Wednesday, December 31, 2014
These quiet days both here with our Siamese twinset and about with family are my favourite of the festive season. Time to just sit and be, to watch a movie, to chat about nothing very much at all. Days without name or order in the week somehow. Is it Wednesday today? I think I asked that yesterday.
Friday, December 19, 2014
One Christmas shopping mission to complete tomorrow and beyond that I shall only be tempted from my nest if the weather demands a walk. The kind of walk that will put roses in my cheeks and let me return home in absolute need of a hot chocolate. That is all that could drag me out of here, the Christmas CDs are on, the frankincense incense sticks are smouldering, I am breathing deeper, feeling so grateful for this funny little corner of the world that is my sanctuary.
I am branding the mess charming so there is a just a little housework to be done. Laundry mountain and a few fierce cobwebs need conquering so that when I head down to Cornwall to spend a few days with my parents I shall do so with the happy thought of returning to a fairy light bedecked, somewhat ordered abode. The kind of place where I can carry merrily on with the pace of 'what kind of chocolate shall I have for breakfast?' I intend to cultivate this year.
There is room for a little more decking of the halls, though now those fairy lights are up and I've hung the garland I made last weekend at The Mill I can rest easy if I don't untangle the pompoms and apple baubles that have spent their quiet months in the attic getting a little too friendly.
I think there may be a little more crafting, though honestly who knows. I've been in a real lull, that garland is the only tangible thing I have made in a long time. No more wreaths got made. Less of the homemade than even last year. Literally months without knitting a stitch. Yet I can sense my creative muse opening a sleepy eyelid, just pondering what to surprise me with next. She's heard that a visit to fabric and yarn emporia may be on the cards tomorrow. I'm shushing the inner accountant who wants to know what's wrong with the stuff on hand and letting her have her way. She's a fickle one but when she's on it, I'm happiest. If you'd told me that changing to part-time work would have led to a decrease in my crafting I'd have thought you were crazy and yet that has been the reality.
I'm not entirely sure why. It seemed like a backwards step for a long while but lately I've really learnt that sometimes going in the right direction doesn't look like you expect it to. All this soul work is not as pretty as handwork that is for sure. Still this has been my path. Walked willingly this autumn, my summer temper tantrums behind me. Now I am back on the path, now I am actually practising all the good things that help with the support of a wonderful framework I am starting to feel the rewards, one of which I hope is a long awakening for my creative muse. One of which is definitely a bit more energy to enjoy the simple pleasures of life; like finding the perfect place to hang the fairy lights.
Wishing us all a light and bright holiday time.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
To my own surprise I'm really rather enjoying this November and without too much conscious effort to embrace its awkward corners. Not a month that normally fills me with excitement, too many grey skies and dark evenings, too much autumn fatigue - a not quite winter but it might as well be sort of association. Happily it's got more of an October extension vibe going on this year, still very much autumn here which is suiting me down to the leaf carpeted ground. Every time I walk outside I come back in with yet another clutch of leaves which I strew artfully about the place - perhaps more aptly described as covering every available surface so it looks rather like a storm just blew right through the house!
At the weekend we had a little jaunt down to visit my parents in Cornwall and Mama and I started in on the Christmas craft-arama with a vengeance. Fabric leaves above were spares from a great wreath making day. The wreath itself is in hiding as it will be gifted, along with a few more if I get my sewing machine wheel spinning.
The most delightful gift from today was the discovery of a little sprinkling of the daintiest wee toadstools at the bottom of the garden. In amongst the leaves it looked as if spring was here early with a dusting of white blossom but closer inspection revealed these tiny little fungi. Almost too teeny to be true.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014
It seems fitting to feature it in a post of its own as there is a metaphor here for where this blog has headed; a space to hold the little pieces of life that I want to honour. With that extra clarity about what this blog is about these days I'll try not to let it get dusty in here just as I'll try to take the time to clean and curate this treasury.
Friday, October 03, 2014
Aubergine-Almond Enchiladas. It was lovely, slow kitchen time that suited my mood perfectly. There have to be special somethings from these days so that they don't just disappear but the magic seems to be in trying out and finding the right something for the day.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Autumnal flourishes everywhere I look and I want to really dig in and notice the order and the pace with which the season arrives this year. It seemed to hasten in during August with heavy clusters of berries and more falling seeds than I associate with that month, perhaps the chill in the air made them seem more significant. Not much chill so far this month except for the slight edge morning and evening, a pleasing stroke of coolness that reminds me that wool really is rather lovable.
Stalled on another Aestlight, though past the lace and it's a simple garter border that is giving me pause. A question about which course of action to take, to rip back to fix a discrepancy in numbers or knitting a few stitches together and carrying on. This is one of those grey areas for me. I am not a knitter who has to know it is perfect to enjoy wearing a knit, nor yet one who bashes through all but the most terminal of 'adjustments'.
I can sometimes enjoy a knit all the more for its vagaries, if it reminds me of a moment of its creation or just that perfection is not a standard that means happiness in life. Sometimes though it's deeply pleasing to have everything in order in at least the knitting. Ripping back and reknitting this won't take more than an hour I would guess which given it should last for years seems not much of an investment.
