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...


My 12 in 12

I started (almost furtively) in January a walking challenge - #walk1000miles, I thought I was setting myself up to fail and my challenge would be viewed with some cynicism as I have a dodgy knee and err towards being a couch potato.

I needed this challenge to help me move on from work related stress and depression which I was/am struggling to shrug off - it has been hard (both mentally and physically) thanks to self doubt and a dislike of walking in anything but balmy weather! And to make things harder for me, I decided to only count boots on miles! So, it didn't matter how much I pottered about the house, walked about in the garden or the shops - these steps did not count.

Here are my 12 for 12 in 2019. January had snow and rain and the flu, February I badly sprained my ankle, March - a bit of rain!, April the weather finally started to be kinder, May - sprained my dodgy knee (argh!), June was warmer and drier, July was positively beautiful, as was August, September was a bit hit and miss but we still walked as best we could on a daily basis, October - a bad month for walking  a combination of commitments and rain (so so much rain), November - back to mud again and now in December I have reached my target - much to my surprise and even more surprising .... I have signed up again for 2020 ...

Oh, plenty other stuff has happened but most of that has been either blogged here already or it is not for general consumption!

Here is to a better year - for you, for me, 
for this country, for your country, 
for everyone - 
Happy NEW YEAto you all



Greeting hoomins - 

I seeez that the lowest member of the pack put paw to paper and blogged - so I thought I would put the balance of pawer back to those more superior.  Me.

Fur I iz Pepper the Great, Pepper the keeper of the kitchen, the watcher of the fridge, the pawtroller of the back street. I iz Pepper and I iz number one, top of the heap, leader of the pack.

I wearz many hats in my cat-pacity of being in charge of the hoomins.
I iz the putting up of the tree supervisor
I iz the contents of the fridge inspector
I takez my purrr-sition very seriously, 
I even checkz the condition of the scraps for the dog,
coz the dog haz no taste, 
especially when it comez to the chick-chicks or hamziz
wrapped in the shiny silver stuff... 
Iz DEFURNITELY haz to checkz that....
taste test anyone?
Yez purr-lease!



Hello hoomins - Moss here, 
Finally, time to Moss-self to get a boxing day walks-out.
Time to catch up with the Daily Pooz and
all the Pee-mails I have missed while my hoomins have been 
sitting around the fire with the extended pack.

And 'oh my woof' why do they have a tree in the house
covered in balls and bells?
(I keep wagging them off with my tail - very annoying!)
But now, excuse me - I have a sniff I need to follow...



Thank you to all my friends and family here, there and everywhere -
A blessed yuletide, a quiet and peaceful celebration,
and a fresh and positive start to 2020.

Hopes and wishes from me to you
with love xxx


Solstice Blessings

We usually celebrate summer solstice - the longest day - by being outside 
for as much of it as possible. Enjoying the light and the air.
The warmth.
Winter Solstice is usually a more inward marking of the turning of the seasons.
Lights, fire, food, candles and chat.
Not this year.
We spent it outside - for the most part,
Enjoying the gentle light,
the freshness of the air. 
We still ate warming foods - Yule cake and mince pies,
mugs of tea - sitting alongside our favourite canal.
Not that we could linger long - there was definitely a nip in the air! 
As we walked, we watched the wintery sun slip behind
the dark clouds and leaf-free trees. 
The paths we followed were muddy and wet,
as was the dog .... 
Then, when we returned to the village where we'd parked,
their lights across the bridge were wonderful.
Simple and elegant. 
 A lovely end to a gentle day 
Solstice blessings to you all - here is to the turning of the circle, 
the changing of the seasons 
and the return of the light xxxxxxxxx


Five on Friday

Morning fellow 'Fivers', a cool and dark morning out there today - a good day to think on things that have made me smile this last week.

Cracker jokes - not something I would normally think of as being particularly amusing or satisfying. At most they are groan-makers. But this one ... this one made me smile and has continued to do so on and off all week. So much so, I have actually kept the slip of paper in my cellphone cover to remind me of a lovely evening with Himself's extended family last weekend.

Sharing a love of street art - Eldest and I spent a lovely few hours in Hebden Bridge this week, fettling in the bookshops, the charity (op) shops and hunting down the street art. We found new pieces of wall adorned work - both modern and previously unnoticed older creativity. I will do a post on them some time.

The reaction of a recipient to a hand made gift - positively priceless xx

Fudge - the sweet sinful moment when eating a small block of home made fudge - bliss.

