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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Darling buds of Dartington....


I must admit this time of year cheers my soul immensely...
Spring has started to blossom...And we've had four whole days of blue sky even if a bit chilly.
We had a wonderful drive to Dartington estate, Devon...Its about 5 mins drive from Totnes town.
(country estate that is the headquarters of the Dartington Hall Trust, a charity specialising in the arts, social justice and sustainability. The estate dates from medieval times.) 
It was grey and drizzly that Saturday afternoon and we almost headed home after our jolly little shopping trip to Totnes. But we fancied a walk despite the weather...So we parked up and headed towards the Dartington Hall. To our delight the tree's had come into blossom and the skies were brightened by the candy floss effect of the blossoms hanging from the trees. So very pretty all the pinks and whites of cherry blossom trees.  Like confetti in a slight breeze. Towards the gardens were lots of hellebores, grape hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and early shoots of bluebells just starting to peep through...Lots of woodland walks, nature trail and meadow land leading to deer park...including medieval great hall, lots of estate building and an arts campus...also cafes/restaurant, cinema in the old barn and lovely visitors shop with cards and books and small gallery space....We had hot Cornish pasties from Totnes and brownies!...But we had our picnic in the car as the weather was not ideal to sit on the benches. I had not been on the nature trail woodland walk before...But it was really worth doing the longer walk as we passed willow branch sculptures of deers and stag including metal cut out shaped ones too...They looked almost real from a distance in the deep woods towards the river. We also were luckily to spot the steam train passing on the other side of the river Dart. 
bunches of flowers in Totnes...Totnes is a market town and civil parish at the head of the estuary of the River Dart in Devon, England within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
And the bonus of this beautiful place its free (but with a donations box for visitors to give what they can)...small charge for car park. Wonderful place for families to explore.

....I have had such a busy week...But at some stage (a.s.a.p) I will be adding new illustration prints to my etsy shop (link in right sidebar)... Inspired by Spring days 'The Bumble Bee ~Moth Fairy.


x    K a z z y   x

Saturday, 16 March 2019

March Moments...

Oh' the joys of the Great British weather...This month has been rather a mixed bag!.
I feel sorry for those early Spring buds when the weather turned so warm, then suddenly the storm clouds blew them almost out of their roots. Hale stones and blustery winds most of this week. Then some afternoons the Sun has come out for very short spells. My hill top garden has been battered around quite a bit here in Devon. I think now I am really ready to say 'good~bye' to this winter weather and start to enjoy some warmer Spring-like days.  I have at every opportunity been buying from the market square and super market little bunches of daffodils, roses and tulips and in last years pots the hyacinths bulbs have brought me lots of colourful delights on a grey day...
My way of dealing with dark, heavy skies is to fill the home with Spring blooms.


So that even if the weather is miserable I wont fill miserable in doors. I think I have been on a low eb these last weeks...Life has been busy, my daughter has had a lot going on with School and her amazing opportunity to work with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company on the Matilda production. School at this age seems so tiring for her. I worry she spends the rest of her time on her phone apps and I am trying to get us both to spend more time talking together between our rushed days of getting from A to B. As the days zoom by and we've hardly spoken. I know life is busy for all of us. And I've been spending a lot of time on the phone to my father who's going through a very difficult time with cancer. I do feel physically and mentally exhausted. I think we all do as a family. My partners shift patterns are extremely tiring too. So we all seem on a low eb and weather just doesn't help!. I think sometimes as the Mum of the house hold you're constantly trying to keep everyone 'going' and 'positive' and 'fed' and take on their issues with work and school that sometimes I just reach that point where I need 'time out' just to relax, wined down and re-charge my old batteries to be better at coping and dealing with everything that life throws at me. I'm O.k..I have had a better day today.  My daughter is at a sleep over with her cousins and myself and steve have been so very lazy!...Actually i'm still in my dressing gown and while the weather has been just utterly pants outside i've been snug inside with hot cups of milky tea enjoying craft and art inspirations on pinterest and catching up on your lovely blogs. I've really needed this, just 'time out' for 'me'. We all need these moments.  I have been having a 'love and hate' relationship with Instagram lately. I think its great for these fast paced lives we all live. Quick chat, quick snaps...but lately i have found it shallow and less meaningful. I also find I miss so many feeds as the feeds change so quickly and lots of accounts I follow seem to be 'ads' now. Maybe I like blogs for that less fast paced type style. I feel I can sit calmly enjoy reading at my pace...Why is life like a tread mill?...anyone one else feeling this way?. 

