Monday, 13 January 2014

January 2014......

I felt that January should be a month that was eased into. Slowly and surely.

The days have mainly be cold, wet and very grey. We have been given the brief gift of a day of sunshine and today, and I have been making the most of those.....OH YES I HAVE.

The sun and the moon. Two of the most beautiful constants of any day.

It has been the month of the start of some upheaval. A new kitchen is being planned. I've made do with a kitchen that was inherited when we moved in. It was in decent enough condition, so it just got a revamp. But over the last couple of years it has really started to show its age, and repairs became unrepairable.

As much as it has been exciting thinking that I will soon have drawers that open properly and cupboards that shut properly, I have not been looking forward to the chaos that will come with it. Funds do not allow someone to just come in, wave their magic wand and me not worry about all the nitty gritty stuff. And oh how the nitty gritty is time consuming. But I always enjoy making something come together on a modest budget. I like the challenge. So, January so far has seen me pulling out appliances to check walls. Nothing is ever straight forward is it? 

Cupboards are being sorted and I am trying REALLY hard to get rid of useless stuff. It's difficult, I am a hoarder and I am drawn to kitchen stuff like a big old magnet. I absolutely LOATHE wasting food, and was happily surprised there were only a few cans lurking that were past their sell by dates! phew! Sorting out the kitchen disrupts all the other rooms too as it all spills out. 

It's hard already to make my word of 2014 stand out! SIMPLE is not a word I would use at the moment!

However, I knew the chaos of stuff everywhere would leave my brain sore. So it was a month of soothing music. Music is massively important to me. I love to walk on my own, just so I can have my headphones plugged in and drift off into my own little world. I love being the only one home during the day so I can listen to what I want without distraction. I love being in the car by myself so I can listen to what I want without distraction. Different genres play to either create my mood, or reflect my mood. This month, soothing to calm me down in chaos. I'm a big fan of film scores. I don't think they ever get the credit that they truly deserve. Hans Zimmer is one really cool dude in my opinion and definitely on my list for fantasy dinner party invites! Yeah I know, I'm a bit sad!

iTunes Playlist for January

1. Shepherd Moons - Enya
2. Now We Are Free - Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard (The Gladiator)
3. Chevaliers De Sangreal - Hans Zimmer (The Davinci Code)
4. Big My Secret - Michael Nyman (The Piano)
5. Gumption - Hans Zimmer (The Holiday)
6. A Wild and Distant Shore - Michael Nyman (The Piano)
7. Maestro - Hans Zimmer (The Holiday)
8. Gortoz a Ran - Hans Zimmer/Denez Prigent (Black Hawk Down)
9. Flow Like Water - James Newton Howard (The Last Airbender)
10. None Of Them Are You - Thomas Newman (The Adjustment Bureau)

(I know it's of no real interest to any of you reading this, but it's just for my records really. To remind myself what it was that was part of me at a certain time in my life)

Ahhhhhhh these were just the best to soothe me, yet uplift me. Nothing beats the treat of a lonesome coffee shop visit where I can sip a latte, read a little, listen to Gumption and Maestro and completely forget about the mess at home. I loved the film (I'm a soppy chick flick watcher) and these two pieces always lift my spirits and make me feel incredibly happy and sunshiny.

A Wild and Distant Shore, well got to be listened to on a wet and windy grey day walk.

Chevaliers De Sangreal, Now We Are Free and Flow Like Water are ones to stop where you are, close your eyes and just enjoy. Actually i'm listening to 'Flow Like Water' as I type and it's just taking my breath away and sending shivers down my spine. I have such a weakness for violin and cello. The sun is streaming in through my windows and I keep just closing my eyes and facing towards it........smiling softly. Oh Sun, sweet Sun, keep shining for thee. Your warmth on my face is greatly appreciated......

I have felt relaxed, soothed, and happy.....despite chaos.

I have taken delight in little pleasures such as new hyacinths to replaces my christmas flowered ones. My geraniums are doing okay in the house...oh how I love geraniums. My yarn stash is looking delicious to me at the moment, and it's a REAL struggle not to start something new and get my wip's out of the way first. It's all about the pastels to help soothe my wired brain.

