Monday, 22 September 2014

Celebrating Home :: 2014

Hello Lovelies,
I wonder if any of you can recall my January resolution to do a series of posts celebrating my home this year. I've just be re-reading THIS post and looking at photos of the artwork I drew to go with this idea............


All it says still holds true for me, but I did not carry on with the posts through the following months as I had planned. 
In fact my hopes for a year where things got tidier didn't materialise and our home was starting to get me down. 

I just seem to have spent too much time focusing on the small details whilst in reality SO MANY jobs piled up.

On our last day in Wales mum  and I popped into a charity shop and I was delighted to pick up this sweet framed print for a couple of pounds..............

 It's by THIS artist....I love lots of  the other work in her shop too....and she paints pebbles :0)

But returning to our home after spending time in a much bigger and neater house I could see all the jobs that I had turned a blind eye to for so long.

Time to get organised and start with some serious de-cluttering and even decorating.
It's been twelve years since I painted the smallest bedroom....I know exactly how long it's been as the last time I was pregnant with youngest and ( already having two sons ) was desperate to paint the room pink.


My twenty week scan said that no pink pant would be on the cards so I settled for lime green with a slightly heavy heart. Of course, when my beautiful baby boy was in my arms any disappointment vanished.

 I'd forgotten about my pink room wishes until I opened this tub of ceiling paint.....it goes on pink so you can see where you have painted, but quickly fades to white............


Seeing it in this space those memories came flooding back and I just felt blessed with happy, healthy children to love.

Middle son has now claimed this small, single bedroom with it's odd angles. Youngest is happy to share with his eldest brother.

My decorating is  not perfect, and the colour is darker than I had hoped, but it's tidy and freshly painted............

 I made this owl way back in 2010 HERE and middle son made the adorable alien cushion at school a couple of years ago.

Just two more bedrooms to do now....sigh.


Over the past few weeks I've also been reorganising our downstairs space. I was keen to make all our  boys some study space and I know that soon cold weather will mean our conservatory will be too chilly and dark. So to make more space in our cosy dining room I moved my welsh dresser out and popped it in the conservatory............


Eeek, it's so nice to be able to see it in a bright space were you can stand back and see it from across the room.

Here's a wider angle of this less than perfect space.............


Yes, it's still got a tumble drier in the corner and mis-matched furniture, But it's functional and colourful and TIDY, I'm happy with that.

Playing around organising these shelves always makes me smile, though I have re-donated some of the charity shop things that it held before.....and that seems like a prefect solution to my clutter war..........


Here's how it looks right now....with space for a few home-made items, or charity shop finds that will cost me pennies and give a small donation to a good cause...............


Mum was here on Thursday and she passed the time painting, both my dresser............



and the home made things on the wall next to it..................


Here's what the dining room looks like now......a shelf each for my boys school work and a place for their bags..............

 The painting is one of mum's, and middle son made the clock at school.

I had to smile when I got home from work on Friday and found this wonderful drawing by my niece..........

 She didn't even know about mum's paintings and it seemed such an amazing coincidence that she had drawn part of our home too....bless her.


I'll finish this post with a heartfelt Thank You to all of you lovelies who left such supportive and understanding comments on my previous post.


I'm feeling rather less anxious for my eldest two as they head into the GCSE years. It's just so reassuring to know other mothers feel the same and put things into a bit of perspective.
You lovelies are the best.
Jacquie x

Where we love is home - home our feet may leave, but not our hearts" Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

A Family Walk

Hello Lovelies, how are you?
I have to admit I'm struggling somewhat with the demands of these September days. Having three boys at secondary school is taking a bit of adjusting to, the looming exams my eldest two are gearing up for are a bit too important for my liking. I wish I could turn back the clock to those carefree days of their earlier years for them ( and me)...but I know that's not to be.

Of course life's not all work and school. I just seem to be struggling to find the time to record the fun bits.

