Thursday, 14 January 2016

Inspiration, upheaval and a sprinkling of snow



It's been an interesting week. Last Wednesday I went to collect Joe from preschool and they told me they were closing down. A combination of flooding, a bad Ofsted report and staff resignations meant the owner had decided to call it a day. They'd been going for 26 years and despite Ofsted branding them 'Unsatisfactory' (mainly due to issues with administration) I'd always been perfectly happy with Joe attending.

I managed to get him a place, that evening, at another preschool in an even smaller village but just as close to home. It has a great reputation and he started there on Monday. He's taken to it like a duck to water.

We won't go into the amount of crying I did on his last day at 'Janice's'. It's the end of a chapter and the staff were so lovely. 



There are children joining the new preschool from the old one, so he'll have some of his little friends with him. I'm currently collecting lots of splashy paintings at the end of the day. He's definitely inspired by the upheaval.


Speaking of which, I've been making the most of my fifteen hours per week of child-free time. Drawing, painting, attempting to build a new website (although I'm going to have to bite the bullet on that one and phone the Squarespace support team).


I'm also looking into the craft fair calendar for 2016 and am on the brink of signing up to some. Quite a few, actually. Selling direct means I don't have to lose as much in commission. Plus, I get to meet my customers face to face and to speak to other makers.

So right now it's all about jotting down ideas, planning displays and getting lots of stock together.


I'm still thinking about the house. Pictures are slowly making their way onto walls. Rooms are gradually getting a bit of personality. And I've discovered a new aesthetic. 


Anyone who's seen my Pinterest account will know I love all things Nature. And things with a story to tell. Recently I came across this board though - and I'm suddenly into pattern and eclecticism. I've always been a fan of early to mid-20th Century literature and design, but the thought of a truly individual home filled with creativity and books and art holds huge appeal for me.


Joe had a 'settling in' session at his new preschool on Monday. I stayed for a few hours but they then suggested I go off for a few more while he had lunch and played outside. So I did. 


A cream scone, a hot chocolate and a chat with a lovely lady in the tearoom of the local antiques centre was the perfect escape. I had a browse around all the lovely things and admired the William Morris wallpaper, the old fireplaces and the tiny wooden mice carved into the door frames. There's something very relaxing and reassuring about slipping back into the past for a little while. Probably explains my love of Marple and Poirot. Nostalgia fiend.

I then returned to an excitable boy and we went for a walk. All you can hear is water at the moment: the river, the drains, new springs and streams trickling away down the hills and through the trees.


You know I only like to use pretty pictures on the blog, but I thought I'd show you why we can't take one of our usual routes. It's really awful to see things like this at the moment: collapsed bridges, rubbish washed up everywhere, houses with sandbags outside and ruined furniture awaiting collection.

You also know I like to end things on a positive note. It's cooled right down here and last night we had a dusting of snow. The snowdrops are making an appearance in the garden. There's pussy willow on the table and vases of daffodils all over the place. And - gasp - we have a weekend approaching with a forecast of bright sunshine. No plans, no visitors - just us three. I can't wait.

I hope yours is dry (or snowy, whatever you prefer) and cold outdoors, warm within.


25 comments:

  1. I've just had a look at the Pinterest Board and it made me think of my Grandparent's house once again with its gorgeous eclectic and comforting mix. That's a shame about Joe's pre-school. The same thing happened to a primary school that my kids went to, no one complained because the teachers were so lovely with the kids, but then Ofsted came in and because their targets weren't being met, the headteacher was changed and the school became so clinical with everything. No one wants to go there now. I don't know, progress hey?! Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. You too! It's so upsetting about the preschool, it was such a lovely nurturing place. Fortunately another one a few miles up the road has agreed to take on most of the staff. I don't cope well with change - fortunately, children seem to be fine with it!

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  2. OMG! Only the other day I posted a photo of that very bridge on the my works facebook page to let people know why the footpath was closed at that point - bit obvious but there you are, it needed doing (local authority of course). How very weird. Greetings from the other side of the Darwen monument - or Thunderbird 3 as I like to call it. :-)

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    1. Hello! I know the tower you're talking about and even took a walk up that way once with my mum. It's a real shame about the bridge - Joe used to like playing Pooh sticks from it. Hopefully it'll be rebuilt soon...

