Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Years Eve

Here's hoping your Christmas has been merry and bright.

A brand new year is about to start. 

Here's how the last few moments of 2015 have looked around here . . . .

 All whites and greys in bright winters light.


 Tiny trees encased in jars and sprinkled with snow, made at the second of two wonderful Christmas crafting afternoons organised by a kind and thoughtful friend,

during the first I was presented with the gift of this house to decorate and listening to Christmas music and chattering happily with each other many wonderful moments were spent painting, making window frames and a mini picket fence, decorating a tiny wreath for the door, sprinkling snow and going slightly glitter crazy! Ive made it for Niah and it will become a Christmas tradition to bring it out each year and talk about the Winter Solstice fairies who live there.

 
I drew a new design on the chalk board in our kitchen.


 Thoughtfully chosen gifts wrapped and ready to give with love.

 One of my favourite cards received this year . . . .
' Joy to the world '

 many many cups of tea,


 Our dinning table set ready for breakfast Christmas morning. One of my favourite vintage tea sets and simple linen napkins laid with eucalyptus stems and Cinnamon sticks,

 A scattering of stars and a sprinkle of diamond snow.

And here I am Christmas morning admiring the face of an angel.

Wishing you Many blessings of peace, happiness and joy calling forth the new year, may you be filled with light and love how ever you choose to celebrate x


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice a time of Surrenderance, Surrenderance to the darkness.

Evenings draw in early and in the morning, daylight is slow to arrive. Through this darkness we are able to explore our inner being, winter is a time for stillness and moments of solitude.
 

All of Nature slows to the most subtle of rhythms, may the innate wisdom of our natural surroundings be our guide. At this time of the year the land is laid bare, stark, stripped of its colour, warmth, its leaves and flowers. All becomes simple, calm, pure. Beneath the surface lies an inner beauty, an often forgotten beauty, seeds germinate deep below. There are seeds with in us too, seeds of light, love, our true authenticity, fearlessness, creativity, There is so much beauty to be found in our inner most being and now is the time to retreat to that space, to observe and nurture all that is there, preparing the way for it to burst forth in the coming spring.



I have come to find over these recent years in my own personal shift towards discovering peace and harmony, that what Society tells us and that which nature teaches are worlds apart. It has become ingrained within us, that to rest is lazy and none productive in this fast paced world of go go go, it is through this folly that our equilibrium and health begin to suffer, only when we are fully balanced in all aspects of our being, including optimal amounts of quiet time and rest can we live a truly nourishing and harmonious life. 

Winter is the time to hibernate, dreaming quietly beside the fire, turn the pages of your favourite book, light candles, soak in the bath, eat nourishing warming foods, go to bed early.
 This is a time for deep rest and healing, for rejuvenation, nurture your self, rebuild your energy systems and your life force, allowing the deliverance of fresh energy a renewed self, happy and whole. 


As well as honouring the natural pull to be indoors, refreshing walks will invigorate the senses and bring a state of balance.

 Beneath warm layers tread the land reverently, take full deep breaths of the cool frosty air, notice every metre of naked earth under foot, every shivering pool, the sillouette of bare branches against pure grey blue skies, admire every diamond thread of cobweb dew and stand beneath the glare of the moon as day turns to night and an army of stars appear.


  
Wishing you many Winter Blessings.
 Happy Solstice. Tidings of peace and quiet thoughtfulness.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Heavy Eyes and Fairy Lights

Today was a day for rest, laying down at the windows edge and looking out to a cloudless sky. 

Today was a day for gentle sleeping, under soft blankets with Niah snuggled closely, allowing heavy eyes to close, deep breathes to flow out and inviting dreams to come in. 

As the day turns to night we decide to head out, a quiet stroll to look at the lights in the village, a thousand fairies dancing in the trees above.


  
Using yarn spun and dyed by her own hands, my friends mama has knitted Niah the most beautiful hat for the winter.

soft. Natural. warm.

After Supper I pour my self a hot cup of tea.
 In the distance I can hear the faint sounds of splashing fun and the tones of a nurturing Papa bathing our daughter, I take a little time for me.

Turning the pages of some of my favourite books, the inspiring words lift off the page and reach right in to my soul.

Words are a powerful thing. 

 'Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves slowly, quietly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.'
Thich Nhat Hanh



 Winter Solstice is almost upon us, Winter tidings of peace, Quiet reflections and Joy.

  
Wishing you an enchanting week ahead as the countdown to Christmas begins.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Fig and Honey Jam

 December has arrived with its heightened energy of anticipation, as the count down to Christmas begins, and while the excitement is magical it's too easy to get caught up in the busyness. At this time of the year I look around and at times it's frantic! Let's mirror nature instead, which at this moment is beginning to slow down. Yes there is shopping and planning and 'to do' lists, but let us take a deep breath allowing ourselves to be calm and collected as we move through them, remembering to also make time for peace, quiet and stillness. It's by doing this that we're able to bring our awareness back to the simple pleasures of the season. 
    
A slow start to December for us has included wrapping thoughtfully chosen gifts in brown paper, going to choose books at the library with Niah, long salt and rosemary baths reading the last few pages of my book, and watching the branches becoming more and more bare with each passing day. 

