Thursday, 31 July 2014

...around here

Summer seems to be flying by here on the south coast, and we are trying our best to make the most of it! Here is a little of what we have been up to lately...

-At the beach all day everyday. This is the first year that my eldest is brave in the water, and we cannot get him out of it! So much fun.
-Now I am hugely late to the party on this one, but I am addicted to this podcast. If you haven't listened to 'This American Life' yet then get on it. As I said, it's been around for years, and is often the most popular podcast in America. It's an hour long radio show that features stories, interviews, essays and more based around one theme or idea, and this theme changes every week. It's great. Listen to it!
-My best charity shop find this week. There are only four in the picture, but I actually snapped up about 20 different copies of Charlie Brown. All for 25p each. Bargain.
-The view from the clifftop at about 6:30 on Monday morning. Our kids are awake at 5:30am at the moment so I'm trying to get out for a little jog first thing. Seeing this view helps!
-A little feature wall in the baby's room coming along nicely!
-New shoes and a vintage dress. Off to a wedding on Saturday-can't wait!

What have you been up to lately?
Maria x

Friday, 25 July 2014

Sinking into the summer holidays

This time last week I was sitting through a school assembly feeling the bubbling anticipation of the summer holidays rumbling through the cross legged students waiting patiently for the call of the bell.

And it has come...... finally, those blissful days were; lists,meetings,targets, millions of questions, demands from little people, big people don't need to be met.

Just the call of the sea, open spaces, days with friends, throwing clay pots, summer picnics, family day trips, camping, holidays, long long summer evenings and still unplanned adventures await!

we stay awake and think of things...the happy things that summer brings Dr Seuss 

Hope your all enjoying this amazing not so British Summer! 

Gem x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

...making thank you gifts for teachers

This Friday is my eldest boy's last day at preschool. And yes-what they say is true; time really does go by so fast and I can't believe the day is nearly here! Anyway, I wanted to give something homemade to his preschool teachers to say thank you for everything they've done this year. My boy is not really into arts and crafts, so persuading him to help me with a little project can be quite a challenge. This task kept his attention for all of 5 minutes-quite an achievement I can tell you!
These chalkpainted planters are nothing new-if you look on Pinterest and so on there are loads of ideas for how to use the paint. We had some left over from our blackboard kitchen wall, and I bought some terracotta plant pots and small lavender plants from B and Q. We (I!) painted the lower part of the pots with a couple of coats of paint, and wrote on them with chalk when they dried. Job done! A very simple, quick DIY gift that I hope his teachers will keep and reuse in the future.

Have you done any easy DIYs recently?
Maria x

Friday, 18 July 2014

...celebrating new life


Last night I sensed a taking root
under the bonecage of my heart,
a stirring, shifting; something not
quite of a breath or a heartbeat's weight.

It was the inkling of a soul.
Now I shall have no peace at all
till he's caught and fastened, nested in
the cradle of my pelvic bone.

Then, in the coracle of my womb,
I'll carry him gently, every inch home
though the hour is late
in the lengthening light

to the crook of my arm, the bay's curved shore,
water-lapped, twilight, secure.

Julia Copus

Someone very dear to me is expecting a baby at the end of January and I couldn't be more excited (no-it's not me or Gem!). I've posted this poem for her. She knows who she is. Congratulations my love.

Maria x

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Elbow deep in Batik

Maria and I had been swooning over this lovely batik hanging we found on pinterest for a while, and were convinced that this would brighten up a dreary spring day (before we had this amazing sunshine) We are never happier than when we are creating something and if it includes dye even better! I also have a twin who jumps on the train at a drop of a hat if we mention anything about a new project. We rely on her for her graphic eye.

We found our inspiration from this lovely Blog by kelli Murray's , have a look for her step by step tutorial.

Above image from kelli Murrays blog

Crafting on the bedroom floor is how we role (oh to have a studio) 

(We managed to sweet talk our art department to borrow one of their electric wax pots, but you can always use the hob!) 

All three of us have our hangings adorning our separate homes,
we were really pleased with the results. 

We are already searching for more summer holiday projects
Let us know if you have any ideas!

Gem x
(off now to jump in the sea) 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

...going on holiday...2 miles up the road!

A couple of weeks ago, before I returned to work after being on maternity leave, we went on holiday for a few nights. Hengistbury Head is approximately two miles from where we live, and is perhaps one of our favourite places in the world. We are lucky enough to know someone who has a beach hut on Mudeford Spit, and so we stayed a couple of nights there. The weather was so warm it felt like we were abroad. We swam, we built sandcastles, we hunted for 'dinosaur bones', we barbecued, and when the boys were safely tucked up in bed, we drank cold beer and watched the sun setting over Christchurch Harbour. We couldn't have been happier. Who needs to go abroad?!

Home sweet home
The sea view!

The view of Christchurch Harbour

His first skating lesson!

The view from our 'bedroom' (a little mezzanine in the rafters)

'Dinosaur walk' around the Head
Have you been on any holidays in your local area lately?

Maria x

Ps. Thank you to all of you who left such lovely messages about my guest post on The Ma Books. It really means a lot x

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

...seeing John Grant play live in Bournemouth

We first heard about John Grant a while ago when my brother requested one of his albums for his birthday. I kept meaning to listen to some of his songs-my brother usually has quite good taste in music. So when a friend told him that he was touring and coming to play in our town we all booked some tickets. We finally started listening to his albums and he did not disappoint. Seeing him play live was incredible. I am not going to even attempt to describe his style or musical talents (I ain't no music journalist)-so instead I'll link to some of my favourite songs. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.


Chicken Bones

Pale Green Ghosts

What do you think?

Maria x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Discovering a little patch of heaven in Mells Somerset

Last weekend I took a road trip home to Somerset. We dodged the rain and took a ride out to Mells and Frome for a womble. My folks had stumbled across this lovely walled garden which offers yummy pizzas from their home made pizza oven and lots of tempting plants and bric-a-brac for sale in their amazing green house. They were excited about showing it to me and it was no surprise to say that I felt I had fallen upon a little patch of heaven!

Not for you pigs x

 Enamel ware.. Wombeling heaven! 

Would love to make one of these! 

We all came home with a few more house treasures 

I love finding new places that will some day become road trip traditions! 

Happy Weekend All! Hope your having your own 
family adventures! 

gem x