It will be nice to get back into the crafty swing as that has sort of dropped to the wayside.

So I guess, although 'Simple' has seemed a little buried this month so far, I have tried, and succeeded to make it as nice as it possibly could be!

I'm ready for what the rest of January holds and looking forward into February too. I want to see those lovely little daffodil bulbs poke their mighty heads through the cold ground........ and maybe, just maybe, there may be some finished projects may be in sight......

Until then.......



  1. Lovely pictures.I cant wait to see your kitchen progress x x x

  2. Love the soft muted colours of the yarns and threads in this post.

  3. Ahh I can feel your pain with a kitchen makeover. We had a bit of a re-vamp of ours last March. Painted the units too! And being real maniacs the other half had a week off and we worked like crazy for a week to at least get it in some sort of order. I hate chaos and mess. But the pretty faffing bits I love. And Still love a faff in there! lol. Hope you makeover and re do goes well.

    Music is important to me too. Mainly I listen to the radio in the day. But if I am feeling stressed or need a bit of cleaning motivation then all my loud rock music comes on! lol. But I do love a bit of classical to chill me out too. Though to be honest I love so many generes of music there is always something to match my mood!

    P x

  4. Your pretty pastel yarns and embroidery flosses will provide some constant calm as your kitchen is transformed - it will all be worth it in the end! I'm a lover of film music, too, do check out Craig Armstrong, his compositions are gorgeous and would fit into your playlist perfectly...Chrissie x

  5. So long as there is music and flowers! (You'll get through it all).
    Lovely post.

  6. I love the beautiful yarn in your photos. Your colour palette is perfect for staying calm and relaxing. Good luck with the kitchen and keep thinking about how it will all look in the end xxx Gemma xxx

  7. good luck with your new kitchen. It is a process. I am sure if will be beautiful when it is done.

  8. I know exactly where your coming from when it comes to your kitchen. We ripped out in July and I spent nearly 2 weeks cooking in the conservatory, with the microwave, a steamer and a George Foreman. It's amazing what you can make with these 3 items. We even toasted bread on the Foreman. I was lucky in a way as it was summer so i was able to make the most of the garden, while work was being done.
    Movie soundtracks are my favourite music, whether it's because I prefer instrumental to singing, I don't know.
    My most favourite piece, is To the Roof, Bourne Supremacy, by John Powell. Like you I have different playlists for different moods.
    Good luck with your kitchen, hope to see some pics when finished.
    Sally xxx

  9. The best projects are always ones with a bit of a budget restriction...makes you think outside the box and you generally end up with a unique finished product.
    Lots of counting to 10 and deep breathes as you move some of your hoard, sorry, treasure on-wards and away!

  10. Film scores don't get me started.....!
    my favourite ever is the soundtrack to 'The Mission" Ennio Morricone and also the English patient is amazing by Gabriel Yared....good luck with the kitchen step by step easy does it.
    bestest daisy j

    1. I spent quite a few years with 'The Mission' on repeat! Love it, very beautiful music. It was usually played on a Sunday whilst a roast was cooking! x

  11. How lucky to be redoing your kitchen! Mine is from the 70' appliances of course, but old cabinetry that is a bit wonky and NO counter space, no pantry...but maybe one day. I can't imagine the chaos, but at the end of it, you will have something unique with your own beautiful stamp on it. I too, need music...crazy randomness...right now it goes from Munford and Sons to the Civil Wars to the Be Good Tonya's with Billy Joel thrown in just because I can. As always, I love your pictures of you beautiful area and your gorgeous yarn!! I hope you have a calm and simple week.

