Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cornflowers


I've been so lucky this year and the garden has been full of cornflowers.
Here are a few images in celebration.

On the allotment


Papercut by Philipp Otto Runge found at intofineart


Vintage china found by Alice at Emmaus



Picked flowers in the flat


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Your mother was a hamster...




I had been wondering for a while why you don't see Elderberry Jam more often? At this time of year, the berries are in abundance and being that they are free, I thought they'd be a popular choice amongst budding cooks.

At the weekend, my first (and very likely the last) attempt at making some elderberry jam mostly went wrong, giving me an insight into its absence on farm shop shelves.

To catalogue my difficulties:

1) It took approx an hour and a half to remove just 500g of berries from the twigs.
2) After4 wrinkle tests and 15 minutes, the jam still had not set.
3) By this time, I could smell burning. Yep, burnt elderberries stuck to bottom of pan.
4) Still some twigs in jam, spent 45 mins sieving through muslin to get a tiny jar full
5) Didn't manage to remove colour from my hands until next day.


But despite it taking the best part of Saturday morning, the jam did taste very nice on some crumpets.



By next year I'll have forgotten and will probably think it's a good idea to make it again.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Monday, 26 September 2011

Calendula Tea



The strebergarten was full of marigolds this year.
Not only do they look beautiful but they do a fab job of keeping slugs at bay.

They make lovely picked flowers, (I've been mixing them with cornflowers) and you can make a tea which is apparently a great detoxifier. Tastes horrendous but I've been drinking it in the hope it's doing me some good! You can make it directly from the flowers or dry the petals so that you can drink it all year round!

I've been collecting the seeds too so watch this space for a how-to and a giveaway!

Allotment Salad



Fresh, delicious salad with cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, spring onions and cornflowers petals from the allotment.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Cotton branches


Found these in a bin.
Sometimes, I don't understand people.
But at least now they're doing a good job of decorating my mantelpiece.

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Big Knit


It's almost that time of year again, when smoothies adorned with dinky little woolly hats begin appearing in the shops. Hooray.

For the past few years, Innocent drinks have been asking their customers to make tiny knitted hats for smoothies, then for each unit sold, 25p is donated to Age Concern.

This is such a cute way to help a good cause and, oh my, what an amazing bit of social marketing by Innocent. After forgetting that they exist over the summer, I rediscover my love of smoothies every year once I see the hats on the supermarket shelves.

You can find out about The Big Knit here and there's a selection of patterns here and here. They even blog about their favourite hats sent in by their keen group of knitting followers!

And good news for me, the riddle of what to do with all the dozens of pompoms is solved. I made them to decorate my birthday party this summer and Innocent have offered to find homes for all of them!

It's well worth an hour or two of your time to contribute a few hats to this really fun and worthwhile cause.

The deadline is 14th October and hats will be on sale from 3rd November. Have fun!

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Update: Just after posting this, I clicked on a link a friend had sent me of a music composition that his brother had put together. To my delight it had an Innocent connection too! I love it when that stuff happens! You can see the video and the beautiful music here.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Night of the three cosmos



It all started quite innocently, Nicci and I popping into Xuma during happy hour for a cocktail.



I don't know how strong they were but somehow we found ourselves on the way home, buying vodka, ready to make another round.


After the very strong, home-made effort, we managed to restrain ourselves to one more - this time courtesy of M&S, whose new cocktail-in-a-can range are delicious, albeit very sweet.

A fine way to spend a school night

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

flowers and cakes



Beautiful cake decorations here at Unworn

Monday, 19 September 2011

Good things come to those who make.



Especially if you have crafty friends who make you beautiful things too. Alice made me this adorable origami lino print for my birthday.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Devil's Dyke


If you're short on something to do this Sunday, I can recommend catching the #77 bus up to Devil's Dyke.

Patrick and I went last Sunday and spent a few hours wandering and chatting, followed by soup-of-the-day in the pub.

The nicest way to spend an afternoon.






