Saturday, 31 October 2009

Goodbye October

Just look at my friends beautiful shop window display. The shop opened a couple of months ago and it is filled with uniquely designed lampshades, mirrors, cards, tea towels and much more. It has the feel of a Brighton home wares boutique, tucked down a cobbled alley here in sleepy old Kendal. The entire outside of the shop is decorated with an eye catching design by local artist Rachel Kelly.

The window has a distinctly seasonal feel with exquisitely upholstered floor cushions in fabric printed with squash and pumpkin design.

On the way back to the car I sampled some of South Lakeland Orchard Groups freshly squeezed apple juice. They were hosting a stall with the local Action on Climate Change group to show what can be done with all the windfalls this time of year using manually powered machines, just like what has been used for hundreds of years.
First the apples (a local mixture from orchards as far north in the county as Tebay) were chopped by Edward (who owns Sprint Mill, which I blogged about in my first ever post)

Then the chopped apples are transferred into a press where all the juice flows out and into a big vat.

The juice tasted fresher than fresh, deliciously tangy and heavenly scented. A real taste of the Cumbrian autumn. I love living here.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Poorly lugs

Myrtle has been a bit poorly with her ears lately which culminated in sedation and a short stay at the vets yesterday. The house is a bit of a tip as I've finally moved all my stuff into number 5 but amidst all the chaos Myrtle has managed to claim this new addition to the furniture.
Still not herself today, here she is, a poor brown shaggy dog, recovering in 'her chair'. Please note an envious Joey at the window.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Spring forwards, Fall backwards

I always remember which direction the clocks change by that little saying, I love it.

There are cows in Myrtles field so I've been walking some different routes. I feel apprehensive about being near cows with her, even on a lead. I am the type of person to get chased by cows, as that's the same type of person who gets hit on the head with a football whilst walking through the park.
Anyway so back to the walks, since the clocks went back on Saturday the season seems to have really kicked in.
The trees are all fantastic colours.

It rained quite heavily overnight so the river was very fast flowing but it didn't put Myrtle off going in for a swim. She loved swimming against the current and was so proud of finding her stick .

This is my favourite tree, it's a Larch. I love the way it looks so feathery and soft, it has little cones growing all over it now.

I love this time of year. It makes me feel excited to know everything is changing and Halloween, Bonfire night and Christmas are all on their way!

Time for Breakfast

I'm off work this week and next moving all my stuff out of my old house and into number 5. My house sale is due to complete next Friday. It's pretty tiring stuff so am taking the day off from lugging boxes to catch up on blogging and also get some sewing done.

One of the best things about being off work is making breakfast, I generally don't like eating before 10am so on work days I don't bother, so having the time to make it is a real treat. The neighbours are away so I popped round to check on the chucks and got myself four eggy weggs. I'm going to send the feather to Jill, she sends me fantastic postcards.

A few minutes later breakfast was ready; scrambled eggs, wholemeal toast, orange juice and earl grey tea (loose of course). Served on my favourite tray from when I was a child (it has a design of gardening tools and plants on it with a wicker edge). It's so nice having my special things around me again.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

On Saturday we...

.....went to Kirby Stephen to look at Rayburns and freestanding kitchen units (not an easy thing to find) while we were there we spotted this bunting and some very inventive signage to entice people into a fundraiser. It made us smile, I hope it does for you too.

Soup is hot.

Did you know the word sweet is often misused to describe a pudding or dessert?

Massive spoons ahoy, there's some charity eating to do!

On Sunday we...

...decided to have a go at home made pickled onions as it was rainy outside.

After much searching online I found this simple recipe for just the right quantity of pickle.

1.5kilos of pickling onions
1.5 litres of water
50 grams of pickling spices
1 litre of malt vinegar

Joey was of course on hand to help, which just means oversee to cats, so it was left to Mr B and I to peel the onions. A fiddly job to say the least but we managed to get them done without shedding too many tears.

Boil up the water and salt until the salt has dissolved. Once cooled the onions soaked in this for two nights to make them extra crunchy (make sure they stay below the surface by weighting them down with a plate)
Two days later sit a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water with the vinegar and pickling spice in it. Gently heating it through, take off the heat and leave to steep for about 3 hours (keep a lid or plate over the top to hold the flavours in)

While this cools sterilise the jars (difficult to say how many are needed as we re-used an assortment of old ones)
Rinse the onions and fill the jars with them, pouring the now cold, sieved vinegar over the top.
Then lids and labels on and they are good to go in about 2 months.

