Life is an adventure of the heart, an adventure into love

Friday, 2 December 2011

A new venture to share :)

I've just been looking at my blog and feeling that I really need to update it and make it nice and Christmasy. I can't wait to get crafting and decorating and baking so I'm hoping all these things will make their merry way onto my blog. But ah, life with two little ones and lots of sick bugs one really does have to grab every bit of passion, inspiration and energy when it's there! After what feels like a stormy few weeks I'm feeling some passion rising up in me again to get out for some early morning walks and to spend more time being creative and I know that when I spend time in those places, I blog, so here's hoping there'll be more to share!

Anyway, I just wanted to share something tonight that I'm really excited about. My husband is a pretty amazing guy! He started his own business in 2007, the year our daughter was born. He did very well on some levels gaining some very high awards for the technology he produced. Unfortunately times were tough and the business never really got off the ground financially. It became clear in 2009 that the business needed to be closed and that my husband had lost passion for it! He had begun to write a novel in that year, and 112,000 words later his first book is complete,so watch this space on that one! He has also been getting very excited about web design, I mean I have to tell him to take a break in the evenings because he just loves learning about all the new things you can do online! We have just launched a website called North1, our own web design company. We are so excited about it because this really is work that feels like play to us and we can't wait to get our teeth into a project! Please do check us out (www.north1.co.uk) and take a look at our Facebook page.

Would love to hear any feedback or impressions on the site. Thank you so much for looking :)

A very merry eve to you all, back soon with lots of festive things, promise!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The reason I've been so quiet...

I've been very busy over the past few weeks getting ready for my daughter's school fair. I had planned to sell my cards and a few craft bits and of course I got very into the crafty bits and went crazy for a couple of weeks making flower hair clips and Christmas spice birdies. Of course my house looked like a bomb had hit it but otherwise I managed to look after the children and craft and perform basic necessary domestic duties like cooking! I thought I'd share a few photos from the fair here. These pictures were taken by Penny Foxwell who is just about to launch her own website essentially you photography. Her website isn't quite up yet but check back in a few days and it should be online. As you can see from the photos Pen was also selling some handmade bags and things. We had great fun, although we realised through this experience that school fairs aren't the best place to sell crafts. I think I'm going to try a real craft fair next. Has anyone else had any experience with trying to sell crafts and any recommendations? I'd love to know. I may blog about how I made some of these things over the next few weeks so watch this space!

Our stall


Me and the things I made :)

Admiring some of Pen's photography work

Pen and the things she's made


Christmas spice birdies, flower hair clips, soap in a shell, lavender eye pillows and cards!


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Autumn Recipe- My Favourite Butternut Squash Soup



I have a quick Autumn recipe for you tonight, my all time favourite soup that I make again and again at home, all year round. Except that I like it even more now that it's Autumn, it's golden orange hue is the perfect seasonal shade. One of the reasons I make it so often is because it's so quick and easy to make, here's my how-to:

Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash, de-seeded and cut into wedges
1 red onion
2 sticks of celery
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
a bay leaf
turmeric/ garam masala/ ground corriander or all three
chicken or veg stock
Parmesan or sage leaves to serve

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C

Put a liberal drizzle of olive oil into a roasting tray and throw in your butternut squash wedges, cumin seeds and a scattering of spices of your choice. Place this into the oven for 40 minutes or until tender and crisp at the edges.



Meanwhile chop your onion and celery sticks into small pieces and add to a pan of medium- hot olive oil with a bay leaf, turn the heat down, place on your lid and sweat until nice and soft.



Once your squash is cooked and your vegetables are soft put them all into the same pan and crumble over your stock cube and pour over about a liter of water or more if you like a thinner soup. Bubble away for about 10 minutes and then remove the bay leaf and blend until completely smooth.

Serve with a scattering of Parmesan cheese or a few sage leaves that you have fried in oil until crispy.

Enjoy! (the pink bib was his sister's!)




Friday, 14 October 2011

Christmas Cards now available!

Hello everyone, this is just a quick post tonight to say that my Christmas cards are now available to order. I can offer a price of £2 per card or 5 for £7.50. Please contact me on sophiefoxwell@gmail.com to place an order (if you do place an order I will be so excited!). I can ship internationally as well, I'll quote for postage per order. Please look at the different photos available below. You can also order through my Facebook page. By the way, the cards are the photos with a white border, but I added colour behind to show this. Many thanks all!

A crisp blue morning, Rye Harbour

A winter sky on the Appledore road

A winter's morning at the beach, Rye Harbour

The red hut turned white, Rye Harbour

Soft snow falling, Camber

A festive shower, the High Street, Rye

Keeping warm and merry, Rye

Snow-one at the park, Rye
Together in the snow, Rye

Snow on the dunes, Camber Sands

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Cosy

I'm really getting into the mood of the season this year. I've just realised that the past two Autumns I have been moving house, so I think that I am able to enjoy immersing myself in Autumn festivities because I am more settled than I have been for a while.