Walking - I have mentioned before that walking is both pleasure and torment, my saviour and my nemesis. A delight as well as a chore - but I am truly grateful for the simple act of being able to walk regularly as well as the positive affect it has had on my life. Try it - it works xx

This is the last Five on Friday - Gratitude for 2019. If you have enjoyed reading them or joining in and want them to continue next year - just give a shout out :)

Have a lovely weekend and if you are posting your Five - just follow the link and add your post.
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Click here to enter


Play misty for me

It was a misty kinda morning yesterday.
Eldest and I set off over the moors to Hebden Bridge.
The views were a soft grey and muted,
not the usual far reaching and dramatic, 
 unless you knew the road,
you wouldn't know how far it drops into the valley below.
And knowing - as we do - it gives
that extra frisson of jeopardy as you climb up the narrow winding road
and immerse yourself in the clouds.

Then after a few careful miles, avoiding free ranging sheep, pot holes and deep ditches either side of the single width road, you drop down into the town of Hebden Bridge. Full of twinkling lights, decorated shops, street art and coffee shops.

What's not to like?!

Tomorrow I will be doing the final Five on Friday - Gratitude for 2019 - do join in - even if you only leave your five in the comments - it is a lovely and gentle way to round up the week. It helps you see that despite the rubbish that is happening out there in the world, there are small and precious moments that make your life just that little nicer.

Until then xxxxxx



Not all traditions and rituals are universally accepted or done - each individual family will have their personal take on something simple and repeat it year on year.

Ours is the annual delivery of cards around the village. We have been doing it ever since we moved here (nearly 18 years ago). At the beginning when the boys were small and we had 'giddy dog' and it would be a whole day event. We'd walk up one end of the village, return to the house for a break, snacks and warm drinks, then we would walk up to the other end. As they grew - the route became circular and completed in one go. If it was snowing or icy - then the sledges would come along too - then at the end of our delivery we would return and recuperate with mugs of steaming tea and mincepies in front of the fire.  There was always a lot of play and seemed to take all day to get round - but it was our tradition - part of the season, part of village life. 

They grew (the boys) and the route, now well worn seemed easier and shorter.  The last few years - it is me now with the shortest legs and they have to slow down for me :D 

Yesterday, it was only Eldest, myself and Moss doing the round. It was bitter and you could taste the metallic iciness in the air. Although the sky was clear above, either side of the valley you could see heavy clouds looming. We walked round quickly - to keep warm and hopefully avoid the impending weather.
 There was a surprisingly amount of dog walkers out, all wrapped up warmly. Some where wandering slowly nattering with friends while their dogs played in bouncy circles around their owners, others were head down and marching with their dogs trotting alongside - duty bound to get out and about and back before it was dark.
 As ever, we both had our cameras, stopping to capture the sun through one arm of the approaching clouds which glowed like molten candy floss. As we walked the crows, which had been swirling and tumbling in the sky above the fields, turned as one and set off home for the day, cawing and craaking as they flew. We kept moving, no time to linger long.
When we returned home, the first drops of icy rain began to fall - we timed it well - now to have that mug of tea and mincepie in front of the fire xxx

What family traditions do you have or do? 
Have a lovely Wednesday xxxxx


Who you calling a 'pretty boy'?

Not quite your common or garden sort of visitor,
this Harris hawk has loitered around for a day or two.
 I first spotted it in the trees yesterday morning when I was cradling a coffee in my hands.
The group of agitated crows and jackdaws caught my attention,
because at the centre of their feathery cackles and shrieks...
Was this handsome creature. 
A few quick photos through the window was not enough,
so Eldest and I walked as close as we could 
and got a few more.
 Even before we knew exactly what species it was (we did a bit of research), 
we knew that it was not a local bird.
Turns out  - it is far from it's country of origin and will be an escaped 'Falconry Bird'.

Good luck rounding this stray up................!


Ooh er missus !

You know it is the festive silly season,
when you are knitting a teeny weeny scarf 
for a needle felted commission...
...Or painting salt dough stars... 
And you know it is definitely the silly season,
when you notice that one of the pixie boots you are painting in red and green strips
is sporting a rather skimpy and fetching 
oh dear.
Quick - fetch the green paint and fill in the missing spaces
see if that helps!

Hope your Monday is as silly - in a nice way of course :)


Five on Friday - gratitude 13.12

Today I need to dwell deeply on my five gratitudes - it is wet and dark outside and life seems very topsy turvy at the moment.
To round up the end of the week my Five on Friday are...

The delicious pleasure of climbing into a pre-warmed bed. Himself always switches on my electric blanket for me and the delight of sliding cold feet into a warm bed is wonderful.

Cinnamon coffee - something I had 'discovered' some winters ago and return to it seasonally. A warming and bold way of zhushing your morning brew. Make your coffee (be it instant or ground) with milk first - this takes off the bitter seared edge, add hot water, stir, then sprinkle on the cinnamon. 
Smell that wonderful aroma, just absorb that gorgeous woody scent, then stir, stir well.
Cinnamon is an acquired taste in coffee, however, if you want to give it a try, start with just a few grains and build it up. It will be worth it - you can feel its magic as you drink it :)

The company of a dog - Moss, a constant companion, a foot warmer, a walk taker, a tail wagger, a pair of trusting brown eyes, a forgiving soul, a confidant, a muse and a constant source of amusement and photo opportunity....

