Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Olympic torch

As with everything this summer, it rained cats and dogs on the day the torch went through southampton.  Undeterred we caught the bus into town and were lucky enough to find shelter under the bargate.  The procession were handing out these 'drums' to make sure there was lots of noise to see the torch through.

Not so lucky torch watchers standing in the rain

Our view of the direction the torch would be coming in.  It was so festive and noisy and patriotic - just my thing!

The children were given flags by the procession, and we had quite a long wait for the torch, so Lochie (and me to be fair!) became obsessed with waving his torch under this friendly ladies ipad and watching it on the camera screen..

We were both fascinated!
Then quick as a flash, the torch was here, and gone and it was all over.

Just brilliant!
Nice to witness a bit of history - that will never happen again in our life times :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

G r a t i t u d e * S u n d a y

I read a lovely blog - Wooly Moss Roots and every Sunday Taryn writes a post entitled 'Gratitude Sunday'.  I thought I would share the love..

This week I have been grateful for :-

~ The start of the school holidays and the inaudible sigh the household felt at the realistation on Friday night, that we are routine free for 6 weeks.

~ A day visit from my parents and all the little bits and bobs they do when they are here, that I never think to thank them for until they have gone home.

~ A weekend visit from my sister in law and the time she spends with the children.

~ Celebrating with my newly babied friends, the ups and downs, but mostly the triumphs.

~ My sister in law staying at our house, and allowing Paul and I to go out on our bikes together.  We often rue the fact we didn't do it before the children arrived, and now we are so grateful for each ride - I can count the number we have done together and alone, on one hand!

~ The NHS and a scan date through to look at my weird menstrual goings-on.

~ Getting a sunburnt neck - finally the rain has stopped!

~ Niamh's total and absolute confidence in my ability to catch her.  She will climb up on a wall and precariously walk along it with her hand shoved in the air, knowing I will take it and make her safe.

~ Brenna's fiesty temper, it is usually shouted about the house, but this week was used in defence of her older brother.

~ Lochlan's generosity.  Nothing is too big, too small, too much effort and he'll even give you a cheeky smile to boot.

~ Paul.  I love you.  I love the shake and bakes, the tinsel and the challenges x x

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Pinned Image
Last Thursday a conversation I had during the day became relevant during the evening session at Yoga, and I have found that more and more this week coincidences are just happening everywhere.  The universe is trying to tell me something, but I either don't have my ear piece in or I can't read the text!

I will publically announce that I have given up my breast feeding counsellor course.  Gasp.  There, I've said it.  Many reasons, none of them important here.  But since doing the do, I have really enjoyed going to clinic and being the best peer supporter I can be.  Maybe because the pressure is off?  Maybe because I have made the wrong decision?  Who knows.  What I do know is that I am enjoying supporting the ladies I am supporting at the moment.  I had a particularly lovely text message from a new lady this afternoon, who I supported this morning and it made me cry.  Then another text just a moment ago from another friend who is newly babied and I have done a bit of cooking for them.  Tears tears tears - I like being useful and I love being told I am being useful, who doesn't!

During the course of giving up my training, I have been thinking about my usefulness at the clinic and wether its still right for me to help out there.  I have been considering handing over the reins from Sept, but now I am being offered two sessions a week for Niamh to have a paid place at nursey - one session to cover whilst I'm at the clinic and distracted, and another freebie as a thank you.  Now I wonder what I would do with a whole 3 hours to myself during the day.. (Probably cycle!!  Or run?!)

Another coincidence, I am having a couple of menstrual issues at the mo, no biggie.  I have been given the opportunity to go to a womb blessing at the beginning of August.  Obviously I have said YES PLEASE.  The Yoga sanctuary are hosting it in their temple, but the blessing is going on world wide - if you want some action you can take a look here.

Last night we watched a great documentary focusing on Victoria Pendleton, the World and Olympic cycling champion.  I have always considered her quite austere, but the docu was great and I was delighted to discover she cries as much as I do on a bike!!  It was so inspiring and has re-newed my interest in widening my circle of cycling friends - this summer is going to be lonely on the bike because everyone is away.  I am also happy to admit that I am excited for the start of the Olympics!  I want to watch the triathlon, the cycling, the swimming..  Yey for the Olympics!!

I often wonder if I blabber on randomly and crazily whilst blogging, but another text message I have had today suggests that actually I do sometimes make sense.  Thank you Holly.  I ummed and ahhed over the point of that post, it was lovely to spontaneously hear from you.

