Thursday, December 01, 2016

A Frosty Week

This first week in Advent has been a lovely frosty one. First real frost's of the season and it makes me so happy! I know that allot of people probably think I'm completely bonkers right now but I am a person who thrives on the seasonal rhythms of the year, so winter should be cold, frosty and hopefully snowy. I am energised and inspired by natures winter beauty. 

Today is the start of the meteorological winter calendar although we take the winter solstice as being the official start of winter. As I was capturing this mornings frosty beauty, I started mentally listing all the things I love about winter. If you have been reading my blog for some time you will know that I gain great joy from life's simple things, and this list lists some of those things related to this next season. I think I might do a page in my nature journal, a pictorial list of sorts, of these things that warm my heart.

So here we go:

* Frozen, frosty spiders webs

* The delicate ice crystal formations and intricate patterns formed by hard frosts

* Walks in icy weather that make me catch my breath and make me feel alive

* Hand knits - lots of them. Jumpers, mittens and thick scarves.

* Warm milky drinks

* Candles to light up the dark winter days

* Vapour trails high in the clear winters sky left by aircraft

* Winter coats and boots.

* Cosy nights by the fireside in a warm home

*Stark bare tree branches. They are beautiful stripped bare as they are in full leaf

* The green sprouts of spring bulbs pushing through the earth at the start of winter, a promise of things to come when the dark days get you down.

* Crunching grass under your feet as you walk on frosted ground

* The pavements after a frost as the glitter and sparkle like diamonds.

*The excitement that only comes from watching snow fall from the sky and catching it on your tongue.

* Seeing my bird feeder alive with activity every day

* In December it is Christmas baking, Carols, Christmas Markets, Gatherings with friends and family, Mince Pies, Christmas Cards, Giving, Midnight Mass, Christmas lights, Decorating the home, Cheesy Christmas movies, Wrapping gifts, Planning celebrations, Wreath making, and most importantly Celebrating the birth of our Christ Jesus.

* Winter mists hanging low over the countryside

* Red berries standing out in the stark hedgerows

* Frozen earth, I know that it is resting and recuperating for spring planting.

* Visiting Birds that only visit our British shores during this time of the year.

* Washing the dishes in a sink full of warm, sudsy water, watching the steam gently rise, curl and swirl against the backdrop of an icy world outside.

* Smoke curling up from chimneys

* Afternoons baking and cooking in my Kitchen

* Fogged up window panes.

These are just some of the things that came to mind this morning. What do you enjoy about this magical season?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Introducing: Church Mouse Yarns

Hello there! It's a cold and damp day in England today, in the South West we are expecting gale-force winds tonight which will surely make short work of the remaining autumn leaves. I guess that means we should schedule some garden time next week to rake up all the leaves.

I had wanted to have another podcast up by now, but DH is on leave and my time is spent with him rather than recording. I have quite a few things to share with you with regards to my Etsy shop etc and of course I will share these things on the podcast, but I wanted to share here too.

First up, yarn. For the longest time I have wanted to spin, dye and sell my own yarn as some of you might know. However I realised quite a while ago that spinning was not going to happen for me due to various things, mainly there is no one nearby that offers classes and secondly I don't have a spinning wheel. So (I'm sure I've shared this before so please excuse the ramble if I have) I decided to get on with the dying and selling bits. 

A lovely friend who used to dye yarn gave me loads of advice and lists of suppliers. I then spent a few hours watching Youtube tutorials and then jumped right in! Last weekend I spent Saturday playing with yarn and dyes. Here's the result...

I love all of these colours, they are all so vibrant and pretty. Each of these skeins would make a beautiful pair of socks don't you think? I'm thinking that the solid colours would look great with a lacy or textured sock pattern off Ravelry.

All these skeins have been listed in my Etsy shop - although the yellow one has gone already. I will have to dye up some more, I had meant to do so today but with all this wet weather around it's really not the best drying day for wet skeins!

My yarn label, "Church Mouse Yarns" is inspired by my Christian faith, our observance of the liturgical year and my role within the church as a chorister.
So if you order my yarn you will see the little church mouse on the ball-band and on your little 'brown paper package tied up with string'. The mouse art might change as my daughter has been working on a more apt illustration, a little mouse all dressed up in her chorister robes surround by balls of yarn and knitting away :). This week I will take it to a printer and see what they can do for me.

Next, Christmas project bags. 

Only 3 jingle bell Christmas bags left. They are just £12.75 a bag, each zippered bag has a festive jingle bell attached to the zipper, are fully lined and have boxed bottoms. They are just adorable and will certainly make a great gift for a fellow yarn addict ;) 

I have some new DPN needle cozy's too but the weather has been too grey to photograph them yet, hopefully I'll be able to photograph and list them early next week so if you you are in the market for a needle cozy do check the shop next week. I currently have three in the shop but none of them are 'festive' ones.

Okay - enough 'shop' talk for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and keep safe. Thanks for stopping by :)