That was April, in mohair & wool. My birthday month brought the gift of incredible surprises & unexpected projects. All of which are keeping my head, hands & heart busy at the moment…and also keeping me away from here for now. But which I can’t wait to tell you about very soon.
March was a month of rich contrasts – in equal measures both exhilarating & disappointing, both refreshing & and at times exhausting. Nearly three years down this path of motherhood, I still find myself struggling to find the balance between my role as a mother and my desire (need?) to pursue some sort of creative work. As each month opens, I hope this one will be different. That somehow I might find a more happy medium, only to wind up at the close of the month feeling the same result, overstretched and overwhelmed.
I had been intending to open the doors of my little shop this past month, only to find a variety of life events conspiring against me. After a good cry (or two), I’ve accepted the need to put this date back a little. The disappointment was crushing at first. But when that first sting had lessened, I was able to reflect on how far I’ve already come so far. And celebrate the achievements that I’ve already made.
I may not have managed to open the shop nor accomplish every task on the list. But just like that second load of laundry still sat beside the washing machine, it will wait for tomorrow. Deep down I know there is no rush, and that any progress however seemingly insignificant is progress nonetheless. Above all else, I am so grateful for the opportunity to wake up each morning and give it a good old go – washing the laundry, making yarn & bears and all that is in between.
That was February.
At times overwhelmingly heavy, as difficult family news meant melancholy was often lurking at the edges. We have also found ourselves plunged into winter with bitterly frosty mornings, biting wind and sprinklings of snow. It would have been so easy to loose ourselves in worries of what is to come. Instead, we light the fire and seek to rest in that safe haven of now.
Making is one of the things which anchors me firmly in the present moment. And so many little bears have come to life from the mohair and wool this past month. Each one surprising me more than the last. Each one so unique and yet all capable of raising a smile & the spirits.
Comfort has also come in the form of heartfelt messages, meaningful exhanges & surprise parcels in the post, from women from across Europe and further afield. Friends I have never met, and yet whose kindness and caring have brought me such warmth on these cold days. Not for the first time, I feel so incredibly grateful for the magical way that wool & a shared love of working with it can weave such meaningful connections & lead to friendships in such unexpected places.
As March begins with it’s promise of Spring not far off, I will continue gently & quietly working on some dear little woolly things for my shop. All being well, I hope to open it’s doors around the 21st March.
Thank you so much for being here. What has brought you comfort during February?
One of the many meaningful connections I have treasured this month has been with my dear friend & incredibly talented maker Adriana. This first monthly round up was actually inspired in part by one she does on her beautiful blog. A little window into a quiet life in Portugal, her blog Mundo Flo is one of my long term favourites. I love to sit down with a mug of something warm and soak up her simple but wonderfully poetic reflections on life, mothering, making and all that is between. You can read more about Adriana here, see her most recent blog post here, and find more of her beautiful work here and here.
It’s now four months since we arrived in our new home in the hills. For the time being, life has brought us from our mountain village in the Pyrenees, north & westward to the green and rolling hills of central Brittany.
Last year saw a great many challenges sweeping through our quiet little life. At times it felt like a tidal wave, leaving us tired and wrung out in it’s wake. Over the summer, in the midst of a significant flare up in my health, we both felt an unexplainable tugging on our hearts to uproot our mountain life and move over 800 miles northward to be closer to our respective families. We found a little Breton cottage nestled in a gentle valley, with a large garden and surrounded by fields. It seemed like the perfect place for us to rest & recuperate from a difficult year. But to move here was to take a leap into the unknown…because my poor health over the summer meant I wasn’t well enough to come and visit the place before we moved in mid October.
But there was love and hope and trust (and wool) to see us through. And it’s worked out fine in the end.
Our new home is nestled in the green hills of central Finistère, at the furthest end of Brittany. It’s a place where the wind & rain are frequent and the wildlife abundant both inside & outside. We fall asleep to the hooting of a pair of tawny owls each night and often wake to find the left overs of the midnight feasts of the resident mice in the kitchen the following morning.
With most of the boxes unpacked and a gentle new rhythm unfolding, we have finally exhaled. As our thoughts start to turn to Spring, we find ourselves outside as much as possible, slowly settling into our garden as well as exploring our new land base. For the next few months, this little tumble down cottage will be our home. Our motivation to come here was simple: we are here to recover from a hard last year and to be closer to our respective families. Our intention for the coming months is just as simple: to lead a gentler & slower existence, centered around our home & garden. Where are hands are kept busy (and often dirty) pulling this or that from our veggie garden, tending to chickens and possibly even sheep.
I also intend to finally plunge in and start peddling some of my hand made wares – starting with my bears & other little playthings…and am currently working towards opening my little shop up for the first time at the start of Spring. I look forward to showing you next week a little of what I’ve been working on this past month.