A word for the year?

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs with emphasis on a word for the new year. I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.


I’m greedy!

Yes, I’m afraid it’s true. One word is not enough. I’m currently working with far more than one, but today I will only share one with you.


A New Year brings change, and who knows what the rest of the year has in store. I’m using these words in my art and the second one is Renew. It might be a while before you discover any more – there are quite a few.


This doesn’t really count as a work of art – it’s just a quick expression.

Time for change – I can feel it happening already.

One reason why I won’t be celebrating Halloween

There are a number of reasons why I won’t be celebrating the above in any shape or form, but the main reason is that the event I mentioned in this post here actually took place on 31st October.

The activities were so entirely demonic that our family wish to have no participation, ‘fun’ or not

10 Things I want to do in 2011 Day 4

Life is hectic!  Each day I lurch precariously towards the next one.  Next day, that is.  The day starts as my feet touch the ground in the morning, and ends just before I go to bed.  There isn’t much time to take stock, to take a breath – or to catch up with friends.

That’s what I want to do…..

Sometime between now and then I want to spend the day with my special friend Betsy!  Frankly just a leisurely coffee break would do, or a lunch, but a day would be really good.

We haven’t caught up for – oh so long.

See you soon, Betsy!  I’m really going to do my best for this one!

Happy Birthday

I was overwhelmed with the lovely comments and emails that I received as a result of yesterday’s post.  Thank you all so much for reading and taking the time to pass comment.  I thought that today I would just tell you a little more about the birthday girl.

Mum was born very shortly before the end of the first world war.  She was brought up in the north-east of England, spending several years living with her aunt and grandmother so that she could attend a good school.  She was a bright pupil and did well.  When the second world war came she was ‘called up’, something that didn’t usually happen to women.  She was chosen for a special squad, and, after spending time in the Isle of Man for training, was moved to the heart of the Yorkshire Moors where an elite band were intercepting German messages.  Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting with several of her colleagues.  All had signed the official secrets act, and none of them had previously spoken about their work.  It wasn’t until information about Bletchley Park was revealed that they were able to do so, sadly this was too late for the experience to be shared either with mum’s parents, or my father.

Mum trained as an operatic soprano.  She had the most beautiful voice, and was due to go to Italy for further training.  Unfortunately the war made this impossible.  She met my father on VJ night and they were married five months later.  Her singing career continued but she was also plunged into a life of entertaining my father’s colleagues interspersed with caring.  She helped my grandmother nurse my grandfather until his death, and then nursed both my grandmothers – one after the other.  They both died of cancer and it was very hard on us all.

We have always been a close family.  My parents adored each other and both me and my brother.  They supported us in everything we did and encouraged us to be our own person.  Unfortunately my father became very ill and mum also nursed him until his death in early 1992.  She then made a new life for herself – helping me with my textiles business which was still in its infancy.  I can’t believe that that is almost 20 years ago.  She was a tremendous help and support, and we visited many places together.

Sadly the last 2 years have seen her become more and more frail.  Her voice now is as quiet as a whisper, but she still sings.  No longer a soprano, her voice is a rich contralto, but I can hear it in its former glory as I remember the concerts I attended.

This is one of my favourite photographs of her, taken with her then youngest great-grandchild.  It was taken in February of last year.  She is now a mere shadow, and you probably wouldn’t recognise her.

This was taken at the same time.  Happy Birthday, Mum.  I’ll always love you.  You are very special.  Thank you for being such a wonderful Mum, you’ve left me a hard act to follow!

Is forgiveness the key?

I’m writing this as a scheduled post as I am out selling and I won’t be able to find the time to do the subject justice.

Ironically, that’s what it’s about – justice.

I have just seen the most distressing item on the News.  The killer of Millie Dowler has been sentenced today and her parents and sister made heart-rending statements.  They all declared that it was as though THEY had been on trial while the ‘human rights’ of the accused had been respected on all levels.

I feel close to this on two levels.  Firstly, Millies body was finally found not far from where I live.  It was a shock, especially as the initial investigation was carried out in areas that I knew well from my childhood.  Secondly, I understood the family feelings very well as we had experienced something similar.

My mother has always been a kind and  gentle person, always putting the other person first and offering hospitality to many waifs and strays.  Unfortunately this backfired when, at the age of 80, she was attacked and assaulted by a young man.  I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say that he imprisoned mum for many hours and did atrocious things to her.  Fortunately she was finally rescued when he fell asleep and she was able to raise the alarm.  He was still in the house when the police arrived.

The court case was horrific.  Not only did she have to relive the entire occurrence, the accused took great delight in making the situation worse.  Through the entire proceedings she was made to look as though she had encouraged his ‘advances’ and that she had been complicit in the dreadful acts that were committed.  Bear in mind that she was now 80+ and he was in his early 30s.  His defence counsel asked the most dreadful questions and made many statements which were totally untrue.  I can imagine that this is the sort of trauma that Mr and Mrs Dowler have also had to endure, and my heart goes out to them.  The worst part of all was discovering that he had done it all before – but this couldn’t be mentioned during the trial in case it harmed his defence!

