Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Little Crochet...

As if there wasn't enough to do at this time of year, last week I started to crochet a lap blanket.  Not just any lap blanket... a blanket for my Mother as a Christmas gift.  I had been toying with this idea for a little while but procrastinated for some unknown reason.  My mum often uses a lap blanket for comfort and warmth so it felt like a suitable homemade something to give.  Then, suddenly the perfect pattern was created, developed and shared by the wonderful Sandra of Cherry Heart.

Her beautiful Painted Roses Blanket was absolutely what I had imagined and had not been able to find beforehand!  It was fate and thanks to the beauty of the internet I purchased the pattern and started my very own Painted Roses Blanket.

This is a soothing, rhythmic pattern which is actually a surprise to me as I thought I'd need to really concentrate to create something so pretty.  Thankfully, after the first couple flowers I had the pattern down (thanks particularly to Sandra's wonderfully helpful hints and photos provided with the pattern).

I've made 15 flowers with their leaf component so far and think that I'll add the final rounds to make the squares once I've crocheted all the flower rounds.  I plan to add some plain granny squares to the blanket to add balance (considering I'm doing a larger size) and I wanted to use yarn that I already had to minimize cost.  I also aim to back the crocheted blanket with fleece to add extra snuggle factor.

I'm really enjoying this project and seeing my little pile of crocheted 'Painted Roses' gradually grow. I aim to have it finished by Christmas day, which is a time pressure I'm not really used to - I usually like to take my time but that often means I have many projects in progress yet to be finished.  Hopefully as it's a gift I'll actually finish it in time!!

I'm finding that tackling a big crochet project at this time of year is especially enjoyable as it has meant that I've needed to slow down and carve out some creative time amid the hustle and bustle.  I will share a full ta dah in the new year (fingers crossed I finish it in time!!)  I'm sure many of you are aware of Sandra's amazing patterns - I can definitely recommend this one!

J9 x

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Simple Happy Things This Week

: :  The pure joy intrinsic in flying a kite.  Whatever the age... if the wind is blowing and you feel a little low - go fly a kite.  It is instantly uplifting.

: :  The Littlie's participated in a school fundraiser for Save the Children and as part of this wore their Christmas jumpers.  Cue very excited children and lots of giggles.

: :  A hot chocolate with happy sprinkles!!  I had an arthogram this week (a detailed MRI with dye injected directly into the hip joint).  This is always a strange feeling and to stave off a fainting fit and sickness afterwards I treated myself to sitting for an hour in the hospital cafe while I regained my composure!

: :  Some one on one girly time with Little Lady while the boys were at football.  We went 'Christmas Window Shopping' - oohing and aahing at lights and decorations.  We love the Monty Penguin advert and there was a whole interactive display dedicated to the penguins at a certain department store - which we both enjoyed!!  Little Lady has a rabbit (purchased whilst I was pregnant with her) that is as important to her as Monty is to the little boy in the advert and I was delighted one year to find a bigger version in a charity shop a couple years ago which became Bop Bop's mummy.  So lovely - have not seen another one since so it was meant to be.

Christmas is well and truly on its way and the excitement levels in this household are rising!  I've just started soaking the fruit for our Christmas cakes and the tree is decorated and awaiting wrapped presents to be placed under its branches!  Christmas carols and parties galore are taking place next week, which is sure to get us all in the Christmas spirit!  Plus we went on the Santa Train this morning (I think a post of this alone will follow as I took lots of pictures!)  It was a lovely family experience and a very special treat.

I hope there were happy things in your week and that you all have a fantastic weekend.  Happy Christmas!!
J9 x

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Sunny Sunday

The months of winter experienced so far in our part of SW England have been largely mild with dark grey skies and mist that obscures most of the sunshine from our lives.  Time indoors requires lighting throughout the day due to the low light levels and those wonderful crisp, blue-skied winter days have been numbered.  However, last Sunday was one of those days where the sun shone and the need to exploit the opportunity to go outdoors was irresistible!

It seems that the sun crept into many bloggers lives on Sunday and I've seen a few posts admiring the winter skies over the past week which made me smile.  Somehow even though I don't physically know these people I find it heartwarming that many people look up at the same big sky and smile.  It somehow makes the world feel smaller and more intimate - to think that the same Sunday sun has given pleasure and a definite need to be outdoors across some of the blogging community.  As such, my post today is an homage to those Sunday Skies and the immense pleasure inherent within witnessing the sight of an ever changing sky.


Despite all my physical impairments we are an outdoor family.  It is a place where I feel most alive, most connected with my special people and most spiritually inspired.  The pure joy in Simple Things is inescapable and for that I am eternally grateful.  All these pictures were taken within one afternoon - the sky was like a rolling canvas.

Time seems to be flying by in the month leading up to Christmas.  Of course, it is always a busy month and I will have sporadic time online for the rest of December.  I hope you have a wonderful lead up to Christmas - I am hoping to pop back in to cyber land soon but it's always the first thing to slip so blessings to you all and thank you for commenting and popping by over the past year.  It's been a joy to get to know you all more.

