Monday, 1 October 2012

The Little Things.

This weekend was gorgeous and just what a weekend should be: a little work to give a sense of achievement (actually it was a LOT of work as I cut yet more huge branches out of our garden hedge to introduce some light and allow the plants to grow a little better); a lot of eating delicious food; a lot of relaxing, whether in the courtyard with a glass of wine or by our fireside where the logs blazed beautifully - the result of me taking to the woodpile with my mini-chainsaw. I had a great time!

We also had a fair amount of wildlife in one way or another. This sweet little shrew was on our doorstep. The poor thing was obviously a casualty of one of the cats and is not the first this year I'm sad to say. Isabella was as fascinated as ever by its tiny, almost perfect body with velvet fur and so tiny eyes.

I love the fact that she is happy to hold such things ans it offers such a great chance to learn about them (though I would rather it was alive, needless to say).  She took it off and buried it in the flower bed after telling both the cats off. Not sure they took much notice but it made her feel better.

Having hacked back so much of the garden I then gathered in the rosehips to pop in the freezer until I have more time/energy to make something with them. Aren't they amazing this year? The hedgerows seem to glow with colour and I realise that all the books recommend waiting until they are frosted but in Cornwall they rot or are eaten long before that happens. I did leave plenty for the birds.

Frogs and toads also appeared at regular intervals. There are several stone walls and masses of overgrown areas in our garden which they seem to love. 

I think we are incredibly lucky to have the ability to so easily study nature - Isabella calls us the 'Nature Girls' though I am not sure everyone would see that as a good thing! Isn't this chap just stunning?

We all scoffed the last of our peas from the veg patch. While they didn't really produce very much it has been great to have a regular supply to snack on, pods and all. Growing our own has definitely had a good effect on Isabella's eating as she is happy to graze from outdoors. She and Lucy will often be found scoffing peas and handfuls of chives or a parsley stem with a crisp apple straight off the tree. Leftovers go to the rabbit, guinea pigs, ducks hens or compost heap.

Get away from me with that camera Mama!

And finally on a business note, my new Personalised Baby Journal is now available from either my website (as of this afternoon), my Etsy store or my store...phew.

This covered notebook is available in two sizes:  A6  (10.5 × 14.8cm approx) or A5  (14.8 × 21.0cm approx) and has a removable Winsor & Graham hard-backed notebook with approx 96 pages (48 sheets) of high quality paper - perfect to jot down memories, special events or to use as a pregnancy journal.

I am actually rather pleased with how this design turned out and really enjoy embroidering the birds with the little baby beak coming out of the nest. It can be personalised with the name of your choice and could read 'The ... Family' as shown or the name of the baby. 

Wouldn't it make a great Christmas present for someone special? Yes, I did say the C word!

Go on, you know you want to x

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Summer Meeting Autumn

My favourite time of year I think full of good things such as.... grabbing quiet time with a cup of tea, watching the spangled spiders' webs glistening in the early morning haze

Gathering the windfalls from the gnarled old apple tree and peeking into the wooden writing room nestled just behind.

Making colourful pizzas using our own basil and other ingredients grown in the garden. Brightly coloured meals taking us from the heat of the day...

to the cool of the evening when batches of sticky, chocolatey, gooey brownies stick to the ribs and stave off the chill.

Foraging for rosehips and blackberries after school and at the weekends. Lucy is turning into a determined forager just like her Mama (and I can hear the older ones groan as they used to get fed up with me telling them I would only be a little while longer which inevitably turned into another hour)

Bottles of rosehip syrup stowed away for the winter to be sipped warm or in milk - yeulch, but Mr Davey and Isabella like it thus. Also very lovely drizzled over ice cream or yoghurt which balances its sweetness better for me.

The garden produce is coming to an end though our courgettes and runner beans were rather late coming to fruition to begin with. If it stays warm I think we may have plenty yet. Peas were not so good but make lovely snacks for us all picked straight from the plants and eaten whole. Masses of kale has been consumed and I will be planting more to keep my red cabbages company.

Dave grew THE most amazing hollyhocks, one of which is about seven feet tall and covered with pale pink blooms. This cerise one sits alongside the giant as does a deep, deep burgundy beauty. I have no favourites as each one my eye falls on is stunning in its own way.

