Is the winner of the stationery giveaway! Rossichka's Bulgarian blog is called Out of the Shell and you can find it here.

If you didn't win but would like one of these handmade notepaper sets there are two in the shop today...

Lovely manilla packets with five sheets of upcycled notepaper and five lined envelopes, all tied up with linen thread. And there is free post and packing anywhere in the world. Hope you like them.

handmade stationery giveaway

In the evenings this week I've been making myself some stationery, using things I already had in the cupboard... a big box of white envelopes, some beautiful white conqueror paper, brown wrapping paper and a stack of old catalogues with lovely patterns and images too lovely to throw away.

First I went through the catalogues and punched out circles from the best bits in muted colours, a flowery, oriental, decorative feel to them... then I cut the paper to size to fit the envelopes, stuck a pretty circle on the top and backed it with another circle in nice white card. Then I lined the envelopes with my favourite brown paper and sorted them into sets of five.

I have one of these sets to give away to you lovely people and three or four others to put in my shop... leave me a comment if you'd like one and I'll pick a name on Sunday and put the other packs in the shop at the same time in case you're unlucky in the giveaway.

thank you

I have been amazed and thankful to so many of you for taking the trouble to contribute to the discussion in the previous post... you have given me a lot of encouragement and many things to continue thinking about... lots of buttons in the pot. Thank you.

Here's what our mantlepiece looks like today... a mix of love and winter... snowflakes that have been hanging since Christmas and a significant number of deep red velvety roses...

It will look bare when everything is taken down again, won't it?


The other day my friend Anne said 'anyone reading your blog who didn't know you would think your life was beautiful and perfect in every way'.

This has troubled me a lot. It has made me ask lots of questions, and not very many of them have found answers.

Why does this bother me? Why does it matter what you, dear reader, think of me? After all, I hardly know you. Most of you, I don't know at all. Yet I don't want to be misrepresented. I don't want you to think I have this perfect life.

But neither do I want to write about the bad times. My bad times are bad, but then so are yours. We all have bad times. I neither crave nor deserve your sympathy for them. Like many of us, part of the reason I blog is to record and remember the good, the inspiring, the beautiful, the lovely. And so, beautiful, lovely and inspiring words and pictures appear here, and represent me to you, and you think, oh, Mouse is lucky, sitting crocheting in her pretty house watching the birds play in the trees outside.

You know of course that this is only a part of the story. But because you are left to guess, you can't see the full picture, and neither would I want you to, because the full picture includes other people whose privacy I respect, and more than that, it includes things I want to forget. We are all instinctively editing, all the time.

But it's dangerous, I think, this narrow view. It can lead to envy and resentment and irrational dislike and poking fun at people. That's not good.

But then again, isn't this just a metaphor for what we do all the time? We offer a part of ourself, almost never the whole, always an edited view. Just going about our daily lives opens ourselves up to misinterpretation. It's a risk we have to take.

So yes, I have ancient apple cores on my desk. I have a horrible mess in the kitchen. I have difficult teenagers and a sleepless granddaughter who lives with us. I am often moody, generally lazy, and I eat too much. But that's enough for now.


"China tea, the scent of hyacinths, wood fires and bowls of violets - that is my mental picture of an agreeable February afternoon"

Constance Spry, quoted in Simple Abundance by Sarah ban Breathnach, and seconded by me.