Inspiration · Knitting · Poetry · stories

Writing, Weaving, Wishing

Knitting: the weaving of wool together into an intricate pattern, just as a writer combines the threads of a story.

Both have been a part of my story for as long as I can remember. The thrill of beginning a knitting or writing project is a moment full of hope.

Although, to be honest,  the final product is not often exactly as I imagined it would be!

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Three little snowmen

On examination there are usually sections I’m really proud of but also holes I know need fixed.

I’m comforted by the fact that at least I’ve given it a go.

Recently I entered a wee competition to say how I’d prepare for going to the Aberdeen Yarn Fest. This was my entry and I won a lovely totebag – which needless to say – I’m sure I’ll be filling with wool at the next Yarn Fest!

It’s Aberdeen’s Yarn Fest!

I’ve my needles counted
My patterns planned
Ready to be inspired.

I’m looking to spin a yarn
Weave a woollen tale
Hook a bag of hope.

 

I left the show inspired, I must do more knitting!

Before anything else I’m hoping to visit the Gray’s School of Art Degree Show (16th-24th June) and see the work of Laura Ukstina who is combining blocks of colourful knitting to create outfits you can change about and wear as you like. Sounds very environmentally friendly and they look amazing!

Now, if you don’t feel like knitting, how about having a wee look at Rae Cowie’s story in the Scottish Book Trust’s ‘Rebel’ series all about a lovingly crafted jumper…

 

 

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Blueberry flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film · Inspiration

Nice Thoughts

 

Just a wee thought, nothing earth shattering or world changing butthumb_IMG_9185_1024 I reckon being nice is seriously underrated.

After all, is it the ‘nice’ characters we’re told we really remember from books, films etc?

And yet sometimes it’s hard to be nice, a real challenge, often your patience is stretched, you’re tired, hungry, cross.

Thankfully there are many people who I would always describe as nice and thank goodness they are.

With that thought, I reckon it’s time to watch a nice Doris Day film!

 

I’ve discovered trying to take photos of bees can be a bit tricky sometimes! Still taking part in The Great British Bee Count on until the 30th June.

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Bee on a Geranium 
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Bee on the raspberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And again!
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Missed it!
Inspiration · Nature · Poetry

Nature’s Poetry

Magnolia Blooms 

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Manicured Magnolia

She stares angrily at the sky
Twisted, gnarled, old and cold.
Stark bare branches harsh
Against a winter landscape.

A slight warmth, she tingles inside.
Slowly her fingers start to unfurl
A new season, a new design.
French manicure on her fingertips.

Days of warmth, sharp, painted buds
Appear like a witch’s crimson talons.
Clawing their way free from slumber
Reaching for the sun, waving hands.

Suddenly perfect blooms burst forth,
Soft as sumptuous balls of ice cream.
She dances gently in the breeze wearing her
Meringue styled wedding dress for all to see.

We are all, she proclaims, let us be,
Old and twisted, soft and delightful. Let us
Be the old witch and the good fairy too
Let us show you, we are all, all women.

© SareenMcLay

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Magnolia Blooms
Garden · Inspiration · Nature

Hidden Gems

Hidden in the winter soil.

This Sedum, a gift,  from my parents’ garden.

Perhaps it hasn’t survived, I thought. Then, this.

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Sedum after the rain

Worth the wait!

So if a gardener can wait, patiently, for the gems hidden below the surface to emerge, can a writer too? Is the preparation and maintenance work the same for the gardener as for the writer?

Words don’t come from nowhere. As a friend of mine, Rae Cowie, writes in her blog, you have to ‘fill the creative well‘.

Water and nourish to flourish with books, discussion, observation, experiences, emotions and, of course, time.

There’s more to this writing lark than sitting at a desk so I’m off out – and then, I’ll be back!

Wishing you all a lovely week and the best of luck in finding your own ‘hidden gems’.

 

 

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Hellebores in flower

 

Flowers · Garden · Inspiration

Sowing Seeds

I wonder, is a gardener a secret optimist? I know gardening is supposed to be good for your mental health and I think it must be because it certainly gives us the gift of hope.

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Cornflower seeds

The very act of planting a seed, the mystery of opening the seed packet, tipping up the seeds – what will you find inside? Will they be fat beans, round nasturtiums, tiny poppy seeds or maybe the tiny shaving brushes of cornflower seeds?

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Delphiniums – grown from seed last year and actually survived the winter too

Scatter, place or drop, cover with soil. Water these presents of Nature, give the gift of life, clear, splashing, tumbling down onto the dark soil, ready for the magic to begin. 

Something will probably grow. Maybe not all the seeds you planted. Perhaps some will be eaten, some may wither if you forget to water them, but there is a chance. After all:

“Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow.”

(D. Everett, The Columbian Orator, 1797)

It’s a beginning, a start. What more could you ask for?

I wonder then, is a writer an optimist too? Seeds of ideas appear, you have to be brave enough to plant them, water them, feed them give them life. When you open up your mind to writing, what do the seeds look like? Will you allow them to open up to the world?

 

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Potatoes – hopefully!

 

bees · Flowers · Garden · Inspiration · Nature

Enjoying the Sunshine

When I started this blog I was determined it wouldn’t always be about sunshine. I would not only focus on the bright side but try to be realistic. After all, there have been dark days, there are dark days and there will be dark days.

I’ve written weekly over this past winter and scrolling back through the posts I see mostly sunshine.

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Tulip – opening up for the sun

As I write this, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and spring has definitely arrived.It is hard on a day like this to think of the darkness, to admit it exists or to let it in.

Earlier, as I was hanging out the washing, this giant bee appeared.

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Busy Bee!

 

 

 

 

Watching it, so busy, tumbling and bumbling over the bright orange petals I couldn’t help but be enchanted and inspired. What a work ethic!

I’ve mentioned before that this blog is a great place to put all the photos I take of the flowers in our garden. The things is, they look brighter, clearer in the sunshine. This means at odd moments I’ll find myself running out to take a picture while the sun is on the bloom.

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Standing, kneeling, sitting, to find the right angle I am taking a moment to myself. Appreciating nature and its ever-changing beauty because after all, everything changes, including the dark to the light.

 

 

 

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Daffodils – it has to be – Wordsworth!

 

I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Daffodils by William Wordsworth

Flowers · Inspiration · Nature

Balancing Life

 

thumb_IMG_8729_1024Have you ever had the experience where all of a sudden your attention is drawn to something more than once over a short period of time?

When this happens it makes me sit up and take notice.

Recently while attending the Flourish workshops with Elaine Reid, I was introduced to the Five Ways to Better Wellbeing by the New Economics Forum then, flicking through a magazine for teachers I saw this:thumb_IMG_8739_1024

 

I think I’ve found another explanation for why this blog is ‘a little about a lot’, it’s because that’s life. It isn’t just one thing, it’s a balancing act of a whole lot of little actions.

While I think about this I am going to go for a walk with a friend, I’ll ask them how they are and try to take notice of the world around me!

Today, tomorrow, this week – how will you Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Learn or Give?

 

Happy Easter!

 

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