With a gentle whimper winter is beginning to shed its coat and spring is nipping at its heels. The island is beginning to shine again and there is a peace and calmness in the air. It is a lovely time of year. Winter is my favourite season but I am never sad when it starts to close its curtain because I do love the new growth that heralds spring.
I wanted to take one last journal of photographs on Hazelbank as a tribute to winter.
We collect the 'old man's beard' that grows on the trees to use as natural fire lighters.
I do so want to introduce you to a very special writer who influences me enormously. Waverly Fitzgerald is American and she is a writer and a teacher. Her book 'Slow Time' changed my life as she taught me how to enjoy my life at a gentler pace. Her seasonal website Living in Season is a delight and you really must read it when you have a mo. She writes about the changes in the season and where we might get our inspiration from in life. I don't have many ambitions left but one of them is to write for her website. I will feel that I have achieved something very special indeed. Her book 'Slow Time' teaches us to establish a new relationship with time and teaches us to appreciate quiet times where we may recharge. I use her techniques all the time. I am blogging in bed today after a lovely walk over the fields. On the way back from my walk, while carrying a ridicuously heavy bag of firewood, my body told my mind that it was very tired. There was a time when I would fight that fatigue but not any more. Waverly has convinced me that I do that at my peril. So now I give in to the tirdness and rest and, of course, am all the better for it. If I could recommend one book for everyone to read I would probably struggle so I am going to cheat and say two! 'Slow Time' would absolutely be one and the other would be 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' as it teaches empathy and, in my view, there is not nearly enough of that in the world.
I might be slighter later than normal but my Mother's Day products are ready to go into the local shops.
For me these gifts are all about detail. From the vintage curtain that many mothers out there will remember to the ribbon roses and beading on the make up bags. Being a mother I am clearly biased but I do think Mother's Day is important. It is our chance to say thank you. Every year I drive myself slightly nuts trying to come up with new ideas but this year I am really pleased with the velvet make up bags. You just know I am going to keep one of them! My flower arrangements are my biggest focus for this occasion and from the Wednesday before the big day I am surrounded by flowers making up the orders. My vintage tea cup arrnagements are probably my most popular gift and this year there will be far fewer than normal as I have almost run out of cups and saucers. I do, however, have a plan....
Today I made a tea cup arrangement for a regular customer. She wants one for a new mother of a baby boy. This gave me a welcome shot of inspiration as I avoided the normal finishing touches. From nowhere I had the idea of wrapping a piece of blue seaglass in wire to make an accent for the arrangement. The new mother might want to keep this in her baby box.
I just hope the new mother likes it.
I am going to snuggle down with Sarah Water's novel 'Fingersmith' which is a glorious book every bit as good as Dickens and set in a similar time. Well worth a read.
I am leaving you with some more pictures for my tribute to winter jouranl. Hope you enjoy them.
Until tomorrow. xx