Hello again. It has literally been years. I am not a very committed ‘blogger’ it has become fairly evident. I am not sure what should inhibit my ability to tap out a little inspiration each week but I think that a few years of challenge and change have been underway and perhaps now I am ready to be real with myself and you again. So let’s catch up.
Its December 2017, probably four years since my last post. I have found work, moved from part time to full time, held three different posts, struggled with my purpose in life, faced some incredibly challenging circumstances with my son, learned to love him a little bit more each day than I ever thought possible, moved house, gone on a travelling adventure with my sister, fallen in love with a dear friend, experienced the unmistakable surprise and joy of having them love me in return and begun the adventure of bringing our lives together.
That about sums it up! So when I started this blog my dear Nan had recently passed away and part of me wanted to write about her to feel connected to the legacy she left me and all the memories that I cherish. I was scared they would fade. This week I have been baking her mince pies and finally felt that I had achieved almost her standard of pastry and that she would have approved! Strange how each year that passes rather than fading her memory seems stronger and more compelling and I find ways to experience her love when I most need it. Homemade mince pies were a quintessential part of Christmas for us and I always preferred them to anything you can buy. And so my offerings have been met with a similar appreciative reception, my partner wolfing them down with glee. My son doesn’t like mince pies. This makes me a little sad but I will continue to make them until the memory becomes ingrained in his story and subliminally influences his palate!
The same goes for every meal I cook from scratch wanting to feed my family with love and warmth and goodness, hoping and believing that one day when he is grown up my boy will look back fondly on the meals that made his childhood.
And as family grows and different people become part of it we get a whole new season of memories to make and traditions to enjoy and yes, perhaps even Christmas will be magic again!
It has been such a long time since I blogged (ooh get me!) that I felt compelled to take a couple of minutes and write something. After all what is the point of having this virtual space if not to fill it with my musings? So first things first, ‘Butterflies and Bunting’ is officially open for business!
This is a novel venture for me and I have to say currently I have underwhelming expectations but I’d also like to have a bit of faith that the project can get off the ground. The shop is currently open on folksy – check it out at http://folksy.com/shops/ButterfliesandBunting. So far there are only a few products up for sale as my friend and I need to get ourselves organised and really promote our stuff. Here’s the first step! But what you will eventually find is a selection of beautiful (we think!) handmade, vintage inspired and in some cases vintage materials, accessories that will be perfect gifts or just lovely to wear and brighten up your day! I have worn a few of my crochet pins and had some great comments. I have given a couple away as gifts and they have been very well received. Of course we can always discuss customised items….!
I’m sure there’s a way to add a link properly so I’ll go exploring shortly! It has been a very busy month of eating, making, half term holiday, school stuff, job hunting etc…hence my lack of attention to the blog. No excuse really. I will be back with slightly more exciting anecdotes as soon as I have the time to sit down properly, with a nice glass of wine 😉 and ponder the last few weeks achievements.
What I can say is winter has definitely made its appearance. It is not entirely welcome. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing lovelier than sitting cozied up with a good book in front of a crackling fire, whilst lazy snow flakes flutter down from the sky and coat the landscape in a dazzling glittery blanket…..sigh. But who really does that? For one thing, I don’t have a real fire, or in fact any fire. Secondly, I wouldn’t know how to light one if I did. And who is going to clean it out for me huh? I mean come on! I can barely get motivated enough to hoover my house! So, the reality of winter is exorbitantly high heating costs resulting in me stingily refusing to have my pipes on for more than a couple hours a day and having to find alternative ways of keeping warm that are not remotely idyllic! It is also the soul dampening reality of soggy doormats, muddy footprints, woodlice (my house is rotten!) and mess everywhere. Ah well, at least Christmas is round the corner, right?
So I have spent a great deal of this week in the futile pursuit of fitness, given the sheer quantity of baked goods that I have managed to consume either pre or post exercise. As far as I’m concerned there’s not much that beats a whopping great big cookie with black coffee for my breakfast – especially if said cookie is packed full of smarties, hundreds and thousands and chocolate chips. Er, yes, I may go slightly overboard with the sugary goodness but my gracious me they taste soo good! Obviously having polished off a batch I am concerned about where my next cookie fix will come from so I have managed to persuade my son that baking will be a fun activity tomorrow and that is is all about him…..not my addiction to breakfast biscuits!
In other news, I was delighted to try out my new coffee cup holder creation today. I was seated at a well known coffee chain after swimming 36 lengths in 45 minutes (trust me that’s pretty amazing for me, I am a very poor swimmer!) and I felt that I not only deserved a delicious cup of Joe, but that I also deserved to adorn it with a pretty accessory made specifically for the purpose of dressing up my coffee cups and keeping my skin in tact. I have been burnt in the past, quite literally, by holding onto those strange corrugated containers that do not come with cup holders such as in other also well known beverage establishments! Now as I prefer the coffee in this particular shop but have mourned the absence of decent cup holders it made perfect sense to crochet my own to keep in my bag thereby covering all hot drink emergencies that are likely to ensue. I am pretty pleased with the result….check out the instagram pics and when I remember I will upload one into this blog properly!
