Friday, January 30

fatcat felt is now on folksy!!! :)

from the first of feb you can buy online!
fatcat felt's shop

appreciating the little things, 30 of 365

living in a place where i can see this ...

and this ...

on the way to work, apparently there's also a kingfisher who fishes on the river but i haven't seen him yet.

thanks to the great rspb site for these pics, if you would like to learn more about birds and the great work that the rspb does, please visit their site here

Thursday, January 29

appreciating the little things, 29 of 365

waking to the sounds of birdsong in the morning - the birds are just starting to get back into the swing of singing and boy are they going for it :) you can't help but feel your spirits soar (even if they are waking me up earlier and earlier!).

Wednesday, January 28

appreciating the little things, 28 of 365

being able to appreciate the 'little' things! :)

appreciating the little things, 27 of 365

time with m's family - we went across to see m's folks for the afternoon, and had such a great time with them. i live really far away from my own family so don't get the chance to just pop over for a cuppa, it was really nice to get the chance to do this with m's folks :)

new work

well, i've been working away and have now managed to put the pics up to show it! i'd love to hear what you think of my latest creations.

i still think i need to work on my photography skills but i can see a definite improvement.

i'm in the midst of creating a shop on folksy for fatcat felt and i'm hoping to have that completed over the weekend. then it's onto creating a range of bags and applying for my next stall. right, now i'm off to get busy.


these will be for sale on my new folksy site soon (details will be posted on fatcat felt ...


these will be for sale on my new folksy site soon (details will be posted on fatcat felt ...


these will be for sale on my new folksy site soon (details will be posted on fatcat felt ...

journals and diaries

these will be for sale on my new folksy site soon (details will be posted on fatcat felt ...

Monday, January 26

farewell to our blue doors

well, our old blue doors had to go, they were drafty, not very secure, and almost falling apart but they did protect us from evil spirits (i remember reading somewhere that blue doors were a protection against bad spirits) whereas the new ones will protect us from potential burglyars.

bag charm for my mum

as well as felting, i also adore beads (i have a real weakness when it comes to beads, oh and buttons too!).

appreciating the little things, 26 of 365

nan's button box - my mum came to visit for a long weekend a little after my nan had passed away. she was sorting through things she said, in preparation for her house move, and she had found my nan's button box and thought i might like it. we sat, time passing unnoticed, as we uncovered many, many memories with each button we held.

Thursday, January 22

appreciating the little things 23, 24, 25 of 365

green traffic lights - my journey to work involves an inordinate amount of traffic lights per mile travelled! however the other morning, i must have timed it just right - can you believe it, almost every set of lights was at green! i worked with a chap years ago who had timed the sequence of the traffic lights on his commute so that he could leave the house at precisely the right moment to hit all of the lights at the optimum time, thereby reducing his commuting time. i was slightly in awe of him.

snowdrops - a little sign of renewed life and the hope of spring to come.

longer days (just) - it's just starting to get light now as i arrive at work, and the other day i made it home in the dusk as opposed to the pitch black! spring is coming, the longer days are on their way :)

appreciating the little things, 22 of 365

red kite - while we were at the race the other weekend i was standing at the transition area along with a lot of other folk and i started to wonder what all the forest fauna made of this intrusion: loads of folk; marquees; generators; fires; vehicles; a temporary camp-site. at this point i happened to look up, and there, circling above, in the grey sky was a red kite - obviously seeming oblivious to us all.

Wednesday, January 21

appreciating the little things, 21 of 365

an unexpected good day at work - having prepared myself for what i thought was going to be a real crappy day, i was pleasantly surprised to be totally incorrect! let's hope for more of these please :)

appreciating the little things, 20 of 365

lolcats - no matter what kind of day i'm having, no matter how grumpy i am (for i can be, on the very odd occasion!), these pics always make me laugh, sometimes to the point of hysterical giggles, with tears streaming down my face (usually the point where m walks away, shaking his head and sighing) ...

