Sunday, 20 July 2014

Butterfly Wings!

I have been flitting about like a butterfly all week. Very pleasantly I might add. A little bit if this and a little bit of that. Accepting that it is fine to have lots of projects on the go. Of course all this has been accompanied by lots of visits to check for new photos on Facebook.

Our family have had a lovely time in Spain. Lots of hot sunshine,sea,swimming and fun.

I just love these cheeky photos.



I think happy holidays can make memories that last forever.

So,this week whilst they have been away I have been thinking a little bit about some birthdays which are coming up.

I wanted to make some cotton washcloths. There are some lovely examples on Pinterest....if you have the odd hour to fill!

I love to make hand make gifts best of all and I have this idea forming in my mind.

I want to make a material basket like these beauties made by Joy.



I hope Joy believes that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Her work is beautiful. I want to fill them with home made goodies. And I have made a start with the washcloths with a bar of pretty soap tucked in. All tied up with lovely ribbon. That sounds like a song from The Sound Of Music!




Then in will tumble the lavender pouches I was pulling my hair out about last week. I have kept practising with my cutting mat,ruler and rotary cutter every day.

I can not believe I have managed a degree of accurate cutting.

I was so pleased to pop these little lavender pouches in a pile and they were all the same size!





Then I am going add a beribboned towel and some home made body scrub in a mason jar.

Those additions are on my ever growing "to do" list!

But, I really think a hand made hamper like this will make a lovely gift. I think I will make one for myself too. And, if Joy did not live on the other side of the world I would love to drop one around to her to say "thank you" for inspiring me!

Talking of inspiration. Flower posies from the garden inspire me too.


Simple posies,simple pleasures.


Thank you as always to all my lovely followers who take the time to leave such lovely comments. They make my days happy ones.

Whilst talking of happy days. We have eleven now with our little family and the edible William.

So forgive me if I have my head tucked in a book, or my hands on the tap of the hosepipe.

I will catch up with you all when they go.

With a box of tissues by my side I expect x






Thursday, 17 July 2014

Relaxing and crafting.

After the most wonderful ten days our little family have taken flight. Another family treat for them in our little Spanish home. It's too hot for us there now. But, William is lucky to be spending time there with his uncle and auntie who were longing to see him. They are here again next Sunday for eleven days. This week I have been reflecting,regrouping and relaxing. Reflecting on the wonderful things that happened when they came home on their visit. Thank you all so much for such lovely comments about my latest post about all that.

Regrouping. Realising that some of the little plans I had were not age suitable for him yet. I truly believe that little ones need your time most of all. Time to let them lead their play activities. Time to help them develop and expand their ideas . Mostly time and patience to do the same things over and over again. William's favourite thing last week was watering the flowers and beans. He pottered about the garden filling his little can and bossing me about. "Tap on Grandma,tap off Grandma!"


I love this photo so much. Such concentration and care. I think he would have watered the plants all day long and I would have helped him. Surely that is one of the things a Grandma can provide. Time.

So, I have looked at the matching cards I made him. The stamps and stamp pads. They were distractions for a minute. But for a boy who lives in an apartment, the garden is best. That's fine by me.

What could be better than meeting Buster in the garden again.



Relaxing.... I have been waking up without an alarm or a little voice asking to see the chickens in the field! I have stayed in my dressing gown. Andy and I have enjoyed long coffees and pottering around. I have been out walking down my favourite lanes with the dogs.








And finding time for the one activity which calms,soothes,relaxes and makes my life complete. Crafting.

Last week I popped into Hobby Craft and they had bundles of fat quarters for £6.50. I couldn't resist buying some.

The cupcake patterns were sweet and soft.


I also love neutrals, but the fabric felt hard. So I washed the pieces and they feel so much better.


Have you ever met Joy and read her blog Joylinks. There is something about the way she writes that makes me happy. She is a lovely blogger who encourages everyone so much when she leaves lovely comments. And she always seems to know what to say on every occasion.

I admire her crafting and what she makes and I wanted to follow her example with little pin cushions.Well,my first attempt was huge. You would lose your needles and pins in its squashiness.



But and it gave me good practice at making a box type shape.

My next attempt.... How can I put it. Homely.

Then I tried a different pattern.

I like these much more and have one tucked away for my niece who has just started sewing.

