Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


Going the distance.....

The evening should have be filled with small witches and Draculas, 
giggling princesses and mini monsters
But 2020 has made some changes and we
have had to change too.
No knocking at the door, no yelling of 'trickle treeeeeeeeeet' but we certainly saw and heard excited little folk as they followed the trail around the village as they 'chased the pumpkins'.
We celebrated our Samhain by escaping the house and walking beneath a turbulent sky 
with a boisterous wind.
Storm Aiden had raged through the night and most of the morning, but after lunch,
the storm began to abate.
We wrapped up well,
took a flask, fruit cake and biscuits and walked up on to the moors.
Despite a sharp and flying fast shower,
it was a good walk,
It was a good time to be outside,
feeling the air,
tasting the tang of autumn,
On our return I reached my 1000th mile - 
I have walked one thousand miles worth of walking since the 1st of January,
two months earlier than I managed last year.
To celebrate we sat in the shelter of a small valley while Moss played in the stream.
We drank tea and nibbled the biscuits and fruit cake.

 And the biscuits?

Oak leaf shaped ginger biscuits - fancy the recipe? oh, ok.... give me a mo....

350g/12oz SR flour
10ml/2 level tsp ground ginger
100g/4oz butter
175g/6oz light brown sugar
60ml/4 level tablsp golden syrup
1 egg - beaten

Oven - 190 deg c/375 deg f
Soften the butter (I used the microwave), add the sugar, syrup, ginger and stir well
Add the beaten egg, stir again.
Mix in the flour then knead lightly until well mixed and a lovely pliable dough.
Place in the 'fridge while you wash up

Roll out (dust surface and rolling pin with flour) and cut the biscuits.

Space out well on the tray and bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack before scoffing with a mug of coffee.

nom nom nom


October's Link up Party!


Hello hello hello!

October has been and has almost gone, so it is time to share our photos and stories with this month's Scavenger Photo Hunt!

Just follow the link to add your post for  October and if you fancy joining it next month - it is really easy, just follow the list of words supplied at the beginning of each month adding a photo and a few accompanying words. Enjoy!

The link up party will stay live until midnight Sunday when it will then close.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

October's words and pictures :D

Welcome to this month's words and photos - hope you enjoy!

Sweet Treat

Peanut butter & oat biscuits - so quick to make and even quicker to eat! Recipe HERE

utter Starts with a ..... W ....

Wheel. Yes, that wheely is a rubber tyre being used as a nest. The bird is a black backed gull and if you think how large a car tyre is ... shows how big the bird is. However, that is not the whole story..... let me show you another image and see what you think now.....
See that rather small black speck on Queen Rock - the sea stack? Well that is the wheel-nest..... The stack is 80 foot tall and on the very tippity top .... a tyre. Apparently it has been there for years. It could not have been a lucky throw because the distance is too great, so someone with climbing know how scaled that chalk stack and took a car tyre for good measure....... 

(I have just done a little research and it has been there since the 1960s!!! There used to be a traffic cone there too but that has gone now). There was also a King Rock but that too has long gone, swallowed up by the sea. I have just found another photo - taken 12 years ago when it had a gargoyle cemented on top! HERE
The mind boggles.

Reading Now

Word Perfect by Susie Dent - except it isn't - apparently it is full of errors. Eldest pre-ordered a copy before he moved and when, several weeks later, it landed here at home, the delivery company just lobbed it over the front garden wall and the parcel was absolutely sodden after a soggy night out. I eventually found the parcel, rescued the book which was fortunately still dry - unlike it's container which just collapsed into a papery mush. I let Eldest know (now living away in his new home) and he filed a complaint regarding the delivery service. Only to be told that he would be getting a new (and error free) book as soon as it was printed. So now I am reading and enjoying Eldest's book :) next on my reading list is .... Human kind - A hopeful History by Rutger Bregman


During lockdown, when life changed direction somewhat, I rediscovered my sewing machine and found my sewing kit - with a bit of a practice (cushion covers for both the house and the van) I found that I rather like sewing. Not clothing - no - that's not me (it might be sometime, but certainly not now) No - I am still more of a crafter and sewing is just another element to crafting. So I have played with Boro stitching, visible mending, fabric journals, toys and masks.... many masks. It feels good being able to gift a mask that you have made and you know they appreciate and wear - I have found the easiest and most successful pattern - the 3D mask - HERE. I have shared it before however, it definitely is worth a look (and do put up with the video explanation - it is worth it for the 30 seconds of instruction!)

