Tuesday, 31 January 2012


I have been recently following Craftivist Collective who state a spoonful of craft helps the activism go down. Well anyone who loves Mary Poppins and crafts as much as I do will have a friendship made in heaven!

There is a serious side, using craft to put across messages about human rights, environmental issues the list gos on as do the worlds in equalities. By highlighting issues hopefully we make the world think and act.

So my first attempt at craftism has take some time, I struggled with my message, I wanted it to come from the heart and also know enough about my comment that if I was challenged I wouldn't wilt away.
I though inspiration messages or quotes, then I thought something simple goes a long way. BE KIND, as simple as that. Then ofcourse the time spent sewing of which I chose to hand sew, I also spent time pondering the message for myself and how I hope it will inspire others.

So my inspiration bunting as the collective call it is placed in my village bus stop. Yes it's a little dark and dingy but the local notice board is housed here too so most of the village should get a peek and hopefully take some note.
As I was putting up my bunting an older lady asked what I was doing and said what a wonderful idea and not enough of us where very kind these days and could I make a be happy one too!

If the idea of prompting goodness has sparked an interest have a look at the website with a valentines project coming up  . There is also book for avid knitter called knitting for good by Betsy Greer.

Give it ago it's surprising how liberated you feel !

Friday, 27 January 2012

Home Baking.

It has become a little tradition for Arthur and I to bake a cake on a Friday, it's a little celebration and welcome to MrPB who has been working away all week. This week though I have followed in the footstep of the Barefoot Crofter  recently Jacqui had made a whole batch of cakes to supply the family for a while!

So here we are joining with Linda at for Creative Friday. quiet a selection top right to left: loaf of bread, chocolate and banana loaf, two almond and honey cakes. Bottom row right to left : banana and raisin muffins and three seed flapjack.

We often make cakes but I have noticed a real change in Arthur today in the way he helps, growing up fast in the answer to that !

Stop Thief, not another!!

The three seed flapjack is a real special one, I've made it into my first tutorial on my other blog if you want a peek.

Monday, 23 January 2012

More than Make Do and Mend.

I have recently had to remind myself to start not just thinking in the make do and mend terms but something a little more than that. The story begins with a lovely pair of boots bought at the beginning of winter and another pair of lovely walking boots bought for my birthday last year. We know purchases like this are costly and rather than letting them rot away in the mud it is time to actively look after what I have.

Yes our boots are a sorry state but I think the make do and mend have missed an opportunity of 'cherish what you already own' by looking after it. I spent Sunday with Callum dubbing our boots.

For me it bought back happy childhood memories of cleaning our school shoes on a a Sunday evening ( Callum found this very hard to believe that people really did that kind of thing!) I also though that it bought a sense of achievement to Callum and he was really proud of his shinny boots.

So for a sense of pride, knowledge that your belongings will last longer and I promise you will feel the love, start to cherish and look after your belongings.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Perfect Days.

Personally I could have a million variations of a perfect day, depending on my mood the weather etc. But yesterday I did have a perfect day. As many of you know I love to sew, dressmaking is on the top of my to do list (in fact if I finish this post quick enough I will have sewing machine out again!) So to manage to spend 3-4 hours making my skirt made me so so happy.

I have post about the Colette sew along I'm taking part in on my other blog

The reason it all worked of course was all the other little factors such as, we have had a few busy days so Arthur really enjoyed playing with his toys o his own. I ignored the washing up but made myself feel clever my having a pot of marmalade bubbling on the stove.  It made 12 jars worth in the end!

It felt so nice to spend time doing things I loved without having to leave the house, or to make sure someone was entertaining little ones. how do you manage time to yourselves or like me, the best days are spontaneous?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Journal of a novice cyclist, maiden voyage.

So one of the 2012 challenges was or is to cycle more. It has long been an ambition of mine to use the car less and become lovely and fit, cycling through Devon's hills.
So thanks to MrPB who has attached Arthur's seat I am now up and cycling, we took our maiden voyage today!

Our ride took us four miles to a neighbouring village and good pub. I must admit it was hard work, not because of the extra weight rather than I am not as fit as I once was.  I have always felt being a cyclist or any kind of sporty person doesn't mean we should loose any sense of style. Although I may not look my most stylish today (it is rather cold you know) I am wearing my self stitched pin stripe trousers, and planning to make a few nice things for my new adventures.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Thoughts on clothes swapping.