I have started to really think about how to improve my Life too. Mentally and physically I need to exercise more...Its so easy for me to jump in the car, I must walk more, I miss my walks.  I do walk on weekends, but I want to do more during the week days. My health seems to be lacking with the feeling of tiredness even when I've had a good nights sleep and lastly my diet. I need to make changes to what I eat. 
With my dads health it has really made me think about making the most of my life...After all you only get one.
Ive been enjoying my books by writer and gardener Alys Fowler. Its made me want to have a more allotments style, small plot in my hill top garden and grow a few more vegetables this Summer....
Home grown produce is something i really want to get more serious into.  I love the fact that when we moved to our hill top cottage we already had two wonderful apple tree's with different variety apples of reds and green cooker's. Also a large black current bush that produces so much fruit, also lots of herbs which I have planted over the last few years...But I want to grow much more.

Please do not be fooled by the blue sky photos in this post...That was on the days before the stormy skies.
My twinny stayed with my father for 4 days while he recovered from an operation on the tumour on his face.
He still has another operation and more cancer treatments this next week ~Poor thing he's really fighting this horrid cancer but its tough on his body and tiring but he seems 'good' as he can be this week in his spirits and was laughing and joking with me on Friday over the phone...he is resting today (so very tired) ;(.
Sometimes when I complain I think of my father being so brave...and then I try and turn my mind to positive ways of dealing with my emotions.

Looking forward to the weather turning to Spring over the next few weeks,
I hope the weather is less blustery where you are my dear blogging friends?,


x    K a z z y   x

**** Just wanted to add i'm having a few issues when loading my photographs, for some reason they look slightly blurred trying to get my partner Stevie to help me on this...It might be because I load them from my mobile phone? ...Do not adjust your eyes its my issue this end.




Monday, 18 February 2019

Out of routine...


The weather has really warmed up here in Devon these last few days...Glorious Sunshine!.
We have had the odd grey cloud and little bit of Rain~ But we wont dwell on that.
Up high on the hill in my steep part of the cottage garden the views have been wonderful...Hazy Sunshine skies...There was enough sun to dry the washing in a gentle breeze.
My daughter started her Half term week. I always love that feeling of not needing to go by a routine on precious time off...School, work and general busy days take their toll after a while. Its nice, so Nice to just take time off the tread wheel. My partner though still at work so not so great for him...But we did have a lovely family Weekend by the sea in the Cornish village of Cawsands/ Kingsands. Its one of those less busy spots. Well, less touristy. Summer months can be at times with the ferry running. Its my little hidden gem. We arrived late afternoon and it was quiet and peaceful. Just the sound of laughter and singing from local pubs and a few dog walkers.  A lot of the pretty cottages are holiday lets these days. The narrow streets are so sweet and charming and they lead you down to the seascape...Myself and my daughter love beach combing...looking for sea glass and pretty shells...I also love to find stones with washed out holes in them with the Cornish black and white lines running through them. Stevie spotted a Falmouth buoy bobbing around in the sea obviously had come loose from the boats...The rock pools always fascinate me as well, So much life when you look so close. The fresh Sea air...Just makes your body feel at ease, free of any worries.

(My washing blowing happily on the line)

My lovely new book 'Down to the river up to the tree's' ....
We had a few trips the weekend before to Buckfast Abbey Gardens and to Trago Garden centre for a few things for the garden...

