Monday, June 15, 2020

The Homespun Home

We've had the paint pots out again! This time we have tackled the open-plan snug and conservatory. Gone are the beige walls and the built in storage box and in it's place we have a lovely clean, light airy space. We painted all the walls a light grey and we have used the same blue we used in the hallway on the chimney breast to create a bit of continuity throughout the downstairs living area.


It looks much nicer we think. We are just waiting for a new rug to arrive to finish it all off. That should arrive later on this week.


On the knitting front, I have made good progress with my Woodland Walk socks. I have just finished the first one and made a start on the second. I am using my own yarn in the Mrs Tiggywinkle colourway. I think it may be out of stock at the moment but I will be dying up some more in DK weight. I think these will be off the needles much quicker than the Nutkin socks.

 
I couldn't wait to finish these before casting on the Wood Nymph socks in my very own Bracken Woodland colourway. You can visit my Etsy shop to check out what yarns I still have in stock at the moment.


These are for my eldest daughter and she wants a cuff that she can fold over which is why it is so long. This is another lacy patterned sock pattern and I am looking forward to seeing what this yarn looks like all knit up.

So this week... I have my very dear friend coming over for a visit. I can't wait to see her it has been far too long! I'm sure that we shall be nattering and putting the worlds to rights over a delish home cooked lunch and cuppa tea. 

It's also time to get the dye-pots out and restock the shop. I have been doing a little forward planning over the weekend for some autumnal yarns and stitch markers if I can convince my daughter to make them and project bags so keep your eyes out for those!

I'm hoping that this week will be a more productive week all round for me and I hope that you too will have a productive and blessed week.

Take care all and may God's richest blessings be yours today.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Trusting in Him

Hello my lovelies! I hope that you are feeling happy, at peace and content. I have to admit to not always feeling so this week. I can't really put my finger on why but I have generally felt very unproductive. I feel like I should have done more than I actually have! 

I also made the HUGE mistake of taking my daughter to IKEA this week. Although there were no long queues I'm afraid that social distancing inside the store was just about impossible making the whole experience a little stressful. I will not be doing that again in a hurry!

I have been finding peace in God's Word. Those quiet moments in the morning with a cup of coffee, the Bible and a notebook help me to find calm in a turbulent world.

I have purchased 'Making Your Home a Haven' off Amazon. This study is written by Courtney Joseph of Women Living Well. She generally runs this study each autumn but I felt that while I am at home full time it seems the right time to do it. This study encourages you to slow down in the midst of the worlds craziness and to drink deeply from God's Word - again, a good study for this time.


One of the things she encourages you to do is to light a candle daily and when the flickering flame catches your eye to be reminded to pray. This week there has been much to pray about not only in with what is happening in the world but within our extended family. My sister-in-law's husband fell gravely ill (not Covid related) very suddenly last week Monday. He has been in ICU and the prognosis is not good. If you can please will you hold this family up in prayer while they navigate this very difficult time and say prepare to possibly have to say goodbye to a wonderful man, husband and father. We are still praying for Paul's healing and miraculous recovery and would appreciate you joining with us in prayer.



I am reminded to keep my eyes fixed on Christ for He is the author of all life. It's not always easy is it? As Christians we face the same difficult situations that others do, at least we have the hope that is in Christ but sometimes that can feel wobbly and I think it's okay to admit that to God. 

Each time I lift someone up in prayer since losing two dear friends to cancer last year I find the niggling voice of doubt pop up and voice my inner thoughts...'Why bother? Your prayers didn't make any difference to your friends why should it now?'

Isn't the enemy crafty! 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

This world is tough. Good people get sick and die whilst it seems evil continues to thrive. We live in a fallen world and we would do well to remember that. It is because we live in a fallen world that Jesus came, died for us and rose again. 

So I will continue to hope in the Lord and I will continue to pray and lift up those who are ill and suffering. I will avert my gaze from the world and it's faults and instead focus on the beautiful face of Jesus and allow that to soak deep into my soul so that I can love the broken, the suffering, the sick of mind, body and spirit for that is what we are called to do.

I think that it is even more difficult now with our churches being closed and our fellowship with others having been cut off. All the more reason for us to keep delving into the word of God and praying. Let's keep praying for one another, for our families, our friends and for those who we don't even know but so desperately need to know the love of God.

