Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


I followed my heart and it lead me to the 'fridge....

Since leaving full time work it has taken me a while to 'find myself' again and re-discover my love for a number of things. 
I'd denied myself anything too creative beyond knitting and crochet. Gardening became a chore of the-weekend-weed-dash, reading was for people who had the energy and  I'd forgotten that I like to cook.  Not LOVE to cook - no, not that dedicated! But I used to like cooking nevertheless. 

Himself enjoys his food (but remains as lean as a bean pole - sigh) and the boys have the same outlook and leanness (not trying to sound bitter .... I look at food and feel the calories layering themselves on me!).
Not really sure what the tipping point was from the 'liking' to the 'perfunctory' when it came to my cooking style but I suspect a heady combo of having small children, one who was bordering on being an 'airplant' (goodness knows what he ate yet he still grew) and another who was a 'mangetout' (but only with his favorite foods) and the all consuming work. 

I would come back drained, have no inspiration and would reach for anything Child A might eat some small token of, Child B who might eat all but only if he liked it, Husband with hollow legs and me who would look comfortably round yet be starving on the inside. Sigh.
Any hoo, fast forward several years - Child A and Child B are now both young men and both taller than me, Himself is still lean while I am still comfortably round.... (and learning to love myself as I am).
Where is this, you might ask, all leading too? Well, I have quietly re-discovered the kitchen is not longer a combatant zone where I go reluctantly and aggressively defend myself against the pots and pans.  With a different mind set and a bit of a plan - the meals now come out are far healthier and fulfilling (in more ways than one) and I remain reasonably calm.

For the more technically minded (or persnickety) of you I am trying to maintain a vegetarian based gluten free diet with the occasional token fish for the carnivores in the family. So far so good. We all seem to feel 'good' on it. It is early days - still time to fall off the chuck wagon and return to my old ways (will endeavor to avoid this particular pitfall) - just might even share a recipe or two here as well :)

As for the pictures which all seem to be predominately baked goods? Most of them are from Eldest's new cell phone as he tries out his camera. I promise there have been well behaved and healthy options too - except the evidence has been eaten!

Nuff now - best get to it - things to do, paintings to.... errr..... paint and tea to drink - speak soon x


Bit of a bird brain!

Over the weekend was the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch and for the first time this year, I joined in. Previous years I was deeply ensconced in a working day and could only observe as a passive viewer and last year I was not settled into myself and although I did think about joining - all I did was think a fleeting thought which quickly then fleeted off....!
However, this time, I have already been quietly logging down my feathery visitors to the bird table when I am out in the studio. There have been moments of joyfully silently squealing (so not to frighten the birds off) when seeing something new to me and moments of quiet smiles when sparrows visit or robins posture.
I do grimace somewhat at my regular squirrel visitor. She has finally got the message (in the bottle) when after many various attempts to squirrel proof the feeder I finally found that having a large 2l pop bottle suspended on the post so far has flummoxed her. She is not stupid and it will only be a matter of time when she has worked out how to get passed my weedy human efforts :)
Any hoo back to the Big Count. Thank goodness they run it over three days and it can be done at ANY time because the usual weekend activities and the vagaries of the weather did hinder me somewhat - but I did finally get my count in *yAy* happy me :)
Did I sit with note book and mug of tea? 
Did I happily graze on the home baked bird bites as planned? 
Did I by 'eck!! 
Of course not, I did manage to tick off the birds in between framing pictures and listening to a podcast - thank goodness they have got used to me wandering around in the studio and my movements did not scare them off :)

Now, I don't consider myself a 'birder' or 'twitcher' or even as far as an enthusiastic amateur - but they do bring me pleasure and their place in this world is important.

I thought I better also let you know that this year I won't be doing the heart--thon, a combination of being busy and not having enough images to do the usual 14 days worth - if you have been good and collected your images, please do go on ahead, I lve seeing everyone's photos and stories. 
Best stop waffling now, I've just noticed my brew has gone cold, so I have been sitting here a bit too long! Have yourselves a good Tuesday and if the sun isn't shining don't worry - be your own sunshine :)

love hawthorn ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 


Words for February

WoW - what a lovely response to the photo scavenger hunt! Such a brilliant variety of pictures and stories - I love being able to visit you, read your tales and see the images - thank you all for joining in! It has been great popping in and commenting on NeW photo-hunters too x

 And while I am on it - HELLO to my new followers - welcome to my corner of the world - I hope you enjoy the ride :D it makes me really HaPpY to see you!

Now, February 2018 is a particularly awkwardly placed month for our hunt, so I did dither a bit which day to choose.   Any hoo - for the more keen (I'm looking at you Jayne!!) here are next month's words.

..... drum roll please....

February's Scavenger Photo-Challenge starts here!

