Welcome to our blog.

….. Making pretty things
….. Simple living
….. Growing a family

Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

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Happy project

Capturing the sunshine

Dear summer 2018,

I just wanted to let you know that the sunshine and warm weather, you’ve sent our way this year, has been awesome. We’ve enjoyed it. Made the most of it. Drunk it up like a bumble bee in spring. No weekends spent mowing the grass. No thought of bringing jumpers when we venture out. The wet washing drying on the line within an hour. Eating alfresco and late evenings in the garden. Lots of outside time.

I’ll forgive the fact that our salad garden was baked solid and not much grew, except turnips and lettuce. The green house has made up for it. (Anyone for a cucumber?) I’ll even put aside the fact that you chose the one evening we attended an outdoor theatre, to summon up a sustained downpour. I may never be able to watch Oscar Wilde again without thinking of raindrops on umbrellas.

No. Seriously. It’s OK. I’m over it.

Overall, we have been hugely blessed. Blue sky and sun. There is a big part of me that wants to capture that feeling. Bring it out when the first frosts bites and I most need it.

In an effort to bottle some of that sunshine, I’ve made strawberry jam, and have a vat of apple and mint jelly brewing as I type. We’ve nimbly crafted lavender wands to put among clothes in our drawers, to summon up the scent of summer, as woolly jumpers are pulled out to wear midwinter.

Wonderful, colourful ribbons.  I’ll be transported straight back to sitting by the lavender with my two girls, weaving and twisting the stems in place. (how to here) Watching a hummingbird hawk moth visiting the flowers waiting to be picked.

Good memories.

But, hands down, my favourite summer project, this year, has to be the tie dye bedlinen. I’ve had this one waiting in the wings for a few years. Looking for a summer that’s not too wet, because this project was always going to be big and messy. Not a kitchen activity. Oh, no. Has to be outside.

Although, I do usually count on the rain washing away the inevitable spilt dye, that runs off on to the lawn. While the rest of the grass in our garden was crunchy brown, this year, we did have one small corner that looked like a rainbow had laid down to rest. For weeks.

So three duvets and three pillowcases are now summer coloured. We bought more dye to top up the colour for the crumple style duvets, meaning we could dye three pillowcases, one bag and a pair of socks, at the same time.

It would be true to say that we are well and truly over the urge to tie dye for a while, at least. Yep. No desire at all to dye anything. I’m not even sure we have anything left to dye.

It was worth it. They did have fun. They innovated and problem solved as they went along. The bedlinen is now on their beds. Boldly declaring that summer is being observed in this home. Some of the vibrance washed out at the rinsing stage, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Enough sunshine has been captured.

Thank you, summer 2018. You have a few more weeks to run yet, but already you have proved to be a vintage year and we’ve captured it, not only in memories and photos, but duvet covers and pillowcases too.

Your forever friend

Cheryl

p.s. I’ll be bookmarking this post. Once the jam and jelly have been eaten, and the duvet covers swapped for a winter theme, there will be days that I’ll need a top up of colour and sunshine in my life. For sure.

Debs Random Writings

Dear Daughter: About the Sunday Blues

Dear Daughter quilt block wrench

Part of my Dear Daughter Quilt project.

A letter and a quilt block

Dear Daughter

It is time to name and shame the Sunday Blues. Too long it has run riot and ruined hours of our weekend, only to be joined by the Mondays. Like a mischievous sprite it jumps up, dancing its jig and pointing at us, as it jeers at our increasing misery. Sapping joy by its sheer presence.

I’ve had enough. I’m taking back control. I want my Sundays back. Specifically Sunday evenings. It doesn’t even create the best rhythm with the name of the day*. Hardly lyrical to my ear. It should be the Tuesday Blues….oh, but maybe I shouldn’t suggest that.

pieces of wrench quilt block

There, I’ve made it into a mythical being now. A sprite. You’ll be imagining it as a dancing stick man. And that is the point. We create it. It is all in our heads. Which also means that we can banish it. Trust me.

I’m starting a campaign to rid us, or at least in our house, of the end of the weekend blues. And this is how I’m going to do it, but I need your help.

Step 1: Do things on time. Take the bull by the horn. Clear your desk of work by Friday. Don’t leave it till after the weekend. This is just providing food to the Sunday Blues. In fact, it’s a favourite morsel. Something for it to nag or prod you with all weekend, especially in the last hours before bedtime on Sunday.

wrench quilt block in the making

Step 2: Make a list of all the things that you need to do the next week. Seriously, write it down. Left in your head, the sprite will bounce them around, juggling them, so you lose track.  The items will seem to grow and multiply, like counting a flock of birds that keep hopping from one branch to another.

As the numbers seem to increase, you’ll catch glimpses of one, only for it to be snatched away again, before you can resolve it, and replaced with another to taunt you. Let the paper take the strain. Make a list.

Step 3. Let’s do something fun on Sunday evening, so we can look forward to it. Maybe a games night. Keep a league table, so we can look forward to next week and beating our personal bests. Or a craft activity. Maybe share a book together. Creating a cliff hanger that will only be revealed the next week. We’ll set some time aside.

wrench quilt block among other blocks

Step 4. OK, another list. Every Friday night, write a happy list. Write down everything that happened the previous week that went well. Made you happy. Made you smile. Things that made you proud. Refer to it as soon as the Sunday Blues peeps round the corner. Even batter it around the head with it. The worst kind of treatment for a Sunday Blues sprite. They can’t work their mischief with a happy thought.

Step 5: When you do find the sprite loitering, pick it up by the ears and kick it out. One ….long, …..swinging …..kick to the derriere. Or else, swing above your head and release.

(Word to the wise: Remember to wash your hands properly afterwards. Sunday Blues Sprite’s ears are seldom clean, if you follow my drift. What do expect when they pick up so much dirt on people.)

You created it, you can get rid of it.

wrench quilt block among other blocks 2

If we all do these five steps then Sunday Blues will have gone. Our weekends will be ours once more. Let’s enjoy every moment and not wish time away. What do you reckon? Shall we give it a go?

As ever

Your loving mother

 

*Admittedly it depends on your accent. Tuesday and blue have the same vowel sound when I say it. I like the rhythm in words.

PS if you have liked this letter, remember the rest of them can be found here

Photos

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.

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