appreciating the little things, 19 of 365

getting through my to-do list - now, i always thought that my list-making (as well as being slightly obsessive) was a way of procrastinating but recently, i was feeling creatively 'stuck'. i knew i wanted to get back in the craft room, i had loads of new ideas, i had a rough idea of what i wanted and needed to be getting on with but just couldn't. so, as a way in, i thought i should go in, sit down at my desk and at least write down what it was i needed to get done so that i could move on to my next project. wrote it all down, prioritised it, set aside time for it over the coming weeks and ....... started getting on with it! i think writing it all down helped to split up the mammoth amount of work i wanted to do, into manageable portions (i know, not exactly rocket science but at least my list writing has been vindicated!!!).

appreciating the little things, 18 of 365

white snow, blue sky and sunshine - the drive home from 'puffer was just magical (if a little hairy at times because of the road conditions!). the sky was that perfect shade of blue, the snow was deep and white, with the wind blowing little powdery wisps off the tops, and the sun illuminated everything wonderfully! no pics unfortunately, just a lovely memory :)

appreciating the little things, 17 of 365

a fire and a snuggly selk bag - these two things made my time at strathpuffer all the more comfortable and should be required kit for everyone attending.

selk bag - how amazing is this ...

i should point out that it's not me in the photo as i obviously look far more stylish in my selk bag!. i get a bit claustrophobic in a sleeping bag and never seem able to keep warm when we camp out in the winter. not any more though! this really is the most snuggly way to sleep outdoors!

and, that most primeval, promethean, provider of warmth - a real fire!
this is the first year that we've had a fire and i had been itching to light it ever since we'd set up camp on the friday afternoon! once it was starting to get dark, damp and cold on saturday the fire was finally lit. wow, how many memories came flooding back: collecting firewood at girl guide camp; my trip to aland with my brother and his fiance where we sat around the fire at night; the wonderful summer solstice celebration around the fire at the crannog; warming myself (and my baked potato!) on my nan's coal fire. No wonder the flames were hypnotic.

appreciating the little things, 16 of 365

getting back on the bike - once we'd set up camp in the forest on the friday night we cycled back to the hotel (well, you need one night of luxury to prepare you for the next 24 hours of camping out!). i had been apprehensive about this as i haven't cycled for a while now and am not at my fittest, and the road to the hotel was hilly to say the least.

i was so happy to be back on the bike that i really attacked the first hill, going at it like i knew i was going to make it to the top without resorting to the granny ring. but then the hill attacked back! oh i thought i was going to be ill! but i made it, certainly not with the most finesse but i got there.

the following morning as we were wheeling our bikes out in preparation to cycle back to the campsite one of the chaps in the hotel wished me luck for the race. how chuffed was i?! he actually thought that i was competing :)

appreciating the little things, 15 of 365

a crazy weekend away - here's what we did with our weekend:

yes, it really is as mad as it sounds - it's scotland, it's january, it's 24 hours in the forest (well more, if you count setting up and preparation time) and as if that's not enough - you need to cycle round the forest for 24 hours! and we love it!!!

well, me slightly more as i don't do the cycling bit. i'm support crew :)

this is the third year that we've gone to strathpuffer and each year we get more organised and more together. the first year, i was convinced we were going to die in the forest! m had competed even though he wasn't totally over the flu and at five am thought he had pneumonia, whilst i had the start of hypothermia - oh how we laugh now :)

Wednesday, January 14

appreciating the little things, 14 of 365

working part-time - ok, this one is quite a biggie but i really do appreciate only working three days a week. i find that i'm more focussed in work as i only have a short time to achieve everything i need to, but any work related stresses or hassles will only last for a three day week!

i love having the extra time at home: pottering in the garden; catching up with friends; time with family; getting away for long weekends camping with m; even spring cleaning! and then, of course, it also means i'll have more time to spend on fatcat felt :)

Tuesday, January 13

appreciating the little things, 13 of 365

a furry hug - we don't have any pets but our neighbourhood cats more than make up for that as our house seems to be a second home to many of them.

most frequent and favourite visitor is charlie from next door. he recognises our car and seems to have a sixth sense for when we're coming home as he always seems to be running along the road to meet us. the minute the front door opens he seems to appear from nowhere to dart through the door. he has now taken to sitting on the doorstep meowing until we let him in.

once in, he's like a little furry dynamo, running between us for fussing, doing his really cute cross between a meow and a purr and also, just the cutest thing ever - he jumps up on his back legs and stands up for a fuss, sometimes he seems so eager to get a fuss that he almost lunges at you! he'll stand up on his back feet and just lean his head on your leg and if that doesn't provoke the required response he then stretches his front paws up to grab your hand down for a fuss.

