Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Fruit and Fabric and Flowers Too.

The teazels are growing away with their spiky almost alien calyx. Isabella, Lucy and I can see this one from one of the bedroom windows and will keep watch to see which birds peck seeds from it later in the year.

Really quite incredible isn't it?

In the cool of the evening I picked the redcurrants. They are one of my favourite plants in the garden as they put up with any amount of neglect, are situated in a dry shady spot and yet repeatedly fruit heavily for us, the scarlet globes hanging in clusters and shining like so many ruby jewels. Luckily the birds had left us some.

They will make lovely toppings for a pavlova or for one of Lucy's cupcake sessions.

On the subject of fruit, the blackcurrants moved so late in the season are doing well too and Isabella is already following in big sister's footsteps by grazing as she ambles along.

Just the gooseberries to show you now, large and fat and ready to be paired with elderflowers in fools or pies or crumbles (probably my favourite of all).

So now the garden is settling for the day and I am pondering this fabric which I am re-using from my one of our eldest daughter's skirts: she had already cut it up and now I think it will make a funky skirt for Lucy (as woefully there is not enough fabric for me...sigh). It has a wonderful texture - sort of sheeny in a nice way and light yet willing to hold its shape. Well, we'll see. I'm thinking a little shirring may come into use inspired by sweet Florence's recent posts.

Or I may just sit and enjoy the evening quiet with a glass of crisp white wine.

Bye for now x

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

A Time To Chill.

So, what's been happening here? Lots of people turning up and staying for scrumptious meals of cherry tomatoes, basil, olives and great slugs of fruity olive oil, the whole adding to the summery feel and being roasted to add to pasta

or made into summer tarts with rich buttery pastry to eat with homegrown salad...yum.

Playing on the courtyard while Mama and Papa quaff wine in the sun.

All that hard work moving shells around means a rest is required. Nothing like a stretch on a soft handmade quilt is there?

The apples are growing larger and the light slants across highlighting the odd curves of this variety.

The figs are fattening and should taste so wonderfully sweet, syrupy juices dripping off chins with any luck (and a continuance of the hot sunshine).

Back in the house strange things are taking place. Now, this may look like a jelly explosion to you, but it is actually school homework - can you not see it's a cell complete with nucleus, cytoplasm, etc? No? Ah well.

Time for another evening chill out around the campfire, but today we have drizzle. Who knows, it may change back to hot sun by then.

Have a lovely day, whatever you are doing x

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Lavender and Bees and Sweet Paeonies.

Our peony (or paeony if you prefer) is flowering and looking the best she ever has. I wanted to share her delicate beauty with you, the way the soft petals flush from white to palest pink, sometimes with a slightly creamy centre, but somehow I couldn't do her justice. Doesn't this look bland and uninteresting?

Disappointed with this picture, I ambled onto the border and had a look underneath the weighty blooms to find this...

So much prettier don't you think? I may well find some other 'neath the blooms' images appearing here in future.

The flower theme has continued in my sewing room where I was commissioned to make a covered notebook with the words 'Lavender and Bees' and a free reign with the design. I always enjoy these orders... well, right up until the moment when it is posted from whence I fret and worry that the customer will not like what I have designed after all and the, "No, no, there's no need to send images for approval", bit of the communication suddenly seems a really bad idea.

Fortunately this one was received with much pleasure - in fact, so far I have remained very lucky in that I have not yet had a complaint from a customer. Of course, I regret saying that and now await the influx of emails to the contrary!!

A real pleasure to make, particularly as I completed some of the hand embroidery sitting in my own garden with the gentle drone of bees as they buzzed busily in and out of the pots of flowers by my chair. So lovely.

What's flowering in your garden? x

Monday, 21 June 2010

Snapshots of a Day.

A trip out of the county - a rare treat as Cornwall is not the quickest of counties to get to or indeed, to leave. Our destination was Bristol to visit our daughter Lauren's end of year degree exhibition. The sun shone as we headed down through fields of cut grass where swallows dipped and soared, climbing ever higher into the blue, blue sky. (Note to self: don't lean to one side thus making hips look wider than they already are and don't pull faces while muttering at Davey to 'get on with it'!)

Proof that I do indeed use my own products - I took a Lauren Tote in Apples & Pears fabric with me for the day for those who may be interested.

