halloween tales

There is nothing more creepy than a fairy tale. Just lately I have been looking at this book of English tales that belonged to my mother as a young child.  The stories are gloriously weird and spooky. With tales of bones and bogey beasts and eating babies for supper they knew how to scare a five year old in those days. The Arthur Rackham illustrations are still hauntingly beautiful. Have a happy halloween!


happy birthday

It's half term so I have not had much time to blog this week and today is my lovely twins' birthday. It's hard to believe that these two tiny scraps are 18 years old today!


something sweet

If you have a thing about sugar then Dessertgirl is for you! I was invited by Erin to send in a dessert for their blog and I had a lot of fun doing this recipe for a speciality from our region in Catalonia. Its called La Bisbalenc and is traditionally made with cabella d'angel (angel's hair) which is a kind of pumpkin jam, so it's great for halloween. I used some of our quinces instead, another way of using them up - hooray! You can see the post here. 


all in the family

My incredibly creative sister has just published her first book! With two more in the pipeline, this first one is called The Perfect Handmade Bag by Clare Youngs published by Cico. It contains 35 wonderful ways to recycle your old clothes, fabrics and textiles into bags and purses both practical and pretty. We had lots of fun spotting our donated cast-offs in the pictures. The instructions are simple and photography inspiring as always with Cico books. 


lucky finds

I have been busy travelling the country with my 17 year old daughter looking at fashion and textile courses for next year. There are so many exiting courses out there I am tempted to enrol! much to her dismay. After the university visit we hit the charity shops, Lucy on the look out for granny chic and me for the usual bits and bobs. After much poking through the heaps of candle related junk and sets of 'Friends' videos here are my latest finds. A really cute and festive Swedish tablecloth, blue pottery vase, lovely Finnish green glass vase, another teak bowl (I can't resist them!) pretty wild flower book and a set of groovy 60's salad servers - what am I going to do with this lot!


autumn tea break

We have a rather scruffy allotment in the woods where we grow oddly shaped vegetables and snacks for squirrels. Our best crop this year as been from our tiny quince tree. Quinces are one of my favourite fruits, I love the combination of fluffy surface and waxy yellow skin. So far we have made some rather solid and crunchy membrillo, some very runny jelly and two tarts, now running out of ideas!
The best part of the day on the allottment is tea and cake and these cheerful '60s thermos flasks I found at the flea market just fit the bill. 


crazy peacock

I haven't seen a peacock in our back garden yet, but there is one just down the road. He lives in the grounds of a once grand but now rundown house and is rather lonely so often escapes to roam the streets looking in vain for a peahen. He provided inspiration for this print which I have just added to my Etsy shop. 


bird life

Who doesn't love birds? We are lucky to live high up in SE London overlooking woodland so we see all kinds of bird life, from stringy London pigeons to noisy flocks of green parakeets, even a kestrel swooped in on a mouse in our tiny garden. In bird spotter style we list them on our black board. Birds feature in my ever expanding collection of charity shop and boot sale finds, here is just a small selection of my current favourites, there are a lot more!


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