Winter simplicity...


This morning I've been thinking about simple. This post was going to have another name, but after hearing Dee Williams talk about voluntary simplicity during her interview with Jay Shafer at the Tiny House Jamboree this year, I realised that simple is where I want to be. Something about adding the word voluntary in front of simplicity, wakes me up. I often create complex situations, when I could choose simple. But where some things can just be thrown off, others feel as though they need to be untangled and let go carefully.

As I look back on this year, I can see simplicity beginning to weave its way though my life. There are still some knots, and I made those myself. Especially towards the end of the year. For the best part of 20 years now, I have been talking about a creative business of some kind. I can't believe it's been so long. But it's true. Always feeling like it was just around the corner. That I somehow couldn't get to it. Perhaps I made it too complicated. Now I can't be sure what it is. I feel I maybe in the last throws of something that might need to be released. Maybe its enough to just be creative, and get on with life.

Right now, this winter I am off social media. I am here, and that feels enough. I'm not sure what to do with it yet. I'm trying to be more present in my life, have the attention to give the things I don't want to ignore or procrastinate over any longer. It's like wanting to show up and deal with knitty gritty, so it can get done and....then.... life can feel more simple ( I hope) I have a hit list, it's long. But at some point, you need to get down to it. Maybe it's the unravelling. Maybe it's just life ;-)

So this winter holiday I will try and choose simple. I've decided not to send cards this year. Big breath out. I had a great idea for making that will just have to wait until next year. Starting from today, I plan on bringing back in my daily stretching and meditation. Even just a few minutes. I will venture out at the quiet times. I will drink hot chocolate in the evenings and sit next to my tree in the candlelit mornings. I will give myself the time to reflect on the things I do want to choose next year. I hope to back here soon. I do like it here. Hope your week goes well.




Hello again...

Hello again... don't the months roll by? We were having this beautiful soft autumn and now there are only the last few leaves remaining, and it's cold, cold, cold. Winter is here. It felt quick didn't it? I've put grit on my drive-way and come eight in the evening I'm wondering whether it's bedtime.

I just wish I could remember what it was I wanted to say....I was so caught up in the photos.

Oh yes. I read a piece of good advice lately, from Tammy of Rowdy Kittens, Tammy wrote a 40 things to do before 40, and number 40 was 'stay in my lane'. To me that means, don't get too caught up in what everyone else is doing, trust in your own path. Sometimes, though, I'm not sure what is happening in my own lane.

I know I love to take photos and I've got a few things to say. I continue to look around me and wonder which part of my life needs my attention next. I like to be creative. I still harbour handmade dreams. I feel like I am beginning to come out of the fog of motherhood. Sometimes I think years may have gone by and nothing changed. I find myself trying to think backwards to try and remind myself of how I got to now. What were the things, that took up those chunks of time? Could I have done more? I tell myself to just be happy I landed here, now, somehow. It doesn't matter how I got here, only that I am here in one piece. Albeit, still a work in progress.

I stepped away from instagram a few days ago. I don't know how long for. I found myself trying to explain myself in increasing long posts, some changes I was trying to make with my shop and eventually I realised that I just needed to blog.

My teenager had been away several weekends ago and I had time to gather my thoughts enough to decide, that a name change or two, was imminent, a new shop name was happening, new/old ideas were about to fall perfectly into place. It all seemed so good.

I felt driven by the whole thing, then I felt uncertain. My self-care practices slipped away. I lost the alignment I had felt that weekend. Some kind of fierce momentum took over. Only instagram felt important. How does this happen? I think I may be someone who can't use social media, I'm not active on facebook either. Everything else falls away. What my own personal aims are. Whatever else I'm doing. The time to just look around me and see where I'm at. All gone.

So for now I closed the boxes. I will only use my phone for contact. A few days on and my mind is starting to feel expansive again, but I can feel it's pull. My awareness of what's happening around me is beginning to open up. I have some more time to think. I'm more available.

Perhaps it's just me, but I kept noticing how exhausted and driven some seemed as they felt compelled to post everyday. Some days ecstatic, and others vulnerable as they held on. A story of mulitiple accounts and scrolling at night while their family slept. It reminds me of one of those films where the hamster spins faster and faster on the wheel and you wonder if they're loving it or they just can't get off.....It's an addiction for sure. It's also a distraction.

I just need to remember that most creativity happens off-line, and if you are never off-line, it might not happen!

So we'll see what I will do about it. I yearn for simpler, for my own thoughts again. Also many people do have a website or blog, or newsletter so I can follow them in other ways.

So friends, be kindly, kindly, kind to yourself. Put down your phone. Take a deep breath. Do something else :-)




Some images and thoughts right now.