Though honestly will I ever notice or remember whichever option I take? This September will have other stand outs in the memory banks: a family wedding, the start of a new job, a weekend away in Glastonbury. Without this blog acting as a flower press this moment of consideration would be just one of the many tiny decisions which flow through my life almost unheeded. I sometimes think I am decisive, big decisions seem to be made without too much agony. I sometimes think I am so indecisive, small decisions seem to take remarkable consideration.
Perhaps that is why I love these betwixt and between days so much, perhaps they are me more than I realise.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Summer 2014 has been a a real summer and while I welcomed the blue skies, long days and being able to be outside so much I've also struggled health wise, and particularly with the energy to get things done, to get to work, to get home with any thought of doing anything and the heat has not made getting around any easier. Oh but I wouldn't wish away the hours in my new chair, under my trees. A wonderful gift. Always that slight bittersweet tinge of regret for what is going, going, gone and what didn't get to be but mostly, anticipation of the new possibilities.
One of my favourite souvenirs of this season is the french knot. This summer I finally learnt to make an intentional knot in my embroidery thread and feel a real thrill at those little swirls, bobbles balanced, work suspended. I've lost count of the failed learning the mystical knot attempts there have been and can still remember feeling a great sense of relief when reading in her beautiful book that Caroline Zoob had never mastered these tricky little creatures. It let me off the hook but didn't quite remove a yearning to have bested them. So when Squam cabin mate extraordinaire Austen came back from class one day to show off some exquisitely formed knots I readily took her up on the offer to teach me too. With her clear explanation and demonstration it really was, finally, simple. The knots just stayed where I put them. I don't really understand the magic, I suppose like all of these thread wrangling activities, it's really about how you tension the work as you carry out the actions. Whatever the charm I am still enchanted by these dainty carbuncles. Threading the needle to create a few more is my favourite current pastime free from any should, must or need. Simply twiddling my fingers and thumbs and watching what appears.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Friday, August 01, 2014
The bright pelargoniums planted last year have been telling me for months now that trying too hard is often destined to back fire. I managed to get around to replanting one of their companions to overwinter indoors, it of course rotted and died. Those I mercilessly left to that fate survived our very mild winter to flourish as the stars of my haphazard garden this season.
Time in the chair has revealed a secret treasure I would undoubtedly have missed if I had been more endeavoursome. Tucked in the crook of two branches with about half a dozen twigs is a nesting collar dove. It looks impossibly vulnerable from my seat and yet its very slight nature is the perfect camouflage and it is all but invisible from any other angle.
Simple pleasures that come when I let them. A special kind of magic in not doing and just being.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
Somewhere in the last few years I've managed to get so far from that impulsive, just make something instinct that it drives me more than a little crazy. Now I spend so much time thinking about making things I often don't ever get started on them. I've either convinced myself they won't look as good as I want them to or I've taken the fizz of excitement out of a project or I've told myself that it's too hard/the stuff is inaccessible/it's not worth doing - fill in the crushing reason of the day. The unimaginable never gets a look in. This is not a revelation from Squam, more something that has been dogging these past months when not enough time has been cleared out of the excuse roster. I am hoping though that the hit of inspiration from Squam will be what finally gets the crafts from head to hand.
Spending time with my cabin mates - eight fabulous, obsessive, awesome, accomplished knitters made me remember how it felt to be a knitter like that. Not just someone who knows how to knit but someone who feels the magic of where a pastime becomes a passion. So when it comes to dwelling in the feeling of bubbling creativity there was only one place to start. Knit more!
At the Squam Art Fair I picked up a couple of beautiful souvenirs to grease these palms. The loveliest needles I've ever owned - rosewood DPNs from Fringe Supply Co and a skein of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter (having been utterly convinced of its splendidness by a wonderful talk from Jared Flood and seeing this lovely stuff in person).
So for the hands, mitts of course. Sadly the softness of the yarn and the chunkiness of the DPNs left me unable to pull the yarn tight enough to prevent annoying ladders at the needle joins that just take the edge off the joy of the FO (along, perhaps??? with the Mr's christening of them as my 'down and out mitts' and his offer of a photo shoot while clasping a bottle of booze - so much for poetic musings about the wonder of crafting for your hands with your hands!!). Dreams of an annual pair of mitts in all the shades have been shelved! I'll just have to bend my thoughts to other delicious one skein or less Shelter projects. The leftovers are already calling out for friends to stripe with them, the blends in the colourways are just so enticing.
Thinking about knitting is definitely fun but in this brave new world it must of course be accompanied by knitting itself so I turned to the easiest of my WIPs to re-engage with. Rowan Fine Art socks that had been languishing not far off the toe of the first, I thought I could just pick them back up but a quick review made it clear why the needles had slowed - the sock felt too big and the leg too short - I'd persisted but eventually got the blahs for good reason. Pictured in its kinkiness above is the now twice frogged yarn. I jumped quickly from Just Rights to Simple Skyps. Love that pattern but this yarn is too noisy for a happy pairing there so with not even a photo to memorialise the second incarnation I'm on to the third. Hoping that the classic Monkey is the charm. Yarn this pretty deserves a good knitting.