Hey Universe, if you read this, please be more specific... I am slightly dense xxx

This made me well up

Tomorrow is the last day of school for 6 weeks. I am looking forward to spending good, proper time with my children. I can't wait to have pyjama days, breakfast in bed, trips out, popcorn and films in the afternoon. I am so excited about our 2 week stay-cation with Paul on annual leave too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


We are running a competition on Facebook, to WIN ANY ITEM WE CURRENTLY HAVE FOR SALE, ABSOLUTELY FREE! (Including custom/made to order items)

To enter, all you have to do is like our FB page 'Tangled Muse', and share this poster to your timeline. (winner will be selected by random.org) You have until 8pm next Sunday (22nd July) to get init to win it.

Have a look at http://folksy.com/shops/
TangledMuse to start choosing your prize!

Thanks for 'sharing' the love, good luck! x x

Friday, July 13, 2012


I have been writing this blog post for the last week, but it got so long that I cut and paste it into word to edit and then I left it and now re-reading it it went so far on a tangent I can't remember what I was trying to say.  I started off thinking about inspiration.

Sewing inspiration
I don't get inspiration from nature, from light, from moods or from colours or from any of a million things that inspire other people.  I just don't.  I can't think about stuff like that, I need a purpose rather than a 'whimsy'.  Making people happy inspires me.  If it's your birthday and I know you will really enjoy or appreciate X then I will make it for you, no matter what the learning curve or hours.  But randomly ask me to create and design something that is not for a purpose, then I flail around directionless.  So this is what I have been trying to make tangible for Tangled Muse.  Rather than finding inspiration to sew items to randomly put in the shop, we came up with the idea that Tangled Muse is an identity, and I can sew for it (her, in my opnion).  I didn't create Tangled Muse, I have merely contibuted a teeny part to the bigger whole, so really I don't get to say who or what it or she is, but frankly, this is my blog and I want to share how I see Tangled Muse, so that you can gauge a picture of who I am sewing for.. 

Sleeping Giantess at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

The tag line for Tangled Muse reads 'Ancient roots and modern shoots of local craft'.  Given that I think of Tangled Muse in the feminine, I conjure up this image of the Sleeping Giantess in Cornwall.  She has recently been put there by local artists, but the image has pretty ancient roots.  So this is who I see when I think of making something for Tangled Muse (TM).  She looks pretty serence, I think we would get on.  I reckon she can run, wild and free - although she is perhaps too unwieldy for a bike!  I think she enjoys nature, celebrates the seasons and probably does Yoga regularly.  So this is MY interpretation of TM.  I apologise profusely to Lucy, Dave and Holly if this really isn't how you see TM, but I really am just getting my own inspiration across.  So with this image of TM in my head, I had a go at some lavender bags, and actually, I'm pretty happy with them.

To get the ball rolling I decided that TM would probably prefer more natural fabrics, but they needed some added funk.  So I have started up-cycling some long too big cream linen trousers.  Then I literally used the TM logo as a template and despite the fiddly, minute branches, it appliqued up a treat.

A little button, some lavender and I was thrilled.  This is the first thing I have made specifically for Tangled Muse where I felt that I had got the tone right.
I found some amazing resin beads that have seeds and wheat heads set into them, they felt good and Earthy and I thought that TM might like a heart-felt Om sitting in her window.  Again stuffed with Lavender.

So there we go, I am on a sewing roll.  I made a fab little turquoise heart yesterday but I forgot to take a pic before I sent it off to the land of stock, so you will have to wait til it appears in the shop.  I have many more little trinkets up my sleeve now that I know who I'm making for.

In the midst of the ramble I wrote and then didn't post, and because you know I can't blog without talking about it, here are my thoughts on sporting inspiration:

I started cycling because Paul started cycling and I sure as hell wasn't going to get left on the sofa.  The Thornhill Loop as we call it, doesn't leave the estate and when I first started cycling I couldn't mange 1 loop.  1 loop is just under 3 miles.  10 mins on my bike and I would stomp home crying with frustration, sweating, out of breath, full of can'ts and won'ts.  How I hated cycling.  Seriously.  It was this thing that had taken Paul outside and given him a sense of purpose and I just didn't understand it.  So I kept doing it, determined to understand my nemesis, to stick at it and not get left on the sofa.  I dreaded it, hated doing it and we all know the saga..  but somewhere I got fitter, quicker and better and over a period of time I realised that I didn't hate it anymore.  I now openly, smugly, happily admit that I LOVE CYCLING.  I just do.  All of it.  Everything about it.  Even the lycra damn it.  After the Thornhill loop became a bit samey, a bit boring, I started to stretch my legs on a 9.5 mile loop out through hedge end.  We call this loop 'the little loop' these days - it certainly wasn't in the beginning!  Anyway, the little loop has become my time trial loop.  The loop I do when I don't have a lot of time and I want to stretch my bike legs and see how fast I can go.  Today I did the loop averaging 15.2mph.  A new personal best.  So happy with that this morning.

