There’s an invisible element of love worked into handmade items created for family or friends. Perhaps you can only really understand that if you’ve ever made such an item. All the thoughts and hopes you have in the hours you spend on it, the devotion and patience you put in when the pattern gets dull or something has to be ripped out and reworked, I’m convinced it somehow works its way into the fibres. Maybe that’s what makes certain handmade items- like the blanket in the picture above- last so long; used, loved and handed on.
The ‘season’ section of the children’s magnetic calendar says ‘Spring’. I write this with sunshine streaming through the window. However, as anyone who ventured outside during the Easter weekend will know, Spring really hasn’t sprung very enthusiastically yet. Undaunted, we nevertheless managed a family weekend of Easter fun. This included a Friday morning walk up Orrest Head above Windermere- a little longer than anticipated for those with littler legs and the iciest wind you can imagine when we got to the top, but the residual patches of snow were thoroughly enjoyed by certain members of the party and the views were spectacular.
With that chilly air still fresh in our minds, if not on our faces, I spent much of the weekend preparing ways to keep warm, as well as the all-important food, for the Easter Egg hunt we had planned on the Monday. The venue was a beautiful little patch of woodland recently bought by a friend’s mum about half an hour’s drive from us and the plan was to meet for egg hunting, food and a fire for as long as we could take the weather.
While our boy runs hot, my little girl takes after me and really feels the cold. I had layered her up with as many clothes as possible without her losing the ability to bend her limbs, but she nevertheless punctuated her forays around the woods looking for eggs, waving bubble wands, throwing dry leaves about and shouting with spells spent by the fire, wrapped in the Grandma blanket. This had been thrown into the car as an automatic reaction, just as it has been for picnics, beach and camping trips so many times before. Not just with the current configuration of the family either, because the ‘Grandma’ who made this simple, stash busting crochet blanket forty, maybe fifty or more years ago wasn’t my children’s Grandma, or even mine, but my mother’s. So technically M should call it the ‘Great-Great-Grandma Blanket’. I know how much love and thought and hope for endurance goes into making items like this, but nevertheless it’s hard to imagine Great Grandma saw her blanket still being in more or less daily use all this time later.
Yes, the wind blew cold and M wasn’t the only one seeking the comfort of the fire and the blanket. But we hunted eggs and we feasted- on barbecued sausages, homemade flatbreads, irresistable Cambodian Wedding Day dip (from River Cottage Veg Everyday), grilled courguettes in minted Greek yogurt, maple syrup popcorn (based on this recipe from Soulemama), Simnel Cake and toasted marshmallows. As we drove home, deliciously tired and scented with woodsmoke, the views included the snow-capped splendour of the Lake District peaks touched by decidedly Spring-like sunshine.
This Easter Saturday we…
Made a clutch of these ‘baby sock bunnies’ from this blog entry
Headed to the woods, transformed by bluebells and decorations…
…and a toddler-friendly, ground level treehouse.
Some of us took the opportunity to go exploring…
…while for others it was just a lovely chance to socialise.
Then, watched by some curious onlookers…
We hunted for eggs (and prevented a certain little person from overfilling his tummy straight away, so that we saved a few for later- and maybe for Mummy and Daddy!)
Wednesday has a bad reputation round these parts, for reasons I think I’ve grumbled about before. Today was a happy exception. I knew even before I opened my eyes, as in the midst of a week of a windy, wet and cold return to winteriness, there was sunshine coming through the window (it didn’t last!). Not only that, but I was opening my eyes at a time I chose, since P was contentedly playing with his bag of ‘good morning’ toys, chattering away to himself as he had been for maybe an hour (!) without any apparent need for me. Okay, so I discovered when I went in to see him at a comfortably later hour than normal that he had also been munching the spine of a book. Why, when left alone with them, does he eat books? What is lacking from what appears to be a healthy, balanced and generally home-cooked diet?! Oh well, doesn’t seem to be doing him much harm and I really enjoyed my lie-in.
Once we finally got ourselves up and breakfasted it was time for me to do some work on the results of a slightly stressful painting session yesterday afternoon (suffice to say, grumpy toddlers who haven’t napped are not best combined with paints). I made an egg template and used it to cut shapes from the best bits of his daubings, then let him loose with some crayons to add further embellishments. Actually, he mainly broke the crayons in half and tried to eat them, which makes me more motivated to invest in some nicer, and possibly more nutritious ones (!). We bought these for a friend’s second birthday and I’ve been meaning to get some for P since then.
Anyway, with embellishments added, I cut a slit at the top and added some dotty ribbon I had stashed to make a hanging loop et voila Easter cards for various family and friends.
As for this…
…I couldn’t resist sharing my delight in the project I’ve more or less finished during naptime today and this evening. It’s something I’ve been meaning to get sorted for ages and now that I’ve got on with it, it hasn’t taken too long to complete (just waiting for a delivery from Greenfibres now). Aren’t the zingy colours just the thing to drive back the last blast of winter? More soon.