Sunday, March 01, 2015

In Like A Lion

Well hello everyone! A quick stop in to say Happy St. Davids Day.

Has March come in like a lion or lamb for you today?

 Here in Derbyshire England we have lots of sunny spells at the moment, but there is also a very strong wind blowing, so it's in like a lion for us I think. Whether it goes out like a lamb later on, well, we shall have to wait and see :)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

This and That...

Hello everyone :)

Have you been enjoying the last week of February? We have had a busy week full of lovely things. We are hosting our church's Lenten Bible Study course (not leading, just providing the venue and hospitality ) so Tuesday night saw our living room crammed to it's limit of lovely people, all of us drawn together to share in fellowship and God's Word. It's great to put yourself 'out there' sometimes, we are getting to know people on a deeper level.

Finally - now that winter is in it's last stretch - I managed to change the welcome board on my patio from it's Autumn Blessings message to an encouraging 'spring-is-on-it's-way' message...

The Forsythia in the garden seems to be on the verge of bursting into bloom so I have snipped some twigs and brought them indoors...

I can't wait to see the bright yellow flowers burst into bloom - it's such a typical 'March' thing in our home. These small things that are included in our yearly rhythm of the home bring joy and small comforts to everyday life.

The garden is still looking rather wintry. Bare trees, grass that is looking stringy and blah, and weeds filling the beds. I really need to get stuck in and get them out - but it's just so wet and cold out there!

However, in the rather bleak-looking garden there is some colour, albeit a very small patch of colour, but colour none-the-less...

Indoors I have placed little pots of Primroses throughout the house. I just love how delicate and pretty these plants are and I am enjoying their blooms immensely. I have a little pot of lilac primroses next to my bed and jam-jar of daffodils on my chest-of-drawers.

In the entrance hall I have three little pots of primroses on display along with my little twig Lenten cross to indicate the season.

This week we took another little walk along the park and country lanes, I loved this little scene that we came across. Somebody is having renovations and this beautiful Aga (I think it's an Aga) has been set out on the drive. I wonder if they are going to put it back or get rid of it? I could not bear to part with such a lovely thing if it were mine.

With it being the last week of February, I spent a bit of time today updating our 'Family Central Control' area. This is the place where our calendar, monthly meal-plan, birthday calendar and various notices of upcoming events is located. I created this space last year some time and it has worked so well.

March's meal plan was done today and I have just got to draw up a shopping list and do an online shop of the first weeks groceries. I personally prefer to do my shopping online as it is way more convenient, especially during busy times, and I don't add unnecessary things to the shopping trolley!

I've manged to fit in a little crafty fun this week too. My dear friend in Manchester has the most gorgeous little chicken on the dresser in her kitchen. He catches my eye every time I visit her. I decided that it was time to attempt to make my own. It's pretty simple really and I am fairly happy how my first chicken turned out. But there are improvements to be made. I think for my next chicken I will use small buttons for eyes. I will also stuff his body more and add a bit of rice to his bottom so that he sits a little more firmly. 

This little chicken has found his home on our bathroom shelf and looks quite happy to be there!

This week I also stitched a little card for a friends birthday. She is the tower captain of our church's bell ringing team and is just mad about ringing. I was thrilled to find this little chart of church bells in one of my cross stitch mags - perfect for her!

I have also made a start on my Easter stitching...

I just love these little bunnies! If you look at the picture in the background they have been made into little decorations for an Easter twig tree. Each year I like to add a little something extra or different to my own Easter twig tree, this year these little bunnies are going to be a sweet addition.

Right! I think we are all caught up now :) I know it has been a photo-heavy and long post, but I suppose that's what happens when so much has gone on and no regular updates to the blog made!

Have a lovely week all and I hope to see you back here very soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lenten Calendar and Plans

Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. I always like to have a little Lenten path, a calendar of sorts to follow in our home. It helps to see how far we have to go and how far we have come. It's a sort of advent calendar but for Lent. 

In the past I have used Catholic Icings Free calendar. It's a great calendar but we have used it two years running now and I felt that it was time for a change.I also wanted something that was a little more 'grown up' and more suitable to my teen daughters. I searched high and low for something but came up empty handed, so what do you do if you cannot find what you are looking for? Well you put something together yourself :)

Here is my own spin on a Lenten path calendar...

You can download a copy of my Lent Calender for 2015 if you wish. It has all the feast days within the Lenten period and Holy Week is highlighted in purple.

I'm quite keen to do as many activities as possible from the 40 Acts website - another Lenten calendar of sorts but full of practical things to do throughout Lent.