Digital photography - I will be forever grateful that film (although different and still an amazing technology) has moved on to digital. My camera (and to an extent) the laptop are tools for my art - workhorses, logging my work, creating 'stories', capturing inspiration. I can't imagine my world without my camera.

Fold up umbrella - Himself bought us a pair to slot in to haversacks or be hand-held as we walk out. I think this year most of our walks have been 'with umbrella'. This last week my umbrella has seen action every day - hail, sleet, rain and even as a shield against a sharp and icy breeze.

♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Every night, as soon as I am comfortable and before I fall asleep, I quietly go through my day and list without fail three things that I am grateful for. Sometimes it is hard to find a new one - then I realise I am grateful for things that are considered normal and universally accepted as everyday - like being warm, like having food in the cupboard, like being able to switch a light on and not worry that it will go off. Then, I realise how very lucky I am.

♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
Let us celebrate the small things that make our lives all that more easy - a gently way to enjoy our lives xxx

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Salt dough ho ho ho

Not sure what has happened but suddenly (after a brief hiatus) 
my chrimbly crafting mojo has kicked in. 
I say 'brief' but I suspect it has been at least three or four years 
I have felt as if wading against the incoming tide through every December. 
Today I am making salt dough decorations. The oven is full of stars, fir trees and stockings gently drying. Later today when they have cooled I will paint and varnish them.
 I can not believe the pleasure I got from the making and baking of this (big) kid friendly craft.
But now I am back finishing off my stock for the final Christmas fayre of the year. 
So there are drift wood santas waiting for a final coat of paint on the back half of them, 
little wooden tree decorations waiting to be bagged up. 
Hand printed wrapping paper waiting for a final drift of festive stamps being added - 
it is a bit like Santa's grotto in here today! 

 Don't forget tomorrow will be 'Five on Friday - Gratitude', 
I'll add the link up button at the bottom of my post - 
till then - have a lovely Thursday!


small insights and flashing lights

Dark evening walks seem to be the order of the day at the moment; a combination of being busy through the day, the rain, dilly dog wanting to stretch her legs, Himself wanting fresh air and me needing to rack up the miles before the end of the year (ONLY 83 miles to go before I hit the mythical #walk1000miles by the end of the year!).

It is a different kind of walking. Introspective. Reflective. Inward.

We walk, mostly in congenial silence but equally we talk and laugh and pass comment (not always complimentary) on the ever increasing amount of houses groaning under the weight of flashing festive lightage. Some discreet and delightful, most covered in brightly coloured pulsating mesh lights. There is one home that seems to have several more yards of twinkle added every second day or so - I would hate to see their electricity bill after this month (mind you, their festive lights started flashing in November....)
Last night, while at our furthest point - it started to rain and hail and beneath my umbrella, wrapped up warmly with just my nose and eyes visible - in a strange way - it was rather beautiful. The small white icy pellets bouncing on the pavement reflecting off the light the the street lamps. Their 'twinkle' muted and natural.
Then, when home, with my fingers wrapped around a mug, the dog asleep in front of the fire and Himself pottering around - I always feel better for the slog.

I will be doing another Five on Friday - Gratitude this week - if you fancy joining in - it is a simple post where you list five things that made you smile this week - a gentle way to round up the week and celebrate the small things in life that are important to you, I'll add a link at the end of Friday's post so you can add your 'Five' - xxxx

I best get on, coffee and painting waiting for me :)


A breath of fresh air ❤️

Yesterday, after completing some of the ACEO paintings I am working on at the moment -
 I really needed to get out and get some air.
So, several warm layers later and a rather giddy dog, 
Eldest and I set off and breathed icy fresh air, 
felt clear sun on our faces 
and watched the Cold Moon (The moon before Yule) rise.
 As the afternoon cooled down and the sun slid behind the hill, 
the air became frosty and the moon began to glow.

 Despite gritting my teeth to stop them chattering - it was worth being out.

It is our knit and natter chrimbly do this afternoon,
I'm looking forward to chatting and nibbling 
with like minded crafty folk :)

Hope you have a lovely Tuesday ❤️ 


Annual wreath workshop round up

 Every year a lovely group of friends and family get together here at mine and we do the annual 'festive wreathy thing' where we spend a very happy day surrounded by far too much food, mountains of greenery and decorations.
Folk landed through out the day, but ultimately 11 of us created over 20 wreathes, grave decorations and stars.  
We make for ourselves, 
we make to share.

Then in the evening, when everyone had gone, 
we quietly picked through the remaining foliage
and made these...

 Yes, a good day.

How was your weekend?
Quiet or full on?

Have a lovely Monday :) xxxxxx