I have made yet another decoration for our home. I have been so inspired by my fabric leaf shapes (remember I made bunting and falling leaves too). This time I made an autumn 'chandelier', inspired by this book. I threaded rose hips onto some wool using a large needle and then tied the bottoms onto a wreath made from hazel, silver birch and ivy- simply bent into shape and wired. I then sewed on more of my fabulous leaf shapes and some real foliage is poked in too. I love it!



This is my little corner of the world and I love it!


You can't beat a blue skied October evening, it is so cosy- making.




One of the highlights of my week so far... the coffee my husband made for me... sigh!


This was really all about the photos and to gush about Autumn. More to come soon.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Ode To Autumn


"Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage- trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er brimm'd their clammy cells..."

An extract from 'To Autumn" by John Keats

In the front of my very old poetry book, it says that Keats wrote in 1817 "I find I cannot exist without poetry- without eternal poetry- half the day will not do..." His artistic career only lasted some five or six years, but he is described as one of the most wholly and completely obsessed English poets, which is why he wrote so much in such a short space of time. Here is another man (see yesterday's post) who found what he loved to do.

I love reading his ode to Autumn, because I can relate so much to his love of this season, and it fascinates me that nearly 200 years ago, Autumns came and went with the same fruits and smells as they do now. There is something hauntingly beautiful about the way that I can relate to someone who lived such a long time before I did.


I have been crafting away this week, purely for pleasure. It's been quite a restful week, letting go of the pressure to perform and putting my heart right back in the centre of things where it belongs, following inspiration, allowing for disruption, and not worrying if things seem very unproductive!

I took some inspiration from Kelle Hampton's blog and I made some Autumnal decorations for the house. First I picked some leaves, then I drew around them onto cardboard and then used these cardboard shapes as stencils. I drew around them onto felt and fabrics, I was digging the purples and yellows. It was then a quick needle and thread job through the fabric leaves to join them together. I made one leaf bunting swag for the fireplace and some falling leaves decorations for the window. They look great and the children love them. I love the leaf shapes so much that I now feel inspired to make other things decorated with leaves... we'll see if I have time!



I'm enjoying our first fire tonight, it's very cosy :)



I've just remembered I wrote down some of my own thoughts about Autumn a few weeks ago, so I'll leave you with that:

Acorns litter the floor like confetti
the Orchard is shrouded in mist
apples scattered on the floor
like the ones who didn't make it
on a battlefield, a faint wiff of cider
The trees black and delicate against the white sky
yellow leaves lie softly on the ground
they'll soon be brown.
The song of blackbirds
and other birds I can't identify
light up the morning with their song
Spider webs brush against my cheeks,
some speckled with dewdrops
The light, broken by tree trunks
reaching for the sky
the light through the trees is always magical
Mushrooms push their plump heads up through the leaf litter
like proud marshmallows
the water droplets drip through the leaves of the canopy above my head
Rabbits scurry in the path ahead
I try and stay quiet
but the heavy clonk and squeak of my khaki wellies gives me away
Oak trees reach to the sky like pillars in a temple
in a copiced clearing
their beauty gives me strength inside


My baby boy is getting big!

Night all.

Inspiration from the amazing Steve Jobs

I just wanted to write a quick post today, linking to a video of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and Pixar who died of cancer yesterday aged 56. This is possibly the most inspiring video I have ever seen. This man loved what he did, and his creativity will live on forever. I know that this quote has been posted around a lot, but just in case you haven't seen it,

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle. -Steve Jobs







Friday, 23 September 2011

Listen to the whispers inside you...

I've been processing and feeling a lot recently, but due to the general busyness of life I haven't yet been able to weave together stories and photos and post it up here.

I've been thinking a lot about the beauty of the human spirit, about the different flavours we all have and how wonderful it would be to see more people flowing in a life based around what they are passionate about. I am friends with lots of Mums due to having children of my own and it always amazes me to find out more about all these incredible women, who at the moment are all looking after children. It doesn't take long for me to unearth some secret passions! "I love jewellery, I'd love to make it", "I love music, I long to write songs.", "I want to do something creative but I don't know what.", "I love World War 2 and crime, in fact I'd love to be a police officer.", "I love to bake." I find it so exciting to see all these different passions expressed. We are all so unique and I wonder what the world would look like if we all gave ourselves permission to play just a little more with the things that excite us. It would be a wild and beautiful place I think. Somehow I believe that all of our passion would work together and somehow everything would get done and it would be done beautifully.

