Friday, 8 August 2014

Friday Happies


It's been a funny old week. I've found the return to normal routines and the post-holiday feeling quite hard, as I stare down washing and ironing piles and try to get my brain back into gear. After time away from our house, I find that I look at it anew in an incredibly critical light. Flaws which I hadn't noticed for months become glaringly obvious as soon as I step into the house with our bags, moving the pile of post away from the front door mat. It always takes me a few days for home to feel like my home again. Oddly, one of the most satisfying moments in my week - not the happiest, but definitely the most rewarding - was on Tuesday night when the kids were in bed and John was working a late shift. Alone with my thoughts for the first time in what seemed like ages, I dusted, vacuumed, swept and mopped. I tidied piles away, watered plants and tackled the ironing. Three hours later I was exhausted but hugely pleased with the feeling of having conquered the disorder. Tidy house, tidy mind. There is something in that.

And so, as I sit here now reflecting on my week, I see that it's nesting that has brought me most pleasure since we returned home. 

1. I made a garland while we were away. This week I blocked it and crocheted the tops into one long string of chain stitch, then hung in on the mantel. Our fireplace, always a little stark, benefits from being softened with some colour. I added starfish and a card, brought back from St Ives, to remind me of our week away. 


2. I unpacked and admired souvenirs. I love buying souvenirs, no matter how big or small. I love seeing things around the house and remembering where I was when I bought it, what I was doing. We spent the last of our holiday pennies on this print by Carol Lander. It reminds me of the best of the wild landscape we enjoyed so much; the cliffs, the coves, the local plants and the lighthouses that are dotted around the coastline. It will stay propped up there for a while until we get it framed and decide where to hang it.


I also bought a straw bag (because I really needed another straw bag...)


...and some edibles which were blatantly bought for the packaging alone, although I'm sure the contents will be very tasty.


3. I finished my holiday embroidery, which is now at the framers. Once it's back, and the last of the fading purple pen (which seems to take ages to fade) has gone, I'll take some close-ups and tell you lots more about it. I honestly can't think when I last enjoyed stitching something so much. I think it's because it was so spontaneous. I decided to do it about two days before we left, and didn't know what I was going to sew until the particular day had passed. That was all very liberating and exciting for me!



4. My lovely sister, Anna, and her two girls are staying with us at the moment. It is always wonderful to see her, as we live so far away from each other, and equally wonderful to watch the cousins play together. Her girls are 4 and 6, and so very close in age to my two who are 5 and 7. 

Yesterday we spent a really nice day at Bolton Abbey, taking a picnic and making a day of it. The weather was kind, and the kids had fun running, climbing, throwing stones and generally enjoying the outdoors. My two have been hard work this week, restless and bored, unable to settle to any particular activity, and they enjoyed the freedom to run. Sometimes I think children are like dogs and just need a really good, long run around, then they are fine.


Anna took the photo above and below, and I especially like this one she snapped of the four of us holding hands. I wish I'd worn stripes too.


50 comments:

  1. Lovely photos Gillian. The square-type bunting looks great, as do your souvenirs on the mantelshelf. I'm so pleased you finished your holiday memory embroidery, as it is so clever and beautifully stitched. I also like the photo of the family from behind. That is great. Enjoy the weekend and take care.

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  2. You are such a lovely family, enjoy your visitors.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  3. I love your bunting and your new straw bag! I'm also glad to see I'm not the only one who sometimes buys things just for the containers. I've even bought things I don't like, just because I want what it is packaged in!

    Linda in VA

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  4. Lovely happies as always. I love those starfish. So beautiful and the tins are great. I am guilty of buying things for the pretty packaging too! I think it's justified as you get double the value, nice eats and pretty storage ;) ... enjoy your weekend. Bee xx

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  5. I just adore your holiday embroidery, such a special memento and it is so beautifully done! Can't wait to see it up close!
    Have a great week end x

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  6. I'm not surprised seeing how gorgeous St Ives was. It's just the process of familiarising yourself with your home again, which by the way always looks lovely. I used to become a clean freak after visiting in laws who were particularly tidy, no so bothered now because this is home with all it's faults. Enjoy your visitors. Well impressed with the embroidery.