Begins with a...J
My own choice

All you need to do is be inspired by the list. 
interpret it as YOU please - think outside the box, 
think laterally, collect photos,
either freshly or from your archives
 and most importantly - have FUN!

Ok, it is now down to YOU - we shall reconvene and and reveal our pictures and a little bit of waffle, towards the end of February (starting Friday 23rd).
How exciting is that! 
I can't wait to see what we all come up with!


The first of 2018! Let the link up begin :D

Welcome to the first Scavenger Photo-hunt of 2018!
Hope you all had a good start to the year
and you are all ready off the starter blocks.

Let's make 2018 a good one !

If you have joined in with my

Scavenger hunt, please link

with me on your blog :)

Please add your name to the

link up tool below,

just follow the easy instructions,

don't worry - if I can do it so can you!

Please just add your Name or Blog Name in the 'Link Title',

Now, let the Link-up Party begin!

Don't forget to leave a comment when you visit :)

Scavenger hunt January 2018

Our first walk of the year was on a rather dull (but fortunately dry) day. One of the photos I took was the one above.  I'd noticed the far distant view of the sun trying to squeeze through the clouds. It was only once I was home and downloaded the pictures - the first thing I saw was the yellow warning sign.... oh. Wish I'd noticed that sooner - I would have moved to the left and taken a better image. Sigh. 

Starts with an .... O
Oh Moss!

I have a friend who just knows. 
 - thank you xS

A small shell on a sandy beach one summer, found by a small boy and proudly shown off - treasure indeed.

We always take down our chrimbly decorations down on New Years Day - it feels right - It is the first day of the new year so sweep everything clean and start anew. 

We, over the years have collected a number themes ranging from the traditional of red and gold, Scandi-style of silver, white and wood, Victoriana style, all green, natural (cones, twigs, cinnamon sticks etc), vintage glass and finally - the above ornaments in the image. 'Bollywood' style. 

Youngest wanted them a few years ago and I must admit being rather taken aback at his choice but as he was so insistent, I buckled and bought them.  He was correct. They looked fantastic on the tree - the colours popped and the tree looked really festive. Strangely now, every year when I throw out the question of .... 'what theme shall we have on the tree this year?.... No one chooses these??  Any hoo - where was I? Oh yes, colourful ... when I was putting the decorations away this year - these jolly ornaments spilled out of their box and reminded me that once again they have been overlooked. May be 2018 will be their year?

my own choice
July 2016 was a holiday of dreams. It was not only a wonderful holiday on a small sandy island in the Outer Hebrides where my heart simultaneously broke at the beauty of it and was healed by the beauty of it...... it was there that I realised that where I was working was breaking me and I should leave. For that - this little island and that particular walk in my photo - will always be precious to me.

Ok, that's me done, off to see what you lovely lot have been up to :) xxx


Feed the birds (tra la la la)

During the days when I am out in the studio I am lucky enough to watch the birds visiting the feeder table. There are the ground feeders - the blackbirds, dunnocks, collared doves, wood pigeon,  They bumble below the bird-table. Furtling about the plants looking for fallen scraps or the sunflower seeds I've scattered for them.
There there are more flighty birds, the ones that flit in, grab a beakful and flit out again. The shy coal tit, the briefly stopping blue tit, the occasional great tit. Their visits are quick and I have to be equally as quick to see them - it is such a pleasure to catch a glimpse. 
Then there are the oh so brilliant visitors that make my heart skip a beat when I see them. The nuthatch - I held my breath when I first saw one. The goldcrest, greenfinch both set my heart a flutter.  Other, less showy but equally welcome are the sparrows. Once so common around our garden - I occasionally see a timid four birds at any one time. 
Regular bossy drop-ins - the robins, chase after the dunnocks and doves and sing their defiant ownership of the garden.  The more secretive wren quietly skips along the hedges and fences until she notices a cat then she sings out a trilling song.  
We do get more garrulous guests - the magpies, occasional starlings and once or twice a jackdaw - but not that often.  
Anyhoo, inspired by my feathery distractions - I decided this year that I would join in the 'Big Garden Birdwatch' run by the RSPB and sent away for their pack. Apart from all the essential tick boxes and identity sheets and very useful little calendar - a recipe card fell out.
It looked like something my hollow-legs would eat - so I tried it out. The first batch did not last long ... the final one being eaten while it was still slightly warm. The second and third batches lasted slightly longer - but only just. Himself devours them almost as fast as the woodpigeon clears the fallen seed. Youngest scoffs them as enthusiastically as the starlings and Eldest takes them to uni and has two for breakfast with a mug of coffee. (Which I am delighted about - he is not a breakfast eater and ends up feeling rotten halfway through the day - since munching these little buns of yumminess he seems to last until lunch time).

