Thursday, 25 October 2012

Toadstools and Dewdrops

The past few days have been pretty miserable haven’t they?
The fog hasn’t lifted all day.
In fact, the last few days have been draped in this eerie blanket of mist.
It hasn’t been cold, just damp and very, very still.
Like the day is holding its breath.
Time seems somehow, to stand still.
Even the girls are subdued.
Everyday sounds are muffled .....
..... and the silence is intensified.
Just the birds sing.
But, no matter how miserable the day is…..
….. or how gloomy.
Nature is beautiful.

Every surface in the garden is adorned with spiders webs, intricately spun, and highlighted with tiny glistening dew drops.
Perfect little beads of light, reflecting the mist around them.
The mist finally lifted at tea time.
Quickly and unexpectedly.
Just in time for that magical pre-dusk light when the sun is really low in the sky.

I took my camera into the woods.
I thought it would be orange and yellow but the leaves are only just turning here.

You could hear the water dripping off the trees.
Everything was bejewelled with these sparkling droplets.

The leaves and the seed pods and even the grass. 

Best of all though, was the fairy tale toadstools. 

Perfectly beautiful in their own miniature world.


Like tiny floured bread buns.

Something has taken a nibble out of this one.
Can’t have been very nice ….. there was just the one bite.
Yip, no matter how grey the day seems.
Nature’s beauty always shines through.
Isn’t creation amazing?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Teeny Tags

The ‘big one’ is not too far away now.
March 2013 seems a long way off…..
….. but not if you count it in weeks.
Weeks, in which to create and make ….
… as well as all the other day to day jobs that have to be done.
It isn’t really that long at all.
It will soon be here.
A week long fair in London.
Wednesday to Sunday.
You have to make enough stuff to last for five days…..
….. so I am busy making now.
Hearts and bunnies and other fripperies.
This week though, I am making my tag pictures.
Pictures made up of mini collages of vintage finds sewn onto teeny tags.
Tags made from vintage ephemera.
Choosing the right vintage treasure, snippet of lace, button or key to complement each tag ……
….. juxtaposing the right tag with its neighbour ..... 
takes time.
Especially when I get side tracked routing through my treasures.
Or pouring over documents.
The show is a killer long one.
Five days and one evening ……
….. but you meet some lovely people - stall holders and visitors alike…….
….. and see some beautiful things.
The Christmas Fair is first, of course, in November, but I don’t make that one.
So, 22 weeks to prepare, create and make.
For the Country Living Spring Fair 2013.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Blustery Afternoon

Today is just beautiful.
I had a couple of appointments to keep and went out not realising just how blustery it is.
It is stunningly bright.
The sun is shining.
The wind is very, very blustery …
.....but very warm.
The sky a vivid blue.....
… with giant clouds, fluffy and snowy white, racing across this vast space.
The few leaves that have fallen are blowing right up into the air.
 In circles...
... chasing each other.
It is a stunningly beautiful day.
I had to stop the car and take photographs …..
….. of the sun beams bursting through the trees and hedges.
Creating deep shadows
Of the autumn fruit …..
...... caught in a sun beam.

The air is full of the sweet scent of autumn.
If you could smell colour it would smell of orange and brown...
.....I just love days like these.
Don't you?


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Plums and Liquorice

This time of the year I love faffing about in the kitchen, squirrelling away the gardens bounty, whether simply wrapping apples in paper to over winter, bottling, making jam or generally stocking up for the winter…..
... filling the pantry shelves with jewel like jars of fruit to feed us through the long months or giving them away as gifts to friends who visit.  
Plum and liquorice deliciousness in a jar.

I came across this recipe for Plum and Liquorice Chutney whilst thumbing through a magazine in a waiting room and the kind receptionist photocopied it for me ( I am too much of a coward to sneakily tear out a page when no one is looking)
Not being a fan of the vinegary, tangy chutneys – I leave those to his Nibs and his boiled ham - this one, with its suggestion of chough syrupy liquoriceness appealed.
Yesterday, with the wind doing its best to bend the trees in half and sending clouds tearing across the sky, it was the perfect day to stay inside and preserve …..  
….. so, with Radio 4Xtra on in the background and the scent of roasting plums in the air, I could be found happily playing with the Aga .....


….. amid the aroma of liquorice root, cardamom and other warming spices filling the kitchen I spent a blissful hour cutting plums, removing stones, grinding spices and stirring the brown sugary and red wine goodness.  I snook in a couple of star anise to replace some of the cardamom (which was very overpowering when ground) and this added a further whiff of liquorice.
The gently bubbling mixture was transferred to the simmering oven and left for a few hours to thicken into a sweet gloop sending out a lovely waft every so often as I opened the oven door to stir…..

…… it smelt divine…

Finally, sampled for suitableness by my trusty testers, neighbours Ron and his Mother-in-Law Betty and force feeding His Nibs when he came in, it has been bottled and labelled and sits prettily on my pantry shelf maturing (hopefully) into something tasty to adorn some winter fare.
Whatever you are doing, enjoy your weekend.