to leave some blue sky began to emerge, which made for a lovely picture. I was so happy with these pictures. Just as they are. I haven't edited them at all, which for me is unusual. I just love the palate of colours here and light just as it was. And the fact I was on a family day out, finally. It was all just right.

A new visitor center is being built at the beach end of the pier, which will open eventually and hold some amazing pictures of the history of the pier, and there are some quaint shops nearby, yet to be explored. I will definitely being going back. Until next time.


Happy Easter to all, enjoy the day doing whatever makes you happy! x


today is a good day.....

Today is the first day of April, such a glad little month. We have high hopes for this month don't we, hopes of blue skies and glorious spring moments. March you have been such a chilly month.

Conchetta Conchetta
And today is a good day to introduce you to my new creative assistant, Conchetta Conchetta, who has come to help me in my shop at 'my little red suitcase'.

She has travelled all the way from the far flung corners of Europe, where she lives in a little wooden house among the wildflowers, in the mountains with a view of the sea.

In her suitcase she carries, her sewing kit and scissors, her tin of travel sweets, a note book and a pen, some postcards, her little embroidery table cloth, a fine china cup and plate, her favourite crochet shawl, an acorn, a shell and one and a half socks. 

Conchetta Conchetta when she ran away to Spain.
When she was younger she ran away to Spain, where she had a brief career as a flamenco dancer. Sadly she found the heels a little too uncomfortable, the castanets a little too loud and she worried about the plight of the sorrowful donkeys. She was happy to have had this adventure though and felt she had been a little bit bold and a little bit risqué.
In the mountains at the orphanage where she worked she was in charge of stitching and mending and many a little one ran around wearing one of her little patches on their trousers, or flowers on their pocket.You could usually find her with her needlework, reading an adventure book or two.

One day she feels she will probably live by the sea and rescue faithful old donkeys from a terrible plight.

She hums as she works and has a habit of making lists of things you said you would do and then reminding you that you had not done them. When she's cross she tut tuts, clicks her heels and occasionally stamps her feet.

She found her way here because she too is rather fond of vintage suitcases. She considers herself to be a little bit folk and a little bit vintage, and in her most artful and flamboyant moments a little bit la boheme.

                           It's been quiet in my creative workspace and I am so glad she is here.