Sunday, 24 August 2014

Autumn Glow & Howling Hallowe'en 2014 - Partners Announced

Autumn Glow & Howling Hallowe'en 2014

hello all and happy Sunday (and a bank holiday one to boot! (for some..))

As promised, here are the swap partners for this years swaps:

Golden Autumn:

Ellie at Feltabulous and Amanda at Crafty in the Med

Linda at Vintage Hearth and Helen at Moonstruckcreations

Amy at Knitterofhats and Melanie at The Patchwork Robin

Jille at Love to Craft and Blueberry Heart

Gill at DosieRosie and Blueberry Heart


Howling Hallowe'en:

Sandra at The Crafts House and Kim at Love From Peapods  (last but by no means least, Kim!! ;-)

Now the fun bit! If we can all make contact with our partners and swap details etc and sort out when we'd like to swap. If you're not already blog buds, its an ideal time to discover a new blog and see what your partners likes are for some ideas for the swap perhaps.

Jille and Gill; I hope you don't mind being partnered with me! We had an even number of participants and so to avoid yours truly sitting on the shelf watching the fun, I've joined in twice!

Any problems, please do email me (button RHS of the page) and I'll try and help you. I've also added hyperlinks above to everyone's blogs for ease.

Thank you very much for taking part everyone, I really appreciate your participation :-)

Happy swapping!

BH x

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Out and About at the Gibside..

Yesterday was a day that had me at a loose end. I'd been indoors most of the week and the cobwebs need blowing away - and it was breezy enough alright...

I jumped in the car headed off down the road to the Gibside, the craft and farmers market was on and the combination of fresh air and freshly baked pastries was just too much temptation

It was surprising to see how many signs of autumn are about, it feels like it has arrived really early this year...

There were conkers galore on the trees and the leaves were just beginning to turn, a few more weeks and these will have fallen and the leaves will be lovely and golden..

The market has shrunk a bit since the last time I was there, not so many stalls and fewer still of the crafty variety, but what they do have is very nice indeed...

These heart frames (of course) caught my eye. I saw a similar one years ago in diamonds and pearls that I sooo wish I'd bought. Had I been in the market for a hip flask yesterday (well you never know when the need will arise, do you??), then this leather one would have been ideal...

What I really liked were the display crates - one reads 'C.W.S Lard'!

The on site National Trust shop always has nice bits and bobs, and these sculptures were very eyecatching... liked the peacock a lot..

Not far away from the market area is one of my favourite places to wander at the Gibside; the Walled Garden...

A large piece of this lovely old wall collapsed last year, leaving the hole you can see...

Everything seems so early this year; these were the last of the apples in the orchard... (my apple tree is just about ready - not many left though as the birds got to them)

Autumnal colours idea what this flower is but it is beautiful, especially against the black foliage...

No idea what these are either even though I have some of them in pots and grew them from seed this year (I am so not green fingered/forgetful!)

Love, LOVE pumpkins! Gorgeous ones on the vine in the veggie plots...nice to cook with, display and carve!

There are various plots allocated to different people and groups who grow such varied things...a nice place to come and tend your veggies... :-)

At the back of the walled garden was this marquee, all set up for a wedding and how beautifully done. Anything with bunting looks lovely to me anyway...

The addition of lanterns to light the evening and haybales to sit on is so rustic and so up my street! I bet the bride was beyond thrilled with the whole set must have looked even more beautiful in the evening all illuminated...oh to have been a guest!!

So tea yesterday evening consisted of a 'posh' quiche bought at the market from a stall selling the most amazing speciality breads and pastries, 'cheats' potato salad made with soured cream & chive dip (extra, extra chives from the herb planter outside thrown in for good measure) and a large side order of healthy green stuff (not what I normally call it but I am being polite!)

Also a bit more of my 'meeses' cross stitch, which is coming along bit to do is the beaded blackberry at the bottom...

speaking of which, the real blackberries are out a lot earlier than usual too - not quite enough for a crumble yet though..I'll have to wait another couple of weeks for that!

So a thoroughly rock and roll Saturday evening...all with an accompanying glass of Pinot...or three...bliss!

BH x

Also, just a quick last shout out for the swaps; if you'd like to take part, click here to read the original post and sign up. I'm going to leave it open a bit longer as I forgot to put the photos on my side bar and not as many have signed up so far as previously, so to give everyone a chance I'll draw names next weekend, on Sunday 24th August (hope that's ok with everyone) BH x

Sunday, 10 August 2014


This summer...

It's been another good 'un here in my part of merry old England...

As a result my behind has more often than not been firmly welded to the swing seat on the sun trap that is our patio, whiling away the hours with a book in hand - either crafty or novel...

