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...


February's link up party!

Welcome - just follow the instructions below and add your name to the link up. Don't forget to visit other photo hunters and drop them a comment :)

Keep an eye on this link up page as photo hunters appear through out the weekend - you don't want to miss a post!
Have a lovely Friday and enjoy your weekend!!

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February's photos and stories

February - soggy soggy February,  you have lingered long enough - time to look for brighter skies, less mud and warmer days!
However, until then .... February's words and photos for your perusal :)

Folk who've followed my blog for some time will know that every February I used to feature a heart themed post every day for the entire month - and as a result, all year round I would 'have to collect' images of hearts in preparation for the next February. I eventually stopped as I found it it harder to find new and different hearts and stories to go with them. Then, today, while I was searching through my archives I rediscovered a few photos I have never used before - and this one was perfect ' Meet Bob ❤️ Mabel!!

A hole in a favourite jumper - a repair not to be invisible but to be decorative! I used 'Lancashire's smallest Loom' to fill this hole and two others - one on a sleeve and one near the hem.

Not my photo - one from Eldest's collection from a university trip to Spain. The students had stopped for a lunch break from an all day flora survey when a cat turned up and was rather hopeful to share in the picnic. I love the way his tail is slinking around that lad's back :)

One summer holiday, we stayed in a cottage, Kyloe Woods, Northumberland and the decor was themed in an American homestead style with lots of painted cast iron features, including this key rack in the kitchen.

On Thursday I was walking with a friend and we stopped off at a pretty little waterfall. Along the path, growing out of the cliff edge was a mature tree that, over the years, had its roots exposed and undercut by the river. I tried to trace one or two however they were so tangled and knotted together - it seemed impossible.

My own choice
So .... No heavy petting, no bombing and no parking ......

okaaa--aay ....... steps back quietly and leaves before the locals notice I have been there ....


Sunny Sunday, Wet Walks and Dilly Dog

Do you hibernate, bake a heavenly scented fruit cake, drink tea and crochet, ignore the banshee-esque wind sounds while she screams and shrieks around the house, rattling her sabre and the trees as the rain is flung about like mini darts..... or
Do you shake a defiant fist at the weather, 
don every-water-proofed-item you have and 
step out into the horizontal rain ...
 ..then lean into the wind at a gravity-defying angle....
.....or both.

Which is what we did.
And were rewarded by the most glorious snippets of sunshine.

 Himself and I, heads bowed, hats and hoods jammed on tight trudged into the wind along the Leeds to Liverpool canal, mud squelching and puddle hopping as we went along.
We found a sheltered spot against a sun-warmed wall and hunkered down
as the third member of our walking pack
took a quick dip (or five... )
Leaping in and out with such a happy face,
she was not the only one who grinned that day.
Despite the fact it was not an easy walk,
it was a really really good one

Sunday was one of the better days we have had recently courtesy of a very cantankerous weather system hurling abuse over the small isles that we live on.


Leap Year Extra!

Next Saturday is our extra day for the year - 
have you thought how you could spend a whole additional 24 hours?
With it being on the weekend it opens up the options to get out 
and do something different, something fun, something worthwhile!

I think that this is an opportunity not to waste :D 
So to get the ball rolling, 
I am going to list as many things that might just be fun/new/exciting or just different to do on
 Our Extra Day 2020 
and if you think I have left something out ..... just add it in the comments :D

  1. Walk somewhere new to you (weather permitting of course !)
  2. Picnic with some one you love (in the car if the rain is still ... erm..... raining)
  3. See a film that you have been promising yourself
  4. Fish and chips eaten by the coast watching the tide coming in
  5. Start that new project (knitting, wood calving, sketching, belly dancing!)
  6. Get out in the garden and plant bulbs
  7. Sign up for a new course - new language, new skill, learn to be a plumber - other jobs available!
  8. Paint that feature wall in cerise/purple/aquamarine/white or what ever takes your fancy
  9. Find a new job
  10. Resign from the old one
  11. Take up a new hobby - needle felting, cross stitch or archery
  12. Bake a cake - not just any old recipe - that one you have been promising yourself since forever
  13. Invite friends/family and eat that cake (or if you are not for sharing it - scoff it happily)
  14. Go for a road trip - we have an extra day, so take that and add it to the Sunday, take the dog, kids, partner, favourite music and hit the road and sing - loudly
  15. Book a holiday
  16. Catch up with friends you have not seen for a while
  17. Start that book - whether you are going to read it or actually write one - just do it
  18. Get that piercing 
  19. Or that tattoo ..........
  20.  over to you, what can we do to celebrate and make the most of our extra day this year???
Have a lovely weekend and may the sunshine be both outside and within xxx


Thursday's thoughts

Thursday is a thundering it down rain day.... or that is what it seems to be today.