I popped a spoonful of lavender into each little pouch. The scent will hopefully keep a new crafter calm!



So Joy thank you for the inspiration.

But my goodness I have a lot to learn and a long journey to travel before I can emulate your achievements.

I know what my problem is. I have always had it.

It takes on a few guises.

One. I cannot get my head around the mathematical,accurate side of life.

I have recently been introduced to the wonders of a rotary cutter,self healing mat and ruler.

Blogland,Pinterest etc,etc show the most wonderful examples of what can be made from pieces of material which fit together. Good old tesselation!

Now, understanding and being able to do it,for me ,is a completely different ball game.

My aim was to make lavender pouches in four different fabrics,pile them up and tie them with ribbon.

How hard can that be?

For me ... Really hard.

My slightly slapdash approach and "don't worry" attitude does not help in this kind of exacting situation either.

Now, this morning I was determined to conquer my dragons.


Luckily Andy was relaxing nearby and happened to be slightly interested in this crafting activity because rulers and grids were involved. After watching me for about two minutes and fearing for my sanity,fingers,material and bank balance,intervened.

Half an hour later after only what I can describe as the closest thing I have had to a Mathematics and Technical Drawing lesson since I left school over forty years ago I got it. I understood the interaction between the board and the ruler. I understood about careful placement and measurements. I am thrilled to bits and within a short space of time I have enough rectangles exactly the same size by my sewing machine.

And my last bit of crafting is for a present. A sewing machine cover for the lovely friend who helped me assemble the monster quilt.


I have an identical one on my sewing machine and she admired it. A nice thought to think we shall have a lovely connection. The pattern for these pretty sunburst squares can be found in my sidebar.

Wow! What a long post . Thank you for sticking with me and my wordiness. However, I might be gone for a while now as I will soon have Eleven days of watering,reading playing and just spending the best time I can with my family. Then they will be gone for six months. But, I am not thinking about that right now.


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The last Monster Poem.

To open my emails was a delight today. My wonderful friend had written a third poem for William's story book. He is happy to stick monster stickers all over the pages and I am happy to read these poems over and over again.... The perfect bedtime recipe.


A MONSTER ADVENTUREOne little monster said"I want to have a talk,We're getting very lazy, we must go for a walk".They all sat up and nodded and jumping to the floorThey tumbled down the stairs and out the front door.One behind the other they trotted down the lane,Squealing with laughter when it began to rain.Down by the river they hunted for a boatAnd heaved in a log to see if it would float.They all clambered on and sitting legs astridePaddled down the river-what a wonderful ride!They saw elves and fairies with gossamer wings,Heard how magically a nightingale sings.They saw graceful swans gliding, bright silver fish leaping,From mother's safe nest fluffy ducklings were peeping.Wild flowers aplenty in glorious bloom,But then came the thunder-oh what a boom!The boat toppled over and in they all went,Bedraggled they spluttered "Let's go make a tent!"They made a good shelter under the treesWith fern fronds and moss, and sat huddling their knees.Although the adventure had been such a delightThey all now were looking a soggy wet sight.Slowly each one thought of William's warm bed,So cosy, so snuggly with a place for each head.All in agreement they wended their wayBack to the quilt which is where they would stay.

P.S. That is until next time ofcourse!

She says she is monstered out now after writing three poems for William . I am not surprised.

I am going to stick all the poems and songs in a book just for William. What a wonderful friend.

Thank you all so much for all your wonderful comments about our lovely Grandson. Your comments have made me feel really special .

Love Linda


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Happy days!

Thank you all so much for all your lovely comments about my last post. The pendulum swung from hard to easy.And we have just had nine happy,fun filled days. I have loved every single minute and when the car pulled up and I heard my son say to William " there's Grandma " and his reply was " I will run to her " the stage was set.

We have played games,football,hide and seek,made camps,watered the garden til it's waterlogged. We have have barbecued,had picnics.... And best of all we went off for a few days to Center Parcs to celebrate Grandad's sixtieth birthday . A litle early but no matter.

I am going to just let the pictures tell the story and be assured that you will know the joy I have felt.

William's delight with his monster quilt.


Even greater delight finding the toys were just where he had left them last December!



Playing in the village park.




And a real favourite, watering the plants with his own little can.


Pirate fun with glasses!


His love of books fills me with joy.



