Monday, 31 October 2011

Tomorrow is Movember!

No it's not a typo, and I'm not going mad! Honest.

"Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men."

Alex will be joining this very good cause and growing a moustache this month. It's a good job it's for charity as I really dislike moustaches, look what happened last time he had one ...
... at least he got to use it for his advert for Movember this year.

Any men in your life that would like to join in this good cause? If so, point them in the direction of the Movember website. And if not, maybe you'd like to donate a few pennies on behalf of Alex.

Thank you for looking x

Friday, 28 October 2011

... we're taking a stroll in the deep dark wood ...

Well it's a pretty deep woods, but not that dark today as the sun is shining and it's quite mild out there.

But we are taking a stroll through the wood, on a guided woodland walk with a Countryside Ranger while reading the brilliant story of The Gruffalo and finding out more about our British wildlife.
  Imogen's all ready to go!

What a lovely day we have planned. What plans do you have this fine bright Friday?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Christmas making and meet Ellie ...

Having a crafty day today, half term, raining outside so we've been making decorations for Christmas! Yes Christmas decorations in October, but hey why not.

So having looked through a craft book from the library Imogen has made a Christmas tree today and an Angel decoration and some paper chains. I loved making paper chains as a child and it seems Imogen does too. They're all drying so perhaps I can share photos another time - maybe when they go up around the house. Here's a couple of pictures I took as she was making them.

  making a Christmas tree

She's also made up some ELC Christmas picture frames I bought in the sale last year for her to make - magnetic picture frames that will be gifts to grandparents and one for ourselves.

Been felting, knitting and spinning a little myself recently, thought I'd share a picture of Ellie - a little rainbow elephant (a la Elmer) I made for Imogen recently. It's about 2 inches tall and she loves it. Nice quick easy knit in one piece, sewn and stuffed and ears knitted on by picking up stitches.

Ellie the little Elmer Elephant

Friday, 21 October 2011

Catching up ...

Well I'm good at this regular blogging at the moment aren't I? Hmmm, not really - must do better. Must have been a while, even Alex mentioned I should update the blog!

 Pumpkin face painting
and jumping on the bouncy jungle run (a now traditional photo)

So how about a little catch up. We had a lovely day at the Hampshire Pumpkin festival, lovely roasted pumpkin soup - the "best in show" was a regular comment I heard. I painted Imogens face before going - one queue and a few pennies saved! Some crafts, some fun and listening to Alex with the Southampton Ukelele Jam. We bumped into friends there which was lovely, and fun was had by all.

SUJ - 1st set of two
Ukelele jam pumpkin scarecrow
SUJ - 2nd set

Imogen and I did some felting at home, felting some beads and around a couple of stones. We had a lot of fun and going to do more soon together. Oops forgot the photo - another time, another post.

Imogen's had a good half term at school and this week received a Head Teachers Certificate for a story she wrote at home and took in to show her teachers - they all thought it was brilliant and praised her lovely writing. She was very proud, as we are too.  She's continuing to challenge them on the reading front too and loving her reading. She's been enjoying drawing and crafting at school too and also being involved in acting out stories in the role play area - this week they have done some Hindu stories to tie in with looking at Divali. She loved acting the story of Rama and Sita.

Last weekend was my Guild meeting, after the committee meeting it was a feast for the eyes and hands to walk around the hall decked with fibres of all kinds and colours as Wingham Wool were here (they come every year). I did make a few small purchases. There were so many wheels there as you can sample fibres before buying - I lost count at over 30 spinning wheels.

Wingham Wool day at the Guild
 Ooh lovely fibres
 Lots of wheels and fibre
Fibre samples and other small packets of fibre and yarn

Lots of knitting projects on the go or in the planning stage. A finished item to show you, some friends of ours got married earlier this week so this was our gift to them - a knitted wedding cake. On reflection - taking a picture on our black sofa wasn't such a good idea - the groom is in purple and they have brown hair but the colours are a bit lost here - oops.

