The Summer Solstice is this Thursday and I am looking forward to celebrating the calendrical mid point of the year, the longest day and the middle of the summer. This date has had huge significance for thousands of years. It is traditionally a time to celebrate light and sun, fire and warmth, growth and prosperity, fertility and abundance. I am currently planning a Solstice celebration for my kids (mostly new books, a nice meal, and making our summer list) and am having a few friends over in the evening to light the fire pit, eat snacks and talk. I don't have the capacity for big celebrations this year (busyness, tiredness, etc etc) but I do want to see my friends, fill my house with flowers, and mark it in a simple way.Read More
I'm thrilled to kick of my month of love posts with a bit of love for my mates. Because It’s Galentines day this weekend! An excellent, excellent excuse to get your girlfriends together to celebrate your joint-badassery and drink Prosecco. Hell yes. Here is a s super simple Galentines table idea using Fairtrade Roses (read more here about why non-fairtrade flowers are reaaaalllyy bad news for the growers and see our Sunday Supplement for ideas for more ethical alternatives to cut flowers). Emilie has created a gorgeous free printable/emailable for you to declare your love for your friends too. And don’t panic if you haven’t got anything organised either, anytime in February works!
That was the light version of this post. Then lots of other words about about friendship sort of spilled out so here they are.
My female friendships have always been pretty crucial to my wellbeing. I’m an external processor; I need to talk or the thoughts build up in my mind to an uncomfortably cramped level, and if left untended, explode out of me in an uncontrolled messy tearful rage. I feel like my female friendships have taken on a whole new patina since I became a Mum however. I mean, I thought I needed them for teenage first kiss anxiety and being brave enough to go to the under 18’s night, or for having willing recipients of my 20+ page letters, or as allies when I had a party that time when my parents were on holiday. And I did need them then. But I feel the need is deeper now somehow. Motherhood wracks you to your core, combing away layers and layers of self until it feels like theres not much left and you’re not quite sure WHO you are anymore. Then it stretches you so far beyond your limits that they’re mere heat-haze shimmering somewhere in the far distance. So to have friends in that strange new landscape of myself; milestones or markers if you like, was utterly essential for me.
I am part of a group of women who make me a better person/talk me off the ceiling on an almost daily basis. I live next door to my sister-in-law and best friend and we share practical daily life stuff, as well as he big life chats, constantly. So feel like I experience a semblance of the female community all women used to enjoy at one time. We have managed to build around us a gang of truly marvellous female human beings. We cover it all; the breathless high’s and desperate lows of motherhood, careers, finances, our wider families, husbands and sex, money etc. There is also prolific emoji use and stupid gifs too. And as much as I thought I needed my gang at school it isn’t until now, since I became a mum, that I feel like I’ve found my tribe. I have other friends dotted around the country who I love dearly, who when I see it’s like we’ve never been apart, who enrich mine and my families lives in countless ways. But there is something special, and I think quite rare, about having a tribe of women around you locally, who share the daily shit with you. A group that make my anxieties and weird paranoia’s less daunting, funny even! I'm starting to build this with some of my online friends too, which i am increasinlgy grateful for. I’m talking about this because I’ve realised recently how incredibly rare it is for women to have this, and more widely than that- to simply feel supported and heard. I feel both very privileged to have experienced this and heart broken that it isn’t the norm for everyone.
I was invited recently to be part of a private Facebook group by a couple of researchers who asked the following simple question; “how has motherhood changed your identity?” The most incredible outpouring ensued. Story after harrowing story. There was no judgement, pretty much no comeback, other than love. I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was cathartic and healing to tell my story and reassuring and heart breaking in equal measure to witness the stories of others from very different backgrounds. And all of us said how rare it was to be given the chance to tell our stories, and how humbled and privileged we felt to simply listen to the stories of others. It tapped into something deep down- a vague collective remembering of a female community long gone. It felt right. And then the project finished and the group closed and we got on with our lives. But I want to hold onto it!
So all of this is leading to this. Celebrate your female friendships. Your mother/sister/best friend. Nurture those friendships that build you up. Tell your stories. Open your hearts. Be vulnerable. Reach out. Not to everyone, and certainly not to anyone who cracks or wobbles your foundations. get them out of your palace. I’m talking about those who build you up your Queenliness and shore up your foundations. Lets hear each other.
This weekend I get to hang out with some excellent women folk and I cannot wait. There may be breakfast food as dinner and 99p peel off Superdrug facemarks involved….
So I'm wishing you a Happy Galentines day in advance. May it be filled with your besties whether its in person or online/in your inbox/on the phone.
P.S Here is a little free printable/ emailable to send to your mates this weekend. Simple email a bit of love or invite them over for drinks or dinner. You won’t regret it.
P.P.S See last years Galentines celebrations for Mollie Makes here
P.P.P.S Waaay more Galentines inspiration on Pinterest.
Our new hashtag, #embracingtheseasons has been growing exponentially since we launched it last month and we have been delighted with the entries on the feed so far. Scrolling through the feed and seeing how everyone has been embracing the season they’re in has been so inspiring. We have found new friends to follow, been inspired by your adventures and pursuits, and it has given us a whole new level of appreciation for this glorious yet fickle season we're in (!). I particularly like the rainy/drizzly/autumn tinged photo’s of late summer that have begun to feature on the feed. Thank you from the bottom of our Seeds and Stitches hearts to everyone who has joined in so far. The pictures below are just a few of our favourites, scroll through the hashtag for more inspiration.
We are delighted to announce a little giveaway with our friends Great British Florist. Summer is nearing it’s end, schools are nearly back, and the abundant flower season is almost over, but we’re hanging on for these last few weeks and crossing our fingers and toes for a little more sunshine. We have teamed up with our sponsor Great British Florist to offer an Instagram giveaway of one of their bouquets or mini buckets of blooms to arrange yourself for you and a friend! All their flowers are grown here in Blighty which we really love, and who doesn't like receiving gorgeous british flowers, or sending them for that matter?
- Follow SeedsandStitches and GreatBritishFlorist
- Post an photo that celebrates the season, in our case the end of summer using the #embracingtheseasons hashtag
- Tag SeedsandStitches so we definitely see your entry, and the friend you would send the flowers too (and why, if you want!)
T's and C's:
This competition is open to UK residents only. Instagram has in no way endorsed this competition. Anything entered today until next Tuesday is eligible. Good luck!