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...


Words for February

It is, I have to say, a little chilly here in the north of England, certainly to be expected for this time of year and no way as deep frozen as north America. But as I sit here with my foot up (I went and sprained my ankle yesterday .... groan) and the woodburner tickling away - I am feeling cold.

Any hoo - enough self indulgent nonsense.

Thank you everyone who joined in with January's Scavenger Hunt - some cracking photos and stories and some lovely new hunters.
Welcome to our little corner of the blogisphere :)

February is just around the corner (ok ok - it is tomorrow) so I thought as it is such a short month I better crack on and give you the next lot of words ... ready? Good. February's words are going to be a little 'different' - let me explain.

I shall be listing words that are not 'tangible' for example ...SOUND.

How do you photo sound? Well - the obvious ones are a radio or a TV, but how about a river burbling over rocks, a bird singing, a rock concert or a grandchild nattering away ten to the dozen.

Get the picture? 

Ok here goes:

My own choice

I can hear your collective intake of breath as you read these! They are not as hard as you think .

SMELL - could be a photo of a gorgeous rose or a pile of horse muck ready to be spread, TASTE could be that amazing meal you had in the restaurant last week when you celebrated your birthday, or it could be a rather 'interesting taste' in furniture or clothing.
SEE/SIGHT could be a favourite view or a quick snap of a strange sight.

So use all five of your senses and think outside of the box and enjoy!

We shall reconvene on Friday 1st March where we can share and show our results - until then I shall leave you with a photo of my garden and studio taken yesterday morning - at the moment I live and work in Narnia :)


In which a little bit of magic occurs .....

On Friday afternoon, I was itching for a walk but the weather was not playing nicely - wet and windy and most definitely chilly. In the end I asked if we could still go despite the driech wet stuff flying past our windows saying that it would do us some good. There was a modicum of dark mutterings from the younger member our walking pack but the dog and Himself were certainly happy to go out.  So glad we did. 

There be unicorns and dryads in them thar woods,
witches both wicked and true,
hobgoblins and weredogs with scaly tails and horns.
Bats, witch-hunters and
mist twirling through the trees.

What a brilliant little trail :)


Pendle Sculpture Trail, Aiken Wood, Barley.


January's link up party

Welcome to January's link up party!
Just add your name to the list if you have taken part :)
Don't forget to visit everyone else's page - thank you!

When you tap on someone's link - it takes a second or two before transferring you
please don't think it is not working :)



January Scavenger Hunt - first for 2019!

Hi there!
Wow January has slipped by rather quickly - admittedly most of it passed me by in a haze of snuffles, coughs and whopping headaches but I can now happily say that I am now raring to go!

'Fraid, due to said rubbish lurgy,  my selection of images have only just been hastily thrown together now that I feel brain-worthy enough to search for pictures and string a sentence together :)


A quick lino cut (all my befuzzled brain could deal with) of a cat,
silver ink and black paper- giving a lovely metallic look.

A gift from a friend some years ago - one of my favourites.

Or rather ... in the process of being made,
crochet scarf.
The yarn is alpaca and the plan is the colours
will filter in and out of each giving a woven effect.
Slow but happy progress.

A very old tree trunk - silvered with age and hollow sounding, 
once used as a gate post, now forgotten on a lovely old drover track.

A new roof for an old farm house, 
a mix of modern trusses and original struts.

My own Choice
Taken Wednesday on my walk (as part of my #walk1000miles challenge)
a lovely crisp day, crunchy under foot
and rather nippy on the nose and fingers.


My day measured in mugs of tea

Good morning!
The initial mug in the morning is made for me,  it is about the first thing I reach for as I stumble into the kitchen. Dressed but still asleep. I try to drink it fairly quickly, particularly this time of year - the kitchen is cold, slow to warm - quick to cool, so a mug of steaming of tea is a fleeting pleasure and should not be ignored.

My first mug is a painting of mine, made for a left handed user - me. So many mugs do not even consider a left-handed owner. 

My next is usually an hour later - a solitary brew of coffee - savoured in my tall 'Miro' Japanese style no handled mug. Perfect for wrapping cold hands around a warm vessel.  After that I return to tea.

When I am in the studio I take a humongous flask of hot water out with me and up to lunch time I quietly sip or slurp a mug roughly every hour as I work on my latest project or commission. It is that comfort thing of reaching for a warm drink as I ponder my next move or lean back to assess my progress. Mug in hand.

After lunch, Moss and I set off to add to our #walk1000miles challenge and once back,  I quietly drink a fresh hot drink in my large hare mug - recently a hot chocolate (all I have really been able to taste for the last couple of weeks) - and observe the birds through the window as they flit to and fro the bird table before I return to painting/carving/needle felting/writing/sketching.

The afternoon usually flies by - accompanied by a mug or two (some times three ...) then by 4 I start to tidy up, leaving my workbench ready for the next day and return home.

The family fall through the back door, the dog is ravenous as is the husband. The kettle is on as we chat and catch up - for me my smaller bone china mug, for him his favourite chunky mug. Then we eat.
Later, nestled on the settee, fire crackling away, something on the tv or radio quietly chuntering away in the background - we have the last mug of the day - Tea.


Totoro forest spirits

Inspired by the magical creatures of My Neighbour - Totoro and the need for a subject for a mini-workshop ... these fellows were created.

