Monday, 24 June 2013

Home Girl

These last few weeks have been strangely tiring.  I'm not quite sure why...just in that 'everything feels like too much effort' sort of tiring.  I think it is possibly a culmination of things, of a rather intense workload, of commissions, housework, general family life and what have you.  Keeping all the balls in the air is sometimes a huge job, and I think these last few days, I've definitely dropped one or two.
I felt the need to stop, to just potter about at home, nap, dream, wander....I know better than to argue with these feelings and find these days it's best just to succumb and let go.
So this Saturday, there was just me and the little one at home, and seeing as how Summer had forgotten to set its alarm, and wild rain and winds randomly battered the windows, we decided to hunker down indoors for the day with not much planned at all, and see what unfolded.
There was some catching up to do on the chores front - oh my, being busy with some painting commissions and generally feeling rather drained has left me with little or no inclination to tidy up at all, and I'm afraid my house is rather topsy turvy because of it.  Ironing languishes in a pile at the top of the stairs, a feature I have been walking past and choosing clothes from these last few days with no plan to do anything about.  There are slightly dusty surfaces, and washing in the machine that needs hanging on the airer (too wet and cold to go outdoors, more's the pity).  Yet on Saturday morning, the one thing that had been niggling me most, was suddenly dealt with.  The toy corner.
Living in a very small house means that we don't have the luxury of a toy room as such, so there is a stash of toys that has seemingly grown out of all proportion behind the armchair.  On Saturday, we both sifted through this mess, and created a pretty satisfying pile of stuff that would be off to the charity shop, and also one that was destined for the bin.  I am now on the look out for a nice second hand cupboard to paint up so that the child has somewhere pretty to keep some of her smaller toys and games.
So, after the general effort of tidying was over, we set to baking some biscuits, and then I sneaked onto the sofa whilst she played with her Lego.  I found myself nodding off here and there, in between reading this book:
I haven't baked anything from it yet, but the recipes are very enticing.  Using lots of fruit and other seasonal produce (as well as chocolate, which is a year round staple), there is a tempting array of tasty, but healthier bakes and goodies to satisfy my sweet tooth without an attack of the guilties for indulging. 
On Sunday morning I nipped out briefly to bring in some groceries, and some summery blooms.  It's been a while since I had to buy flowers....
Before investing in these, I had been nipping down the garden, following the little path down the side of the river and disappearing into a fairy glade of frothy grasses and pretty wild flowers, and once there I would snip a few with my scissors and pop into my little Greengate jug. 
Ox-eye daisies, cornflowers, red campion, cow parsley and knapweed all grow in profusion down there, along with buttercups and forget-me-nots.  It really is pretty as a picture, but when I ventured down there this morning, the rain had made the whole place overgrown and inaccessible.  It had turned into the Wild Interior almost overnight, and my little path to the waters edge was a tangle of nettles and grasses which had somehow weaved themselves together to form a nasty, and painful passage.  So I gave up and came home again.
Still, a little bunch of cheap flowers from the supermarket are just as nice, and on the subject of splurges, I've also been in raptures with my newest little gift for our house.  I'm afraid I couldn't help myself, and I'm rather glad I couldn't because I bought a Real Painting from a very brilliant artist and I absolutely can't stop looking at it and smiling when I do.  I don't know if you are familiar with the art of Sarah Summers, but please do take a look - she is a most talented and inspiring illustrator, and I'm now the delighted owner of one of her original paintings:
See it?  That little square canvas on the right, sitting happily next to my print from Caroline Rose?  The colours really are wonderful, and I think the two pieces of art together are just glorious!  I get giddy just looking at them, I absolutely LOVE colour in my home, it really lifts the spirits and makes me feel good.
I actually have a Plan for this wall, I have a plan to adorn it with all kinds of colourful art and trinkets.  I'm very excited about it, because I do like to have little Home Projects on the go and I can already see in my minds eye how it will look when it's all finished.
So, this weekend, I have been soaking in the colour and the cosiness of my little nest.  Feeling happy not to have to do anything too pressing - apart from go to the Arena in Sheffield to see Rod Stewart on Sunday evening which was just a little bit brilliant.  Aside from that, I've been enjoying the quiet bits, just sitting and thinking...because I sometimes do that, when life feels a bit too much, when the tiredness takes a hold and I can't shake it off.  I sit and think what I might be able to do about it, to put it right again, to find my balance and what not.
Time in my little nest is very healing, it involves gentle pottering, deep baths and good reading books to take to an early bed.  I scour my recipe books for healthy, energy building meals, and go out into the sunshine to soak up some vitamin D when the clouds take it upon themselves to part.
I enjoy being at home, amongst my bits and bobs, with my little girl playing on the carpet, piles of old magazines to lazily browse through, and a stack of colourful cushions to doze on.
I have some exciting work on the cards at the minute too, I'm designing some lovely new work for Janet Bell's gallery on the island of Anglesey in Wales.  I shall keep you posted about this, but here's a little peek of the kind of thing I'm going to be working on:
Thanks so much for coming to see me today, it's always lovely that you do.
J x


  1. It was nice reading about your real (not supernatural ;-) ) life !

  2. Well done listening to the needs of your body and brain! So often people feel guilt about stopping and just enjoying family life and their homes. Me included! I think it's especially hard when you're self employed like us! Enjoy every minute-it will do you a power of good!x

  3. Sounds like you're great at listening to yourself and what you need. Is it that after a period of intense creativity you feel drained, and just need to full yourself up again before another bout of creativity? Love your new little painting!

  4. Even when 'relaxing' it sounds like you do a lot. I think you should take shears next time you go for a walk. After a struggle your flowers will seem so much prettier!

  5. Saving the best till last, or a case of better late than never?
    Glad to have found you again.... love the painting you bought. We splashed out on an original watercolour last year of a Highland Cow, large and gloriously miserable and funny looking is Hector (as I named him). The lady who painted him does a gorgeous hare too, not to mention pig, and sheep, they are very expensive.... but more than that is the problem of where to hang such large pieces of work. I'm running out of space!
    Will be back again....x


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