I think the most sad thing is seeing a beautiful spirit and all it's passion shoved away deep down where no one can access it. I was talking to my husband the other day about a friend of his and he said: "apparently he used to play the piano really well, he never learnt but he could find his way around the keys beautifully." I thought about how much I'd love to see this person lit up by the expression of their soul through the clear mellow sound of the piano keys. I thought about what it would be like if he was never able to express himself like this, how his life would be like so many others, an autumn leaf floating gently to the woodland floor and blending in with all the others there.

I know it isn't easy, I know it's a process, but if we could only begin to lift the lid of our hearts, wow, it would be so exciting! Any decision we make to trust ourselves will be one step closer to our true North and we will begin to find peace within ourselves. Begin today, wake up slowly, write a journal, walk, shower, do whatever it is that gives you space to breathe and listen to the whispers of your soul.

I read a great article this week that has been circling on Facebook, a real encouragement to go for it! Here is the link if you are interested.

So there's a little update, now for lunch, and apologies for no photography this time, I can't wait to get out with my camera and capture some blue Autumn skies! 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I don't want to forget...

I don't want to forget...

the way your hands
grasped my smallest finger
seeing your wide eyed innocent wonder
your head, downy, soft as a silky rose petal
your cry, your tiny thighs
that smooth bottom
your new born smell
how it felt when you were inside me
how it felt to hold you for the first time
how it felt to push your wet slippery body into the world

No, I don't want to forget you
you, truly beautiful to behold

your new born squeaks
the satisfaction you got at my breast
your first smiles
getting you dressed
holding you close
feeling your tiny warmth
my Mother's love engulfs us both
we are safe together you and I

No, I will not forget
even when your legs are long
and your step wide
I will not forget how once you were inside
You will always be in my heart
I have always loved you

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Awoken


I've been thinking a lot about self- nurture recently. We've had a very busy few weeks and although I've been making time to draw, I haven't been making time to fill up. I've found myself a little dry on the inside. I was able to get out on my own for a bit yesterday thanks to my husband and just making time to journal and value how I feel has completely changed my perspective. Whereas before I wanted some time out to escape from the relentlessness of two children, I came home looking forward to spending time with them, and absolutely loving my cozy cottage and my very beautiful family. When I was out I read a bit of Julia Cameron's book 'the Artists Way' and it hit the nail on the had for me. She talks about 'filling the well' and how as artists we must learn to be self nourishing (although I would say everybody needs to learn this!). She says: 'In filling the well, think magic. Think delight. Think fun. Do not think duty. Do not do what you should do... do what interests you; think mystery, not mastery." She then goes onto talk about how the artist side of our brain loves repetitive actions. Things like showering, swimming, walking, sewing, cooking- all of these simple tasks can fuel us. I know that I get loads of my inspiration when I'm walking, it's just all these activities have to be done alone to allow our senses to be alert and present to the now. That's the challenge for me as a Mummy. I am very grateful that my husband places huge value on me having time to refuel, so together we are working out a way. It's great I think that all of these tasks that fuel us are also very self- nurturing. When I was dry and placing very little value on myself, I noticed something. People really annoyed me. If I was out and about- for example at the doctors surgery and the receptionist ignored me, it would wind me up no end, because she was treading on my hot button of 'you aren't valuable', only because I hadn't looked after that question myself. It happened everywhere and I could see it for exactly what it was! When we nurture ourselves we're not looking for people to treat us right, we have grace and compassion for them because we have grace and compassion for ourselves.

I'd like to leave you with another little bit of creative writing that came out on a walk today. I would encourage you to find what it is for you that 'fills the well' and then spend time there- I can't wait to see what comes out of you when you've been inspired :)


Awoken
awoken to all I am inside
a song breaking out
nowhere to hide
feeling the Spirit
brushing my cheek
open to all the sounds
letting nature speak


I hear it all now
so crystal clear
the song of the Earth
beckoning me to come near
my heartbeat quickens
with my dancing steps
all of nature listens
I keep in time as she claps


The beat filling me
the joy of a soul set free
free to explore the sounds of the Earth
free to discover
the goodness in my heart
awoken to the blossoming sound
I'm swaying and tapping
abundance found


I feel embraced
put back together
a healing balm
with the promise of forever
eternity is mine
in my Maker's heart
freedom has woken
me up from a trance


Open the door
let the good wind blow
let the freshness burrow
deep into your soul


Every day is new
sprinkled with promise
dance like the raindrops
falling from the blue


Wake me up
wake me up
there's so much to see
the Lord's got a banquet waiting for me
feasting and singing
let's make merry today
for we are wild and precious
and life should be play





Thursday, 1 September 2011

Endless Possibilities

As I was walking today, I was thinking about possibilities. I believe that our greatest limitation is our own self- perception, and being awoken to who I really am has opened up an abundance of possibilities for my life. I really do believe that one day all my dreams will come true. I love the way that nature speaks to me. As I was thinking about all this, I saw an acorn on the floor, there really isn't a better picture of how something small can grow into something great. If you looked at an acorn and didn't know anything about it, would you ever guess that one day it would become a mighty Oak tree?

