Monday, October 31, 2011

Apple Butter

A glut from a local public orchard

A veritable windfall of fruit

A few helpful hands

A night in the slowcooker

My kind of preserving


A discovery of thigh-expanding proportions: peanut butter and apple butter on toast…

Thanks so much to the mummy of Tilly’s scrumptious co-model for capturing a lovely afternoon in the autumn sunshine. Regular readers of this blog will quickly note photography skills not usually demonstrated here. :-)

Have also had great success using up the inevitable last-year’s-mincemeat jar with this recipe, which produced a light and moist, flavourful afternoon cake. Excellent.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Non-gory Halloween

P1080449Having been brought up in the States, I have an incredibly broad definition of what constitutes a Halloween costume. I established my general horror of the British version of Halloween within about two months of arriving back in the UK, aged 11. I went to a Halloween party in the Cotswolds dressed as Lucy Maud Montgomery. I know, I was a geek. But I was also NOT a ghost, witch or spider… Needless to say, the strange child in the corduroy was viewed with no small amount of suspicion…

I have decided, now, to stick to the basics, until I can convince the Boy that I need a Halloween on the proper side of the Atlantic some time in the future.

I’m slightly against, however, dressing my child in costumes requiring fake blood, exposed bones or scaring other children… Sadly, she has been invited to two separate Halloween events this weekend, so a costume of sorts is required…

I came across this lovely tutorial a while back and required a bit of judicious googling to uncover it again. I had a tablecloth in my stash that had been embroidered rather haphazardly (!) and was not really suitable for my usual reusing in teacosy, bib or hanging heart form. A donated white cotton curtain provided suitable strength for the lining and it was a pretty simple affair.

I decided to base the shape on the embroidery in front of me, and came up with this ‘B’ shaped outline. Cut twice, there are now two sets of wings, probably one to be sold or given to a friend of Tils for an upcoming birthday. Right sides together, sewn around, trimmed and snipped before turning through, a quick iron and then attaching of elastic at the back and wrists.


At last – a costume that’s simple, effective, doesn’t restrict important exploring and appeals to my creative instincts…

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It did rather flummox some of the more traditionalist costumes there though…

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A wedding fit for a princess

Well it was only a matter of time, I suppose…

Why waste your breath talking about a derriere when you too can be sauntering around, upstaging your sister’s big day!?


In truth, any increase in the number of patterns for bridal attire that do not involve strapless wonders is fine in my book…


And just in case you want to go the whole nine yards


Catherine-a-like Butterick 5731

Pippa-a-like Butterick 5710

Mini-a-like Butterick 5705

Mini-soldier boys optional extra…

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Before the Autumn turns to Winter

I should probably post these ridiculous pictures of Autumn masquerading as Summer…

Saturday 1 October saw the little one in next door’s garden in a swimsuit…


In a paddling pool…


In a sprinkler…


Followed by a rapidly assembled Dragon Cake*


*Note to self: never ask for cake requests from 3year old boys… If you are expecting a suggestion of chocolate, banana or the like… you are likely instead to be faced with creating a mythical being in dessert form at two hours’ notice…

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blue Poppy Jewellery

Love it when you come across a designer who has your very same aesthetic. Hannah Shuckberg is excellent at finding them on her blog hanpicked… I’m still working on collating my pretty things – mostly through rampant amounts of online procrastination of housework (ahem… research) and then popping here to write it down to find later…

Today I came across this rather splendid designer, about whom I can find nearly nothing at all. I do have a bit of a hankering for most of her work though, with these reaching the upper echelons of the wanties

lemon quartz earrings $70

morse code necklace $70

And finally, the wonderfully explained sisterhood bracelet $62:

The constellation Pleiades, also known as the seven sisters, has held a special place in the human imagination throughout history. This hardwood bracelet has been inlaid with tiny drops of silver to represent this star formation as a reminder of the unconditional bond between sisters.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just say ‘Fromage!’

A lucky prize when entering a competition at a makeover/photography shoot in Cheltenham …

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A sesh with a makeup artist

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A rather bored small child – resulting in lots of sessions of ‘Dingle Dangle Scarecrow’

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A fabulously cheesey set of photographs to set in stone this happy year of toddlers and milestones…

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The delights of Garter Stitch

Simplicity in a ‘knit every row’ mantra need not be limited to starter knitters…


Contemporary Cardigan by Bugs & Fairies


Annabel Cardigan (Pattern) by Quince & Co $6


Garter Yoke Baby Cardigan Pattern

Oh the simplicity and the prettiness!

Have been having much fun recently mastering the ‘top down in the round’ technique for a few ‘bumps in the making’…


One done, one on the needles and the third poised for cast on. Would everyone please coordinate diaries in future so I’m not baby-bombarded like this in the future??

Selfish, I tell you.