On Saturday we went to one of my favourite places. HERE

I just love wandering through the woodland...........


Past the place where they turn huge lumps of wood into sculptures............


them to climb the short, steep slope to the rocky summit............



So many swallows darted through the sky above us............


I love the far reaching view fading into the distance..........



and the slightest tinge of Autumn in the trees, both near and far............



I love the smooth brass of the Toposcope.............


and my boys love climbing around on the rocks with their dad............


While I wander off, distracting my thoughts from the dangers............


aaaaahhh, such a beautiful view this way.............


and this way...........


there is a fair amount of bickering between my boys, but there's also fun and piggy backs from a big brother............


The cloud was gathering as we descended the hill.....but I loved the soft light and the spots of sunshine on the landscape below.............


There was a herd of highland cattle on the hill and they looked very content, searching for the tastiet grass between the ferns............


And all around there were signs of the turning of the seasons....
Berries changing colour on the glossy Holly..........


Fruit ripening on the brambles...........


and colourful Fungi appearing in a woody crevice.....as if by magic...........


It was a familiar walk but there's always something different to see.

We have walked past this wood carving many times and never spotted the little mouse before :0)


I do hope you are finding some time to enjoy the seasonal beauty wherever you are lovelies.
Jacquie x

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Colour in my Days

Hello Lovelies,
Just a post of colourful things that have made me smile this week.

I've finally remembered my starflower mandala which I started back in.....JULY.
I'm pleased to find the rounds I'm working now are a lot less tricky than I found the centre to be......


Most of my garden is looking rather tired and dry but there are still a few splashes of colour.
Autumn colour appearing in my little Japanese Maple tree.........


The golden flowers of my Rudbeckia plant...........


Sedums glowing pink in the early morning sunshine.............


We have been blessed with some glorious late summer weather this past couple of weeks. Out and about with Mum on Wednesday we loved this corner with it's parish noticeboard, pretty planter and bright red post box...........



I loved the colours and shape of this unknown plant...........


We also visited an exhibition of charming paintings by THIS talented artist. I loved this colourful mixed media picture.........

Blue Tits


And when I couldn't sleep last night the colourful yarn and patterns of my latest mandala soothed my over tired mind...........


Aren't beautiful colours the most wonderful, calming and uplifting thing.
Jacquie x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A Walk Before Work

Hello Lovelies,
Today I arrived early for work....this is most unusual. I parked the car and started walking towards the building where I was to spend the next ten hours with no natural light.

A cup of tea and a sit down before the days work commenced seemed appealing...but then I thought again. Glancing at my watch I realised I had a precious half an hour where I could get some exercise and fresh air.

I changed direction and waited at the pedestrian crossing for the traffic lights to halt the thunderous river of rush hour traffic.

A few moments later I was at the edge of the university campus....soaking up the late summer colours in the stunning flower beds.................


The days are already getting shorter and the shadows are long at eight in the morning..........


I walked briskly. Keen to fill my lungs with the fresh early  morning air and raise my heart rate I headed uphill, to an area of the campus I've never walked before. 

I was surprised to spot this summer house....sitting on the top of a rockery...........


 Once I got further up the hill I could see it was actually built on one huge rocky outcrop......and joyfully there were paths to explore...........


I climbed the stone steps, into the morning sun............


and was rewarded by a view of the elegant summer house.......


 and beyond it the landscape, shrouded in early morning mist........


I could hear the sound of running water and wandered down this path..............


 to find a sweet little waterfall, running into a pond with Lily pads and the first fallen leaves.................


I loved the way the sun made the white walls of the summer house glow brightly....as if it was lit from within..........


And it's rays bathed the plants and stone in a warm glow............


Oh, sadly it was time to leave............


I walked quickly along this tiny path...........


and headed back down the hill. Back to the roar of the traffic then indoors, sadly leaving the beautiful morning light behind.

All day I had images in my head of this lovely spot and my happy, chance discovery made me smile.
Jacquie x