Category Archives: Blogging


Apologies for my blogging absence. I’ve had a bit of a non-creative couple of weeks. There’s been stuff going on in my life -some good, some not so good – that has sidelined creative pursuits. It happens.

Some of the good things include:

Performing stunning feats of acrobatic daring in the woods:


An outing to the Big City Far Away:

mama on the millenium bridge

And drinking tea on a balcony:

mama drinks tea on balcony

I have also been reading. A lot. I have read three more books towards the Treasure Hunt Reading Challenge:

For the clue of a “mythical creature” I read Tracy Chevalier’s The Lady and the Unicorn. I didn’t enjoy this as much as the Girl with the Pearl Earring but did think it did a great job of evoking the era in which it was written, and there was fascinating insight into the making of a tapestry.

For the clue of “something scientific” I read “The Radioactive Boy Scout“. This is a very readable and compelling account of the true story of a wayward young boy scout and amateur scientist who tried to build a nuclear reactor in his shed. As you do.

And for the clue of “something made of wood” (books are made of paper; paper is made of wood) I read “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. Words cannot explain how this book affected me. I finished the last few chapters whilst in a public waiting room. I could not stop the tears. If you can read this without crying, you have a heart made of stone. It is brutally beautiful or beautifully brutal, I’m not sure which. Read it. Just read it.

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Happy Birthday Blog!

happy birthday LGNC black

Another birthday! This time, not mine, but this blog’s. Yep, it’s a year today since I started blogging here at Live.Grow.Nourish.Create.

I have broken the cardinal rule of blogging – to stick to one topic – and have rambled away randomly, from drawing to menstruation; from sewing to climate change; from reading to nutrition. Ah, well, someone must be reading, because I seem to have amassed over 200 followers, 14,000 page views and 1,300 comments. And even better, I have made some lovely blogging friends along the way :-).

Thank you to all who contributed to making blogging a fun and enriching experience this year. Here’s to the next one!

ps/ the font I used to write the birthday message is from The Scrapbooker’s Handwriting Workshop and is somewhat fittingly called “misfit”. Just thought you should know ;-)

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30 Days of Get Your Art On

30 Days of Get Your Ar On

Today is the last day of Daisy Yellow’s Daily Paper Prompts…so I’m looking for a new challenge. I have decided to join in with Traci Bunker’s 30 Days of Get Your Art On Challenge. The challenge is to make art every day, the rules are up to you.

Here are my rules. I challenge myself to:

  • make art every day
  • spend a minimum of 15 minutes on art (preferably longer)
  • post about the art I make

The art I make can take any form eg doodling, art journalling, drawing, sewing, quilting. Anything creative, whether it’s with paint & paper, or fabric & thread. It doesn’t matter what I do, and I don’t need to finish what I work on the same day – the point is to just do something. Watch this space to see what it is :-)

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Creativity, Inspiration and Castle Walls

So, a little time away from blogging and away from the computer has had me thinking – about creativity, inspiration and about the fear of missing out.

I am way too prone to obsessively reading blogs, subscribing to feeds, checking websites – all in the name of “looking for inspiration”. Is it inspiration I am looking for, though, really? Or is it fear that I am missing something? Missing an amazing new technique, the perfect quilt pattern, a review of a book that will revolutionise my art, my outlook, my life?

In reality, even if I lived for a hundred years and quilted 10 hours a day, I could never make all those quilts I have looked at and thought “I’d like to make that”.

If I lived for a hundred years and read for 10 hours a day, I could never hope to get through all the books I would like to read “one day”.

If I spent 10 hours a day surfing the net for the rest of my life, I might still miss out on hearing about some inspirational project or technique that I would doubtless love to try. And I would never have time to try any of them.

I was reading Andria’s blog and she wrote about some instructions for an online course that advised her to turn off the computer, close the magazines and look to her own life for drawing inspiration. Isn’t that just the best advice? Sometimes because we are frantically looking to find those inspirational pictures, posts and tutorials, we miss the beauty of what’s right under our noses. Like, oh I don’t know, the patterns of bricks on some castle walls:

castle wall outsidecastle wall inside

I am not saying that we can’t find inspiration for art or indeed for life from reading others’ blogs, looking at pictures of other people’s work, or perusing magazines. But it needn’t be the only way to get inspired. Sometimes we find the inspiration we need by just taking a break, stopping to notice the beauty in the everyday things that surround us.

So, although like many, I struggle with the Fear of Missing Out (check out Zen Habits great post on this) I am going to make an effort to rein in my impulse to click, click, click around the internet and instead devote my time online to keeping up with those bloggers with whom I have made a genuine connection; and limiting my inspiration-trawling to a few trusted sites that I know and love. No doubt, I will miss out on the occasional amazing quilt, technique or insight, but I will have freed up headspace for nurturing my own creativity and inspiration. It’s got to be worth the risk.

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Nowhere & Nothing – A Little Blog Break

nowhere to go

I am feeling a touch overwhelmed right now. Time for a digital detox I think. See you in a week or two…

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Blog Award Paralysis

I’ve been nervous of writing this post. I don’t want people to think I’m ungrateful. I don’t want people to think I don’t appreciate their readership or their support or their kindness. I love getting feedback; I love reading your comments; I love the fact that I may have inspired someone/anyone! But I don’t think I am comfortable participating in Blog Awards.

As a rule, to accept these awards, there is a requirement to then go on to nominate other blogs. And this is one area where I struggle and feel gripped by a paralysis of indecision. I love many blogs, for many different reasons. But to choose a particular number and nominate them feels fraught with danger to me! What if I miss someone whose feelings may be hurt by my not nominating them? What if I nominate someone who also feels paralysed by it? Am I adding to their pressure, to their to-do-list?

