I needed a bit of a pick-me-up this morning so we left the house later than usual, scraped the ice off the car to the sound of the building site next door and drove past it so the only two people in our village excited to see yet another development could get a good glimpse of the digger! I decided some new daffodils for my lovely new jug (which I realise you haven’t seen yet!) were in order so we took a short visit to the market in our local town. Just what I needed, so pretty…
So this is the time of year when Father Christmas’ elves return from their fortnight in the Maldives (if only!) and start work again. Post Christmas is always a big deal for me because while everyone is thinking New Year’s … Continue reading
We are about to enter into my absolute favourite time of year, the month I look forward to all year. Many months of planning and dreaming take place in anticipation and this makes me a little giddy with excitement. I’d like to think that when I die the thing that will be remembered about me most is that little spark that appears in me over Christmas, the bit of me that is the person I used to be, want to be and who I have always been but perhaps is hidden or overlooked the majority of the time. I want my children to be able to say that, in the words of Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle, “she made everything beautiful”. I should add that I’m not planning on dying soon but I guess life has taught me that this is something you can’t control.
Last year I wrote about my addiction to Advent and posted 24 green Christmas tips one for every day of Advent, this year I am hoping to seek inspiration elsewhere. I have signed up to the Bible Society Advent Challenge, each day I will choose from a list an act of goodwill to carry out on some unsuspecting person. I’d like to think that I will be doing some anyway but I think receiving a reminder every day to think of others is no bad thing and something to strive towards.
Part of my planning for Christmas is the HUGE list of presents for me to make, I absolutely love planning what to give to people, making or buying and giving them away.
This year I have reached a major milestone, I have learnt how to crochet (thank you Sam). My new little group of crochet friends, the new skills I have learnt and the laughter we have shared has been so special to me and has reminded me of that part of me I miss so often. For many years I have wanted to learn to crochet so I could make snowflakes and give some away and in the last month I have been perfecting my snowflake making, as many different ones as possible, some for me and some to hopefully pass on a little of my Christmas giddiness to others.
This milestone has been so important to me I feel it only right that I name this year the year of the snowflake.
An unexpected lie in (6.45am!)
Colouring pictures for our friends
A trip to the woods; running along muddy paths, splashing in puddles, watching murky patterns form, sticks for drawing, splashing and throwing, digging in the mud with little fingers and sploshed lumps in puddles, waving at reflections, a muddy picnic in the boot of the car. Returning home rosy and freckled not from sunshine but fresh air, exercise and lots of mud.
Naptime, crochet and chores
Dancing in circles
Dinner, bath time, brushing teeth to ‘In the night garden’ (Errrrrgggghhhhh…)
Twins in cots, cosy socks, a glass of wine, rhubarb crumble, compulsory Neighbours watching, cuddles with fury friends, crochet.
Have you ever noticed how little people are excited by the simplest, most ordinary things? A stone on the pavement, a seed, a piece of fluff, a sticker, a piece of cement from my fireplace…
A few weeks ago in preparation for Easter I adorned the house with fuzzy chicks and speckled eggs, M fell instantly in love with two unsuspecting chicks. All day long they were carried around and popped in and out of a plastic egg from an egg hunt. Come bath time the twin chicks remained in her possession. Refusing to hand them over gradually the fuzzy chicks lost eyes, beaks and finally legs to the bottom of the bath until they became two balls of soggy yellow fluff. The love remained, they were dried and were taken up to bed. For days these yellow lumps were played with while the mass of toys sat silently in the toy box awaiting their turn.
Last week was full of these simple pleasures. On Saturday E and M took great pleasure in running in an open space.
While gardening E and M discovered snowdrop seed pods, named “peeeesssssssss…”, they do look like peas though I doubt they taste so nice. These little seeds were collected in little hands and were treasured.
On Thursday it was the pink spotty cool bag, who knew carrying around a little cool bag could bring so much joy?…
But when you think about it it’s not the big expensive things that you treasure the most, the grand gestures, it’s the little, thoughtful, simple things. A hot drink in front of the fire when it is snowing outside, the first daffodil, a plant from a friend when you are having a rubbish day, a homemade cake, a special photograph, a pretty button, a new copy of Country Living magazine through the door, an undisturbed hour of crafting time…
This year I have made a special effort to spend time doing the simple things that I love, life is too short to waste it getting other things out the way first. Most days I treat myself to an hour of naptime crafting, making an abundance of crochet flowers, crochet doilies, a wooden bead and flower necklace for little M, a head warmer, a fabric infinity scarf, stuffed toys, lavender scented hearts and bunnies, freehand machine embroidered pictures and my most time consuming project by far a spring wreath with crocheted flowers, chicken feathers, hand painted and hand speckled eggs… phew!
I must add that while I take this precious time I am also doing something useful, as most of my crafty creations are wrapped up and given to my friends and family, hopefully spreading those simple pleasures a little further…
I’d like to think that in our house we do afternoon tea pretty well. Being the sort of person that likes to make presents, years ago I started taking trips to car boot sales and charity shops in search of the perfect cups and saucers to make candles in. At one particular car boot sale I found a really beautiful pale blue commemorative cup and saucer for sale, the lady that sold it to me was horrified at the idea of a candle being put in it and made me promise that it would only be used for tea, well this is where it all started. Gradually the collection grew and I now have over thirty flowery cups, saucers and side plates, along with a wide variety of teapots, sugar bowls, jugs, cake stands and sandwich plates among other tea related curios. Occasionally the lucky few pieces are selected for a truly marvellous tea…
Recently E and M were given their own little tea set, I hadn’t even considered that at 19 months (is that how old they are now?) they would know what to do with a tea set but to my surprise they set about pouring tea and stirring in the milk. Since then they have played with little else. Occasionally it is not done quite exactly as I might have, there is the occasional addition of an aeroplane or afternoon tea is laid out on the lid of the toilet but generally they play afternoon tea pretty well. I’d like to think they have learnt a little from me…
As promised I have been crafting my way through January, the plan is to learn some new skills, spend time doing something I love and to make life look pretty at the same time. I have found that the pretty things in life can make you feel so much happier.
My bathroom unfortunately continues to be a source of stress so I decided I needed to make something to introduce some positive vibes and happy memories. While we were on our amazing summer holiday in Cornwall we went to the beach almost every day. While the twins entertained themselves with sand, stones, shells and seaweed (supervised by A I should add) I would take a trip down the beach to collect shells with holes in them.
One evening a few weeks ago I settled myself in front of a film (Julie and Julia) with a lap full of shells and got stringing, several hours later and I had, I think, a beautiful shell garland to hang along the walls of my bathroom, what do you think?
As previously mentioned this month I have started crochet lessons, while M’s illness took me away from one of two lessons I still think my efforts at crochet aren’t looking half bad. I am really looking forward to learning to make flowers, I have grand plans for a spring wreath for my front door…. excited!
On Saturday I went on a one day dress making course, I met some likeminded people, learnt a lot and ate a lot of cake. I haven’t finished my dress yet but despite my measuring and following a pattern I’m a little concerned that it looks a little like the gown I wore in the hospital for my c-section or…. a maternity dress for someone with bigger boobs than I am blessed with. I think I might need to go back for a bit more help.
Future crafty plans include covering some wooden magazine files to match my bureau and making some flowery paper bunting. Paper bunting tonight I think…