Spring has arrived on the common, and the dance of the wildflowers has begun. One of the first stars of the show is the lovely Cowslip, waving gently in the breeze. This is the reason I carry my camera everywhere. It's a light camera and I have a special camera bag, which looks like a normal shoulder bag, it's padded and keeps my camera safe. It has room for my phone and purse too. So I am never without it!

The more I learn about editing, the more I realize I have to learn. Now a days, I only brighten the photo a little and increase the contrast a touch. Sometimes I use a filter, and sometimes, as in this picture, it's just fine as it is. The light and the moment I wanted to capture are all there. The camera I use for blogging is a Canon EOS 100D. Now this is not a sponsored post in anyway, but it's a great simple little camera and I just wanted to tell you...  

When you walk somewhere almost everyday, you get to see the subtle changes and feel the joy at new happenings in your familiar territory. A emerging wildflower is happy sight. Blossoms, spring leaves, meadow grasses, the colours of the sky. The moody greys and the bright blues. And the views...It's all so lovely. Clean air, friendly dog-walkers, good vibes, it's truly kind of addictive...and the dogs...it's just the nicest place for them.

Sometimes I find a sunny spot on the slopes, to sit, out of the wind and take in the view. I try not to sit on thistles.... Occasionally enthusiastic dogs will come hurtling down the slopes chasing a ball, before it's lost down the hill.... But a sunny, quiet moment, lying on the ground in the spring sunshine, is magic.

At home, I caught this shot, as the sun went down and shone it's pinky light across the valley, onto the trees. The cabin is there. The other day I saw my sweet cabin lady wondering around putting little twigs in the ground around the Cowslips, so the guys who mow the grass will see them, and mow around them.

The cabins were already here when I arrived. Probably about fifteen years old now, they are not well insulated, but they have woodburners and character. First I thought I would run them as a B & B....that was 10 years ago, and since then they have had permanent dwellers in them the whole time!

If one becomes available, I might list it as a Airbnb. I watched the tedx talk of Joe Gebbia, the founder of Airbnb recently. I had a look through the 200 or so in my local area, which was slightly voyeristic,... but interesting to see what's out there.

Crafty and creative updates:

I have had to do some more visible mending on my jeans...the other leg decided to tear too. I thought I would catch it quick before it ripped all the way across. It's got a patch underneath now as well so it should hold up.

Talking of clothes, I recently got out my two bags of summer clothes. Seeing them in their see-through bags, all squashed together and old, leaves me feeling as though I might want to give the whole lot away and start again. I can see things which never really fitted right, or that never got worn for whatever reason. So I have decided to not open them yet and think about it.

Am I really brave enough to just let them go, without opening them.... And how will I find the new fresh feeling I am looking for? how do I want to shop and where do I want to spend my money?

Foodwise: I have discovered Papaya, and that it's very photogenic, and I love it. It's great for making smoothies, with banana, and almond milk, and for breakfast. Yum. I find myself just still wanting to eat warming, comforting food, like baked potatoes, every night... I need to feel full and fed. I've been reading about raw food and vegan food. But I'm not quite ready to take it on yet.

I've been walking by the canal. I feel drawn here now to have my dose of boats and water. It's very relaxing to watch the canal boats chugging up and down.
There has been some pink sunsets.
Some cloud wings appeared.
Some pink daises on the lawn.
I enjoyed the sunlight in my messy kitchen:-) haha...not so pretty, but look at the light coming through the curtain...The paintwork is a bit tired but it's homely in here and I like it..
 And new makes: a pile of wristwarmers, just ready for the.... summer!

I am working with a new kind of wool. They were just gorgeous to make.The pattern is a closed shell stitch, which I had to work out how to crochet into a round. It worked. I'm happy with them. I used the gorgeous hand dyed wool made by the Indie wool company Fyberspates. Each ball made two sets of wristwarmers, I'm pleased to say, and thankful because, oh the price...! The colours are incredible and you can read more about them in my Etsy shop, if you would like.

So I have to say that as I have written this blog post....stopped to walk the dog, eat breakfast, make tea, open and close windows, that I have felt everything opening up in my mind that I wanted to talk about. As though it were a concertina of things which were originally squashed down and now have opened up, drawn in some air and made a tune.

I feel better for having brought them here and shared them with you. Such is the mystery and wonder of blogging....have a good week :-)



a little clearer....

Today I was thinking about a friendship that for lack of a better word, I 'blew' up last year. Probably 25 years worth, here and there. I think I couldn't bear to watch this friend live out a choice she was making, a resigned one that seemed to come from a place of no action, or energy. And I guess I choose a subject which I knew would act as a trigger, to that end. I think I may have hoped that a new energy might somehow rise from that fire, there is a chance I may never know.

Yesterday I found and read this article 'from destruction comes creation'. I wanted to share it here. It's very well written. I can see the different phases at work in my life all at once. I like the line, 'and we sit on a fence and try to decide how not to destroy it. We bargain with god or ourselves and try to figure out how to glue it back together'. Don't we just.

