Friday, 28 June 2013

Working with the seasons

There is a seasonality to my life and I am coming to realise that I should embrace this much more. I have made a start with noting the celebrations throughout the year but this time I'm thinking about my daily routine.

I love to do crafting... but this is really a winter/wet weather activity. My blog is currently very 'garden' heavy, that is because it is summer. As I'm in the garden so much I don't feel the need for meditation so this too seems to be a winter activity for me. One of my 'pages' is called 'self learning'. I want to study more but with everything else on my plate this has taken a low priority and I suspect that this is a seasonal thing too.

I think that I need to accept that I should have fewer projects on the go. Perhaps I should even let some lapse until the correct time of year comes around. I have been trying to nibble into several things at a time just to make sure that there is some progress but the problem with this is that it requires a lot of dedication as it is a long time before anything is completed and then they might all be finished at once!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Toadstools in the lawn

My lawn is currently scattered with little toadstools. The first time I noticed them they were in a fairy ring but this is now obscured as more have popped their little heads up.

I know most people would hate to see this but they make me smile. In previous years I've had to tread them into the ground due to having young children around but this year I can just enjoy these.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Midsummer gardens

The Old Button Shop garden
In summer festivals don't seem to be so important. As long as the sun keeps shining life feels good.

My personal celebration of midsummer was to search through the National Garden Scheme website for any local open gardens. I was lucky to find two good hits, the first being open on Saturday and in Lytchett Minster. This was a community event with 6 (7?) gardens open and other events at the same time. The gardens are modest in size and (as usual with the ngs) highly manicured, this really emphasised to me how I love my space here and a reminder that I enjoy some wildness. My favourite garden was that of The Old Button Shop. This was one of the larger gardens and I appreciated not being able to see everything at once. I loved the mish mash of curios scattered throughout the garden. I wish that I could get away with this but I know that anything well 'placed' would soon become buried under the weeds.

Manor House, Blandford St Mary

The second garden I saw was a 3 acre one in Blandford St Mary. I found the layout of this highly inspiring, its a place that I would love to bring the family with a picnic if only it wasn't a private home. It was a great reminder of how much I enjoy pathways, I really must find a way to incorporate more into my own space. I need to propagate lots of herbaceous planting too! I appreciate the openness that the extra space offers and I feel incredibly blessed to have almost an acre to play with myself.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Weight loss notes

Weight loss notes are coming to a halt. Losing weight is a very personal and tough process. When I do well I want to shout it from the roof tops. When things aren't quite so good I can feel really down and let it overspill into everything else. I don't want it to colour everything else. Therefore I am not going to make it a focus on this blog... apart from the occasional shout if I'm doing really well!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Personalising a ukulele

How it arrived, I've already removed the strings and machine heads.
 J has decided that it is time to learn the banjo. He picked up one cheap with a dodgy repair... it promptly broke. He has since been keeping his eyes open for another that he could afford but in the meantime, in a moment of madness, he snapped up this little ukulele. As he doesn't appear to intend to learn to play it I am left confused as to why he bothered but, due to it's cheapness, I feel no guilt in giving it a makeover.
The whole body was decoupaged using an old atlas and PVA glue.
 The original faux wood finish was utterly knaff. The top photo was taken at night so doesn't show the true horror. My intention was to decoupage it in an old newspaper (I have an Edwardian one knocking about) but spotted the pages of an out of date atlas that was far more colourful. Using watered down PVA glue the paper was torn into odd shapes and stuck down.

Finished! We now have a unique musical instrument.
After several coats of varnish I have a finished refurbished ukulele. I replaced the strings which has given it a more mellow sound - if a ukulele can ever be described as mellow!

What I don't like about this is that the beautiful maps come off as quite garish on the finished instrument, I wish that I had stuck with the newspaper idea for some gentle sepia tones. But I'm not too bothered, we now have a playful looking instrument that can be knocked around without anybody worrying about it being too precious. I am surprised at how often I've picked it up for a play as I've not touched my guitar in a long time (it's tucked away as I don't want it to get bashed... I think that there's a message in here somewhere).

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Hello, blog.

I've cut myself adrift, allowing the waves to take me where they wish. This was probably a good choice considering the demands of the waking garden and other commitments.

But I've missed this blog. Sitting down and writing a few notes most days gives me permission to focus on myself even if only for a minute. I find it restful, insightful, inspiring and also stimulating.

So I'm back.

May review, June planning

Not just a little late but very late! Anyway, how did I do for May?

The plan was: I don't have any particular goals this month, the garden requires a lot of my attention over the next few weeks. So I'm going to let things slide a bit and see how it goes.

What a disastrous idea. The lack of planning meant that I just drifted along with quite a few wasted opportunities. Gardening did happen and life was also overtaken by my boy's scouts summer show which is thankfully behind us now. But I personally feel as if I have achieved little.

So, back to attempting to be organised, here is my plan for the remainder of June:

Wellbeing: Keep my blog updated.
Home & Garden: Rearrange bedrooms/living space
Health: Stretch
Celebrations: Midsummer
Arts & Crafts: work on the sewing machine.