m picks him up, almost cradling him like a baby while we both fuss him and the look on his little face is just the epitome of contentment.

appreciating the little things, 12 of 365

spending time together - as m works shifts we can go a fair amount of time without being able to spend a lot of time together. today was one of those rare days where neither of us had to work, inevitably we had a list of errands to catch up on so i suggested to m that we each pick a few errands and go our separate ways to get through them quicker. but lovely m, even though we were only doing chores, wanted to spend time doing them together.

i know i must sound like a bit of a smug so-and-so at times but, believe me, i had nearly 16 years of a previous life which was very, very different and has left me with a great appreciation of my life now.

Sunday, January 11

appreciating the little things, 11 of 365

a cuppa tea - while listening to radio 4!

another grey, miserable day and my motivation for anything much is sadly lacking. apart from drinking tea that is! of course, there is an art to this - different teas or infusions for different times of the day, and different crockery depending upon the type of tea (no, i'm being serious, i really do love me tea!).

you can't beat a good restorative, reassuring cuppa. and so far radio 4 has entertained me with comedy, poetry, gardening, current affairs, history and archaeology. when i used to stay with my nan on holidays, we used to listen to the radio together in the afternoon or while preparing the sunday roast, i loved the tranquil, comforting tones of radio 4 :)

Saturday, January 10

fatcat felt has been neglected

so, i think i need to give myself a little shove back into the craft room (previously known in our house as the music room but m's instruments have slowly moved further to one end of the room to make way for my sewing machine, work table, loom, wool, ribbons, beads, buttons etc, etc!).

i don't really know what happened but i think i put so much into getting ready for my first stall ( that i needed a break, along with time to catch up with neglected loved ones and much neglected housework! i certainly haven't lost any of my enthusiasm and i'm full of ideas (in fact, so many that i don't know where to start!).

right, i'm off to make a start - hopefully have lots of pics to show tomorrow :)

appreciating the little things, 10 of 365

being indoors - on a day like this ...
it is grey, cold and very windy outside today! the perfect day for appreciating being able to stay indoors in the warm and cosy. although, i did kind of have it in mind that i should get out on the bike today ... i think it's a little breezy for that today, perhaps tomorrow!

plus, it's the perfect weather to keep me indoors so that i can start spring cleaning. yes, i know it might be a little early to start spring cleaning, but by the time spring arrives, i'll be busy in the garden :)

Friday, January 9

appreciating the little things, 9 of 365

fresh coffee and hjortronsylt - we went to ikea last week on the way back from the airport. i always love going to ikea because the furnished room layouts always remind of being in sweden, spending time with my brother. i love the swedish shop within ikea, always on the shopping list are dill chips, oat and chocolate biscuits, any swedish cake, swedish coffee and hjortronsylt (cloudberry jam). even the smallest taste of any of these things takes me back to happy memories of many trips to stockholm, time spent with family and friends.

today is the first of my four days off and they lay in front of me filled with possibilities, what better way to start the day than fresh swedish coffee and toast with cloudberry jam, i even love the name - cloudberries ... they honestly sound as magical as they taste! :)

appreciating the little things, 8 of 365

the great outdoors - i was kind of struggling yesterday, through the fog of negativity and de-motivation (of others), to be open to appreciation. it was my last day in work of my first week back and it was not a great day, in fact it was a pretty crappy day. late afternoon, i was over at the photocopier and there it was - the sun was just starting to set and had illuminated everything in a wash of glowing embers. everything looked so beautiful, i'm lucky in that the office where i work is in a glorious location: one side of the building looks out onto a river and grassy hills; the other onto a craggy, tree lined hill. and the sun was lighting everything just perfectly. i was so glad that i was able to appreciate it all.

Wednesday, January 7

appreciating the little things, 7 of 365

a job to complain about: it was pretty tough going back to work this week after two lovely weeks off. but, given the current economic climate, and awful numbers of folk losing their jobs in the run up to christmas, i really thank my lucky stars that i have a job to go back to. my colleague was pretty fed up today and we had a bit of a moan but then i reminded her that we are indeed lucky to have a job to complain about.

