Previous month:
June 2008
Next month:
August 2008

A Big Summer Birthday


My beautiful boy, I can't believe you're a two numeral age!
Recording your songs and practicing stage dives, can't wait to see what the next 10 years brings
Happy 10th Birthday!

Love, Mummy

Here's Tristan's ode to Summer (OK not really an ode, a little acrostic poem instead.)


Blowing bubbles
Endless fun
Green grass
Hannah Montana (for Gracie)
I love Summer
Jumping on the trampoline
Kite Flying
Leafy trees
More cuddles
No snow
Organizing concerts
Picnics at The Crown
Queuing for ice-cream
Sweet peas (for Mummy)
Tristan's birthday
Uniforms packed away
Visiting friends
Water sliding on the lawn
Xtra late bedtimesRocker-Tris
Yellow sunflowers

by Tristan

Thank-you Amy, our librarian friend, for inspiring this seasonal pause for thought.

A little tree of life


I'm busy spending summertime with my babies these days and meeting as few deadlines as possible. I did squeeze this one in.

A little family tree project for an autumn issue of The Green Parent. Pick up a copy for the full "how to." I noticed it on the Barnes & Noble magazine shelves on my trip to CA for those of you in the States who have inquired.

9-photo-leaves Unfortunately my photos don't do this little project justice, much nicer in the flesh (or canvass.)

Happy summer!

Lucky cushion


This cushion is very lucky. It has no special magical or mystical powers to bring luck, it's lucky because it's accompanying my good friend Jo on a very long trip. I will miss her terribly, but hope she thinks of all her good friends in Kent while she cuddles up with this cushion.

I really admire the spirit of adventure Jo shares with her husband. They live very simply, not weighed down by possessions that tend to tie us to seemingly unending responsibility. I think owing to this simple life, Jo and her husband exude a sense of calm and radiate happiness to everyone around them. Now they're embarking on a year-long sailing trip with their two young daughters and throwing in a bit of home (boat) schooling along the way - what an education!

I made this little cushion with a mix of vintage and modern fabrics and combined a bit of embroidery and applique. Looking at it now reminds me that they've gone and I pray they dodge the cargo ships passing in the night laden with gadgets, gizmos and dirt cheap clothing, the cargo that keeps the rest of us weighed down with "responsibilities."

Stay safe, we love you!

A few links and thanks!

Embroidered platter

I love to see original work in any and all mediums. Lynette Andreasen creates beautiful metal work, fiber sculpture and jewelry. This is an embroidered silver platter that she recently exhibited and take a look at these amazing commissioned silhouette silver platters she made.

Speaking of original art, the brilliant and beautiful Erin at Design for Mankind has recently launched her first magazine, Mankind Mag. It's a free PDF or available to purchase in print. Erin's got a nose for hunting out new talent and her magazine promises to bring more of all the inspired stuff her blog does.

Mankind mag

I mostly enjoy the global aspect to the Design for Mankind magazine and blog as well as the sneaky peeks at daily lives of artists/designers. Both definitely worth a read.

Pattern on window

Tracey at Giggleface Studios has a superb tinted linen and embroidery tutorial.


Her tutorial is really well written and she has great tips for those wanting to give tinting a try.

Blog award

And thank you kind Tracey for this blog award. I'll get around to passing it on sometime soon - busy wrapping up end of term stuff right now and really looking forward to the Summer break!


Happy days back home

Trip collage

1. Cousin Kate, the beautiful bride 2. Giant Dipper, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk 3. Brian & the giant strawberry 4. Lifeguard hut at Santa Cruz 5. Wedding roses 6. Funny mannequin guy on the sky ride 7. Under the Giant Dipper 8. Nephews in the surf  9. Pottery demonstration at Pasados del Presidio, San Francisco

People are always asking me if I miss California, living in the UK, they're usually referring to sunny California weather. After 11 years my answer is still the same, I love the sunshine but I really only miss my family and friends (oh yea, and Mexican food.)

Taking this trip home alone, I had a chance to enjoy my family and friends more completely than when I have my own family along. I missed them, but enjoyed every moment of time with folks back home.

There were so many highlights my few photos won't do it justice, but I'll write them here so that I'll remember:

  • My cousin Kate's wedding and another amazing reception hosted by her lovely parents.
  • Watching video with all my cousins of our family from the 1930's through the 1980's, never knew the old stuff existed, apparently my grandfather was quite a cinematographer. I got to see a lot of him in the videos, very special as he died three years before I was born.
  • Morning walks with my niece Lauren.
  • Day trip to Santa Cruz with my sister and family. At less than an hour away, Santa Cruz was a favourite Friday afternoon hang out when we were in high school.
  • The annual Pasados del Presidio, San Francisco. My brother Michael, the archaeologist, took us to this event that celebrates the birth of the city of San Francisco and the founding of the Presidio. Fantastic! Wish I took more photos.
  • Chile verde burritos with extra avocado and fish tacos.
  • Fabric shopping, stitching and visiting with best friend, Becki - we simply never have enough time.
  • Having mom and dad to myself, eating their apricots, watching humming birds and listening to mocking birds.

There's no place like home, but it was nice to return to my own little family and the greeness that is England. California was sufferring from 1,400 wildfires while I was there - hence the hazy skies in my photos. Hope the flames abate soon.

A tip regarding transferring video tape to digital:
The digital video was a surprise to us all. My cousin Tommy had 8mm and super 8mm tapes transferred to digital for all of us. He did loads of research into different companies and ended up using a place called Cinepost out of  Georgia. He said, "They were great to work with and the best price for the highest quality transfer currently available. With expedited shipping, they got 185 reels back to me just 2 weeks after I sent it to them."