Friday, 30 September 2011 I love thee.........

 I ADORE Pip Studio China. I LOVE china in general. I can never resist a cup, I have far too many. But, I do use them. I am quite particular about cups too, but i'll save that one for another day. I don't have a big collection of Pip, but it's slowly growing. It's very girly china. Not a family china set....well not a family china set when you are the only female, and the males don't appreciate its beauty as much as you do! 

So, Pip is saved for when I am on my own. For years, I boiled a kettle, plonked milk and a bag in a cup and voila. The cuppa was instant and I drank it on the go. And I do this all the time still.....but I realised a few years ago, just how nice it is to take 15 minutes in the day to set a place for just me.....with a pretty pot, a pretty cup and saucer and, to just relax and enjoy it. There is something really very soothing going on here. Like a little ritual. Taking pleasure in putting it all out.....pouring.....relaxing. I have made sure that I find time most days to do this. Just me. I didn't like the fact that I had this beautiful china and didn't want to use it for fear of breaking or chipping it. China is made to be used, however delicate and beautiful. Life is too short to keep everything for best. I've realised this. Why have something stuck in a cupboard? If it breaks it breaks, but at least you have some lovely memories with it!

So, a relaxing start to the morning. The Bears are dropped off at school, and as I sit with my pot of tea (yes, and sneaky morning oreo), I write a list of 'to-do' things that need to be done today after my tea is drunk.

I need this......I'm not sure I could function without this now. Just a little 'me time' in the day. Quiet, tea and pretties. It does me the world of good....the perfect little 'pick me up'. When I am bogged down with laundry, stinky boy bedrooms,  the general daily mess and chauffeuring about......I need 15 minutes of 'me', to help me feel like the whole day is not just about everyone else all the time. Let's face it, no one else is going to set a pretty little table and pour me out a cuppa! Happy me....happy mum.

Happy Friday and weekend to you...........


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Down in the woods............

Whenever I go away somewhere, I always have to pick a little something up......just to remind myself of a good time away somewhere. Last weekend wasn't really a weekend for shopping, but I managed to find a little toadstool staring at me on a shop shelf. I could hear its tiny little voice trying to be heard above the chatter in the shop. 'Here I am, come and get me, I will feel so at home back at your house.'. So, into my hand it went........

............and I didn't want it to be all lonely in my house, so its mate came with us too!

Bright and cheery and they tell me they are very happy here with me on the shelf.

I have had my eye on a pair of toadstool salt and pepper shakers for quite a while. When I, by chance, saw these little beauties staring at me through a window, I knew they had to be mine. A little different to the ones I had had my eye on, but the different was a good different. I liked how the salt and pepper were slightly different in shape. So a red & white little knick knack weekend of purchases.....

....and there is no break away without a few sticks of rock is there! he he

Happy Wednesday all


Monday, 26 September 2011


..........Sorry..........I dropped off it a bit. 

I lost the energy to blog........ Just for a short while........

I have just been a bit thoughtful these past couple of weeks. I view my mind as being a room full of heaving bookcases. Some of the books are factual.....some are thoughts.........and others are memories.

Do you ever have days where you feel like browsing through all your cook books, or crafty books or piles of magazines that have accumulated? You get them all out.....sit on the floor, just opening each one, flicking through it, making notes, tearing out pages etc...

You look down and there is a HUGE pile splayed everywhere on the floor. You have spent the whole morning flicking.....and reading....and searching.....then you don't have the energy to put them all back from where they came from (in my world, usually all over the house). So, they stay there for a while, in the way. They get tripped over, and make the place messy. So your solution? Just to scoop them up and shove them to one side. They still don't get put back.

Well........that's me at the moment. That's the room in my head. Books from every subject field are all off the shelf and strewn all over the floor. I have spent the last few months getting books down from here and there. Having a flick through, but not actually putting them back. I have had no order in there for a bit and it was getting rather chaotic. So I needed to just spend a couple of weeks, sorting the books out, having a quiet read, and putting them back where they belong again. Order restored.

Okay, so I have probably completely confused you. Maybe a strange analogy, but it's how I view things in my head. Sorry.....have I come across as a complete loon?

Creating order has meant not so much enthusiasm for crafty stuff. Well, I have had a little play, but my enthusiasm has not stretched to finishing things. Maybe next week, if I can get my act together.

The days are getting cooler...........the skies greyer..........the evenings are drawing in quicker. I do love this time for its snuggliness, but I feel that there is always a slight sense of apprehension, a mild sort of panic. The last 4 months of the year are majorly hectic in my little world. However hard I try to be organised, it is always last minute panics and stresses. Also, I think it is hard to look forward to something knowing that there will be an empty place this year. It will be hard.