Some of the plans that I have to mark the feast days are:

* Bake a daffodil cake for St. Davids Day - patron saint of Wales and have Leek and Potato Soup for lunch that day

*Simnal Cake for Laetare Sunday (Rose Sunday and the 4th Sunday in Lent)

* Passion Fruit Cheesecake for Dessert on Passion Sunday

I have a couple of crafty things that look like fun to do over this period too:
Photo Credit: Happy Home Fairy. Link to post 'Resurrection Garden Link'

* Chocolate Making

* Decorating an Easter Tree (I do this each year)

2014's Easter Tree
I also have quite a few ideas on my 'Easter/Lent' and 'All Things Spring' Pinterest boards that are tempting me at the moment - mainly in the pot plant department!

So do you have any plans for Lent? I would love to hear them if you do :)

Have a super day all...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

UAES Etsy Shop Open!

Happy Pancake Day! Yes it is Shrove Tuesday already and we stand at the very beginning of Lent. All our meals today have a pancake theme. For lunch we had chicken salad wraps, for supper we are having pancakes bolognese (mince in pancakes) topped with a cheese sauce {highly fattening!} and for dessert we are having ice-cream and chocolate sauce filled pancakes.

As promised the sun has finally peeked out from behind the clouds. It is simply glorious here and right after this post I am heading out for a nice long walk to soak in the sunshine and breath in the crisp fresh air - mmmmmm, lovely!

With the day considerably brighter than it has been I was able to photograph my bunting for my Etsy store. I have also given it a bit of a spring spruce up with a new banner...

I have listed three strings of bunting so far - it's a start - and I hope to spend the rest of this week sewing and crocheting up some more.

Here's a string of crochet bunting I made in the summer...

I love how it turned out. I had made myself a string years ago but needed to tweak the finishing touches - which I have done with this string. It has a sturdier string at the top and I added little crochet circles at each end for convenient hanging.

Then there are two strings of spring inspired bunting, each is 3 m long and has 7 double-sided pennants.  

I'm really hoping that the Etsy store will take off - if not, it's back to listing on Ebay which is where I had much more success in the past. I might just list them there anyway. But - if any of you have a successful Etsy store I would love to hear your tips on achieving success. This is simply a little hobby for me, not a means of income. I love the thrill of someone buying my bunting and the thought of it hanging in their home. So any tips welcome.

Right, I'm going to love and leave you for now, my walking shoes are calling :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

February Musings...

Did you have a wonderful weekend? Were you spoilt by your love one - or did you spoil a loved one this St. Valentines day? Well I was spoilt by my darling husband with a lovely bunch of flowers and some very pretty lingerie (never goes amiss with me :) )

Sometimes February can be a hard month to love! Its been exactly a week since I last saw the sun! Arrrggg - it sure can get me down. We have had a week of overcast misty/foggy grotty weather. It usually does not bother me much but today it just made me feel rather glum. 

So when the sun finally slipped out - an hour before it is due to set - I rushed out to get some snaps and just to soak up a bit of it's brightness! (Sad - I know, what can I say ;) )

I do love seeing shadows on the wall - it means the sun is shining! But the bleakness of my garden, it's emptiness, all the bare earth took the edge off that 'happy shadow feeling'. See - I really am glum today lol

I set off to find some signs of spring's arrival, and I found a few clues that spring is indeed just around the corner.

My spring bulbs are pushing through and coming along quite nicely. They were only just peeking through the ground last week! I have a real mix of bulbs planted and cannot wait to see what is what at 'bloom' time! I made no note of what bulbs were planted where. 

The only thing in bloom at the moment are the trusty little Snowdrops. I have a really teeny-tiny patch of them, I think I must plant more in the autumn for more of a display next year. They are so lovely.

There is a carpet of them in bloom in our church yard. I keep meaning to take a picture of them to show you - but have yet to actually remember to take my camera along on a Sunday.

Apparently we are going to see sunshine Tuesday and Wednesday which I'm thrilled about. I've been waiting for some great light to take some pictures of my bunting that I want to list in my Etsy store.

BUT - there is no time to be glum for long this week. We have a delish supper of pancakes to look forward to tomorrow as it is Shrove Tuesday. Then Wednesday ushers in Lent. We have the Service of the Ashes on Wednesday evening, our walk through Lent calender to put up too. We have a whole week of time to spend as we wish as we are currently on our half-term break, and we wrap up our week with our youngests 15 birthday on Saturday and a fun Ceilidh Dance on Saturday evening with some friends from church. So lots to look forward to that is sure to chase the February blues away!

That's about it from me today, I'll be back soon to chat about some Lent things that I have planned. Until then...