Tuesday, January 6

appreciating the little things, 6 of 365

m scraping the car: it was a really cold, icy morning on my first day back to work and m got up with me in case i wanted him to drive me to work - i had a bump last year when i skidded on black ice and have been really wary of driving to work in the ice ever since! not only that, but lovely m went out to defrost the car and heat it up while i finished getting ready.

appreciating the little things, 5 of 365

someone to meet me at the airport: although it was sad to leave my mum until our next trip, it was lovely to know that m would be there at the airport to meet me with a big hug and a welcome back kiss.

appreciating the little things, 4 of 365

speaking with my brother: my brother and his fiancee went to thailand for a month over christmas and new year. they live in sweden so you can imagine the desire to go somewhere warm even for a short while in the middle of their long, cold, dark winters. i know that mobile phones can be a nuisance when you're forced to endure someone elses conversation on a train, and that there are health concerns over the long term use of them but, without them i wouldn't have been able to speak with my brother on christmas day :)

time with mum: i live nearly 500 miles north of my mum so we don't get to spend that much time together. i went down for five days over new year and although it was great to celebrate new year together and to spend time together, it's the little things i loved - having breakfast together; vegging out in front of the tv with snacks; going for a walk together in the blue, frosty sunny mornings; just being together and doing the ordinary, every-day things we don't usually get the chance to do.

appreciating the little things, 3 of 365

watching a fox sleep: mum and i had seen this fox asleep in the garden the day before, i felt really bad for disturbing his sleep but wanted to check he was ok as i wasn't sure it was a good sign to see a fox asleep in the middle of the garden in broad daylight. he awoke as i opened the back door and the way he scaled the fences was a good sign that he was fit as a fiddle, looking healthy enough with a big, fluffy brush tail as he paused atop a fence a safe distance away to look back at me.

anyway, when we got up the following morning there he was again, curled up in a ball on the frosty grass, seemingly oblivious to everything going on around him until you saw the twitch of an ear cathcing some sound or other. i stood watching him for awhile, feeling comforted by the rise and fall of his big deep, sleepy breaths.

appreciating the little things, 2 of 365

warm, fluffy socks: mum and i had had a lovely morning out, a search around the charity shops and then for lunch. it was a really cold day and when we got home my feet were freezing! only one thing would do it - my pink, fluffy socks. my mum had bought these for my nan just before she passed away and, strange as they may be as part of my inheritance, such a lovely way for me to still be close to nan, one of the many things we have in common is cold feet. anyway, i dashed upstairs pulled on my socks and within minutes my feet were warm, toasty and so snuggly - these socks are like a hug for your feet :)

appreciating the little things, 1 of 365

falling asleep - yep, as simple as that :) i'd spent a lovely new year's day with my mum and just as i was drifting off to sleep i was really aware of how content i was: my headache had gone; my leg didn't hurt; i was safe, warm and all snuggled up; my mind was quiet. it felt like i was floating in warm honey as i drifted away.

the coming year

i don't really tend to make resolutions but i thought that this year i would find time each day to appreciate the little things. society today can be so hectic and materialistic sometimes, with everyone trying to out-do each other for the latest gadget/most expensive car/lavish house refurb that it's good to stop awhile and smell the roses, appreciate those things that money really can't buy (and no, i haven't been inspired by that awful credit card ad!)

although, i do still have the wish list for 2009:
be more organised
procrastinate less
live more 'in the moment'
create more
be more positive
spend more time reading
sort out my finances
be more aware and focussed
take some exercise every day
learn swedish
i could go on, but i think that's a good start for now :)

belated greetings to one and all

happy winter solstice - the turning point of the year for myself and m. from here on the days get longer and lighter as we move towards spring and lots more adventures! the latest 'gardeners world' magazine has arrived (thanks to mum for my gift subscription) and we're busily making plans for our flowers, fruit and veg for 2009, we may even attempt to make our own wormery! our spring bulbs have already started to make an appearance above the ground :)

merry christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful new year - the festive period is, for us, a time for friends and family and reflecting on how fortunate we are. as opposed to the greedy commercialism which rears it's ugly head at this time of year. it's also two weeks off work for me! lots of time with m, catching up with friends, more home baking than we could healthily eat, and a trip to london to spend time with mum and catch up with my family.