So many butterflies. I left one of our figs on the sill and watched as one Red Admiral after another landed for a feed on the sweet juices. Speckled Woods fluttered down too and have been wonderful for Isabella's growing interest in all things bug. She now has her own magnifying glass, so fascinated is she with wildlife.

While I worked on our diminutive veg plot, Dave had much success with the cut flower side of Poltisko Farm (not really a farm but we dream). Wonderful, glorious dahlias have been filling the house for weeks now and look set to continue. I love their colours and shapes - strange to note how many people have come to like them recently when they were not so popular a while ago. 

Of course, no summer would be complete here without some pictures of a trip out in Mermaid appearing. We mosied up the river toward Restronguet and Mylor and found beauty along the way. 

Did I mention beauty? Well yes, I am biased!

A sand spit in the middle of the river provided a place for comorants to rest and soak up the sun as we drifted past.

Hmm, the Usual Suspects were up to mischief as ever. Isabella helmed the boat for a bit as she scoffed a pasty...a good Cornish maid.

Elias spent much of the trip like this. It's his favourite place to loiter when we are sailing around and he is auditioning soon for the part of a ship's figurehead. Any takers?

Beautiful boats were passed at regular intervals. Another lovely trip out in our dear little Mermaid.

And between all this summery-autmness I have been very (very) busy with work, both with current orders, new designs trying to come to fruition amongst it all and the big build up to Christmas well under way. Yes, I know you don't want to hear that but in the world of the small business it has been talked of since about June!

A little detail shot of a recent commission - A blossoming tree of French Knots.

Evenings by the fire are now beginning with the twilight descending ever-earlier. How I love my fireside with its flickering flames and crackling of logs. Is there anything better than this?

Bye for now xx

Friday, 17 August 2012

'How to Avoid Paperwork' or' Procrastination Works for Me'

One sunny day a few weeks ago, a Babbit appeared and decided to find a spot to snooze in the pretty garden. Looking around she spotted a mass of nodding flowers and settled herself down with a yawn.

But however hard Babbit tried she could not get comfortable. The sun was too strong (!!!) and her head began to ache. She searched some more until she came across the shade of a giant cabbage grown by the fair hands of the enchantress Pipany who was believed to make potions from the herbs in her garden and bring toy animals to life through the magic of her stitches. (Bear with me, I'm avoiding paperwork!!)

Try though she might, Babbit could still could not sleep. A gentle breeze ruffled the veined leaves of the cabbage, the light casting an unearthly glow as the they moved to and fro. Babbit moved on again and saw ahead of her an open door which led into a ramshackle house, the tired gutters full of birds' nests and the flaking paint of the windows sheltering intricate works of art: tiny woodlice wrapped in gossamer threads which shimmered in the soft breath of the wind; delicate spiders swinging like circus acrobats, their swollen bodies performing acts of great agility and skill as they wove and bound their treasures away safe from prying eyes.  Babbit left the magical garden behind and entered the (very shabby) house...

where she soon found a place to lie. Soft and warm and wrapped in the comforting folds of a worn-but-lovingly-made patchwork quilt, Babbit's eyes finally began to close.

Before long, she was woken from her slumber by the sound of distant voices coming closer ... closer ... until finally there stood before her three creatures just like herself. The more Babbit looked, the more she realised there was something different about these happy souls - each wore a dress of the finest fabrics with tiny flowers scattered here and there, 

and a pretty blossom nestled just by their long floppy ears.

The littlest of the three said to Babbit, "My name is Baby Babbit. Come with us and we will take you to see Pipany. She will make you a dress to keep you warm and find someone to love you forever."   (Cos she's good like that you know)

Babbit so wanted a dress and to wear a flower by her ear. She went with the little Baby Babbit even though she was just a tiny bit scared of meeting the enchantress Pipany having heard so many tales about her. 

"Is it true she sings sad songs and teaches them to her children, songs of Gypsy Rovers and Angels Way up Yonder; songs of Packing up your Troubles and Goodbye (ee) that speak of war & loss? I've heard she sometimes plays notes (the wrong ones) on a piano accordion and makes the cats cry in pain at the sound?" said Babbit with a tremor in her voice.

