Simple Things Project 2010

IACW’s Year long project for 2010, called SIMPLE THINGS.

“We chose this title to help remind us that the most important things in life are, or should be, SIMPLE.
Our lives as women are frequently hectic and full, and we can all benefit from stepping back occasionally and appreciating those simple pleasures, which soothe us, or excite us, or just help to make our lives worthwhile.
Each month there will be a new word to interpret in any way you choose.”

My aim for this project is to use the words as a prompt to how I feel now, today as I sit to create my page. Or record something special to remember from the month
For me simplicity is being happy.
I feel happy when I feel the warm sun on my face and a gentle breeze blowing. The birds singing in the trees as I play in my craft room, listening to classic fm on my radio.

I have made my book with the birthday cards I received this year, I bound them together with my Bind It All, a birthday present, and tied some ribbon onto the wires, a couple of hand made paper beads and it’s ready.
What could be simpler?


January ♥ Simplicity

The simplicity of a need, a wish, a hope, a desire.

“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” 
Lao Tzu


January 4th the first snow fell on Weston super Mare. By lunchtime it had disappeared but more was forecast and sure enough on January 6th we were under a beautiful white blanket of snow. We were stuck, roads were closed, busses cancelled, work was cancelled, flights were cancelled, Ben & Lotta were stuck in Helsinki. Their flight was cancelled.
January 7th the County was in chaos. I stayed in, terrified to drive. I spent the day on the phone whilst looking out on the wonderful landscape. Ben & Lotta were still in Helsinki desperate to get home.
January 8th Gatwick was re-opened, Ben & Lotta managed to get on a flight, Paul drove to the airport to bring them home, tired and weary, it was wonderful to have them here. It was simply wonderful to have Ben home, safe and happy.


February ♥ Time

Time for Family

For my birthday this year I wanted to visit Gerard & Val on the Isle of Wight.
On the Friday night Martin, Marion, Alan, Paul & I travelled down together in Alan’s car. We stayed in a B&B near to Gerard’s (Buttercup House, another story!) Paul & Chris Joined us on the Saturday evening. We all had such fun together. There was plenty of laughing, eating and drinking of course. The stories got more exaggerated as the evenings went by and the alcohol flowed.
Gerard & Val took us on a great sight seeing tour: We were blown to bits up at the needles, watched the high tide, got wet and had coffee and cake in Freshwater. We watched the glass blowing (and bought another bowl !!)at Alum Bay glass factory, and had a late lunch back at Gerards.

It was a fabulous weekend: a special time with my family.

Time is free, but it’s precious. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back

Martin, Marion, Kirsten, Paul & I went to see the snowdrops at Hanham Court, Bristol in February. This was the earliest the snowdrops have been in flower. It was the first dry weekend we had had in weeks. A lovely bright, sunny but cold day, the little flowers were just beautiful, harbingers of spring!


March ♥ Honesty

Honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess

Honestly? I am worried about my health! I have pains in my chest, left arm, neck and across my back. I think it is Angina, which is worrying. Whilst I know plenty of people live with Angina I am still worried.
I was at the doctors this week only to find that the results of blood tests and the ECG were inconclusive; more tests to follow at he hospital and more tablets to take.
I am tired, exhausted, I hurt all over I am feeling very stressed at work, I am impatient for this to be sorted out.
It is very unlike me to feel like this, to be worrying about myself when other parts of the family are really struggling with health issues. Father–in-law has just had a pacemaker fitted and Sara & Brian have a major worry with Alec. Paul is worrying about work, Ben is worrying about his dissertation but this is how I am feeling! the title said Honesty!
Enough, look to the card and have a G&T!

I keep six honest serving men: They taught me all I knew: Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who”
Rudyard Kipling


April ♥ Create

It is my favourite thing to do!

I have decided, only lately, that making books is what I like to do best. Books can be any size, any number of pages, made new with paper, altered board books. Pages cut to fit a container, any number of pages. I like books to have pockets, to be interactive. I love the look and feel of fabric on a page.
I have just finished a project for Ben’s 21st birthday. It has taken weeks to complete and like Topsy, grew and grew! I made a book that included our gift of money. I wanted to incorporate pockets and pullouts, to use photos and journaling and for it to be interactive. It even had some fabric bunting! I loved working on it.


May ♥ Catching up

May is the month I realized that I am ahead with the months and words!

That says a lot about my year so far.
Looking back at my March page I wrote about honesty, and not feeling well.
I have felt like that for a good few months. I don’t know what happened, I’ll blame it on my hormones!