 Wedding cake gift
(all acrylic - gift was for a vegan couple)

Back to finishing off a hat, scarf for Imogen, socks for Christmas for Alex and a few other things to finish off before starting the next thing! Ha ha, no you're right that's not likely to happen - more likely I'll start something else whilst trying to finish other things.
Chutney on the hob

This week we also used up some harvest excesses and made chutney and it's looking and tasting lovely. Now for it to mature a while to improve - just in time for Christmas.

Chutney in the jars

Phew, I need a coffee now. Back soon with more. Looking forward to half term next week, a Gruffalo nature walk at a local forest, a trip to the cinema and lots of time with family.

Monday, 10 October 2011

What a lovely Mom ...

I returned home from taking Imogen to school this morning, well after staying for Coffee Pot (our coffee and a chat group!) to a parcel having been left in my greenhouse.

parcel cunningly disguised as "dress material" 

An airmail parcel from Australia. My parents are currently there visiting my brother and his family.

You know you're Mom knows you well when she sends a parcel of ...

Merino Wool

Freshly sheared Australian Merino! They were at a farm and watched the shearing. Oh yes, it is so so soft and so crimpy, look ...
 Crimpy, fluffy soft merino

Thank you Mom!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Ah ... Autumn is for ...


And tonight Alex is chopping, peeling and de-seeding (and saving some!) some of these ready to roast tomorrow to make into pumpkin soup to serve at the Hampshire Pumpkin Festival on Saturday.

Ah I love Autumn. I love pumpkins! I think Imogen quite likes them too.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Woolly Wednesday

Today I have blogged over on my other blog Spinspiration co-written with a friend and blogger Kelly. Come and join us online and share what you have been doing recently in the world of wool and fibres whether that be spinning, knitting, felting, weaving ...

... and I hope next week to join in the yarn along over on small things - a lovely blog written by Ginny, I peek at all the yarn along posts and thing I should join in and then don't get around to it so next week that is my aim, although I doubt I could post something different weekly.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Weekend of Art, Nature and Foraging

 going down to the forest

We've had a lovely weekend, hot and humid ending a hot week of Autumn sunshine!

On Saturday I took Imogen to the local Art Gallery for a monthly Art club which was great fun. The theme was Autumn even if it could have been Summer at the beach. She made an Autumn crown with gathered leaves and other nature bits and some cut out leaves from recycled papers, etc.

Autumn leaf printing

She also did some printing with the Autumn leaves and some autumnal inks and patterns.

Clay leaf and nature

The other thing she made was an autumn clay leaf using a real leaf as the template and for detail and adding a robin, a dormouse and two caterpillars. It is now drying and she thinks she may paint it afterwards.

 Collected conkers, some very large, in our leafy wooden bowl

In the city parks on the way to art club we gathered a rather large number of conkers (Horse Chestnuts) so I can see some crafting in the near future with these, adding to others we've collected recently. In the garden when we returned home we were amazed at how busy the spiders have been lately, and found this grasshopper which Imogen named speedy although he seemed in no rush to fly away.

spider webs in the sky with lots of little flies caught
and a wasp below we saw being wrapped in thread
 Speedy the grasshopper

This morning we all spent our time out in the garden cutting the lawn, trimming some hedging and gathering up the fallen leaves into black bags ready to make some lovely leaf mulch - 12 big black bagfuls.

crossed Oak trees

We then spent the afternoon at a local nature reserve we'd not been to before, have driven past it several times but decided to pop there today. A lovely wild area and the shade from the trees was wonderful. We came across the above crossed oak trees which have grown into each other. It was also wonderful to spot a Greater Spotted Woodpecker up in the trees, and evidence of Badgers.

 foraging a feast
ready for roasting

Our other delightful find were some really good sized sweet chestnuts which we foraged, handy that I usually carry a cloth bag with me just in case! We came home with some excellent chestnuts some of which we roasted and ate and some we roasted and added to a frittata with some mushrooms which was lovely. We weigh them and had collected 800g - not bad for a nature walk.

Hope you've all had a lovely weekend.