Thursday 6 October 2011

Craft Books and Sunshine in the Garden.

A beautiful burst of late afternoon sunshine had me touring the garden yesterday, camera in hand.

Green man.

Rose. Earlier this year I dug out all the roses in the front garden as they were loosing the battle with the grass in the "flower bed". I later bought another one for a pot and it's thriving, so far...

Aster. Bought as an unknown thing in the sale section at B&Q. So glad I did give it a home as it provides a reliable and welcome show of late colour.

I varnished the gate, woohoo! I did this last week during the "heatwave". Although we didn't share in the very hot and sunny weather experienced further south in the UK, the week was generally dry and mild - most pleasant. A painter dealt with the eaves and downpipes of the house, a roofer sorted out the damaged flashings and loose slates, and I got some varnishing done. I'm starting to feel a little more prepared for winter.

Back inside...
The brambles have all been turned into jelly. The harvest was pretty poor this year, a lot of the berries never seemed to ripen and those that did were small.

I made seven full jars and two half jars in total. Some have already been gifted or eaten but I have five full jars safely tucked away.

Continuing with the red, white and blue colour scheme, I finally won a dala horse on ebay. I've had my eye on one of these for a while and found a pair in deep red (as opposed to the more common orange), one is living upstairs and this one is downstairs (shown here next to a print by Julia Crossland).

More artwork: A's latest - a rather exuberant mountain goat, made me laugh.

I picked the last of the rhubarb from the garden and made a rhubarb, apple, plum and blueberry crumble. It was unexpectedly delicious. I'd overstewed the rhubarb and apples, and when I added them to the plums and blueberries it looked like a cat had puked in the dish (sorry!), but it made a lovely thick fruit sauce. I then didn't have any rolled oats so added oatmeal to the topping instead, it turned out beautifully crunchy so I will continue to use oatmeal in future.

My current favourite type of chocolate. I can't keep any in the cupboard as I just end up eating it all. Available in handy 40g bars from your local Co-op for 60p.

Muffins! They're all the same recipe, the darker ones are just the 2nd batch which I burnt - too busy chatting. I managed to catch them before they were ruined though, the children don't like them but I do.

The Book People currently have some lovely craft books for sale at excellent prices. I recently bought two by Jane Brocket - The Gentle Art of Knitting and The Gentle Art of Quilting, both for just £6.99 each.

Of the two, the knitting one is the one I'm most likely to actually make something from, but both are lovely to read and look at. "There is nothing nicer on a cold, rainy, blustery winter evening than snuggling down on a comfy sofa, a fire to one side, a glass of red wine to the other, ... [with] a good book, [and] some knitting that can be picked up and put down." Well if that quote and the lovely patterns (I've shown below the ones I'd like to try first) don't get me to have another go at learning to knit then nothing will!

Hot water bottle cover.

Plain sock pattern.

Slouchy hat.

I've just had a quick look at the craft section on the Book People site and they also have "Cute and Easy Crochet" by Nicki Trench (see Attic 24 review here) for a mere £3.99.

The Knitter's Year by Debbie Bliss (£4.99) and Christmas Crafting in No Time (£3.99) are also catching my eye, uh oh, perhaps it's just as well I have to step away from the computer right now as I need to collect A & N from school & nursery!


Anonymous said...

Ooh, I love your Darlana Horse and the Mountain Goat. I recognised Julia's print, I have one too but a different title from yours.

Your garden pictures are lovely.

driftwood said...

ooh I ordered those two for a Christmas treat for myself, it is Very hard to leave them in the box.... and I was drooling over the knitters year in Waterstones last week, oh dear.... more online shopping.... x

Louise said...

Lovely photos! The 'heatwave' in England made it too hot to really enjoy the weather! We went out twice and came back feeling exhausted and headachey!

I love the mountain gaot picture! I must also try to get hold of some of that chocolate, it sounds delicious!

Annaboo's House said...

Beautiful photos of your garden.
Love those books - I love having a book with great pictures to snuggle up with too.

VintageVicki said...

I am quite glad our heatwave has gone. It was very autumnal here today - am sure our garden is now full of leaves.

That co-op chocolate is gorgeous - orange chocolate is my all time favourite.

June said...

Love the goat drawing - some real talent there! The knitting book looks great too!

Mrs. Micawber said...

I love the speckled leaf with its hints of violet and rose.

I was just wondering why we hadn't seen any of A's work lately and, page down, there it is! Great expression on the goat's face and the horns are very well done.

Over here "oatmeal" is what we call rolled oats. Can't think why.

There's also a lovely knitted apron in Jane Brocket's Gentle Art of Domesticity. (Another good reason to learn to knit).

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info on the books - just going to go and have a wee peek at the book people now. Your rose is lovely. They never did well in our last garden but I think it was down to me as our neighbours always have the most wonderful display of climbers, standards and tea roses! Maybe pot roses are the way forward!

Beth of The Linen Cat said...

Fabulous flower photos and I'm v impressed you've varnished your gate, I was discussing the blatant ignoring that our fence and greenhouse should have been done last year with our neighbour at the weekend. Shame on me. A's picture made me laugh out loud. Hope you have a lovely weekend. Bethx

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Lovely photos! I thought I recognised Julia's picture. I like her work.
By the way......WELL DONE!!!
So pleased for you.
Have a lovely weekend!
Isabelle x

Anonymous said...

I like the picture of the green man in your garden, thanks for showing some of the Jane Brocket book, I bought the quilting one for my Mums birthday present, isn't that cover nice?! I have so many knitting books, but I might just go back and get that one. I like book people prices as well.


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