29 August 2014

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

Yesterday I visited the Tower of London to see the handmade ceramic poppies being planted in the moat. Each one represents a British military death in WWI which broke out 100 years ago. In the end there will be 888,246 poppies spilling from the Tower. 

I was with my two boys, and my thoughts kept turning to the young, young lads who lied about their ages, so they could sign up to go war. So very many people were so fiercely proud of their country. So many dead. So many tears. So much mourning. It was very moving.

The poppies are being sold off with the aim of raising millions for six service charities. To find out more click here.

27 August 2014

Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Fair

Frantically making for this exciting new event taking place just down the road from me in the grounds of beautiful Hampton Court Palace. 19, 20, 21 September.

“The Handmade Fair is an event with learning and making at its core. It is a celebration of all kinds of skills; from sewing to knitting, sugar-craft to crocheting, paper-crafts, up-cycling, and of-course, plenty of pompom making. With tents full of talented designer makers, inspiring teachers, workshops and dream speakers, trust me, there’s no other place you’d rather be than Hampton Court with me this September.” Kirstie Allsopp.

Hope to see you there!

14 August 2014

Delicate detail in gold.

My Arctic Twig has been cast in solid gold for the first time. It no longer has the cold frosty look reminiscent of the ice and snow where I picked the twig, but now a beautiful warm glow.

I think it looks very beautiful.

The ring is available in my on-line Etsy store here.

13 August 2014

Recharging my batteries.

I have just returned from a blissful week in the sun with my two boys. The first big holiday the three of us have had alone. We spent a week on the Turkish turquoise coast, and I have come back feeling fantastic, totally refreshed, utterly full of beans, over flowing with plans and ideas and raring to go.

We stayed in Kas which is about 100 miles from an airport, which means that lots of folk can't face the transfer, and consequently it remains a very Turkish resort. The hotel was small and friendly, and is covered with the most amazing bright pink bouganville.

We spent our days doing lots of exciting things like gorge walking, (and at some points gorge swimming as the water was deep in places). We went tubing down a river then had a huge mud fight - (which the boys definitely liked that more than me). 

One day we hopped on a dive boat to go snorkelling and were lucky enough to be visited by a beautiful turtle, who we were able to swim along with for a while. Another day a group of us hired a boat and Jasper astounded me with his amazing fearless swimming, so happy with his new bright red flippers. 

There was hour upon sunny hour on beaches, on boats and by the pool. Before we left the UK Oliver said he hoped to be half aquatic by the time he came back - I think he managed it, sometimes the kids were in the water for about 8 hours a day.

One day we went sea kayaking. Our route took us through crystal clear waters and over a sunken city. Once again we spotted turtles, sometimes popping up to breathe so close to our boats. Magic.

(Shipwreck ahoy!)

We had great company of three other families doing the same thing, lots of new friends for the boys. The food was yummy, the beer was cold. In the evenings we would find ourselves out in the warm dark air in the town square eating ice creams then the boys playing with little light up helicopter catapults alongside all the Turkish children. Finally, we would walk back up the hill to our hotel and fall into bed, happy and tired after our active adventure filled days.

All in all we spotted twenty turtles in the turquoise waters during the week, and then just as we were leaving for the airport, someone spotted two dolphins playing in the bay. It was a perfect end to a perfect holiday.