Saturday 27 November 2021

Keeping Cosy

Hello Lovelies,
I can't quite believe it's Saturday morning again already. The weather has really changed in the past few days and this morning I felt the need to light the fire for the first time this Autumn. We won't put up our Christmas decorations until next weekend  (would be later if it was my choice...I'm trying to hang onto autumn and I don't like to focus on Christmas until mid  December really😊) but I'm happy to have a few fairy lights up already to add to the cosy vibe.

This was the garden at about 9am. We had snow! I say had as it's already melted but wasn't it pretty! 

Ideal weather to get in the in the kitchen and do some baking again. There's currently a gingerbread cake  in the oven. I have some black treacle that needs using up so I've been on the look out for recipes that need some.

Today I decided to look in this book which mum passed on to me. I wonder if any of you remember the TV series this book was produced to accompany? It was a 70's series and I only have the vaguest of recollections.  

Any cake with plenty of ginger is ideal for cold weather I always think.

It certainly has been chillier here but Thursday brought my most favourite walking weather. 
Frost and sunshine.
 I dropped youngest off at work and headed to the start point of a walk not far from there. I parked on the roadside but was soon out in the countryside and the only person around. It was gorgeous.

A bit further along the path I noticed a group of men walking towards me. They seemed friendly enough as we crossed paths but struck me as a bit out of place. It didn't help when they stopped walking when I was still only a bit past them. I hurried on and was happy to spot a lone figure up ahead. He stood still (on his phone) until I passed him. He was at a folk in the path. Oh dear, that stuck me as odd too.

It was all innocent I'm sure, but on Thursday morning I suddenly felt really vulnerable. My imagination told me something horrible was about to happen and it didn't make for a happy walk. This track seemed to go on for a long time and I think I would have jumped in the hedgerow if a van had appeared.

I stuck to my original 4 mile route plan as I didn't know an alternative and I didn't want to double back. It's a long way when you are wondering what's around every corner and looking over your shoulder a lot.

I think the recent horribly sad cases of women loosing their lives while just being outside must be affecting me, but I don't want to live in fear. I will be avoiding this area, unless I have company, for a good while though. 

Sorry if that was a bit heavy, I just felt the need to share. I hope you don't mind. I don't want to add to anybody else's worries but I think being honest is important too. 

My cake is now out of the oven, it smells amazing.

Here is the recipe, in case you fancy making one yourselves lovelies.

As it's better after keeping for a few days I also made some simple shortbread biscuits.

HERE'S a similar recipe . I roll the dough into a sausage and cut into 5cm sections. Once they are on the baking tray I squash them with the back of a folk. It's very easy and I like the biscuit shape it creates 

I think that's a good morning's work...Lets call it that 😉, though it's really a joy to spend time baking. Especially when the temperature is 3 degrees Celsius outside and the wind is howling.

Whishing you a happy weekend lovelies, I hope life is treating you kindly and you can enjoy whatever you are doing.
Jacquie x

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Noticing Trees

Hello Lovelies, 
yesterday morning dawned bright and chilly. As soon as I had taken youngest to work I headed out for a walk. I was so pleased there was still some frost to be seen after 9am.

I decided to leave the footpath a little to go and visit some favourite trees on the golf course as they are stunning at this time of year. 

I think I'd left it a bit late as most of the leaves have already fallen. Still, they made a stunning carpet.

And there were still a few gorgeous pink leaves catching the sunlight.

So many trees are totally bare now, but that doesn't make me sad. I love to be able to see the form of the branches and shadows they create.

Of course it's nice that some trees still have leaves, like this silver birch with wonderful golden cascades of foliage.

And the oaks are reaching their pinnacle of bronze beauty.

In my own garden our silver birch tree is glowing. This tree was here when we moved in 25 years ago, but we do prune it as our neighbour isn't keen on tall trees casting shade on her garden.

I'm more proud of the young trees I chose and planted myself. The youngest is this lovely Rowan  , chosen for it's benefits to wildlife as well as it's fab berries ( it's still too young to produce those) 

About 4 years ago I planted this Crab Apple and this is the first year it has a significant amount of fruit.
Isn't it lovely. Planting a tree is such a special thing I think

I keep looking around for a spot to add another tree but really I need to resist and give these chance to mature.

Finally, I'm happy to report this farmhouse apple and fruit cake I made at the weekend (link to recipe is in previous post) is yummy. I will certainly make this again.

Thank you apple trees!

