Sunday, 20 April 2014

easter time

I picked these spring flowers yesterday, I thought it was time I dragged myself into a little bit of Easter decorating. I also ate the chocolates from inside my Easter egg, but don't tell anyone......

This year it's some blooms from around the garden. I love the red Tulips and the pink blossom. A green vintage doily found out on jolly jaunt around Bristol this week where I almost walked my poor little feet off..... some painted wooden eggs, a little wooden bunny and the little brooch made from this months Mollie Makes free gift.

What do you think of the chalk paint?!'s very white isn't it....... I did promise a little chalk paint post. But I'm not sure how much there is so much to say. This is what the table looked like before. I chose chalk paint because the original wood had a layer of varnish. Chalk paint is supposed to be able to be applied to anything, without any preparation to the surface.

I think the chalk paint went on well to the table. Probably helped by the mainly smooth surface. It's quite forgiving, covering old chipped paint and damage quite easily. It's quite thick and you need to paint fast. I painted in sections, one plank at a time, and you need to finish with the brush strokes going the same way. It dries fast and does feel very chalky!

To get a smooth finish I gave the table a very light sand, painted a second coat and then finished by polishing with a soft wax. The wax gives the chalk paint a sheen and makes it feel more like normal paint. You could distress the paint with more sanding at this point, but I think this will happen naturally. I don't think it's that durable, and I don't think I would be in a hurry to use it again. It's probably great for picture frames, smaller, harder to paint objects.....and definitely not for very porous, large, fiddly objects, like benches!

I ran out of paint after one coat for the bench. What I need to do is give it a good sand down and just use some normal paint. But you know, life moves on and sometimes these things come back around another day.....

Other things call, like a sunny moment up on the common. This was quite heavenly. I dropped down into the grass, just to take it all in. Sitting down amongst the wild flowers.

It's so lovely up here. I've been carrying little dog around, but now she walks a little bit here and there. Her leg is mending.

What a sweet heart. We need to come up here. It kind of puts everything into perspective.

......when everything's a bit difficult back at the ranch.....Wild orchids and Cowslips, natures bounty.

More sunny spring days please...... 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

chalk painting, cakes and the evening light

Here is a little peek at my new chalk painted table. I'm really pleased how it's finished up. I will show you more shots soon and perhaps do a little chalk painting post. Chalk painting turns into a mission. I can share that with you. These sweet little cakes were on sale, 23p each!! and I won't be able to share these because I can tell you I ate them all. In the quest for keeping up moral and all that.

article by Greedy for colour

Another thing which slipped into my basket this week, was the Simply Crochet magazine. I've become quite good at not buying magazines but I think the thing that toppled me was this article,

How to make Becky Garratt's rainbow daschund. So cute, I have spotted him before.
One day sweet doggy, You will be mine!

moral boosting things!

So anyway, on with the chalk painting. The table is a success. It's very bright. Very. We could wear sunglasses while we eat. It's bounces a huge amount of light into the room. All good. But then, I decided to paint the bench.......after mistakenly buying paint that was just not the right colour. I was looking for a gentle grey/blue and it ended up looking like an undercoat. What really exasperated me was that I've made the very same mistake before. I've probably gone through same thought process and pointed at the same colour again. What a ninny. I was a bit cross with myself. 

So the only thing to do was grab the remainder of the chalk paint. I slung some into a jar and mixed in some pale green acrylic in a kind of I just don't care anymore. Started painted. I had a kind of vintage green idea, but this wasn't going to be right either. So I went back to the white. We'll go with white. Just paint. Paint the slats, more slats, back of the slats, the side of the slats........I could see this was going to take time. I started to lose the will to live at this point! 
Chalk paint on a bench is not a good idea. Life is like that sometimes. It's all part of the creative journey!! But I've started now and I will get there in the end.

Why it was so important to have a white painted bench and table I couldn't tell you right now.
Infact I can now see there is a whole other world out there. Away from the chalk paint....

called out into the evening light.
 Some beautiful moments at the end of the day. I had a little wander. It just helped me to put everything back into context.

bathed in a golden light
It's so easy to lose track of the important things. I'm usually trying to avoid something difficult when I get like this.

the evening sun
Time to breathe out, everything is okay. If a little intense at times.

a golden sun going down.

and there is a whole lovely world out there.
back soon.


Saturday, 5 April 2014

my blessings today

I have just been thinking and feeling a little bit lost in doom and gloom, and that really I should be counting my blessings today instead, so here they are:-

I live in a beautiful home.

I have an amazing garden.

I have resources of my own.

I am free.

I live in a democratic society and am free to make my own decisions about life. 

I have a smart, articulate, switched-on son.