Looking back, I can see that for the beginning part of this year I felt quite unwell.
I didn’t sleep well
I didn’t want to get up in the morning
I didn’t want to go to work
I didn’t want to do anything at all.
I hardly cooked or cleaned.
The garden looked un cared for
I felt tired and unmotivated to do anything.

But now, over the last month I have begun to feel better,
Still not sleeping but getting up feeling brighter.
Enjoying work again, still not cleaning but you can’t craft and clean! All crafters know that!
I am doing an on-line photography course, keeping up with it, using the forum and love it!
I have even started a blog!
I have some time off soon and intend to really get to grips with it.

So, my May page is ‘Catching up.’


June ♥ Graciousness.

This seems like an old fashioned word to me, not one I hear and not one I ever use.
I looked the meaning up in my dictionary and found:

Kind, gentle and generous
(I would love to be thought of in those terms!)


I went with the word gentle because this quote came into my mind

Nothing is as strong as gentleness
And nothing is as gentle as real strength

My beautiful friend Pauline and this quote are inextricably linked in my mind, the beautiful yellow welsh poppy in my garden reminds me of her
So, Graciousness, the Yellow Poppy and Pauline

“One kind word can warm three winter months.”
Japanese Proverb


July ♥ Achievement

I am thinking about the on-line photography course I signed up for at the beginning of July. It was called Not Going Green by Cheryl Johnston and was going to teach me how to take the camera off auto.
It took ages to decide whether I was capable of achieving this! Anyhow as I love taking pictures and in the past have been disappointed with the results I decided to give it a go.
I am so pleased that I did it. I kept up with the class although didn’t post to the forum often and got some great results. Our new DSLR now lives permanently in my room and is always ‘ready to go’.


August ♥ Inspiration.

Inspiration usually comes from the hundreds of blogs I visit! I have three favourites at the moment.

Rebecca Sower makes beautiful things with fabric, visiting her blog always makes me want to sew. I also find her blog very peaceful and calm. How can that be? Its all http and www, I really don’t know, it’s just a feeling I get when I visit her blog.
Angie Davison inspired me to make the lovely fabric pom pom in my room, and Roben Marie inspired the fabric heart


September ♥ Joy

Joy is such a beautifully simple word, just right for this project.

Many things bring me joy I feel a list is coming on.
Among the things that bring me joy are:
My family, Pepsi, The morning sun, Bird song, Classical music, Flowers, Friends, A new book, My Mac, New craft paper.


October ♥ Memory

Whatever do I do for this page?

Something I never want to forget? Far too many.
My earliest memory? Easy and I have something for this.
A photo that has a special memory? Far too many
A nice memory? Too many
A recent memory?
A ‘wish I could forget it’ memory?
Maybe I’ll go with this. Working on the principal that if you talk abut something, rather like a bad dream, it will go away.
No, I’ll change my mind.
This just popped into my head:

I plant named roses for special people in my life.
My father knew I did this.
He had cancer and knew his life wouldn’t be prolonged so he asked me if he could choose the rose I planted for him!

I went to the garden centre near to my home. I phoned him, (150 miles away) he was ready with his RHS book of roses and between us, on the phone, we looked at the roses until we found one that he liked the look of and was in stock at the garden centre.
This is it. It is called Remember Me. He chose it and I brought it home and planted it in his memory, with his knowledge. “There you are”, he said, “always in your garden”.
The rose is in flower in my garden today 8th October 2010. The colour is faded at this time of year; in the summer it is a fabulous copper colour.


November ♥ Gratitude

is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation.

Right now I am thankful:

That there are no problems with my heart
For the love of my husband and son
For my friends…all of them
That we are all in work
For my brothers

I like these two quotes:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. Albert Schweitzer


December ♥ Hope

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.
Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Hope goes with prayer in my mind

At the end of a very difficult year filled with so much change and uncertainty I am hoping and praying for stability in 2011

Some of the things I am praying for right now:
Always top of my list is work for Paul
The sale of the house
Ben’s three-month review with Apple will have a positive outcome for him.
I will have the motivation and will power to loose some weight, then I will have more energy for work and to walk Pepsi.

I am also praying that Gerard and Martin will be well and that as a family we will be strong for Sara & Brian as they face a difficult and uncertain future with Alec.


I have enjoyed doing this project although towards the end of the year it was more difficult to keep going.
I am pleased that I wasn’t too ambitious with it!
It was organized by a group of people whose commitment waned as the months went by making it hard sometimes to keep my enthusiasm up!
Never the less I hope that in the future it will be nice to look back on 2010 to remember what I was up to.

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