Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Season of Mellow Fruitfulness...


Autumn is to me, the most beautiful of the seasons. The colours, the light, the atmosphere...just love it...
 
Last week I was away with work (again) and an early morning walk (post massive fry up) around the hotel grounds was gorgeous. A chill in the air, damp underfoot, early morning sunlight streaming through the golden leaves and a wrap slung around my shoulders..(very nice before a mammoth 7 hour meeting - yes 7 HOURS...)

 

The colours are perfect right now, it may still be on the warm side during the day, but that hasn't stopped me digging out all my autumn gear in anticipation of the soon to be cooler days..


In the summer I bought a ball of wool (Sirdar 'Aruba') which is a "scarf in a ball" as they call it. Not being much of a knitter, it required much you-tubing for me to get to grips with the stuff. As you can see, its not your straightforward normal wool...


It was easy enough once you grab the old knitting sticks and get the hang of it, I managed to knock this up in one afternoon.

The colours are lovely browns, russets and burgundy's and it looks really nice with a chocolate long sleeved t-shirt dark blue skinny jeans and boots. It's such a warm day today though, I doubt I'll be wearing it later!


One autumn thing I can wear right now is this nail polish bought earlier in the year. I'm really into keeping my nails polished to within an inch of their lives at the moment, and this one is my current favourite.
Subtle metallic browns, flecked with copper and gold - looks very nice indeed when the sun hits it (inner magpie well and truly hooked yet again)


On the crafty front, autumn always inspires me - as does Sandra's amazing creations at the fantastic Crafts House. A couple of weeks ago it was the Autumn Workshop, and what a brilliant afternoon it was...

Heathers and chrysanths decorated the tables, as well as cake stands brimming with treats and dainty china teacups...


A beautifully decorated gift bag at everyone's place containing all of the afternoons projects, some chocolate and a little 'wish' glass bottle with a creative message scrolled inside...beautiful!


First project was a little diary to decoupage, lots of papers to choose, stamps to ink and shapes to glue.

Next was my favourite - a block pumpkin - I love this!

Painted, stencilled and stamped, with a gold embellished leaf at the top...

Third project was a little owl, you can see him a bit further down...

Huge thanks to Sandra for another amazing afternoon - we all loved it! xxx


Always on a crafty roll after a trip to the Crafts House; I made a pumpkin out of a witches broom...


I made one a few years ago, but to this one I added orange battery lights and some wire vine tendrils..


Managed to find some 'munchkin pumpkins' in the supermarket for the first time too...obviously had to have some - they look so good! (to plonk on a shelf, not to carve though - too diddy)


A weakness of mine is anything made with peanut butter, and as a result I don't normally buy it 'cause I eat it (if you know what I mean), so when anything does enter the house all lovely and peanut buttery, I try to make it last, (especially when its all autumn colours and displayed in cute little glass jars) but t'other half thinks nothing of eating my displays and then me having to try and find more to refill my almost empty jars with. (Reeses Pieces are getting like hens teeth to find - too delish obviously!)

Can you see the little owlpeeking - he was project no.3 at the autumn workshop...


Conkers and candles feature quite a bit round here at the moment, conkers for their seasonal-ness and also to ward off the army of super-arachnids that are supposed to be coming indoors to devour the population this year (ok slight exaggeration perhaps; maybe one or two people have been bitten according to the media, but I take no chances..:-)


Yesterday morning saw a quick flash of the duster (so quick it may not have happened), plenty autumn Pinterest pinning, another visit to the shops for an essential tin of 'Libbys' pumpkin' (will show you the results another time), an essential magazine and a feet-up-sit down...

 
By night I'd barely moved, apart from to fetch the prosecco and light more candles!
 

I think that's what autumn weekends are for though?!

BH x

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A Change of Scenery...



A few weeks ago t'other half and yours truly escaped for some much needed R & R as well as some proper sunshine.

I know this summer was a scorcher, but sometimes you just want to bask in 90 plus degree heat with the only thought in your mind being 'shall I go and get another drink or not'...


We headed off for some September sunshine; no crowds and 5* pure luxury... absolute heaven...


Developed quite a fondness for this...cant get it at home for love nor money, but I have a terrible fondness for anything lemony - and this is as tangy as tangy can get


Also ate my body weight in Magnums...bliss on a stick...