I have a dog who is well and healing.

I have a lovely craft room and supplies.

I have good ideas.

I can run and dance!

I have a great mentor.

Today is a good day..........

and on that note I will resume chalk painting my table and look forward to showing you more soon.

p.s. I'm loving this list.

Saturday, 29 March 2014


I have a cold. I really need to honor this cold. Do you ever get to that point? I keep going, but in the end I realize I have to make space for the cold. Even if I stop, I don't mentally stop. That's hard to do. Lots of lemon and ginger drinks yesterday have helped. I want to avoid a cough. Things tend to get louder until they get our attention sometimes.

crocus magic
It all began with the three layers of rather yucky and damp carpet I pulled up from my conservatory a few days ago. I did stop and go and get a mask! I had no idea how bad it was until I starting peering underneath the layers. I did consider pushing all back down again. I even pulled up my wicker chair and sat there staring it for ages. Wondering what to do. Slowly realizing that the only way forwards from this point was it had to come out. All of it. There and then. By me. I just couldn't pretend it wasn't there, now I had seen it. It was a lot of carpet, I had to cut it up and heave it around. It was a mad push of energy. Three layers of damp carpet out of our life has to be a good thing. 

dreamy cherry blossom
Up until that point, I had been holding back. I try to look after my energy in the spring. So many ideas start to bubble. Tiling in the kitchen. Lets sort out those annoying bits in the bathroom. Chalk paint on the table perhaps? a bench to paint maybe. Or the big decision to clean the's reached that point. Our whole food thing needs new inspiration. I would be embarassed to tell you just how far we have fallen. But having a cooker that looks like something exploaded in it can't help. I need to have a bless the cooker ceremony! I hope we can find our way to new connection with food.

purple lovelies
Going for little carries with little dog has been a great work out for my arms, but they are feeling pretty sore now. She is tottering around. I feel like I'm trying to hold up a few difficult fronts all at once. I know this is life sometimes. I really appreciate any support I get. 

enjoying the coloured glass in the light
Indoors I have moved my glass panel to the front so the light can shine through. I am a big fan of coloured glass.

the reading pile
I snapped my reading pile to show you. It's actually grown by several more. I need to go to bed a little earlier so I have time to read. There are some great books here. Most of them found by reccommendations from around the web. In fact after reading the first chapter of most before buying I feel as though I am reading many books at once. I am just finishing The wisdom of my grandmothers. This has felt very appropriate after all the sorting and reconnecting I have doing with my family photos and belongings.
It's been quite a time here lately.

ready to journal!
I have sorted my pens and pencils, a little box of water colour, my journal. They are ready should the mood strike me for a little bit of colour and words. Have you seen this blog about journalling?

test test!
I have only managed to test my pens so far!

but I did find this water colour postcard experiment from along time ago. I put it on the wall. It's very 80's don't you think?!

the wool basket calls

The wool basket has been calling me. My arms have felt a bit too sore to crochet with lately. But I forced myself last night! Whilst watching some film I can't remember the name of. Sometimes you just need to sit down and crochet.

last night
Unknown object. Colours seem a bit spring like. A possible pan holder for the kitchen at this point!
And today is sunny, in fact the weekend is I think, here this spring.
So have a warm, creative and restful weekend won't you.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

mandala on my stool

a special gift from Cosmos and cotton
I am a lucky girl.
That's for sure.
Another lovely give-away gift. 

and not only that but this wonderfully crafty book Made by hand.
Beautiful soaps, candle dipping, tie-dye, knitting, crochet, braided rugs and some colourful coil bowls I would love to try making.
I am looking forward to diving in!

sweet wrapping, a homemade lavender cushion, chocolates!
and some very sweet baking labels.
I will try my best on that one I promise!
Thank you Hannapat for your wonderfully generous gifts.
I keep glancing around and noticing them.
It's lovely, it feels like a birthday :-) 


can I just make a little shop announcement : Mothers' day is coming up I have made a few dangly heart garlands and they are in my shop now. 

for mum!
I enjoyed making these. Time is a great healer. I only hope I get one!
Have a good week,


Saturday, 15 March 2014

a little bit of March magic

treasures in the sunshine
Oh March, you have brought some challenging moments, but definitely some magic too. Sometimes life throws in some tricky twists and turns to be negotiated. Somehow it's all been managed as we delicately step from one situation to the next. I can't help but feel there must be a huge amount of unseen help around us right now. And really amongst the wobbles and new beginnings I feel very blessed. Someone up there is watching over us and guiding us.

