Monday, 27 January 2014

to the sea, to the sea

I'm really not a winter kind of gal. I love Christmas, and I'm quite partial to soups and stews, but I can't stand the endless dreariness, the drizzle-soaked days and the darkness that creeps in without fail by 4pm. I miss the sunshine, the outdoors and the open spaces; gentle breezes and balmy evenings spent watering the plants. I miss nature. So we did what anyone else would do in January - packed the car with blankets, tea and biscuits, donned a gazillion woolly layers and set off to the most beautiful beach on the South Coast.

It was cold. And by cold, I mean finger-numbing, bone-chillingly freezing; the wind whipped viciously across our faces, leaving our cheeks blush-red and eyes streaming. We found a patch of shelter on the porch of a beach hut, hoping that the owners wouldn't mind us camping out for a few minutes, and poured steaming tea into plastic beakers, arming the littlests with straws and encouraging them to simply sit for a few minutes.

We passed the time wandering, running, whooping; aside from a few dog walkers and some fairly intrepid kite-surfers braving the icy waves, we were the only people for miles. We picked a good day for our expedition; after a while the sun appeared, dancing on the water enticingly, but doing nothing to thaw our frozen faces. Eventually, the familiar winter-drag set in; the beach in the colder months just doesn't hold the same kind of endless appeal as it does in the Summer. Beach-combing finds nestled deep in my pockets, flasks packed into backpacks, we set off back towards the car, hungry for lunch and further adventures.

(All photos taken on my iPhone and edited with the simply fabulous VSCO Cam app.)

Friday, 17 January 2014

super duper craft swap with Davina from The Making Home

I've followed the lovely blog of inspiring artist Davina Drummond for absolutely ages, and when she posted a picture of some amazing laser-cut necklaces she made on Instagram, I tweeted her almost straight away and asked if she'd be selling any - she wasn't but kindly said she had one left and would post it to me, so we decided to organise a little craft swap; she'd send the necklace, and I'd send her something in return. Exciting!

As soon as the necklace arrived, I loved it - I'm a big fan of anything laser cut, and the bright colour was right up my street. Although I'm wondering now whether I should have worn it with something slightly more subdued to take the picture.....

Coat: Charity Shop // Jumper: Violet's Attic Vintage // Tired Face: c/o Two Rowdy Children
The necklace came in an envelope decorated in pink neon by Elfie, Davina's amazing daughter, and there was also a lovely handmade card stamped with a dala horse motif (which has been swiftly displayed in my little craft area with my other favourite prints, cards and nick-nacks). We're thinking about organising a larger craft swap as we enjoyed this one so much, so watch this space!

To see what I sent Davina, check out her lovely post here.

Thanks to Davina and Elfie for my lovely treats!

Friday, 3 January 2014

winter's memory of summer

Hello, hello! Happy New Year - did you have a good one? We were in bed by eleven (a combination of age and two children meant that we chose sleep over celebrations), but technically managed to see the new year in, as the neighbours had an almost industrial-sized firework display which lit up the bedroom like disco lights at midnight. Hurrah for freebies!

I haven't done a 2013-reflections-round-up style post, but when I was having a little clean up of the laptop, I found some old pictures from last year that I never got round to posting, so I thought now would be a good time. They're mostly from our trips out and about over the summer; visits to the beach, a local working windmill (Bursledon, if you're interested - sooo good to take school-age children to, the staff are great and young'uns can even have a go at grinding flour themselves), fruit picking and just generally pottering about. We did do anything major last year; no babies were born, nobody got married and we didn't buy a house (renters for life, y'all), but apart from a few hiccups, 2013 was pretty good to us.

I don't make resolutions; last year (or was it the year before?) I did a list of aims, but never kept track of them. I know some people find the challenges helpful, but I just end up feeling a bit despondent if I don't achieve everything on the list. I find I'm happier if I just sort of.... make things up as I go. There are things I'd like to achieve this year; spend more time crafting, read more books, squeeze in a bit of extra work time.... but nothing major. I'd like us to spend more time outside, learning about nature with the kids, I want to experiment properly with veggie cooking (by 'experiment' I actually really just mean 'bother to cook'), and I'd really love to go camping and take the kiddos to a festival. I want us to be fearless and experience as much as possible, and I'd like us to stay healthy.

Have you made any resolutions, or set any goals?
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