The other aspect that is hard for me is accepting praise. I try to keep in mind this quote from Shantideva:

While there are some who criticise me
Why rejoice when others praise me?
While there are some who praise me
Why be offended when others criticise me?

In trying not to take criticism too seriously, I strive also not to take praise too seriously either.

Cheryl Wilflong, The Meditative Gardener has a great post about this.

She says, “Praise is fleeting. Blame (the opposite of praise) is also fleeting, believe it or not.

We try ever so hard to build a “self” up with praise (or tear our-“selves” down with blame). Yet praise and blame simply blow through our lives like a breeze or like a tornado. Then they are gone. Gone. Really gone. “

So, in accepting an award, it feels a little like I am trying to pin down the praise, trying to make it solid. It just doesn’t feel right.

So, to those who have nominated me for an award, thank you, but I prefer not to accept.

Virtuous Gracious, thank you so much for nominating me for the Hug Award. I am flattered and honoured.

Ross, thank you so much for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I am flattered and honoured.

Eranttranscendentalist, thank you so much for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. I am flattered and honoured.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone with this post, or seemed ungrateful or churlish. I wanted to get it out in the open.

So, please, if you would like to award me then award me simply with your presence, your continued readership, your comments. I love to receive them and I open my heart to you.

Thank you for reading.  It means a lot.

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Gman’s Blog

I keep meaning to let people know that Gman has his very own blog. Those of you that spend time with Gman will know that, for several months at least, he has been working on a series of his own invented trading cards, similar to Pokemon, called “Batamon” cards. In this process, he has invented worlds, and characters, and landscapes. And now he is putting all that together into his own blog. It’s called “Battle Blog” (well, this is a 12 year old boy we’re talking about!) and can be found here. He is pleased to get visitors to his blog, thrilled if anyone clicks on “like” and absolutely over the moon to get a comment! So please check it out and leave a comment if you have time :-)

Value in Art

It’s been a while since the boys did any formal art learning and we needed some new paintings to brighten the room up, so yesterday we did a lesson from a book we have called “Masterpiece of the Month” to help the boys with their understanding of how differences in value and size can affect perspecitve in a piece of art. The idea is to select a single colour for your landscape, then paint gradually lighter and lighter bands of this colour to show distance. Then, to choose an object that might be in that particular landscape and cut out three sizes of it for another aspect of showing perspective.

Gman chose to portray a muddy landscape with pot bellied pigs:

Value Perspective Gman

Waif made a desert landscape with prickly cacti:

Value Perspective Waif

And because I like to join in with the kids’ art projects I did cows in green fields (organic, grass-fed cows of course!):

Value Perspective Mama

And while on the subject of art, I would love to share with you this wonderful card I received from my very talented and lovely blog friend Janet:

card from janet

I love old clock faces and texts, so this is right up my street.

Janet blogs over at Just Me and My Art and is super talented and creative. I thoroughly recommend checking out her blog!

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Last year, I promised to make a quilt for a friend’s litte girl, and I thought it was about time I made a start on it. I have been gathering fabrics for it for a while but couldn’t decide what to do with them. In the end I have decided to keep it simple and make a disappearing nine patch design. Here’s the first four blocks made:

Disappearing Pink Patch - First Four Blocks

I think it will work!

Still on a pink theme, I have done a little more on my first crazy quilt block for the CQJP2012 challenge. I used the first two stitches from Sharon’s Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge – fly stitch and buttonhole stitch:

CQJP January WIP

I am not really convinced I will stick with either challenge, for the reasons I mentioned in this post on my old sewing blog. Instead of being inspired by the work shown by other participants, I am feeling that I don’t quite measure up. Plus I am not sure if I was doing it for “me” or to have something to show.

So maybe I’ll just keep crafting along, without participating in challenges – just making things I want to make, at my own pace, in my own style…Fitting in has never been my style!!!

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Simplify Simplify Simplify

First of all, if you’ve come here via or then I would like to warmly welcome you and thank you for coming here to read this.

Why this new blog?

Well, my good friend Motherfunker wrote a post the other day about how we label ourselves and it got me thinking.  Why do I have a blog about my sewing life, then another blog about my life as a home educating mother, an abandoned blog about my attempts to be more “green”, a never-started one about my spiritual life?  As well as social networks where I share photos, or book reviews.  Why am I trying to label these different aspects and separate them? – they are all ME!

So, in the interests of simplifying my life I have decided to combine all these aspects in this little blog.  I will talk about my life, my thoughts, my progress towards my hopes and dreams.  And along the way that will include musings on the aspects mentioned in this blog’s name:

GROW – Yes, growing food, but also growing as a person, and helping my two wonderful sons to do the same through our shared adventures in home education.

NOURISH – Food for the body and for the soul

CREATE – Yes, this will also be the place where I share my creativity – quilting, embroidery, journalling, wherever my muse leads me next…

And the first part of the blog name LIVE!  This is my life.  I hope by sharing some of my endeavours to provide inspiration, thought provocation, entertainment, whatever those may be.  I guess I will lose some of the readership from my sewing blog and my home education blog, because this one will be a lot more “off-topic” but hope that those of you who know me will stick around.

I have chosen wordpress for this blog rather than continuing with blogger as something of a fresh start.  I got to the stage where I was following literally hundreds of other blogs (all too easy to click that “follow” button!) and missing  posts from those that I really connected with.  So, I’ll be bringing across a blogroll of my favourite blogs – some sewing related, some home education related, some spiritual, and these will be the blogs I love, written by the people I feel a genuine connection with or interest in.  An eclectic mix for sure, but isn’t that what life is all about?

Thank you for joining me here – I hope some of you will stay a while :-)

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