April 05, 2012

daffodils and tulips and seizing the moment

After the most amazingly warm and sunny start to spring, the weather is much more changeable now, more traditionally English spring-like I suppose. A hosepipe ban is already in place and the spring bulbs in the garden have been pushing up through dusty dry earth which all bodes for a rather parched looking garden this year :(

Still there was rain at last yesterday and everything looked refreshed this morning when I picked some narcissi and tulips. The smell of the narcissi, 'silver chimes' and 'geranium' in particular, is so gorgeous, I can't resist filling a jug or two for the house.

I picked a few of the peony lookalike Mt Tacoma tulips to go with them, because the colour mixes in so well. Daffs usually look so lovely on their own, but I couldn't help myself add a few tulips! The gummy sap from daffs can shorten the life of other cut flowers they share water with, so it is a good idea to stick the daffs in a bucket of water on their own for an hour or two, to let the worst of the sap drain out.

I can never decide which of these pale and elegant narcissi I love best, but I think it is the simplicity and pure looks of the Pheasants' Eye daffodil  that is my very favourite (it was one of the first ever to be cultivated - sometimes the first is the best, no?).

But these ones, Thalia first and then others that were in our garden when we moved here, aren't exactly disappointing!

As much as I am fond of the blast of yellow jolly from supermarket bought daffs, there is so much more to the narcissi genus, so much understated beauty, charm and scent. Try planting a few next autumn, you will be so chuffed this time next year!

On the jewellery front I am shouldering through a few frustrating issues - disappointingly pitted castings to return, minor website tweaks to sort out, an endless list of sundries to replenish (packaging, business cards etc). I wonder if the day will come when I enjoy the business side of creativity as much as the making? It will definitely be a loooong journey for me. Creatives that are natural entrepreneurs and business managers are blessed creatures!

I am therefore relishing the making moments for all they are worth, between all the other things that need to be done, and having the children with me on their holidays. The first of the 'botanical' pendants is taking shape, and I am loving the soft blue glints of the labradorite stone in this one:

I am approaching the always slightly hair - raising combination of work and school holidays by taking clear hours out of my day to concentrate on work, and other hours to focus soley on the kids. A kind of "seize the moment" sensibility. That way lies sanity I have found, and an escape from the double sided guilt of trying to do everything mushed up together and feeling nothing is done well, and the children have not had the attention they deserve. So picnics have been enjoyed, a trip to an old fashioned tea-room for a wicked afternoon tea, walks with the dog, epic battles of hangman (Finn, "wacky" is only just allowed as a hangman word!!), happy families (we all love those old fashioned illustrated cards, with the baby tadpole sleeping in a rocking crib and Mrs Hedgehog filling a hotwater bottle with a big black kettle). We tried one round using the animal noises or impersonations instead of names - Mr "fribbet fribbet" jumping about etc - until we realised none of us knew how to make a shrew noise or a squirrel face! Simple pleasures.

One child is temporarily missing though. Beloved Max, he of the ridiculous good looks, teenage mood swings and heart of gold, is right now in Ethiopia. He is there with his best buddy, Alex from school and his mum. His grandparents live there and they will be travelling with Alex's mum to the Highlands to see a agricultural project that is part of her work portfolio. It will be so eye-opening for him, such an amazing experience and I know he could not be in better hands, but still.....the maternal heartstrings are slightly taut and I find myself thinking about him a lot and wondering if he is remembering to take his malaria tablets. Sigh. He will not be with us at our annual Easter stay over with Richard's parents or with us in Norfolk later on, and plain and simple, we will miss him.We have never been parted from one of our children for three weeks before, so a bit of growing up for all of us!

I hope you all have a great Easter, wherever you find yourself. xx


  1. What a lovely post and beautiful pictures of your daffodils and tulips from your garden. I remember once when my older son wasn't with us for Christmas, it just felt odd!!
    Have a lovely Easter

  2. Belinda, I wear that hat too, Keep going !
    Hope you have a super Easter


  3. I love your flowers. Daffodils and just the loveliest flowers ever - the first signs of new life growing in the garden - love love love them! My daugther is staying in france at the moment (a little closer to home than Max) but I miss her terribly too. Before we know it they will be back. Take care
    Lorraine x

  4. I HATE supermarket yellow daffs. I actually think I may be allergic to them. But the narcissi you grow, and which I plant when I remember, are gorgeous.
    Your handsome one will be back before you know it. Doing all those annoying things he does...!
    SmallerBean went for her first sleepover the other night and the house felt very strange. She was only half a mile away and for one night so I can't really imagine what you are all feeling.
    Happy Easter, Ax

  5. Belinda, That pendant is spectacular. It's amazing to watch your artistry grow.

    I bow to your jewelry and of course your flowers.

    And may you enjoy equal parts rain and sun. But it never works out like that does it...

    xo Jane

  6. so lovely!!
    chek my blog, and if you want we can follow each other via GFC!
    have a wonderful day!

  7. that pendant is beautiful - good luck with your new website - your work is so lovely and I am sure you will do well - what a wonderful thing to be able to say - I went to Ethiopia for Easter!!!!

  8. I love daffodils too and your delicate ones are gorgeous!

  9. thanks so much for your visit and to be my newest follower! I follow you too!

  10. Thanks for a lovely blog. I loved your photos of the daffs and REALLY loved the pebdant. I look forward to seeing more of your work...it's soooo tempting. I am sure that your son will be blown away by what he learns....I've found it's very humbling visiting countries where the simple things we would bypass are treasures. I am sure he remembered to take his tablets...he must be maturing very fast through this experience! Will visit you again. thanks. Joan

  11. Another lovely post and beautiful photos. I'm totally with you on the jewellery frustrations - I'm in exactly the same place just now! And the making/family dilemma. Hope you've hd a great Easter, and I'm sure your son will have plenty to tell you on his return... x