Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography Pip

Living Arrows 2015: 7/52


When H and I moved into our house 9 years ago one of the first things we did was to take down two horribly old fashioned fake brass candelabra light fittings from our lounge on the grounds both of their aesthetic and because they were hung so low we kept having to walk around them. In their place we put up a couple of those lights on a rail sort of fittings.  As well as casting light in the vague direction that we want to find lit, and being near enough to the ceiling that I can walk underneath it, it’s chief benefit has been having nice pointy out bits at the end for us to hang things off.  We’ve had paper chains hooked over the ends at Christmas, dangling hearts one Valentine’s Day when Kitty was small and it’s the perfect place for transferring everything from the end of the curtain rail when you think it’s about to fall out of the wall again.

So when Kitty was a very very new tiny little bundle of cuddly baby and her Uncle and Auntie brought her a mobile we did what seemed normal to us and hung it up on the end of the light in the lounge end of our lounge.  I don’t think we ever thought that would be its permanent home at the time, it was just somewhere to hang it up so we could all look at it and show it to Kit and then we’d think of a new place for it to go.  But Kitty was still sleeping in her Moses basket by the side of my bed under a sloping gable ceiling so we couldn’t hang it there, and then there was her nursery, but she was always asleep when she was in there, and besides we don’t have huge confidence in our house’s ability to keep hold of things that are supposed to be stuck in the ceiling.

We just couldn’t think of anywhere that would be better for it to go.

Four and a half years and two more babies later, it’s still hung from our light fitting.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And it’s just become so much part of our house that we didn’t even think to take it down or move it for Pip’s christening (or Elma’s for that matter), and even more amusingly none of our friends and family find it strange either. Or at least not any more. But then they have met us, they’re probably used to our slightly eclectic version of interior decorating.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It is a gorgeous mobile though, little wooden animals hanging from a palm tree in some sort of cross-continental jungle.  They’re lovely colours and when they clatter together there’s something of the wind chime about them.  

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I have such vivid memories of holding Kitty in my arms watching her arms track a parrot back and forth; or clinging to a wriggling Elma as she reached for the lion, and they both seem like they were yesterday.  But my girls are getting all grown up and I think now the mobile is just part of the furniture; they don’t spend time lying on the floor looking up at it as they used to, and I suspect they’re so used to it, and so distracted by their other toys, that they just don’t see it any more.

But that’s OK because there’s still one little person in my house who’s fascinated, who’ll sit in my arms looking at the animals as they dance around, then look back to me as if to say “Look Mama, do you see! Look!” and then go back to smiling at the little blue elephant. Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I’m sure there’ll come a day when I suddenly realise that all of my children are too old to be interested in a mobile and that perhaps we ought to take it down, but I’m really glad it’s not now.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


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  • Charlotte 16/02/2015 at 10:30 am

    You write so beautifully. It’s always sad to see children grow out of loved things, but it’s nice to hear that Pip is enjoying it now. It is a lovely mobile too!

    • Carie 16/02/2015 at 9:39 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Kim 16/02/2015 at 11:19 am

    Lovely words, and thoughts today. Beautiful.

    • Carie 16/02/2015 at 9:40 pm

      Aww thank you 🙂

  • sustainablemum 16/02/2015 at 3:40 pm

    I agree with Kim, just lovely.

    • Carie 16/02/2015 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you – and now I’m blushing!

  • Merlinda Little 16/02/2015 at 4:51 pm

    Lovely memory bringer and I can already hear the clacking when they touch each other =) #livingarrows

    • Carie 16/02/2015 at 9:42 pm

      It’s the joy of wood isn’t it – it does make a good sound!

  • Jemma 16/02/2015 at 10:20 pm

    Love it! Think I would very much like your eclectic style of interior design! What a lovely story xx

    • Carie 17/02/2015 at 11:30 pm

      It certainly works well for us 🙂

  • Katy {What Katy Said} 17/02/2015 at 11:27 am

    This made me smile so much! Hanging from the piece of stair banister that juts out of the ceiling at my parents house there is a parrot sitting on a wooden perch, exactly the same style as the ones in your mobile. It has hung from their stairs in every house they have ever lived in. I guess they put it there to amuse me as a baby and it stuck. We are all grown up now but it is still there and my children love it now x

    • Carie 17/02/2015 at 11:30 pm

      Ah well that gives me hope that I can hang our mobile up for ever and ever – it would seem really strange without it now!

  • hena tayeb 17/02/2015 at 2:46 pm

    aww that is sweet..

    • Carie 17/02/2015 at 11:35 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Hayley (@hayleyfromhome) 17/02/2015 at 8:42 pm

    Just lovely, I’m really enjoying reading your Living Arrows posts this year. They are so different and really make you think about what is around you that is part of your children’s childhood. It’s fantastic that it has just become part of the furniture now and it is beautiful! #livingarrows

    • Carie 17/02/2015 at 11:37 pm

      Thank you 🙂 – it’s certainly proving fun to put together; some weeks it’s something that really jumps out at me and sometimes I have to go looking for it – or remember to notice it!

  • Jodie Fisher 18/02/2015 at 1:37 pm

    oh wow I absolutely adore that!

    • Carie 18/02/2015 at 11:05 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • sally 20/02/2015 at 11:26 pm

    Ahhh, lovely. And you’re right, that’s one gorgeous mobile.