  12. Hello Vanessa
    It will all be worth it in the end, and use your 2014 word as the beginning of a little mantra to yourself " Simple ! Just stay calm. "
    Keep enjoying your music,
    Kate x

  13. HayHay!
    Beautiful pictures! Lovely things :-)
    -X- Danielle

  14. Happy new year to you. Your kitchen will be so worth it when its all finished you wont know yourself :-) I love your little Toni Raymond flour shaker i spied towards the end of your post. I to can't wait for the spring the warmer weather and all the spring flowers to come to life and start with their colour in our gardens its a very dark and wet day here its been nice to pop in and see you. Best wishes, dee x

  15. What always intrigues me is how is it when the kitchen (one room) is emptied the rest of the house (4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms) become filled with its contents? It never seems to happen with any of the other rooms. I agree with you about the film scores. If we only had the spoken words films would seem much less interesting/atmospheric/exciting. Very best wishes, Philippa xx

  16. Hello Vanessa,
    Your blog post is like a ray of sunshine on this dreary soggy day!
    I love Hans Zimmer too, he really has produced some epic film scores. I play him quite a lot , but out loud, and when my son's around he calls them out " Oh this is Man of Steel, and now your playing Call of Duty theme".I especially love 2 and 8 on your list.
    I love listening to Birdy at the mo, especially White Winter Hymnal
    Beautiful yarn collection , such gorgeously pretty pastels!!
    Wishing you lots of luck with your kitchen, I'm sure it will be lovely!

    Rachel x

    1. Ah yes Rachel, a Hans Zimmer fan too! I always find it funny that people don't seem to give that much credit to those who produce fim scores. They can make or break a film and help to create the most wonderful visual memories. That Birdy track is really nice! x

  17. Happy new year dear Vanessa!
    Goodness ..... I know exactly what you mean about the kitchen sorting, i haven't started yet but I am DREADING that bit! I hope yours goes smoothly and to plane (mine too ..... a bit scared!)
    I love the Holiday and will be checking your playlist out, thank you x
    love Jooles x x x

  18. Happy New Year, I really enjoyed reading this posting! I am a fan of film scores too and enjoy Slumdog Millionaire, The Great Gatsby and one of my favorites, the score of Trois Colours Bleu. I got married at 9 in the morning and found myself by the hairdressers at 3 in the middle of the night. My hairdresser tear the roof off with Trois Colours Bleu at full volume! Have a great month, I think ripping out a kitchen is such a cleansing process!

    1. The hairdressers at 3 in the night?! Wow, that must have been a very memorable time! x

  19. What a lovely post - music to my ears. I absolutely adore the film The Holiday and love the music of Hans Zimmer I have the soundtrack of The Holiday and it is the music I play when walking. Like you, music is the one thing that I relax to and yes the genre plays an important part on my mood. Good luck with your kitchen re-vamp and just keep playing the music!

    1. Isn't it just the perfect soundtrack to walk to! Completely uplifting and happy. I do it almost daily on my school walks. It sort of sets me up in a happy mood for the rest of the day! x

  20. January to me it is a little bit a boring month, but I try to make it nice with lot of craftiness. Funny to see that's what you do also! I love your crochet potholder! And i'm very curious what you are going to make with the lovely colors of cotton. Oh, and I also love the music from The Holiday, it's such a lovely movie!

  21. nice pictures. Oooooh, a new kitchen and the challenge of a budget - how exciting.
    I LOVE the soundtrack to The Piano - also The Mission by Ennio Morricone.
    Anyway, I digrsss,
    Have a wonderful rest of the week, stay chipper
    fee x

    1. I ADORE 'The Piano'. Michael Nyman is a genius to me. I will often just lie down quietly with a pair of headphones on and listen to the whole track. I would love to have been able to play the piano. My mum was brilliant at it and so is my eldest Bear, but I was told by a rather stinky music teacher at school that i'd never be any good as I had 'ballet' fingers. I thought he must be right and I never gave it a go even though I always wanted too! The Mission is awe inspiring too. Love it. I used to listen to it a lot when the film came out. x

  22. I feel your pain - preparations are underway for a new kitchen at my house too. The main disruption will start end Jan/beginning of Feb. I'm just trying to stay chilled and get myself in the right mindset to just go with the flow... it'll all be worth it in the end! Maria x

  23. How lovely to be getting a new kitchen. I know what you mean about the disorganisation while it happens though. I hope it all goes smoothly and quickly for you. Some beautiful photos of the sky and the wonderful weather. I'm glad you're finding some peaceful time for yourself as well.