Friday, 16 September 2011

Fly away




Instagrams


If there's one thing that will make me fail on my mission to remain iPhoneless, it's the instagram app.

Look at these amazing images by Mike Kus. This is my favourite.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Lakeside



Pictures taken beside the lake at work this afternoon.









Sunday, 11 September 2011

Lost Things


This image chokes me up every time I see it.

It was created by Ricardo Bessa for an Oh Comely feature a few months ago on the subject on Lost Things. Ricardo's accompanying text spoke of his hope that memory loss can at least protect our loved ones from the knowledge of what's happening to them as they grow old.

I don't visit my Grandma enough. She's confused and doesn't know who we are.

It's heartbreaking, and incredibly hard work for Dad and Sue who look after her. This picture sums up for me how it can be our responsibility and our pleasure to help our grandparents through...

Please take the time to visit Ricardo's site to see the rest of his beautiful images.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Window Boxes update


Nasturtiums and cornflowers and yellow flowers outside my window.

Friday, 9 September 2011

How to knit - Tango Glitz


I bought some Tango Glitz in Black months ago (1 ball = 1 scarf), realised that I couldn't work out how to knit with it, got bored, gave up.

Luckily, The Yarn and Craft Shop not only sell this yarn but have put together a video of how to use it.

I can get back on track with knitting my Christmas presents now.
Phew.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Candle holders



I want to make these!! Found on The Sweetest Occasion

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Hexipuffs




Look at this gorgeous project from tiny owl knits. A blanket made of hexagon puffs! It looks so comfy and what an amazing way of using up leftover wool. You can buy the pattern here for just $5.50.

It's taken tiny owl a year to make all the hexagons so if I get started now I might have one for next winter. Though I don't like hexagons. I am more of a square person...

It might be a good way of practicing different knitting and crochet techniques, could be fun. But perhaps I should finish some of my other projects first?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Other Lives @ EoTR



I could not wait for End of The Road this year.

As the festival approached, the list of people I was desperate to see continued to grow....Phosphorescent were the main draw, closely followed by Lykke Li, Beirut, Best Coast and Caitlin Rose.

But as is often the case, it was an accidental discovery that provided the highlight of the festival.

I'd spent Saturday afternoon listening to a string of amazing bands. The music started with a reliably fantastic show by Beth Jeans and the Hooves, followed by a deliciously modest performance by 'Allo Darlin, who seemed genuinely stunned by the delighted reaction of the crowd.

I fell in love with Matthew Houck. With the afternoon sun on my face I listened to his beautiful tales of love and loss and was in heaven when he sang The Mermaid Parade, a tune I've listened to dozens of times on my iPod since I first heard of Phosphorescent a number of months ago.

Just from watching so many amazing sets, I was exhausted.

Jonathan and I dragged ourselves into the Tipi tent and ordered our pints of Late Red as an indie band packed up their instruments. We rested there for a while, enjoying the break as the next band tuned up on the stage in front of us.

I had no idea who they were.

It's really hard to express just how much I loved every second of the Other Lives set. I hope they don't mind me describing them as all my favourite bits of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes rolled into the best kind of folk americana there is. Just utterly exquisite, enchanting melodies. Wonderful.

When I went to pick up a copy of their new album, Tamer Animals, at Resident yesterday, the man behind the counter expressed surprise at the number of copies he'd sold that day. It didn't surprise me, everyone seemed to have had the same idea after seeing them play.

I'm rubbish at describing music, it's not one of my strengths and I can't do the band justice but I can only say that there's no better accolade than reams of people flocking to buy your album as soon as they possibly can.

Have a listen to this and let me know if you love them as much as me.



Saturday, 3 September 2011

More pictures of heather


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So, I took a lot of pictures of heather in Holmfirth the other weekend. I couldn't quite get over the stunning colours and the way it covered the landscape like a blanket.

Wow.
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Thursday, 1 September 2011

rainclouds


Okay, I might not think much of baby showers, but I love this styling for a party over at Lisa Storms