Friday, 30 September 2011

Autumn Season Corner

We'll just skip what happened to the Summer one! Spring and Summer kind of all merged together and it didn't really get changed properly. But with the Autumn equinox recently we have now updated it to reflect Autumn.

A few Autumn books, some Autumn felted and knitted crafts, handmade beeswax candles by Imogen, lots of Autumn treasures from the natural world and the contents of an owl pellet in the test tube courtesy of Alex and his work.

I changed this over at the end of last week and Summer has returned since, we're enjoying the beautiful sunshine especially where it is picking up those lovely Autumn colours that surround us.
Autumn blessings to all, as Autumn will no doubt return soon x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Slow down ... catch up quick... and being 6!

 The birthday muffins

Well since my last post, I have sat and drafted another and it was awaiting some photos to add and then the time just disappeared. It was a post about getting ready for Imogens birthday, the preparations, the making, the decorating the house, the baking of cakes ...

 Bunting and balloons decorated the house once more

And now we are already the other side of her birthday so how about a quick catch up instead of getting things ready, her 6th birthday, and a birthday trip to Marwell Zoo instead.

So here goes ...
 Personalised bunting
 Felt birthday crown and badge

The crown and badge all finished and awaiting the birthday girl, the handmade bunting hanging up and a new knitted triangle with 6 on it. 6, how did that happen?

 Castle painted and built 
(the size shocked Daddy a little who hadn't seen it, Imogen can fit inside!)
Gifts covered and wrapped

The castle all finished and built, and hidden under fabric with other gifts around too. I got these ready whilst she was at school.

Imogen was awoken to star lights in her room as I managed to plug in her star lights rug before she stirred, she thought it was magic. Birthday cards opened she headed to school where they had celebrated her birthday the day before at the weekly celebration assembly which she loved. She was greeted to hugs and wishes of happy birthday from friends and had a lovely day at school.

 Excited to return home from school in her crown
(her teachers loved it)
 A knights outfit, well you have to if you have a castle right?
blowing out the candles

Home to opening her presents, all received lovingly and with such lovely appreciation, what more could one wish for. She loves her castle and has been a knight often. Homemade pizza for tea by request and muffins for the birthday cake.

The next day was off to the Zoo for her birthday, and what a great day it was. It started off a little cloudy but soon brightened up to a hot sunny day and all the animals were wonderful to see. Here's just a few images from our trip.
 Meerkat standing guard
 Chapman's Zebra, such beautiful markings
 Friendly camels?
 One of our favourite animals - the shy Okapi
(pronounced Oh-kah-pee)
 Prowling Leopard
 Marwell's baby Flamingo
 Sleepy Mama Snow Leopard, mama to triplets born in June
 Underwater penguins

Taking a break after a long day!

We have had a wonderful few days, celebrating our daughter who brings love and happiness to us in so many ways, every single day. Happy 6th birthday Imogen, it's been fantastic travelling these 6 years around the Sun with you, can't wait to see what joys and wonders await us in the year ahead.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Project 6th birthday

what's in the bag?

Countdown to a little girls 6th birthday and I have a few things to do. A birthday crown to create, and a felt birthday badge too. The main project is to restore, renovate, refurbish (enough r's?) a charity shop bargain plywood castle that slots together and is beautiful (that's what's in the bag).

I say bargain, it was actually put aside for me by a lovely lady in the local charity shop to see if I wanted it for Imogen and they would only accept a small donation for it. The reason was that a few pieces had been drawn on with felt pens so it was a bit messy. Nothing a coat of paint couldn't cover up though. I have built it to see what it looks like and it's so nice, Imogen is going to love it, she's really into castles and with her imagination who knows what stories will unfold in there. No doubt her farm animals will inhabit it too!

painting the castle

So it is having a coat of grey paint, a new lease of life. It's about 75cm square when built and I've picked up some castle figures to go with it and have plans to create some other characters for her and perhaps some with her which I think will be a nice thing for us to do together.

Also been adding in some other crafty goodness. I have knitted a rainbow play crown and plan to make some more as they are a fun project, making a new ribbon wand although on a wooden loop rather than a stick (and this has inspired a new project for Christmas too - more on that another time!), and some wet felted beads are being produced  - whether I pop these together as a necklace or something else I haven't decided yet. I think that's it. There was a request for a knitted animal the other day (not necessarily for her birthday) which I have started - not sure it will be ready for her birthday though but it is an aim. The crown and badge take priority though.
crown in progress
badge in progress - 
wet felted colour wheel and needle felted detail and tidying
felt beads and badge

Hoping to get back into blogging a bit more regularly, it's gone by the wayside a little with the Summer, birthday preparations and ... well, just life.

back soon x

Monday, 12 September 2011

Romsey show fun and spinning

On Saturday I spent the day at the Romsey show, joining friends from the Guild of WSD spinning all day. We demonstrate our skills and crafts and invite members of the public to try things out, and many become interested in joining the Guild or taking up the crafts. It was a good day minus the heavy rainstorm midday - thank goodness for being in the marquee!

