Saturday, 21 November 2009

some seasonal books to share

A trip to the library this week surprised us with some wonderful new Christmas books, just to get us in the mood for the forthcoming festivities:

Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett :: we have read a couple of other books of hers but I had never heard of this one before. A favourite of Adrien's now, I think he particularly loved the naughty Trolls.

Kingfisher Christmas Book :: A selection of Christmas stories, poems and carols for the twelve days of Christmas. Includes classics such as The Nutcracker (one of my favourites) and The Little Fir Tree, as well as traditional stories from Scandinavia and Russia.

The Magic Sleigh by Cynthia & Brian Paterson :: Part of the Foxwood Tales. An enchanting story of woodland animals discovering Father Christmas's magic sleigh that whisks them off to his castle. Beautiful illustrations together with such a sweet tale just makes you want to jump into the book with them.

Lucy & Tom's Christmas by Shirley Hughes :: I am a big Shirley Hughes fan. I adore her nostalgic stories & illustrations that seem to represent the perfect childhood. Was not disappointed with this book.

This book, A Day on Skates by Hilda Van Stockum, I have purchased as a gift for Alex for Christmas but I couldn't resist showing a sneaky peek inside the book. Bear in mind I have not read the story yet to myself or the children so the verdict on that is still out until after Christmas, but just look at the illustrations-

I have managed to get another sewing project finished. A little tote bag with embroidered hedgehogs and toadstool on linen fabric. Lining is re purposed polka dot cotton fabric. One less Christmas gift to worry about.

Talking of handmade gifts, I am so eager to pick up my knitting needles I need to find some ideas for knitted gifts to make. Any ideas?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

sewing therapy

I have not been by here in a little while because I simply haven't felt like I wanted to. The past couple of weeks have been sad and stressful; the sudden tragic death of a friend and sickness with the children which brings a lot of extra stress.

However, I have been channelling my energies to get long overdue projects completed for Adrien's birthday in a couple of weeks. The cowboy quilt which I started ages ago is finally finished. It is supposed to take on a crinkly kind of effect once washed, but unfortunately we have not had a dry day for weeks, so that will have to wait.

I have also started (but not finished yet) a bunny too from this pattern, and a birthday crown for him.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

our nature table

this is our new autumn nature table we have just set up. For past seasons the nature table has been situated on top of a low bookcase, but I came to realise it was too inaccessible, especially for little Adrien and this, I thought, defeated the object of it. This way requires a little more work to maintain but we are all very happy with it.

I am a little late compared to most of you out there, but I just purchased my copy of A Year of Mornings. Apart from it being a beautiful and wonderful book, it has really got me thinking about whether we are morning, evening or night people. I am most definitely an evening person, which after some serious reflection, quite comfortably coincides with my love of autumn/winter. For me they both represent a letting go of pressures, demands and expectations. A sense of cosying down under soft candlelight, cuddling under warm quilts and blankets, enjoying warm tea, soups and delicious pies and surrounded by my books, knitting, sewing or music. Everything is calm, warm, serene. Nothing needs to be achieved except relaxation and peace.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

hello again

I am back. That was an unplanned break. Sick children and a full schedule has been keeping me busy. Decided to crank it all down a notch today, we all stayed at home, listened to music, played 'dog shows' (don't even ask) and I even got to do some cooking. Pumpkin soup and a sun-dried tomato, goat cheese and onion tart. It was delicious.

I am starting to think about Christmas coming and a little one's birthday and wondering how I am going to do things this year. I really want to scale things back with the gifts, toys etc., and have a more thoughtful and less materialistic holidays. I am just not sure how to get the balance right between what I want my children to have/experience to what they want and expect. The last thing I want is two unhappy faces on their special days. I just always remember when I was a little girl the big sack of toys left from Santa and all the excitement that went with that, but at the same time I don't like the idea of that for my boys. I know that will probably sound very contradictory and maybe a little selfish on my part. I am still trying to figure this one out.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

time for cake

Baking my first fruit cake.

Now autumn is upon us I have been in the mood for lots of baking. This is probably why I like this season so much, time to spend cosy days baking, sipping hot chocolate, jazz music in the background and maybe a little knitting? I have not picked up the needles since the hats I made last year, but with the cooler days I much prefer to cosy down on the sofa with some knitting than sitting at my sewing machine in a cold corner of the dining room.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

hello autumn

hello autumn, my most very favourite month.
this is also time for new beginings, fresh ideas and challenges.
I will be starting an OU course shortly, just a short 10 week one to start with, but I would love to go on to do a degree, something that has always been a dream of mine. Its just the time aspect that worries me, being able to fit it all into family life, and hoping I don't take on too much.
I read a great post yesterday over at Bluebirdbaby, it was just what I needed to read right now; over the last few months I have been getting stressed basically over things that I have no or little control over - so I am going to make a big effort to step back from many things, take more time for me and let things happen the way they are meant to.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

30 days of happiness:: cornerview - conkers!!

Things have been pretty conker-mad around here lately. We now have a huge box full of them, which I quite know what to do with, any suggestions?
The subject for this week's cornerview is 'from my car window'. Well I don't have a car, so you could say this is from the window of my world: gorgeous autumn days, and lots & lots of conkers!