Welcome to our blog.

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

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

We've been blogging since January 2010.


Eldest: 13 yo daughter

Middle: 11 yo daughter

Youngest: 9 yo son

You can find me here too…

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Just a thought….

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


Love reading your comments

  • Craft Mother Thanks, Melody. We had a lovely day. 15 Jul
  • Craft Mother Going by train took some of the stress out of the day and really added to the experience. The train station at Weymouth is a... 15 Jul
  • Craft Mother Our railway station has long since gone, although plenty of reminders. I suspect our travel plans would include a lot more train journeys if it... 15 Jul
  • Melody Definitely a great day for you especially the train ride that takes you to beautiful routes. Your photos are gorgeous too. x #countrykids 14 Jul
  • Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) What a gorgeous day out you had - and perfect weather for a day at Weymouth. I quite like those lists - they're quite a... 13 Jul
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Time to read

9 year old son

11 year old daughter

13 year old daughter

Reading together

Craft Mother

(affiliated links - helping to fund this blog)

Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane


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.

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.

Instagram recap

garden twine granny square bunting(garden twine crochet granny square)

I seem to be posting more up on Instagram recently and less in this space. It’s faster and easier to post a photo up there than to sit down and write a blog post. I take a photo using my phone and within a few minutes, its up on my Instagram feed.

I like the interaction that goes hand in hand with Instagram. People like and comment more readily. Take the granny square I crocheted (above). I was inspired by another Instagrammer’s photo and have been on the look out for coloured garden twine ever since. Advice given on hook size. It’s faster.

lavender farm

(lavender farm)

Which brings me to this space. I’ve been ruminating about it. It’s the school holidays, which means balancing work with children. They are older. They want more adventures. Something has to give and I think it will have to be this space.

In the back of my mind, this blog may have run its natural course. I’ll see how it goes. I may pop back every so often over the holidays. Maybe one photo. A postcard. Maybe a recap of photos from Instagram. Just like this post. Recapping my week.


SunflowersThe sunflowers are out. These two insist on propping each other up.

poppyThe poppy I bought from a trip to the National Trust’s Montacute House finally opened its petals. Most of the flowers were badly effected by a heavy down pour. This one was sheltering under a nearby rosemary and survived. I love the petit four iced centre.

agapanthusThis is the first year I’ve managed  flowering agapanthus. I am very pleased. I think the milder winter helped rather than me doing anything different.

sweetcorn growingThe sweetcorn are doing well. The pumpkins are winding their way between the sweetcorn stalks. The peas and beans are to one side. A nod in the direction of the 3 sister tradition.

toad after darkThe bats are still with us. I suspect tree felling in the woods behind us, has meant that they have chosen to return to us for safety. We counted 150 flying out of our roof one night.

The usual invasion of tiny toads was less grand this year. Maybe interrupted by the nearby activity. We still have lots of big toads. At night, I need a torch to avoid treading on them in the garden.


breakfast(Saturday morning pancake and fruit breakfast)

We are starting to bring food in from the garden. I’ve made lots of blackcurrant coulis. The peas are being eaten before they can make it through the kitchen door. Broad beans have been harvested. Some eaten, some in the freezer.

rhubarb and orange cake(rhubarb and orange cake)

We’ve started ordering a weekly fruit and veg box again. It is stretching my culinary talent, as all sorts of vegetables are included that I’d probably avoid. I’ve branched out and tried a few new recipes from the Allotment Kitchen book. So far, I’ve made Courgette and Feta Cheddar cheese fritters (which were popular even with the people who don’t like courgettes), rhubarb and orange cake (yum) and cooked kale and spinach in a slightly different way (everyone ate it).

I have a few more recipes from the book earmarked.