A tour of the ground led to a rose garden in full bloom. Oh, the smell. It was beyond words and we spent ages sniffing each and every rose, some of almost every hue available.

It would have been impossible to find a favourite as each one had such a variety of scent from apple to sherbet, musk to vanilla and more yet.

So bright was the day that the camera (and I) struggled to do any of this little garden justice.

My own dear thorn amongst the roses.

And a rose beyond compare...though of course I am somewhat biased.

Just so very beautiful.

I now want roses by the bucketfull in my own garden, despite the fact that Cornwall is not the easiest of places to grow them. Our sandy soil is so hungry, but generally once they get going they seem to thrive. It's the getting going that's the challenge. I did note the copious mounds of manure over all the beds, far more than I would have expected so I feel this is where the secret lies.

Back over the fields and a delicious lunch while we discussed the exhibition. I thought the standard of work was incredible and have come away feeling inspired, always a good thing about a trip away.

A tiny peek at an element of Lauren's project which I shall leave as it stands for you to muse over: a vending machine, a scent of something evocative and the notion of action making memories. Hmm, it is very complex and really rather clever.

Rather like the maker really.

I do love her so x

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

What I Haven't Done.

Oh where are the days going? There are so many things I feel I am not getting to, so many things I can see that need doing. For example, I haven't potted up the sweet peas bought in such anticipation weeks ago. They sit on the courtyard sneering every time I pass by, darn things.

(Look away all ye of a nervous and fragile disposition).
I haven't cleared our drive which now acts as a dumping ground for all that should be placed in a skip. It is hidden from view until I open the gate ... which I do every time I head off to my sewing room. (I am shaming myself in the hope of producing action on my behalf).

While we're about it, allow me to introduce you to our garage, another 'job' pending. Hopefully we are tackling this in the summer holidays, because otherwise I think it will take over the entire house!

On a more aesthetically pleasing note, I would like to show you a little of the fabric I bought in a charity shop: 4 metres of this gorgeous silky lawn mix which is similar to a Liberty lawn and could well be Liberty lawn. I bought all four flowing metres for £5.00. Yes, enough to make floaty tops and skirts or to just drape beguilingly along with

another floaty fabric in a beautiful shade of green which isn't apparent from my hasty photo. The pattern is wonderful too and would make the most lovely of tea dresses (I love the thought of a tea dress somehow as it conjours up images of dainty china and daintier-still cucumber sandwiches alongside pretty piles of iced cakes on cake stands).

A wonderful eight metres of fabric for just £10.00. Just too perfect but all I have managed is to gaze at it and sigh with longing at the idea of making something lovely to wear. Soon I hope. I also hope I'll remember to make time to enjoy these pretty dog roses and their soft fragrance; so ephemeral like the flowers themselves, here one second, gone the next.

I want to stroll along the river banks and soak up the peace

Ahh, I can see the sparkly waters in my mind as the ripples flicker in the bright sun.

And I wish I would make myself pick up my knitting in the evenings, though it seems that lethargy creeps over me before I realise it, stealing life from my legs and rendering me little more than a partially comatose rendition of my former self! Sorry Davey, you'll have to wait a little longer for your jumper (well, I ask you...fourteen balls of wool indeed!).

But perhaps most of all, I WILL get around to putting my latest addition of my pipany range up on my website so that I can show you my sets of cards and postcards, all made from prints of the various photographs I take and put on here, and now selling (nearly) as a result of all the kind and lovely comments I receive from many of you suggesting I do so.

There, I have said it and now action will have to follow - after all, tomorrow is another day! x

Monday, 14 June 2010


Golly, the weekend seemed to fly by didn't it? Ours consisted of food, as ever. Lucy made these gorgeous cupcakes with a little help from Daddy as a moving in present for her big brother and his girlfriend who have just moved into the most gorgeous flat.

There were enough for us all to try and they were sooo delicious, though one truly was enough! Strawberry filled sponge mix and a dollop of jam in the centre with the most scrummy icing and one perfect berry on the top.

Yummy! Lucy really is the 'cake goddess' (her friends' name for her apparently!).

Mr Davey also made some of his equally yummy pasties; I swear they were even better than usual, though that scarcely seems possible as they are always delicious.

There we are: a short post for once, but one full of yumminess to start the week.
Bye for now x