Monday, October 14, 2019

Autumn Bliss

Hello my lovelies! It's been a little while but there has been so much going on in my neck of the woods! I have much to share about various things but for today it's all about touches of autumn around my home.

I love this season so much and enjoy reflecting the beauty and coziness of the season in my home. I am pleased to say that I managed to get all my autumnal touches up on time this year. Last year if you remember we were living in one of my husbands hotels as we searched for a home. I usually decorate on the weekend closest to the autumnal equinox which just seems 'right'. Last year it was just about November before the house got it's autumnal home blessing treatment and it felt all wrong. Happily this year we were all back to normal.


As always, two pots of chrysanthemums and a couple of pumpkins give a warm welcome to whoever drops by. The colour of the pots I bought this year are just stunning! I think it's my favourite so far...hope I find them again next year.


My daughter did a bit of a chalk art welcome board for me - in hindsight we agreed that the 'F' could have been a bit longer but hey-ho, I think it looks seasonally festive none the less. 


The dresser in the hallway looks lovely this season. Adorned with my favourite nature books and foliage there's no mistaking the season or my love for it.


Tucked away in the autumn Dec's box was the little acorn garland I knitted about 5 years ago. It really is so much fun re-discovering old favourites. I can't remember where I found the pattern, could be Ravelry but I think I should make some more acorns, perhaps to sit in a little display bowl. 


I love this little candle stand. I have since filled it up and there are now three candles as there should be and of course there is a different page being displayed of my Country Diary of An Edwardian Lady book. There are so many lovely illustrations that the pages are changed weekly at least.


I love this little cottage print. It was gifted to me by a dear friend. It has scripture decoratively incorporated all through the sky above the cottage - absolutely my thing.


 My little autumn candle haul is on display although one of the candles was actually a gift for my above-mentioned friend. Still, part of the display was the perfect place for it until she popped by for a visit. The tapestry picture in the middle was the first piece of handwork I did after we arrived in the UK. We had to wait three months for our furniture to arrive in the UK and as any good needlewoman knows, it is impossible to wait that amount of time for your stash to arrive. So I bought a tapestry kit to keep me busy. It was my first attempt at tapestry. I haven't done one since and I'm wondering why that is because I really did enjoy it. I think I just have too many other crafts that I like doing!


On the mantle I have a little bowl of stitched cushions that I have made over the years. I do love these little stitchery's. All the patterns are freebies and can be found on my Embroidery and Cross Stitch Pinterest board.


 In the photograph above you can see that I have hung a little string of autumn bunting along the mantle. I have various strings of autumnal bunting strung around the house -I'm pretty sure that it's mandatory in an English home 😉.


Finally, this is the little coffee table display. There are candles all over the place of course. Always a seasonally scented one (I have a salted caramel burning this week) and then lots of little tea lights and fairy lights to brighten up the shortening days.

Anyhoo lovelies, my apologies for having taken so long to post this little autumnal decor post. I would love to see what touches you have added to your own homes. Leave your IG handle or just a simple little comment and let me know how you have 'hygge-ed' your home this season.

Blessings in Christ

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Garden Tales

Its taken months of procrastinating and hard work over the weekends, but we have finally done it. We have turned an over-grown weedy patch outside our bedroom window into the beginnings of a garden. Its been a project in the pipelines since spring in fact, that is precisely when we bought the grass seed that we planned on sowing.


But then the 'weeds' turned out to be poppies and it looked really pretty. We didn't have the heart to pull out the poppies, so we let it be.


When the poppies faded away and we started to notice other plants springing up that were beginning to produce pesky seeds, we took action. It was time to be brutal. It would be a simple enough job we thought. Two weekends and it would be done. But garden jobs are never quite as quick as you think because there is still the lawn to cut weekly and beds that need turning over to keep the weeds at bay. So our 2 weekend job ended up taking 8 weekends.

This past weekend we finally sowed the grass seed... doesn't it look fabulous?


I have to say we were growing slightly concerned with the length of time that it was taking to clear the patch. Autumn has arrived and is that really the best time to sow grass seed?

Well it turns out that it is the optimum time to sow it - YAY! Nature has played ball this week and watered our freshly sown seed throughout the week. Each morning I search for signs of germination. I can't wait to see the lawn grow in.

As you can see there are two prepared beds. I plan on planting hellebore's and lots of spring bulbs among other semi-shade loving plants. This little plot gets shade for a good portion of the day so some careful plant planning is needed. Ferns might do quite well here actually.


I spotted this nasturtium flower while weeding on Saturday, isn't it just so pretty? None of the other flowers are like this. They are all block colours, either yellow or orange. I love how nature throws in a surprise to delight the observer. This one looks like it has sprung right off the pages of my daughters nature journal. 

