Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Solstice

Wishing you all a wonderful & joyous solstice.

Well, ok it was yesterday evening, but today was the closest sunrise.  Our planned visit to Stonehenge was abandoned in the face of a sick child, so myself & Bini got up a bit later than planned & took ourselves and a flask of warm up to our spot.   The top of the world.  Seems that we have a history of poorliness at the crucial 'lets get outside in the cold & watch the sunrise' time.  Here's hoping we venture a bit further afield next year!
Still, it was a lovely sunrise, quite mild, and a band of clear sky to see the sun, a few minutes after it rose.  The greatest joy, however, was in spending some time with my sweet daughter, just she & I.  Although we did miss sharing the sunrise with our boys.

May your yule be full of love & joy. x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Wishcrafting Wednesday - who do you wish to have tea with?

Well, with my morning cuppa in my hand, I popped into Jamie's studio today to see what her wishcrafting prompt was.  ' Who do you wish to have tea with?'.  Oh my!  I am British & Tea is what we do.  Its a cultural cure-all, the glue that holds us together.  We are taught how to make tea as soon as we are old enough to reach the kettle.  We know tea.  'Would you like a cup of tea?' is the very first thing you say to a guest once their feet are over the threshold.  And even if you don't then you just say yes & only drink a bit.  To say no, well, it just halts the social niceties in their tracks!  I love the ritual of tea making, it gives you something to do & say while you adjust to each other's energies.  Anyway, I digress.  Who do I wish to have tea with?

My initial reaction, which I always listen to, was ME!  I love this time of the morning, when everyone has been taken, or taken themselves, to where they need to be for the day.  And I can just sit down with a cuppa in my favourite mug and catch up with myself.  A small pause before I then get on with the rest of my morning jobs & joys.

Then, I thought about who else I would like to share a tea time with.  Grand sweeping thoughts of famous and/or inspiring people.  No-one stood out.  I realise that the person I most enjoy spending tea time when I am not in solitude, is my beloved husband.  And tonight we will be doing just that!  Tonight, we are going on a date, for the first time in I don't know how long.  We have had a dear friend staying with us for several weeks and it just occurs to us now to take advantage of some built-in babysitting!  So we will be out together.  Probably a swim & sauna followed by a cuppa at the coffee shop there.  I am sooooooo EXCITED!  Wheeeee.  A tea date with my love!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

How to decorate a Birthday Cake

Making Chjocklit cake
This little man had his third birthday recently.  On being asked what he wanted he said 'brown cake, chjocklit cake, with sweeties.'  Then I overhead him telling his little friend that he should come round & he could have some of Roo's cake & 'lollies & sweeties on it'.  So I had to make sure that there was lollies on the chjocklit cake that we made together. 

It ended up the most hilariously decorated cake.  To give a bit of background I used to be a wonder at making fun kids birthday cakes.  3D castles, dragons, log cabins, clowns, cars, ladybirds - all with butter icing rather than the easier roll out icing because I hate the taste of it.  So I had an inner pressure to create some masterpiece for my last baby's first proper party.  We tend not to do big parties for the first couple of years, just Grandparents and a small tea. 

Well, it all went to pot really.  This is what we ended up with.  Dusted with icing sugar, marshmallows speared in place with lollies, and hey, here's some candy canes left over from last Christmas (yes, we checked the best-before dates!) so stick them on somewhere.  My brother (himself a marvellous chef) and I were in hysterics as we created this confection, with our usual standards in the gutter, hurling any old sweets at it.  And you know what, Roo just LOVED it!  As did his little friends.  A child's dream cake.  Go figure.

A feast for a 3 year old. 

Bubbles in the Sun.  A birthday dream.
And lots of lovely presents with his friends
All in all, a lovely day for my dear little man.  Love you Roo boy!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

wishcrafting Wednesday: what do you wish to nourish?

Today at Jamie Ridler studio, Jamie  asks: What do you wish to Nourish?

Oh, I love the word Nourish!  It conjures up such juicy, supportive images & feelings.

I wish to nourish my family with a fabulous Menu Plan.  To get it sorted in an almost military fashion so I can just enjoy it, and not have to think too hard.  Just show up and cook!

I wish to nourish my HEArter circle & website.  To pour my joyous energy into my creative ventures.  To nourish my dreams of sustaining my family with my creativity.

Aho.  As you wish for yourself, I wish for you too.  May all your beautiful dreams come true!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Muddy pizza anyone?

Look what we have been building.  Well, when I say we, actually I had little to do with the building.  More preventing claggy feet running back into the house.  The bottom opening is a fire place and the top opening is the pizza oven.

The clay was dug from our allotment where we needed a drainage pond.  Several bags of the stuff.  Back breaking work for the boys.

They have been planning this fire pizza oven since we moved in here 5 years ago.    There have been plans & counter plans.  Drawing after drawing.  Talking around and around the subject. Checking out blogs and permaculture articles. My brother especially was so excited that we finally have moved onto this project, as he hasn't had the interim house projectsthat have delayed this project of dreams to distract him.