Something Purple

Last year in September, when we were out and about - these made us smile as we passed by.  Instead of the usual black bales of silage on this farm we saw these large purple 'faces' with their features made with huge stickers. They were a charity fund raiser - if I remember rightly it was for a children's charity.

My own choice

On Sunday we were walking, it was a brisk crisp day, a wonderful change from the previous very wet Saturday. Our route was as people free as we could make it and during the seven or so miles, we only spoke to two separate people and saw a dog walking family someway off in the distance. But what we did find .... was this little completely out of season little beauty. Tucked deeply into moss and grass and on a bank facing the sun, this spring flowering primrose was cheerfully flowering in autumn...... did it not get the memo? Or has it decided that 2020 was so rubbish that it would to start again :D What ever the reason - it made my heart sing and it was such a delight to find (Well spotted Himself!)

Well, that's my lot - I'm off to see what the other lovely photo hunters have come up with for October's photos and stories, hope you do too :D


Spinning a web of threads and yarns

I could hear the rain and the wind before I even opened my eyes. The room was filled with a dim grey early morning light, making me bury myself even deeper beneath the duvet. 

It took a determined small cat and a large mug of tea to make me surface. Pepper who - when let upstairs first thing in the morning, takes it upon herself to ensure every last person, still in bed, is awake. She is so persistent that even the most lazy-lie-in will give in and sit up.

Sipping my tea, watching the world through the window, as the wind thrashed the trees back and forth,  did nothing for my 'get up and go', preferring to stay wrapped up listening to the radio, however, tea drunk and Himself and Pepper ready for breakfast made me drag myself out of the snug warmth of the bed.

Breakfast eaten, washed up and put away - we went grocery shopping - oh I was so glad to be wearing a mask, the wind and rain whipped around and my face felt safe and warm behind the blue batik fabric. Once home the weather really upped it's bad behaviour, so we gave up all outside thoughts and chose to be warm and dry by the fire. We planned quiet things, reading and listening to music, sewing and chatting, resting and unwinding. Not things we often do.
However. It did not take long for me to get 'itchy fingers' so I started my slow-sewing.

 A small hand stitched Ted. Teeny tiny stitches to hold together teeny tiny pieces of fabric. He was stuffed with snippets of cloth and trimmed off waste thread from all my recent mask making.
Although not finished yet - needs eyes and a nose - I am rather pleased with the end result. I even managed to 'joint' his arms and legs so they move, making it easier to sit or pose (will do a 'photoshoot when he is complete).
With trimming off the final thread - I realised that I had generated more little snippets of fabric and ends of threads - so decided to make a little fabric 'tub' to hold all the little pieces that seem to come with sewing. A quick rummage in a pile of left over fabrics revealed a long narrow piece of upholstery material - perfect.

A break to do some baking - we needed something to help brighten the still rather dreary weather....... a batch of fruit scones slathered in butter and grape jelly with a piping hot mug of tea....
Bliss. Strangely (or not) they did not last long and I managed to hide a few in a tin to have later.
The fabric tub - a mix of sewing machining and hand finishing kept me quiet for the afternoon. 
I am looking forward to filling it with all the snipperty bits whilst I am sewing. (there is a proper name for one of these little containers - if you know what it is - please let me know). ****
By this time Himself was ready to eat again (he has hollow legs!) so again a break off from crafting while we went into the kitchen to start supper.
A friend messaged me asking if my Halloween window display was finished .... finished? finished? I have not even started it yet! So I raided my stash and laid it out on the table to see what I could make with what I had.
This year's trick and treating - like everything in 2020 - is different, windows are decorated and children, accompanied by their parents, wander around the village following a map hunting for the pumpkins. Instead of the little mini monsters and princesses knocking on the door for sweets, they are given by the parents when the decorated windows are found.  What I had not realised was the displays are to be up all week to give parents and children space to walk around the village in safety. 
Which means my window had to be up and ready by midday on Sunday - So ...... I crocheted the quickest (and let's be honest) scruffiest spider web. 
Bit of denim and hessian, four pipecleaners and suddenly there was a spider. Two bats out of black paper soon followed, some leaves and fairy lights finished the inside display.
Outside I quickly hung some black bunting and added a small pumpkin - grown by Eldest in the greenhouse before he and his lovely gf moved. Just a simple face and for contrast - black paper inside to make the eyes and mouth show up. Final addition was a salt lamp to give that lovely orangey glow. I was, I have to admit, a bit disappointed in the final result and was in a bit of a grump for a while.
If anything - I felt like he looked - :(

