27 June 2014

Let's sit and have a cup of tea

Hello! Come in, it's so good to see you again. The kettle is on and there are some biscuits in the tin. Do pull up that chair and we can sit in the sun outside.

If I was meeting you now, I would carry the tea tray outside from the kitchen, all the while chatting and asking you questions as we poured the first steaming mug in the bright sunshine. You would probably ask about home and I would say with a happy sigh in my voice that it is good to be back. I like the slower pace of holiday time, the lazy, balmy days, the crafting in the daytime and the board games in the evenings. It is good to get away from what can be quite a high pressured academic environment. That said, I do miss my friends back in Durham. You would most likely say that it sounds idyllic and laughing I would tell you that I am painting a very rosy picture of my holidays. Much of it this time will be spent looking for work which is possibly one of the most dispiriting things to do.

I'm grumbling now. Could I offer you a cookie? They are a Beach family favourite- chocolate chip. You can't go wrong! As I passed you the tin the topic would move round to the end of term. If you have children are they finishing up for the year? My term ended beautifully with lots of picnics, social events and a wonderful college ball. It took place at a big country hotel with a ferris wheel in the grounds. Very romantic on a still summers evening. Smiling, I would tell you that I am meaning to blog those photos however there has been a bit of a boy overload on the blog recently and perhaps they could wait for a bit!

Cradling my mug in my hands we would chat about the passing of time, how quickly this year seems to have gone, how I only have one more year left of uni. As so many people ask at this stage you would bring up future plans. I am one of the lucky ones who has a pretty firm idea of what they want to do. I am planning on going into teaching. It will mean one more year of study but I am excited by it. I come from a family of teachers so I have a pretty clear idea of the highs and lows of the profession.

Speaking of school, the conversation would move to my own school and my little brother who finished there last week. I think you would nod with understanding as I told you how odd it is to say goodbye to a place I have known well for ten years. I think it was stranger for my parents. All their children have now left school. Our school was very special to us. We boarded there, we grew up there, we made lasting friendships there. On Saturday we went for the prize giving service and it was a very surreal experience to be suddenly losing that connection.
Listen to me! I'm going all nostalgic!

The teapot is topped up, another cookie is offered and as usual we begin that lovely talk about crafts and blogging and creating. I am working on lots of quilting projects at the moment. One quilt for my friend, one for me and lots of quilt squares. Are you participating in the friendship quilt? Have you had your 'month' yet? I have also got an exciting project in the works involving paper scapbooking again. I am excited and terrified about this as I haven't paper scrapbooked in nearly two years. I am hoping it will all come back to me!

We both look at our watches. Where does the time go? It seems five minutes since you came through that garden gate. I feel there is so much left to catch up on but I think that is always the case with good friends. We rise and then another topic springs to mind and we get talking again. It is only on the third attempt that we realise you really must be off. I walk you to the drive and we hug tightly.

Come back soon I say.
It is so good seeing you again. Let's do this again soon.
"definitely" you say as you turn and wave goodbye.

If you were having tea with me today what would you tell me?

If you would like to write a "tea" post please add it to the linky at the bottom so we can all sit and share with you! The linky will be open for a week so you have plenty of time! 

26 June 2014

Come in for a brew

It's the end of the month and once again I am inviting you into the garden for a spot of tea. 
This is the meme without any rules. Simply tell me what we would talk about over a cuppa. 

Tomorrow I will be greeting you at the garden gate and you are so very welcome to join in. 
As always there are three ways to join in with the 'time for tea' meme. 

1. Grab a drink and take a tour around the world first stopping with me and reading my news and then following the links to the many other lovely ladies who join me each month in a brew and chat. 

2. A conversation is no good if I am just talking (and I do like to ramble) so feel free to keep the discussion going in the comments on mine or anyone else's blog. This meme is as much about news as it is about sharing good company. 

3. Write your own tea post. Tea posts don't have to be long. Share a list, share some summer goals, give me five things that have made you smile this week. 
Don't think too hard. Just write as you talk and I promise you there will be many of us listening. 
Simply, "what would you tell me if we were sitting down for tea together?" 
Once you have written your tea post link back here so we can all enjoy your company. (The link stays open for a week so you have plenty of time.) 

