Winter

Winter

Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day’s journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.

 

Walter de la Mare

Seedheads, swimming and chilling.

 

Hello good people! How’s your week going? I start a new term of art classes today. I am SO looking forward to it. There’s talk of seed heads, and later on a Victorian theme. Eeeeee. I don’t even know what a Victorian theme looks like…but I’m jumping in with both feet and a grin on my face. I love art class. It wakes up the excited kid in me.

 

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On the other end of the scale, Wunderlist has been broken since yesterday. This is very, very bad news. I may have to go back to a notebook. At least that usually gets returned to you if you write your name and phone number in it…

Today I thought I’d share some of my discoveries at swimming classes. (Paul and I signed up for adult improvers’ lessons because I want to extend my range of strokes and he “swims like a brick”.) For instance, no other activity is transferable to the pool, which is why I get so tired out, but everything achieved in the pool is transferable to other activities: fitness, breath capacity, stamina and co-ordination. I find that weird trade-off quite fascinating. Not fair, but fascinating.

Also, the more relaxed I become, and the more fluidly and confidently I am able to turn my body in the water to take a stroke or a breath, the easier it all becomes. And the easier it is, the more enjoyment I get, and the further I can go. Isn’t this like life? When we’re confident and flexible and unafraid to move forward freely, doors fly open to us. People are drawn to us and our relationships become  positive and energised. We are less stuck. We make things happen. It’s all about trust.

Finally, my teacher’s words, that have been bouncing around in my head for a couple of weeks:

“If you find you’re getting tired, you’re not breathing out enough.”

It’s top advice. Exhale!

Make it a beautiful day. Walk in peace.

 

Learning to swim (again)

Good sunny Sunday evening! How’s your weekend been so far?

We had a wonderful day of choosing fabric for various upcoming projects in Leicester yesterday. I love our little pilgrimages. Most of our haul came from Stuart’s Fabrics on the market (he’s still there! He’s still talking about retirement but I’m delighted to say he’s still there…that makes 24 years of buying from him…eek). We spent so long on his stall, we were too late for pizza at the Criterion. Next time. I was so tired when we got home, I went to lie down for twenty minutes and woke up six hours later. Just in time for bed. So I went to bed. I’m putting it down to a very warm day, a sleepless week, and a lot of walking and decision-making. Or maybe I’m just getting old 🙂

Today was just as exciting in a totally different way. I’ve been swimming for donkeys years, but I can’t do the face-in-the-drink stuff well. You know, where you can move through the water and breathe. Until now it’s been one or the other…not both.

So a month ago I bit the bullet and bought us some grown-ups’ lessons. I’ll be honest, I was a tiny bit scared. What if we had a class full of accomplished people and couldn’t manage? What if the horrible (fifty year old) kid dunked me? What if, what if.

I needn’t have worried. We had a lovely, funny, very able teacher who set us exercises to build our confidence and it was fun. Properly fun. The time flew by and I can’t wait for our next lesson. I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to do this. I can actually imagine doing front crawl without drowning before the year’s out.

So the moral of the story is…want it more than you are afraid of it. Whatever it is.

Have a wonderful evening!

Warning

Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

Make No. 19: Father’s Day Card

Hey 🙂 How are you doing today? Our rain has abated and we’ve been blessed with the best of English summer. My spirits needed a lift…it’s been a sad week, we’ve lost some good friends and seen some ugliness as a result of the referendum. I voted to stay – for me, political stability in Europe and concern for the environment won out – and I was keen not to throw any petrol on Mr Farage’s bonfire. What I don’t understand is the people who voted Leave but didn’t really mean it. What?!

Anyway. Let’s put it all behind us and look to the future. Appropriately enough, today’s make is a clock-themed Father’s Day card for my dad, who is a former watchmaker among other things. I’m happy to say he liked it a lot.

 

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I used an embossing folder for the main card and another on black card for the clock panel. Then it was time to mix up some acrylic paints and lose half an hour in a happy mess. Is there any better thing in the world?

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend, whatever you might be up to.

Walk in peace.

If someone left a vacuum cleaner running outdoors for three years straight, would it suck in the sky?

I saw that this trending on Twitter recently. It made me giggle. And then I thought, if I left a really intelligent vacuum cleaner running at home while I went to work, it might gather up all the dust bunnies and clutter for me…wouldn’t that be nice?

Clutter is my nemesis (also lack of sleep, but that’s a subject for another day). When bits and pieces begin to accumulate around me, I start grinding to a halt, losing focus, losing clarity, losing drive, getting tetchy. If it gets out of hand, I lose momentum altogether. The importance of clear space to me has really struck home since my wonderful, gorgeous and rather untidy man moved in. Sometimes I feel that I spend much of my time simply holding back the surging, squirming wall of Things. And we’re not big shoppers or extravagant people; it’s just that we have many interests and projects and they generate…well…Stuff. And we cannot afford to be lazy about managing it.

The trouble is, clutter attracts clutter…sometimes so slowly, it’s hardly noticeable. Beware the Crap Magnet. It tends to be a corner. The corner of the bedroom. The corner of the dining room. The corner of the shed.

I think I’ve found the solution. I’m going to live in a round house.

How do you deal with your clutter?

Fairy Damsel Throws A Needle

Hey!

I hope you’re well and enjoying your day…it’s raining bats and hamsters here but never mind. The makey train is going full steam ahead and I’m loving every second of it, so I shall smile at the rainclouds and just be thankful that the water butt is being refilled.

I’ve been designing some fan cases for our tai chi club, the existing ones are akin to the disappointment that is NHS syringe driver bag. Thin ‘n grim. We can do so much better…I’ll post some photos once the new batch is complete. I had to giggle when my tai chi teacher wrote “fairy damsel throws a needle” under a Facebook post of the new bags last night! (It’s a part of the Wudang sword form – I love the names of the moves). There are big plans afoot for the club’s apparel and accessories and I think I’m slap bang in the middle of them…exciting times.

I’ve been painting and doodling and colouring my cotton socks off since I started my drawing and painting class three weeks ago. Some of my work is making it onto handmade cards and into my shop…I’m also making up some satin and velvet crystal bags for a reiki group, I’m told the good folk stagger in with armloads of tumbling gems and are crying out for some pouches. I’ve got a notepad to finish, a tent organiser to make, and I’m planning some larp water bottle carriers too. And more syringe driver bags for the Pay It Forward campaign, there’s only one left in the shop! And that’s just this week…but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Onward and upward! Have a fabulous day!