Best of all it was so wonderful to see him up and about.




Enjoying all the things two years love.




And it was not just me so happy to see our little family home from Dubai. Auntie Lindsay and Uncle Chris were so wonderful with him.




We looked for the Gruffalo everywhere. But one quiet morning I took my early morning tea outside and counted my blessings more than once. The perfect setting.



Happy days filled with wonderful memories and lots of love



Soon I will be up to speed with comments on so many lovely blogs but just now I have my hands happily full x


Thursday, 3 July 2014

It's been hard.

It's been a hard year. We have had to adjust to our son,his wife and our only Grandson moving to Dubai. We have missed them all so much. But, it has been such a joy to know they have been so happy there this last year. I am not dwelling on William's accident. He is up and about now,and like all little ones it will soon be forgotten if it has not been already.I have been full of admiration for my son as he moved with his family so far away. He started a new job in a new land in a very different environment. His happiness has shone through and he considers it to have been one of the best years of his life.I have equally been full of admiration for my daughter in law. She lived very nearby her Mum and Dad in North Devon and had never really travelled before. She gave up a part time job she loved and has supported my son every step of the way. She has written some wonderful posts about her life in Dubai. She has spent precious time with WIliam helping him develop and adjust. She has as always crafted,read and found peace.As for William. Well, again like all young children he has adapted and loves his life in the sun. He can swim every day. He has made lovely little friends and already experienced things that some children never do. The travelling in itself. The sands of the desert. The wondrous sights of Dubai. Unusual foods and experiencing different cultures and people.As parents all you want for your children is for them to be happy and well. To be the best people they can. To watch them develop into caring,responsible adults. And they have done all these things and a lot more. We have missed them more than they will ever know and that's how it should be. A friend asked me if I had read the words of the prophet Kahlil Gibran. I had not but looked up his works and the particular passage she was wanting me to read about parents, children and life. Have you read it?

On Children

by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I have read these words again and again. I have striven to really accept them as a real truth. I have read them in the context of my son ,his family and their new life. They are wise words. They are moving words . They are poignant words and I believe they are truthful words. A little long for a Mantra but not to long to remember the belief.

Tomorrow our son and his family come home again for a holiday and I am determined to try and enjoy every minute with them. I do not want this time tinged with regrets that they soon have to leave us again.


It is by saying goodbye that we meet.

It is by letting go we receive.

Its by by unconditionally accepting we gain love .

My words and ones I need to hold onto as firmly as Gibrans'.

For all my lovely followers here at Chalky's . I really do thank you for all your words of support over this last year. The kindness,understanding and empathy you have all shown has helped me more than you may know.


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Friendship has no literacy limits.

If you have been following life here at Chalky's just a little bit you will have become close and comfy with the monsters. The generosity this project has been overwhelming .

My dear friend wrote one poem which I have printed out and added to my book of Monster stories which I am looking forward to reading to William. The last time we saw him was on Dec the 28th 2013 after the happiest week celebrating Christmas. My goodness that seems so long agao now.

Well in my inbox this evening was another missive... Just as charming as the first. I bet you will like it too.


All the little monsters had been quiet for long enough,
"It's time" they said "for some exciting stuff!"
They all scrambled up and looking around'
They quickly slithered down to the ground.
Into the kitchen they stealthily crept,
Where everything was so tidily kept.
They opened the cupboards and looked inside,
Cooking utensils they soon espied.
"So" they all mused,"what shall we make?"
"I know" said one "let's bake a cake."
"It will be so much fun and easy to do
And a lovely surprise for William too!"
They scrabbled around and out came the lot,
Every utensil and every pot!
In went bananas, pickles and jam,
Potatoes, cornflakes and even some ham,
Some flour and some milk, butter and custard'
They even added a spoonful of mustard!
"That's it "they all cried "Now wasn't that fun"
"We'll give it a stir and then it's all done!"
All of a sudden the door opened a crack
"Oh no! William and Grandma are back,
Oh what shall we do? we mustn't be found"
And they tiptoed away without making a sound.
In the kitchen William and Grandma stared in surprise,
What on earth was that mess infront of their eyes?
They puzzled and puzzled but nobody knew
The tale that I'm now telling to you!

I loved teaching with her. She was fun,creative and special and she still is.

Thank you dear friend.