Strawberries and cream being the favourite I think.
Got to grips with a book called 'The Lemon Grove' and had high expectations for it, but was a bit disappointed in it if I'm honest...another Magnum perked me up after my 'book disappointment' though...


A new Chanel polish called Tutti Frutti leapt into my hands to wear on my jollies and is the perfect holiday colour for fingers and nails...not even napalm would cause it to chip, highly recommended...


The resort we stayed in is set around a bay with a little heart shaped island that you reach by crossing this little bridge...


Some very nice bars and a beach club with very posh sun loungers the size of sofas... also do a rather nice G&T there... (sampling purposes only, of course...)


You can also catch the water ferry to different local areas from the island, and we hopped on it to go to the market in Arguineguin... I do love a Spanish market...(my boat fear subsided too - although perhaps not the best word to use in that context..) calm waters, clear skies...just gorgeous..


In Anfi of an evening, there was also a market set up in the square where you could mooch around after sampling the restaurants and bars - which we of course did... (swordfish, mojitos and an Abba tribute one particularly (just) memorable evening...)


A few small purchases of the wearable and sparkley variety came home with me... a gorgeous blouse from a boutique that sold nothing but white embroidered clothes in the Scandi style I so love. Also picked up a gorgeous long sleeved crochet top (so nice to wear with skinny jeans and boots...)


The main place I parked myself was in the jacuzzi on the balcony. Yup, overlooking the sea, watching the water ferries and jet skis whilst whiling away the hours in a whirlpool...


All with an accompanying chilled bottle of my absolute favourite Freixenet..


T'other half is well trained; he knew when to get another bottle opened!


I took a few magazines to read for a bit of autumn inspiration, bit of a contrast whilst sat in swirling bubbles overlooking a sparkling sea (nice housey magazine 'Style' turned out to be too; I found it not as poncey as some interiors magazines tend to be)


Did an unbelievable amount of swimming in the freshwater pool, (the other pool not pictured was a heated 'normal' pool). In a desperate attempt to burn off the smoked salmon I ate every morning and cool down the 'warm glow' caused by the bucks fizz at breakfast too...

Sigh, I could get so used to this view from our balcony, especially on a weekday...


It also proved to be an ideal place to watch Septembers 'Supermoon' which looked stunning hanging low in the sky and reflecting off the water in the marina...


It was so different to our usual holiday haunt of Cyprus; we loved the change of scenery, the quite different type of holiday and the different people...just perfect...

In a villa you cant get to 'people watch' and here you could - loved it! I could so easily understand how the creator of the 'Benidorm' TV series came up with the idea (although we were I think the only Brits, mainly people from Nordic countries there).

Anyway, now back home with topped up vitamin D reserves....bring on autumn now...!

BH x

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Last Days of a Long Summer...

The weather this year has provided an amazing summer to merry old England.

Long and warm (occasionally hot) days, for the most part dry too....amazing...

Plenty of opportunity to sit outside with a book, a drink and rarely if I am honest, something crafty.

Flowers and fruits have thrived this year...


Not so many plums as last year given I hacked the tree into virtual oblivion (in spring of all times), but still plenty to pick and distribute...


The place I have mostly been welded to; here sat on the swing seat on the patio...sun from morning til night...and therefore the perfect spot for a read...


One sunny Sunday at the end of August, we fancied fish and chips by the sea, so we got in the car and headed off to Tynemouth... (is there anything more summery and quintessentially British than bunting festooned across the street??)



Long shadows cast over King Edwards Bay gives away the lateness of the afternoon, yet still so many on the beach soaking up the last of those August rays...



The queue for the chippy in Tynemouth was astronomically long, and when I am hungry I am less than patient, so instead we drove to the nearby fish quay for some and sat and watched the huge DFDS ferry sail by and waved off seafarers clutching a chip with a (by now cheery) ''bon voyage''...


It was also the weekend before the Great North Run took place, and as we passed by on the way home, the Tyne Bridge was proudly advertising the runs' soon to be millionth runner..



It was a lovely way to spend the last day of summer...

BH x

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

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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 everywhere...no 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 up...it 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 nicely...next 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