Little Cottages at the Harbour.

We have a saying, here in Great Britain, which is said to someone you haven’t seen for a time.  It’s:  ‘Well look what the cat dragged in!’,  and it seems pretty apt right now, for I haven’t been able to blog for almost 4 weeks.  FOUR WEEKS!  And …. I haven’t even brought a note from my mother either!  Tsk tsk. (more about why I haven’t been, in a minute).

Well … I’m here, dragged in by the cat (so to speak), and sharing a little thing I actually made during July.  I photographed it … and then couldn’t find where I’d saved the photos, so I’ve ended up photographing it all over again, so that I could come and share it with you.  It’s called:  The Little Cottages at the Harbour.

the Little Cottages at the Harbour

I have a small bundle of driftwood, here in my craft room.  It’s all incredibly lovely to handle – so smooth and has its own story,  a  life as being part of something else – I’d love to know what, but that’s a secret kept only by the sea.  The sea did what the sea does and made this wood something incredible, but now I needed to give a piece of this driftwood a new life to lead.

I sat with a little piece of it on my desk for a few days before finally deciding that it would be a base for some little fishing cottages that would be found by the sea – perhaps not quite as close to the sea as I’ve put them here, but a little artistic licence came into play in the creating process as I very much wanted to include a boat in the scene, so water was (obviously) a must!

Close up of the Little Sail boat
see the sea-foam where it’s splashed up the bottom of the boat, and is slowly ‘dripping and draining’ away again?

The houses and the two seagulls (stood having a chat on the top of one of the houses) I made from clay.  The clothes hanging on the washing line were all cut by hand, from felt;  and the grass,  the slate pathway, the wet looking sea with its sea-foam, and all the other various bits and pieces, were all made from things I have knocking about my craft room, all stored in wee little pots, just waiting for their chance to pop out and play.

the rear of The Little Cottages at the Harbour
a view around the back of the little cottages.

Of course …  the smoke coming out of the chimney is real.  [cough-porky pie-cough]  🙂

The whole thing measures just 5.25″ long (or 13.3cm) and 1.75″ wide (4.4cm) at its widest point.

Well that’s the crafty bit over and done with … now comes why I wasn’t at school for ages.  So … if you only came to have some crafty joy, please stop reading now.  Those of you who are gluttons for punishment, read on….

An Alternative Note than one from my mother:

I shall put it all in as few words as I can:  An ongoing, long-standing medical problem is being a problem, but after six and a half years with my new doctors sending me for test after test;  so many x-rays I swear I glow in the dark;  huge great hollow needles being shoved into my hands (had to mention that one as it horrified me when I saw what they were about to do), which was testing nerve responses;  and so much blood taken from me for tests that I now put every phlebotomist under the one title of:  ‘The Dracula Brigade’ – …  I’ve finally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – which,  for those who don’t know what it is,  is a disease of the central nervous system.

For years I’ve been blaming my spinal injury (result of a RTA some years ago) for all these things that had begun to happen, and they were getting worse and worse and driving me crazy, but it was something else which was happening all the time!

Apparently Heaven is determined to get its hands on me and is wearing me down, one injury, one illness, one ‘broken’ bit at a time, until I eventually give in or give out!

Then . . .  the oven [in the kitchen] decided to turn up its toes.

Then . . . the dishwasher apparently couldn’t cope with life without the oven and it died of a broken heart.

Then . . .  Mr.Cobs, in his attempt to get the dishwasher out of the kitchen, manoeuvred it out of its hole which it lived in, (under the work top).  He got the machine out but then had to crawl into the now vacated spot to unplug the dishwasher from the hidden electrical socket …. and upon completing the unplugging task, he was backing out of the space …. thought he’d backed out far enough and . . .  lifted his head . . . only to find that he’d misjudged the distance and WHAM … he hit the top of his head on the underside edge of our wooden, 2″ thick work tops and cut his head open!

OH MY GOODNESS!!!  SOOOooooo much blood!  Clean tea-towel after clean tea-towel came into use and I folded one into a firm pad and gave it to Mr.C with the instructions of putting it on the cut and holding it firmly in place.  I managed to get him to a comfortable place to sit (I was scared silly that he’d pass out on the floor, as this is not a weedy chap we’re talking about here.  He’s a tall, meaty chap and there would be no way I could pick him up or drag him anywhere!

After asking him various questions (who’s the Prime Minister of our country.  What year is it.  What’s his date of birth etc) to establish that he was still in mental working order, I feared to look but knowing that I had to . . .  with torch in hand I carefully examined the site and found that damage was a small cut of less than half an inch!  From the amount of blood I honestly thought that there would be a huge gaping gap of around 4/5 inches.  I’d already planned to call an ambulance as I feared him bleeding to death if I drove him in the car to the hospital.