May the God of all hope keep you all in perfect peace today.

Blessings in Christ.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Seasonal Observances & Musings

Hello my lovely friends, how has your week been panning out? Here in the UK we have gone from days like this... 

 

To something more like this...



...and it is glorious! I so appreciate the rain to water my parched garden. We've had so little rain this spring with is very unusual for us. I have to admit that as much as I love the sunshine I also love the rain. The sound of the falling rain is comforting and the wonderful aroma of the earth after a shower is just wonderful.

This week we've done a bit of exploring around Chester. I am amazed that even though we have lived in this city for a little under 2 years, we still find places to explore that we didn't know about! This week we took a drive to a pick-your-own farm nearby. Although we can't do this at the moment we were seriously getting a bit of cabin fever so a drive to the farms farm shop, which is open, was in order. 

We had not gone very far when we discovered a small nature reserve park, right around the corner from our new home. We decided that we would explore it later on in the week which have since done.


It is a little gem! There are lovely walkways, a few rolling grassland areas, woodland and a lovely little pond with a healthy duck population. 


The drakes were all having a nap in the grass while mama duck looked after her brood of very healthy ducklings. As you can see the yellow flag irises are in season, they are so lovely!


The Elderflower is just coming into season as the moment. I am reminded that even though the world is a very strange and unhappy place at the moment, nature ignores it all and keeps to it's rhythms. I find much comfort in that.


The nature reserve has an abundance of elderflower, so much that I think we may get some elderflower cordial made this year and possible elderflower syrup in the autumn! Last year I did not get around to making elderflower cordial so it will be nice to do so this year. I have shared my elderflower cordial exploits and recipe's before, you can read all about it in my posts Food from the Hedgerows in 2014 and Storing Summer's Bounty from 2017.


The foxgloves are looking spectacular at the moment and I have to say that they are filling me with joy. I have so many in the garden and I'm looking forward to the foxglove patch growing year after year. My garden generally brings me much pleasure and peace. I've posted many gardening posts over the years like this Beautiful June post from 2015. This week it's been rather windy and I've enjoyed hearing and watching the wind blow through the branches of the magic tree...


I love looking up into the branches of this tree as the wind moves through the branches. I love how the swaying boughs and swishing leaves mesmerize and calm the soul...such simplicity.

Now I think it's time for me to love and leave you for today. The kettle has just boiled and I'm looking forward to a cuppa tea and a spot of knitting! 

Wishing you all a blessed day.

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Monday, June 01, 2020

Weekending

We've become a bit of a bumblebee hospital around here. We have so many and every-so-often we find one who is a little dehydrated and needs a helping hand with a maple syrup shot. We even have one bee that we found who has a deformed wing and therefore cannot fly at all. He gets his daily shot of maple syrup and then placed gently on a rose flower or perhaps an iris to go about his bee business. He crawls about and is quite quick in getting to wherever he wants to go. He has given up trying to fly and is just getting on with living his best bee life - all his food needs being met by those doting humans who live in the house nestled in his garden.


I've been baking quite a bit the last few days, another of those wonderful home blessing activities that I have neglected over the past year. We've had a weekend of indulging on traditional English cream teas in the garden which is definitely not good for the waistline but has been so wonderfully lovely. 

Sitting in the garden in the shade of the gazebo, washing drying in the sunshine and the sprinkler watering the grass while we sip our tea and enjoy our scones piled high with cream and jam is one of the joys of summer as far as I'm concerned.


This morning I had reason to bake a lovely lemon drizzle cake for I had a friend over for tea and cake in the garden. Lockdown restrictions lifted a little more today which means we are now allowed to have friends or family over to visit as long as it is in the garden and no more than 6 people. It was so lovely to catch up with her. This is what is important, isn't it? Fellowship with friends and family.


Although we have been loving all this sunny weather and garden time I have to say that I was pleased to see that we can expect a bit of rain later on in the week. The garden is really dry and I am watering my pots of herbs and sweetpeas at least once, sometimes twice a day.


As you can see the sweetpeas are really responding to all this warmth and watering and are growing fairly quickly now. I can't wait for the plants to ramble all over the balustrading and be awash in sweet-smelling sweetpeas. It's so funny for me to think that at one point in my life I really struggled with growing sweetpeas. I just had NO luck with them. Then one year, 2016 if I remember correctly, I did something (who knows what) and they flourished. That summer I had sweetpea bouquets indoors every single day. 