In my spare time (usually evenings) I've been making and creating...
LOTs of new illustrations 'to be' printed up for my Etsy shop (link in profile)...My last cake topper commission really inspired me. She has asked me to do more for another party so its a busy creative time at the moment...


I've had some lovely emails and messages via here and instagram about my father...
Thank you for thinking of him~ He has an operation Weds...then more treatments. He's feeling like a yo-yo all the 'backwards and forwards motion' of hospital treatments. So he's quite fed up and run down. Trying to keep the positivity going and telling him he's doing so well...but he's finding it all so much. Its hard for me being so far away...My twin sister hopes to get up there these next few weeks. I hope to do a Spring- Summer trip. 

Its getting late and I better look through the cupboards to find some food for tea.

x       K a z z y       x

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Making creative time in February...

Snow, sleet, rain, wind...hale storms and Sunshine!...What lovely weather we've been having here in Devon.
Now the new routines of work and school life have got into a steady pattern and February is finally here I feel I have a few more spare hours here and there (mainly evenings) to create...
I have enjoyed learning my new craft of embroidery/stitching. I looked on Pinterest at some of my boards of 'Handmade' for inspiration. I follow some amazing embroiders on instagram as well that really have made me want to try something completely new.  I had a lovely trip to our big store of Hobbycraft in the city and decided to buy some threads and embroiders hoops...I do find myself in a bit of a daze walking around in the crafter's paradise. So many new exciting crafts, art supplies and making bits and pieces. So many threads to choose from. But I went with a plan in my head of mainly foliage green colours to embroider a wreath type design. And red threads for berries.

 While the sleet and wind blew around the cottage I was snug with my hoop and threads. I mainly made it up as I went along...I drew shapes of fern and berries as a bit of a guideline but mainly free flowing. Obviously it was a bit of a test run and as I learn new techniques I will be able to perfect it a bit better. I've also had a commission for cake toppers for a little girls birthday...So I've been using my water colours and inky pens to create some design ideas of little girls in party dresses with bunting and flowers.
(Plymouth herald, itv.com/news, bbc news online images via google of Dartmoor) Above.
Those last weeks of January we saw snow in Devon. Our little town sparkled with snow flakes. And up high on Dartmoor it snowed quite heavy...From our bedroom window it looks towards the moor land and it was beautiful to see the snow on the hill tops. Quite magical really!. But boy' does the snow cause wide spread disruption when it falls...We never seem to learn or be prepared!. On Bodmin Moor Cornwall, not far from us the snow came quick and heavy and it made the main news feeds...Cars abandoned on the sides of roads and people seeking over night shelter in local pubs and Schools.
Quite a contrast to the previous Weekend where we were in blazing sunshine on the Beach at Salcombe.
Watching the waves roll in....

We had a few trips to the coast during January. Salcombe in the South Hams which is lovely out of season and to have the beach almost to ourselves was bliss!. I love watching the waves and breathing in that fresh sea air!. Always does me the world of good. If I am ever feeling blue or anxious we drive to the coast. Its my 'get well sea tonic'. We have been to Slapton sands, Torquay and on the Dartmoor National Park for beautiful frosty, Country walks...  I know a lot of people find January a long, bleak month. But actually I find it my wined down time...The hustle and bustle of Christmas and New year is put to bed and things return to a more steady pace. As you know from previous posts the on going cancer treatments with my dad have had a knock on affect for all the family. His treatments, the worry every time I hear my phone ring out.  On  a more positive note He has been feeling more energetic and walking around (even to the shops and cafes). The scans last week revealed some worrying signs of re-growths of tumours. I know dads worried about it. We all are, But he's coping so amazingly well.  Steve's mother has had some serious falls lately and now we are concerned about her health too. So its been a bit of a 'pickle' for health issues... My garden looks so worse for wear~ everything needs a good sort out. Its these next few months i enjoy most about the garden though. The seed planning. The new shoots. The garden coming back to life after a Winter's sleep...

