Tuesday, 3 September 2013

back to normal !!

Well I'm supper happy today , the boys are back to school !! whoop whoop .

 I know some of you may be shocked by my happiness at the deprivation of my children's company 24 /7 but this school holidays has been difficult on so many different levels . Don't get me wrong I welcome the summer holidays with open arms but this year by week 4 , I wanted my routine back and the boys back to school . I could go on and waffle on about my woes but I don't want to bore or depress you .

 Essentially big age gap and keeping a 6 year old and 12 year old entertained for 6  weeks has been a real struggle on a budget of more or less zero , I know our family is not alone in being fiscally challenged  . As the holidays have come to a close I have breathed a big sigh of relief .

 But saying that there have been lots of moments and experiences which I will treasure about the holidays even over the last couple of  challenging weeks.

One lovely thing we have enjoyed is spending impromptu moments with friends , on this occasion I had been baking scones to use up some of my homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream so I phoned a friend to see if she fancied visitors so the children could  play and us mums could crochet , obviously who could refuse such an offer . It is so nice to live in close proximity to such wonderful friends that you can rock up to with baked goods and sit , chat , share and enjoy . Friendship is such a precious thing ! and I like to spoil my friends with my homemade goodies  ( I don't think there waist lines appreciate me though ) .

In fact food has been a big part of our experiences this holiday , I do try and make sure nothing impacts on the quality of food we eat  and getting the family to try new things is always fun . Particularly when the colours are unexpected , Red Carrots and Orange Beets what a mixed up world we live in ! My youngest , a big veggie fan did view the red carrots with a great deal of  suspicion .
I thought the colours when I cut into  the carrots were stunning and they were rather scrummy to eat . 

I have been able to grab a few moments of relaxation on this occassion with a good magazine and homemade Butternut squash soup . These little moments when the boys have been occupied have been much appreciated . Over the last week I have been making lots of soup as I start embracing the slight change in the season which we are experiencing as we move towards my most favourite season , Autumn . Oh how I love Autumn , bring it on !!
 We've been on Woodland walks normally after fractious  mornings of fighting boys , oh what a calming effect a good nature walk seems to have . The quiet space around you giving your body and mind chance to become grounded and calm .
In fact I could quite happily live in a wood , maybe I will run away and become a hermit !!  : )
We've taken the boys to explore the local enviroment  , children no longer explore and wonder as we did as children due to the social changes that have altered childhood over the last 30 years . I have many fond memories of summer holidays spent wondering with friends and exploring the area we lived in and it saddens me greatly to think my children will never have this experience as everything is under adult supervision (  and we do try to do it from a distance as often as possible ) .

 But you can't beat a good ramble over yonder hills!!

We did manage to go for the day to York on Sunday , we like to go at least once a year and we had a lovely day . 

We were a little saddened at the fact we couldn't go into the minster as they now charge £10 per adult to enter it . What a great shame this place of worship is now a socially selective attraction . We have always been happy to make a donation as we fully understand that this building requires a great deal of money to help with it's maintainance . We were not the only ones to turn around and mutter complaints at the astronomical fee to enter . My husband felt very strongly about the issue and has sent an email to the Minster , lets see if we get a reply  . So as we couldn't enter we took our selves over the road to St Wilfreds catholic church , what a little gem with some outstanding religious artwork as well as beautiful architecture . Sorry I didn't take any pics but it would have been quite disrespectful , as it is a busy little church and people were poping in for moments of prayer .  We sat and had a few minutes of quite refection and I lit a candle for all those we have lost and said a little prayer . I then put a donation in the box . A place of worship functioning as it should , for all those in it's community that wish to use it .
But our trip to York did mean that my much loved and new shoes got there first real outing , and oh how comfy they are !!! it's like wearing slippers . They are my shoes for Autumn , we all got new shoes for the return to school . They were from Schu  and are by ' Red or Dead ' and were a little expensive but I was brought up to have buy good quality well fitting shoes and as I don't drive and walk everywhere I think my little tootsies deserve some comfort .