Plans for this week:

Homekeeping:

My file crate is in desperate need of a revamp so I will be spending a morning getting that in order. I have not properly utilized this great system for a little while now and I have to say that things were far more organized when it was in place and being used actively as part of my planning system. Now that we have moved out of the homeschooling season it will require a bit of tweaking to work for the new season we find ourselves in. I'll be sure to post on this once it is done.


Garden:

The weeds seem to be flourishing just as much as the plants so we will need to put a stop to that. I don't use any pesticides in my gardens as we have hedgehogs and lots of birds so it's all manual weed pulling for me. I also have a selection of seeds that I want to plant this week. Most of these will only flower next year but if I get the plants established this year we will be able to enjoy a garden bursting with colour next summer.  

What are your plans for this week? Do you have any tasks that you have been putting off that you could tick off the 'To-Do' list? Any home blessings planned? Now that we are in June (already!) could it be time to start planning what Christmas gifts you want to make this year and get a head start? Do let me know.

Blessings to you all today... 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A Few of my Favourite Things

As you know...its the simple and small things in life that bring me much joy. I thought that I would share a few of my favourite things that have brought me joy this week.

I've always been a bit of a soap-n-water kind of girl with regards to skincare. It seems to have worked for me for the most part but lately I've seen that my skin could do with a little extra pampering. It seems a little dryer than it used to be which shows up those fine lines rather well, much to my horror.

In my quest to find beauty products that work for me without wasting money on buying products that may or may not work for me, I have signed up for the Glossybox. Have you heard of it before? Its a monthly beauty box subscription. Each month you get a pretty box of 5 beauty products to try out delivered to your door. I've taken out a 12-month subscription which puts the cost at £8.50/month plus postage.

The box contains makeup, skincare and hair products from leading brands. Some are testers and some are full-size. It's a great way to try things out at a reasonable price rather than buying something you think sounds good at full price and finding out its a disaster. 


I must say that apart from getting to try out some great products I love receiving the pretty box each month, it's a real treat for the price of 2 or 3 coffees. If you want to give it a try hop on over and check it out HERE.


Around the home this week I've hung up the summer bunting as summer is literally just around the corner. Perhaps I should have hung it up earlier because we have been having such fantastic spring weather this year.

The little garden shed has its bunting and two strings have been hung on the gazebo. There is just something about bunting don't you think? It is so festive and joyful and makes everything just that little bit extra special. 

I had a little string of crochet bunting I made a good few years back but that seems to have disappeared or been misplaced. I will have one final look for it this week but may have to get going on another string. You can never have too much bunting!



I have been working on Lucy's (from Attic 24) Dune Blanket. It took me a few go's to get the pattern right but once you get the hang of it it's easy enough to do. I love the soft muted colour pallet which is very reminiscent of our time spent living near the ocean.

Do you have any favourite magazines that you subscribe to?


I subscribe to 'Landscape' magazine and look forward to its arrival each month. this week July's edition arrived and it's full of tasty-looking summer recipes, crafts and of course articles on the beautiful English countryside. 

If you are keen to get a feel for what it's all about then pop on over to their website and have look. If you love all things British and seasonal then this is definitely the magazine for you. I keep all my copies and have a lovely basket full of them, about 4 years' worth. 

When I plan my seasonal decor or activities I always bring out this magazine for ideas...and Pinterest of course.



Finally, I just had to share a picture of my gazebo at the bottom of the garden. It brings me such joy for many reasons. During the day it's lovely to go down there and sit away from the house looking back over the garden. It's peaceful and I can hear the wind rustling in the branches of the tree overhead, listen to the birdsong that never seems to stop, watch the bumblebees go about their business oblivious to my presence and the squirrels who like to dance along the fence tops as they ponder whether to brave raiding the bird feeder with me sitting in such close proximity!



When the sun slips away at the end of the day we put on the lights and it is transformed into a magical fairyland, a perfect spot to enjoy with friends in late summer. I think that it will be just as lovely in the autumn as long as we add a burner and cozy blankets for warmth.

Now...I'm off to get lost on Pinterest as I have some summer 'home blessings' to plan which incidentally is another of my favourite things!

Blessings to you all...