So the dry September and October has worked in our favour, to get this thing dried out.  I was far too pansy to do the poddling of the clay as its called, because, well, quite frankly it hurt my feet!  Apparently I was unlucky and got the stoniest mix.  So I did the back-of-house stuff of making tea & bringing kettles to keep the feet warm.  We discovered that using warm water sped up the process by about half an hour.

Trial and error led to expertise by the time we got half way up the fireplace.  My beloved knew just how much sand and straw was needed to make the best mixture.  We still have the final test of lighting the fires, but it looks great!  I think it will be a while before its fully dried out, especially now the rains have decided to come.  There is still the small matter of a chimney pipe to be added.  Once it is fully dried out, the shaping bags of sand will be cut & removed.  Hopefully leaving a beautiful space to fire up.

The remaining straw bales have made a fantastic playground...

Friday, 21 October 2011

Look who's moved in!

This little (or actually not so little) fella popped his head out the other day as we were trying to clear the garden a bit.
It was all very exciting.  And boy could he cover some ground when he jumped away.  Anyone know what type he is?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Dreaming into the Darkening Nights

Full Moon found us Happy Ever Arters doing our dreamin' thang.  Our HEArter session this time was to meditate on what we wanted to have in our lives as we move into the long evenings of winter.  The time of short days.
Cutting and ripping.  Feeling and gluing.  And some Chai of course...

And a whole lot of mess to gleefully clear up.
Isn't it odd, I really don't mind clearing up after a HEArter session.  The chance to get together a bunch of creative sisters and make a mess, means that clearing up together is just a continuation of that joy.  Now if I could just extend that thinking to my everyday tidy up...

Friday, 14 October 2011

Yesterday my daughter said to me, (after I had done a quick blitz on the main & ensuite bathrooms)

"Mummy, thankyou for our sink.  Its lovely and clean"

I know, right?  I was astounded.  And oh so totally gratified.  But then I started to wonder if perhaps I had left it rather too long between cleans.    I mean, was it so awful before that a 9 year old should notice? 

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Worlds Biggest Summit.

Wow People!  If you haven't already done so, get along to Goddess Leonie's latest offering to the world.  The Worlds Biggest Summit started at the beginning of October, but its not too late to join.  (I hope!)

So far the contributers have all been fascinating and inspirational, with so much to learn & explore.  I just dont know where to begin!  Each day, there are 3 wonderous teachers to choose from.

And even better.... ITS FREE!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Allotment tending

Allotment lovin this weekend, enjoying the sunshine.  This poor plot has been badly neglected this summer holiday and was long overdue some TLC.

From this... Oh dear, there is a raised bed and a path somewhere under here.

To this.  Not finished but a good start at least.  Two buckets of convulvulous, aka bloody bindweed.  I am blessed with an awful lot of the stuff.  That was just part of one bed.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Autumnal joys & wishcrafting

Today Roo went of to his wonderful Forest school.  I drop him at a field on a Dorset country estate & he spends all day in the woods, including lunch over a camp fire.  Ahh, just lovely.  And today.  Oh, to all my fellow brits, today was an unexpected day of Summer.  Seriously, I had to go refind my cool clothes.  I mean, obviously I am always cool, I mean my non-warm clothes. :)

Driving home, with an empty car, I revelled in the beauty of the morning.  I found myself pulling into the layby for our favourite walk to the 'top of the world'.  On my own.  And I went for a glorious walk.  On my own.
I realised its the first time I have taken myself for a walk, in I can't remember how long.

The dew was heavy on the grass and the multitude of cobwebs.  It shimmered rainbows all around my feet.  My photography skills (or can I blame my camera?) just couldn't do the colours justice.

This week on Wishcrafting with Jamie Ridler she asks 'what do you wish for Autumn?'  Well, actually she used the word Fall, but its forever autumn to me. (Also a fave song by Justin Haywood)

What do I wish for?  More of this please.  Wonderful solitary walks.  And shared ones too.  Enjoying this fantastic countryside I live in.

As you wish for yourself, I wish for you too. x

Friday, 23 September 2011

Summer roundup Part 2

Continuing on with the 'so that was summer' pictures.  Again, warning. Photo heavy!

We remembered our dear friend Aileen, who died last year.  It was a wonderful memorial.  Sad but glorious too, as the clan gathered to laugh & cry at our our memories & our loss.

Even in amid the sadness, we managed to insert some joys
Sunset over Lake of Menteith
A toast to Aileen with a favoured tipple, chilled Scottish style
Moving on to more cheery fare, My 9 yr old daughter, Bini, is suddenly very into makeovers.  This is her attempting to make my curly hair straight using a water spray.  She seemed to enjoy herself.  Sadly I have no pictures of the actual make-up, which my beloved referred to as a Transylvanian hooker look...

And she needed to be made over herself with a new hair cut for her new school.

Her first hair cut at a Salon, with proper hair wash & blow dry.  Check out that Swish!

We saw my lovely uncle happily married.  He is my Dad's twin & he gave me away at my wedding after my father died earlier that year (& he'd got divorced).  So it was lovely to see him walk down the aisle with a woman we all love.  He hired a vintage coach for us all to get to the wedding in.  It was like being in an Enid Blyton story driving through the picturesque town of Ludlow!