I am setting myself the task over the next few weeks of writing a list of handmade gifts I want to give for birthdays and christmas, and plan to make a start. Hopefully, this will set me on the right path and keep me orderly. Since giving up work and making more, I feel loathed to buy presents for gifts for family. Some perhaps might appreciate them more than others(!), but it seems in the last couple of years the family has started to like this.

Mr H's family are very creative and arty, so we exchange some handmade bits and it is so much nicer. I HATE how commercial things are now. How it is quantity over anything else or how much you spend on one person. There are a lot of people in both sides of our family, and last year we all made a pact to scale it down, make stuff if we could. Help to ease the pressure that we all seemed to feel. And do you know......I think it was the best christmas in a LONG while. People seemed to appreciate it all the more. Less stress, and appreciating actually what Christmas is all about. It made it feel more special. Yes, I think that's it. Christmas has become so commercial that I felt it was losing it's sparkle. The pressure to get the most perfect table setting, the pressure to get the most gifts, the pressure to do something or go somewhere just to please people. Well, I mean, we never went overboard, but it just felt like it was losing the sparkle......and I love sparkle. Yes, last year was the best. I know, for children, it's about the opening of gifts, but I don't want my bears to become far removed from what it is all about.

Hummm........I appear to have deviated from thought a little.

So.....normality will resume. Books have been filed away, and my head is clear enough to function again! Life's a funny old thing!

We spent this past weekend away. It was my older brother's BIG birthday, so all my family hired a house in Swanage near the village of Corfe Castle for his celebration. It was just a shame it was only for a long weekend. I could have stayed much fact I could have never left. The house we stayed in was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. The views were stunning. We took every opportunity to sit outside in the garden and drink our cuppas......

Isn't that just the most beautiful view to wake up to every morning? The kitchen boasted the same view, but there was nothing like being outside listening to the bird song, feeling the fresh air on the face and just staring at the beauty before one.

The kitchen was definitely the hub. I would sit at a chair that showed me the above view from one angle and the below view from another.....

What a beauty. This was postcard living. it was VERY hard to drag myself away from that particular spot. Every evening the flood lights lit up the Church. The red brick gave off the most AMAZING GLOW, so it was a double treat to be sat in that spot in the kitchen in the evening to see this.....

We did a walk around it ,just before midnight when the lights go off. It was magical. Very peaceful. Sights like this this leave me speechless. Such a lot of beauty.

Saturday was spent with all the family on the beach.....

and Sunday we took a trip on the Steam Railway......

Which I loved. Ironic, because my dad is a HUGE Railway Buff. He used to take my brothers and I on rides like this all the time when we were kids and we couldn't think of anything more boring. Now, it was one of the things we all didn't want to miss!

The children had been on it before on school excursions, but they still loved it. The nostalgia is lovely. The beauty of the engine. The Wessex Belle above was lovingly restored from scrap. It smelt lovely, it sounded lovely. The beauty of the coaches. Vintage fixtures and fittings. The sound of the old carriage doors closing brought back memories. No such thing these days. The gentle rhythm of the coaches moving to the chuff chuff chuffing of the locomotive. The children said it was like being on Hogwart's Express! Awwwww

It REALLY was a joy. I'm glad the Bears appreciated it more than I did at their age!

After the Steam Train, came the visit to the Castle. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you will know that I LOVE Castle Ruins. There is something just so magical about them. Steeped in history, I find it completely fascinating that people once lived their lives in these magnificant buildings. Never would they ever have thought that hundreds of years later, people would be visiting them and wondering about their lives.

Corfe Castle has to be the MOTHER of all Castle Ruins.

It must has been an AMAZING Castle in its prime. Built in the 10th Century, and recorded in the Doomsday book. The ruins are big and very impressive. I could have stayed there all day. Difficult with three children (two of which had already been there with the school). I just wanted to touch the brick and imagine those whole laid every stone in place. It would have been very grand. Ahhhhhhh I just LOVED it. I REALLY could have stayed there all day...and then some.

Alas, the weekend had to come to an end. It did me the world of good though and it was great to catch up and have a big family get together.

Hopefully, I have caught up a bit with things now. Thank you for taking the time to visit me here. I do appreciate it very much. I love to read your comments. I read each and every one. I know time is such a precious thing, so I always feel humbled that people do pop by and say hello. I do apologise if I don't get round to saying hello to you all. It's this whole time management thing. It's hard to juggle. I am not the most organised person and am quite airy fairy with my head in the clouds most of the time. I hope am forgiven....

Happy Monday to you all.

Washing awaits me. Why is there as much washing going for only a weekend as there is when going away for a whole week? I can never understand that one!


p.s that rather large book pile was beside my bed. All now put back in their rightful place, so head and home are a little more sorted!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Change...........

