Friday, January 31, 2014


Bare tree branches against sunrise

Seagull and windsurfer silhouetted against winter sky

Rainbow over street of houses

Altar items in the sunshine

Collaging and creating vision boards for word of the year

playing with words

Needle felting hedgehog

Siamese and Oriental Short Hair cats

Cats perching on the sofa

Hyacinth bulbs indoors

Cushions on rocking chair
This is my second year of choosing a guiding word, last year I went for silly which then evolved in to play by the end of the year when it started to feel much more like it had some real meaning for me. Choosing a word at the start of the year in our midwinter means my thoughts straying towards options like sleep, hibernate and blanket. Much though that feels kind of awesome right now I think nurture has a bit more room for in it for some other intentions and greater excitement as the year saunters on! I'm trying to engage much more actively with all that choosing a word to help focus on can bring. Last year I think it was just something I ticked off my to do list of looking after myself better and consequently it didn't make all that much difference in some ways. This year - once more with feeling.

For me nurture begins with a lot of time at home, some collages and word play to really connect with all the aspects of what I want my life to feel like. A big focus on health for sure. Really digging in to that and how I can take excellent care of myself. Superlative care rather than skimping, nearly getting there, just putting enough in to it to keep things from coming to a juddering halt. Walking more, healing a grumbling shoulder, trying out some t'ai chi. A quiet time around commitments. So many naps and so much sleep. Space and time to think and feel. With that some moments of blah, discomfort and grrr. Listening to that and giving them their star time in the spotlight to help to heal what lies beneath and move through them rather try and find a distraction from them. Beyond them come sparkles and fizz and waking in the morning with a stretch and a smile of anticipation and excitement about what the day may have in store.

There are pools of crafting, dabbling here and there in projects on the go. Feeling the benefits of the process more than anything. My big finished item in felt needs to reach its new owner before I show off the hastily snapped photos. I could have carried on with it forever I think but it is long overdue. A little hedgehog in progress now. I'm signed up for a local mixed media class in March and taking sewing and drawing classes at Squam in June. On with the trying 'all the crafts' project!

There is caring to be shared. Two new residents in our nest as of Monday this week. Little souls who tip their tiny triangular heads on the side, watching and working out if they will like being here with us. I adore them already. Having furry purry heartbeats back in my home is everything I had hoped it would be. I can feel nurturing instincts abound whenever I move a little quickly and startle them, when a tentative paw tries out my lap for comfort factor, when a little trickle of purrs floats up.

One month in to this nurturing year I am feeling at peace with this gorgeous journey, happy in my corner of this wonderful world.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I feel like I'm stalking my next knitting project like a slow, lame hunter! I've tried to tempt it towards me with chocolate and plump cushions but all I've managed is to trim four contenders down to two.

Two from the Brooklyn Tweed autumn collection were the first that caught my eye. Well, what am I saying, every pattern that team releases catches my eye. I'm not sure I do the stalking I think they are the ones luring me in to casting them all on! Still, two of the stand out collection, both by Veronik Avery, stood out:
Feather by Véronik Avery
Coal Cardigan knitting pattern by Veronik Avery, Brooklyn Tweed
Then Solstice frolicked into view. When I saw Fiona's at RedFox Retreat back in October I had very itchy fingers and if I'd yarn to hand it would have been cast on there and then leaving my Twist and Shout gathering dust in the corner and Coal and Feather swept away in a fit of startitis.
Solstice Cardigan knitting pattern by Cecily MacDonald
Solstice Cardigan by Cecily MacDonald
I'd never noticed this pattern before but seeing it in a vibrant red looking so beautiful on lovely Fiona it jumped out but I held off while I finished the cardigan in progress (such maturity!). Life meandered on and even when Twist and Shout was cast off I found myself dithering over which one to begin on, then taking advantage of my indecisiveness along came another gorgeous cardigan pattern, another BT collection of power and a beauty by Gudrun:
Little Wave by Gudrun Johnston
Saddle shouldered! Elbow patches! Delicious dilemmas! I want them all but realistically I might be doing well if I get one knit this year.

So I've chased away the first two as they don't have pockets and I am heartily sick of garments without pocketses. So it's just Solstice and Little Wave skittering around. There's a way to go in this hunt yet but I've picked off the yarn I'm going to use though - small victory!
It's going to be Donegal Silk Tweed in Blue John from New Lanark Mill. Inspired by, of all things, a jumper worn by Colin Farrell in the film Seven Psychopaths. Knitters they may not follow the plot but they always pay attention to the wardrobe! Maybe another movie will make me choose one of the remaining two.

Monday, January 13, 2014

12of12 - January

Kicking off a new blogging project for me this year, inspired by my lovely friend Amy.
1. Dinosaurs at breakfast time as we spent the weekend with friends. 2. The view from their house of the Peaks. 3. Travelling with Mr Sarah generally involves luggage by Ikea! 4. My role on car journeys is always navigator. 5. One beautiful shot from the car in the Peaks. 6. Breaking the journey in Ashbourne, love this roof. 7. Still in the car hours later. 8. Food needed before home. 9. The perfect, gorgeous package waiting for me from dear Yvonne. 10. Relaxing with Pinterest and my new cushion cover in the background. 11. A little touch of craft with telly later. 12. Pleased to be in bed with my current book quite early.
My day yesterday felt mainly like it was spent in the car but I saved you from twelve shots of the road and tried to capture some of the other moments as well!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Mama made

Feeling so spoiled with my handmade Christmas gifts that I thought they deserved a little spotlight. Such cosiness.

Mum made me a pair of socks. Love. I just adore everything about them. Special pattern: one she really enjoys knitting by Alice Yu, this one I think, though we always refer to them as the honeycombs. Guess we see bees everywhere! Special yarn: we saw this Rico Tweed yarn as a sample knit up in a shop in Tavistock back last autumn and they told us it had been discontinued. I knew Mum had tracked down a ball online but didn't realise she'd bought one for each us. Special fit: custom heel and she knit them to the toes and then on Christmas morning I tried them on and then over the rest of the holidays she finished off the toes so they fit me exactly! Special love: we tell each other all the time, in oh so many ways, how much we love each other and whenever I have made  her a pair of socks I've always been so pleased to know her toes are being loved when I'm not there with her, so my toes are feeling very blessed.

As if that wasn't enough she also made me the gorgeous cushion cover  in the background of the shot - it has nine appliquéd apples on the front in nine of the prettiest fabrics. So beautiful! So if the socks are loving my toes, the cushion must be loving my butt :)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Hello new year

Gulls riding the winds at Mudeford Quay 7 January 2014

Little gull guide riding the wind at Mudeford Quay

Cobwebs blown away I feel like I can turn the page and welcome 2014 more graciously. Semi-hibernation and heeding the deep calling to nap is my January default but that needs its own balance as I'm not actually a hedgehog burrowed deep in a pile of leaves. A couple of delicious days of snuggling in a luxury hotel and tramping the beaches when the rains abated have me opening to the possibilities of this glorious new year. I want to feel the pure joy and sense of awe I did watching these birds swoop. They ride the wind, yielding when it gusts, finding the lulls, accepting what is and being ready for opportunities that arise. Little gull you make a fine guide.
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