Thursday, 3 November 2011

Enjoying Autumn


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!

Sending love,
Julia x x x


  1. Ahhh, doesn't it feel good to get those messy corners tidied up!! Love the woodland photos, it has been a beautiful start to November this year, thanks for sharing!

  2. Hello Julia, I read but don't often comment here but I just had to say how lovely your little sketch is. Very sweet. It is also good to hear that you are enjoying this very mild autumn weather, it is such a bonus. I really do enjoy reading your posts, even if I do so silently most of the time ;0)
    Jane x

  3. You had more luck with chestnuts than I had. I went to my local tree and was foraging when a squirrel appeared in front of me and was very menacing toward me. A man who was passing told me that it would probably bite me if I continued so I turned away and went home.

  4. LOL! Still laughing about the "I love my home" mantra, as opposed to the "damn I hate chores' mantra! So funny and so very true.

    I enjoy your blog and have recently started my own. Just so you know, I've put a link to your blog in my "Blogs I Love" list in the right column of my page.


  5. how lovely to see your little one enjoying the autumn out of doors, loving the gorgeous crochet..and your lovely pics...and boy can you tidy! Half an hour,what an achievement! I had a mega trip to the Oxfam yesterday with a car load...feels wonderful!! It's part of my new 'House loving' plan after months of house neglect while I was being creative...

  6. What a great tree that is, so noble looking...
    I love your sketchbook sketch (especially the little mouse!)thanks for sharing it!
    Take a little bow of accomplishment for your cleaning project too! *clap*clap*clap*

  7. Hi Julia! Your day out looks so great! Beautiful place and lovely photos!
    I have for the moment so many corners like yours was - waiting to clear,throw ... I don't know how to start ... I guess I just continue my crafts ... Foxy needs pullover!
    Your crochet is beautiful and the latest sketch so cute!
    xxx Teje

  8. Your photos are so beautiful! Have a nice evening:)

  9. Funny, I was saying recently on my blog that seeing animals in their natural environment is good for the soul, something beautiful in nature can put perspective on life matters.

    Looking forward to seeing your new projects.....and very inspired by your tidying!

  10. Loving the squares, the colours work so well together and the scarf looks super cosy!

    I love autumn and your photos remind me why. Nothing better than kicking up the fallen leaves (well as long as they are dry and crispy mind you!)

    Helen xx

  11. The little fairy princess girl is adorable!! I would buy your paintings, but I have no money:(, but I will one day:)

  12. We love Clumber - its great whatever season - and theyve opened a new campsite up too! Ive been having a clear out too and I have been AMAZED at how much money I have made on ebay. I call my paypal account "free money" and have used it to buy things that I would not normally buy because of the cost. That sketch is lovely - as ever. xxxxx

  13. And another wonderful post with wunderful pictures!
    Thank you so much for your nice words to my autumn-decoration!
    And I'm so sorry, that I had and have no time for Being Creative in the moment, wether the October- nor the November-Theme. But we are changing our appartement till end of november, there is so much to do...
    I whish you a wonderful time in november! Hugs and xxx

  14. I'm so glad the new mantra is helping, Julia! Your newly cleared corner looks so pretty now....and it does make you feel lighter and brighter, I know just what you mean. The little sketch is adorable and so is the little squares crochet....maybe I'll do a little one next too! Have a happy week.
    Helen x

  15. Hi Julia - you are so right Autumn is a lovely time of year love your photos and I certainly know what you mean about clearing out - it is so refreshing, and I have a corner very similar to yours!!

  16. Hi Julia
    A lovely post indeed!

    Hmm I have a lot of clutter to sort out too, it really doesnt take that long to clear does it.

    Cute crochet, I haven't crochet in a while, but I'm thinking I may start again!!

  17. Your scarf looks lovely even though you're only showing us a tiny glimpse! ;o) I've been doing lots of sorting out of piles of 'stuff' from the corners of my bedroom too. It's a good feeling to make more space isn't it? It's all bagged up ready for the charity shop!
    Jess x x


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