topic categories

Natural Decorations

15 Dec 2014


I had planned a post on making Christmas decorations using natural resources - a wreath, a table centrepiece and maybe a garland. Offering a little look into the crazy celebrations of my family from years ago, anecdotal and (hopefully) a little witty. Instead, I have spent the weekend ill, huddled on my sofa watching my favourite musicals. I always finding myself turning to the comforts of my childhood whenever I need a pick-me-up and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers certainly hits that mark, although my neighbours will perhaps not agree thanks to my hoarse warbling along to the songs, out of tune and too loud (Sobbin' Women is a firm fave to holler along to).

Instead, I'll leave you with a link to my wreath from last year and a recommendation to visit Erin's guides to simple and thoughtful gift giving (below); minimalist is a good choice at this time of year, especially if your budget is already stretched to bursting and Erin has some ideas to help. If you're wanting to make your own decorations (or presents), why not check out my Yuletide Pinterest board for more inspiration and links to how-to's. I'll be back next week, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

// this post contains an affiliate link //

Leek + Potato Soup

8 Dec 2014

leek + potato soup / girl, meets wolf

It's no secret that I have a horrendous relationship with food, although it may come as a surprise if you've perused my Pinterest boards (see below). There is no draw for me, no pull to satiate, no love of texture, taste or colour. I have no interest in food itself, and will often forego meals simply because I have no desire or appetite to eat. I live, so firmly entrenched in my head, that unless my body is starving I simply don't notice.

I exist on meals that can be made quickly; egg on toast, pizza, cheap oven fries and unadventurous salads. Too often I've surfaced from a book, from coding, from the internet or from a project, stomach protesting and temper waning, to realise I'm hungry but that it's also bed time. I can't think of a single occasion where I've chosen food over sleep. Although that particular quirk may not come as a terrible shock if you've read my previous post.

This isn't a new trait with me either, just like sleep (or lack thereof) it's a part of my personal landscape, woven into my being like my backbone, love of laughter and off-key singing. I have good days and bad days, good days can stretch into weeks, where I make a conscious effort to eat three meals a day and cook properly. Those weeks rarely stretch into months, there's simply too many other things demanding my attention.

Living A Simple Lifestyle

1 Dec 2014

slow down + relax (living a simple lifestyle) / girl, meets wolf

I have lost my mojo. I know not where it has gone, I'm not even really sure I got it back after the last time it disappeared; mojo and I, it seems, are on the outs. I struggle to make this space something I can be proud of, something constant, and yet my mojo remains absent, my fingers still, this blog empty. And it seems I'm not alone in this. It occurs to me to wonder what else I'm not alone in.

I have a busy mind that buzzes in perfect counterpoint to the router beside my bed, a monotone symphony in the darkness that swells in the pauses of my sleepy internal melody and fills my thoughts with images of hot summer days, the hum of insects and strawberry juice sucked off salty fingers, a too hot wolf panting at my feet. The song of the router is new, the result unfortunately is not: broken sleep, four hours at a time. I slept for five and a half hours last night, it was a cause for celebration.

Of all the things that interest me - and there are so very many, my mind jumping from pillar to post, from thought to idea, from inspiration to aspiration to apathy - there is little that drives me. I like to learn, but on my terms. I like to drift in new ideas, but the ideas I choose to swim in are so very small. I like to pretend the laundry pile isn't taking over my bedroom floor and instead read, read, read, with a black and white cat curled into my side and a wolf sleeping peacefully at my feet. Busy mind soothed, until bedtime at least. Idle hands, drafted into turning pages, want for something more. I think the rest of me perhaps feels the same way, but my foggy frantic brain is too busy processing and over stimulated, so instead I wait. For what, I don't know, but I sit and read and wait, strangely discontent but not unhappy.

Winter Wreath

16 Dec 2013


Christmas has become something much different to my experiences as a child. Rampant commercialism, one-upmanship on present giving, ridiculous amounts of money for ridiculous amounts of presents. When did Christmas become something you could buy instead of something you enjoyed, celebrated? I'm not a believer in the big organised religions, so I have no structure to use as a focus for this winter celebration, but I was inspired by a recent blog post I read (although, alas, I cannot remember who by) where the writer had decided to reclaim the spirit of Christmas by celebrating it as the winter solstice. I fell in love with that idea, the solstices are already important to me (especially as I was born on the cusp of the winter one) so I'm claiming Christmas back too, using it to kick start the time of year spent in reflection, cosied up with loved ones and celebrating family.

There's a long tradition of taking nature's bounty and bringing it inside in celebration, albeit not one my family partook in according to my admittedly horrendous long term memory. But, as a child that ran barefoot through the woods now grown up, the idea of bringing some of that beauty into my home appeals to me greatly. How can I celebrate mid-Winter without my beloved woods?

Felt Paper Doll Tutorial (+ Free Template)

9 Dec 2013


I confess, this post was supposed to go out on Thursday. Instead, I was enjoying the spectacle that is Singin' In The Rain at the Wales Millennium Centre (highly recommend you see it, especially if you love the film, it's fabulous!). Friday's ffefrynau post didn't happen because I was busy turning 38 and out to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend. I'm not sure anyone except me gets to complain about that, and only because I'm getting a little wobbly at the thought of turning 40 shortly. So, a little later than expected - ta da! A tutorial, just in time for last minute Christmas crafting, and personalisable for the child you're gifting it to.

This is a design I came up with based on a picture I found on Pinterest, along with my somewhat hazy memories of paper dolls available as a child. I teased about it back in November, it was created for a craft fair and, I'm not going to lie, the kids loved them. It's a fairly bog standard person shape with choices in hairstyle, what's not to love? As I'm not going to lie, I have to tell you they're not simple to make ... necessarily. There's the easy way and then there's the way I do it (with a sewing machine). Don't panic, I'm going to walk you through all the variations. Some hand sewing is required for this, but the most difficult is a simple back stitch so you should do okay. I was going to mark this as intermediate because it is a little fiddly, but persevere and you shall triumph! Beginners, take a read through and see if you feel confident, I think if you're slow and cautious it should be doable. Alternatively, you can just not sew it together and use glue. Job done!
girl, meets wolf. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.