The truth is that we are all so much greater than a little acorn and so full of mysterious beauty. If we can love who we have been made to be, and open ourselves up to endless possibilities, something wonderful might just grow out of our lives.


I don't know how any of it will happen, all I know is that it will as I continue to dance along the pathway of my heart. As I continue to dream, explore and discover all the desires of my heart. As I trust that I am full to the brim with beauty and wonder and that it is safe to let it out.

Just look how many acorns there are on this small section of tree, this one year- imagine how many acorns will be produced in this tree's lifetime?! Something small, can have something humongous inside it, and can produce abundance to overflowing. Let's all dream wildly and see what happens!

Random wild dream: To write a song and perform it with a band... now you tell me yours!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Broken open


Once I was kept safe
inside a little white egg
protected, fed
surrounded with familiarity.

Then, one day I woke up
and stretched out my arms
and as I did
the little white shell
cracked,
open.

It scared me at first,
then I stretched a little further,
I caught a glimpse of blue.
'That Sky is calling me'
I thought.

The Sky whispered
"come up here,
be free."
I wiggled even more frantically
Shell broken into dust
falling,
all around my feet.

I couldn't believe my eyes
how vast,
how light,
how beautiful this is
on the other side.

Some were sad,
the shell was broken
Some even said
"how could you?"

All I could do
was spread my wings,
my voice a fading diminuendo
as I shouted,
"I grew too big for that little white egg
and I'm never going to fit back inside it now!"






Monday, 25 July 2011

A nice slice from the pie of life...

Hello there! It's been a very up and down couple of weeks, but I love the way that there is always loveliness mixed in with the difficult parts of life. I loved this blog post: the glorified truth by Kelle Hampton (still one of my all time favourite blogs), she speaks about how her blog is a place where she likes to share all the good parts of life, which are just as true as the more difficult parts, it's just that we don't tend to take photographs of or celebrate the trying things that happen in our days (like, 'here is a picture of my daughter right after she wet the bed for the first time'! haha). So, on that note, here are some photos of some lovely things that have been happening over here...

My daughter amazes me every day...



She is a very creative person, and the other day she was busy as a bee, collecting all these flowers from the garden by herself and then asking me for bits of ribbon and some leaves I have in my collage bag. Turns out she was making me an anniversary gift (wrong month, but very sweet). I was blown away by how beautiful her creation was. There are two different flowers you have to lift up to reveal smiley faces underneath!

On a similar note, she also picked these flowers for me:


they came just as I needed cheering up. She is constantly giving Jonny and I presents, she has already learnt that it's better to give than to receive!

My flowers are re-blooming...


This gorgeous Orchid (one of my favourite flowers) was given to me when Jireh was born in February, and it has just grown this flower stalk and flowered again :)

This Azalea was also given to me when Ji was born and it is also re-flowering, I loved seeing the gorgeous blooms with raindrops on the petals the other day, catching the light and sparkling beautifully.


Little man had his first taste...



Jireh will be 6 months next week (I can hardly believe it) and although I was planning to wait until then to introduce solids, he started waking up several times in the night after sleeping through consistently, he also seemed unsettled in general, so I decided to taken the plunge and begin the puree factory madness! He was so sweet with the food, he absolutely loved it and couldn't get it in quick enough! Amber really enjoyed feeding him too. He is such a lovely cuddly little bundle and brings me so much joy every day, just like his sister.

Some lovely ladies moo-ved in next door!...


much to the excitement/ frustration of the big bull in the other field over the road, he was very vocal!

It actually felt like July today...


and I managed to slip out for a quiet photo walk, bliss!


And finally, a little bit of philosophy...



When I'm walking I find I process really well, and one of the things I was thinking about today was vulnerability. I loved the fragile, delicate grass seeds in the picture above, and I felt sort of connected to them in a way, as I feel so very delicate and vulnerable myself sometimes. It has been a very sad weekend in the world at large, and I can't help thinking that we can never really fully control our lives, we are all ultimately very vulnerable. Sometimes I feel like we are walking miracles, it amazes me how our hearts beat our whole lives through. I am so very glad that I am enjoying these precious moments that I have been given, that I am sucking it all in as much as I can. There isn't really anything more I would ever want than what I already have.


I hope you all have a wonderful week.