I have always loved city life and London life in particular. So buzzy, busy and ever changing, but as my little boy began to grow and I became pregnant with my second child I started to yearn for a move out of the city, somewhere greener, prettier, quieter and slower. A large garden, open fields, wildflowers, a more idyllic childhood for my little ones with an abundance of fresh air and outdoor adventures. A few months later and precious Posy popped into our lives and the desire for a different kind of life continued to hum and whir in the back of my mind…Could we? Might we? Maybe one day…?
With busy lives and full time jobs in London it just didn’t seem like a feasible option to make a life changing move, so rather than wait for the elusive ‘one day’ I decided to take matters into my own hands and create the whimsical flower filled meadows and pretty woodland idyll that fluttered around my head, with pen and paper. Growing up I have fond memories of Mr Raspberry, a tiny little imaginary man that lived in a raspberry bush at the bottom of my grandparents’ garden and was brought to life in bedtime stories told to us by our dad. I began to think that I could create something special for my children, little stories about forest friends, sweet illustrations and maybe even soft creatures that they could hold in their hands whilst listening to their bedtime tales and to take with them on their own small adventures.
So one uneventful Monday morning, after Jake had been safely delivered to school and Posy was tucked up in her cot, I simply started with a clean page and a sharp pencil. Trying hard not to worry about making mistakes and allowing words and ideas to tumble and flow I had soon filled several pages with sketches of small animals with wide set eyes and round rosy cheeks. These warm and friendly folk had names, homes and curious personalities as the weeks went on.
It was such an enjoyable way to spend an hour, miles away from bottles waiting to be sterilised and laundry waiting to be washed. I worked hard to carve out these small pockets of time, returning back to the place that I had already christened Little Dot Wood. I would make myself a cup of tea and sit at the kitchen table with my notebook and pencil and just write and draw, sometimes the stories would come more easily than others, but as winter turned into spring my notebook was full and Little Dot Wood had grown into something quite special…let me take you there.
Come for a walk down a long and winding country lane, on your right is a beautiful meadow filled with wildflowers and a woodland of sycamores, pines, old oaks and mighty maples. Look closely and you will see a tree house high up in the branches, with a ladder propped up at the base and a wooden swing to wind away the summer days. Keep walking and you will stumble across a tiny orchard of apple, pear, plum and apricot trees with secret messages carved into old tree trunks, tumbledown greenhouses full of seedlings waiting to be transferred to the vegetable patch and wheelbarrows perfect for transporting tired ones home after a busy day. There is a tiny stream for dipping tiny toes, fire pits for late night marshmallow toasting, hopscotch and chalk drawings almost washed away by rainy showers and many half built dens and hide aways from days gone by.
This is the home of Maple, Posy, Petal, Clover, Berry, Bay and Mr Pip…welcome to Little Dot Wood. I can’t wait to share more snippets of stories as they unfold and my long term crazy big dream of making Little Dot Wood into a real place, complete with hula hoop hill, sprinkle stream, tree houses and wildflowers in abundance…but one small step at a time. I would love to know more about your big plans and dreams, the ones that bubble and fizz and make your tummy do small flips when you really imagine making them happen. Please do share in the comments x