And the question, 'when was it complete? and how long have you been trying to breath life into it?' we do know don't we, there are points when we recognize it's over.

Then to look for a new glimmer or spark to hold on to as you go through the destruction phase. That's so good. And the idea of giving the energy back to the universe in it's raw form to become your next creation. Clever.

I think there are phases to letting that happen though. They might involve learning new things, research, building up strength. Pausing, but still facing forwards. And yes perhaps acknowledgment that phase of life is over and change will have to happen. Unless you want to keep feeling like a cardboard cut out, who no longer wants to be doing what your doing.

I need to breath in a new direction. I'm looking for glimmers and sparks to see me through.

I found Aimee Eoff, through a podcast interview with Christine Mason Miller. I'll let you know a few podcasts I am listening to soon.  I'm enjoying them.

Have a good weekend.



right now...

Today, I notice I feel all in a quandary. The sun is out and skies are blue, yet I find that I am sheltering and distracting myself from the energy that is emerging, as though all directions are confusing and over-whelming.

To be lost in the midsts of so much that is good feels concerning. How do I go forwards from here. A few stories in the news pulled at my heart in a new way this morning, the tears fell as I witnessed anothers' struggle.

How do I unravel myself from all that is blessed and good in my life, in order to find the direction that feels simple and honouring.

How can I find my own authentic energy again?

Where am I underneath all these layers of old self?

Why am I not prepared to settle?

Can I let go of what I have now, in order to find something else?

What do I need to do/not do to find my way?

Perhaps I just need to notice and acknowledge this moment and try not to escape it in so many ways.

I am just going to be here, with this.

.....deep breath.


Spring (almost) making and cleaning

Pink and yellow tulips
Blue lagoon wristwarmers

I moved my desk to a new angle, so I can see out the window and in the room.

Crocus wool and new tiny bunting

 I like my new eco cloth.

A quick and easy lunch, mozzarella my new favourite
Crocus wristwarmers. This wool is so lovely. I'm dreaming about it:-)
So nice to have a clean window screen
I took the car for a clean. That feels good.
Blogger has decided in it's ultimate wisdom to not to let me add any more text into this post, only captions!...so I will leave it just with  photos today and save the text for another day. I'm not going to stew about it being  screwy with me, I'm just going to move on. Hope your week is going well :-) ♥  


purple and green

I found this in the park today. What is it I wonder? it's beautiful.
Sunlight on a crocus patch, so nice.
On my desk. A little mouse cup. Not sure where it came from, it belonged to my Mum. I love it.
Out of focus rosemary. It smells good.
Moody skies on the day of Storm Doris and the entrance to our local nightclub. I've never been in, it looks kind of scary! I'd be more likely to go in the launderette, but thankfully I have a washing machine, so I don't go in there either ;-) 
Yarn bomb, not me...
pine trees and water drops
and a new wool, it's called Crocus, it's a hand dyed, luxury yarn (wow) and I love this too :-)
I've been taking my photos here and there, and I realise that although blogging does take a long time, I have to keep blogging. I always want to be taking photos and I need to have somewhere to share them. I'm very visual. I love words too. I don't think I could do one without the other. I also value story, even if I don't tell the whole thing here. I think you can read so much between the lines and feel so much in peoples images of life. Life moves on, that's for sure. I love to see a new energy or new step taken, showing through in someones work. You can feel it, things evolve. You just have to start somewhere. It's a process, love that. You have to be in it, to go anywhere!  First step.

And maybe blogging is kind of old-fashioned, but just wait for the revolution!! It will be a cool new/old thing....anyway, here I am. Still finding inspiration out there, which always amazes me at how what shows up is just the right thing, for right now. And if you keep going, you gradually work things out. Even things which have bugged you for years.

And inspiration, guess what, it doesn't go away. If you step into the flow of who you are and what your doing, even if no ones watching, it does show up, especially if you do. Even if you are in the midsts of a post Storm Doris day fence collapse, and you see a great shot, you have to take it. That's why you carry your camera, for just those moments, and who knows where it might lead.

I found another blogger recently, who I think has blogged for years, possibly since the beginning, not of time, but just since blogging on the internet began. I might have read somewhere it was around 1994. That is a really long time. On this blog, I find the combination of great photography, little stories, a business made up of lots of crochet and other creative works, really inspiring. Living in Berlin, adds a whole other dimension to the photography. I find it so strange that I never came across her work until now, but now is really when I can appreciate feeling that inspiration. And this lady works hard at what she does. I admire that. Anyway I have been reading and am smitten. You can see Sandra Jutos' blog here. Did you see the crochet?! I love that it brings me back to retro crochet too.

So, I have waffled here long enough today, have a good weekend. Take photos, make things, tell little stories, blog if you can. I know I hope to. See you soon.