Where has Summer Gone?

My children have recently been showing an uncharacteristic interest in the weather forecast and quizzing me almost daily. ‘Where has Summer gone Mummy?’ ‘But why do I need to take my raincoat?’ ‘But I’m wearing shorts!’ Note. Shorts apparently mean no raincoats required, must make a note to relay that to Mother Nature. Although in the kids defence the weather has been decidedly batty of late, rain in the morning, blistering sunshine for lunch followed by extreme winds at dinner, it just can’t decide which season it fancies being in. So as I sit here pondering whether (nice pun there) I dare put the washing out on the line I decided to look through my own curated version of the summer thus far (pictures can tell wondrous lies if you only take them when the sun comes out!)

IMG_6421This pic was taken at one of my favourite hideaways in the Peak District, hardly anyone else seems to go there and I always feel like I’ve stepped straight into Lord of the Rings as I leap about from stone to stone.
Apple tree blossom flowering in the sun.

IMG_6862Isn’t this Wisteria beautiful! I’d love some at home but it blooms for such a short space of time I only ever remember I want it when I see it out and about.

Rhododendron colour explosion! We have one mini dwarf rhododendron in our back garden which we keep in a pot but how I wish we had space for one of these giant beauties.

A happy dog enjoying the great outdoors, he’s never very keen to venture out when it’s rainy either.

When you’re a forest Pirate taking a rest on an obliging tree stump while checking your compass.
IMG_3072Finally a picture of this mega strawberry! I bought this just a few days ago and like to think that’s its growth (and flavour – super sweet) were encouraged by all this rain and sun combining and if that isn’t a reason to be semi thankful for all the bizarre changeable weather then I don’t know what is.

Go on an adventure in the rain to find a Fairy Door

FairydoorLast week we were blessed with fabulous sunshine and amazing temperatures, this week we weren’t (unless you’re a duck or plant starved of water). But rain doesn’t have to mean the end of outdoor fun and games if you have some wellies and a decent waterproof coat. There’s nothing better than getting out into the countryside and experiencing some nature close to home. Sure you might need a shower or three when you arrive home caked in mud but getting outside is good for the whole family. You could even add some magic to your trip and go on an adventure in the rain to find a Fairy Door!fairydoor5

We did just that a short time ago and found this amazing fairy residence nestled in a pretty little woodland quite near to us.

Inside the fully working door there were instructions on the kinds of gifts the fairy likes to receive. These messages change throughout the year depending on the seasons and the fairy’s mood!

This particular Fairy Door is located in a private woodland in Derbyshire which the landowner graciously allows the public to visit all year round. Thanks to all the extra touches I’m convinced the owner must love housing this magical little cottage and seeing just how much pleasure it brings to local children and adults alike.fairydoor3

Aside from fairies though we found a wonderful small stream and had a great time looking for birds and squirrels hiding in the trees. We’ve been somewhat inspired by watching Springwatch!

By far the muddiest member of our family was our pet Dalmatian who turned almost completely brown after he rolled around on the ground, but muddy footprints aside he had a great time too 🙂

There’s actually quite a few fairy doors located across the country, so why not ask around and see if there’s a local one you could visit for a magical rainy adventure!

The Woollen Woods 2016

queenofheartsEvery year a magical event takes place as part of Voluntary Arts Week – The Woollen Woods. Woodlands across the country become inhabited with all manner of knitted (or crocheted) creatures to the delight of thousands of visitors. It all started last year with seven woods (of which Derbyshire was one) and this year it grew even bigger. This was the second year I’d had the pleasure of joining in with the Derbyshire Woollen Woods held in Belper Parks Wood.  It was such a huge success that I felt compelled to share a few pics (and videos) for those who couldn’t manage to make it along.mouse

It took months of hard work by local crafters (and a few further afield) to make enough pieces to decorate the majority of Belper Woods but as you can hopefully see from these pics it was definitely worth it. The creations were displayed between 7-15th May this year and the response we received was absolutely wonderful. We even had some visitors travel quite a distance for a day out in our Woolly Wonderland!whiterabbitI believe there’s a special childlike joy that only magical woolly creatures can bring and with that in mind here’s a few of my favourite pieces (not made by me) and two mini video tours. bunny

If looking through this post has got you itching to get involved with the Derbyshire event then pop over to Anne Clark Handmade and send Anne an email. owlAnne organised the Derbyshire Woollen Woods for both years and we’ve also yarn bombed several other events including local festivals, Christmas decorations, the hospital, museum and much more!

If you weren’t lucky enough to be able to visit a Woollen Woods this year then keep your eyes peeled on the Voluntary Arts Week website for details of the event next year.snake

To see some pics of last years Woollen Woods check out my 2015 post.