This passed weekend was also a bit of spring clean in readiness for autumn. I spent most of Saturday cleaning out the laundry and garage - still much to be done but it's clean, washing windows and planting Hydrangeas and a Virginia Creeper I ordered a few weeks ago. Whilst tiding up the patio I came across a pot that had been blown over in a storm and split in two. I have used half of it for crocks in the bottom of my pots and had forgotten about the other half.



As I looked at it it suddenly dawned on me that it would make a very nice hedgehog home. This is certainly not where it's going to be, I simply turned it over and snapped a shot although...a home under the ivy and blackberry bramble does sound rather a sweet dwelling place for a hedgehog.

Anyhoo, enough garden rambling from me for today. I hope that you are all having a lovey week and have enjoyed the ushering in of a new season. I did manage to get my autumn decorating done in-between all the cleaning and gardening. But that is for another post. Have you decked out your home to celebrate autumn yet? This is such an atmospheric time of the year isn't it? Do let me know what autumnal plans, knits, makes you plan on doing...I always love to gain some inspiration so please do share, perhaps through a link or picture on my blogs Facebook page

Blessings to you all today...

Friday, September 20, 2019

September Catchup

This weekend is the official start of autumn...Yay! I've been planning my autumn decorating and will be enjoying a pleasant few hours decorating for the season. My front door entrance is looking rather faded and washed out so it's the perfect time for a refresh.


The girls and I have been gathering autumn decor supplies from the fields surrounding out home. We thought we had missed out change to gather a little bundle of wheat when we noticed the harvester out in the field...but he was just testing the harvest I guess because they soon packed it in and left it a week before bringing it all in.


DD1 started uni this week and she is loving it! She is loving meeting new friends and being back in an arty environment. Her bubble and spark has returned, it is wonderful to see her so inspired again. It just goes to show how important it is for our children to choose to work at something they love. It's like a duck to water.

DD2 starts uni this Monday - she's quite a little networker and has already been making friends with people on her course via the universities FB page. She is feeling more relaxed about starting on Monday.

I can't quite believe that we have reached that time already. It seems like just yesterday that we started homeschooling. It is wonderful to see them both happy and doing what they want to be doing and I'm really pleased that they are both living at home for their first year at university - I don't think I'm quite ready to have an empty nest just yet!


The countryside is a busy place at the moment. Fields are being harvested, the wheat fields surrounding our house were harvested yesterday and the farmers have been stacking bales of hay into the barn next door to our sweet cows late into the evening. They really do work very hard, it seems relentless at this time of year.


I really do enjoy the rhythm of the countryside year, it helps me to slow down and appreciate the moment rather that just rushing from one thing to the next.



Look at what my neglect is producing! My yellow courgettes are now reaching the end of their season. This one plant has kept us in excellent supply over the last month. My pumpkins are coming along nicely. I have about 3 or 4 that should make it to maturity - I can't believe how quickly they are growing. They seemed to take ages to get going.



My Sunflowers are doing well, I planted the seeds so late this season that I was beginning to wonder if we would get any flowers. I really will be more organised next year! I say that so often!


Finally...my aunt keeps solitary Mason bees. She has done so for years and seeing her bee nests in her garden really has inspired me to try my hand at keeping them too. I would love to learn the gentle art of bee-keeping but I have neither the time nor the right garden (yet) to keep them in the manner they should be kept. Mason bees, or any solitary bee, is much easier and less time consuming so I have decided to give this a go. My lovely aunt is going to send me some little bee larvae when she empties her bee tubes. How exciting!

Anyhoo, that's about it for today. I hope to be back next week with an autumn decor post. Such a lovely time of year isn't it?

Have a lovely weekend all...

Friday, August 30, 2019

Happy Days!

Hello my friends. This week has been such a happy week for me for a few reasons. First...this time last year we were packing up our home in Devon and moving back north! I can't believe that we have been back here for a whole year. The moment we left Devon I felt a lightness, that horrible claustrophobic feeling that I lived with for three years lifted and has not returned (sorry Devon). 



I've just been feeling so very content and grateful to the Lord for His provision. 



Secondly, last weekend I accompanied my husband to Sheffield to one of the hotels he runs - which happens to be the one he ran before we left for Devon. It was a football day and the owners of the hotel own the football team too so when there's a game there is always a crowd. We decided to go the night before and have dinner with friends from that side of the Pennines. Driving back to Cheshire on Saturday afternoon we decided to take the route through our old home town, my beloved Chesterfield and through the peaks, a route I traveled fortnightly with the girls to their homeschool art class.


