Thursday, 29 January 2009


I have on my bookshelf a small book of prayers given to me by my mother. I am not one for written prayers normally but these are sweet, short and headed toward the celtic in flavour. One of my favourites is that of a Breton fisherman which is very much to the point I feel.

Oh Lord, protect me.
The sea is so large and my boat is so small

This is how I feel about time right now - at the end of a sleepless night, with the usual day in front of me. I have much to do with this day. Children to look to, a man to feed, a house to tend... a cat to trip over and a garden to ignore.
Mine is a blessed life and I know it, quiet and domestic with no hurricanes to tip the small boat over... I give thanks for this safe harbour. And I pray a peaceful day for you too.

Prompted by One Single Impression - If Only I had Time.
and the above is not my photo, it came from a stock shot of the sea and I happened to like it.

Monday, 26 January 2009


Ffald-y-Brenin, a retreat in the Preseli mountains.

There is no sound but the wind on the mountain.
Here you can watch the sky for hours.
Here you may be still.
There are no demands, no fears and no expectations.

Nothing but peace
...and I had a beautiful time.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Valentine Hearts

These kept pleasantly amusedthe last few evenings. Very simple to do, just threading beads and wrapping wire.

I am thinking about putting them in my etsy shop

What do you think?

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Watercolour Sky

When the rain lets up and the wind blows the clouds away so the sun can pour through, this is what we get by way of skies in Wales this time of year. This was taken by Sharon, an artist friend of mine and the colours just got me thinking...

And this is what I came up with...

Chalky turquoise merino wool flitted through with some handpainted silk in ultamarine, bright pink and pond green

I don't want to spin it though as I think it will lose its painted quality. So felting it is. Probably into flowers for the edges of the shawl I crocheted while in hospital with Eden. The shawl is a heavy, dark grey - very like the clouds in the picture so it will come together nicely I think.

Hope you have a light filled day too.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Grey Outside but Bright Within

A sure fire way to combat a mizzly January morning is to curl up in front of the fire and browse the web for inspiration. My wanderings took me to The Cotton Patch and the astonishingly pretty Springwood House. Quilting emporiums and chock full of gorgeousness. Springwood house in particular had me squeaking in excitement as they have squares of computer foil there in a banquet of shimmering glitzyness.

As I have said before, I love the homespun look - checks of spicy browns, cute stripes of sand and berry etc etc and I always think how right they would look in my tiny little miners cottage but somehow the magpie DNA almost always wins and I end up getting the bright and spangly because honestly, it is just what I like best of all. I am a design Jekyll and Hyde...only with glitter.

So I got these - two charm packs and a fat quarter. As Oscar once said: I can resist everything but temptation. I also bought a quilt book by Kaffe Fasset. If I never attempt even a coaster from this book it will still be worth the price for the photographs alone. What a world that man must inhabit. I wish I could see through his eyes for just ten minutes.

So how about you? What cheers you onwards through a cold January?

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Clangers

All that waxing lyrical of yesterday has put the sun right off and we are back to the usual MO for Wales in wintertime - chilly, wet and windy. So I am not going out as planned but have waved two sproglets to school and have curled up on the sofa with Eden and we are eating hot buttered toast (thanks V!) and watching The Clangers

If you have ten spare minutes you could do worse with them than watch the above. It is Seventies Kids TV at it very best: enchanting and innocent.

Hope you have a enchanting day too

Sunday, 11 January 2009

A Gentle Day

It is taking the sky is taking a long time to wake up these last few days. It remains the same misty silver pink of a watercolour dawn until well into the afternoon. As we were driving to Chepstow this morning I saw charcoal treelines against a horizon that changed from pearl to rose, topaz to olivine - all lit up by an opalescent sun. For over a hundred miles it made me want to paint...

Other than admiring a jewelled sky, there is little better in life to sit in a castle, well wrapped up against the cold with a thick woolen cape and the knowledge that a beef and barley stew is on the fire, waiting only for the sword practise to finish before we can tuck in, having spent the previous hour teaching a youngster how to use a drop spindle. A girl's determination to make a workable yarn defied chilled fingers and awkwardly slippery merino fibre. She made a very creditable first thread which many a spinner I know would be content to call an "art yarn" or "textured" (for that you can read "lumpy") but for an eleven year old, there is nothing wrong with that.

Hope your skies are soft and beautiful too

Friday, 9 January 2009


The wonderfully talented Jessica at Wayfaring Wanderer gave me this which is so sweet of her. And isn't it pretty? So thank you very much Jessica and I will continue to visit your blog and be speechless in admiration at the beauty that you capture with each of your posts.

So firstly I would like to pass this on to the girl who put me in the way of Jessica's blog in the first place and that is the lovely Pippa atMy Arty Life. Pippa is creative in the same way that birds fly - it just comes naturally to her. Paper craft, crochet, beadwork and now photography. If you haven't visited her blog yet, treat yourself right now.