Happy December - and here's hoping we have more beautiful Sunny Skies to enjoy this month.
J9 xxx

Friday, 5 December 2014

More Mevagissey

I had a wonderful response to the post I did recently regarding our family visit to this little port.  In that post I mentioned I had a little wander off to the outer harbour on my own with my faithful spaniel.  It was a slow meander to drink in the colours and smells but I was also struck by the multitude of textures - both man made and natural, which added interest and beauty to this little place.  I hadn't wanted to overload my previous post with photography (with things that perhaps only some find beautiful) but as many of you enjoyed it I thought I'd share some more?


I do so love the beautiful turquoise colours of the seaside.  Even the ropes used are turquoise tones and I love that - function and beauty together.  Just wonderful.

And of course, my faithful friend, Milo.  He is such a fabulous family dog and a great companion while I take random pictures - which you've got to love!!

Happy weekend folks.  I hope you are warm and happy wherever you are.
J9 x

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A Misty Mevagissey

During half term we visited my childhood home and of course this trip wouldn't be complete without a visit to the sea.  It renews my being and feeds my soul.  It's so strange - I literally feel a wave of calmness come over me.  The weather wasn't fantastic which meant that a beach wasn't the best idea - so we chose a local harbour - Mevagissey for our jaunt.  

In the inner harbour the boats were literally jostling for space.  They were moored up in their over wintering positions protected from the worst of the winter weather ahead.  Some of the little boats were lined up like soldiers in smart lines yet with different uniforms; their design, colour and size all varied.  We love to look out for boat names which often have meaning like 'Our Dream' or 'Sea Breeze'.  Little Lady found a boat with her christian name and was completely delighted.

The still water in the inner harbour reflected those beautiful colours even though the sun was nowhere to be seen.  It was such a grey, misty wet day yet there was so much colour and texture around to enjoy.

The outer harbour below was less packed but the mist was much more pronounced.  There were a couple of large (expensive) yachts moored up alongside the little fishing boats.  I do enjoy looking back towards land from an outer harbour wall.  The dwellings look nestled in so efficiently to the shape of the landscape.  They literally mould to the shape of the cliffs where people must have originally dug out a home straight into the side of the port.

This house in particular fills me with wonder.  I don't know much of the history of this architecture but it looks old and original!!  I love it for its quirkiness.  Many of the houses are largely covered in Cornish slate - partly because it is a local material and partly because it protects the surface from the attack of the salty elements.  The harbourside is like a jigsaw, carefully fitting its pieces into the slopes around the sea.

This cormorant was drying himself with his wings outstretched.  I'm not sure if this action actually dried him on this occasion - by this point the weather had deteriorated to 'Cornish Mizzle' - a mix of mist and drizzle which is ridiculously efficient at making anyone or anything very wet!!

Although the weather deteriorated we did enjoy our little visit to the Cornish seaside.  The little aquarium has been recently refitted and entry is by donation so that experience added to our enjoyment.  As did the delicacy of Cornish ice cream - to be relished even on a cold, autumn, misty wet day... Why not?!

Why not indeed.

J9 x

Friday, 7 November 2014

Date Day: Coffee & Crutches

The Hubby and I managed to squirrel away some 'us' time after dropping the children in to school this week.  Although his achilles is improving he is still on crutches and so we look like a right pair together and it means that we needed to choose something simple for our Date Day.

Coffee with a view was the obvious choice.  At the sea front the tide was out and the little fishing boats looked like they had been lulled to sleep on their sides in the autumn sunshine.

The sand sparkled as the sun hit the surface and whilst we sat sipping our coffee in the unusually warm sun, I did feel extremely content with our simple life.  I needed that moment - to refocus ourselves on what is important; to try not to worry about what we can't change and be fully present and appreciative of this goodness.

It's been a strange time at present with my health and continuing searches for additional diagnosis.  I have decided to just go with it and not worry.  I have had these symptoms for a good while and a label will not change the reality so I'm trying to be more relaxed about the process.  

Coffee and a chat can help reestablish perspective - and great company and a good view doesn't hurt either!!  Thank you all for your kind comments and wishes for my health.  I'm alive and happy just struggling a little with pain at present but this is nothing new.  All will be well.

I do so hope all will be well with you all too,
J9 x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Beautiful Blue

I find the beauty in nature is sometimes breathtaking; colour, texture and pattern are so inspiring.  There are moments when I can see such beauty, appreciate it and move on and there are others when I literally just want to drink it up.

My Father developed this enthusiasm in me - awe in the miracle of the world.  I feel very connected spiritually when I am emerged in the outdoors.  It makes me feel alive and part of something wonderful yet at the same time a small part of a much wider picture.

Growing up... the sea was always my go to place - whatever I was feeling the sea re-centred me.  It's power, energy and beauty I find awesome - and the colours are my favourite tones in the world - from deep blues to emerald greens to turquoise.  They do feed my soul.

The colours in this Beautiful Blue made me feel so immensely happy.

The deep jewel colours set against the back drop of autumnal browns was outstanding and perhaps even more beautiful because of this contrast.  He was tame too so fed from the children's hands, which of course they LoVED.

Enough to make my heart literally sing.  
Simple Things.

Hope you are finding colour in your part of the world,
J9 x