  24. a new kitchen? that is such a blessing :0) But it will take time...

  25. Hi Vanessa, your lovely blog is truly a feast for the senses. Your pictures are beautiful! My name is Delisa, I am 50 years old and live in the low country of south east Georgia. Thank you for sharing your playlist, I too love to take solitary walks and listen to my music. I enjoy writing and often when I am developing a character or stuck on a line of a poem I will play music to help me get into the particular emotion that I am trying to express. Marshmellows! My absolute favorite as well, especially the giant fluffy ones. I love marshmellows any way I can get them, roasted on a stick over a roaring fire, on top of candied yams or stuffed in my cheeks like a chipmunk! :) I also knit and crochet. Crochet was my first love and then I started knitting about ten years ago. I usually have one project of each going at any given time. We just got over a very stressful remodel as well. We updated the bathrooms, had the whole house painted and new carpet. It took twice as long as we had anticipated, but it is so nice to have it all finished, and worth all the waiting and hard work. I hope you have a lovely evening! Delisa :)

  26. Thank you Delisa for your kind words! It's lovely to see a fellow music lover and marshmallow eater! They really are my weakness!

    Have a super week! x

  27. Ooh I love Nyman's The Piano music and much of his other work. Also love listening to John Barry's film score music Out of Africa. We have been re doing our kitchen for three years and it's still not finished but one day the work top well get screwed down and the waiting tiles put up! Lol! Yours won't take long and you'll soon be in your new kitchen making it look even more lovely with your pretty makes. Xx

  28. Michael Newman's Piano... Who would have guessed we have that in common. An album I hold very close and delicate to my heart with very special memories of a good friend. Not a boyfriend. A girl friend. A friendship not far from a love story. Like poetry in my memory.

    We met, her and I, I'm not sure how... We just connected instantly. We played. She took me sailing. Just her and I. We jumped in the water naked out at sea just to swim back to the boat ladder in panic. We picked as many wild flowers we could find on an island and came back with more than 40 different kinds to put in a worn cobolt blue enemal cup.

    We heated up red wine with sugar on the rocking kitchen to keep us warm when the rain dripped outside and the waves got big. We anchord on small islands and made open fires to grill hot dogs and drink beer.

    We stopped in wide open waters and watched the sun go down in silent when the water was so still you could see everything reflect in it. And we played the album Piano. Felt happy. In silent. Because our friendship was silent and deep, not giggly and flamsy. Our discussions were real and stormy, honest and philosophic.

    Yes, The Piano is very very special to me. I seldom listen to it today. It is almost too special. Saying all this the movie is one of my big time favorites as well and my friend - Lotta - she is still a very special friend. The kind of friend that has made a stamp on my path of life forever and ever even though i don't see her very often now living abroad.


  29. "simple" can be so hard to achieve for natural clutterers and hoarders (like us!) Totally agree about Hans Zimmer music, he really knows how to pull out emotions in music. Speaking of film scores, have you listened to much Rachel Portman? I used to love listening to her Chocolat filmscore in my studio at art college. My ultimate soothing music is Chopin's Nocturnes and Ballades. I never get fed up with them :) Hope the kitchen renovation goes well!

  30. Just stumbled across your blog, and I love it.. great post, you made me smile today. thank you. !!

  31. Mmm, that soothed me, too! Movie scores are such great mood-enhancers. My favorite is Out of Africa--an oldie, but a goodie. Good luck weathering the kitchen re-do. It always gets worse before it gets better, doesn't it? :)

  32. I know the ensuing chaos is going to be unsettling but you will feel so refreshed once the kitchen project is done. If you are anything like me you will also feel energized by the huge accomplishment so you will most likely be thrown into high gear with your craftiness... great for all those wip's! :D
    Hugs and keep playing those film scores to keep calm and kitchen on... :D
    Beth P


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