Welcome to our blog.

..... We make
..... We explore
..... We nuture

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.

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Craft Projects

Just a thought….

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



Thank you….

  • Craft Mother Knitting and crocheting do compliment each other well, surprisingly well. Loving the sci-fi stories. 22 Mar
  • Craft Mother I am definitely looking up your book. What a fascinating concept. Looking forward to seeing your case finished. What a wonderful idea to bring joy... 22 Mar
  • Craft Mother Thank you, Deborah. Need to finish it all now. Suspect the cushion cover will be the first. 22 Mar
  • Craft Mother Thanks Lisa. Your knitting sounds good and I'm looking forward to hearing your review of The Nest. 22 Mar
  • Craft Mother The beak worked out well. The shape works better from some angles than others. I could have spent longer. 22 Mar
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Time to smile

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

- J B S Haldane

I’ve been featured by



Spring is in full motion in our corner of the world. I’ve woken to hear the most amazing bird songs, this week, and find myself not rushing up, but enjoying the songs. Not chirps, but full on musical movements! Like an orchestra is playing outside my window.

In the garden, bulbs are popping up overnight. Not really overnight, but I swear they weren’t there the day before. If they hadn’t been there the year before, then I’d begin to think that someone is sneaking into the garden and planting them while we sleep.

(Cyclamen with tiny bug on edge of petal)

Just buds mostly, at the moment, but full of the promise of colour and scent, ready to attract all manner of bugs to visit them. The garden will soon be full of life again.

(Lesser celandine in the woods)

On the home front, I’ve been aware of a change in the children. Especially my two daughters. If you’ve read my previous post , you’ll know that we went to see Hidden Figures over the weekend, as a family, and loved it (I’ve reviewed it, if you’re interested). Go see the film, if you haven’t already.

This week, both girls seem more confident in themselves. Just little things, mostly, but I have noticed that they seem to believe in their abilities a little bit more, especially in maths.

(pulmonaria in the garden)

Maybe I’m imagining it. Wishful thinking, but maths homework has been done without me being asked for help. They come home saying that they understand the topic they are doing in maths, more easily. They’ve helped fellow classmates. They even express the ambition to do well in the subject and how can I help them?

Has the film inspired them? I didn’t see that coming.

I took them hoping to broaden their minds to the racial issues. Giving context and a historical view, which I think it did. And more, it appears.

There is a fine line in parenting. So easy to push, when really what is needed is for eyes to be opened. It makes me wonder how else I can open their eyes to opportunities without appearing to lay out a carved-in-stone career plan. I guess that is my challenge. The fine line we all walk, bringing up children.

So not only is the garden budding up, but children as well. Reminds me why I love so much being a gardener, and a parent too.

Word of the week – budding.


The Reading Residence


The Subtle Shift

Did you feel the subtle shift this weekend? We did in our small part of the world. When one season seems to ease into another. Focus moves. In reality, it is shifting all the time, of course, but there are moments throughout the year, that just seem marginally more momentous than the rest.  The inertia of hibernation being replaced with the yearning to see something grow, is one for me.

I’m talking seedlings breaking through the surface of the soil. Or at least the thought of seeing that process again, as we have none yet. The excitement of a tray of cucumber seeds erupting through a layer of compost. Like the slowest fireworks known to man. Leaving clumps of earth, like boulders, in its wake. Not to mention, looking forward to bringing homegrown food in from the garden for our meals, once again. Yum.

Some years, I am slower to remember and feel no urge to pull out my seed box and plan. Maybe it’s colder. Maybe it’s the thought of fighting my way through the shed to trowels and pots. Moving boxes and pots covered in cobwebs and evidence of other wildlife. Chewed cardboard where a mouse has procured nest material.

Not this year. My new recycled potting shed is still my favourite handmade project from last year. I looked in, at the weekend, and my potting bench was set up and ready for use. No shifting things out of the way to get to it, or searching for the equipment. It was all there. On shelves. Ready for use. And not a mouse in sight.

Soil? Check. Seeds? Check. Pots (of the right size)? Check. Job done.

I now have two pots of tomato seeds sitting on a windowsill. A small start you may think, but the first step nonetheless, and that is important. To help even more, I’ve written a list of seeds to buy, but otherwise, I am set up for the growing season. That was easy. I keep wondering what I have forgotten.

With the shift of seasons, it does mean that I’ll be outside increasingly. Sewing time replaced by exploring and gardening. It makes my latest sewing project seem more urgent to finish.

This weekend, I’ve been squeezing in every possible moment to churn out another patchwork star. My sewing room is away from the rest of the house and family, so I used the end of the kitchen table as my makeshift making area. It’s warmer too. My stars are pinned on an old quilt, which I’ve pegged to the back door curtain. Much easier to see how my scrappy quilt is developing.

I’ve been playing with the arrangement. Current thinking is that I’ll use a solid red inbetween and I need more stars. My original pincushion has grown beyond recognition.

I’m finding the process of this quilt interesting. Usually, I use the english paper piecing method. My first quilt took years to cut out and sew. Mainly due to it sitting in a bag for long periods, as there is only so long I can hand sew.

This time, it’s growing fast. I can see the progress and glimpses of the end product. I can imagine the quilt in use, in the near future. That notion alone keeps me going and looking for moments to create yet another crazy fabric star.

So the garden may be calling, but the quilt is yelling too. Even louder, but that will change. I can see that the balance will shift and I will find myself out more than in.

The race is now on. Will I finish the quilt before my finger nails are permanently clogged in earth again and wellies could be mistaken for my favourite footwear? We’ll see.

Hope you all had a good weekend. What did you get up to?

Linking up to Keep Calm Craft On link up


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