On arrival I saw these lovely carvings made by a chainsaw carving artist, beautiful.

Chainsaw carved chain!
I loved the detail on the flowers and the bird

Then before reaching the marquee I was to be spinning, I found this lovely basket stall - this is only a fraction of what they were selling, and at such fantastic prices too. Yes, a little one came home with me - seen here from my walnut foraging.

lovely baskets
Part of our display of natural dyeing
Me spinning Icelandic grey on my Louet

Obviously being an agricultural show there were many animals being shown, lots of sheep and alpaca to see and covet the wool for (no I didn't get any samples!).

Prize winning Jacob, love those horns
such sweet alpaca

There were other animals too - cattle, feathered animals and many horses on show, pulling carts and being ridden; plus many more.

There are many other areas of the show - everything from heavy machinery to steam engines, to craft stalls, shops and a lovely area next to our marquee where a man was hand carving a rocking horse which was beautiful (why I didn't take a photo I don't know). Also next to him was a chicken wire artist with many items including these chickens, badgers and a witch.

chickens and badgers made of chicken wire
Witch on a broomstick

I had a lovely day and hope to join them again next year. I sat with a friend from the Guild who I get on with very well - we often sit together at meetings and have a good laugh - we had a great time, and went for a walk around the show together for our lunch break.

September days are for ...

Foraging. A great time to forage lots of different berries (see a previous post).

Today was a day to forage these lovely fresh wild walnuts. Then there are also the husks for maybe a little natural dyeing too.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Spin, spin, spin ... spin the day away ...

Tomorrow I shall be spinning in public all day at the Romsey Show with my friends from the Guild. The wheel is ready, bobbins are empty waiting to be filled, the bag is (almost) packed with wonderful woolly things to keep me occupied.

picture from

It's going to be a lovely day, hopefully I'll get a bit of time to have a look around the show too, see some sheep, alpaca and other lovely country crafts, and all that goes with a traditional agricultural show.

Have a great weekend everyone whatever you're doing.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Berry Seasonal

Autumn colours surround us now, the leaves are holding on still although the strong winds recently have meant some are falling.

Loot at all these delights ...
 Ripe large elderberries
 Bright red Rowan berries
 and loads more sloes!
 Wonderful bright wild rosehips
 Horse chestnuts beginning to fall
 look ... there's two Mommy
and a good year for big acorns

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Summer ... Autumn ...

New Forest Autumnal colours
New Forest Stag

Well since my last post we've definitely enjoyed more Summer days with lovely sunshine and hot humid days. Enjoying the last of the Summer holidays before school starts again, spending time with friends and family and time for just us too. So much we have been up to - days out in the New Forest spotting Deer and lizards, farm trips, street theatre (could have been better!), parks ...all great fun. Some images of our recent fun ...

 Visiting the Deer in the New Forest
 ... taking after her Mommy
 spotting wildlife
 and New Forest lizards
climbing fallen trees
 having a picnic
and jumping for joy
 visiting the farm ... as a bunny
 enjoying circus skills tent ... again
 balancing on the beam to play catch!

Alex played his first gig recently with the ukelele jam he became a part of only a few months ago and really enjoyed it. The biggest grin came upon his face when he won the first prize of a beautiful Ukelele in the raffle worth about £180. He is enjoying playing it and his old one has been eyed up by a little girl! She has enjoyed sitting strumming with him and automatically holds it left-handed so Daddy has restrung it for lefties so maybe I'll have a go at learning too as it was awkward the other way round.

Yesterday was the last day of the holidays and we spent the morning building a play scene from a book we picked up ages ago at the charity shop - a Winnie the Pooh one that I said we'd do in the holidays, luckily Imogen remembered about it yesterday morning! Fiddly thing to put together but looks good and she loves it and is making up all sorts of stories with it.

There is now a real air of Autumn, the mornings are fresher, the nights are getting darker earlier, and as we look all around us the berries and fruits on the trees are bountiful. I have a few projects to make or do up at the moment - things for a certain little girls 6th birthday later this month, Autumn goodies and my Guild challenge cushion which I'm weaving lots of squares for. Then there are a few bits and bobs to get ready for Christmas. Back soon with more on these.

... Imogen was back to school today looking lovely in her new uniform, just a pity the weather was so yucky that she needed waterproofs and wellies for her first day back! Ah well it's supposed to be brighter later although still windy and better as the week goes on.