Friday, February 05, 2016

Five on Friday

Hello and happy February everyone. Do you know I had the very best of intentions to be here waaaay before now, but the truth is that it's been a bit of an emotional old week for me. The best I can manage this week is my Five on Friday link up with Amy from Love Made My Home.


I'll start with why it's been a bit of an emotional time for me. As we go through the life of parenting, we know that in raising our children certain things are bound to happen. As a homeschooling mom one of those things is that at some point my eldest would go off to college and it would just be my youngest and I at home. And so you try to prepare yourself for the event. It is a joy of course to see your little ones grow into responsible, kind and loving young adults, but there is a part of my heart that would just like to keep my girls with me always.

September this year has been the time I've been preparing for. My eldest will go off to college (still living at home mind you - thank goodness!) and things would change in our daily routine. But then something comes along and changes all that.

An Apprenticeship has been that 'something'. My eldest really wanted to try and get a hairdressing apprenticeship. She love the idea of working in a salon from the start as it would give her a realistic insight and work experience and thus an edge over those in full-time study. She also loved the thought of earning while learning.
So of course I encouraged her. She applied for a place on the apprenticeship scheme at college and got a place. She secured a trial day at a lovely salon within a 10 minute walk from home. The trial day went well and she was asked back for a 2nd trial day. It went equally well and she was offered an apprenticeship - immediately!
What excitement! She's happy, we are happy for her. I dropped her off on Thursday for her first full day of work and went home. We are all still happy.
DD2 and I sit down to do our Bible study. We discuss what we have read and how we can apply it and then settle down to pray. DD2 prays beautifully and asks God to be with DD1. My turn to pray, I start off - midway through my first sentence and I start crying. I cry some more and then I can't stop for a while.
Suddenly it dawns on me that in one day life as we have always known it has changed forever. No longer will there be three on our nature walks, three at read aloud, three doing things together. Now only two. It's a tough thing to come to peace with.
I have to say that today is better and I know that each day will get better still. Adjustment always takes time.


I started a new blog

Now I'm not going anywhere, Under An English Sky still stands as is and as it always has been. But I've been thinking about my blogging quite a bit lately. I love to blog - I just loooovvvvee writing, I find it very therapeutic. Sometimes I really do wonder though if my babbling on here is even remotely interesting LOL - but I write for me and I know that people come and go and that's ok.

When I first started my blog it was a place to record our homeschooling days and snippets of family life. As my girls got older I found that there was less homeschooling stuff to write about (although an occasional post still finds it's way here). I share allot about our family life and celebrating the seasons both natural and liturgical and lots of homey-type stuff. And I guess that is how this space will still be. 

I am naturally quite a organised person and see things in subjects, areas, blocks etc. And there is a part of me - a bit part - that loves writing, travelling, beautiful writing tools, stationary (lame I know lol) and lifestyle things like decorating and - not 'fashion' per-say but rather 'grooming' looking presentable.

Do you know that I studied fashion design at college? There is an interest there. Motherhood has most definitely tamed that side but I don't see why mum's can't look good on a budget, or why they should not bother because they are mums.

Now let me just say that for years and years I was more than happy for my own appearance to take a back seat because motherhood is all consuming sometimes. But lately I've noticed that my skin is needing more attention. Soap and water are just not cutting any longer. Before I just could not justify the 'spend' on the right products for my own skin when my daughters teen skins were going wild. I can always justify why I can put my own needs on the back burner and put my children's needs first - we all do that.

As I've been watching my teens grow up and fuss about their hair and make-up etc I was transported back 10 years and really felt that although I'm not someone to spend hours in front of a mirror - really, life is too short - I do want to take a bit of time to look good for my husband. To take care of my skin for me - because it was looking and feeling tired and dry and blah!

Anyhoo - I digress! My new blog is a place (a lovely sectioned off box) where I can discuss all these things. Planners, travel, stationary, health, beauty, lifestyle and writing. Not everyone's cup of tea and quite different from what I share here. But if you are interested in having a look you can visit me over at With Her Pen. I'm still building my site - it's with Wordpress so I'm undergoing a bit of a learning curve too.  


