Wednesday, 28 October 2015

.... red roses and recycled raffia

It was garden tidy up time this week and this included moving our rose bush.  I have no idea what variety it is we picked it up from a local garden centre bargain corner a couple of years ago.  

It flowers quite early in spring and goes through in fits and starts right through to the end of summer and into autumn.  I don't usually bring the flowers indoors as I like to enjoy them in the garden as they last longer but the timing and weather we just right for both Hubby and I to get stuck in and sort a few things out. The flowers are beautifully scented but happily not over powering.

I chose to display the roses in a variety of bottles that I have collected, to add a bit of texture I wound raffia and jute string around the bottles. The different sized bottles worked well with the differing sizes of stems.

As I was winding the raffia around the bottle it occurred to me that this was the third time I had used this.  Its first outing was on the Christmas tree at the cottage we stayed in last year, it was brought home and used on a birthday present for my daughters boyfriend and now it was providing a bit of decoration in my lounge.  I have a feeling that it will be making another appearance over the festive period in some form or another.

I am very pleased with my autumnal looking mantelpiece, although I really should have swept the hearth!

Are the roses still blooming in your garden?   Do you have a little something that keeps being reused? Leave me a little message to let me know x

Friday, 16 October 2015

...a Pumpkin adventure

When shopping in Morrisons last week I spotted medium sized pumpkins on sale for only 50p!  not bad value when I can make a big pot of pumkin soup and have fun carving a pumpkin face.

The pumpkin face is of the traditional variety with the obligatory toothy smile.  A look round Pinterest offered plenty of advice on what you should do to preserve your pumpkin once it has been carved, they include

  • soak in bleach solution 1tbsp to 1 gallon water over night
  • rub carved edges with petroleum jelly (vaseline)
  • PVA glue spread around the inside
  • Special pumpkin preservation spray ( I think this might be USA only)

I found this link really interesting as it  does a comparison of the various methods.  I have gone for a quick dunk in a bleach solution and a then left it to dry, I actually don't mind that it will start to decay as I think that will add to the ghoulish festival that is Halloween.

I made my soup based on a recipe from Country Living magazine pumpkin and bacon soup as always I didn't stick exactly to the recipe. I used chopped lardons instead of bacon, I used more pumpkin as I mis-read the quantity (oops). I omitted the cream, the sage and the Stilton on cost grounds.  Because I had added more pumpkin I also added some extra stock, a bit too much unfortunately so when I blended it I tried to not include too much liquid, however it is not as thick as I would have liked and I am not keen of the texture.  The overall flavour is of the bacon and it works well with a thick slice of wholemeal toast, but I do feel that the seasoning is not quite right, probably as a result of me messing about with it, I will try and tweek that.

In the interest of clarity Morrisons have no idea that they got a mention here today and 50p was not paid to me.

Have you made any soup recently? I am always interested in new recipes so please share your favourites.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Sewing 30 minutes a day in October - week 1

How hard can it be to fulfill the challenge of sewing 30 minutes day in October?

A little harder than I had initially thought.  Of a potential 3.5 hours I succeeded with 2.5 hours and only one of these was a 30 minute stint. I found that once  I had started something I wanted to finish it or I had to get to a point where I could walk  away and easily just pick it up (not that there is anything complex about these makes).

One of the things that ate into my time was that I didn't think through the whole process of what I was making so I was running round getting buttons and trimmings and string and things.  There was of course the creative process of deciding what to use and how I wanted the finished item to look.
Grey felt heart

This was my first make, I blanket stitched the edge with embroidery floss using 1 white and 2 red strands I was trying to get a bakers twine type effect which is not quite there, maybe 2 and 2 might be better. I raided my vintage button collection and thought that the proportions of the little button were perfect.
Red felt heart

The second one took a little less time as I had everything to hand and I had learnt from the first make to include a hanging loop!
White felt heart
For the last one I broke out one of my Cath Kidston heart buttons, I have had them for a while and these seemed like the perfect project.

I am happy with my makes in the first week of this challenge and I am looking forward to next week.  I think I need to dedicate a little time to planning so that I do more sewing and less running around!
Grey, White, Red felt hearts

Did anyone else take up the challenge?  its not too late to join in, you could always do a mini challenge and join in for the week.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

.. sewing 30 minutes a day in October

I posted last month about the 30 minute sewing challenge but couldn't commit to taking part as in September so I deferred it until October. Well here we are on the 1st October so I am going to try and sew every day of the month for at least 30 minutes!
Vintage thread box

My first thought is to cut some felt I have brought for making Christmas decorations.  These are mostly hand sewn and are small enough to fit into a corner of my voluminous handbag for the days when I am not at home.

I do have  a couple of unfinished projects that I will probably tackle as it would be nice at the end of the month to have some thing to wear.
Unfinished sewing project

I don't actually know how much I could get done in 30 minutes, if you follow this blog you will have realised that I am not a fast sewer and I am easily distracted!
Oh look buttons, see very easily distracted

I have started a Pinterest board 30 minute sewing challenge with ideas of things that in theory can be made in 30 minutes.  There are quite a few small items that would work well as Christmas gifts so I may use this as an opportunity to make a start on my Christmas list.

My local Facebook sewing group are supporting this initiative and we are planning to do a weekly check in so I will keep you up to date with what I have achieved and pass on any great ideas from the group.

If you want to join in just comment below or if you have just finished your month of sewing share your makes and experiences with us.