Monday, 5 May 2014


Hi there

I hope everyone is enjoying the Bank Holiday (if you are in the UK).  It's a lovely warm day here in Sussex, so Mark and Matt have gone to play golf, with my dad and Marks dad.  I'll be joining them later for supper.  But, I now have a couple of hours to potter in the garden, and do some crochet in the sun.

I'm sorry I've not been around much recently.  Work has been quite busy, and we've had a few social things in the diary, but mainly it is the final countdown to Matt's GCSEs.  8 days until the first one, and 47 days until it's all over.  I think I've got that right.  

I can't remember if I mentioned, but Matt's school have set up a "Culture of Learning" to try and encourage learning, and to get away from being fixated on grades.  The idea is that children should learn to be proud of learning, and put in place ways to do their best, and keep growing, and the grades will follow. (There is more to it than that - but that's the gist)   I have been working with a group of parents and one of the most motivated teachers you could find, to try and put a "toolkit" together to help other parents, and encourage the same ethos in the home environment.  Not easy as we all have different ideas, and no doubt what works with one child is different to another.  It has been a great experience, and if nothing else, I've really enjoyed talking and discussing education and learning with other like-minded parents and teachers.  We are putting together our final thoughts, before the end of term, and I thought I should ask Matt what he thought the best thing I do to help him.  After all our ideas, discussions, reading etc, his answer - "Your time, Mum.  When I come home from school, you always ask me what my day has been like (I rarely get anything more than "ok"!)  And whilst I'm doing my homework you are always around to support me. And you always check everything is ok again before I go to bed."  It's easy to forget that teenagers still need their parents time, maybe even more so than babies.

Anyway, catching up with what has been happening around here:

A bit of crochet.  Along with many other people, I've been tempted to make a mandala.  I saw one on Attic 24 blog, and wanted to make it.  And very pretty it is too.  But what to do with it?  If I put it on the table, the prettiest part gets covered up.  My step mum suggested making it into a cushion.  I hope to finish it tonight.

A succumbed and made another pot holder!  

I don't think I shared a picture of the finished shrug?  I like it so much I've bought more yarn to make it in blue.  (Mark did mention yesterday when we were at a Spring Fayre and I was looking at the alpacas and wondered if I could learn to spin too, that I had enough yarn to last a lifetime.  Thankfully, in a marquee full of women spinning and making things, there wasn't anyone to agree with him!)

When I've finished this post, I am going to make myself a strawberry key ring fob.

I bought this dancing flower when I was visiting my sister last month.  It makes me smile - bobbing away in the sunshine.  £3 well spent!

And finally, a garden update.  Spring seems to have been replaced by early Summer.

By my greenhouse

By the hedge near the lane

The lane.  The cow parsley was looking lovely until Friday - when it was trimmed!  But at least we can see when driving now.

A couple of bluebells left.  They are nearly over.

 Frothy fennel making an appearance

The last of the trees are coming in to leaf

Still loving the cow parsley (I won't when it spreads even further into my lawn!)

But I love the cowslips in the grass. Thankfully Matt remembered to mow round them yesterday.

I look out at this rose from the kitchen window.  I love it.

Last bit of apple blossom

 The irises are early this year - and are all the same colour.  I can't work out what has happened to the red and yellow ones?

And ending with more cow parley

Are you still with me?  It's a long post for me!

Finally, I would like to thank you for your kind words - it really is lovely to hear from you.  And also kind actions in the "crafty" world.  I know that the internet gets lots of bad press for isolating people, but it does also bring people together, albeit virtually, who we may not have had the opportunity to talk to, if it weren't for blogs. 

Right, I'm off to enjoy the sun with a cup of tea and my hook.

Sara x


  1. That's a lovely thing you son said, it shows just how much he appreciates your efforts to help him. I get a grunt too & I can almost sense a withering look when I ask Rob on the phone how is course work is going at uni, Love your Mandala I still haven't made one though my to make list is growing longer and longer each week.

  2. Your garden is further along than mine and our blue bells are just beginning to be glorious right now. I agree about teenage lads (well teenagers in general) still needing time, we are also going through the exam angst too - your crochet is looking very tasty :) xx

  3. A lovely post Sara. You mandala is lovely and so are your pot holders.....oh and your shrug looks gorgeous on you.
    Thanks for sharing the pretty flower's a beautiful time of year isn't it.
    Good luck to Matt with his exams, sounds like you support him wonderfully.
    Jacquie x

  4. The shrug looks very nice on you. I really like your mandala too. Good luck to Matt on his exams. I think the parental involvement and effort sounds wonderful, I'm glad to hear this is being encouraged with older kids.

  5. What beautiful photos, a little gardening and a little crochet time, perfect. The thought of GCSEs terrifies me, I'm wishing Matt the very best of luck. It does sound like he goes to an amazing school.

  6. Your work with the school sounds very interesting and it is great that Matt appreciates the time that you spend with him. Loving your mandala - of course!! - and it will indeed look great as a cushion. I love your potholder, it is beautiful and kind of like a mandala that is more useful! Good luck of course to Matt! xx

  7. Wishing your son all the very best, I am sure all his hard work will pay off. Adore the pot holder. Have a great week.

  8. Ok,, what I want to know is how you manage to get a 15 year old to mow the lawn, let alone remember not to mow the cow slips! You are so clever, your waist coat looks lovely on, and your Mandala is stunning, I agree it would make a lovely cushion. I need to find time to finish my crochet project, one day maybe, Enjoy the sunshine, Julie.x

  9. Your close-ups of the flowers are wonderful, so clear. I think you are a little further ahead with the seasons than we are, it still feels like spring here. Matt's school sounds like a supportive environment, and you are such a supportive Mum too,I wish him lots of luck with his upcoming GCSE's.

  10. Long posts are always welcome when they're packed full of good things.

    Summer does seem to be trying to hasten spring away doesn't it, although I don't have to drive more than ten minutes from my house up into the Welsh hills and it is still early spring up there.

    Good luck to Matt :)

  11. What beautiful pictures. I love that you are wearing your gorgeous shrug it looks great.

  12. Hey there, I found your blog whilst blog hopping :) From Chrissie's Crafts I think ? Your photos are gorgeous and I love the mandala, it's right up on the top of my list to do next :)
    Your son is very wise, there is a saying that children ( of any age ) spell "love" as T.I.M.E

  13. Oh and also to say good luck for your sons exams :) x

  14. Evening my blogging buddy, I can't believe I didn't notice my rather gorgeous pot holder, I'm one lucky girly! It sure looks lovely on my table,(minus a pot lol!) Hope the exams are going well, my youngest daughter only had ICT this year, for her the bulk will be next year. My son however is two weeks away from his A levels, very stressful indeed!