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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Painting and pondering...

Well, the weeds have certainly grown in this little blogging patch, hasn't it? It has been a while! The summer term is always hectically busy as the school year draws to an end. The children need ferrying around from one place to the next, days are filled with school plays, sport days, work, transition days...the list goes on! Trying to find time for creative pursuits seem an impossibility! But, while the days are wrapped in warm sunlight, it seems more important to 'make hay while the sun shines'!

So, I have a rather long list of painting projects waiting to be tackled. Our master bedroom is in dire need of freshening up, as we haven't touched it since we moved in ten years ago! I am thinking drastic changes. It has always been a little 'safe' in it's decorating choices, with a theme of pale pink and pine running throughout. Now I'm leaning towards bolder, brighter colours! I have kicked things off by painting a little glass cabinet in a bright shade of  'Verdigris' by Grand Illusions Vintage Paints. It is utterly yummy! Here is the before picture...A vision of...well, dull...






































And now...






































I cannot recommend this paint highly enough. I have used several brands of chalk paint, and this particular brand goes on like a dream! You don't have to prepare the surface by tediously sanding it down. You just paint. Compared to other chalk paints, this one went on smoother, and had a much nicer, organic smell. I painted two coats, and then used a clear wax over the top. I don't like things too perfect, so I distressed it in places with sandpaper after waxing it. I am so pleased with the end result!

That is one tick off the re-decorating 'to-do-list'! Now, the real work begins! I am still pondering on what colours to use, and whether I will paint the bed and dressing table. At the moment it looks like this...






































I am thinking of painting this wall behind the bed in a bold, dark shade of blue. Yes, I am! Watch this space...For now, I am scratching my head, planning, thinking and deciding...






































I hope your summer is equally as relaxing as it is productive. But do remember to take time to smell the flowers...






































Blessings


Monday, 22 June 2015

A piece of cake!

Well, the summer is here and soon it will be 'Bake-Off' season. I am no Mary Berry, but I do love a bit of stirring, mixing, and cake faffing! The latter being the operative word! I have always tried to make a special effort with the childrens' birthday cakes, since the day I became mum. It's the one thing I love to do for them, because nothing beats the surprise and excitement on their little faces as they puff out those candles! My oldest turned thirteen this weekend...Bear with my while I just sit down for a bit to let that sink in....thirteen...I am the owner of a teenager...Help! Well, of course I had to make a little effort with her cake again, as it's a rather special birthday.

Now, I can't and don't do 'fancy'...My skills don't stretch that far, and smoothly perfected masterpieces is not something I even want to attempt. But I can do rustic! So, with the very popular trend of  'naked cakes' gracing wedding and celebration tables around the world, I thought I'd have a go at making one for my girl. It is a lot easier than having to drape a cake in flawless fondant icing! I merely baked four layers of sponge cake, iced them together with buttercream, and didn't even have to bother with the sides! The idea is to spread none, or just a very thin layer of icing round the sides so that all the layers are visible. Easy..a piece of cake! The fun part was dressing the top. I used fresh roses, daisies, some handpicked sweets, sprinkles, quirky flags and bon-bon toppers. Voila! A very rustic naked cake!














































































And she loved it...Phew!

Blessings



Thursday, 18 June 2015

Slow...quick-quick, slow...








































It seems that as I get older, I get a little more philosophical about living life...
I am becoming more aware of the rhythm of my own life, with tendencies to reflect on and ponder over everything...Lately I feel a strong urge to be quite intentional with time and how I spend it. The hours in a day seem more precious than ever, and there is a sense of responsibility to be a good steward of the seconds, minutes, hours and days which I am blessed with everyday. Life to me should be like the 'Quick-Step', to use a ballroom term! The rhythm is slow...quick-quick, slow...It is so important to make time to slow down in a world that is eager to devour every second like a starved gannet. There seems to be a tendency to glorify 'busy'. It's as if people are hanging on to the over inflated importance of being busy. And so we fill our days without taking slower steps to breathe, think and take stock. All too often I have to remind myself to take my time with the slow steps, as I tend to want to gallop away in a Polka! And as I've learnt the hard way...I will fall down in a heap of exhaustion if I don't pay attention to the slow steps!

Over the last  few weeks, I have made a deliberate effort to slow down when needed. Saying 'no' when necessary, and doing so without the urge to feel that an explanation is needed. I am becoming more aware of my limitations, my boundaries, and I am trying to focus on living and resting with intent. A life of balance is a wonderful thing. I am not quite there yet, but I hope that wisdom will be my portion as I take every step...slow...quick-quick...slow...Living Simply...

To be more like a child...To never lose my sense of wonder...





























To look up from my screen, and out the window...to see the rain...to smell it...





























To enjoy simple pleasures...'there is always time for tea'...





























To make time to do the things that really matter...nurturing and nourishing those around me...





























To live life a little more simply...

Blessings