A cute picture of my cat who was less than impressed with having her cute little ears pinned back for a photograph. But she is just SO cute I couldn't resist LOL.


This is all about my Etsy store which is doing so well! Thank you to all who visit and buy from my store. My daughter and I have such fun making these things.

I've learnt so much over the past few months. I've learnt that packaging is important and that actually, I love packaging up and making it a delight to receive as much as I like making these things.

I recently bought something from another Etsy seller and her charge for packing was quite steep. I don't charge allot for p&p, I don't think you need to. You can make your package look pretty without a huge cost. I think I would rather just get what I bought for a fair price rather than pay almost the same again for the sake of pretty packaging. I hate opening my purchase and getting covered in glitter anyway!

Anyhoo, this week I made a custom cover for a lovely lady who needed to protect her fauxdori (a variation of a Midori Travellers Notebook). I love the colours she chose.

I had a marathon dashboard making session, so my Etsy Shop is has a whole new range of modern but pretty dashboards for Filofax planners.

and my daughter made - and sold out! - a number of sets of knitting stitch markers. Her work is so amazing! I can't believe how clever she is. Her attention to detail is just incredible. I think there is only one set of stitch markers left.


Back on Instagram! I was on Instagram, then off, then on and then I got KICKED off twice!

This is what I posted...

Yip - offensive isn't it? I think the problem came in in that you cannot post things that are not your own pictures. Although I have to say I've seen THOUSANDS of things that are clearly not self-taken pictures but rather shared quotes. 

'Fine', thought I, 'I'll just open another IG account'. Erm - no! IG flags your IP address from your phone. So I had to use an old phone to sign up to a new IG account. So far so good - but if I suddenly disappear off the IG radar again - well who knows!

If you are on Instagram and what to hook up with me there you can find me @shirley_ann_uk

I'll put a link or something up in my sidebar too.

So there we go - a rather looooonnnnnggg - Five on Friday post :) Have a wonderful weekend all.


  1. Its always hard as our children grow and become independent. Letting her go and supporting her decisions makes you a great Mum, it gets easier. Take care.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment Mamasmercantile - I'm grateful to you for sharing that it gets easier. :)

  2. Well, that IG thing seems a little over the top doesn't it! Hope you get it sorted out. I hope that all goes well for your oldest daughter, sounds as though it is going to be great! Having just opened up my own Etsy shop - you were one of my inspirations! - I am struggling with how to package, but as I have only had one order yet I still have time to ponder that one. I do want to make it special though, but not with glitter! Hope that all goes well with your new blog! Thank you for joining Five On Friday, happy weekend! xx

    1. Well I have found a way around the IG problem, only thing is now I carry two phones with me but only until my contract renews and I get a new phone :)
      If you look on my IG account you can have a look at how I package - it doesn't need to be over the top, just simple and pretty will do :) Congrats on your first sale BTW!!

  3. I love your daughters stitch markers, they are very pretty. I've followed you on Instagram, lovely photos and I'm a big fan of Downton even if IG aren't.

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

    1. Thank you Angela, she works so hard on her little fimo clay things. And thanks for following on IG. I think I've followed you too - gardenteacakesandme??

    2. Yes that me on IG Shirley :)

  4. Oh that poor cat of yours :))) I love your blog header! Have a nice weekend!

  5. I'm dreading the day. My daughter has 18 months before she leaves for uni and I can't imagine her not being here every morning. I remember my mother telling me that children are only borrowed but that if they are nurtured and lived they will always return. Sounds to me like you have been and are still a great mother. I have just followed you on IG too

  6. Oh you do live dangerously!!😉
    Take heart, you will find that dd1 grows up suddenly and delightfully, having hopped out of the nest a little way. In addition, you have a very special time with dd2, possibly the first time ever she has had you to herself in a concentrated period. Both my boys are away from home now and although I miss them tremendously I am relishing this unique time with my daughter, who has always been a little overlooked, because both boys were so needy, and she, being a girl, just got on by herself more. In addition my husband has been away 6 weeks now, so she and I have had a very cosy girly time! Good luck with your new blog😃


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