Gina who is busy Quilting in the Valleys whose eye for colour and design just leaves me speechless with admiration. I found Gina (who lives about forty miles away from me tops) via Kate Quilts in Australia. Weird or what? Kate also gets nominated for this award. You quilters are such a talented and busy bunch of crafters. You put me to shame.

Patois who though not to my knowledge a crafter of paper or wool, is never the less a crafter of words - some of them screamingly funny, some poignant, some written with enough vitriol to blister the screen (okay, that was just the once and she had just been burgled, I should cut the girl some slack) Her poetry is a treat too.

An artist's blog is always a treasure and the blogs that belong to Nan in Maine and her animal friends are daily reading. If you like cats, the sea, and pictures of snow in slanting winter sunlight then this is the place for you

And last but by no means least is POD - who is the modest owner of just about the most eclectic blog I have ever come across. I know he won't mind when I call him unique and I know he will understand when I say that a triple decker fried egg, chili sauce and chutney sandwich is unique too. I love both - the POD and the sarnie - crazy but fab at the same time.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Not Resolutions but...

Carpe Jugulum as Mr Pratchett would say. After a rather poxy December I am filled with the ambition to get shifting once again. While I recognise that energy reserves are a bit low at the moment it is still a pleasant activity to sit, cup of tea in hand, and mull over the year ahead. I make no attempts at lofty goals but it is good to have a target and these are mine right now.
I may well fall short but here's to the attempt at least.

Sort out the wretched heap that I call a garden. This involves some tasks that are small in number but massive in effect...
  • Hire out a man with a van to clear the debris of last summer (including a large piece of corrugated metal that was blown in with the storms we had in August)
  • Hire another bloke who can handle a chainsaw to get rid of a few overgrown conifers.
  • Re-roof the little shed
  • Plant two thornless blackberries, two blackcurrant bushes and some potato plants to break the ground up a bit.
If I can do all that by Autumn I will be mightily pleased with myself

  • De-clutter for half an hour at least once a week
  • Establish rather better household care routines than I have in effect right now. Fly Lady will point me in the right direction.
  • Re do Rose's room. We had a brain storming session the other night and have come up with some wonderfully funky ideas. Fairy lights feature strongly as well as fun fur covered bookshelves, sequinned curtains and walls the colours of liquorice allsorts. She's my girl for certain.
I aim to get this established/ accomplished by springtime.

  • Get back into water colour painting. I used to love to paint miniatures as a teenager. I wouldn't mind giving it another go
  • Re learn the recorder. V bought me a new and beautiful pear wood medieval recorder for Christmas. I fell in love with it at the traders fair in Autumn but couldn't countenance the expense. He ordered one for me shortly afterwards. How fab is that?
  • With regards to spinning and felting I intend to work mostly from my stash this year but I am not restricting myself as to yarn. However, I will stop the impulse purchases of beautiful yarn just for the joy of beautiful yarn. From now on all yarn must be bought for a pre-determined project.
This is the whole year laid out

  • Make time to do Pilates - I want my waist back! (by May at latest)
  • Follow the Soul Coaching book with Kim. (28 days from whenever the book gets delivered)
  • Dabble in archery a bit more. It is fun. (As and when throughout the year - next training day 11th of Jan)
  • Investigate reiki courses in this area. It sounds very interesting. (Also as and when the time is right)

So that is where I am at right now. How about you? Have you got anything you would like to accomplish before the year rolls round again?

Thursday, 1 January 2009


Half way through a game of junior monopoly this evening, Eden decides that she is tired and returns to the comfort of her nest on the sofa. This has been her lair of choice since coming out of hospital and we have all pandered to her every whim. Hence she is well on the way to getting truly spoilt. Some moments later, at a particularly heated exchange between V and Rose over the mini golf, Eden declared that we were being too noisy and that she wanted to go to sleep. The rest of the game was conducted in whispers

I've landed in the paddling pool again, whose is that?

Mine. Six pounds please

Six quid for a paddle!

But I own the video arcade too so I get double

%£(%&(! No wonder I've got no money!

Somehow I managed to end up getting an entire row of properties down one side and fleeced Rose and V unmercifully. So it was hissed expletives all the way* which made it funnier somehow...and you know what it is like when you can't laugh out loud. I had to leave the room.

So a pretty good New Years Day all told. It still feels rather odd, like someone has scooped Christmas away with a spoon. I haven't even decorated. But we are having our Christmas day on Saturday, so we are decorating the Christmas tree tomorrow - a fake one unfortunately - but we missed out on the real thing. Next Christmas I am getting a tree in the first week just to be sure.

Happy New Year everyone. Keep safe and warm and happy the whole year through.

*from the adults I hasten to add - Rose reproved us both you may be sure.