We've been enjoying a weirdly warm November here, although I'm not complaining, there is something rather nice about wearing just a t-shirt and cardigan when you're meant to be swaddled up in scarves and winter coats!
This last weekend, we took our annual chestnut gathering jaunt to Clumber Park. It's a little tradition that we began a couple of years ago and makes for a nice day out with a tasty picnic, flask of hot tea and forest walks. After a damp start, the day turned out to be fine and sunny, just the right kind of day for romping about in fallen leaves, gathering up those shiny brown nuts and dealing with cheeky squirrels.
Someone seemed to be having fun, dancing in the leaves...
...and it's amazing what you find when you're searching for chestnuts!
This little fella came right up by our feet, and helped himself to some of our haul!
We had a lovely walk through the forest; I love being near trees, I find them very peaceful, they have a lovely calming energy...
...and the colour of the leaves this time of year is breath taking!
I think nature is good for the soul; watching the seasons unfold, seeing wild animals and birds in their natural habitat is a lovely antidote to the often busy and full lives we lead.
Talking of busy...and I'm going off on a right old tangent here! Remember a couple of posts ago I told you I was finally making a start on getting rid of four years worth of accumulated junk? And you might remember I showed you this corner of my bedroom (*shudders at the sight of it again):
I confess to being pretty alarmed at the thought of tackling that lot, I can tell you. But as I sat and looked at it (as it looked back at me, all momentous and impossible) I had a thought: take it all to bits, and then do it one bit at a time.
I gave myself half an hour. Three bags of really good baby toys, unused cushions and throws for the charity shop, and one big bulging bin liner for the rubbish later and it now looks like this:
I cannot express how light and happy this made me feel. In fact, I did a little jiggy dance and squealed a bit.
I've also got a few nice toys that I'm going to have a bash at selling on ebay too - you can't see those though, I've made a fresh pile of stuff to the right of this photo (lol).
It really does help (when clearing out and clearing up) to repeat the mantra 'I love my home' instead of 'damn I hate chores'. It kind of has a calming effect, and creates an urge to actually make your home nicer (or it does for me!). I'm not after a perfect showroom style house, that would never be us in a million years as we like our trinkets, colour and lived in feel a bit too much to go minimal! But I'm certainly feeling happier at how things are coming along, and much relieved that so much unused stuff will be hopefully finding new homes, with owners who actually want it!
One last thing before I go...
(a recent watercolour sketch from my sketch book)
I realise it might have been some time since I wrote about anything arty or woolly. I want to reassure you that there will be some hooky posts on the horizon, and some arty ones too. I'm in the middle of working on some ideas (painting wise) which will hopefully see a new range of artwork available for children and families. I'll be sharing more of this with you soon, but for now let me just say it's an idea that has been percolating for many months and I'm looking forward to starting it!
On the hooky front, my lovely scarf just needs those pesky ends sewing in and I'm kind of contemplating another blanket...a stripy sort of blanket, which would be good to have going alongside the little squares one I've got on the go already. What do you think? Let me know your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!
Julia x x x