Sunday, 10 October 2010
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Thursday, 16 September 2010
I recently watched the wonderful documentary 'Beautiful Losers' and was enthralled by listening to the late Margaret Kilgallen speak. Her work is absolutely stunning. I have often said that beauty is found in things that are off, or 'wonky', and that this imperfection is beautiful. She expressed that thought so much better than I could:
'I like things that are handmade and I like to see people's hand in the world, anywhere in the world; it doesn't matter to me where it is. And in my own work, I do everything by hand. I don't project or use anything mechanical, because even though I do spend a lot of time trying to perfect my line work and my hand, my hand will always be imperfect because it's human. And I think it's the part that's off that's interesting, that even if I'm doing really big letters and I spend a lot of time going over the line and over the line and trying to make it straight, I'll never be able to make it straight. From a distance it might look straight, but when you get close up, you can always see the line waver. And I think that's where the beauty is'
"Margaret Kilgallen" on Art:21, PBS.com, 2005 (via Wikipedia)
(Images via The Initiatives and Visualingual)
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
I've been reading a wonderful article on parenting, which I wanted to share with you. It's given me a lot of encouragement that my journey as a mama is heading in the right direction and that I'm learning so much from spending time with E - we learn together and in a natural, unforced way.
“…But more important, what parents need to know :
[…] Our children don’t need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them.”
Full article is available here .
Trying to build a magical childhood for my boy, trying to do the very best I can on that front.
Monday, 13 September 2010
Saturday, 4 September 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
There is no other style of music so mesmorising, lovely and heartbreaking as bossa nova. This is a video from Joao Gilberto, whose voice could melt the coldest heart. It's a tune called Estate, and it's one of my favourites. There is such heart here...
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Monday, 23 August 2010
I'm looking for a baby doll for E to play with. He's really been enjoying games we play where we comfort someone when they're sad, or pretend to change a nappy on a toy, or we cover up someone in a blanket. He goes to a day nursery 2 days a week and we've been hearing that he's been kissing and cuddling the smallest babies there. He's such a kind boy! I love that this is a really important side of his personality and asked him if he wanted a baby doll, to which he nodded yes, with his most serious face on. So now the hunt is on for the perfect doll. I love Charlie doll (top) with his cool outfits, from BlaBla. This big fuzzy haired doll is super funky and can be bought from Myriad Toys. I think my favourite dolls are by Bamboletta - the one at the bottom is called 'Sadie' - and they do custom dolls too, which is exciting!
Saturday, 21 August 2010
I finished this baby cardigan for my friend's baby, Edward, a little while ago but only just got round to sewing up and pressing. I'm really pleased with myself as the pattern involved lots of things I'd not done before. All worked out beautifully. The pattern was '5 hour baby sweater' which I found on Ravelry and the yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Now.... what to knit next...?!
Friday, 6 August 2010
We liked poking about amongst the trees with sticks, and E did some adventurous climbing with Grandma!
We visited E's Great Great Auntie Marion, who is 92 years old. She is such a sweetheart - a real lovely kind lady. She's a very sociable person and though she can't get around much any more she's still as sharp as tack. E adores her!
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
I've started knitting again - hurray! I'm still quite a beginner, so every project I take on has some element of new learning in it. This time round I'm knitting a cardigan for my friend's new baby boy. It's in a lovely blue cashmerino aran yarn by Debbie Bliss. I'll post a photo when I've finished it.
The problem with knitting is that it makes me want to buy lots of yarn! Look at this beautiful yarn - aren't the colours amazing?
Yarn and Photo by yarnwench on Flickr
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
So... I quit my job!!! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!
Honestly, I can't tell you the liberation! And actually the prospect of frugal - and more mindful - living is kind of exciting me too.
Why I'm pleased:
Not having to do the 9-5 grind, not having 'an office'. Not having all those associated office politics (of which there were A LOT in my place). Not having to travel on trains and buses for hours and hours to get there to do something I don't even really enjoy.
Focusing on my family, creative pursuits - knitting, drawing, playing, learning - just living life at a more local level, a slower pace. Yes, I'll still be doing the lecturing, with it's associated piles of marking etc. but that's something I can control. I can choose which days I want to work. I can choose how many hours I want to take on. I can take on more one term, less the next. And if I run out of money I have to be creative about where I find some more.
Picture by Picasso, which I'm thinking of having as a tattoo to mark this occasion!
Monday, 19 July 2010
Photo via rockclimbing.com
Monday, 12 July 2010
E hasn't been swimming in his life, as I can't swim and am pretty scared of water. But this weekend we went with his (half) brother Jake, myself and the woodsman down to the River Itchen, near Itchen Abbas, and paddled in the shallows. It was such fun! E needed some persuading to get in but once in he didn't want to get out. Another family came for a paddle with their dog, who was *very* excited about the whole thing, and E kept shouting 'woof woof'. All great fun. We then popped in to see a friend who gave us a big bowl full of home grown raspberries. Jake - who is now 12 - said it was the best Sunday he's had in ages, much better than sitting and playing X Box!
Photo by sandlings on Flickr
Saturday, 10 July 2010
'one, two, three, four'!
I had *no* idea he could count! I mean, we do count things in books but not in a hardcore teachy sort of way... they just pick up things like sponges, don't they.
So, I think we might get him this funny, stylish print from sugarfresh just to celebrate his new counting skills!
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
- plant up some herbs (we were given some very garish coloured plastic plant pots and some seeds, so I may as well plant them up for us to use)
- make a hula hoop
- learn to juggle (the woodsman is an excellent juggler and I'm sure could teach me no problems)
- sew something (but what?? to decide - I'm a total beginner)
Let's see how I get on - can I stop procrastinating and actually do some fun stuff?
Sunday, 4 July 2010
I'm loving the creativity of toddlerhood and I'm really starting to think about unschooling as an option for us, as I want to keep this exciting/excited way of learning and exploring for E.
Not sure I could cope with some of the negative reactions I know we'd get, but we'd find ways to cope with those over time I think.
I've been doing a lot of blog reading recently and am finding more and more wonderful blogs that show really creative families and people living outside of the more accepted ways of living. You might say outside of the 'system'. Travellers, unschoolers, anarchists, deworkers, idlers, crafters, bloggers.... Gives me inspiration to read such things.
(Photo by the brilliant Amanda Blake Soule of Soulemama)
Thursday, 1 July 2010
Monday, 28 June 2010
Photo via Canyon News
Saturday, 26 June 2010
Saturday, 19 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
As a massive Bjork fan, I've always wanted to visit Iceland - this video makes me want to go there even more! Love this track by Emiliana Torrini -I had no idea she was from Iceland. I studied Icelandic Literature and Culture for a year at uni, where we read Icelandic sagas. It's a place of real mystery and beauty.
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Thursday, 3 June 2010
(Photos by Dy Swindlehurst)
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
As promised, dear readers - though a bit later than anticipated - here is an introduction to our vintage china collection. The woodsman has a great eye for beautiful old tableware and often brings me back little gifts that cost under a pound. Some are a classic style - like this lovely teapot - others are more retro/kitsch. I think this teapot is just darling.
(Photo by Dy Swindlehurst also known as my mummy!)