Then after a really good (and tiring) afternoon walk, when we returned, I lit candles, switched on lights and the window display suddenly looked a whole lot better.

So - that was our weekend - it flew by faster than a bat on a mission..... The display has to remain up all week, hopefully little grumpy pumpkin face will last that long.

Hope your weekend was good :) Here is to an equally good Monday xxxxx

***thread catcher - seems there is a whole world of patterns and ideas for them out there - whodathunkit?!


Simple pleasures

Last weekend was a time for chores at home, the sort of simple jobs I procrastinate over, then once I finally get round to doing - wonder why I took so long to get started ...... 
Time to replace the tired pots of sunflowers, sweetpeas and calendulas which have spent their summer
along the kitchen wall.
I found some very reasonably priced zinc buckets and Himself added drainage holes in their bases.
It didn't take long, and now I have winter colour and planters along the back wall.

They'll soon settle in and fill out while the weather is still 'reasonably' warm.

Mask making - this time with a seasonal twist, I will be posting some of these off as soon as I can.
This must be the easiest and most fool proof pattern yet - this is the one I will be sticking with from now on.
Pattern HERE

Jam making - well, grape jelly really. 

The greenhouse grapes yielded over 2 kilograms of fruits - added to about 500gm red currents...
boiled together with 710gms of pectin enriched sugars....
gave me five full jars and a half-ish one (presently sitting in the fridge) They are now labelled up and ready to eat. A soft rose coloured jelly with a delicious tangy fresh taste - perfect on toast and scones - can't see this lot lasting long :)

 Simple jobs that once done bring pleasure - there are more that needs doing but - pah - not just yet!

Are you a procrastinator? Do you have jobs waiting to be done? Go on, tell me, reassure me I am not the only one (I am procrastinating now - should be showering and getting ready for a morning stint of volunteering at the community store - but ... phfff, still sitting chatting to you!)

Have a lovely Tuesday xxxxxx


Life in colour

The colours of autumn are so different to any other season - the light casts a benign glow while foliage softens, sweetens and changes.

The heady blues of summer mellow to gentle clear sapphires and pinks. Clouds wrap horizons shawl-like and the air has a taste of distant memories of toffees and salt.

A grey sky to me is like wearing a lead weight, yet other greys abound with such delight - the muted camouflaging greys of a silent river sentry, 

the swirling eddies of deep grey water as it moves with meaning and purpose through a narrow gorge, 
The unnoticed 'invisible' grey supporting flashes of brilliant colour..... a wonderfully stumpy and broad slab of rainbow luminance...
The unobtrusive grey of a boardwalk covered in a confetti of leaves.

Then, there is the more expected colours of autumn,
The punchy reds and pinks....
Oranges and yellows,
Russets, browns and darkening greens,
Rusts, terracottas, ambers, creams and golds....
Tawny, sandy, sunset shades with flashes of caustic whites and sinister alabaster shades.
Talking of sunsets - they too have been sharing their shades of autumn, from fiery and volatile ...
To a more gentle slide into dusk then darkness.

There is so much more to autumn than the decline into decay and a loss of light - I am having to re-think my feeling of loss when the summer goes and learn to see the beauty in the faded charm and cooling weather.

It will take a lot of practice... have yourselves a lovely weekend filled with colour and sunsets in the most glorious shades of autumn xxxxxx