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!

thumb_IMG_E5936_1024
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…

 

 

thumb_IMG_9296_1024
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.

thumb_IMG_9206_1024
Bee on a Geranium 
thumb_IMG_9181_1024
Bee on the raspberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

thumb_IMG_9210_1024
And again!
thumb_IMG_9204_1024
Missed it!
Books · Nature · Reading · walking

Restful Reading

Reading something you enjoy for just 6 minutes a day can reduce your stress levels by two thirds.

 

So I thought of a couple of suggestions, hope you enjoy them!

  • Read my blog post about Balancing Life  with the Five Ways to Better Wellbeing.

 

 

 

  • Take a moment to read a poem.

 

 

 

thumb_IMG_9134_1024
Forget-Me-Nots planted from seed last year!

 

 

 

 

 

bees · Books

Bees and Books

 

Bees, butterflies, birds, insects, flowers, trees, I think perhaps a garden is one of my favourite places to be. thumb_IMG_9038_1024

Now, team that up with a chair, a book and a sunny day – it just can’t get any better! (Okay, maybe we could add in a cuppa there!)

Sitting outside I can see the apple and cherry blossom are looking their best ever this year in the garden we’ve tried hard to make as bee, bird and butterfly friendly as we can.

thumb_IMG_9072_1024

I’m so glad we did, especially after I finished reading our latest book group choice; The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.

 

It is a sobering thought to consider a world without bees.

With this in mind, I’ve joined the Great British Bee Count (on until June 30th 2018). Hopefully every sighting will help to inform the national Pollinator Monitoring Scheme.

What’s next? I have a copy of ‘The Bees’ by Laline Paull sitting on my bookshelf, time to switch the kettle on and find that chair in the sun!

thumb_IMG_9073_1024

 

 

 

 

Inspiration · Nature · Poetry

Nature’s Poetry

Magnolia Blooms 

IMG_2304
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

IMG_2310
Magnolia Blooms
Flowers · Photography · Trees

I’m just saying …

Introducing my Magnolia Stellata.

thumb_IMG_8972_1024

Now, here’s the reality. thumb_IMG_8974_1024

Okay, so there’s only one flower so far this year! I planted this tree in September 2015. We lived in Holland for a while and I loved the Magnolia trees there so much I had to plant one when I started working on my new garden.

Taking a photo of this one flower and putting it up on this blog brought me to thinking about the saying, Never judge a book by its cover.’

In fact I love sayings, especially ones like What’s for you won’t pass you by’ and Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’

There’s something about the sheer common sense of them. There’s a comfort in knowing they’ve been passed down the years, a thread, a link with our past that we can give to the future.

Do you remember the people who said them to you?

These sayings are timeless, just like flowers. Little gifts to share and pass on to our future generations.

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.

thumb_IMG_8807_1024
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’.

 

 

thumb_IMG_8869_1024
Hellebores in flower