Before I begin, I want to say a huge thank you to all of you dear souls who stopped by to wish me and the Little One well. Your kind messages made me feel much better, but alas, although the infection has gone, the head cold remains and we continue to wade through oodles of tissues and slurp nasty cough linctus.
Needless to say, I've been in dire need of a Pick-Me-Up. Being ill usually leaves me feeling quite low energy wise, and often I'm not even able to muster the enthusiasm to do a bit of crochet which is usually a cheerful pursuit in itself...I have only had sufficient energy to stroke the RR fondly and wistfully, and so, I have turned to my sketch books and Inspiration Book in order to lift my spirits these last few days - it's quite a tonic to inspire myself with painting ideas I'd forgotten all about, and to look at gorgeous pictures and recipes I'd previously pasted into my Inspiration Book.
The sketch above was done a couple of weekends ago, before the vile bug struck us down. The sun was shining and it was incredibly warm so I wandered off across the road to do a bit of drawing at the allotments. It really is a fabulous little place, tucked in a little dip below a grassy verge and by the riverside. It teams with plant pots, rickety fencing, old buckets and benches, forgotten cups of tea, spades, tipsy greenhouses (you know, the ones that lean precariously to one side defying gravity) and all other such allotment type paraphanalia...including My Chickens.
I say 'My' Chickens...hmmmm....well, I pretend they are mine dear readers, yes I do. I have a crazy love affair with these plump bronze feathered creatures. I can see them from my bedroom window and often find myself gazing at them strutting about and swooning with delight at their doings. One day, I will have chickens of my own, but for now I am playing Pretend and that is Good for now. I have a feeling, as batty as it probably sounds, a few of you will probably understand where Im coming from on that one :D
So I whiled away a good hour or so there with my trusty Moleskine...
Here is a little hand made bench, quite crudely fashioned out of a plank of old wood and two tree stumps!! How completely delightful!! It was covered in a pile of parsnips that had seen better days, and a rusty old horseshoe.
Going back in my book, I found some of the earliest sketches which I drew in preparation for my Little Red character...
...and some more recent ones from this winter, of blackbirds in my back garden.
And then I dug out my Inspiration Book.
Have you got one yourself? Have you the faintest idea what I'm talking about??
My Inspiration Book is a spiral bound sketch book full of all sorts of stuff, clippings from magazines, recipes, photographs, postcards, lovely websites and so on. It is a treasure trove of wonderful things I wanted to remember, Just In Case.
This little home made book never fails to lift the spirits and get me in a creative frame of mind.
Another example of something that lights the creative fire, is this:
My daughter, although only two, is forever drawing. She has a Doodle Draw (otherwise she would go through an entire ream of A4 paper in a week) and is constantly surprising and inspiring me.
The picture above is of herself, singing in the garden with two Buzzy Bees on two Pretty Flowers.
I love how children are a bottomless pit of enthusiasm and inspiration.
I'm also inspired by Simple Stuff. Little pleasures that we encounter through our days, like the perfect candy floss pink of the blossom against a pure (and clear) blue sky...
...I also like things like fresh bed linen that has dried in a warm breeze,
the scent of fields on a summers evening, heady with that special herby smell you only get at that time of year...
...I like scraping out the bottom of the G&B chocolate spread jar with the long handled jam spoon...
...I like walking on an empty beach watching the sea foam hiss up the sand...
I like this:
It's not finished yet, but I'm perhaps about half way through. Rainbow Ripple is coming on just beautifully and the wool I'm using (Sublime cashmere merino silk dk) is an absolute dream to work with, and so very, very soft.
This is going to be one of those divine blankets that come on lots of adventures with us. One that will get hauled about on picnics, evenings on the beach eating fish and chips out of paper, and snuggling up on the sofa with on a cold afternoon watching something fabulous like Amelie or Chocolat.
Talking of chocolate....you remember in my last post I told you I was going to try and be very healthy and perk up the old immune system?
Well, I have been trying. I've been trying very hard, eating much more fruit, veg and salad than normal and drinking pints of water and herbal tea.
In all honesty I do feel much better, and I've lost 4lb without even trying.
I have to say, all this healthy eating is Good but it lacks something.
It lacks Treats, and in my home Treats are necessary...and an apple just doesn't compensate for a clotted cream laden scone oozing with strawberry jam.
So, after several days of being Very Good and building up the immune system, I caved in and baked apricot flapjacks with the Little One. Oh my goodness, the aroma as it baked of heady rich syrupy goodness...I could hardly contain myself!!!
So a happy medium is reached. Yes, we will continue to eat much more good stuff than before as we feel better inside and out, but we will also have cakes and flapjacks and puddings because life simply tastes better with them than without!
Sending you love, thank you for popping by my blog today ~ don't forget to drop me a 'Hello' if you do, it's always grand to hear from you!