March bunting!
This month saw me hanging out some bunting, yes really! It felt slightly mad at the beginning of the month, but this is the view from my kitchen window. I love it. My neighbours might think I'm a bit mad too, but whenever the sun shines I think see! how right was I to hang up the bunting!

pretty glass and blossom in the sunlight
I've been almost spell bound over this glass salt pot. I think it belonged to my Grandmother, or even great Grandmother. I keep picking it up and opening it and admiring it. Something about the glass and the sunlight is really speaking to me. It's so beautiful. When I put this stone in it and shake it, it makes a wonderful clunk! It's lovely to bring something old and forgotten out into the light and really enjoy it.

a special package from Sidmouth
 Other march blessings.
This month has been the month for winning give-aways for me! I have won some lovely things.

a mermaid and an acorn all the way from Sidmouth
Hesta from Clover Clogg sent me this surely magical mermaid and a wool acorn. I love her little shell hat and the way she is lying on the driftwood and her little pink arms. I was very touched to receive such a lovely gift all the way from a place that means so much to me. It felt like a gift from the sea, and the acorn, is an important symbol to me too. It's the symbol for the South West coast path. I've spent some time walking on this path. It brings out the adventurer in me. There is something very special about the place where the land meets the sea I think. A tale for another day perhaps.

Hestas' travelling hooker bag!
I was also very lucky to receive one Hestas' traveling hooker bags and some lovely soft wool Thank you Hesta. A really lovely gift. Your a very creative lady.

Of course all these thoughts of the sea has set me of thinking of shells and seaglass. I have washed my little collection and have been admiring them. Of course they look at their nicest in the water. 

It reminded me of this book, Gift from the sea. Do you know it. This is the pocket version of the book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  It's a lovely book about relationships, creativity and personal space. Written 40 years ago, the author spent each summer away by the seaside. Such a nice thing to do.  I must do this!

a newly discovered spot by the new canal
In the spirit of water, stillness and calm, I have discovered this lovely spot by a new section of our canal. Little dog has hurt her leg and now needs to rest it for 6 weeks! No jumping no walking or anything. So I'm now the lady who carries her dog around everywhere. We go from bench to bench, where I can put her down for a while. I feel like we have been grounded. No rushing around this Spring. We sit here like a couple of old ladies, passing the time of day with whoever comes by. It's very still. Very Zen. A new thing. Time to just sit. So I have found the spirit of water here.
There has also been a little bit of shell and stone therapy here, working with my lovely mentor lady, who happily gives up an hour of her morning once a week at the local youth centre. Just to let me babble on. What a wonderful thing.

a naughty but nice splurge!
So I'm kind of ready to go the seaside. Have you noticed. Look I have my suitcases ready.
Enjoy March and whatever that may bring for you. Some things are blessings in disguise, as we surely know by now. Sit in the sun when you can!



Monday, 3 March 2014

a pretty fabric covered notice board

I have been having fun with vintage fabric and cork boards.
This has been on my so easy craft list for ages!
how to prettify a corner of your life.

I used the cork boards available from here. It's a smallish size which can easily be covered by less than a fat quarter of fabric, so take your pick from the vast array of pretty fabrics out there. It can easily be changed, which is also nice. I like these boards because the fabric can tuck right over the edge without a frame to deal with.

Cut the fabric to fit the board. I used an extra layer of white cotton underneath. Now just smooth the fabric over as if you were making up a bed! Tuck in the corners like a parcel. Best not to leave them too bulky. I fixed my fabric on with drawing pins also from the same place. If you have a staple gun you could use that.

Aim for a nice smooth finish.
Stand back and admire your new notice board!

Photo taken at Glastonbury about 1995!
Attach momentos. The board are thin, so best for display rather than changing every day.
Pop a nail in the wall and bobs your uncle!

The notice board is soon covered, but looking a whole lot prettier.
De-clutter your work space.
My new corner!

That feels much better.
Onto another lovely screen saver from here.

Enjoying my Earth Pathways diary from here. The cup is cute. It belonged to my Mum. I love the mouse handle.

Of course I didn't just stop at one!
Oh no.
This one is for my jewellery.
I stitched on vintage buttons to some ribbons, and attached these with drawing pins, in the same way as before. Very simple. With hindsight you are probably best to stagger the buttons, so you can hang necklaces, bracelets and earings quite easily.

Amazingly this board was exactly the right size to fit an old frame I have been holding on to! I painted it first with some left over paint.

Did a clever trick with some small nails around the edge to hold the board to the frame. I used the string already on the frame to hang the board and et viola!

I'm enjoying this in my room. It's nice to hang keepsakes that might otherwise be away in a box and enjoy seeing them.

The 'love who you are' garland will be available in my shop just as soon as I've listed it.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. I enjoyed making them. I hope you do too.


time to create

time to create
Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.
Hasidic saying