I also spent a lovely afternoon making Jam, such a simple pleasure. 

I went to our village farm shop for inspiration and found the last of this seasons figs, I walked home with Niah on my back in the sling and my arms laden with a whole crate full of fruit.   

And of course I had just as much fun photographing the figs as I did cooking them.

Not only are figs so very beautiful they are also very nutritious, rich in Iron, Magnesium and Potasium, Vitamin K, Vitamin B and have the highest Calcium content of any fruit.
I created my own recipe as I didn't want to use sugar.

Simply slice around 24 Figs in to quarters removing the stem, and put them in a pan with a splash of water and 300 grams of honey (raw organic is best), bring to the boil and simmer for an hour, stirring fairly often, in the last 5 minutes of cooking add the zest and juice of 1 lemon.

Today I enjoyed toasted Rye bread, spread with fig jam and topped with soft Goats cheese and seasonal leaves, yum.

Homemade jams make for a lovely Christmas gift.

Wishing you a lovely slow start to the week x 


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A Dance With Nature

Niah rests. I rest. The rain pours. 

I feel drawn to its cleansing energy. I step foot out of the back door. 

I'm tired, deeply tired, body and mind, a renewal is what's needed.  A shift in perspective, a dance with nature.

 I stand still and firm, my feet planted in the soft earth below and tilt my head back, my bare face looks up towards the sky, my hair falls lower down my back and I close my eyes. 

I let the soft rain fall, on to me, through me, beyond me. It is cool and fresh.
A bird is singing, the Autumn wind makes me shiver, I already feel more life running through me, It is energising, and so I continue to stand there in the rain.
A few drops gather in the soft caverns of my eye lids, until the mass is too much and they release and run off the side of my face to the ground, almost like tears.

I'm not sure why everyone tends to complain about the rain so much, It can definitely alter one's plans at times and that can be frustrating but when you think about it, if you complain about the rain every time it rains, especially here in England you will find your self complaining a lot.
 The rain actually makes everywhere look so beautiful and feels so wonderful on your skin if you can only learn to embrace it.
Accept what 'Is' in the present moment and you are sure to find peace.

I took these photographs of the way the trees looked reflected on the misty rain soaked glass of our back doors. 

Back inside the kettle on the stove whistles it's time for tea. Flowering Jasmine tea, I sit and watch the beautiful petals slowly open, pour my self a cup and hold it for a while in my hands.


I'm reading Emma, It's a slow process, I only get time to read a few pages a day, but slowly and quietly is fine by me.
She is an enchanting character of Jane Austen's and I'm very much enjoying the book, but my heart still firmly belongs to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favourite.

Wishing You a wonderful, calm week ahead, go out and feel the cleansing energy of the rain.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Quiet late Autumn days

Snuggling with blankets reading to Niah, preparing comforting evening meals first thing and letting them cook softly in the slow cooker all day, scooping up the many fallen leaves in the back garden, and sipping Earl grey from my favourite glazed ceramic mug . . .

Quiet late Autumn days spent in our home.

A little time dedicated to making a small crochet dream catcher for a Friend, a gift for her niece's christening.

With Niah sleeping in the next room I sat in my studio space happily with a needle and thread in the calm and the quiet. 
 
And when she woke I thought how lovely it would be to share the joy with her, engaging her in a little sensory play . . .



I love to use Guinea fowl feathers, they are so pretty with their Beautiful spots and the Guinea Fowl being a Totem animal symbolising protection, makes them feel all the more special.

Niah definitely thought they were special, she studied them in detail, especially the softness between her delicate finger tips.  


Quiet time to be still and observe.


 Giving thanks for the honour of being asked to create a hand made gift for a little girl on her special day, 

And for my own Beautiful girl who makes every day so special.

Wishing you peaceful stillness and a wonderful week ahead x

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A little time for me

Sitting quietly in the stillness that is nap time, I love my gorgeous girl so much but oh how I also love nap time. A little time for me. 

Some times I have a small snooze myself, sometimes I literally just sit and stare in to space, I wouldn't even call it meditation I'd say it was more like an exhausted trance like shut down! But when I have the energy, my favourite things to do during the hour or so a day that I get for my self is too read, sip the warmth and comfort of a favourite herbal tea, knit, or paint, bake, make something by hand, or take photos, all of the craft like and creative pursuits that remind me of me.



I enjoy saving the vegetarian recipes I see in magazines and collaging them in a scrap book with other visually beautiful magazine tears.



I think it's important as much as possible to eat seasonally intune with nature, and so the pages of my book become seasonally themed with their colours and textures too.


Soft calming Autumn. Quiet and still.





Autumn in this part of the world has been really mild so far, so much so that I've not even worn a coat yet, a cardigan has been enough. November seems to have crept up all of a sudden, It's the last month of the season, and I will be making the most of it as much as I can, woollen bound walks across the fields, watching all of nature beginning to slow, and holding the soft hands of my beautiful girl who is learning to walk, her little feet in her first shoes will tread the last of the fallen leaves.

Wishing You Peace and a wonderful calm November.


(Featured images from my scrapbook have been collected from various magazines, journals & store catalogues including~ Country Living, Elle Decoration, Kinfolk, Anthropologie & Toast.)