In the swing...

... for Xmas now, P got the tree today and it's waiting in the garden to be installed when we have some small hands around to help dress it. A recent visit to Harlow Carr RHS garden got me going with their wonderful bauble-bedecked  trees making everywhere look SO festive.
Wonderful to look up and find baubles glinting in the trees
Some at lower levels too
P loves the wattle tunnel and woven hurdles
This garden is full of wonderful inspiration, I just loved all the stars, both big and small made from single dogwood wands, bent into a continuous star shape.
The yew foliage and berries added splashes of colour 
Bendy branches of willow would work just as well too
Felt cosy around the garden in knitted beret and
hand woven Irish scarf from Dingle 
Our favourite Xmas tipple, sloe gin, made from last year's bounty from the Mid-Wales hedgerows, has been bottled up ready to be enjoyed with family and friends. 
. Brings back lovely memories of gathering the sloes in autumn  last year
Cakes have been baked and duly brandy-fed and stored away until it's time for their next alcoholic meal. I even seem to be on top of the gifts this year - it's surprising how much you can get done with no pressure from work!

Even had time to rediscovered marbling the other day.Amazing instant gratification for Isabella and Ava, pattern and colour emerge almost effortlessly, just the job for tired young brains after school.
Isabella's favourite pattern
The girls hard at work
Ava's favourite pattern
I'm a firm believer in children being allowed to get dirty
 - at least nothing that warm soapy water won't sort out
And on the knitting front, my most recent FP is this pair of fingerless mittens made for a friend from wool she gave me after a visit to Orkney, where the sheep are fed on seaweed. Not quite sure how this affects the wool - thought at first it might change the colour a tad, but on thinking about it, realise that it's simply that seaweed is the most nutritious native crop for the sheep..
My knitting has been very simple since I've been unwell, but I decided
 to take the plunge again with fairisle in this pair of fingerless mittens
I was quite pleased with the result
Sadly not playing much guitar or ukulele recently, due to a stiff shoulder making it painful... think it may be telling me it's time to throw away my sticks and stop relying on my shoulers to take the strain. I do miss my morning music therapy so am trying my very best to walk unaided in the hope that the shoulder will respond positively.

Wishing you peace and joy over the festive season.


  1. Dear Jean, I am finding December quite a full month, in mostly a very good way. This includes seeing this post from you with its photographs of the imaginative decorating at the garden, the clever and creative youngsters getting dirty hands making art, pretty photo of you in those lovely wooly warmers. I'm glad that you are able to do some knitting, and know that you will discover future ways to let your unique creativity shine through. Visual and musical.

    It's fascinating to contemplate the effect of seaweed's input into beautiful yarn. Those mitts are lovely. I'm way behind schedule now with my own Christmas knit gifts and watercolor painted cards. Still just possible to get it all done...perhaps "more yarn will do the trick."

    Thank you for your wishes which I do return to you and yours. xo


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