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...


November's Link up Party!



This is the final link up for 2018 - we shall reconvene in January 2019.

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During December I am joining with a daily Advent photo challenge over at Julie of Julie's Journal & Scrapbook.

The bots that run Julie's blog decided to lock her out and she has had to desperately restart a whole new blog. So if you are a follower please pop over and re-follow and join in her annual Advent event! And if you are new to her blog, please do either join in or read along - it is lovely seeing how so many folk interpret a festive word differently.

She has already written up her list of festive words as inspiration - designed to keep the ol' grey matter busy!
Just to give you a taster of what is on offer - here are the first five.....

  • 1. Treasured decoration
  • 2. Definitely a festive recipe
  • 3. Hand made gift/card/wrapping paper
  • 4. festive pet
  • 5. a chrimbly family tradition - something only your own family do

Until then!

November's scavenger hunt

I had quietly dwelt under the wrong impression that after the arty weekend at the end October I would be able to drop back into blogging with ease.

Strangely that has not happened. In a good way though - I am still very busy.

So, now, here at the beginning of the week I am trying to get my words and photos down. It is early morning and still dark, Himself has just left for work and Youngest will be doing the same shortly.
I can remember those 'going-to-work-in-the-dark-and-coming-home-in-the-dark' days - and I don't miss them.

This little box is actually a 'letterbox' - you might wonder what makes the difference - well, in 1854 an intrepid hiker - James Perrott - set up a cairn in a wild and windy spot on North Dartmoor. There he stashed a glass bottle where the next walker could drop off a card and pick up the previous one. It was seen as a rather exciting and dangerous venture.

I imagine dressed in full Victorian walking garb - just setting off out to the shops was a rather epic.

Any hoo, fast forward and letterboxing is still a 'thing' and although still predominantly in Dartmoor in Devon, it has spread out into wild and wonderful pockets all around the UK. This particular one is in Langass Woodland on North Uist. A place with some wonderful stories of it own.

Chosen because of the season here in the northern hemisphere - after a long and glorious summer, autumn firstly flattened out the garden with her winds and rain then winter started join in - for a brief moment or two there was that beautiful inner glow autumn sometimes shares before the decay sets in.
On the moorland side of our village is a waterfall which has an otherworldly air - like minded folk are drawn there and small talismans and gifts are quietly tucked into the trees.They too fade and decay this time of the year.

Nearly all our pets are 'secondhand', rescues and adopted from shelters or veterinary surgeries. We take them on without knowing their backgrounds or 'baggage'. Some have been the perfect addition to our family - others have been a little harder to reach through their 'self defence' walls. We had a cat who had to learn again to walk in a straight line and eat without falling over - we had 'Awful Annie' for 16 years. Then there was 'Polly' who through no fault of her own was to be destroyed (her owner never came to collect her after surgery) she was my personal furry angel for 21 years. Our latest three also have their own backgrounds.
'Pepper' abandoned in a box at the back of a pub - the cheekiest little furbag imaginable - has no personal barriers and firmly believes in 'what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine too prrrr).
'Pan' - a Princess with a feral beginning and a suspicious heart. She lives alongside us rather than with us and has moments of magical purry-love and days of angry eyes and flattened ears - we would never abandon or rehome her as we understand her mood swings and accept her for what she is - someone else might be less tolerant.
Then there is Moss - we are her 5th and forever owners. She is an amazing dog despite all the trauma and tragedy this dog has had in her short life - she loves her pack (us) so fiercely and loyally.
I have a permanent dull ache for the sea, so it seemed only right that my strand was a strand line - however, when I trawled through my photographs of the sea and coast line, I ended up falling into the rabbit hole of holiday memories. It took some time before I surfaced and decided on this image. An abandoned fishing boat on the Isle of Skye, left high and dry with fetid seaweed on the strand line.
I have found a new distraction for my hands - or rather, I have found a new direction for an already acquired skill. I have always loved origami and have transferred that into making little books - be still my beating heart.
My own Choice
I've been busy 'makkin' in the studio - for a couple of festive events and pop shops - these wooden apple roundels I made on Monday evening - I just liked the way the wood glows in the evening light. I just need to finish the art work on the back, add ribbons and package up.

