Monday, 30 January 2012

Snowy days...

Brrrrrrrr.... its so cold at the moment. The snow has finally arrived here and bringing with it my winter cold. So feeling a little sorry for myself with all my aches and pains, tissues at the ready and revolting cough medicine at my side. I struggled on for a few days, running the children back and forth, filling the fridge up, cooking up some meals in case I got worse, so I could just pop them in the oven. I managed to get my study done and my time in school.
Then it just floored me, this little cold of mine, I gave in, I watched the weather change and turned up the heating, pulled out my favourite quilt and hit the sofa...
I managed a couple of hours, all cosy and sleepy, the puppy curled up at my feet like a little hot water bottle...I even watched a movie, well I sleepily watched a movie, the guilt I felt of lying down, even thou I was ill, overtook me. What is it about us mothers, why do we not allow ourselves the time to heal ourselves?
If our children or loved ones got ill, we would make a warm nest for them to hunker down in and feed them healing chicken soup, read to them and hug them until the illness has passed by. However when we are ill, the caretaker, the cook, the provider, we soldier on, making ourselves worse and grumpy in the process. No use to anyone really and the example we give the children is not a good one, we should take care of ourselves and drop this silly guilt.
So for the first time in years I let this guilt go...It was not easy...I looked after myself, I fed myself and allowed myself to be looked after. I slept when I needed to, I had long hot steamy baths in the evening when the boys had fallen deeply asleep, I stayed in my PJs and the sofa became my cosy place.
So after a weekend being fed nice food, being given the time to fall asleep when tiredness overtook me, managing a little hand sewing and some knitting time whilst curled up next to the fire, letting go of this guilt has been good for all of us, the children are happy and whilst I am still sniffing and coughing I do not feel angry and frustrated, I feel rested.

I believe guilt is such a curse for us mothers and I want to always let it go, I know I cant, but a little bit at a time, well it helps...

PHOTO'S 1) View from the Kitchen window, all snowy hills. 2)Lap tray of hand sewing, little corsages in the making. 3) Finished spring corsage. 4) Cutting out Spring Bunnies 5) Easter Book Covers.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Sunsets and upsets...

The sun at this time of year is weak, there are no rays of warmth to bask in, the ice on the ground remains all day as the strength in the suns brightness is just not strong enough to melt it all away. When you awake and throw open your curtains and your morning greeting is the sight of a pink and orange sky with jet stripes, when you get out in the fresh air and you walk with the crunch under foot, I think the lack of warmth can be forgiven and replaced with many layers of hand knitted sweaters, hats, scarfs and even mittens, only to return home to a warm and cosy home, light up the cooker, get the water boiling and indulge in some hot chocolate and marshmallows...oh the January diet!!!
Yes indeed, the weather has been sunny and crisp under foot so the Dotty Red family have been out and about enjoying the break from the rain. The rhythm of family life continues even though life keeps throwing those curved balls at us. Whilst the orders are quiet at this time of year I am busy upping my stock.
Its funny back in September when the sun was shining and the beach called, I found it very hard to work on Christmas goodies, all that red, green and gold. Yet here I am in the depth of winter, snow threatening to fall any day now on the moors and the fabric I am holding is beach huts, sailing boats and bunting, bright and light colours.
No I find no difficulty thinking about my spring and summer collection, even if I hand sew by the fire in the evening when the little ones sleep off their days business. When I cut out patterns on the table in the kitchen to get the warmth from the soup cooking on the hob in the day, or even sit in my sewing room next to the heater, which saves me putting the heating on throughout the day and warming my hands up on hot mugs of spiced tea just to keep my hands able to move... head swims with ideas, of fish, boats, little houses, caravans and or course bunting!
Ah...did I tell you I treated myself this Christmas to a little pile of felt from the lovely Sarah at Paper and String. Just in case I managed to get a few moments to myself over the busy holiday to have a play, just for fun, just for me. So when it all got a bit frantic, a bit too emotional, I snook into my room and shut the door, threaded up Chloe (my sewing machine) in some black thread and changed over my needle and foot then I played...
I made houses, boxes, glasses cases (cases all sold over December) key rings and my completely new venture... bookmarks.
Due to the amount of books I have this is something that I can not understand why I have not made some sooner, I was given a bookmark years ago, you know one of the laminated ones with this design drawn (without the flowers) so I used it for my inspiration. One is being used and it marks my place in my storybook right here next to me now.
Oh and books, I have got some fabulous books over the holidays, brimming with ideas and lots of lovely pictures. I was also lucky enough to get a years subscription to the amazing Mollie Makes magazine. This makes me very happy indeed.
Of course with the decorations down now the house looks a little empty (surly not possible here) but this lovely vase of tulips is brightening my day and helping me hold on to the thought that spring is on its way so when those upsets and curve balls come my way, I can feel the inner glow that reminds me that its the simple things in life that matter...

Monday, 2 January 2012

from my home to yours...

I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!CHRISTMAS has been a whirlwind of a time, passing by quicker than I can believe, is it my age, this awareness of the quickness of the passing of time?
Its been magical for the children whilst for this Mommy its been a rush of time watching, tidying and making merry!
As a single parent you carry with you the importance of making the memories 'extra' special and I sometimes catch myself working too hard and realise that life is something that just happens and the magic of Christmas on its own will create the memories my children will carry on into their adult lives and may be even implement similar memories (only the good stuff of course) with their own children.
The highlight of Christmas has always been, this year was no exception, the opening of the Christmas stockings, the children climb into my bed, with the glow from soft bedside light, the children blearily snuggle themselves up under the coves of my big bed all cosy with layers of quilts and bring in their stockings for us all to open together, the excitement of the days begins, right there in that moment. Its a moment that I hold in my heart and brings tears of joy to eyes every time I think about it. With family over for Christmas dinner its a busy day but this moment, this is my moment with my children, all my attention being on them and witnessing the pleasure of joy in their beautiful hearts.

The holiday went by so quickly, the snow turned in to rain and along with too much food we enjoyed a daily walk with our puppy Rosy on her first Christmas, we walked through woods, up hills, by the canal, through swamp filled fields and under railway bridges-which give a thrill of terror as a train rattles over our heads. Yes memories of Christmas 2011 have been made and placed in our hearts.

New Year was welcomed into the home of Dotty Red with a party. Every room filled with people we care for and who have a special place in my heart, children ran from room to room with laughter and mischief making! Our party theme was Strictly Come Dancing, a great opportunity to wear a flowing party dress and polish off my tiara! My youngest sadly missed out as he pulled on the many layers of my gown at 11pm and pleaded with me to let him go to sleep...bless!!!

So with friends and family around me, I counted my blessings and I welcomed the New Year in with joy all around me and excitement at the coming year. What challenges and changes will we face this year...

I wish you only the very best for the year I hope that it will be a creative and handmade year for you, with health, happiness and even some wealth in abundance... From my home to yours Happy New Year.