Thursday 31 July 2014

A girl named disaster #the year in books - July

A girl named Disaster by Nancy Farmer is about an 11 year old African girl who leaves her village in Mozambique to find lost relatives in Zimbabwe and escape a forced marriage. It is also about survival, and becoming a woman, about not fitting in, and understanding who you are, and how your spiritual beliefs can both strengthen you and terrify at the same time.

Yet again my book choice is led by Miss K who seems intent on me reading all of her books. I'm not complaining, children's literature is filled with so many treasures, some new to me and old favourites.

what's your favourite children's book? old or new. all recommendations accepted.

joining in with the year in books at Circle of Pine Trees.

Monday 28 July 2014

stone crochet.

my family think I've gone totally mad.
they are probably right.

both these patterns are from Margaret Oomen, you can find the fish tutorial on Resurrection Fern
and the sea urchin on Purl Bee

Friday 25 July 2014

random things summer holidays week one.

The cats went for their vaccinations. Now one of them has to go back for a dental treatment. Is it not enough that I just took the children to the dentist, I have to take the cat as well.

I took the teenage children to see the latest Disney movie (Maleficent). There were probably more teen appropriate films on but who wants to grow up.......

E spent a whole day bouncing a small yellow foam ball off various walls around the house, so that they bounced into a red bin. Whilst filming. Then he spent hours learning how to blend the videos together to make a you tube video. It is totally mad. He is now working on video number two. I had to discourage bouncing the wall off the roof of the when it kept getting stuck up there..........

I started a new crochet project. So far I have made one crocheted pebble sea urchin, and one crocheted pebble fish/mermaid. I plan to take/make some on holiday and leave them around the harbour and sit with a mug of tea and see what happens.

We have started the hunt for school uniform already. Because from past experience I know it will take 6 weeks to find trousers that fit. So far total fail.

I did buy Miss K a summer dress. Which means she has got dressed twice so far in the last 7 days (summer is all about lounging in pj's reading books in the shade apparently), once to go to school uniform shop and cinema, and once when friends came for a bbq.

I love bbq's.  friends, warm summer evenings, chicken marinaded in curry spices and yoghurt, beef marinaded in Japanese soy sauce(Japanese soy is gluten free, Chinese soy is not), ginger, lemon and honey, served with green salads, crispy bread, sun warmed tomatoes, followed by grilled peaches, vanilla ice cream, and frozen blackberry yoghurt.
I am regretting not buying enough ingredients so that we can have the same again tonight......

Thursday 17 July 2014

last week at middle school.

Picture the scene.

a conversation with E.

"I want to make a present for Mrs F. It needs to be Star Wars themed. Mrs F likes Star Wars and she told us on transfer day last year that any gifts we ever got her have to be Star Wars"

this from the boy that can't remember what day of the week it is, 
but he can remember what someone said about Star Wars over a year ago.........

"oh and it has to have Galaxy chocolate with it too."

presumably this is due to Star Wars taking place in "a Galaxy Far Far Away", 
but I decide not to go there..........

after Much discussion it is decided we will sew a document wallet envelope pockety thing, that can hold useful papers and chocolate.

there is then a lot of discussion about why we can't sew Yoda (or Darth Vader, or embroider a Death Star, or make flashing light sabres) on the cover, long sighs from E, and then from me, and a compromise of stars and lettering. which used up the last of my favourite fusible bonding magic stuff so I hope Mrs F appreciates that......

the measuring got a bit haphazard and the seams are a bit wonky and bulky (but he sewed it all himself and only nearly sewed my finger once) so the large pocket fits sheets of A4 paper "just" but the small pocket will still be fine for chocolate. 
When I've bought it. 
Which is the next thing on my to do list after drink tea, drink more tea and continue to wonder how on earth the youngest child can be leaving middle school and going to high school....

last night they had a leaver's party. 
dress code smart casual.

"do I HAVE to wear a shirt? I don't like shirts."

eventually we find a shirt he likes. 
no one else in the entire world would like a shirt like this surely.
or think it the right thing to wear to a "it's Not a prom!!!!!"

and then of course he wants to wear a bow tie with it.

what could be harder than fitting a bow tie on a taller than I am wriggling 13 year old?
surely nothing.

oh except trying to get a decent photograph of him wearing it.

I gave up.
he kept pulling silly faces so I just chopped off his head.

Sunday 13 July 2014

hopping about writing

Isabelle from Notes from Delft  nominated me for a blog hop about writing.

what am I working on?
I'm writing this blog hop which is much harder than I thought it would be, I want to share some craft finishes and some garden stories and there hasn't been a recipe for a while.... also I'm trying to plan some new things.

why do I write what I do?

Why do I write? What is it for?
I use it to look back and it makes me look forward.
I write because when I do I pay attention to the world I am in so much more.
I write to celebrate the simple things. A few months ago Annie of Knitsofacto wrote in a comment on one of my posts

" the way in which the perfectly ordinary and everyday can be elevated by the attention we pay to it, thus encouraging others to do the same" 

I love that.
My writing is for sharing and it is for telling stories.
It is for the community I find I am part of when I write and for the friendships that it creates.
I write to make connections and by writing I make memories. 

how does my writing differ from others in my genre?

I couldn't tell you what genre my blog is. I wonder what you would call it? Whilst I write about a range of things there is no plan for it to be lifestyle, nor family, nor craft specific, nor gluten free, or  about gardening or walking, although you will find posts about all those things. I suppose what makes it different is that it's mine.   Oh and I use quite a lot of full stops...........

how does my writing process work?

Good grief this is hard.
I write lists. I take photos. I choose photos I've already taken, and I take some specially. I get cross (most days!) when the camera battery yet again has lost all it's charge, and I don't take photos. Instead I write lists. I lose my lists.
I think of things I want to blog about, and I frequently wonder about the types of regular posts that other people write.
I love reading those posts, the way those blogs have a sense of rhythm, of purpose, of continuity.
and yet....
I don't want to copy, those ideas belong to someone else.
I would like more structure and yet I don't want to feel restricted.
I joined in with a photo scavenger hunt for a while but whilst I enjoyed taking the photos I never enjoyed writing the posts and so I stopped.  I'm enjoying #the year in books, but already I'm worrying that I haven't planned this month's post. Or started the book.
Sometimes I am so fickle, do I want a plan? or do I want to be spontaneous?
I know I need some fresh ideas.
Almost 7 years of blogging.
And still I don't know what I'm doing.....

I'm supposed to nominate some people now, but I'm going to follow Sue's lead and open it up to anyone who'd like to join in. If you want to answer the questions please do, and then come back and let me know when you've written your post and I'll link to you here. That being said I'd love to hear from Ali at Domesticali or Monica at Quilt while you're ahead, because I love their writing styles and I want to know how they do it!

meanwhile if anyone has any top writing tips all will be gratefully received.

Saturday 5 July 2014


rain is lashing down outside and the garden is drinking it up.

as the plants become wetter and wetter the air is filled with scent.

not a heady floral, or a woody overtone, but more of a colour.

it smells green.

fresh and minty.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

working on new embroidery designs. - cow parsley.

When was I preparing for this years Alnmouth Arts Festival I wanted to include some more botanical designs, and with the hedgerows filled with cow parsley I didn't have to look far for inspiration.

To simplify the complexity of the flowers I printed out a photograph and drew in the main shapes, and highlighted particular flower heads that were prominent.

I then drew this out on paper to get a feel for the shape of the design, and also practised drawing the individual flower shapes a few times.

Then without marking the fabric it's over to the sewing machine, set up for free motion and draw with the needle.

So much fun!