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Winter walk

Like the rest of the country, we’ve had a lot of rain. The ground is sodden – the high traffic areas in the garden are thick, slippery mud – and it’s not really been walking weather. But the dog and I both need exercise so when the sun peeked out this afternoon, we set off briskly. 

It was lovely – crisp and clear and sunny. 

And then two miles out – and two miles from home – the clouds lowered, the sky went the colour of steel, and the rain … and then the sleet … started. It was really sudden, like someone had flicked a switch. So the gloves went on and the hood went up (in my case, anyway – the dog just put his ears back and looked put out) and we trudged on. After a while it cleared and a small patch of blue sky was visible, but I was glad to get home to dry socks and a cup of tea!

 

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It has been a while. In fact, my blogging in 2012 was pretty sporadic. I think back to this time a year ago and it’s an odd feeling. I had all sorts of plans and hopes and ideas and…, well, life truly did get in the way.

My youngest child was born in February. I’d done the baby thing twice before so was (I thought) prepared. I knew what was coming. Except, I didn’t. My elder two had daytime naps. They slept at night by 3 months in. They were happy to be held and played with by other people. This baby? Not so much. It was 8 weeks before I put her down. She didn’t sleep through the night until she was 7 months old. She now (at 10 months) has one nap a day. (Most days.) She took several months to be happy with anyone else, even her father. I didn’t have more than 2 hours without her until last month. So that was hard. Lovely, because she and I have a very close bond, but hard work and hard on my other kids. 

Added to that, my parents were both ill – my father has been in hospital for most of the year and my mother has been worn to the bone first with caring for him and then learning to manage in his absence. They’ve both needed a lot of support which I’ve been happy to provide, but it has meant that other things have gone by the wayside a bit. 

Added to all of that, there’s been some home upheaval and moving of offices and repairing of chimneys and the end result is ‘constant activity, negligible progress’. 

There have been some bright spots and I have managed to make some things (although I have a mountain of projects that ‘just need finishing off’ but I lack the brainpower/concentration to do them) and I’ll get them straight and take pictures and show you. 

I hope 2013 is good to you and that I manage to blog more often. But after last year, I’m wary of making any promises!

Happy new year. 

 

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Happy New Year

It’s taken me a few days to get into the swing of things – I got a bit too used to being on holiday! I don’t usually make new year resolutions – I find the middle of winter usually has me at a low ebb, and not in the right frame of mind to be all determined and will-powery. But as it happens, a few things have happened which have lent themselves to resolutions exactly at the traditional time of year.

The first is that I was given a sewing machine of my very own. It’s very old but it’s new to me, and so I’ve decided that it’s time to get over my sewing machine phobia. The phobia is quite deep seated and results from a girl in my textiles class – when I was 12 – sewing through her thumb. Lots of blood and disgusting nail death and that sort of thing. I have occasionally used a machine but not often enough to completely get over the fear. But I fully intend that a year from now I will be confident – if not completely competent – in the use of my machine. So, that’s resolution one.

The second resolution came as a result of big clear out Chez S&S. I have been decluttering like a mad thing, and at the same time, we’ve been doing some home improvements – including in the room where I store my yarn. Yes, I know I’ve mentioned the ‘too much yarn’ problem before. And yes, I have had plans to deal with it, which have come to nothing, or little. But when you combine emptying the room with the yarn in with decluttering the house and moving all the yarn in baskets and project bags scattered all over the place, so it’s all together – well, suffice to say that it made me feel a bit queasy. I knew it was bad, but it was worse than I thought. Much worse. So this year is going to be a stash reducing year. I have decided on the following rules. It’s useless to make myself promise to knit/crochet a certain amount. My life is unpredictable and it’s bound to go wrong. It’s also useless to make myself promise not to buy any yarn. Because, well, if I could do that I wouldn’t have a yarn stash that threatened to exceed my life expectancy.

So Rule 1 – as I use yarn up, I can replace it – with half the amount. For every two metres I use, I can buy one.

Rule 2 – yarn is only ‘used up’ when it’s in finished objects. No starting lots of things and ending up with dozens of half-knitted things lurking in corners, because we’ve been there before. 

Rule 3 – no staying completely in the comfort zone. Yes, there can be some repeated projects or mindless easy projects, but some of the projects have to be things I’ve not done much or any of before.

And as I can’t imagine not being able to buy yarn at Wonderwool, which is in April, I need to get cracking.

This is my current project, which is a nice bit of crochet. The white Christmas tree and white Christmas cake seem to have propelled me into a bit of a white phase – but I rather like it.

 

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Is it that time already?

We got our first Christmas card today – it’s from Mr S&S’s aunt, who always sends hers early, so hers is always the first one we get. I haven’t even thought about Christmas cards yet… must check the last posting dates…

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If I were to get married again, I’d choose the same man, but I would choose Hannah Millard as the photographer. I’ve been following Hannah’s work for a while, and I love her style, which is both classic/vintage and fresh. She captures the emotions and individuality behind every wedding but is never saccharine.

I won’t post any of her pictures without permission, but you can see her work here on her blog:

If you like what you see, can I encourage you to vote for Hannah in the Hitched breakthrough wedding awards?
Click here

And, of course, if you’re planning a wedding, I’ll point out that her rates are very reasonable…

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Friday Smile

I know, I’m still being really quiet – but this I had to share. It’s one of my favourite pieces, and what they’ve done with it is so inventive and beautiful.

I love watching the faces of the musicians – they are clearly loving every minute!

ETA – I was clearly being spectacularly unobservant – as Liz points out in the comments, the ‘musicians’ are all the same person. I obviously needed my holiday!

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Friday smile

I love this:

So imaginative!

Clicky

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