Of course something with ice and a slice is always welcome on a hot summers day (or indeed after work of an evening ...)

The plants have had the time of their lives - lots of sun and the occasional downpour as is the norm in a north-eastern UK summer. These beauties are coriander flowers would you believe, such pretty and delicate little things with heart shaped petal formations. I planted up an old barrel to make a herb garden with sage, thyme and chives - right outside the back door and therefore within handy 'snipping' distance...

Also enjoyed an afternoon tea with lovely mum and my auntie one day...waaaay too much Pimms imbibed! Well, the sun was shining...

As a little prezzie for the afternoon, lovely mum gave me a fab tea cosy she'd made... an unnecessary gift but SO appreciated - how fab is this!!

I mean, it has knitted bunting!! And knitted cakes!! Currently on display in the kitchen, pride of place.

Having such gorgeous weather has meant lots of out and about trips...this was at Tynemouth Victorian station market one Saturday. It had been a while since my last visit and it had grown so much with so many stalls on both sides of the station. I managed to pick up an old Keiller marmalade jar, was over the moon as I'd hankered after one for ages!

Not just antique-y stalls, but lovely shabby chic ones too. Wished I'd bought one of the alphabet stamp sets on this stall, but then its an excuse to go back again in the next few weeks..

Another visit to York in midsummer and it was heaving...

It was the week before the Tour de France passed through and there were plenty of 'nods' to the race dotted about the city; like these yellow bikes..

Betty's as always paid excellent tribute, draped in the window was bunting made of little race jerseys!

A bit of shopping and the only thing I picked up in York were blinking loom bands! Yes, I got well and truly suckered into the craze of the summer. Finding myself bored, in a hotel room and without a loom saw the phrase "necessity is the mother of invention" be applied. Two pens fastened together with a couple of bands did the trick nicely..

Back home, t'other half and yours truly headed to one of our favourite places for a walk and a picnic, at the Gibside...

Such a gorgeous day, it was apparent by the dappled, golden light that the summer is beginning its slowdown and is starting the gentle roll into autumn,,,

Indeed the first hay bales of the season are in the fields up the road from to see these...

So, late summer/early autumn inspiration has hit, and a long overdue project has been dusted off and started. Overdue by some seven years, but better late than never eh! It's a cross stitch picture of field mice dangling from blackberry cute it is! It has lovely, rich autumn colours and lustrous seed beads to make the berries - cant wait to finish it...

Continuing to get my early autumn on with this rather fab scarf in a ball. It is the kind of wool/yarn that falls into gorgeous ruffles with the extra bonus of this having wee pompoms on it.. need some size 4 and a half knitting sticks then I'll be making a start on this...

The nights have also just started to get darker that little bit earlier - but what a difference it makes. Candles have started to be lit for their illumination for the first time since about May...the start of cosying up - love that!!

Just a reminder too, for those that love the 'cosy season' or the 'orange and black' of Hallowe'en,  I am again hosting an Autumn & Hallowe'en swap.

If you'd like to take part in either, pop on over to the post here and leave a comment letting me know which you'd like to take part in...

Have a great week all,

BH x

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Golden Autumn & Howling Hallowe'en Swap 2014

" What - already?" I hear you cry, and yes indeed, as the golden season will soon be upon us what better time than now to begin in anticipation of it blustering its merry way in...and there's the smallest hint of autumn whistling on the breeze today..

So as has been the way in previous years, this swap again has the option of two themes to tantalise you with...

The principle remains the same; if you wish, you can choose to take part in either the 'Golden Autumn' theme or you may like the 'Howling Hallowe'en' theme, or if you like - you can even take part in both!

Golden Autumn 
This is where you can put together an autumn themed parcel which could include anything seasonal that you like. For example something cosy like gloves or socks, a candle to light the darker evenings or even a recipe book to warm those cockles upon a chillier evening. If you love hunkering down during the cosy season, then let your imagination run wild with this option!


Howling Hallowe'en 
If the gorgeous black and orange of Hallowe'en is more your thing, then this is for you. With this swap you can immerse yourself totally in the Howling horror and get your vampire teeth into something horribly creative. With this swap you can include spooky decorations, trick or treat sweeties or perhaps a pumpkin shaped trinket...the choices are yours; let that creative blood flow...!


If you would like to take part, simply leave a comment on this post. 