In my experience of running this meme, there are always stories to be shared, triumphs to be celebrated and losses to mourn. As our 'tea community' grows bigger there is always someone who can sympathise, laugh with or celebrate with you. The blogging community is magic. Let's celebrate it over a cup of tea! 

See you tomorrow. 

If you are stuck on what to write or how to go about a 'tea post' there is a link on the sidebar with previous posts

25 June 2014

Project Life week 23

Catching up with this project. This is what my week 23 looked like:

Things I am loving this week: 
Having happy sunny photos. This week marked the end of exams so there was more to write about and more to document.
I am also really enjoying that collage sequence in the bottom left of the first page. It gives a chance for more photos and I like that is simple and linear.

Techniques I have tried: 
I got the graphics tablet out again to write across that photo of the library. I like the idea of journalling about the end of exams in my own handwriting.
I also tried something different with that series of photos of the boy and me. I wanted to keep them simple with just the dates so therefore stretched them across the top two pockets. I think it makes quite an impact.

Photos I have documented: 
This week was the end of exams for me, the end of a degree for the boy and a final visit to his uni house. We enjoyed a few outings whilst I was there so I recorded those. I also wanted to record the spontaneous photo that seems to happen each year. I love that it is becoming a tradition to get the 'selfie'. You can read more about it here.

Thoughts on this project: 
I am behind as usual but I have a summer to take this project at my own pace and I am excited by that. I am also looking out for some more digital supplies so if you happen to come across anything pretty do ping it my way!

23 June 2014

Me on Monday

Today I am joining in with Sian's meme, "Me on Monday". 
I ummed and ahhed for some time about getting a 'nice' picture of me. Each one was wrong. My hair wasn't right, I wasn't smiling, the sun was in my eyes etc. 
I clicked over to Sian's post and the words that jumped out at me were 'keeping it real'
This isn't supposed to be a perfect shot. This is me, in my comfy dress, doing Monday. 

After a busy weekend (that I will blog about later) my Monday has been calm. It's been a blog reading, quilt sewing, tea drinking, girly chatting kind of day. Thrown into that have been some lovely sunny spells, some project lifing outside and a lot of Harry Potter listening. 
A quiet, gentle, slow kind of day. Just what was needed. 

What has your Monday looked like? 

20 June 2014

the details of our home part 2

Back in March I wrote this post about the details of my uni house. It is a post I really treasure.
Yesterday I packed up that house and headed home for the summer. Back to my family in the south and another precious home.

These are the details I want to remember of our family home...

Light spilling in from the open door.

Passion flower curling up into the porch.

Piles of crocs, abandoned as their owners have walked inside.

Flowers across the garden.

beautiful bright red bricks against a blue sky.

The umbrellas leaning up against the porch.

Dad's slippers, stepped out of on his way to work. 

Loose leaf tea, spooned and poured into the tea pot.

This is my challenge for you today. Go grab your favourite camera and wander around your home. Look down, look up, capture what you notice and then record it. Details are so important!

15 June 2014

The graduate

Just like that, three years are gone and the boy man has finished his degree.  At the weekend I travelled to visit him at uni for the last time. It was a strange experience because for me it was a series of endings. Last time I will see his housemates (for the foreseeable future), last time I will make that train journey from Durham, last time in that house.

But it is exciting too. Things are changing, life is moving on. The boy has a job for next year and we are looking forward to how God will open more doors in the next twelve months. It is scary and fun and intriguing all at once.

I voiced all this to the boy over the weekend. I am the nostalgic one and I think the change for me is greater than it is for him. I get sentimental over 'last times' where as he quietly likes the transition. Nevertheless I persuaded him into some form of photoshoot in the beautiful park to mark in a way the occasion.

Things are coming to an end for him, but in many ways they are just starting.

Degree. Done. (Just mine to do now!)

9 June 2014

One photo & twenty words

A sunny evening. Another hello on a station platform and ice cream for pudding as we walked home hand in hand. 

My challenge for you today. Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here. The link will stay open for a week so you have plenty of time to join in! 