Meet Totoro (large grey) Chu-totoro (blue) and Chibi-totoro (smallest little forest spirit).
A really good way to spend a couple of evenings - one to practice and the second to share the knowledge :)

I rather like needle felting :)


The mythical healing properties of the (Not so) humble cat

My dear human,
you are a sniveling, snotty mess.
You appear to have completely melted into the settee.
As a superior  cat,  I can neither condone or condemn this shameful dropping of standards.
You appear to be weak and defenseless against my powers!
I shall stomp on you,  meow loudly on your face with my fish-biscuity breath to give you much needed encouragement.
I shall knead your chest as I  purr-chant magical feline sagas to expel all coughs and hairballs.
At night,  when you are at your most germ-ridden weakest, I will  walk on you, whisper sweet cat-charms as I bestow upon you a mystical spell to aid your healing.

You can thank me later. No, I insist ... You will thank me later, but you can start by getting off the settee and feed me.... gah what does a superior cat have to do around here to keep some sort of order!
I will be keeping a beady eye on you ...
Pepper (your superior cat)


Hebden Bridge

It starts drizzling - lightly. Not enough to make you reach for a coat but enough to make you squint up your eyes and frown. Which is what I am doing.
Then the rain really starts - heavy fat plop-lets as we run to the car.
We have a day planned and we want to see it through. Despite all feeling under the weather and bombarded by it too. We sit in a steamed up car, snuffling and sneezing feeling damp and cold.
Let's go.
The road is running wet as it, ribbon-like, heads up and over the moor. We peer through rainstained car windows at the standing huddle-close sheep, sodden and dripping, heads down patiently waiting. Inside we chat and listen or complain about the music - a standing source of mock irritation and amusement.
Finally we stop and pile out of the car - hunkering down in our coats against the damp air. The path into the town is a steep hillside cobbled stepped route, slipping its way past industrial ghosts, ivy covered mill chimneys and factory remains, bursting out on the main road down in the valley.

We dart between shops, lingering in the warmer ones as we browse over books and fettle through charity shops. Youngest feels weary, his head heavy and his throat sore. I agree that I too feel rough. The others nod - so we step into a cafe, order tea, toast and honey and toasted tea cakes.

People, bending against the rain plod past the windows, as we begin to feel better, warmer, drier.

Leaving the warmth of the tea room almost sends us back to the car and home as I remind them there is one place I still want to see before we go. We quicken our step. 

In the quirky pottery shop we drift between the precarious towers of plates or pots. Carefully lifting cups and jugs to admire. The narrow paths between the crockery invite us to slow down and inspect mugs with painted beetles, plates adorned with skulls in top hats, teapots sporting black and green tractors, butter dishes covered in delicate painterly bird's eggs patterns.

We came away bearing treasures - Youngest a metallic oily-dark and masculine glazed mug, Eldest purchases a heavy stoneware bowl as he fantasies about filling it with muesli, Eldest's GF a delightfully wonky white mug that, when she cradles in her hands - fits perfectly.

And I find a mug that pulls at my heart strings and I will use as soon as we get home.

Which I do.

And it is perfect.


A little more light

Today is 5th January - a day to celebrate as the evenings start to feel lighter - actually be lighter.

So I am going to make a sun cake - a dark fruit filled cake, cooked slowly, filling the house with the scent of warming spices, dried fruit and apple.
Then later, we'll take the still warm cake for a bit of a walk, find a view, open the flask and look at the view and quietly relish the coming of spring.


The crunch of beech leaves beneath my feet

Today the air was crisp with a sharp nip to it. The earth was cool and damp and trees were resting. We walked through the wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags - a National Trust property. Even rotting trees and the fallen branches had an extraordinary beauty. The bird song although not prolific was a delicate background to the burbling rivers and crunch of the leaves and twigs beneath our feet.
There were hints and quiet suggestions of buds and shoots all around - little tips of spring forging ahead courtesy of the mild weather.
Others walked with their dogs or families too - all in their own way, celebrating the protective enclosure the sleeping trees seemed to give.

When we reached the mill - our turning point to the walk - the air seemed impossibly still and because the cafe had just closed, the more sedentary visitors were shuffling off back to the car park. We went round to the mill pond and it was mirror calm. The reflections were perfect - mirror perfect.

Before I go - 
Just in case you think I had forgotten -
January's words :)

My own choice

And a gentle reminder how to join in.
All you need to do is be inspired by the list.
It can be a current image or one from your archives
interpret it as YOU please - think outside the box, 
think laterally, take photos
 and most importantly - have FUN!

Ok, it is now down to YOU - we shall reconvene and and reveal our pictures with a little bit of waffle, over the final weekend of January (starting Friday 25th).
How exciting is that! 
I can't wait to see what we all come up with!



New Year new day

Today dawned beautifully - the sky glowed the most delicate blue and not a cloud was to be seen, it was a joy to be outside. Himself and I wordlessly drank our mugs of tea as we sat in the (relatively) early morning silence. The rest of the family still asleep - even Moss.
The first thing we did for 2019? 
We went into the garden and carefully cleared away winter debris. We didn't want to disturb anything small and beetle shaped whilst hibernating - I even managed to turn the compost - a job I'd been saving for a (non)rainy day.

Then after lunch we went for a walk. I had been initially intrigued by then inspired by Sharon from Sunshine and Celandines  when she mentioned #walk1000miles on her blog during 2018. After a little investigation I decided that I was going to sign up and join in.  Youngest set up on my cellphone a walking/speed/altitude monitor  (the company pitch says built by athletes for athletes .... and me - a plodder!) so I can keep a real time record of my route, steps, speed and more importantly - distance.

The clear cool air was sublime. It seemed that half the village were also making the most of the day - we all were relishing the beauty and clarity of it all.

New Year went quietly too - as planned, we are not into the hype and hullabaloo and never have been - so today's gentle start to 2019 seemed just perfect.

I have a good feeling about this year xxx