Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sunday Night Happies

Well hello! Gosh, it feels like I've been away for a longer than a week. Thank you for all your good wishes and bon voyage messages, we really did have the most wonderful holiday. We got back last night, hence the lateness of my usually regular Friday Happies post. It's especially nice to be sitting here when I should be mentally preparing for the week ahead, but instead looking back over the week we've just had, relishing the last dregs of holiday feeling.

So, in a bumper week of happy and carefree moments, when the biggest decisions to be made were where to go and what to eat, here are some that really stood out as extra specially good.

1. The house we rented. Look at it! It's like one of those perfectly symmetrical pictures of houses that children draw, with everything so evenly proportioned and well balanced.


Yes, I know, the house is just the base for the holiday, and we were out all day every day, but it charmed me. It had space for eight people to live alongside each other happily for a week, and comfy beds, and really nice bedding, and fantastic hot showers... It also had a sociable kitchen-dining room - here it is, below, on the day we arrived, all tidy - and, when the children were in bed, this is where us four adults would chat, pour drinks, cook and eat, listen to music and laugh a lot. Happy times.


 2. Meeting Leanne and her son Olly at Godrevy Lighthouse. She is just as you'd imagine her to be; warm, funny, lovely, chatty and with a very dry sense of humour. It was so good to be able to meet her, given that we live so far apart, and I'm sorry that we didn't have longer to talk. Children, cliff edges and high winds make for a conversation of many broken sentences.


That was the only day we had bad weather, but it didn't stop us being awed by the West Cornwall coastline and enjoying some excellent rock pooling.


 3. That cream tea I had at Kynance Cove. For a start, it is an exceptionally pretty beach - a tiny bay, accessible by foot, surrounded by cliffs and rocks and the bluest water you're likely to see in England. 


It also has a rather lovely cafe and, after a day on the beach, we made a detour there for sustenance to give us energy for the long climb back up to the car park. A cream tea with a view. I was practically levitating.


4. We were wandering around Penzance, browsing the shops in a leisurely, touristy fashion, when we came across a tiny shop specialising in vintage mid-century Scandinavian homewares. (Yes, really!) It was amazing. Many things were well out of my price range but I spied this flask across the shop and my heartbeat sped up and I just sort of fell in love with it, with the bold colour and geometric pattern. The little label just said "Swedish Flask, £8". Sold.


5. I've been busy stitching all holiday. Just before we left, my Instagram friend Jennie Maizels - who is an incredibly talented artist and illustrator - had been sharing her holiday diary, recording her impressions of each day in a beautifully illustrated journal. 

Now, I can't draw, but I love to sew, and it planted the seed of an idea for my own holiday diary. One motif or image a day, to be chosen at the end of the day and stitched in the evenings, which would create one large picture with thread. 

I can't begin to tell you how much I loved doing this - the thinking and planning, the drawing, the choosing of colours and type of stitch...all pure pleasure for me. This pretty much hi-jacked any other projects or books or magazines I'd planned to do or read. I'll show you it in full when it's complete. I still have to finish some of the lettering. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I shared each motif as I did them, and that dialogue and feedback was so much fun.

 

Someone suggested I let the children draw and stitch their own holiday memories too. A lovely idea, and one we started today. This is Bella's. I'm so proud of her! All her own drawing and sewing (look at her satin stitch!) and I'm only required to thread the needle. She hasn't really clicked with crochet or knitting but this kind of sewing has captured her imagination.


And this is Angus's picture memory. He drew it all but it became apparent quite quickly that he wasn't going to sew any of it. I thought I'd just go over the outline with back stitch but Angus had other ideas, directing me in a bossy fashion ("Make the lighthouse stripey, Mummy, stripey. And do seaweed on the rock. More seaweed.") He comes to check on my progress. It's a little bit intimidating, to be honest.


We'll finish our holiday stitching over the next few weeks and then frame them. I'll show you more later, I promise.

*****

I'll put together a more coherent holiday post soon, just as soon as I've waded through all the photos I took and caught up on everything I'm behind on; washing, ironing, housework, blog reading, emails. I'm behind on a lot of things.



45 comments:

Christina said...

