Welcome to our blog.

..... We craft
..... We garden
..... We explore
..... Nature inspired

Three children *** Two dogs *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.


AJ: 11 yo daughter

BL: 9 yo daughter

TF: 6 yo son

Gwinny: 7 yo Deerhound

(not a child, although she thinks she is)

Blue: Deerhound pup


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We strive to be self sufficient. We love living in the countryside and enjoy nature. We'd rather be searching for beetles than shopping for shoes. We take inspiration from the nature all around us. We like to spread happiness and share our skills.

Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."


Hello World

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.


There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Joining in 2014

Hexi Puff progress

Started 5th Jan 2013. Completed: 207 (over half way!!!)

Makes me smile

Becoming a Greener Me – Seeds

seed sowing

Small changes. This one is certainly a small change, but it does make a difference. Last couple of years, I’ve got lazy. Bought in veg plants instead of growing from seed. Ended up buying more than I want. Plants I had never heard of before. More than I had time to care for. Plants that were not on my list. Sound familiar?

Totally daft. I have a good collection of seeds from previous years. Some collected. Some left over. Not all seeds will sprout the next year, but most do. I should be using them.

basil seedlings 2013

It’s mainly been out of panic. Cold, wet start to the year and I can’t seem to get seeds and pots of soil together. Then the sun comes out and suddenly I’m behind.

The thing is, I’m not. I’ve been gardening for long enough to know better. Its time to trust my instinct. The seed packets may state the sowing month as February/March, but if it’s not warm enough until April, then the seedlings won’t thrive. Not without artificial light and warmth. If I look through my old dusty gardening books, they trust that year’s season. Stories of testing the readiness of the soil with your bare behind. (Not happening!) They use their instinct.

I’m going to use my instinct. No panic buying.

robin chick

Of course, it might have helped if a couple of robins had not chosen the potting bench, in my rustic potting shed, to build a nest. They fledged yesterday. AJ and I sneaked in for pots, to find two little robin chicks sitting on the roof rafters.

a pair of robin chicksOur neighbour teases me that my shed is dilapidated and needs replacing. I call it rustic. My husband calls it “this weekend’s fixing job”, now that our very welcome tenants have left. I’m very fond of this little, rustic shed. I’m in no hurry to replace it. Seems like the robins agree with me. Maybe I should call it my rustic, robin-approved, potting shed.

Now where are those seeds. Another step to becoming a greener me.

How about you? Are you putting seeds in pots this week?


Dear Daughter. About Being Happy.

be happy

Dear Daughter

Back again with another square for your Dear Daughter quilt. I know you liked my last letter, especially the cake part. Not sure I can offer cake this time, but we will see.

This letter is about being happy.

Some people seem to float through life being happy, with no effort. A constant smile. Some people seem constantly sad and see no good*. The classic half-full or half-empty glass approaches to life. Most of us move between the two states, and several degrees in between. I am a half-full kind of gal, an optimist and happy person, but I have my moments. We all do.

sewing in the garden

When I was carrying you, people would ask me if I wanted a girl or a boy. I used to say that so long as you were happy and healthy, I didn’t mind. (Your father’s response was that he’d like a puppy, but he was only joking…..well I think he was!) I wanted you to be well set up to cope with whatever life threw at you. Being happy is a good step in that direction.

It’s difficult to write about happy without a passing nod at least to the other side of the coin: sadness. They both exist. Inexplicitly linked. It is a rare person that does not experience both at some stage of their life. The optimist inside me, suggests that we have to experience some sadness so that we can fully appreciate happiness. Maybe happy people are able to flip the coin to the happy side more quickly and easily.

This is the real point of my letter, I want to pass on some of my tips on how to be happy. Ten steps to flipping the coin to the happy side!

rabbit dancing 2

1. Smile. I think this may be the biggest tip. When you smile it releases a hormone that gives you a happy feeling. Even a fake smile, will help, and hopefully the smile will soon turn into a real one.

2. Smile. Again? Yes. If you smile at someone, even a stranger passing by, then you may receive a smile back. We often feel better being surrounded by smiling people as its less stressful. (if they look at you strangely, don’t worry, just see the funny side of it.)

rabbit dancing 3

3. Look for a silver lining. There is always one and don’t argue with me on this point. I’m your mother. Things can feel bad and they become worse as you dwell on them. If you can find a silver lining in the situation, then maybe you can see a way through. It may not chase the bad away, but it could put you in a different position to cope with it.

4. Celebrate the little things. Obvious to make a fuss of the big events, but some little moments of success can disappear without even a high 5 .  Maybe you figure out how to do something at last, or get a better mark in a test than you imagined. No certificate issued, but why not do a little dance of joy or run round the garden for a lap of honour. Sounds daft, but see how you feel afterwards!

rabbit dancing 4

5. Avoid bucket dipping. I hear you groan. At 11 you are too old for the Have You Filled A Bucket Today? book (which really deserves its own blog post), but the message is still good. Being mean to someone will not bring happiness. You will never get that happy feeling at someone else’s expense. (hitting your brother will not make you happy – as if you would!!!!).

In fact, the complete opposite is true. Bucket filling (or, in other words, doing something genuinely nice for someone else) will bring happiness.

6. Sing a silly or happy song. As loud and as silly as you like. Pretty much provides same effect as smiling, but works better in some situations more than others.

rabbit dancing 5

7. Practise saying and thinking the positive. Next time you are about to say something that went badly, try saying it using positive words. Choose “yet” instead of “never”. “How do I?” instead of “can’t”. May need to couple it with the silver lining point too. Trust me. Try it.

8. Being content. Yes, the grass always seems greener over the fence. It’s easy to focus on the bad or to see what we don’t have.  So a good exercise, when you feel like you are  missing out, is to remind yourself about what you have already. List it if you need to.

9. Take somethings with a pinch of salt. If someone says or does something that saps your happy feeling, stop and think about their motive. Are they jealous? Has someone said it about them? What advantage is it for them to say it? Are they unhappy and  looking for comfort in numbers? Often a comment says more about the person saying it than the person on the receiving end.

rabbit dancing 7

10.Finally, in the unlikely event that all of those fail, eat chocolate. Oh, yes. Not too much, but it helps to release a hormone that gives you that happy feeling.

Coin flipped to the happy side, yet? Good. Just as I hoped before you were born, I wish you happiness now (not furry, as your father hoped.)

As ever

your loving mother

finished peace and plenty


*Please note: I am writing about the choice of being happy or sad. I am not referring to people that suffer from depression, which is on a whole different scale.

So are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person?

Joining in with #MotivationalMonday over at:

Pinkoddy's blog

A Slice of Life: Teamwork


A Slice of life: teamwork

One photo. One word.

A photo that doesn’t show everything. Just a slice of life. Time taken to notice the moment and how it makes me feel. A reminder to live in the moment and savour it with all my senses. Being present in the now, before it’s gone.

This is a new project for me. By taking the photo, it forces me to stop and live in that moment. Noticing it all. One ordinary moment. One point in my week. Embracing the moment for what it is – positive or not. I’m going to post it every Sunday and see where it takes me.


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