He suffered a bit of a headache (as you’d expect) but a couple of pain killers and sitting quietly for a while made him feel a little better.  And … the blood flow stopped … which I’m guessing is down to the amount of prayers I shot out of my heart and head from the moment I saw the blood dripping down his face.

Rest assured though dear reader, he is perfectly fine and totally groovy now.

Of course, while all the above was going on, normal life was also taking place – as it does – but somethings got left, pushed to one side, or put on the back burner, and sadly blogging was one of those things.  Sorry about that.

I don’t know what’s going on this summer.  Is it the heat?  Is it the fact that we in Great Britain aren’t used to this amount of ‘Summer’ happening all at once?  I have no idea.  I only know that this Summer has [personally] brought trouble with it and I’ll be really rather glad to see the back of it.  I’m looking forward to Sunday, 23rd September – for that’s the official date that Autumn begins here in the UK, and from that date I’ve decided that there will be no more trouble.

Autumn is one of my most favourite times and I’m in talks with God about how life hasn’t been very fair recently.  God, though, has an answer for everything – and says if not me, then who?  And I and my heart truthfully can’t answer that one.

Anyhoo . . .  I hope that you haven’t met with any problems or even disasters, which were too much for you to cope with.  Remember – into each life a little rain must fall, so don’t feel that you’re alone when something happens out of the blue which you would rather hadn’t happened.  I can guarantee that at least one other person reading these words as you read them right now, will have gone through pretty much the same thing and can relate to how you feel.

So  . . .  If you’re going through ‘it’ … we’re all standing right beside you, cheering you on and shouting words of encouragement.  You’re not alone.  We’re right here.

Thanks for coming and taking a peep at the Little Cottages at the Harbour, and having a read of this ‘diary entry’ for what happened in August!  It’s truly great to see you.  I’ve missed you all so very much.

Have a fabulous Monday and a truly blessed week.  Much love ~ 

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Once upon a time . . .

Are you sitting comfortably children?  Then I’ll begin . . .

Once upon a time …  when I was a little younger than I am now,  …  not much younger you understand,   just a little, I was watching daytime TV when all of a sudden what should appear on the screen than some darling little houses.  Just for a flash.  A moment.  The longest, they were on-screen was about 3 seconds.  BUTI saw them and that’s what’s important here.

I tried to find the little houses on the internet, by doing a search for the TV programme on which they made their momentary appearance, but, sadly, it was not to be.  I discovered that they were never featured within the programme, so they were just there in the introduction as a colourful addition to the film sequence which ‘introduced’ the programme.

BUT ….  I’d seen them,  and once seen, they could never be forgotten.  They were imprinted upon my brain.  Well … my one brain cell had drawn them on a  post-it note and pinned it to the wall of my brain so that I remembered them.

They were on the ‘back burner’ of my mind for the longest time, when one day, some weeks ago I mention\ed them to Mr.Cobs. 

Mr. Cobs has a collection of scrap bits of wood – off cuts of this, that and the other which he cannot bear to throw away.  As a crafter I can fully understand this behaviour.  I ventured down the garden, pretending to look for one of our cats, but I was sneakily peeping through the windows of his Man Cave.  He caught me at it!

A voice boomed from somewhere and made me jump:  “What are you up to, young lady?”.  I gasped, audibly.  Was that God speaking to me?  A ghost maybe? (because we’re pretty certain we have one – along with many ghosts of cats).  I looked towards the house but could see no one there.  Again, the voice asked “What are you doing?” only this time I knew where the voice was coming from.

…..  “I was just looking in the shed windows.  Y’know….  like y’do.”  I said, feeling that would be enough of an explanation.  But it wasn’t.

Mr.C wandered into the conservatory and I instantly knew I was ‘in trouble’.  He was putting on his gardening shoes, and that meant only one thing . . .  he was coming out!  I’d been caught in the act, and I was going to have to explain myself.

Now Mr.Cobs is a ‘stamper’.  Not a crafting stamper you understand, but a  ‘BANG HIS FEET DOWN ON THE FLOOR AS HE WALKS BECAUSE HE A HUGE BEAST OF MAN’  stamper.  He’s on the other end of the scale when it comes to ‘Ballerina’. In fact … he’s totally off that scale.  Think more Sumo Wrestler – but slimmer.  He’s a tall chap, and does carry a little more timber around the middle than the Doctor is happy about, but he’s not huge.  However …  he’s going to totally stuff up the internal ‘shock absorbers in his legs’ with the way he walks.  He can’t do anything light-footed.  He can’t creep, and I swear to Dog that he can’t walk gently.  He  S.T.A.M.P.S  his heels down with the heaviest feet in the whole wide world.