I have temporarily made peace with the weather and am making good used of the enforced hibernation time. Which is strange, for not so long ago, I would have relished the excuse to curl up on the settee and pretend that the world outside did not exist. However now, as it begins to get lighter in the mornings and tiny hints of spring quietly appear I can feel the urgency of new beginnings, the unfurling of minute leaf tips, the building of nests, the greening of the fields and want to respond.

I want colour and warmth and creativity - so what better way than to crochet another blanket - to tide me over until spring truly starts and summer sends a post card saying she is on her way.

Until then.....
I have been lucky enough to get my hands on a pile of rehomed stash - in so many shades of blue 

Yarn cakes beginning to form,
to take over and
give me colour option ideas. 
 Nearly all wound, still more to do, but I best get on - can hear the kettle calling.
It is still raining..................


A day of many halves.

As I type, the sky is a pale sepia, bordering on lemon yellow and the window pane is dashed with raindrops - another wet and wild day. Two storms in quick succession seem to be lingering like a dreaded lurgy no one can shake.
There are more puddles than a entire flotilla of ducks and my dog can deal with and they seem to multiply and grow by the hour. Some have been rumoured to have swallowed entire cars in one gulp (I may be exaggerating here but it is artist licence!)
Yet, yet, when the sun deigns to appear, a warm and fuzzy glow wraps around everything. The earth steams gently hinting at heat hazes along barely humid muddy tracks. I am still wrapped up like Nanook of the North and still very aware that there is a sharp nip (and ice-crackingly cold breeze) in the air. But ..... the sun - such a tease. 
Already full streams and ponds are bulging with surplus rainwater, fit to flood at one more cloud burst, swollen and sullen and noisy. 
Rain falls as hail and snow pellets on higher ground, crunching underfoot and looking like crystalline polystyrene balls as they roll across the moorland grasses - the wind lifting them and hurling them in to the air .... and my face.  
Every now and then, a small flash of colour, of promise and of hope give me ... hope .... hope that the weather calms down, that villages dry out, that the water recedes, that folk can get their homes back and that despite knowing that it is late winter and it is still some time off being warmer - that this driech and dreary weather will end. 
I have had quite enough walking a dilly dog whilst wearing what feels like every duvet I own and still being cold whilst leaning into a strong breeze when I trudge around the village struggling to find a reasonably passable pathway - I think I am ready for a bit of nicer weather - what do you think? Too much to ask?


February's Five on Friday - gratitude

Morning all - my five this month are ...

friendship - I wrote yesterday on this - refinding friends and reforging friendships - precious.

Rediscovering a forgotten craft - I am needle-felting at the moment - a string of cartoon creatures and mini monsters - the rhythmic stabbing of a small waft of fleece until it turns into magical folk with their own characters really makes me happy.

A good book - just read one - a true story of survival through walking, just started another - the jury is out on this one, it may improve.

The scent of hyacinths - still filling the room with gentle ribbons of perfume although this present pot has almost reached the end of it's life, there is another waiting in the wings to fill the space.

The simple pleasure of conversation.

These - and other small gems - have made my day, my week, my life all that much better.... and you? What has made your day that little sweeter?