Peach Rose crochet square

(peach rose chochet square)

I’ve been sewing, but not quite ready to share yet. I’ve also been experimenting with different patterns in crochet. Takes more concentration than a simple granny square or daisy.

clay green man kids craftWe went to Priddy Folk festival and were inspired by the green man faces for sale. Using air drying clay, we made our own versions. This one is mine. I was struck by how mine had greek/roman influences while my daughter’s was undoubtedly a Somerset version. You’ll see what I mean, once I finally post it up.

That’s it for this time. Hope you are all enjoying your summer or winter.


Sharing. Good idea.

Taking the train to Weymouth

Looking back at Weymouth sea front

Have you noticed, in the last few years, parenting advice seems to be punctuated with lists? Lists telling you that children need to climb a tree by eleven or sew on a button before seven. Lists and lists of things that should be done by a certain age.

Glancing through, you can either feel inadequate or quietly virtuous as you shine your halo. Most of it’s common sense. Others are quite fun and remind you of your own childhood.

Firsts can be fun.

on castle cary railway stationLast weekend, we went on a train. The children have been on steam engines and underground trains, but never a train. This was a first for them.

We headed down to Castle Cary. It’s a picturesque, country station. Usually seen on News coverage with hoards of Glastonbury festival goers waiting for trains to turn up. As we were a week later, we pretty much had the station to ourselves.

We took the train to Weymouth. The children loved the journey, which included a few tunnels.

weymouth terrace and buntingsWe chose the right day to go to Weymouth. The weather could not have been better. Lots of people had the same idea, but it didn’t spoil the trip. All the classic attractions were there: the donkeys, Punch and Judy, beach volley ball, classic beach rides, pedalos and more.

fishing boat at WeymouthThere was plenty to see too.

pelican of london at weymouthNext time, I would be tempted to book a cruise.

remote control model speed boats racing at WeymouthWe found remote control model speed boats being raced. It’s quite brutal. Boats would take out other boats, if they could. A rescue boat picked up the model boats that are immobilized.

looking over weymouth bayWe did have some time sitting on the sand, making sand caves and watching dogs swimming out to retrieve their toys. The water was so clear, we could spot fish and crabs.

Weymouth beach

We’ll be back. Next time with swimming costumes and towels. More than likely by train, as it was a fun way to get there.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Sharing. Good idea.

Felted snails

felted snails on chalk drawing

(wet felted snails)

There are some tasks that seem destined to constant interruption. Forever work in progresses. As soon as all the tools are assembled, and work on the verge to commence, a voice pipes up and my priorities are changed in a moment. A different task beckons. Sigh. I know I’m not alone.

All week, I’ve been trying to clear a weed flower bed to plant a few new plants. All week. Finally Sunday, I woke early, before the rest of the household, and dug.

felted snails on plants kids craft activityAmong the plants are a pair of delphiniums that the slugs and snails had munched through while they waited in their pots to be planted. I brought them inside and they have recovered. Bunches of new leaves, although I’m not sure they will produce flowers.

kids craft felted snail on poached egg plant

(poached egg plant)

Poor plants. They are going to need extra defences in their new location. I’ve liberally sprinkled egg shells around, to deter the slugs and snails. Without wishing to tempt fate, this method usually works well in our garden.

felted snails on armenia mixed ballerina plantSo far, so good. I’ve not spotted any snails or the tell-tale signs of their sneaky visits. Admittedly, I did relocate a fair few snails to one of our wild areas in the garden, as I cleared the area of weeds.

rainy day kids craft needle and wel felted snails

Fortunately these particular snails are 100% harmless. The children recently made them by wet felting and needle-felting merino fleece. They used the technique of making long thin rods of felt (details here) and also had a go at needle-felting. They decided wet felting has the best technique when it comes to snail making.

The felted snails are back up above our inglenook, among the felted leaves and crocheted daisies. While I’m left to keep a beady eye on my delphiniums. I have a plan B, a plan C and a plan D. I hope I’m not pushed into resorting to Plan D.

Fingers crossed.

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Sharing. Good idea.