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  3. New things all round for you, new ventures, new experiences and new challenges. 2016 is going to be an eventful and exciting year for you all :) xxx

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    1. I'm feeling brave - bring it on! x

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  4. Gorgeous pussy willow photo, it really is. And all the others are beautiful (except the poor bridge of course_, you have such a talent with your camera. I'm so glad Joe is happy enough with his new pre-school. It's usually us parents who suffer most with such upheavals I think. My eldest has moved a couple of times, and both times it was me who found it hardest. It sounds as if things are coming on well business-wise. A new website and some craft fairs will be brilliant. I'm wishing you much success with them. CJ xx

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    1. Thank you - and good luck with the writing. May 2016 bring us great things! x

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  5. I'm really pleased a joe is settling into his new preschool. I love the little collection of daffodil photos.

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    1. Thank you! I'm not usually a fan of yellow flowers but daffodils are different... cheery at such a gloomy time of year.

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  6. Such a shame about that bridge. Sounds as though you have lots of great plans for the year ahead, hope that you enjoyed it and that it goes well for you. xx

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    1. Thanks, Amy. And the same to you xx

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  7. Have a lovely weekend. Hard frost and sunshine here today... The best sort of winter's day.

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    1. Same here - and Im sat in a cafe with my laptop! Hopefully it'll be a lovely weekend.

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  8. It sounds like you have lots of exciting times planned Sarah. I'm sure your beautiful artwork will be well received at the craft fairs. So glad to hear Joe settled in to his new playschool. Little people are so much more adaptable than we give them credit for. Your Pinterest board is beautiful. I am particularly taken with the plethora of amazing chairs in the pictures. They're very pretty. Enjoy the snow. We've had a sprinkling here too and it is freezing hard at the moment. Such a relief from the rain though. We have had problems with flooding too and one of my most used roads was impassable for weeks. It just cleared this Tuesday. I'm delighted as it stops the need for an incredibly long round trip. Anyway, Happy New Year lovely. I've really enjoyed catching up with your posts this morning. Bee xx

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    1. Thanks Bee! I do keep expecting it to rain again - I think it's become the norm around here after three months of constant deluges!
      I'm glad your road has reopened. I struggle with changes to my routine; Joe's preschool hours have changed and it's not particularly good. I'm a real creature of habit! xx

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  9. I do so love your photography, your style and how you catch the image you are taking..it's really nice to see you all settling in, plenty of new adventurers to come for all of you..
    Amanda xx

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  10. Wishing you well for your upcoming craft fairs and I'm glad too that Joe has settled into his new routine. Ofsted - bah!

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  11. Hey Sarah,
    A similar thing happened to Alfie's pre-school several years ago. It was a lovely family run place in the centre of St Ives. But it was pushed out by the super shiny Sure Start centre that opened at the very top of town.
    Leanne xx

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  12. I hope Joe's enjoying his new preschool. My littlest was three over the weekend. She's staying within her current nursery for preschool but loves being in the big girl room! Once again fab pictures...did you have snow at the weekend? LittleR was so excited!! There was just enough for a small snowman. xx

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  13. What gorgeous photo collages. Such a shame about that nursery but I'm glad the Joe has settled quickly into the new one. having familiar faces there will help. I must get out into this glorious sun now.

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  14. Ofsted has a lot to answer for. I'm sorry about the pre-school but it's great that you found a new one so quickly and that Joe is settling well. I like that pinterest board you linked to, it's reminded me that I am long overdue a visit to Charleston Farmhouse. Good luck with all your plans for 2016.

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  15. Take a look at the images on Google of this Swedish couple's house. It's Arts and Crafts too, and so much more; Carl and Karin Larsson

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  16. I am a bit slow catching up with your blog.... I hope Joe has settled in well in his new pre school. It can be a bit unsettling to change a comfy routine. We had two nurseries going into administration, closing without prior notice at pick-up time, never to open again. I always think Ofsted reports have to be read with a pinch of skepticism. x

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  17. Ooh, that 'Charleston' Pinterest board, love it. I have totally the wrong kind of house for the look but I've always been enthralled by all things Bloomsbury.

    How sad that the pre-school felt it had to close, but good that Joe is happily settled somewhere new.

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