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the power of friendship and creativity

Firstly a gentle reminder that tomorrow (14th Feb - famous for a different reason!) is going to a Five on Friday - Gratitude post - if you would like to join in - just add your link to the widget after tomorrow's post on my blog :) Let's share the smaller joys in life that make our day that little more gentle, more kind and bring a smile to your face xxx
Since October I have struggled to get back into my art, in fact I can give you a date - Friday 25th to be exact. I shut my studio and could not bear to go in and for the most of winter the space I virtually lived in daily for most of 2019 was left, ignored, shunned even.
Fast forward to this year, I met up with a few arty friends, one, a rather special gentleman who has had a really tough few years recently and despite all - has a smile, a kind word and a generosity of spirit for everyone he speaks to. During a conversation I picked up that despite his many activities, he was lonely and that he'd stopped drawing and had lost all inspiration. On a whim I invited him to a walk and sketch day (which surprised me as I had been actively avoiding that exact sort of thing - people/sketching/in public etc)
The rest they say is history. We have been meeting every week for a month now and it is almost if a light bulb has been switched on - not only switched on but changed to a brighter wattage and the walls painted white and a fresh pot of tea brewed!  We meet, walk and talk, have a picnic or pop into a cafe, take photos, sketch en route and discuss what we will draw later. Then at the end of a lovely day, we sketch out and discuss via the magic of messenger (say what you like about certain social media but if used correctly and how it was originally intended, it is such a wonderful way of direct contact and chat when miles apart) we send photos of progress work then share on a #dailysketchchallenge page our work.
And the added bonus? It has got others not only joining in with their art but renewed friendships. Arty folk we'd not heard from or seen since that same October have quietly reappeared, as has their work.
The power of friendship and the power of creativity - never underestimate it.


Lagom Hygge

Another wild day outside, curtains of hail or rain rush by at breakneck speed, crashing into buildings and cars, leaving wet and white sheets of icy pellets. The wind, compliant, throws bedraggled leaves into the air, pulling woolly hats off and tugging at coats and scarves.

A day for inside.
So - I have reached for some comfort crafting - colourful and soft.
I have little monsters in mind ....
I've been comfort baking - peanut and oat crunchies - still soft and warm from the oven, cooling on the rack for this afternoon's knit and natter.
Talking of knit and natter - I must really complete this final mitten, but....
I suspect I will play with colourful fleece instead,
... chat and eat more than I should!

Now, the day ends - as it began - with squally sharp showers reeking havoc with folk scuttling along the pavement trying to get home before the next onslaught.

And yes, no knitting done but plenty of playing (carding) of fleece making it fluffy and ready to create little monsters :)

A day of Lagom Hygge  and it felt good :)



Wild wet and windy

Storm Ciara made herself known yesterday - she howled and she raged and she danced around the house. Leaves and twigs joined in the mad jig and twirled and whirled around corners and into the air. Rivers swelled and burst and roared with full bodied force, leaving strand lines on fences high above their normal level.

We walked out - in a short spell of reasonable calm.  Where we had to lean into the wind while she flew around trying to rip off our hats.
We listened to the thunderous voices of the river crashing down the boulders.

We walked over the metal bridge which had only an hour or so before, been under water. Usually it is two metres above a benign muddy stream but on Sunday it was a riotous angry river.

Fields, usually reserved for football and village shows were deep enough under water for a Part-Otter-Part-Dog-Full-Idiot to swim and to splash. She was in her element. I, buffeted almost into submission, cowered against the sports pavilion as she and Himself threw caution (and sticks) to the wind and defiantly played on.

It struck me that the wind herself has no sound or visible action, however the trees hear her and give her voice, screaming or howling and dancing at her beck and call. Then, when Storm Ciara briefly paused for breath, the trees would rest, limbs lowering and twigs trembling ready for the next barrage.
Surprisingly few trees succumbed to the force however flooding was more in evidence.

On our return bluster,hats pulled down hard and walking at a novel angle, we came alongside a novel 'just in case' moment - a helping 'hand' keeping a small and rather flimsy roof from taking off in the wind.
Later, much later, we returned Youngest to Uni from his weekend of RnR with us (read that as Restocking and Resting and washing and being fed and sleeping and sleeping and sleeping).
 Something made me take my camera - glad I did, the lights at the Uni glowed through the final dregs of Storm Ciara. Almost defiantly.

Here is to a calmer Monday xxxxxx

PS ... there are now 'ninja hail showers'* completely obscuring the view and making rooves and roads crusty and white.

* I will forever think of short sharp showers as 'ninja' showers thanks to justjill of Land of the Big Sky