Right, off to see what you lot have been up to :) Have a lovely weekend.


wild winds blow

Sitting, listening to the the wild weather as she howls around the garden. The trees are dancing frantically to her frenzied tune.
The comforting calm of the studio - despite the chaotic mess that requires some attention - the scent of tea, the needle clatter of the rain on the windows, the blustery burst of wind around the summerhouse, the arrival of a studio companion - the starting of a new and different commission - all lend themselves to adding up to a gently lovely day.

Don't forget that tomorrow is photo scavenger hunt show and tell.
Keep your eyes out for a new Advent Calendar Count Down


The Table

The table was occupied when I arrived. Two quiet older women. Silently sitting. Sipping tea and gazing into the middle distance. A sliver of conversation passed between them, almost inaudible. As one, they stood, shrugged on their matching but differently coloured quilted coats. Equally quietly they donned hats and paid their bill and left.

The table was cleared of two china cups and saucers neatly left in place, chairs pushed back firmly in place - it hardly needed cleaning.

Next a group of men came in. Old boys - chuckling at a previously shared joke as they came through the door. Regulars. Although only five initially, tea for seven was ordered and three poached eggs on brown toast and bacon and eggs on brown bread for two. No sooner than that order had been passed on to the kitchen, the missing two pottered in. They added to the order. Apparently all seven men order the same meals every time.

There was a gentle hubbub of deep male voices as they ate and talked, laughed and ribbed each other. A good group. Friends.

They left replete, courteous and politely jovial.

The table was cleared again, despite the quantity of plates, mugs and tea pots - there was still an element of tidy order. It took a couple of trips to take all the cutlery and crockery to the kitchen, table wiped and chairs straightened.

A new party. A party of four. A little disheveled and disjointed. They roamed the space separately, checking out tables finally, agreeing on the table.

They were restless, checking their cellphones, only really communicating with brusque grunts or short curt sentences.  Four meals were ordered, large platters of food, pots of tea and toast.  The kitchen stepped up the activity and with practiced movements and actions - bacon, eggs, toast, mushrooms, tomatoes, sausages, hash browns and black puddings were being cooked as plates were warmed and teapots filled.

Food served, the four sullenly fell apon their plates - it was strange - they appeared to only share the table, their consumption was treated as a solitary affair - roughly attacking the plates, lifting forks rapidly and shoving food in quickly, chewing once or twice then repeating the attack, lift, shovel, chew, swallow, attack, lift, shovel, chew, swallow. Only briefly halting to drain mugs of tea.

As quickly as they ate, they left the table, abandoning their chairs noisily. One of the men came to pay, the other three ranged again around the cafe. The women both walking quickly with their hands tucked under the apposing arm in a strange crossed arm position, the remaining male moved in a slouching lope as he left the building and folded himself up in their parked vehicle.  Hardly a word said between them - they left.

The table was strewn with butter pat wrappings, sugar twist papers - torn and discarded. Tea slops and food remains were scattered everywhere.  Plates still full of half eaten food. The table, yet again was cleared, chairs replaced. Calm normality returned.

Three times the table was used in a short three hour slot. If it could log each time it was used, what would it say?

And why was I table watching?
Every Tuesday, I get to see a difference slice of life while I help at a local cafe - spending four hours clearing tables, washing up and putting away.
And observing.


An 'Elfy' pastime

You know when it has been a good day ... 
when you end up covered in paint and glitter.
The studio today was a hive of activity fueled by liberal quantities of tea and coffee.
What is all this busy-ness about?  Well, we have turned into elves 
and the studio into a festive workshop.
There has been sanding, drilling and painting...
All for a festive winter bash!
Did I mention I love the day job?


Meet. Eat. Fold. Tea.

After a rather lengthy but fruitful meeting,
after lunch and chat with a friend,
after dodging showers 
and settling down in my studio ...
The gentle art of folding,
was just what I needed.
a small dog needs drawing out in pen and ink,
origami envelopes need developing,
tea needs drinking.

I am looking forward to tomorrow.


It is those little things that make memories ...

The making of gentle memories
Is by being driven by a grinning 18 year old in his first car.
 Is going on a mini adventure with them both
Is watching the late afternoon sun bath richly laden berries
 and smelling the warmed fruit as you walk past.
 It is also the watching of the sky and feeling the air
It is the ripples on the water
and the stillness 
Then it is the walking back to the car - facing the sinking sun.
Gentle heartwarming moments,
simple pleasures which
will be remembered for a very long time.