It's been a wet bank holiday weekend (but I'm holding out hope that it brightens up this afternoon and the forecast has actually got it right).
These photographs were actually taken last weekend. It was raining then too.
We took a walk down the old railway line. Two run parallel to one another; the higher one is closed and is now a footpath whilst the lower one has the East Lancashire Railway trains running along it. Many are steam engines and it's more of a tourist attraction than anything else.
Joe does love a train though, and we're lucky to have it on our doorstep.
So it's one of our favourite walks: an initial hill but then a long flat run surrounded by trees and fields. It looks almost fairy-tale like in the snow and in spring there are ferns and nesting birds, in summer wild raspberries and dog roses. This time around, I spotted a little path disappearing between the birches so we followed it and were delighted to find ourselves wandering through grassy dells. The bluebells were just starting to open too. Blue and green, damp and mossy and quiet.
Surprising how if you look that little bit harder you can find something new in a place that's so familiar.
That sentiment applies to a few things I've got going on at the moment.
I'm currently working very hard behind the scenes, as I feel it's time to leave the familiar behind. Mitenska is undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts.
I started this blog just over three years ago and it's changed a little bit here and there, as all things should. I personally don't embrace change. I crave comfort and routine, but it's important to evolve a little and not let things stagnate. So instead of running a website purely for my artwork, a blog about family life and all the other stuff I care to muse about, instead of having numerous email accounts and Facebook pages and far too many passwords to remember: I'm going to put everything together in the one place.
The term 'rebrand' sounds far too corporate for my liking. That's not the idea. Instead, an amalgamation of my personal blog and my more professional endeavours. Because I draw and paint and make prints, and I get paid for them, so that I suppose makes me a professional artist of sorts. Which is actually both scary and exciting.
I've been asked if my work's available anywhere other than at local handmade markets. Well, yes it is. A local shop stocks it and I'll be selling through a gallery in the Lake District in a month or two. But I'm also putting together an online shop which will be linked to my blog.
I hope to continue sharing my photographs and family life, adventures and thoughts. But in addition to that I'll be blogging about my creative process and where that takes me.
So, once I'm up and running, I'd love you to come along.
A few 'And finally's: thank you for your great comments about the subject of dyeing hair. I've decided to grow out the old colour and see what lies beneath. And I'm actually cheering on those silvery strands as they appear. Why not?
We've just booked ourselves a little holiday. Much-needed. A week on Skye at the end of the month. We're very excited indeed.
And I was recently asked if I'd like to be interviewed for Adventures and Tea Parties' Blog Gem series. Of course I was! Please feel free to go and visit Joanna's lovely crafty blog to have a read.
Enjoy the rest of the bank holiday.