...........hello all, did you have a reasonable weekend? Mine was decent. Consisting of lie-ins in bed, tea and toast brought up whilst I read a little. Always a treat, that never normally happens I can assure you, so I made the most of it. I did a little bit of hooky, of which I will share about later on this week, and just a general relax. It was was lovely. Last week was full on. This week proves to be a hectic one too. I am trying to get used to the change in routine. I am trying to be super organised. I know that if I don't stay ahead of the game, I will sink pretty quickly.

A bit of baking has been happening. I have been trying to cut down the baking in recent weeks. Being at home and baking, makes me eat more than my fair share. The Bears had requested cakes though, and whilst Baby Bear was home yesterday and asked to do a bit of 'mixer mixing', I could not refuse. So.............Jammy Cakes with Strawberry Buttercream icing were called for and snapped up when the eldest Bears returned home.

I also made my first hand made loaf for a while. Turned out okay though. I am scoffing some as I type, with thickly spread marmalade and a cuppa. I feel very Paddington Bear-ish!

I am wanting to change things in the house. All the summery pieces lurking about, were put away, making way for all the Autumnal bits like candles, tealights etc. I like making the change. I like my house to reflect each season we are in.

Down came the Canal/Kashmiri bits from the depths of my kitchen cabinets. It's funny, these are so bright and cheery, but I don't see them as summery pieces. Folk art reminds me of Autumn. I have no idea why, so all my folk arty bits, my trays, my tins, votives and candlesticks, will all make an appearance for a while to help make my house all cosy and Autumnal.

I am really looking forward to this season change. I don't think I have ever longed for Autumn as much as I have this year. Not sure why.

So......busy busy as ever it seems...........

This morning, whilst the house was to myself, a BIG clear up operation was going on.......and boy does it feel good! All bits sorted, put away, dusted, hoovered. I like it when my motivation is high for cleaning. It doesn't happen very often. It's that time of year. The weather today is sunny and nice. I have an array of piano music filling the air as I work which I love. The doors and windows are open letting the fresh breeze come in, and the curtains are blowing on the herbs, bringing their heavenly scent back inside. Delicious. The most perfect morning.

Before I go, I just wanted to let you know about a blog give-away............

Do you remember these in a post I did a while back?

These have been such a hit with the family. Baby bear loves his milk in them and they are the perfect size too. They also work really well as little vases.

So many of you asked where I got them from. I got them from my local antiques shop of all places so was of little help. Well, now you can enter a give-away to win a set of your very own!

The lovely Nicky is hosting a giveaway for a set of these milk bottles in their crate to one lucky winner.

Pop on over here for a chance to enter and win!

Happy Tuesday all!


Friday, 9 September 2011

A Cross off the List Ta-dah.............

...............A while ago now, I had a lovely bunch of yarn to do something with. I had just finished the Japanese Flowers throw. Do you remember this one? It was supposed to be a triangular shawl but I got a bit carried away and ended up turning it into a bed throw......and I am so glad that I did....but I still had the urge to make a shawl in the Japanese flowers. I  LOVE my shawls. They seem to have been making a come back in the world of fashion I see this season. I may not look so out of place for a while! 

After making something so eclectic and bright, I fancied something muted and calm. These shades were just right. All soft and snuggly, perfect for the Autumn days and winter evenings.

Now, I am not really sure for my reasoning, but I decided to keep all the flowers looking the same and I decided to leave out the dark grey. I think I just was after soft and calm.

So I made a start. Wowzer, it was a yarn eater, or was it just that I had bought small balls in a chunky knit, so each ball didn't last long at all. That is why this little beauty took so long. It was left in my bag until I had the time to go back to the specific yarn shop and get some more. 

I wanted to get it done before the chill in the air started to creep in. It is finally finished.

Boy is it warm and cosy. Perfect for Autumn evening strolls, and sofa chilling. I am glad I have finished it. I would have hated for it to have been stuck in the unfinished pile indefinitely. 

It was a pig to photograph though. The light was awful, in between blustery downpours. And it needs blocking, which I will do at some point.

As for the colour.............I like is soft and delicate, and definitely calming, and it will go with a lot, but I cannot understand why I didn't use the dark grey and mix the flower colours up a little. It still would have been a muted palette, and it would have given the shawl a bit more depth. Ah well, you live and learn and this warm and cosy shawl will certainly get plenty of use once the chill kicks in for sure.

Another project ticked off and wearable!

Happy a fabulous weekend all!


(Edited to add: I remembered why I decided not to make all the flowers different. It was because I was using such a limited colour palette, that I thought the flower colours would end up looking 'clumpy' when joined together. I still could have varied the inner colours for each and I think that would have looked nicer on the finished product, but never mind, I am still happy with it!)