One very Happy moments was Monday as this was my first full day at the studio in a very long time and it is now my only job , I am now full time at Handmade Over Yonder . This is not only a very exciting and hopefully productive time but also a little scary as this is what I'm going to live off , arrgghh ! 
As you can see I'm in the thick of things getting ready for the weekend of Yarndale when the studio will be open . I am also just finalising the details of some rag rugging workshops that we've booked in for October and November . Details to follow in the next week .
Another exciting moment this week in the studio ( and were only on Tuesday ) has been the development of Mr. Fox . The tail took 3 attempts to get right and the eyes took 2 attempts . But it is always the way with the first one .

I'm quite pleased with how he's turned out he just needs a knitted scalf . But the only problem now is I've only enough fabric to make another 2 , I think I need to make a phone call tomorrow to see if the lovely shop owner will be able to order more in stock as I bought it a while ago and when I went a couple of weeks ago they didn't have any left , but Mr fox hadn't been created then !! oh bother , I hope they can get some more of this American Linen as it's perfect .
Sorry  if this is a bit of a peculiar post but I think my heads  in a bit of a strange place today !!
Ta ta for now and thanks for popping by . Tracy x


  1. I enjoyed hearing about your life these past weeks, and your fox is quite lovely!

  2. lovely pictures Tracy. I totally agree that special coloured vegetables are more exciting - we grew cosmic carrots and rainbow cauliflower this year - just fab!

  3. I totally understand your relief at the end of the summer holidays. I have a 13 year old son and normally I love the holidays but this one has been the first *difficult* one - he's gone straight into teenage-hood since his 13th birthday!! He's preferred to stay in his room than go out with me, which has been hard to deal with for me :( We've had some good times, a good holiday and a few days out and about but even the normal stuff like a day at the seaside is 'boring' now!!! He goes back tomorrow.... I'll miss him... but will be pleased to get my normality back!

  4. I saw those shoes on Kate Davies' blog a few months ago. Can't get them in the US, but I was going to England! Got black and tan/natural - the only ones in my size at the Oxford St store. I wanted the reddish like yours and the dark teal, but they didn't have my size. When I got home to Texas I chatted online with the company and they DO NOT ship to US (tariffs? EU?). Anyway, I would beg some of my UK friends to act as agents, but I'll be in England next summer, too. - have to be patient.
    AND, they really show off a nice, sassy, hand-knit pair of socks. Have a great festival and enjoy autumn!

  5. Hello!!
    I just found your blog and I love it! I also low how very British your stuff looks, your studio is awesome - are those colourful things little toy sweaters?? Lovely :)
    I would eye red carrots with suspicion as well, but I would definitely have a go and try to grow them :)
    Keep blogging, I will keep reading!

  6. with a 6 and 11 year old during the summer holidays i totally feel what you've written, its been a difficult one for sure to keep them occupied, loving mr fox alot x

  7. I totally agree with you re the charges into places of worship. When I worked in London I was near st Paul's and loved spending my lunch breaks in there, this summer I wanted to take my son in to show him but it was too expensive! Sad. On a brighter note I love love love your mr fox. Thank you.

  8. Hi Tracy,Sounds like you had a good holiday inspite of kids,budget and so on!!!Love your shoes!!!!Your studio makes are just gorgeous!!!!Have a great day!!!

  9. I soooo get what you mean - my tiddlers are 6 and 2 and really want to play together but the peace only last for 5 minutes before fighting breaks out! This is also my first week back to normal but that also means back to work :( I so love Mr Fox, he's adorable with his little shorts. On a financial note I think we should bring back bartering in the sense that we swap our goods with others. I am really looking forward to starting to grow my own veg and getting my chickens, we have rosehips and crab apples which may make a good jam - have you ever made anything like that?

  10. Love the coloured veg. so much more exciting. Mr fox is a success, well done.

  11. lovely post as always Tracy .... love the veggies, love your trip, love your job, love Mr Fox and so hope you will be able to get more material .... love Joy xx

  12. Those carrots are amazing! And how I wish I had a friend that would roll up with fresh scones and CLOTTED cream-my fave! Holidays can be very challenging, but I think they change each year. This summer none of our usual days out would cut it with a 17, 16 and 12 year old- they just didn't all want to do the same things so they often went off doing their own thing. Great for me in one way, but also a little sad I thought! It will be nice to get back some routine though (and a big reduction in the number of dirty tea mugs left lying in strange places!)x

  13. It was a lovely post, thank you for sharing the reality of life !! Your work is lovely, I love it, especially Mr Fox. Good Luck with your studio, it looks wonderful.