Well, a strange thing is starting to happen with running too.  Paul and I noticed it yesterday, and it was only as I wrote it down in a draft text to Lucy that I realised the truth of it.  I don't hate running anymore.  More than that though, I feel quite comfortable with it.  I can see the light at the end of the cycling tunnel luring me down the running tunnel.  It doesn’t seem all bad.
If I started cycling for Paul, then I started running for Lucy.  Sadly that is the truth of it.  At no point was I doing it for me.  I would happily still have been sat on the sofa.  But the fitter, leaner, quicker I get, the more I realise that now I do it for myself.  These days I am starting to inspire myself, for myself and it feels pretty good.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mandala for July

I feel like I have a lot to reflect on and be grateful for right now, and an evening moonlodge making a mandala was just what I needed.  Lucy brought the ingredients this time, a beautiful cherry tree stump and herb cuttings from her garden.

 I love that Holly started in the middle (her third is pictured top here, with the 'starburst'), she moved away from linear design - I shall attempt to remember this next time!

 I was lucky to be hosting and get to have the mandala rest in my sacred space.  The view from the house was just gorgeous and I felt very privileged last night.

Even this morning, my Day of the Dead skull (This is what I have dubbed it anyway!) still looked impressive.  Of the two we have made so far, this is my favourite.  I love that I intentionally drew a skull on the last one, and this one just accidentally ended up looking like one!

Monday, July 2, 2012


With Litha, the longest day over, we are now into the downward sweep to Winter.  We are already into the dark half, waning our way back towards the shortest day at Yule and it doesn't feel like the summer has arrived yet.  The days are wet and grey, and not particularly warm.  We are sleeping with our eiderdown over our duvet at the moment and I am still waking up cold in the morning.

The garden has been really slow to get going, the veg is crying out for sun, but finally my tomatoes and courgettes are gearing up for a glut, all the peas and beans are flowering and my lettuces are starting to ball up.  Yay.  I am overdue photos and will rememdy this as soon as there is dry day.

The children are looking forward to the summer holidays.  Lochie has just 3 weeks left at school, then they have nearly 7 weeks off before he and Brenna both go to school.  Lochie seems quite emotional at the moment and I wonder if he is nervous about moving up a year.  He recognises that his birthday will fall after school has gone back after the summer, and has asked if we can take him to the National Science Museum in London, to see the dinosaurs - having said yes, he is now busy planning it.
Brenna is very excited about going to school and we had confirmation today that she will have the same teachers as Lochie had this year.  Of the two of my older kidlets she is by far the more confident swimmer and I love watching her in the water. 
Niamh is becoming more and more independant and her vocabulary is coming on with singular words like 'hot', 'up', 'sss' (yes) and 'popo' (poo poo).  She understands everything and follows direction beautifully up to a point, where she realises and then is quick to be cheeky and run off.  Both Brenna and Niamh are fiesty and are very good at arguing about nothing in particular - by arguing I mean Brenna yelling 'No Niamh!' and Niamh growling fiercely!

Paul is very happy with his new bike and has upped his RAB training.  He will be off in 11 weeks!  If you would like to sponsor them, all money raised will be split between the British Paralympic Association and UNICEF UK, please go to their fundraising page here.  With all the bike problems he has had, I don't think his head has been in his training as much as he thought it would be, and I am very proud of him - it takes some mettle to go out at 6am on a wet and windy Saturday morning, when you have been training hard all week but still need to get your mileage up above 80 in one session.  The children and I are encouraging him as much as possible, and trying to make going out and coming in as easy as possible - I might not be on the bike with him, but I like to think we are team regardless - I hope thats ok Paul, we love you so much!!

Tangled Muse is crammed with new products at the moment - go and take a look at our website http://www.tangledmuse.co.uk/ and our shop http://folksy.com/shops/TangledMuse

My parents came to visit us last Saturday and I was thrilled when my Dad bought a ticket to participate in the Oct 66 mile sportif I'm doing!  I have 14 weeks to get my own mileage up - although not quite to RAB standards, lol.  Since the triathlon 10 days ago, I took last week easy and have now decided that maintaining my current fitness is important to me - I ran 37.5k in June!  I HATE running!!  Ha ha.  I can ride my bike, I can run 5k, so I have decided that I'd like to improve my swimming, which is frustrating because our pool is closed for improvement til 22 July.  I can wait though!  I paid elsewhere to swim this morning and did 32 laps in sets of 2 breast stroke (b/s) and 1 front crawl (f/c).  I really want to improve my f/c technique because my breathing is all over the shop, meaning I can't sustain the pace because I'm out of breath.

We went to the local Skyride yesterday and absolutely loved it.  I will leave you with some pictures of us all on our bikes.  Well done for reading this far x x

The girls in their chariot.  I pulled them in and Paul pulled them home.  They are quite a weight up a hill!

The Christie Clan

My babies

Brenna and Rae Rae

Girls against Boys with Chez

Niamh, put your hands up if you love cycling!

Holly and family - hello Holls!