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Muslin Baby Sewing

Does anyone else find it as hard as I do to get up before sunrise? I'm not a morning person at the best of times but throw in the frost and darkness of winter and I find it especially hard. After such a laid back holiday break it's been hard getting back into the rhythm of school and work. To help keep me going (apart from copious amounts of tea by the fire) I've dug my sewing machine out.

A while back I bought some muslin and having decided that this fabric would be utterly useless and far too thin for winter curtains (what I originally bought it for) it's perfect for making lightweight baby blankets and cloths. You can't go too wrong cutting squares and sewing up the edges, though muslin is quite a stretchy material, so it's been a simple enough project to start the new year with. I never really made anything for the boys when they were little but I quite like the idea of getting some baby clothes patterns and having a go.

What are your crafty project for this year?

Lazy Days

 I love this time of year. These lazy days between Christmas and New Year when you can justifiably pull out the couch and watch endless films with a bowl of chocolate. We’ve been taking it slow, hibernating away in our house in the woods with our wood fire burning 24/7. Thoughts are ever so slowly turning to 2019 and what it might hold. If you follow elsewhere you’ll know that we’re expecting baby number 3 in late Spring. This means we’ve put our Wild Oak Wood camping plans on hold till 2020. It gives us time to adjust to being a family of five, but also take our time getting everything perfect for when we open our home to guests the following year. There’s a huge amount of work to be done on the land and we’re hoping to welcome some volunteers next summer to help out, as well as give the tents another test.

For now the boys are still taking over the house with their lego and I’m finding it hard to move from my favorite spot by the fire. I’m meal planning for the month of January, ordering seed catalogues and starting to plan the veg patch, and finding ways to use up fabric that’s been sitting in my fabric box for far too long.

Wherever you are in the world we hope you’ve had lovely Christmas and are ready to welcome the New Year and all that it holds!

Caylus Pottery Market

I know I keep going on about how this market is my favourite market...but Caylus pottery market, held over a weekend in August every year, really is my FAVOURITE summer market! Every year I'm blown away by the quality of the handmade items on display and I always come away with a few pieces (though I could come away with a LOT more.)

This year I came away with two new mugs to add to my 'posh' mug collection. I also couldn't resist a new bowl from the fluorescent stand above. I don't match colours or styles, I tend to just go for what I like, which is turning out to be pretty eclectic. I'm now on the lookout for the perfect cabinet or shelving unit so I can display them all in my dining room. And how cool is this guys clay sculpting. These figures popped up on corners all around the local area throughout the summer!

Goat Farm - Alphabet Adventures

I can't believe it's taken us so long to go and visit this goat farm which is literally 2 minutes down the road from us. The Moulin de Vignasse produces delicious goats cheese that you can find in local markets or buy on selected days at their farm shop. We went along this weekend on a Journée du Patrimonie (European Heritage Day) where local monuments and cultural spots open their doors for people to come and visit. 

It's a lovely little farm! We got to see all the mama goats who were waiting to be milked. The younger goats were in a next door pen and there was a daddy goat outside (I swear he's smiling!) The mamas all rushed into the milking room at 5.30 to get their feed and be electronically milked. The boys found it fascinating to watch the milk being collected and whisked off down tubes to later be made into cheese. 

The farm also has a couple of pigs that they raise for meat and that enjoy being fed on goats milk which I'd not seen or heard of before.  The pigs loved lapping it up along with munching on quinces from a nearby tree.

The farm is also a working moulin and we were able to see the big wheel churning away in the water and listen to an explanation about how their organic flour is made, which you can also buy in their shop. Sadly by the time we'd arrived they had sold out of cheese but we'll be back to try out their different varieties. 

Did you visit anywhere this weekend as part of the European Heritage Days?

Mini Golf - Alphabet Adventures

The highlight of Summer for Reuben is always his birthday. Last year we rushed to get the pool ready so that we could have our first pool party. This year we had lots of family round and a pool party would have been nice but the weather had other ideas. Despite the heat that we'd had all Summer, this year was cloudy and drizzled a lot, though to be fair it was much needed. We didn't let it get in the way of celebrations however and we all headed off to St André de Najac for a game of mini golf.

We arrived en mass and were greeted by a lovely couple who told us they had been running the place for 15 years. After being sized up for clubs and having chosen our coloured balls we hit the course after a brief explanation on how to keep score. The kids played as they wished and whizzed around, hitting their balls in all manner of directions (including one in the pond.) The adults however played a slightly more serious game, keeping score and a close eye on who gained penalties on some of the more difficult holes. 

It was a really fun morning (especially as I came out victorious!) that was finished off with hot chocolates and a promise of birthday cake when we arrived back home. We'll be including mini golf as part of our Alphabet Adventure guide in the Summer as an activity for all ages!

A Simple Shelter

Of all the crazy things that have happened this summer...the kids, the work, the stream of visiting family and friends, the swimming, the trips out, the markets, the wasp stings...this has made me smile the most. This simple shelter, handmade by our 15 year old nephew, epitomises everything that we hope Wild Oak Wood to be. It's about getting out into the wonderful nature that surrounds us, being inspired, and getting creative, no matter how young or old you are. Teenagers can be hard to get going at the best of times, but he took the time and energy, under no instruction whatsoever, and toiled away until he had blisters on his hands. I love it! And I'm sure it won't be the last shelter to be built here in our woods!

We'd love to hear what you've been getting up to this summer and what you're looking forward to in the autumn.

Happy Holidays!

Wow! It's hot! Sorry to state the obvious but I've never known a Summer like it! It's been a little quiet on the blog as we are well and truly into the Summer season which means vide greniers, music festivals, village fetes, daily swim sessions and endless BBQ's. We have a stream of friends and family who are staying with us over August, testing out our tents for us and giving us the feedback we need to make sure next year is perfect for any visiting guests. I promise pictures of the tents will be live by the end of the month so you can get a full picture of what the tents look like. In the meantime I'm officially signing off for the Summer, though you can still find me over on Instagram posting pictures of what we get up to. Have a good one! Keep cool! And see you in September x
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