I hope you have enjoyed what's turned out to be a tree appreciation post lovelies :0)
It's such a joy to me to notice trees in my local area as they change throughout the seasons. 
Look what I've just found! ...THIS post from almost a decade ago....I still love this tree and was pointing it out to eldest only yesterday 💚

Jacquie x

Saturday 20 November 2021

Fresh and Gentle Days

Hello Lovelies, 
this morning I'm baking a cake so I thought I'd write a post whilst it's in the oven. I do love a bit of Saturday morning baking. I'm trying THIS recipe and hopefully I'll have a nice picture of a finished cake to add to the end of this post. It smells good at the moment so I'm feeling optimistic.

I'm sorry it's been a while since the last time I was here. My evenings have been rather taken up with the Autumn inspired blanket I've started. It's the first blanket project I've made this year and I'm feeling optimistic about this too. 

The title of this post was inspired by a comment from Suzie ( at ambling along Suzie) over on Instagram. I think it perfectly describes the weather November has brought us over the past couple of weeks. 
It's way too mild for this time of year really, but so wonderful to enjoy the fabulous shades of autumn without a lot of cold, wet, gloom and wind.

Here I was out with mum on Monday afternoon. We often set off with no real plan and see where we end up :0)
When we come across a view mum fancies painting we stop and she sits in the car and gets to work whilst I go for a walk.
 I can see why she was inspired by this honey coloured squat little church.

And thankfully there were plenty of footpaths for me to explore.

And if I come back before mum is finished I get sent away to explore a bit more. This time I found mushrooms 😊

I love mum's watercolour painting of the autumnal scene. 

We also stopped off at a couple of pretty villages on the way home. Everywhere was looking so nice.

I couldn't resist a low angle shot of these lovely fallen leaves here.

Autumn has been so inspiring to me this year. Here is the start of my blanket, made using the colours I'm seeing everywhere at the moment.
 It's just three round granny squares made in solid colours and I'm joining as I go.

I'm balancing time spent sitting with my hook with time spent outside locally. The days are short but consequently the sky is often dramatic by mid afternoon.

and especially at sunset. I could see the autumn shades in this sky too.

so here's where I'm currently up to with my blanket, especially for you my lovely blog readers :0)

Looking down on it you can see it's a bit of a homage to my love of patchwork! Middle son's girlfriend introduced me to a website called Stitch Fiddle which allows you to plan out this sort of project.

 I've worked through lots of variations of designs. I've plumped for a sort of Irish Chain (I think). 
I'm sure the quilters amongst you will know a better description. For whilst I love patchwork and quilting it's not something I have much experience of doing.

So far I'm feeling hopeful that this crochet version will turn out well and I'm really enjoying working to a plan as it stops all that procrastination I suffer with when working with random shades.

Oh, almost's the Farmhouse apple and fruit cake ( I used mixed fruit instead of sultanas) fresh out of the oven. Mine only took and hour to cook, so something to bare in mind if you decide to give this a go.

Hopefully I'll be back with a review of how it tastes very soon :0)

I hope you are all keeping well and enjoying Saturday. Thank you so much for all the kind comments on my recent posts.

Jacquie x

Thursday 11 November 2021

Inspired by Autumn

 Hello Lovelies, 

I've been on a bit of a mission to tidy up this week, putting stuff away and sorting paperwork. 

I think as the garden becomes cold and damp it feels more important to create a calm space to shelter in. Our indoor living space feels the pressure of so many adults using it. It's not toys I do battle with these days but shoes, coats, tech, and never ending laundry.

An Autumn clean, tidy and declutter seems essential for my sanity.

Yesterday I took the afternoon off and went for a walk though...another sanity essential.

It was a dull day but the seasonal colour is getting really good this week.

I couldn't stop picking up leaves.

This scene was all green a couple of weeks ago.

Now there are  fabulous shades of plum

and red

Along with the golds and oranges

When I got home I had a little play with all the leaves I had collected. How lovely are these shades and shapes?

The autumn scenes and leaf colours inspired me to get my yarn pegs out.

I'm still experimenting with colour combinations and thinking about what project I want to use them for, but it's great to feel inspired.

I also collected some dried grasses and seed heads while I was out. I love this simple arrangement on my mantel.

It balances well with the houseplant on the other end.

I made this mosaic for inspiration. It's a joy to capture this moment, when so many leaves are fading into a rainbow of beauty and the berries shine.

I do hope you lovelies manage to get outdoors and make the most of Autumn (or Spring) this week.
Jacquie x