Other creations made this week really have centred around experimenting with the different butterfly shapes that I wanted to try out, basically to make my own pattern for crocheted butterfly bunting. I really like novelty goods – can you tell?! I plan to make some christmassy type decorations before too long and they could be truly hideous so watch out for the giggle inducing pictures that will surely follow!
After all that exercising and eating I feel shattered and realise that even if I wanted a lie in, I would not get one. My five year old doesn’t have any respect for my need to sleep, it’s fairly irritating! And on that note, bon soir!
Ok so as I think I said somewhere in the bewildering set-up of categories (i’m new to this blogging malarkey!) we are in the early stages of setting up “Butterflies and Bunting” as a business….of sorts! Here is an example of just one of the type of products that will be available to buy. I would value some genuine feedback (of the ‘kind and constructive’ variety please!) as to style, quality, desirability etc.
These are just the most recently finished articles, and I hope to be able to showcase a few more items before long. I love crocheting because for me this is a relatively quick way of producing something pleasing to look at! I am first and foremost a knitter – having learnt again at the side of my beloved and patient Nan. But crochet I decided to take up just a year ago wanting to flex my crafty muscles so to speak! I am entirely ‘you-tube’ taught – which just goes to show that anyone can do it! Of course not everyone wants to, which is good or you would not need to buy anything from me! So, having started off making a couple of baby blankets for friends and wanting to make other small-ish items (I don’t feel I’m ready for clothing just yet with the crochet! I can on the other hand knit a pretty solid jumper…) I decided on ‘accessories’ and feel I must complement the many other talented people out there who have kindly shared patterns and ideas to get my little projects off the ground.
When I have got to grips with the techy side of blogging I will endeavour to link to some of those creative geniuses who have inspired my crafting and hopefully give them the recognition they deserve! Whilst the items above have both been adapted by myself they have at some point been based on someone else’s ideas so I do not want to claim them as original.I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress, assuming they do of course! And will be updating the blog as and when anything new and exciting happens! Come along for the fun!
Fresh baked bread, mmm delicious!
I love to bake. I make a terrible mess and almost always try to eat the food before it has cooled down leading to many a burnt mouth and dropped biscuits! I am not particularly fussy about what I bake and enjoy setting myself new challenges – next up is macaroons! I am a simple baker at heart and was taught the basics by my lovely Nan. Nan passed away last year and that has had a big impact on all of my family. She was kind of the heart and soul for us, the reason to gather together, the person at the centre. Baking is one way for me to feel connected to her still, I make things and think ‘I hope Nan would be proud of this’. Silly and a little sad but there it is, I wouldn’t love baking half as much if I didn’t have such poignant memories of making cakes and scones with my Nan, and watching her in the kitchen turning out massive roast dinners with perfect yorkshires and potatoes to die for. To this day not one person has been able to recreate Nan’s roast potatoes. I think there was a little touch of magic in every one, because even with Nan talking me through it step by step (they’re really not complicated!) they never ever tasted the same. It is one of those profoundly inexplicable things that a potato should hold such mystery and so unique a flavour so as to be unrecreatable (I know that is not a word!) by anyone other than Nan. She is the supreme cook against whom we all pale in comparison. I am forever indebted to her for instilling in me both love for and confidence in baking.
Here I will attempt to post pictures, recipes, trials and disasters for you to laugh at and enjoy from my own wee bakery (otherwise known as the world’s tiniest kitchen!)
Welcome to this new beginning, a venture into the unknown, an experiment if you will. The Autumnal season is well and truly underway and there is something inspiring about the fresh, crisp, early morning air that has sparked my ‘creative’ longings. I decided that perhaps this would be a good opportunity to both create and capture whatever comes out of this season. I would be delighted for you to accompany me on the journey…. 🙂
So a little about me – I don’t like writing about me! I feel it is blog ‘etiquette’ to at least provide a sample of information so you know who is putting all this random stuff out there. I am a mother, (truly inspiring and horrifying in equal measure if you ask me!) I bake, cook, sew, knit, crochet and most importantly dream. I do none of these things with any great skill but enjoy the process of making something and perhaps, hopefully, presenting something of unique beauty and value to those I cherish. Be it a cake or crochet, I feel there is something powerful in creating things for others, and I hope it imparts blessing to those who receive.
I once read that it is an intrinsic part of woman to bring beauty into the world, I would argue it is intrinsically Human to love beauty and that it comes in many forms! But for my part, I hope I can make a part of every day a little more beautiful for someone, even if it’s just by smiling! (Or giving them a cookie…..) So here goes!