Oh my goodness! It was so SO lovely. I absolutely ADORE Derbyshire and I've told my husband that we are definitely retiring there 😅. I even made him stop so I could take a picture or two. I would have made him stop more but thought I may be pushing my luck LOL. Along the way from Chesterfield to Manchester, you pass through the lovely village of Baslow where there is a building just covered on one side with Virginia Creeper. I always looked forward to seeing it in the autumn as we drove by. Driving past it on Saturday reminded me how much I love that plant. I used to have one along the back fence of my Chesterfield house. Well...I decided that my little farm house needs a Virginia Creeper so I treated myself and bought one. Hopefully it will thrive and we shall have many years to come enjoying it's autumn foliage.


Two more sleeps until early autumn begins! Oh my gosh I've been counting the days. With the calendar start of autumn I think it is perfectly acceptable to start decorating for autumn don't you? I've been keeping my autumn candles locked away and resisting the urge to light them and I may...just may...still hold off until the meteorological start of autumn later in the month. But this weekend the autumn bunting is definitely being strung up! Happily, I've noticed a few turning leaves already. Seems slightly early but I'll take it!


As you can see from the picture below, I have started knitting some autumnal socks. Its the nicest pattern although it took me a ridiculous three times of starting and frogging at the beginning. But finally I am on my way with the pattern and it gets easier with each pattern repeat. 


You can't see much of the pattern in this picture but if you pop onto Ravelry you can have a look. It's called Nutkin...isn't that just a very autumnal-sounding pattern? The yarn is my own. It was a skein that I was not happy with so over-dyed it with this lovely ochre-colour. I listed it in my shop but it's one of those that never shifted which I'm quite happy about because now I get to knit with it and I am loving the little specks that are shining through the ochre. Its such a happy colour.


Hay making and bailing is happening in the fields around us at the moment. I do love watching the fields being cut, left to dry and the bailed up. It gives one such a sense of peace...or at least it gives me a sense of peace. I love the rhythm of the year. Its the gentle repetition of seasonal living that marks our days and years.

Happily (another happy), it's weekend time again. We have our vicar and his family coming over for lunch on Sunday - we get on so well and we are looking forward to seeing them. My plans for Saturday are to do a bit of batch cooking and making our seasonal Bramble Apple jam - I have loads of apples already and will probably spend Saturday morning scouring the hedgerows for blackberries. What are your plans for the weekend?

Whatever they are, I hope that you have a blessed and joyous weekend. Blessings to you all my lovely friends...

Sunday, August 25, 2019

At Home in the Country

Aaah, country living - I truly love it. The only downside to living on a farm is the flies! Oh-my-gosh...they are horrendous in summer. I haven't had to live with fly problems since South Africa. But this summer, especially on hot days like we have had over the weekend, they are everywhere. They poop everywhere...little black dots all over the place. I spend my days running about with a cloth and disinfectant wiping down surfaces and cursing those little blighters.


I comfort myself in the thought that autumn officially arrives in a few weeks time and the flies will soon fade away until next summer.

Would you look at my pumpkin and marrow patch...


It is doing SO well! Neglect is working for me this summer. We have been harvesting marrows faster than we can eat them and enjoying them in stirfry's, roasted and grated in bolognese. I want to say I will pickle some but honestly, it just does not sound appealing to me. I cannot picture myself popping open and jar of pickled courgettes and tucking in.


The pumpkin vine is out of control. There are little pumpkins everywhere. I know that I should probably take some of the fruit off but I'm seriously taking the 'let-it-get-on-with-it' approach this year and resisting getting overly attentive. As I mentioned before, my loving attentions on my pumpkin vines last year were disastrous. So I shall just wait and see what happens.


Look at these little fellows. Are they not just too cute? We have a new batch of babies next door, the older ones have been moved to more spacious accommodations elsewhere on the farm. This little lot is rather skittish bar one. We've named him Phantom as he is all black with a white mask-like Phantom of the Opera. He is so friendly and pushes others out of the way when we visit for a good dose of strokes and pats. 


In the kitchen...I think I may have started a new trend in our family. Friday night is ALWAYS burger night. I make my own burgers and chips - both are tastier and healthier. On Slimming World both are free! The only thing I would buy-in is the burger rolls. However...



 DH and I were away on Friday so burger night fell to Saturday evening. We arrived home on Saturday afternoon and I realised that I hadn't picked up any rolls so what is one to do?

Make your own of course. I threw together some dough, divided up into 4 equal balls and topped them with herbs and spices. A quick spell in the oven and burger night was well underway. 

The rolls were a hit! They were so much more flavoursome than store-bought. The only advantage to buying them in is convenience. So, it has been decided that burger night will need to be switched to Saturday evening so that I can make the bread rolls. There is no way I would be able to, or should I say be inclined to, get them done after work on a Friday.

Lovelies, thank you for dropping in for a little natter. I do so love this little blog and chit-chatting with you all. I can't imagine my life without this little spot in the blogosphere. I look forward to seeing you back here soon. 

Blessings in Christ...