Lovely happies Gillian! I really miss Cornwall after one week of settling back in in Glasgow. I haven't been to this part of Cornwall but I would really like to visit. What a nice idea, to stitch your holiday memories. I must file this idea somewhere for our next holiday. My daughter likes sewing pictures but hasn't really fallen in love with crochet and knitting either. Maybe it is the ease and the relative speed with which a beautiful picture that can be created? I hope your pile of washing is not too big! Have a lovely week. Cx

Neighborhood Watch said...

Oh! What a cool idea to have stitched pictures--a fabulous memento. I wish I could stay in such a lovely place as this for holiday. Mmmm!

Debby said...

Love the stitching idea. What a lovely place to visit.

Jennifer said...

These are wonderful happies. You're so good at sewing pictures, it's very inspiring. I love the photo with Leanne, what a happy meeting it must have been.

Claire/Just a little less said...

Lovely. A very special part of Cornwall close to my heart - it looks like you had a fantastic time. How nice to meet up with Leanne too. Look forward to more pics xo

Amy at love made my home said...

I'm glad that you had such a great time! The house looks wonderful. I look forward to seeing more of your embroidery. xx

Jacquie said...

Hi Gillian, I LOVE your embroidery, it's such a sweet creative way to record those special times. Your stitches are much better than I could manage and your design and DRAWING are brilliant!
So glad you had a lovely holiday....look forward to seeing more of your photos.
Jacquie x

Shaula said...

Cornwall is on my wish-list, I hope one day...
that house looks so comfy...and beautiful.

Jo said...

What a great stitching idea. I think my girls would love doing those for the cabin. Jo x

Jacqui Galloway said...

Glad you had such a lovely time. What a great idea, to stitch your memories xx

Gillian said...

Welcome back - glad you had such a great holiday. I love your stitching; what a great idea to remember your holiday. Bella's is really good too so let's hope she keeps up the crafting.

Ingrid Orens said...

I followed your day-by-day embroidery diary on IG, it is just soooo pretty ! And such a clever idea !
I would have fallen in love with that house as well.... A holiday house ? I would love to líve in a house like that !!
Ps how is Angus-the-boss's embroidery work coming along ? ;-)))

VeggieMummy said...

What a gorgeous house! Such a clever idea to do an embroidery diary and memory pictures; it was obviously a fantastic holiday. x

mags said...

That's a dream house! So glad you had a good holiday, I've been decorating in mine! Everything aches but it'll be good when done. Th embroidery looks lovely and Bella is very talented, Angus is obviously showing his leadership skills. Xx

PinkCatJo said...

Lovely happies Gillian! I'm so pleased that your holiday was amazing. It looked so lovely in your Instagram pictures. I'm looking forward to seeing the embroidery completed - it's a super memory project. x

Col | Hello Olive said...

Looks like a lovely holiday indeed! And that house... I want to move in! I'm a big fan of dining kitchens since that is the one room in the house I seem to spend all my time ;-) Love love love your flask too! Great find! x

CJ said...

Oh it sounds like the perfect week. We were at Kynance Cove last month too, it's perfect isn't it, the loveliest beach I've ever been to. It was the best day of our holiday. So glad you managed to meet Leanne, she's a joy to spend time with isn't she. I love your embroideries, I'll look forward to seeing your progress on them. Something to treasure and remember your holiday by. Have a good week, CJ xx

Jacqueline said...

Sounds like a perfect holiday, I love the idea of stitching your holiday memories and your children's wonderful pictures that they've created are an absolute treasure.

andamento said...

I love your stitching, what a fabulous idea and the results so far look wonderful.

the linen cloud said...

Sounds like you've had a wonderful holiday Gillian. Your holiday embroidery is gorgeous and I love that the little ones have gotten involved too. Bee xx

Anna-Marie Field said...

Welcome back and what a lovely post of happies from your holiday!!!! Love your stitch pictures!!!! Have a fab week!!!
Love
AMarie xxx

MummyCat said...

Great idea for collecting memories. We spent the morning painting ceramics for a holiday memory in Greenwich. I love how my girls are talking about doing these things with their children when they are Mummies too! It shows how these simple joys really do become etched into their happy memory spaces. x

grace said...

If I have commented twice I am so sorry (silly phone) but these look so lovely. Precious memories xx

Anonymous said...

The cross stitch is just lovely Gillian. Yours is beautiful and the children's are so cute - what a fun idea for them. So much better than a plastic souvenir. The rental house looks amazing!

Isabelle Hulm said...