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  7. What a lovely post. I love the bunting, the tins, the family photo and your embroidery is fantastic; I can't wait to see it framed. I can't see any pen marks but someone recently recommended a Berol Frixion pen to me - you just iron it gently and the marks disappear. Not sure if you could use this for embroidery or if it would 'flatten' the stitches. Glad you're feeling at home again. x

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  8. Lots of happies again this week! Especially love your embroidery x

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  9. So I'm not the only one who buys food just for the packaging :-) ! Especially on holiday, since you always find things there you don't find at home... The worst is when we go to London.. Once, I even had to buy an extra suitcase in order to get everything home (tip : néver look at the cookie tins at Fortnum & Mason. Dangerous. Extremely dangerous.)
    I love your embroidered holiday hoops - they will look soooo cute, hanging on the wall...

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  10. I know just how you felt coming home. Normally I love to come home after my holiday but this year I could have stayed away and felt my house looked cluttered and messy on my return. Mind you, I need a skip to really sort it out! But a good Hoover, dust and mop and sort out and order is (sort of) restored. Hope you all have a great weekend. X

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  11. I am a reformed clutter queen and now live by the rule of only bringing into the house things that I love. This did mean years of not buying things as I developed my own sense of what I like. Long story short,I loved each item you showed! The embroidery idea is going to come with me this holiday- must relearn the basic- and who is the print by?!

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  12. I can recommend the Hungarian Magyar spice blend. Good for goulashy type stews. Love that print.

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  13. Just found your blog from reading Style at Home. Great article! Can't wait to read all your past blog posts and continue following your happy house!

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  14. I love the bunting and your holiday embroidery. I feel the same when returning from holiday, my house is so unfinished and during the summer I can't keep on top of the mess!

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  15. Oh yes, the purchase of souvenirs is a holiday must and you chose very well! But your embroidery postcard is best of all.

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  16. The family photo of you all holding hands is just beautiful. The holiday blues is something we all suffer from in my family, manifesting itself in various ways. Inability to tackle the washing, boredom despite an abundance of toys and good weather to play outside, you name it. I look forward to your embroidery post sometime soon, when the pen has faded. I didn't know there was such a thing as a fading pen! It is beautiful btw, and so is your print. Enjoy your sisters visit! x

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  17. Such a lovely, picturesque post! You should give that wonderful photo of you all holding hands to your framer as well - it is worth saving and seeing all year round! I can't wait to see the embroidery all framed up, it is fantastic! Chrissie xxx

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  18. I'm loving your happies, as always, especially your holiday embroidery. What a wonderful, clever idea! x

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  19. I know how you feel about settling in after a vacation. I hope it gets easier this week. Enjoy your time with your sister and nieces. Your embroidery is wonderful! I'm very impressed, you're so good at this stuff.

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  20. I always struggle to get back into the swing of things when I return from holiday. On the way home I always have a thought that for a change I won't let it all get to me and then as soon as we walk through the door, look at the pile of post and then the pile of washing, I plummet.
    If i'm away a week, then it is a week before I get back to normal, but all so worthwhile when I look back and remember what a wonderful holiday I've just had.
    You brought back some lovely things back from your holiday and I can't wait to see your embroidery framed, I think it's brilliant.

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  21. Lovely photos!! The post rings true with me to after our return - I have been a bit of a grump after spending Monday all day washing & ironing (and no one helping!!) and I felt I needed a bit of space on my own - so spent Wednesday at my mums on my own and it was bliss (does that sound awful??) xx

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  22. Really pretty post Gillian - lots of eye candy! The garland is so pretty, the print is a great souvenir, and your embroidery is such a wonderful keepsake.