He exited the conservatory.  The ground was shaking as he approached.

“You were looking for something – I saw you.  What are you looking for?”

“I was just gazing in the windows.  Just, y’know ….  gazing”  I replied.

“So you weren’t hoping to go into the shed to find something and remove it then?” he said as almost an accusation.

“Uhm .. well, no, not quite  ….  not now you’re here.”  I said, grinning,  and feeling the warm glow of guilt coming to my cheeks.

Oh, right, well then I’ll go away.  He said, pretending to turn and walk away.

“Well … actually….  since you are here….”  I ventured, in a cajoling tone…. 

He turned is body back around and lent his head to one side, in a questioning sort of angle – his eyebrows raised, clearly (voicelessly) asking … “What?”

“….  I saw something on TV a little while ago, and I would rather like to make some of them”

“So you WERE looking for something then!”  He said, accusingly, but with a laugh which also showed as fun on his face.

“…..  Welll … Yes  …   I was really.  Sort of.  I need some little bits of wood”.  I said in my most Sunday best, angelic voice that I could muster.

“Bits of wood?  What for?  What do you want to make and what size of wood are you hoping to find?”.  He was warming to the subject matter, I could tell.  Bits of wood are Mr.Cobs ‘currency’.

Lifting my hands to demonstrate,  I said:  “Well, I need three bits ….  around this sort of size”  … (making box shapes with my hands).  “I want to make some little houses”.

“Little Houses?”   He repeated, while his brows furrowed….

“Yes.  Simple, rustic looking little houses, out of cut wood, and I will paint doors and windows on them!”

He’s that used to my hair brained ideas for crafting things – I’ve been a crafter all our married life, so he’s used to me now – that he didn’t flinch or give me one of his  ‘Are You Totally Mad, Woman?’  faces that he can do sometimes.

“Ok…  I think I can do that.  But … what about the roofs?  What are you going to do for those?”  He asked.

“Uhmm … ….  paint them I suppose.” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“Ok.  Give me a little time.  I’ve got to finish getting the garden in order and  . . . ”  … he reeled off a list of VITs  (Very Important Things), and ended with:  “…  and then I’ll get to your wooden houses.  OK?”

During the weekend just gone he presented me with three little blocks of wood.   I took my pencil and drew how and where they’d need to be cut in order to give them a roof.  He took the blocks of wood away and a few minutes later he presented me with these:

LittleHouses Wood Blocks

Three almost but not quite little houses.

I painted them with an under-coat, and as I did so, Mr.Cobs appeared back in the craft-room and asked me again about the roofs,  telling me that he had some ‘slates’ left over from when we built our porch.  “I could cut you some of those slates to the right sizes, if you’d like Slate for the roofs.”  He said.  I jumped at the chance!

He measured up the little houses and went away humming to himself, and a little while later he came back and gave me six individual little pieces of slate – all cut to the right sizes for each of the houses, and with little holes in them, so that they could be fixed in place!  And this is what they now look like:

Little Houses Pink
Little Pink Painted House

 

Little Houses Yellow
Little Yellow Painted House (a farm-house, maybe?).  You can see, over to the left as you’re looking at this photo, a steel rule which is showing (as best as can be) the height of these houses. They’re measuring at roughly 4″ tall (or 10cm)
Little Houses Blue
Little Blue Painted House.

I painted the backs to look different from the front ….

Little Houses Backs
The backs of the Little Houses

  so that you can compare the fronts and the backs . . .

Little Houses Fronts
The fronts of the little houses

And that’s how the adventures of the Little Houses began.

They’re not Fairy Houses, and they aren’t houses which go in the garden.  They’re rustic, little cottagey type houses – the type of cottages found by the seaside here where I live in the South of England.  They’re just for decoration inside our cottage.  To look sweet on a shelf somewhere, or on a table or bookshelf.  These three are going to sit on my coffee table.

I’m already planning to make some more…. only the next one’s will be a bit different to these.

Thanks for coming and spending some time with me.  I love your company.  But  then …. you know that already.  ❤

Be good to yourselves this month.  Give yourself a smile in the mirror every now and again.  A REAL smile.  One which reaches your eyes.  And …  don’t expect so much of yourself.  It’s great to have goals and ambitions, but sometimes, a body needs to know it’s loved.  Love yourself. Because if YOU don’t love you, how can anyone else be expected to love you.  (But please always remember that I love you in spite of yourself! lol)

Sending love, from me here in my corner, to you there in yours.

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