Tuesday, 19 August 2014


This lovely, plump toad was found amongst a pile of rotting wood and leaves at the bottom of the garden. It was probably feasting on the slugs and snails that had accumulated there.  Although I had once dreamt of it, I don't think I am ever destined to have an organised veg patch but it is highly likely that my garden will become a nature reserve with the amount of wildlife that come to visit!

There is a distinctly autumn flavour to the air today.  I can't say that I will be sorry to see summer go as it never really got started for me.  My OH (a teacher) has had whooping cough since the end of June and now with just two weeks to go before the new term starts he is just getting over it.  It has been so distressing to see him choking and gasping for breath knowing that there is nothing I can do.  Hopefully we can move onwards and upwards towards the latter part of the year.  Thank goodness I have had my crafting to keep me sane and help me to hold things together!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Return to Fabric Flower Brooches

I have started to make some fabric flower brooches for the craft fair.  The first time I made these I used brightly coloured floral fabrics.  I think the more sedate neutral tones will be more fitting for the autumn.  I have no idea of how many to make or even if people will want to buy them!  If you have a favourite , which one is it?

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Vintage Engelbert

I found this clip on Youtube.  I adored how Engelbert looked back then - the dusky complexion and dark eyes.  If only we could retain youthful good looks! 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Pimping up Pine Cones

It is a great time for picking up fallen pine cones in the UK.  I picked up a few handfuls at Capel Manor last week that had fallen from a giant Scots pine tree.

Unadorned the pine cones were lovely but I wanted to add a little extra to them .  I melted down some old candles that were too short to use and some wax that was left in the bottom of tea lights.  I did this in a heatproof bowl over some simmering water until just melted.  I then removed any wicks from the melted wax.  I had prepared a tray to use and had a packet of glitter to hand.  I carefully dipped the cones, pointy end down into the wax, placed them upright on the tray and sprinkled with glitter.  I did this for each cone and then left them until the wax had hardened.

I now have some very pretty bowl fillers (ssshh - for C*******s).  I guess you can hang them in garlands or as hanging decorations but you would have to keep them away from heat in case the wax started melting.

Don't forget to collect pine cones as soon as possible - everything is so early this year!  If you plan ahead you will have the materials you need for your festive projects!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Super Moon August 2014

On Sunday 10th August we had what is known as a super moon.  It had been a strange day what with the aftermath of hurricane Bertha.  It didn't affect as too greatly but we had torrential downpours and then it turned very windy for a short while.  By nightfall all was calm and the moon gave me a reassuring constant knowing it will always be there during my lifetime.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

I have been practising with presentation for my craft stall (sorry to be boring again)!  I have been playing around with ideas for presentation that can be packed away quickly and easily such as the wicker carry case above.  When the fair finishes I have just 15 minutes to be packed up before getting picked up!  I am hoping that I won't have much left to bring home.

When I worked I attended a display skills workshop so hopefully some of what I learnt would have rubbed off and I will be able to dig out some tips from the memory bank!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A Snapshot of Time Out

I just had to get away today so I was dropped off at Capel Manor Gardens in Enfield where I spent a couple of hours to myself.  My first port of call was the Meercat enclosure.  I am not sure about animals being kept out of their natural environment but I presume that they were born in captivity.  I could have observed them all day - me watching them watching me!

 I like this idea of shelves being rested on step ladders.  A good idea if you have limited space.

 I have a standard orange Crocosmia in my garden. I much prefer the impact of this golden yellow variety.

 A random recipe in one of the gardens.  I have so many courgettes (zucchini's) that I am sure to try this out.

 One of my favourite plants -Echinacea.

 More of the beautiful Echinacea - I wish I had a display like this one.

Globe artichokes soaring towards the sky.  I feel uplifted and rejuvanted having had some time out.  I bought some Blackfriars Bakery chocolate flapjacks from the canteen to take home and a Salvia, trailing Rosemary and a Dahlia from the plant sales section and picked up a few handfuls of scots pine cones for my craft table display.  It has been a good way to spend a few hours.