Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

knit and natter

Better late than never with this week's yarn along post!

I had a crazy week last week. I went from maybe getting about eight hours at McDonald's to starting two new jobs and getting 45 hours. Quite a change! On top of that I was manning the prayer room at Summer Madness, a Christian youth festival, over night on Monday and had my first night out with Street Pastors on Friday. I think I'm still catching up on sleep!

So, all that to say I'm still working on the bunny. She is almost finished. Since this photo was taken I finished off the second leg so I just have ears and assembling to go. Baby Elloise's due date is getting closer so I'm hoping to get bunny in the mail this weekend.

I'm reading Developing Learning in Early Childhood by Tina Bruce which is obviously for school. The coming year of our course is apparently very demanding and we were advised to do research work over the summer to help lighten the load a bit. Advice taken!

I had a funny moment while eating Mexican with some friends on Tuesday where I was pulling out things about egocentrism and other technical jargon from what I've been reading... I guess it's really getting in there!

That's all, not much nattering this week. I will have a post in the next few days about the 12th of July celebrations here in Belfast. This was my first year here for them and my observations were very educational.

You can link up with the other yarn along posts here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

paris apartments

I'm heading to Paris for the first time in a couple weeks and this is (as near as I could get to) where we're staying!!! SO excited! 5 minutes walk from the Louvre and 15 from Notre Dame!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

a little ivy

I just finished watching the BBC drama/documentary Vincent van Gogh: Painted in Words. It's really very good. Such a sad story and the combination of it and the nostalgia it awoke in me left me in tears. I used to paint and draw. Years and year ago. I had an amazing teacher who inspired and provided freedom and space. When we asked her opinion about a work or what we should do to improve it she always said, "You are the artist, what do you think?" I learned later that such a teacher is a rare and precious gift.

But we moved away and besides leaving this amazing teacher behind my time was also taken with school and work and a long commute to both. And we lived in such a little house that we were all on top of each other and there was no space for creativity. So all my art supplies stayed in boxes. Every once in a while I'd pull out a sketch book and some pencils, when the urge grew too loud to ignore. But after time it became easier and easier to ignore, until it was hardly ever there. And now I go years at a time without even sketching.

It's been nearly 13 years since that move and in all other respects it has been one of the best things that ever happened to me individually and to my family as a whole. But there still is, locked away inside of me, an artist. An artist who longs to feel the swirl of oil paint on my brush and smell linseed oil and follow the curves and lines of my subject and blend just the right shades of colour. An artist's whose eyes still know how to see.

The closing shot of the film is of van Gogh's grave in France which is covered in ivy. At my last lesson my art teacher gave me a clipping of ivy. She had a large, lovely plant of it grown from a clipping she had taken from his grave and smuggled through customs in her bra. I don't have much of a green thumb and my little clipping thrived for a while but died about four years ago. But I still have a little sketch I did of it when it was young and green and I will never forget what it represents.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

veg box

It's so much fun to receive my fruit and veg box that I thought I'd make a little feature of it here on the blog. What I got and what I made with it. This is my box from two weeks ago as it's been rather busy around here. I had cabbage and cauliflower and grapes and all kinds of goodness.
A conversation with someone at my new job at Debenhams inspired the idea of stuffing my beautiful red pepper. I haven't done a proper grocery shop for a while so didn't have rice or ground beef or the typical ingredients for stuffing. No worries! I cooked up a bunch of veg; carrots, cauliflower, onion, garlic, cabbage, mixed it all together and stuffed it with that.
Pretty tasty!
There was plenty of extra "stuffing."
Which I had for lunch one day with oatcakes and for dinner another with sausages and the last of the sparkling pink lemonade which I bought as a 4th of July treat.
Nothing too exciting or fancy. Just simple, hearty, healthy meals. That's good stuff!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

knit and natter

There won't be much nattering today... I'm in the middle of a half hour break between one job and the next. My life has changed this week, and I'm not used to such busyness!

I'm knitting up a bunny for my sister's sister-in-law's baby girl at the moment. It's the biggest toy I've made so far and it's fun to see it coming together. There isn't a picture of what I'm "reading" at the moment because I'm listening to it on audio book. It's At Home by Bill Bryson and it's very random and interesting "reading."

That's all I really have time for... you can see what everyone else is knitting and reading here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

like a popsicle on the 4th of July

Just thinking about fireworks, and fireflies, and freedom...

Friday, July 1, 2011

front garden: before and after

Our front garden was quite a site. The whole house is rather neglected by our landlady which is a shame because it could be wonderful if properly looked after. When I came back in August and directed the taxi driver to the house he said, "Are you sure?" The hedge was overgrown and the garden full of rubbish! The boys trimmed the hedge back to a more respectable length during the winter and I do my best to keep the rubbish picked up (the wind seems to blow it all right in our gate). But with the warmer weather things had gotten somewhat out of hand. So first, a trip to the £ Shop where I spent £3 on supplies:This is the garden beforehand:

And this is it after:
We don't have any sort of a rake to get up the dead leaves and I've put about as much work into it as I really want to already. But still, I think it's a vast improvement!
I cleared one big bin bag of rubbish and two of weeds. I aerated the soil by hand and planted flower seeds along the path and under the windows. It was the very end of the planting season and we're moving out at the end of August so we'll see if anything comes up/if we get to see them bloom. But it is a very satisfying thing to have accomplished anyway. And I have a very satisfied feeling going in and out now!

I think the garden would be so lovely if the rocks were taken out and grass planted, the hedge tended to, lavender and other lovely plants grown in the borders and a lovely bench away in the back added in. If all the improvements I've imagined for this house were carried out it would be such a lovely, cozy home...