Show & Tell

In the run up to leaving my job, I became even more lost in my world of thoughts and fears. I was exhilarated, excited, weightless yet slightly fearful. Eight years at the same place, at the age of 31 is a fair amount of time to have worked in one place. A huge amount of change had happened to me in that time. One husband. Two children. Three houses.

The end of a chapter was closing and I felt the urge to record this via the old fashioned medium of pen and paper. I got scribbling. Half way through, I decided I wanted to donate my sketch to some of my work friends, as a little token of something to remember me by. Or rip up.

It was a page of doodles. Little sayings. Little thoughts. Some things I already do. Some things I would like to do. Y’know, rules to live my life by, life’s little instructions. I think the people I gave them to liked them. They said they did. Secretly, they probably think I’m a right weirdy.  A try-hard hippie.

And for the second part of today’s Show & Tell, I also picked up a flyer from the nursery the children go to, advertising the Magical Menagerie, as part of the IF: Milton Keynes International Festival.  Originally commissioned in 2008 by the French newtown of Sénart, The Magical Menagerie – or Le Manège Carré Sénart – has toured through Europe including Spain, Portugal and Belgium, charming visitors with its mechanical herds of strange beasts from exotic fish and brightly coloured insects to oversized buffalos.

The flyer caught my eye, not only because it winked at me, but also because of the style of illustration. Its the epitomy of French Art-Nouveau, so nicely created. It’s even got an old grainy tea-stained back drop.


Stumbling upon treasure & where are you, my friend?

I am addicted to surfing the internet. I know I’m not on my own, people. I love it but sometimes I resent it. Purely for the reason that I don’t get anything done. Like tonight, for example. I sat down, to write a post about asking you to let me know where you are in the world. That post hasn’t been written, because I’ve just been trawling through an eclectic mixture of  sweet, sweet websites. And now I’m writing about something totally unintended. But that’s ok.

Plus, I should be in bed. I promised myself I would finish my book tonight, so that I can start my new book club book, A Gate At The Stairs by  Lorrie Moore. ( I know. I am actually, like, in a book club. Made up of two whole people. Ahem.)

Anyways, one new diamond in the rough I in particular, which I wanted to mention is Cathe Holden’s Just Something I Made. What a clever, clever lady. There are so many thing to look at on her site, I think I’ll be here till Monday.  Her studio is my studio in 2 years. It is exactly as I see it. The stuff she collects is the stuff I collect and want to collect more of. Its quite uncanny. (Or is it?)

It’s one of those kinds of studios where everything collected has a special memory, a romantic connection. It’s what you would see if you could delve into the depths of the left side of this ladys brain. That’s not supposed to be freaky. Right now, I’m a five year old in an old fashioned sweet shop. I can’t believe my luck.

Ok, so I may aswell combine this post with the one I was actually supposed to be writing, which was to encourage you to leave me a comment on this site, letting me know where you’re checking in from. I’m really curious to know. And even more curious, because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a little map thingy to the bottom right of the screen, called MapClustr, which tells you and I where my web hits are coming from. I’m 1) surprised 2) totally flattered to see that I have visitors as far away as Japan. How cool is that? Thank you whoever you are for visiting. It truly excites me when I login to my little stats screen. I don’t know who you are, I don’t know exactly where you are, its all very vague right now. But if you have a spare second, I’d love it if you dropped me a line using the comment box at the end of this post, telling me your town, county and country where you live. Maybe even how you came across my site if you like. If not, no sweat. It’s just a bit of fun. (I’m smiling)

Ok, well, I’ll hopefully see you soon. Nighty night.

Frank Friday Fun

It’s Friday. It’s a day for some lighthearted loveliness. Since we’re in the midst of a whole lot of decorating, making our house the home we can all grow old together in, is top of our list. Inside and out. So, here are a few things I’ve been looking at recently, which I wanted to share with you, my lovely reader.

Beastly Chronicles Wallpaper

Designed by Emma Molony, the ‘Beastly Chronicles’ wallpaper features several short stories by Edwardian novelist Saki (H.H. Munro) inspired from his childhood in North Devon. The main house is based on the actual house that Saki lived in with his siblings and two aunts in Pilton, Devon. The stories featured in the paper are Gabriel-Ernest, Esme, The Storyteller, The Cobweb, The Music on the Hill, Sredni Vashtar and Tobermory.

Grow Height Chart

Screen printed and lovingly printed in England, this chart marks heights using leafy branches, birdies and butterflies. Most delightful.

Susanna Salk’s Connecticut Lake House

Nestled next to Lake Wagamaug in Connecticut, Susanna Salk turned this granny-pad into a luscious haven. This bedroom is so cosy.

Old School Wall Clock

This would look perfect in our kitchen. Bet those children who used to stare at this clock every day at school never imagined people would go nuts for something like this in their home.

Cloud Wall Mirror

From Graham & Green, a dead cert for anything special. You just know when something is perfect for a space. And this is.

