Spring has sprung with an energy which startled me at first, until I recalled how startled I am every year as I thaw and stumble into the sunlight.
My daughter's newest word is 'daffodil'. Well, okay, 'dadill', but hearing her call it out as we buggy past each stand of daffs is a heart-burster nonetheless.
Dadills from our woods
And we are joining the chorus of openings and beginnings and letting daring tendrils feel their way into the world.
My entish husband, Thomas Hine, is working on a new art commission for an intriguing book collecting historical and contemporary postcards depicting The Cornish Litany, and he has just been asked to write a guest essay for a folklore blog.
You can explore his art and writing in the fantastical world contained within A Basket of Leaves and learn everything you might want to know about Westcountry Folklore.
If you were with me for Small Wonders and The story of an imperfect artwork, then you'll be expecting the next piece in my Patterns collection around now - the 'new first' one. As is often the case, the process of completing a prototype germinated many variations on the original theme. So this new piece is more of a scene and less abstract:
Tree in Sunny Field
Brush Pen Mosaic
I've begun thinking of these as mosaics rather than simply patterns. My new artist brush pens create lovely lines, making each 'piece' feel more solid and distinct. The logistics of placing each piece so future pieces can fit are similar to those of mosaics, although without the advantage of being able to pick them all up again if it doesn't quite work. I'm developing techniques to deal with this all the time, but a lot of it is just being able to visualise where they're going to go - and then remember what I pictured.
This week I started training in quite a new field - as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter with Barnardo's. I was a bit anxious I'd be expected to be an evangelical lactivist, (LOVING that word) but that's not the case. It's just about information, support, having time for someone at a phase in their life when they may have little time for themselves. Not quite sure where I'll squeeze this time from, but committed to doing it anyway.
To find out about talking with a peer supporter, or becoming one (no cost to you in either case), phone Barnardo's on 0117 978 2441.
And I have also just accepted a commission to write a children's story for our local preschool. I haven't tried writing for children before, but I read several kids' books every day (and several times each!), so I feel like I've been researching for the past year :o).
A few words from me, about dreaming, are kindly included in To Sleep, To Dream, on the blog of Claire de la Luz. Thank you Claire.
Spring blessings on you all. If you haven't sent me anything for Happiness Week yet, now is the time.
And do please share your new ventures too.