At last the weather has warmed up here a touch, and the rise in temperature has truly made me happy. Many of the trees have all of a sudden sprouted their vibrant green leaves and everywhere looks very lush and promising. I find that the weather/temperature very noticeably affects my moods, probably because so much of my daily routine is spent walking about in it. Today's mild-with-a-slight-haze made me feel like meandering, so Little B and I detoured off route and walked the Long Way home from nursery.
The Long Way involves an extra loop of walking around the back of the castle, following the beck.
Then it's a left hand turn up this little lane, past the chickens, then back down the steep hill to pay a quick visit the old Corn Mill (we like to go inside and pull the handle so that a torrent of water is released onto the old wheel to make it turn. Good fun for a four year old)
I noticed whilst walking that the dandelions are already out in force, everything seems early this year. I really do have a soft spot for the common dandelion, despite the fact that it is a weed and therefore often thought of us undesirable. That yellow is just so incredibly cheerful and happy, it never fails to make me smile. I don't think I've ever, ever picked dandelions before though, well not since being a small child. It has never occurred to me to gather these wild undesirables from the grassy verges and bring them home. That thought really surprised me today, and I couldn't help wondering why not? Maybe because as children we were told that if you picked dandelions they made you wet the bed (anyone else heard this?!).
It felt a little bit naughty to bring home a posy of flowers that I had picked growing wild, but I kept reminding myself that these are common weeds and there was certainly no shortage of them.
Oh that golden yellow is really rather lovely! A small stem of early cow parsley came home with me too, another common weedy plant around these parts.
I popped them into a small blue jug and sat them on my table just as I would normally do with my market-bought bunches of flowers. They look cheerful and unpretentious and add a welcome splash of colour which made my heart flutter a little.
Have you noticed the crochet mat underneath the jug? It's a mandala pattern that I've been playing with this week, made from scraps of Stylecraft Special DK acrylic. For those of you who have often wondered what on earth a (pretty-but-useless) mandala can actually be used for, well this is a very good job for it I'd say. I think it looks remarkably pretty displayed with the jug of weeds.
Along with the giant Starflower Mandala decorations I'm making for Yarndale, I'm also working on a creative project with these smaller versions. I designed this one using five colours of Stylecraft yarn (raspberry, petrol, fondant, magenta and cloud blue) :: the middle four rounds are the same as my Happy Flower, and the rest was just added on as I went, inspired by this. I'm making a tutorial for this mandala if you fancy giving it a go, more of that coming very soon.