ByGraziela Cot bumper

I used to a bit anti-cot-bumper, for safety reasons, but now our boy is 19 months, and is constantly waking himself up by throwing himself against the bars of his cot, this may solve another little sleeping problem.

iPad Covers from iSocket

I don’t have an iPad. I think it’d be nice to have one. If I did, I think I’d also quite like one of these little beauties. (I found these courtesy of a new Blog find Piewacket)

Book Band & Pen Holder from Present & Correct

Pile up your books, keep them neat and never go without a pen.

Rollfast Bicycles Signage

Original 1940’s metal advertising sign for Rollfast Bicycles from Three Potato Four. Pricey at $695.

And finally…..

A bracelet I made earlier in the week. (I took this picture literally seconds before my son pinged the bracelet apart all over the floor.)

Happy weekend friends!

Dear Lovebird Blog

Dear Blog.

I was just doing a leeeeetle bit of random half-past-ten-I-should-be-thinking-about-going-to-bed interweb surfing, and I went on one of my favourite blog sites, Gennine’s Art Blog. From there, I searched for a book on quite a popular site of the name of a major river running through Brazil, by Carla Sonheim about drawing, but came across another of her books about journalling. What I read made me want to tear off the page and deliver it right to you here:

‘Because it just feels good to doodle and write some things down. It’s a release of sorts. Because I love pens and playing with them. To figure out what I want to bring into my life and dream about how it could come about. To organise my thoughts, especially of things I need to do – a pretty to-do list. Because its an ongoing way to play in art. Playing in a way that doesn’t focus on results.’

That’s it. C’est moi. La-bas. Just wanted to let you know.




Two weeks ago, I had just returned from Mallorca. It was the fourth time I had been invited by my lovely friend, and this time I was able to gleefully accept, rather than morosely yet graciously refuse. I was leaving my job. I had no excuses. Not that I ever made any up. I just never had enough holiday. So, feet first, I was determined I would not miss out on a major opportunity to let myself go. To just be. To read. To think. To swim. To worship some sun. My charming husband and our two tinkers were left to fend for themselves for five days. They did a pretty good job (although my husband lost weight while I was gone. Huh?). They went camping, to the beach, to stay with my mother-in-law and basically just have, like, a tonne of fun. Nice style.

The thing with me is that I don’t think about things enough beforehand. It’s a fault, but it’s also a bit of a positive. If you don’t over analyse, then you can’t worry too much. But then when something occurs, which you may have already considered may happen, it wouldn’t be such a shock. My husband is the opposite to me. He’s a massive forward thinker. I am not. Perhaps thats why it works so well. Although, it’s also another reason for me to beat myself up, thinking I should be something I’m not. Not that I need any more reasons.

Another thing about me, is that I struggle in large groups of girls/ladies/females. I feel self conscious. Every one looks better than me. Every one speaks better than me. Every one knows more than me. Every one seems so much more grown up than 14-year-old-inside-my-head me. It’s always been this way.It’s a very unattractive trait, and hopefully, I hide it well. I don’t really go out with larger groups of people so much these days. If I do, they’re pretty much balanced with husbands, which somehow seems to make it easier.

These lovely people I went away with provided me with absolutely no reason to feel the way I felt on a couple of occasions. They’re genuine, honest, thoughtful people. So, its obviously me and my deep rooted issues. I feel kind of sad when these feelings start welling up. I can feel them coming. And then I fill with dread. I almost feel like I want to swallow them away, like you would with inappropriate hot tears. “Go away. This is not the time or the place. And anyway, I thought you’d gone for good.”  I’d love to know where this silly little itch came from. I’m sure one day, I’ll work it out.

But you know what? We did laugh. We really did. About allioli. About sangria o’clock.About football. About skin and the clouds. About nothing. And not once did we struggle to find something to talk about. I think that’s something to be proud of. I also think its a sign that you’ve found true friends. It takes a while, but its worth it. Its like a good song is rarely one you love when you hear it for the first time. It grows. And then it grows some more. And then you know you’ll always love it, no matter how much you hear it.

I came home feeling refreshed inside and out. Time, as much as we all discuss it, moan and curse it, is massively underrated. It sorts all kinds of things out. It puts things in perspective. It purges and cleanses. It allows an unhurried reflection. It may seem like it was ‘only a holiday’, but for me, it was alot more. And I loved every second.

And now I need another one.

I’m trying to focus.

I really am. It’s tricky though. Everything else takes over. I’m sure you get that, right? The daily drone. Washing, ironing, clearing the dishes (at least 3 times a day). Children constantly treading on my toes whilst I’m buttering toast. ‘Mummy, can I do this?’ ‘Mummy, can I go there?’ ‘Why?’ ‘But, why?’ ‘But pleeeeeeease’. It’s not always easy. And its alot easier when you have a full nights sleep. So I’ve heard. Missed calls on my phone. Oh, I’ll call back later. Another text arrives. Beep beep. Oh, must remember to text back later. A week passes. The guilt cloud is by my knees. Chest is tight. Smiles are rare. Laughter even rarer. Must learn how to cope better. I mean, every day’s a school day. It’s not that hard, is it?

A new post is cooking in the oven that is my brain box. It’s been brewing a while, and is actually well over due. I simply need to make more time, or I shall burst. I really will. So, may I ask you to hold your breath?