That house! Those scones!
I'm so glad your holiday was good and that you managed to meet up with Leanne. How nice! xxx

millefeuilles said...

Such a wonderful coincidence! We had the pleasure of spending precious time with Jennie Maizels and her lovely family - Marcus was a good uni friend when we were at York together and is my eldest daughter's godfather - on their last day in France a week ago. I've just seen her last diary entry for that special day together. I was devouring her diary every day; such talent she has.

Happy August to you.

Stephanie

Susan Smith said...

Great photos and the stitching memories are going to be great. Bella seems to be a natural. Take care.

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
Oooh those Atlantic winds do no favours to a girl with a fringe!! Thank you for including me and Pops in your happy things. It was a genuine pleasure to meet you and your family. I adore the embroidery idea, and sorry I haven't been able to see it's progress on IG. All technical diffs have been resolved and I'll be up and running with it soon. And I'm so glad you had a great holiday. The weather came through for you all. I forgot all about Chapel Street, when I was dissing Penzance. And yes, you must very definitely visit again and explore further!! I shall be in your neck of the woods in October - perhaps we can have a coffee then.
Leanne xx

Joy said...

Well it sounds like a great time was had by all Gillian, and I am so impressed with the little sewing projects that are now happening, and the 'directions' accompanying your continuation of Angus's treasure of a drawing! So lovely that you could meet one of your sweet blogger friends too, and such a comfy spacious holiday home for your base. Now back to the catching up I guess:) ….. xoJoy

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful family holiday that you all will cherish. I love the house you rented, with that fab kitchen, just like something you'd see on 'escape to the country'. Its nice reading about the places you visited, reminds me of when I lived in Plymouth and the day trips we took. T x

KirstenLN said...

Such a lovely post! I'm amazed by Bella's stiching!!! And what a lovely house!

The Creative Academic said...

Looks as though you had a wonderful holiday Gillian. I've loved watching your embroidery progress on IG. Lovely photo of you and Leanne...your hair looks so much lighter in that shot! x

Caroline South said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful holiday! I love your stitching, such a great idea. I especially love Bella's ice cream! xx

love those cupcakes said...

What a clever lot you are, capturing the best bits of your holiday in stitches. Sometimes it's OK to be behind. Just take your time catching up.

Jay said...

A lovely list of happies and such a pretty house you stayed in. Spending time with family and friends, and a cornish cream tea, sounds perfect to me.

Sarah said...

What a gorgeous house! And your holiday sounds just perfect. I really must get to the beach soon.
Those stitched pictures are great as well *starts wondering how to squeeze more time into today to have a go*. Tonight's Bake Off night, so maybe tomorrow :)
Lovely that you met up with a fellow blogger too! Hope the holiday feeling doesn't wear off too soon.
S x

Lina said...

I was also in Cornwall at the weekend and thought of you. I've been following your blog for at least a year now, and I've finally been inspired to start my own (and to rustle up the courage to leave a comment!). There are some photos of my trip to Cornwall and some more coming up later this week. If you want to have a look it's at http://chalkandlinen.blogspot.co.uk

Taciana Simmons said...

I love the kids stitching Gillian and it really does not matter what you are behind on .... You are happy and have. Million memories to share now :)

Kate-Em said...

I love the idea of stitching your holiday diary. What a great plan! I can't wait to see it. The children's ones are fab too. Looks like a lovely rental house.

Julia said...

What a lovely house you stayed in. The kitchen is amazing! I love the photo of you with your friend... you look great and so happy! The cream tea looks delicious. I could go for that right now! Your stitching is amazing. And the children's ones are so cute... such a great idea.

Lisa said...

What an incredibly pretty house you stayed in.
I love the fact that the children will have their own stitchery momento too.
And those scones, oh my, I'm hungry now!
Lisa x

Anonymous said...

Ooh I'd love to know where you stayed? - somewhere with comfy beds is a must!

Mel @ Coal Valley View said...

I love that you met up with Leanne. Always nice to see where and how bloggers' paths cross. And a great shot of you two as well! Lovely xxx

Gillian said...

That would be wonderful! x

Gillian said...

Hello - we stayed here:

http://www.forevercornwall.co.uk/cottage/wildwood-cottage-gwithian/

It's lovely. A bit pricey, but we split the cost with another family as it's a big house and can comfortably sleep 8.