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  23. I love your embroidery, it's a perfect reminder of all things Cornwall. I was going to ask you how you got the drawing on the fabric, now I know. I always think that boys in particular are like big dogs that have to have a good run every day. It takes the edge off the madness! The post-holiday period is always tricky isn't it. But it always passes, and I hope it does for you too. Enjoy your Sunday Gillian. CJ xx

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  24. It sounds like a lovely happy week! Your new print is beautiful, just the sort of picture that I like, I like the graphic look a lot. I look forward to seeing your needlework when it is finished as it looks very pretty indeed. xx

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  25. Oh the post holiday blues. I know what you mean. I was feeling the same after our snow trip. I agree a good tidy up does make everything better. I love your embroidered memento of your holiday, very unique and special. T x

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  26. I am very guilty of buying things because I love the packaging too...but it's okay but you will use the tins for years to come, right?! Such a pretty garland, the colours are lovely. I have a wee bit of the post holiday blues today myself, but I'm planning a big tidy and cleaning session like you have done as this always makes me feel better too.
    Marianne x

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  27. I just love the embroidery, the best souvenir ever! I had some lovely holiday adventures with my boys and it would have been so lovely to do this and have those wonderful reminders around! Hope home feels like home again. Xx

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  28. Oh the holiday embroidery! What a great idea!! And one can never have too many bags! Anna x

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  29. What a lovely embroidery, memories forever. Am glad someone else out there buys pretty tins!

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  30. Lovely bunting, such good colours. I really like your holiday embroidery, such a good idea.

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  31. Your holiday embroidery is brilliant! Such a good idea, and something I'm sure you and your family will treasure forever. x

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  32. It's always an adjustment, but always so nice to come back home from vacation! Your garland looks fabulous draped across your mantel. The colors are perfect to go into autumn. And I love your new straw bag!

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  33. I love that straw bag - really gorgeous. I always find it takes a few days to adjust to being back home. It doesn't take long to feel as though you've never been away! That's when the little souvenirs help.

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  34. Love the garland!!!! Absolutely love-love-love your stitchery holiday picture!!!! Have a funweek!!!
    Love
    AMarie xxx

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  35. Love your sampler! Way to remember great time!

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  36. So many lovely reminders of your holiday Gillian. Your embroidery is just perfect.
    Hope you have a good week
    Kate x

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  37. How could you resist buying such a gorgeous straw bag, an investment for summer days for year to come I'm sure.
    Your holiday embroidery is such the prettiest piece I think you've ever made.
    Lisa x

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  38. it's always so difficult to come back from holiday isn't it? I think it's withdrawal from the incredible sense of freedom you get from being away! I love your garland and the holiday embroidery is wonderful x

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  39. Lovely happies this week. Hope you're settling back into everything now and had fun with your sister. I loved watching your embroidery grow on IG. There really is something in sorting through things on the return form your holiday. Always makes me feel better!

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  40. Love the starfish on the mantelpiece!

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  41. Your stitching is so happy and beautiful! I can't wait to see it all framed. And don't we all need straw bags? I think so. Have a wonderful time with your sister! :)

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  42. I love your Friday Happies! Wonderful starfish - and of course you were in need of another straw bag. It's gorgeus!

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  43. Love the Friday happies and how lucky you are to have your sister and nieces so close :) it looks like you had a fun and productive week.

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  44. Love your embroidery and so impressed you found the time and inspiration to do it each day. I usually write a diary for our holidays abroad and stick in tickets and bits and bobs but barely managed a word this year. Looking forward to hearing more about it. x

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  45. Your Friday Happies always make me smile! Your embroidery is beautiful, and I, too, would have bought the treats for the packaging...such great tins!

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  46. There is no place like home :)
    I love what you did day by day in your instagram with the embroidery .
    It looks amazing :)
    xoxo
    Lulu

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  47. I just run into your post and it reminded me of my grandma. She was always trying to teach me how to sew (she didn't have a lot of luck with me) and her house was "entirely made of, not chocolate, but garlands" - great for interior design.
    Now I'm working with staircases: too bad I cannot seam them, I'm sure my grandma would have enjoyed seeing me inheriting her skill. :)

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  48. bought the same tin of biscuits in Corwall for the packaging but the contents are equally nice, aren´t they? lovely pics as usual, Pati x

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