A few guidelines (again, shamelessly copied from last years post!) to work to below, just so we all know the score:

* Please state whether it's the Autumn or Hallowe'en theme you'd like to take part in
* Please ensure that you state if you are happy to post abroad/internationally

* A minimum of five items to be included in your parcel, preferably one or two handmade items if you can

* The aim is to post around mid September time so that everyone has some time to make their bits and bobs, put their parcels together and then everyone can enjoy their goodies
* Sorry, but you'll need a current and live blog to take part with a means of your partner contacting you
* Any questions or problems, please email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I possibly can

 I'll leave the swap open for two weeks, until Sunday 17th August and I will announce partners a few days afterwards. I'll put all names into a hat and draw partners at random. If we have an odd number of players, then I'll partner up with the last name in the hat.
So we can get lots of fellow bloggers to play, please feel free to either blog about the swap and or paste either of the buttons on your blog too.

Here's hoping we again have lots of Autumn & Hallowe'enie like minded buddies to play along!
**EDITED AS OF 17/08/14 - Swap will now close on Sunday 24th August**
*partners announced later that evening*
Thank you,
BH x 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Three Seasons In One Post...

As promised, this is my second post in two days - a first in a long time round these parts!

I kind of fell out of the blogging habit (mainly due to the convenience of Instagram, I must admit..) but I've still been crafting and creating, despite being really busy these days (the quickness of IG is such a convenience...makes me a right old lazy blogger... :-)

Late spring is over, and early summer is now upon us, albeit a bit wet so far, but a few sunny spells have appeared with hopefully a lot more to come and a summer like last years' would be just marvellous, thank you very much.

Everything is literally coming up roses at this time of year, and the colour that comes with it is such a joy. Of course, there's always the weeds (but they are simply a plant in the wrong place (apparently)), and occasionally they can be rather beautiful...

Tulips are my favourite flower (after white roses), so every late spring, the house invariably has the odd jug placed here and there...

A trip to get a pint of milk and a magazine ends up with some coming home too..

What I've never experienced before is edible flowers on a savoury dish. Yes, I've seen them used in cake decorating to stunning effect, but rather nice it was to see chives, flowering thyme and violas served with lamb! This was at the local college where they have a great restaurant where you get chef quality three courses - all for less than a tenner. If you are local, I highly recommend a trip to the Chefs Academy.

Still on the floral theme, I won this scarf, it, was a prize in a competition. Very pretty, light and extremely summery - I'd have bought this for sure had I spotted it! Its great with a denim jacket..

With colour making such a reintroduction (as opposed to my love of neutrals...) this little creation fits the bill not just for its colour, but especially during the British summer it being a brolly!

The barley twist pine frame was a car boot bargain (50p) and a lick of Annie Sloane chalk paint gives it new life and look...

The stitchery itself was simply stitched on a piece of oatmeal linen (cut up from a pair of linen trousers from Primani) using variegated rainbow floss, and hundreds of French knots - really easy to do, no concentrating on a pattern needed whatsoever..

A final addition of a few Swarovski crystal 'raindrops' and its all finished, framed, mounted and hung...

This little bottle of gorgeous summer polish reminds me of the colours of the French knots, perfect for summer toes...

I also had a play about making a French knot 'blueberry heart', intending this to become the new blog header photo/banner at some point, when I have added the rest of the worded embroidery... again, an offcut bit of linen and blue variegated simple..

We were invited to a wedding recently, and when I saw the invitation I knew what I'd make as a gift, so supplies were gathered and a day spent sewing to bring the plan to life..

I've made one of these before, but without the embroidery, but as it was for a wedding gift I thought it was a nice little addition to the design..

I picked colours as close to the invitation as possible, and it came out better than I'd dared hope! I was thrilled they liked it too - its always a worry for me when I make a gift...

Cushions are a love of mine, and a recent visit to the newly refurbished pub in nearby Blanchland saw these 'Northern' themed ones dotted about the bench seats inside...

I fancy trying something similar using transfer medium, where you print a photo or text and transfer it onto fabric using the liquid medium...I'll let you know how it goes and if the idea actually makes it off the 'to-do' list!

One of my mums friends passed on a boatload of crafty mags to me the other week and I'm still ploughing through them. There's one with a gorgeous quilt made from Tilda 'Sweet Christmas' fabrics (which although they have the 'C' word in the name, are not typically festive at all in the traditional sense) and is at the top of the 'to-do' list. Also there's a few Autumn/Hallowe'en themed mags with loads of nice projects...

At this time of year, even though its just early summer, I do so look forward to the next golden season as its my favourite, so the many autumn saved images I have start to get looked through for inspiration!

When I saw an advert for new Revlon polishes, with one delectably called 'Autumn Spice', I knew it'd be coming home with me...the colour is so gorgeous...

There's one slight flaw in the whole marketing/product; and it is the fact its perfumed...I mean, it's not as if you can proffer your painted fingernails to someone to let them enjoy the 'Parfumerie' fragrance...

And with that thought.., I shall leave you for now... :-)

BH x