Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Walk Into Town

I needed a few things from town today but couldn't face the battle for car parking so I decided to walk.    First I walked through the churchyard at the end of my road and then down the long hill into town.

Past one of the three silk mills we have here (I didn't go in the shop this time, I'm waiting for the after Christmas sale!) and through the park.  

The totum pole is one of several in the town that were carved for the Millennium.

Then I arrived in the market hill where Thomas Gainsborough watches over proceedings from on high!

It was nice to see some mucky fen celery for sale, complete with root (we used to fight over who got to eat the root as children).

After I'd bought the few bits I needed I headed home but not along the road this time, instead I walked down this path to the river

where a swan was doing some preening and stretching!

The low winter sun and the still water made beautiful reflections.

 After crossing the railway line I was nearly home.

Back through the churchyard with its ivy covered gravestones and this funny little partially buried grave cross - I wonder whose grave it was marking.

Then through the kissing gate to home.

I hope you enjoyed the walk, next time I think I need to wear wellies as I did end up rather muddy!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Cold and Frosty Morning

We had our first proper heavy frost this week, cold enough to blacken most (but not all) of the dahlias.

Frosted echinops seed heads

and frosted echinops leaves, curling like a knarled old hand.

Just the edges of the ferns were frosted, as though they'd been dipped into icing sugar,

but the hollyhock bud had a major dusting.

The frosted rose petals glistened in the sun

while the frost on the eucalyptus seemed to intensify the bluey grey colour.

The Vibernum Farreri buds had also been sharply frosted

but those higher up were already catching the sun and the frost was melting into tiny droplets of water.

It never ceases to amaze me how these winter flowers can cope with being frozen and then still open and fill the air with scent.

It's supposed to be another cold one tonight - I hope you all keep warm, I shall be found in front of the fire with my knitting :-)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Only a Matter of Time....

It was inevitable I know, it was only ever going to be a matter of time before one of them discovered my new woolly throw!

Although we've escaped any serious flooding round here, we have had high winds and rain so it's been a 'staying inside week'.  As a result I managed to finish a knitted tea cosy, adapted from a pattern I got at the Knitting and Stitching show.  It's working well at keeping the heat in my enamel teapot (I need a metal teapot as I have a poor track record with china ones!).  The curls look rather wacky (very me) but were an absolute pig to knit.

Cup of tea anyone?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Woolly Heaven!

When I went to the Knitting and Stitching show a few weeks ago one of the things that found its way into my shopping bag was a collection of Colinette yarn to make a throw.  It came as a kit with all the wool, 8 different types and the instructions.

It was a very simple pattern to knit, which meant that I could knit it whilst watching TV and it was knitted on relatively large (size 8) needles.

I have visions of snuggling up under it when it gets really cold of an evening, but for now it's living on the back of the sofa to try and keep my feline helpers off it, as I suspect that it is their idea of woolly heaven!

I love the colours and am really pleased with it.  

And I'm also pleased to report that my conservatory is still neat and tidy and I'm enjoying be able to sit in whilst eating my lunch.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Mini Makeover

When I moved here I was thrilled that I had a conservatory.  It's not large and there is no barrier/door between it and the kitchen.  This is great as it brings light and space into the kitchen but also means that  it's on view the whole time.  I use it as a space to do the messy parts of textile art, the printing and dying etc but, not being the tidiest person in the world, this means I can see all the gubbins from the kitchen.  On Saturday morning it looked like this

The mirrored walls make the mess look twice as bad

and I couldn't stand it any longer!

I went out and bought lidded storage boxes, oilcloth, and 2 fabric remnants.  I tidied, cleaned mirrors, found spiders, and made cushion covers.  I painted the lampbase with a match pot I found whilst tidying up and bought a new lampshade.  And voila - a nice room to sit in!

My messy art stuff is all in boxes under the table and the new cushion covers mean that this area is tied into the rest of the kitchen rather than being full of old mismatched bits.

I've put all my brushes and special bits like seed heads, shells and feathers into glass pots on the shelf above the original window.

And now when I stand in my kitchen this is the view I have into my conservatory - much nicer!

And if you're wondering about the apples in the trug, some have now become these -

Apple Muffins! All ready for a meeting I'm running tomorrow.  I find meetings always go better if cake is involved :-)

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Day Out in Cambridge

I've had a few days off this week so a friend and I went to Cambridge for the day.  We did a little shopping then had lunch in here,

the Old Library (now home to Jamie Oliver's restaurant).  As we came out we saw the statue to Snowy.

Snowy was a big part of my childhood trips to Cambridge. He always had a cart full of animals, usually a hat full of white mice and often a white cat on his head.

Snowy Farr - photo from here
He raised thousands of pounds for charity.  You can read more about him here.

The real purpose of our trip was to see the Winifred Nicholson exhibition at Kettles Yard.  It was rather small, which was a little disappointing but it was still worth seeing.

Winter, Bank's Head - Winifred Nicholson circa1970
I could really imagine sitting in the warmth looking out of this window at the cold landscape outside.

I think this one was my favourite, the colours and the simplicity appeal to me.

White Saxifrage - Winifred Nicholson 1967
Although it's only small, it's worth a visit if you're in the area.  It's free and they let you take pictures too (providing you don't use a flash).

The rest of the week I've been tree pruning (I'm getting good with a bow saw up a step ladder!) and some of today was spent lining a beautiful picnic basket from here, to make a cat proof knitting basket.

Hopefully this will now be the end of chewed wool!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Still Flowering (and a very tall Yacon)!

Whilst we know it's autumn and parts of the garden are looking very autumnal with the leaves changing colour

some plants don't seem to have realised yet.  Fuchsia Hawkshead is still in flower

as is the honeysuckle

several roses (this one's Aloha)

and a penstemon.

I'm especially surprised at the penstemon as it's very close to the Yacon which is showing signs of being frosted.

It was given to me by Fiona earlier in the year and has grown to well over 6ft!  I need to look up how to harvest and store and cook the tubers now.  It's not something I've eaten before, have any of you?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Autumn's Arrived.

Autumn appears to have arrived.  It's not my favourite season.  I do love the colours that it brings, but what I don't like is that it heralds the dark, cold days of winter.

Today though was all about colours.

The Snake Bark Maple looked as if it was just starting to turn into its fiery autumn colours,

but then I looked more closely.  It's not the leaves that are turning red, it's the seed pods.

I've never noticed them do this before.  The tree is absolutely dripping with them this year.  Is it because its getting older, or is it to do with the weather?  I don't know, but they are magnificent whatever the cause.

In the front garden the verbena is also full of seeds.  They are snuggling underneath the flower, again I'd never noticed this before (maybe I've just had my eyes closed before?).

And the clematis seed heads are wonderful as always,

as are the skeleton leaves on the hydrangea.

But I'll leave you with a close up of those amazing pink maple seed pods.

Isn't nature wonderful.