The slow moving blog hop

Welcome to the slow moving and gradually expanding blog hop. You may have seen a few of these posts floating around in the last few weeks. I was asked to join in by the lovely Alice whose beautiful blog you can findhere.

The idea is simple: talk about your craft.
This is what I am working on at the moment and what I have planned for the next few months…

At the moment- Project Life
This project has changed slightly for me this year. It feels less pressured, it is easier to create pages and I think they are simpler. I like that I have found my style with this project.
I no longer have to actively think about doing project life because after eighteen months with this project it is a very natural part of the pattern of my weeks.

As the second half of the year dawns I want to challenge myself to use my graphics tablet more and possibly post a few beginners video tutorials in starting out digital project life. I know that Photoshop can be a minefield but once you have mastered a few basic ideas digital PL is actually quite simple.

I am also looking forward to an opportunity this summer to try my hand at the paper version of project life. I am in turn excited and terrified. I think it will be like starting an entirely new craft! As a heads up, do any UK project lifers know where I could buy the page pockets?

At the moment- Hand lettering
I am always more inspired when I haven’t the time to be. I decided halfway through my exams this year that I would make it a goal this summer to practice hand lettering.
I have seen some beautiful examples across pinterest and filled with enthusiasm bought a fresh notebook, nice pen and a sharp pencil.

Lesson one. Pinterest makes it look easy. This craft is hard! I can’t count the number of times I rubbed out dodgy letters or re drew the flicks on the ends of words. Nevertheless the summer is long and I am determined to write beautifully by the end of it!

Planning- small business idea.
This idea is not a new one. I have been thinking about selling handcrafted for a long time now. My problem has always been what to sell. The crux is that whilst my holidays are long, I haven’t the space at uni, both physically and mentally, to create. I therefore needed a product that I could make in batch at home and easily take and sell up in Durham.

I think I have finally landed on a solution and I am hoping that it is something that is simple enough to make and nice enough to buy.
I am excited by small business ideas but it is definitely a risky and daunting adventure. I am hoping a long summer will let me fine tune ideas and see whether it something I could pursue.

For now I am keeping the plan under wraps until it is more of an actuality. Those of you with small business though, where do you sell? Crafty, Folksy? Did you find it was easy to sell handcrafted? What tips would you give?

I am always excited by crafts. I like the crafts like Project Life and quilting that are now familiar to me.  I like trying new things even if they are hard and I want to push myself a bit more and try and create a product that can be sold.

Thank you Alice for asking me to chat about crafting. I am passing the baton on to three other bloggers and they will continue the hop next Monday.

Do go check their pages out. They are full of inspiration and you may find a new blog to follow.

Sinead is a friend I have met through blogging but has since become a dear friend in real life. Her blog is lovely mix of her life in beautiful Ireland and her scrapbooking.

Miss Smith at a journal of curious things
Miss Smith’s witty writing and gorgeous scrapbook pages always brighten my day. She tells wonderful tales of life in London and funny stories of the school she works in. 

I first met Lea through the swap of small things organised by sian. I have since followed her blog and instagram feed and am always inspired by her clean bright style.

8 June 2014

Phrase and photo

Get your photos at the ready and pick up to twenty words to tell their story.
It's that time of the month again...

This month the link will go live in the evening of the 9th as I am participating in a blog hop and don't want the two posts to collide! Feel free to post your photos through the day and then when I set the post up I will try and collect as many as I see and link them up! 

4 June 2014

Around here...

The room was still, just the sound of pens on paper, the clock ticking, my feet tapping against the chair. 
He looked up at the clock. We all followed his gaze. The second hand moved slowly,  inching towards the hour. He took a breath and then...

"The time is, up, pens down please." 
Those magic words. freedom. the start of summer. 

We all looked around at each other grinning, stretching, trying to keep quiet as they collected the papers in. 

"you're free to go!", the babble of talk, of question analysis (why do people insist on doing this?) the giggles. We opened the doors, glorying in no work for a few months, excited by summer...and were met by, you guessed it, rain. How perfectly British. 

I'm excited to be back friends. Thank you for your words of encouragement over the last few weeks. The break has been good for me, but oh have I missed this little space of mine!