I have already seen the snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and blossom start to bloom....

'Flowers, flowers in the home...
bring me joy and company when I am alone.
Pretty heads and blooming faces...
Give me light and keep me bright.
Keep shining on me...keep lifting me up!
While I sit here drinking from my pretty cup'...

By Kazzy...I often write little bits of poetry ~ nothing serious or worthy of credit, but little thoughts and feelings that inspire me...I thought i'd share this one.

(Dartmoor and the Dartmoor ponies before the snow)

Stay warm dear blogging friends...I'm looking forward to catching up on your blogs now.

x   K a z z y   x








Friday, 4 January 2019

Mid Winter, New Year...

A New Year...
2019...
Full of promise...
full of life...
full of adventure...
and making the most of simple pleasures.

Saying good bye to the year that was...
opening a new door, a new chapter...

Making the most of my candles on these dark January days...My home felt bare without the Christmas tree so I managed to buy some wonderful Dorma Foxgloves in the sales...very realistic! Almost like the real thing.
( The Amazing Winter Garland and memorial wall in the great hall, Cotehele House and gardens, National Trust)
(The River Tamar runs along from Calstock, Cornwall up towards Cotehele House and Quay)
Wonderful lino print, paper cuttings of flowers, birds and animals a memorial of those lost in the war inspired by the garland from the many flowers grown at the gardens at Cotehele.

(We had a lovely drive to Totnes a lovely old town set on a Devon hill)

I started a post and then deleted it several times...
I sat and thought deeply about the year that had just passed...In all it was a difficult one. 
But ...then I thought. I am so lucky with the life I do have. O.k it was not easy...My father's cancer has been so hard going, especially the guilt of not living closer to him. My Christmas was spent seeing my father go through injections and pain and a huge sore from a previous tumour on his back. But I did get to spend some really good quality time with him. I went to see him for the whole Christmas week. It was not all bleak and upsetting, We did laugh, We did have a Christmas together. And I got to hug him and cook for him. And make a difference to his life. We even walked to a local country hotel for posh Tea. He mainly slept that week. I sat and held his hand like he used to hold mine when I was a little girl falling a sleep.  I had quality time with him. I needed that.  I have come back to Devon with mixed emotions. Slightly numb. I missed Stevie and Sophia so much.
I took the decorations down when I got home. It was like cleansing the soul. I needed a fresh start.
So my New years day felt like that day I returned home. We have been looking after my Twin's cat, Luna.
Having a fur baby to look after has actually helped me and having that cosy lap friend to stroke has been quite comforting.  But the most comforting thing of all was looking through my files of photographs, many from my instagram account, kazzyloves. It cheered me up no end. I love the seasons. I love capturing a quick snap of a happy moment, usually out on an adventure...Photography does help me so much with my mental well being. And walking too along the coast or deep in the countryside. When I was back in my childhood home town on the East Anglian coast I realised it doesnt feel like 'home' to me like it did before I met Stevie. I've realised how much I have fallen in Love with Devon. I really Love my life here. I have Stevie to thank for that too.  Sophia has had a really positive and happy first term at Secondary School and that fills me with delight and joy for her. I hope it continues. At the moment she has a lovely group of girl friends.
She has sent in a demo vid for an audition for the role as 'Matilda' in the theatre production. 
She's growing up fast. I'm starting to get my head around this. And I am enjoying watching her turn in to a bright, talented, beautiful, loving young lady. I've been so proud of her this year.
I decided a few years back not to start a year with New years resolutions but instead to focus on those 'ordinary' happy moments and remember how lucky I am to have what I have.
Keeping a blog journal this year and keeping up with my blog postings has really helped me focus on those Simple, yet so pleasurable moments in my life.

I wish you all a Happy 2019...

I have a lot of blogs to catch up on...As always Thank you for the uplifting and kind comments they've really helped me through this year...

x    K a z z y    x