Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A Garden Visit in Early March

I have not been for a long walk in ages so today I set off to walk 2.7 miles to Myddleton House Gardens as a destination point.  Part of my reason to go out walking today was to shake off some sadness I felt after reading a blog post by Alison May.  You can read it here.  It is very upsetting and makes me all the more determined to make the most of each day.

My garden visit didn't turn out as I had hoped. Walking around the gardens I felt uninspired.  All the snowdrops looked alike and much larger than I remember snowdrops being.  Regimented swathes of them lined up over the undulating earth.  There were Hellebore's with their heavy droopy heads that seemed to be hanging in shame and weak specimens of purple crocuses that looked like damp squibs popping out of the grass.  Had I been in a different frame of mind I may have felt differently about the plants but I wanted to feel excited and energised but the gardens in early March left me feeling flat. 

I continued walking around.  There was a group of elderly women following a tour guide and a few couples.  Apart from me there were no other people except for the volunteers who were busying about tidying and planting and looking industrious.  There really wasn't anything to catch my eye to record on camera apart from the 'neglected' corner pictured above.  In all the contrived planting in the garden I much preferred to see the naturalised primroses in front of the tin bath.  Now I am wondering if the scene was contrived or just happened by chance?

I didn't spend too long visiting as I still had to walk the 2.7 miles back to home with a detour to the supermarket to pick up something to eat!  I don't think I will be returning here for a while.  It all felt very sombre.

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Seven Year Itch

As of yesterday I have been blogging for seven years!  I have had my ups and downs during that time sometimes revealing more on here than I probably should.  You can see my very first post here.  Unfortunately those first four commenter's never visit anymore and two of them sadly gave up blogging a few years back.  I used to be thrilled to receive a comment in those early days but used to worry that I wouldn't have anything to post about.  I even kept a folder with 'things to blog about' written down in it just in case I was lost for words!

In the last seven years people have come and gone but I have a regular band of people that keep showing up so I must be doing something right!  I don't know how this blog is going to evolve over the next seven years - I guess it depends what is going on in my life and what I choose to share.

To celebrate my blogiversary I am having a little giveaway.  I will be sending a Mini Celebration Kit - featured on previous post - to a commenter randomly selected in a weeks time.  It would be useful to know in the comments which post of mine has had an impact (if any) on you over the past seven years.

Thanks for reading and especially for coming back for seconds! 

Simone x

Friday, 27 February 2015

Mini Celebration Kit

I have been thinking about making an emergency, portable, mini celebration kit for a while now.  I think it would be great to keep in your bag (purse) for when a celebration comes up that you are unprepared for.  Tiny bunting (to tie on the back of a chair), a wordless card and a candle.  You could also use it for people who want to mark an occasion but without too much fuss.

The trick to make this look 'special' is to use the best quality card stock and beautiful papers.  I envisage it being used whenever good news is in need of a mini celebration to mark the event. 

Happy Friday!

Now that's a good reason enough to celebrate!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Ginger's Back in Town

My ginger boy is almost back to his playful (naughty) self.  We had a horrible start to the year when he got bitten but he is gradually getting his self confidence back.  He never seems to stray far from the house now.  He has never been a lap cat but now spends evenings sat next to me on the sofa.  Occasionally, he'll reach out his paw and touch me whilst he is nodding off.  I think it is a reassurance thing.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Wobbles in Crafting

I was determined to make something this weekend and after watching  a wire work bracelet demonstration on a shopping channel, thought I would try to replicate it.  I didn't have the correct gauge wire but had a go with what I had to hand.  I was quite pleased with the result but my ego came crashing down when my OH was distinctly underwhelmed with my efforts and I did take his response personally.  I think one of the reasons I blog is for the affirmation from people that what I am doing creatively is good and that I am following the 'right' path.  My two nearest and dearest do not 'get' the craft thing at all and I often feel discouraged by them.  They see my craft materials as a waste of money.  I do wish I could prove them wrong but there is a niggle in the back of my mind that they may be right.

This approval thing that I seek to be seen as a valid human being has to stop - I know that.  I shouldn't care what others think of me and what I make. It is very immature of me to keep wanting others to like what I am doing and ultimately like me too.  However, it is very deep seated within me.  Somehow I have made a warped connection that if you don't like what I make then you don't like me either.  I have no idea how I have made that connection other than my creativity is an important part of me.

Anyway, sorry to be rambling on this fine but cold Monday morning.  I had no idea that I was going to spill my feelings over the page.  Creating may have to be pushed aside today as I have bed linen to change and a pile of ironing to be tackled.  Perversely I quite like ironing and find that pressing out the creases in the fabrics is quite cathartic.

Friday, 20 February 2015

I Heart You

I've still not been able to get stuck into my crafts this week - mainly because I am not home alone!  My intention also, was to make some vanilla biscuits on Valentine's Day but because I didn't get around to it I made some today instead.  I've never made them before but used the recipe from an excellent book I have had for some years - The Classic 1000 Cake and Bake Recipes. I found it for you again on this site here.  It really is a good book and the measurements are given in ounces, grams and cups too.  These particular biscuits are made with a butter cookie dough and they just melt in the mouth.  I think they would be good sandwiched together with jam or butter cream too but they won't last that long!

Well, the weekend is upon us again.  Time is moving so fast hence my desire to do something creative each day so as not to 'waste' any time.  It was good to get creative in the kitchen again even if the evidence of my creativity is fleeting!

Have a good weekend! x

Edited:  A request from Sharon and for the rest of my USA friends!

2/3 cup softened butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 cups self rising flour
A pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven 180C/350F/gas mark 4

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the egg and then mix in the other ingredients.  Bring together with a spoon and then knead until smooth to make a dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill the dough for about 20 minutes. 

Roll out the dough thinly and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.  Arrange on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes until a pale golden brown.  Leave to cool on the sheet for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

The recipe makes around 24 cookies so you may have to cook them in batches.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

More Hand Made Sticky Labels

Other than make pancakes, I have not had the opportunity to do anything creative for the last couple of days.  The stickers pictured above were made the same time as my cute people stickers shown previously.  I just don't know what project to do next!  I've not made any jewellery in a while so perhaps I'll do that, or 'play' with paper or make stickers again?  I wish I could be content to be a knitter or a painter or embroiderer or just focus on one type of media - but I want to do it all and have tried many creative pursuits including silk painting, Fimo modelling, encaustic art, cross-stitch, rug making, knitting, crochet, bead weaving, willow weaving etc.

I was watching a reality show on television the other day (Little People, Big World) and the person in it said that projects are what keeps him alive and gives him a reason to get up in the morning.  I feel pretty much the same way and am really tetchy if I don't get a chance to be creative each day.  I NEED to create - I know that now.

The sun is out this morning.  I think I'll go out for a brisk walk and put on my thinking cap for ways of how to use my time wisely today.  I can't let another day pass me by without having something to show for it!