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,



  1. Great post! Love your rules, simple and easy to understand! The trees look amazing! Good luck withnyour pop-up shop, lucky neighbours to get the chance to snap up your lovely creations!

  2. Good for you on the course, I used to run positive parenting courses for the under 5s, they were brilliant! Wouldn't mind doing the teen one though! :) x

  3. Your rules are great. Good principles for any family to live by. I love the look of that dip-dyed hat, the colour is lush. And yes, I darn in my ends as I go too, swot that I am, because I know that if I am faced with all those ends I'll just never do it! x

  4. What a great post Heather, and I'm so glad you are finding the parenting programme so helpful - what a wonderful Mum you are - never underestimate your abilities! You're looking well in your lovely new cowl and hat - enjoy them! Those Japanese Maple pics are absolutely glorious and I'm so looking forward to seeing your finished blanket. I hadn't seen your sweet cabin before - what a fantastic place that would be in which to hide away and just take time away from the world: magic!!! I think that you and I may be rather alike in that I too have times when I don't want to be with people - I always hated parties when I was young and still don't like being in crowds - 'unto thine own self be true'! We're all different and it's allowed to be that way!
    Happy days and happy trees for you lovely! Hugs, Joy xo

  5. Heather, I love love love what you have said here about recognizing behaviors, you are such a good mom, seriously you are, because no matter what ups and downs you might have, you plod along, head high and you tackle life in a positive and healthy way. That's a huge inspiration to me. The things that you mentioned in your blog are things that we are taught at my work on how to handle children regarding behavior, it always starts with constantly catching kids being "Good", then of course there is always the right time to bring things up.... I know personally for me at home I do NOT talk to my teenager in the morning, he wakes up in the most grizzly and horrific moods, he's not a morning person... but after his coffee he's a different human being :) Sometimes I have to talk to him and I do so in a very very pleasant fashion! I don't walk on eggshells for anyone but like you said... I'm recognizing when is the best time to approach my teen. You are an amazing human being and I'm so blessed to have met you!
    Much love to you Heather,

    1. oh yes i forgot to say, definitely noticing good behaviour and praising it!

  6. OH and one more thing... You look fantastic in mustard colors!

  7. wow that japenese maple is stunning.

    doing the ends is always the worst bit. can't wait to see your blanket. love the hat!

  8. I love your family rules, they make absolute sense. I've been thinking of introducing something like that in our house, you have spurred me on!! Sarah xo

  9. A very positive post, on so many levels. Perhaps you prefer the beautiful trees as company because, like them, you are strong, you bend with stormy times but do not topple, you shelter and provide beauty to those close to you. Cxxx

  10. Sounds like a fantastic course, so sensible and valuing of each other, i did a similar positive one and it was so good, time to think and put excellent ideas into practice. Our family really benefitted - have you seen the poster "If I want to call a family meeting I turn the wireless router off and stand next to it" ! Sure yours don't need that. Thank you for such a lovely positive read xxx

  11. Love your positive attitude, I really do!!!! ….even your british humour is something really pleasant!!!!
    xxxxxxxxxx Ale

  12. I hope these really great rules help to set boundaries where you can all flourish.i am sure they will. What a great idea which truly shows how much you care. I love sewing in ends.... How sad is that!!!!!

  13. A lovely post Heather and it is lovely to see a fellow Positive parenting parent here. I adopted this approach when mine where very little and I have to say so far it has been my life saver and it is proving to give out all the right messages. As parents we often forget just what we want our children to be when they grow up and this ethos and approach is just what is needed. There are some amazing books and also really helpful forums some of Facebook that can offer interesting articles. I love these beautiful photos you took, they are gorgeous and I am so inlove with mustard right now I just cant get enough of it. Love your hat, did you make that yourself? Sending you much love and goodluck with weaving in all those ends. xoxo

  14. Such a positive post as usual. I love to read your all words...
    Thanks and Loves...

  15. Sounds like a fantastic course and great family rules. Such a good idea!
    Those trees are so beautiful - amazing colours! xx

  16. Hi Heather, I must first tell you, you look fantastic!!! Happy and healthy!!! You seem to be in a good place right now and I am sooo glad for you!!! Love the trees!!! I am also a tree person and proud of it!!! Been isolated for so long that I find it difficult to deal with people. I have to constantly check myself when visitors book in because afterall we are running a business!! Love your rules and adore your hat and the color really suits you!!! Have a happy week!!!

  17. i tend to work in neutrals....but when i need a fun dose of happy colour, i can get that here!
    your creations are lovely. thanks for sharing. i just might have to try a puffy crochet heart.
    thanks for the inspiration.
    have a great day, Heather.

    ciao bella
    creative carmelina

  18. I Love your family rules! Also, you are quite the talented gal!

  19. I love the cowl and hat!! I am a yellow kind of girl. Love the space that you have created here. Always happy to see a new post from you.

  20. Hi there heather. I just found your blog through Rose hip ( who announced that you won the prize to have her pillowcase) and I just love it. Beautiful pictures and nice crochet and crafts. Thanks for the inspiration. I'm now one of your newest followers :)