Irish Springtime

at work

It has been quite a week weatherwise. I do think the wind was worse than the snow as we have had it worse in the past. Travelling at less than 20mph whilst working is not very efficient but all many of us could do during the worst of it.

view from our sitting room 1st day of snow

Smudge wasn’t too keen either needing a little push to go out before her bladder burst. she hadn’t been groomed since Oct/Nov time so despite the weather she had a haircut.



Nice time to sit indoors at the fire and craft though so quite a bit done. I also managed to get some spring cleaning done as well. It has been a long time since I went near my miniatures but rearranged my display case and applied some brick slips to my dollhouse.

I was so tired this morning but pushed myself as my art class is always so relaxing I knew it was what I needed.


 I had planned to finish last weeks water colour but when I got there I wanted to start something else. I love drawing best so delighted to start with that .I think I will do the pears in colour pencil though…if I do finish it!!!

todays art

Indoors and outdoors

“Now that’s what I call fun”

It’s been a great week despite the bitter cold weather and flurries of snow. Housework up to date with lots of meals and treats cooked and froze for busier days.

Time for friends to call for coffee+ craft and time to get out and about. Julie, the girls and I thoroughly enjoyed our walk around the old lead mines at Whitespots country park. Of course anywhere Smudge can get covered in mud is fun!!!

“I do like the shower, really”

Liz who I am sure now is addicted to bags has started making another but it is so pretty.

Last week in art we worked with water colour. Any form of colour scares me but I really enjoyed it even though I would need a number of hours to finish it.

I am sticking with my interlocking crochet at the moment but so many other crafts I need to get back to.

Family, past, present and future

This is something that we are neglecting more and more. It is becoming a 24hr a day world where no one is expected to take time out. I am very fortunate to be employed where there is a family friendly policy on annual leave. however this doen’t always work when your husband’s employer doesn’t have the same policy or the understanding for organised leave. Most families today both parents work so organised leave is even more important to allow families to connect and set example of how family life should be.

We find ourselves scheduling time so our dog has quality time!!! I have been interested in family history as far as I can remember. The past fascinates me and helps me appreciate the life I have today. If I were to go back 100yrs it would be my ideal era. I would be happy as a lady not to have important decisions to make other than whether I should lift my embroidery or lace. Then decide which nanny or cook to hire or fire.

From what I have learned so far from the 4 lines of my family this certainly wasn’t the case. The majority were linen workers which meant long hours and poor conditions. Others were farm labourers and shipyard workers. The women had many pregnancies and lost many children  to diseases at a young age only to reach the age of 30 or 40 to find themselves widows. It was work, sleep and scrape together enough money for food and heat. In some cases women were not respected and many illegitimate kids were hid or rushed marriages to disguise such. just so long as everything looked good in front of the neighbours that was all that mattered.

I am still researching the family names Austin, Russell, Best, Brown, Mcfall, Finn and McClean. I got very excited yesterday after spending a few hours in Seagoe grave yard when I found the headstone for cousins and uncle of my grandfather. I was even more excited to discover it was a newish headstone and had been used as recently as 1999 so there are relatives around the Portadown area I am yet to find.
Mum and I had a lovely meal at Stonebridge which was really welcoming after our wanderings.

When we understand our past it helps us deal with the present which in turn brings hope for the future.

I have spent a little time with my interlocking crochet this week but did quite a bit of studying so no other crafts. Some other items by Sian at coffee and craft.

Always make time for relaxation

lovely relaxing evening with friends

All my life I have struggled with relaxation. I have always felt guilty if I am not doing something. There was always a reason to keep my mind busy so I didn’t dwell on other things.

It reminds me of how you feel directly after examinations when you have been revising so much you find it difficult to cope with the change and relax when they are over. The minute I complete a task or come away from an event I am straight on to the next thing. I know I drive my friends insane with my organisation as much as I do my husband. The thing is I am so grateful for the time I am given I hate to waste it.

Everything we have including our time is a gift from God and therefore it is up to us to use it wisely, make the most of it and as we go honour him.

I spent time studying Hosea and James this week in preparation for two studies next week. Great direction  from James on how to live out our lives and reminders in Hosea what happens if we don’t live according to God’s word. Keep an eye on the right side of my blog for studie coming up you are welcome to join in as well as coffee and craft.

 Despite having only learnt crochet recently I was determined to start a project in interlocking crochet after I seen completed items made by Hilary from my Thursday morning art class. I had taried on, making many errors but through them I began to understand the pattern. I became so familiar with it I decided it was best to unravel my practice piece which had so many errors and start again. Now familiar I was able to continue on and listen to some audiobooks as I progressed. I am using a very cheap acrylic wool which is machine washable but it feels lovely and soft and with the two reversible layers it also feels like it will drape well.

interlocking crochet

I understand the importance of rest and relaxation so that we can keep going. God rested on the 7th day as an example to each of us, it’s not that he needed to rest.(Genesis) One of the commandments was to keep the Sabbath day. (Exodus)We are reminded time and time again that we need rest and relaxation. In order to do this I make appointments for myself to rest or take time out otherwise I wouldn’t be able to
keep going. Time to reflect, refocus and remind myself having God first everything else will fall into place.

Wendy’s album

This week I had lots of plans for work so I made sure I slotted in lots of naps and times to do nothing important. Wendy was working away on her scrapbooking during coffee and craft and we decided to spend some time decorating the outside of her album. Scrapbooking can be an expensive hobby despite the idea of using scraps but you can still pick up inexpensive supplies and add some decor to cheer them up a bit. This acid and lignum free album cost £5 compared to many 12 x 12 albums that range from £20-60. After all it is what is in the album that is really important, the photographs and journalling that hold the memories.

I have no photos of my  art class this week as it was more of a skills session on colour. I say time and time again how frightened I am of colour and feel more confident with drawing as I always fear the colour will ruin it. Julie is always much more positive about it. We did a lot of colour mixing to form a chart for future reference. I wasn’t too excited about it but then we rarely are excited about the beginnings of things, we all want to have the perfect end product without the trial and error it takes to get there. I did moan a bit but given the choice I would have done it anyway as would hate to risk missing something that could be of benefit. After all the teacher knows what she is doing and is always right.

Getting back to normal

It took me two weeks getting my appetite back, I so missed the Indian food. I also had great difficulty getting over jetlag. I was constantly tired taking naps as waves of exhaustion came over me.

we baked some gingerbread men

Kiltonga duck pond

 Little Miss K was back for her weekly visits and my art classes resumed as normal with the Thursday girls.

denim skirt in pencil
green apples on green napkins in water colour (not finished)

colour pencil

Slowly but surely I got back into routine. I really needed the exercise so back to my yoga and walks with the dogs.

Julie with the girls at Helen’s tower
Smudge’s friend minnie

thrown on the wheel

Coffee and craft not back to full swing yet but I had a day throwing pottery, something I have always wanted to try and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

made on a mould

pedestal thrown on the wheel