Want the recipe ?

You'll have to go here and it is free all you have to do is spend a little time and count the birds in your garden - it will be worth it :D


Random woolgathering in four short acts

yesterday : 

cold, wet and blustery. I hunkered down in the studio, 
heater on, radio on, flask of coffee,
mittens on, scarf on, thick fleecy shirt on.
yearning for blue skies and warmth, I worked on these...
Small pockets of sunshine and seas.
 A stark contrast to the dull and dreary stuff outside.
I yearn for more blue and less grey.
 last night :

Snowy wet roads causing issues for drivers,
you can hear them slipping and sliding and revving their engines
as they gently go backwards down the incline...
Fire on, knitting growing,
looking good,
feels warm.
I want it done for the weekend.
 this morning :

cold, wet slush. Bobble hatted and warmly coated folk walk to work,
mums and littlies wrapped up well, pick their way carefully to school,
cars drive past - some cautiously others unconcerned.
Pan sits and watches the world go by. 
now :

procrastinating, drinking tea, eating toast,

Jobs to do, frames to sort,
paintings to complete,
emails to write,

But first...


And you?
How is your day unfolding?
Hope is a good one :)



Knitting while waiting ...

... for soup to cook.

A pan full of vegetables. Some bought a couple of days ago, some harvested out the garden, the rest 'discovered' lurking at the back of the 'fridge. You know the type - a little past their best - nothing wrong with them..... just a little soft......
So, 'skanky veg soup' is the order of the day.

It was a particularly tasty one - the boys scoffed the lot.

And the knitting?

Well, I have knitted for both Eldest and Himself a double layer hat with Youngest preferring to don his favourite increasingly tatty fairisle bobble hat.

Until...... we were walking on a particularly crisp and cold day and Youngest realised he'd left his favourite hat behind, so Eldest, who had a spare, passed over his double layered hat.  It was like a lightbulb moment - or rather a warm and toasty head moment. He asked if I could make him one too.

Himself's hat is charcoal grey and blue, Eldest has olive green and charcoal grey. Youngest wanted the whole hat in the grey but I have quietly added a deep burgundy. He can always wear it grey side out if he doesn't want the burgundy to show but the other two happily wear either side.
And it is a super warm hat.

Any hoo - time to get back to the knitting - I gather the weather is going to cool down this week and he has had a hair cut resulting in cold ears!

Have yourselves a good start to the week xxx


Sunshine between clouds

The tree outside the window is quietly shedding the raindrops it accumulated over night. It is still dark so the streetlamp has highlighted each one like a shimmering fairy light. Pretty. Pretty cold too.

So far this year we have spent most of it under a layer of dull grey stuff, the weather stubbornly remaining sullen and driech. We have had a few crystal clear eye bright days where the sky is so blue you drown in the unending sweep of it, but they have been few and far between.

Thank you everyone for your comments about my moist studio, it seems that finally the 'tide is turning'. From the moment I found the water marks on the floor, I have been recording the waxing and waning of the water ingress with pen lines around the seepage. Finally the lines seem to be receding. Meanwhile the insulation at floor level has been removed and is presently drying out on the radiators in the house - so my home gently smells of the scent of warm and drying sheep..... not bad actually!

However, despite the dullness of the weather, there has been a beautiful and bright act of kindness that has shone through.

I have a kind and thoughtful blogafriend who lives a long long long way from me. In 2016 she and husband came over and we met up, along with other bloggers - Jak and Lovely Lady. We regularly communicate with each other, either by email or 'phone and certainly through blogging.
She'd commissioned me to paint Daisy for mutual blogafriend as a chrimbly gift and as by way of thanks she mentioned that she had UK family over for chrimbly and when they returned, she would slip a little something in their luggage as a gift for me as long as he had space.

So, a few days ago, I received a text from an unknown number however, the message soon explained that it was from Susan's nephew, now returned from his holidays in Australia. We arranged a suitable rendezvous and with a few moments of not-quite-being-at-the-correct-place we finally met and after a quick chat (the nephew was still at work) I was given the 'little something for me'.
There was nothing little about it. 
It is a beautiful work of art.
A thing of beauty!

Red heart Icon 48x48px I was touched - so much work had gone into the making of the quilt that it made my heart ache - thank you Susan - above and beyond anything I was expecting - thank you sweet lady - it is a thing of beauty.

No wonder, Susan, you mentioned 'as long as he has space'!Red heart Icon 48x48px

While I was typing this post out, I had my beautiful quilt on my lap (the room is still cool despite the fire) there was a modicum of wriggling on the floor. So I looked down.....

Somebody wanted a piece of the blankie-action... 
So - approval all round then!!

ThAnK YoU!!