  14. I agree with you about longing for the order of the term, and for woodland walks. Mr Fox looks very 'spiffy' I must say. Good luck in your venture.

  15. OH boy do I hear ya on the school thing. I love my daughters dearly, but I was constantly on demand to referee besides cook and clean. I get to breathe more now with school in session.
    What a beautiful church. I love the history the UK has. It's so different from here in the US. I love the pic of your worktable with all the cute garments laid out in a neat and orderly fashion. Oh and what a way to entice a playdate! You're welcome here any day.

  16. What a lovely post, how good to catch up with you. Woods are indeed magical places. We went last weekend, and it's amazing how much fun can be had with some string and a few bits of tree. Imaginations were fired and everyone was happy. I do so admire you for creating your own business. Mr Fox is absolutely wonderful. You are talented, and I do hope you achieve the success you so richly deserve.

  17. Your Mr. Fox is lovely.
    And this creative chaos in your Studio!
    This is an environment that feels like

  18. Hi Tracy, thanks so much for updating your blog, it is SO beautiful!
    I like these bits and bytes of your life in England, you see, I am phanatic about Jane Eyre and such informations you give are so precious...And I loved to see that you almost finished Mr. Fox. Thanks again for sharing your life, be sure that your commentaries and pictures inspire people like me that lives so far away from you.

  19. Hi Tracy,

    I hope you were able to get some more of the linen. If you are having problems I believe they are stocking it at Bramble Patch in Weedon. Get in touch if I can be of any help. I am looking forward to a trip up to Yarndale at the end of the month. Tracy

  20. love Mr Foxy and those shoes! I had a version of those from clarks as a nipper, indestructible spoons shoes. I want some!

  21. Looks like a fantastic end to the holidays. Even as a teacher I was quite happy to get back into routine and have something constructive to do with my days, otherwise they just seem to drift. On our trip to York in August, I'd planned to visit the Minister as I wanted to do the tower climb but was annoyed that you have to pay the huge entry fee and an additional charge. As we visited the Minster fully back in 2009, I decided it was too soon to justify another visit at that cost and turned around. We did however visit Durham Cathedral on the latter part of our hols which was free and did a tower climb there for £5! x

  22. Hello Tracey

    Your fox is wonderful - they are one of my favourite animals {I think it's because they are ginger and us gingers should stick together;)}. Have bribed my husband to bring me down to Yarndale and really hope I can buy one of your hares if there are any on sale. Are you taking orders or will it be first come, first served? Anyway, good luck with your ventures and I hope to see you soon.
    Deborah x

  23. I really can sympathies with you and quite understand your happiness to have the boys back in school. I always was when my were at home. I love them to visit now but still like it too when they leave.
    It's also nice to see parents making an attempt to get their children into the outdoors, exploring and appreciating nature and things besides their techie gadgets.
    I love your Mr Fox!

  24. I love those shelves you have for your bobbins, where did you get them please?

  25. I love your sandals. I bought a Start Rite pair (childrens as I'm a size 3 or 3) brand new in a charity shop for £4.00. A little bit stiff but still working on them. If I don't wear them in they will go back for someone else.

    I love the look of your scones and cream ! I'm thinking of Yarndale as I would love a long legged rabbit as I can't find a pattern to make one for myself.

    Enjoy a bit of your work time sans boys to catch up!

  26. I am outraged at the cost to go into York Minster. The fact that entrance into a church depends on if you can afford it seems sacrilegious. Maybe if enough people complain about it, the cost will go down. It should be halved at the very least.
    On a happier note, those vegetables look amazing. I'll have to see if I can find red carrots. I had to smile when I read about you trying to keep your boys happily occupied for six weeks; My kids were off for ten weeks. I completely understand about the budget issues. Just paying to get into the zoo needs careful consideration.
    I LOVE Mr. Fox, and your studio looks like my idea of heaven. I hope you have a wonderful Autumn - my favourite season too.

  27. Any chance of you having time to post a link to the cinnamon crumble cake from your last post please.