I fell totally in love with a Brazilian beauty.  She has made my beloved an uncle for the first time.  My sister-in-law is a glorious joyous mother & she has chosen a lovely man to make this baby with.  I just wish they weren't all going away to Brazil next month.  Sigh.

We camped with some of our favourite people.

Ukulele lessons from the Fae.  He just loved this!
All in all we had a fantastic summer! 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Wishcrafting: Immersion

Today,  for Wishcrafting Wednesday, Jamie Ridler asks

'What do you wish to immerse yourself in?'

Join us with our wishes!
I wish to immerse myself in my life.  To live its beauty richly, to feel its sorrows keenly, to laugh its joys loudly, to sing its song.  To immerse myself in its Present moment, not to lose it in wondering & worrying about the future present moments.  To allow my heart to be as messy & free as my hair.

As you wish for yourself, I wish for you too. x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Summer round up - Part one

Well.  It has been rather a long time since I spent any time here.  So I thought I'd do a round up of the summer.  As much to remind me of what wonders it held.  It is so easy to forget the golden moments,  to generalise & fail to notice the gems.  Warning. Photo heavy!

Oh, the excitment of learning to pop seed heads!
Ahh, I can almost smell this evening walk thru the barley
 We got ourselves out & about.  Explored the beautiful New Forest a bit more.
Isn't this just what childhood summers should look like?!

Here be Treasure!
  There was some serious playing.  And even some collaborative efforts!  See, Mumma, it wasn't all fighting & arguing.  I do need to remind myself.  At the time and afterwards.

Spinning is so much more fun with a friend,

Experiments in Slime!
A helping hand on the zip slide.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

New Moon Magic

Goodness, I have been away from blogland for a long time.  I missed you!

Once again, it is my Arting that brings me back.  We continued our HEArter sessions with this weeks full moon.  Creating in joy with some wonderful circle sisters.  We got gloriously messy.

Painted & drank Chai.  In some vintage china, of course!

Cut up images & words that sang to our spirit.  Enjoyed & shared our creations.

Thankyou my sweet sisters for a wonderful evening.  Here's to many more! x

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

& they all live Happy Ever Arter!

Hurrah!  I have finally done it.  I have finally achieved my dream of a Women's creative spirituality group.  I have been dreaming of Happy Ever Arter for some time now.  But too timid to actually ask any of the wonderful women that I know to join me.  So I continued to work alone, at home, using art & craft as a path to self exploration.  Dreaming in my journal of how it might be if some other Goddesses joined with me in a circle.  Trying to work out how to do it.

Then I watched a conference with Christine Kane, and one of her bullet points struck a total chord.  Take Imperfect Action.  Don't wait until everything is perfect.  That might not happen.  Just do it, as best you can in the moment.

So, I sent out an email to invite some beautiful women I know.  And to my suprise & delight, they all thought it was a great idea too.  HEArter was taking shape.

And so, last night, some of these lovely souls joined me in our inaugral circle.  We sang together, played with colour & created our own colour wheel with various found object we all brought to the circle.  Joining in with Louise Gales' colour wheel challenge.
We drank Chai & wine, talked about our painting, life & other things.  Created a beautiful circle of colour & light togther & took it away in our hearts.  A glorious evening & beginning.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Am I worth the good stuff?

Its time for me to start a new journal.  No big deal.  I love my journal.  I spend quite alot of time in it.  I have a plethora of blank books.  I am in a habit of buying them from our cheappie shop whenever they have some in stock, often end-of-line stuff from other shops.  They are OK quality & I use gesso when I paint the pages. 
But in my collection is a posh one.  with 160gsm paper.  I have decided that this time I am going to use it.  I have had to talk myself into it.  I can't believe how long I have had this and not felt qualified to use it.  Because it cost.  Proper money.  I have just realised that I bought this before my children were born.  My eldest is due to turn 10 in a few months!  Even now I feel twitchy at 'wasting' it just to paint & write in.  Unbelievable. 

I am so worth the good stuff.  I am so worth the good stuff.  Repeat at will.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Wishcraft Wednesday. Opening Doors

Wishcraft Wednesday.  This week Jamie Ridler asks:

What Door do you wish to open?

Love the fact that there is a catflap in this door in the sky!
This for some reason is rather a tricky one.  I kinda know, but for some reason its hard to admit.  The door I want to open is the door to Business.  I want to start my own bizniz.  To be able to support myself & my family.  The only stumbling block is I have NO CLUE.  What to I can do, how to do it, where to do it, when to do it.  You get the idea.  No real idea, just a sense of wanting.  So that is the door I need to travel through.  Anyone know where it is?!
What Door do you wish to open?  As you wish for yourself, I wish for you also.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A tiger came to tea

Meet Jerry.  Local rafe & scoundrel.  Charmer & libertine.  My kids love him!
Deciding if he can make the leap over the stable door...
He loves nothing better than to charm his way into their affections & then the house.  He doesn't take no for an answer.
But he will submit to lots of love and attention.