Perfect timing for Christmas presents x

Label launch

I'm very happy to announce FSN and I are going to be selling our wares under the Heavens to Betsy label.

Until now we have sold separately on Etsy, at exhibitions, craft events and made commissions. We want to expand the blog into something much bigger so this is the first step. Look out for our shops arrival, full of things we have made inspired by our adventures.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Pondering puzzles

Whenever I go in charity shops I have a look at the jigsaws, I rarely buy them but I like to see what they are of. They can be of pretty much anything; famous (or not so famous) paintings, historical sites, the Royal family, animals the list goes on and on, sometimes though I stumble upon one which is really unusual.
This jigsaw is of the regional industries of the British Isles.

It was amazing to see what was made where. In a day on age when so much is imported it's nice to see a reminder of what once was. It would be a great project to look at how many of these regions still produce what they are on the map for. I also like the idea of jigsaws being a learning tool, educating children (and adults) about where we live. I wish I'd bought it now.

I'd included this one for pure comedy value.

But having written these words and seeing it now in all it's super sized, intensively produced glory, juxtaposed with the above, it seems very poignant. Highlighting how shifts in culture and values make this a rather sad pair of jigsaws.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Did the Moomins live at number 5?

Last year a pipe leaked behind the wall in our kitchen, when the plumber cut through the plasterboard the hole reveled this strip of amazing wallpaper.

I like it because it reminds me of Tove Janssons illustrations from the Moomin books, I absolutely love her work. Such imaginative stories, in tune with nature, and her illustrations encapsulate the feel of the world she has created.

This wallpaper is perfect for Moomin Mamas kitchen in their beautiful blue house.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Quiffs and Quills.

Walking past a building yesterday, that I must have walked past over a hundred times, I noticed a sign above the door way for the very first time.

I stood there for a moment thinking 'what a strange combination of things, what does it mean? haircuts and pens? haircuts and pens? haircuts and..' then decided it best to turn back and go inside as it was too intriguing not too.
I didn't get as far as the haircuts, they were upstairs, but the hallway to the stairs was lined down one side with glass cabinets packed full of what can only be described as a life's collection of 'penrobelia', a display dedicated to the almost lost art of letter writing.

Here are a selection of different width nibs, for ticket writing purposes only apparently.

A tiny bucket and spade......

...and this wee hat and brolly both conceal travel ink wells and dip pens. Nifty eh?

Everything had a super neat hand written label next to it. Are they her eyebrows? If so I think she is as surprised as I am as to see so much writing on such a small space, it must have been written with the very finest nib.

Very important to keep your nib clean when using a dip pen, so as to avoid any nasty splodges.

This Parker pen sign is a massive bulb! I wish I could have seen it lit up. It would be so nice to see things advertised like this now.

A lovely pink pen to celebrate, the then, Princess Elizabeth's birthday. It has a picture of her on it. In the foreground an 'Excellent Eraser' no less.

These wafers for sealing envelopes and the statement about them shows how even letter writing had it's hazards.

It makes you think 'One day will we stop handwriting letters? Will we eventually stop using pens all together?' All in all it is an amazing display and made all the better by it not featuring amongst the lists of local museums and collections, a real find!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Telephone voice

When talking to strangers on the phone I find it fun to pretend (just to myself) that I am someone else.

I talk to strangers all the time as part of my job and do this at a subconscious level.

I'd never revealed this fact until chatting to FSN today, in true style to the person I imagine I am.....

....who was 'known for her extreme secrecy'

Thursday, 1 October 2009


The third and final part of my Great Aunt Margaret's sewing biography is this collection of Newey Fasteners. As with the button collection the packaging dates them all. The older packets have very elaborate design work on them.

These ones show the royal appointment first to Queen Mary and then to the Queen Mother. There wasn't much time for sewing, what with all the people that needed waving at, so I doubt either even knew that their clothes featured Newey products but their seamstresses certainly would.

And best of all, after years of borrowing other peoples, I now finally have my very own pair of Pinkie Pinkrite Pinking Shears. That's a lot of Ps! They are the mini model too, lovely. Thank you Margaret x


Related Posts with Thumbnails