Tonight we  (WEN the women's environmental network ) The Crediton bit anyway held a clothes swap. I thought I would just say how great an opportunity it was to get together with other women, make an evening of drinks and nibbles, chat and laughter.
I had a number of clothes to swap, I thought it was about time to rid myself of all those items that I thought I might one day fit t into again, lets face it, it's not going to happen, so swapping seemed better than simply handing it over to a Charity shop.
I discussed with a friend how liberating it felt to give clothes away that held emotional baggage. That it was good to feel renewed giving to others.
I also felt that this was a great opportunity to add to my wardrobe some lacking items such a s trousers. Joining in the seamless challenge so no buying new meant this was a great opportunity.

Then the darker side of swapping hit me when everyone had gone home and I was looking through my new pile of clothes, yeas quite a pile. Four pair of trousers, seven T shirts, Two cardigans, two pair of shorts and a bikini top . This is where my hoarding takes over the need for quantity rather than quality has hold!!! AAAArgh, is clothes swapping good for me ask? Well if I find I am not wearing the new items I will be handing them over to a bigger clothes event in March. But it does make me wonder a little about what is my style, what do I need, how many pair of trousers do I really want?It's not that I disagree with the cause or the objective of swapping, maybe I just can not trust myself.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Yarn Along, with lots to say!

Today it's Yarn Along over at the Small Things blog written by Ginny, very beautiful and worth a visit (although you have probably here via her link!).

Big knitting plans for 2012, I have just started my first following a pattern. Everyone is so inspiring and cam knit almost anything, I'm desperate to be alble to knit something wearable for myself (no more leg warmer though!) So here it is my first pattern chosen for it's beginners capability, also I think it's rather cute.

As you can see I have only just started and I'm using the same colour as the girl in the picture.

As for books, I'm always surrounded by those to flick through, those to read more of and those to devourer!

The chakra bible is to assist with my yoga that I'm trying to fit in 3/4 practises a week. But in doing this I want to be more mindful rather than just Miss bendy sstretchy. The second boo is the Colette handbook, I got it for Christmas it is a dressmakers dream, I am planning to join a sew along that covers the whole book! I your interested please look on my sewing blog and follow the post or button. Finally not shown here but I am reading Possession a romance, by A.S.Byatt.

A few other bits and bobs in my life, it is a beautiful morning here so Arthur and I climbed the nearest hill called Raddon top to look at the breathtaking spectacular views. That's what you need when you've been kept awake for hours with teething toddlers, something to lift the spirits! The photo doesn't really show it's glory but on a good day and a good camera you can see the full 360 degrees of Devonshire countryside. I think those of us that live here are feeling a little proud of out Dartmoor as the opening of the War Horse opened at the cinemas a day or so ago, a story of a boy and his horse, based or starting in Dartmoor. I really want to see it, maybe next week?

And finally we have our winter king on the seasonal table, with the little addition of Jack frost who dances around! I finally finished him last week.

I hope your week is going well .

Monday, 9 January 2012

Valentines Swap.

I joined in with Linda's Christmas ornament swap and it was so lovely. To make something special for a new friend, is all very exciting. So I am jumping on board and sharing the love with Linda's Valentines swap. You can too, it's such fun!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

2012 - Welcome.

I like to start the New Year with a plan, a theme, or something to work towards for  the year coming. I wouldn't really call it a resolution rather than positive thinking .
2009- we had Arthur our youngest son.
2010 - we got married, 1940s style!
2011 - we took more weekend breaks and holidays of sorts/ living life, taking adventure.

Unfortunately I have been busy, too busy to really give the proper time a yearly theme needs. On New Years eve I had a terrible sense that I simply wasn't ready for 2012!

Well that is the answer in it's self. I have been too busy. Although we have had a wonderful year it has had struggling moments with Mr PBs work and the thought process of running my own child minding business. The there's the usual, kids, dogs , life! I have been spreading myself too thinly and after a really good heart to heart on New Years Eve, I woke with a new sense of how things could be this year.

The answer is simple although we will have to live on less money, yet again. But I have always thought that when I have been at mt poorest I have been my happiest and most creative! So I am cutting my working hours to two days a week. I can not exclaim the sense of relief I feel to be able to keep up with the house work, the kids the garden, time to think!! This will be more helpful than ever as Mr PB will be working away during the week for the next three months.

By doing this I am also having more time to work at cycling. I have always wanted to reduce the amount of car use. So this month I will be getting a new seat for Arthur, and a basket for the front of my bike and start on getting myself fit. This is no mean feat! In Devon there are hills every where and I wouldn't consider myself fit, BUT I will be.

So with a new sense of freedom 2012 is already looking positive and challenging in a good way.

So any plans for yourselves, how do you find the yearly transition?