Fortunately my mother was able to forgive and put the incident behind her.  I can assure you that this was no easy thing to do.  The police and witness support team could not believe that she was able to do it.  She knew that she had to get on with life – and there was no point in destroying her life as a result of someone else’s actions.  A few years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy.  She faced this in the same manner.

Tomorrow she will be 93.  Last February we were told that she probably only had another couple of weeks to live.  She’s extremely frail, and living on ‘borrowed’ time, but her spirit is still strong.  It isn’t her time yet, and she will continue to love and be loved by all her family.  We’ll all be there to celebrate tomorrow, even though she won’t be strong enough to even cut the cake.  She loves her Lord, and is an example to follow.

My hope and prayer is that eventually the Dowler family will be able to put this behind them and start to live again – that way Millie will live on.

It really is this clear

I can’t resist sharing this photograph with you.  I took it for a magazine that is featuring this product in the not too distant future, however, I didn’t really look at it until today.

We sell it at shows, and also on my website, but I’m so used to seeing it that it wasn’t until I saw this photograph that I realised it’s so clear you can’t see it!  There is some tape there, I promise.  The writing – reusable glueless tape – is on the inner packaging.  I use it for lots of things, but mostly when I’m making my little books as I can use it instead of a press.  If I had used a press on this little mite I think it would have crushed it completely.

Today is Easter Sunday.  If you are wondering what it’s all about you may like to visit here.

International Women’s Day

I am ashamed to say that it wasn’t until this morning that I learnt today is International Women’s Day.  This is in spite of the fact there are over 400 events taking place here in the UK, and thousands more worldwide.  If you would like to find out what’s happening near you this link will take to to a list.  You can even follow events on Twitter, and maybe make a little contribution by retweeting or commenting.

So, what is International Women’s Day? It is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future, and is always celebrated on March 8th.  Wikipedia has a lot of information with links if you would like to find out more and there is a website solely for this year’s Day.

I haven’t digested all the information, or considered the full impact of everything that has gone on, but my main thankfulness today is that, through the efforts of those who have gone before, I am able to be myself.  This priviledge is not one that is available to all women, and that is certainly my hope for them for the future.

One Year On

Last year, on 3rd March, we had a surprise phone call.  Our little grand-daughter had arrived 5 weeks early, and although she wasn’t as early as her brother, there was still cause for concern.  Thankfully, mother and baby did well and were home a week later.  Shortly afterwards, however, she was rushed back into hospital with suspected meningitis.  Prayers were sent up from all over the world.  Etsy sellers and friends united in wishing her well.  She was discharged fit and well on the day this pretty hat arrived from a fellow etsian.

One year on, and there is no lookng back.  We had such fun at her birthday party yesterday, although she was a little bemused by all the attention

She loves her dolly, though, and here she is sporting a dashing little number from here

Needless to say, the cake didn’t last long



The final day

On November 24th I decided that I was going to post every day for a month – and that each day I would say thank you for something.  I have to admit that I didn’t think I’d be able to manage it, but here we are at Christmas Eve, and I succeeded.

Although I haven’t blogged about everything that has happened, this time has certainly made me realise just how blessed I am.  I have begun to count my blessings in a different way, and I am looking forward to continuing to do this, although it probably won’t be in such a public manner.

Thank you for reading my posts, and especially thank you for leaving comments.  It has been good to know that some of you have been blessed too.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day.  I don’t expect to be online at all tomorrow, so I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

It always happens at Christmas

There was some tragic news today.  A young lady, with her life before her, has disappeared.  Tonight there was a heart-wrenching appeal by her parents.  It is impossible to imagine what they, and everyone else involved, are going through.  Somehow it seems even more tragic in view of the time of year.  I have heard of other people who suddenly have things to deal with too.  Brain tumours that are inoperable, car crashes which have resulted in family members on life support machines, even the unexpected cold weather has added to the death toll.

Meanwhile the weather has been causing other problems too.  Farmers have been having problems attending to their livestock, food cannot be dug from the ground and packages are lost and delayed (including some of mine) as the services struggle to deliver them.  Soldiers are unable to return from their overseas tours, their short respite from duty cut even shorter.  Others have found that their travel, too, has been disrupted due to snow and ice.  Supermarkets have run out of turkeys, some people are being forced to eat chicken instead.  Tomorrow night children throughout the land will be going to sleep with dreams of the perfect toy, only to be disappointed because Santa hasn’t left the one that they wanted.  Will it ever arrive?  At this stage, who knows?  Disaster strikes when we least want or expect it, but sometimes it is difficult to put things into perspective.  A chicken for Christmas lunch instead of turkey can hardly be called a disaster.  Losing a loved one can be devastating.

I feel so blessed and privileged to know that any disaster I might face will be faced in the full and certain knowledge that God loves me.  I have to admit that I don’t know how anyone can cope with real disaster without knowing this.

Thank you for Your Love.