"Oh yes, all that and more," said the little Baby Babbit happily. "At the Eve of All Hallows she dresses in the strangest garb and sticks her head into tubs of the coldest water to fetch an apple. She hangs bats from the ceiling and dances in her kitchen with her (creepy) wizard to the strains of Black Sabbath and Meat Loaf, the children hacking the innards from a pumpkin and candles guttering in the breeze."

Babbit was now visibly trembling when before her appeared Pipany bearing a sewing needle in one hand and a glass of the finest champy in the other (cheap Cava from Asda, but hey, it all tastes the same to me)

In no time at all the three Babbits explained the predicament and downing the contents of her glass with one huge gulp, Pipany set to work. She cut and she sewed and she sang and muttered darkly to herself in the manner of one deranged as is her wont until finally...

Babbit was clothed in a dress of her very won, a flower of the pales pink perched elegantly upon her pretty head and a label bearing the name of her precious new owner who would live with her and love her...forever.

And with a flourish the wicked witch - er, the beautiful and wondrous enchantress Pipany, sent the newly-clothed Babbit on her way to a life full of joy and happiness, where cuddles and laughter would fill her days and there would be no sad songs of lamenting and loss (though what's wrong with such songs I have yet to discover despite the endless groans of said children and 'wizard'!)

Ta ta for now! x

  • Postscript: No Babbits were harmed in the making of this blog post.
  • Pipany actually runs her business in a manner most efficient when not faced with a paper mountain needing filing, thus leading to drivvle such a s this.
  • Potions made by the enchantress Pipany include blackberry gin and sloe gin, both of which are jolly good when mixed with champy and sipped lovingly from a champagne saucer.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Olympits... Poltisko Farm Style!

Before I begin I would like to point out that this post is in no way flattering to the people contained within or indeed shows us in any light other than completely barking, but it was such a fun few days I couldn't resist! Besides, it is rather typical of what we do as a family and so honesty must prevail ...

One fine morning - a Sunday I think it was - Dave announced in the manner of the great Martin Luther King, "I have an idea..." Well, I did say in the manner of didn't I? His dream was to build a Games, a Games that would bring the family together in friendly rivalry; where bonds would be strengthened and new ties made over events such as Chess and Flower Arranging and Welly Throwing. Thus came about the first ever Poltisko Farm Olympit Games (Isabella can't say Olympics and we may not be fast but we are tenacious!)

Team PF (Poltisko Farm) included 

Davey (or is it Michael Moore!!)



And er, Me. Don't I just ooze that sporty vibe!

We had the 100 or so metres & Long Jump

Stone Skimming

on Castle Beach.

Contemporary Dance

Turn-over-splash which made us all feel dizzy and therefore extremely sick in the freezing cold waters of Falmouth Bay.

Egg & Spoon - some people tried to cheat by using a ladle and calling it a 'technicality'! 

There was Croquet on the lawn 

And at one point a Hobbit joined in!

I think Lucy got a tad carried away here! Why is there always washing in the background...sigh.

Indoor sports included Marble Run

Dave played Hurdles all on his own. Actually, he just got stuck going over the gate to the school field!

And as often happens in the Olympics, I had to get dinner on the go so Tom stood in for me in the Welly Throwing contest. Thus I got my one and only gold of the entire games! He's a bit good at sports is Tom.

Of course, he is yet another who likes to sabotage my photos by pulling crazy faces!

After each event we had a medal ceremony complete with badges made by Lucy and medals consisting of a Freddo Bar for Bronze, a white chocolate sprinkle-covered thingy for Silver and an Elizabeth Shaw mint for Gold. 

We also had the National Anthem playing on Davey's phone for each ceremony as is appropriate. Now I think about it we should have been singing 'Going Up Camborne Hill, Coming Down' or 'Fifty Thousand Cornish Men', or even some other Cornish anthem!

Other events included Taekwondo, Chess, Flower Arranging, Tarot (card game) & Handstands in the Sea. I don't think we have giggled so much for ages. A brilliant time and such a fantastic idea - well, done Davey.

And well done Team PF...I do love these guys x

Bye for now xx