Saturday, 12 September 2015

Make, Bake, Sew, Grow

We are fully back in the swing of work and school now and, as the days and evenings race by, I once again find myself juggling many things and neglecting this space. Truthfully, I don't want to turn on my laptop after a day looking at a computer screen, I just want to sew or crochet and listen to podcasts, and that is what I do. But I want to be here too, and so I need to remember to balance things better, to do little and often. I am picking up my Make, Bake, Sew, Grow posts again as they are a lifesaver when I am working. They are fun to write, but it's more than that - they give me somewhere to record and celebrate all things creative and domestic when life gets very busy. Home is my comfort, and I find comfort in these posts.


{ Make }


There's not a lot going on on the house front but I did buy some more of that t-shirt/rag yarn to make another rug, and thank you for your lovely comments about the ones I made the kids.


I'm really pleased with these colours, especially the soft peach and the deep blue, and I'm looking forward to starting this project. I find Boodles yarn colours can be a bit hit and miss (what's with all the neon?!) but I had a good rummage and found some nice shades. 


{ Bake }

Apple cake with honey icing, from A Modern Way to Eat. Moist and spicy, it keeps well and is delicious with and without the frosting. A really good autumn cake.


I've baked it three times in the last two weeks, mostly recently at 8am this morning with Angus, while we were both still in our pyjamas. I like a bit of weekend early-morning baking, before the day gets busy.



Also being eaten in vast quantities: bramble jelly, on toast or stirred into yogurt. 



{ Sew }


I'm making steady progress with this throw, which I started on holiday, and have completed fourteen of the twenty four squares needed in total. It's what's called "corner to corner" crochet, as you start and end in the corner of each square, and the pattern and yarn are from here.


I like the yarn (Deramores Studio DK) - it's nice to work with and the colours are gorgeous - but I am concerned that this throw will be a bit too small for me. I think I might have to buy more yarn and add to it. It will look amazing draped over the back of a chair regardless, but I want it big enough to cover me when I'm feeling chilly.

And I am still - still - working on my Midsummer Sprigs cross stitch sampler. I didn't do too much over the holidays but since I went back to work I've been picking it up every evening and stitching an inch or two.


It's the sudoku-like process, the counting and filling in of squares.


It's soothing.




{ Grow }

Oh yeah, the garden. Hmm. It's a bit of a mess to be honest. This is what the back of our house looks like at the moment:


It's like a builders yard, with piles of logs everywhere and general chaos. See that black planter? That's supposed to be a herb garden, but it's just where I throw the toys and balls. John and my dad are going to build a wood store soon to, well, store all that wood. It will look a lot better when that is built. And yes I know that's a lot of UPVc but if you live in a house built in 1968 with big windows you have to make your peace with it. 

Last weekend John and I spent a few hours wrestling with a huge bramble which grows in the hedge between our house and our neighbours, attacking everyone as they get out of the car. Brambles in the countryside are lovely. Brambles in your garden are a total nightmare. We were scratched to pieces but managed to tame the beast, and I also discovered some roses hiding in there at the same time. 


That was a nice surprise.

Enjoy your weekends everyone! I'm off to get my haircut and coloured while my sister kindly looks after Bella and Angus. I'm already looking forward to the bit where I sit there for half an hour with bits of foil on my head, and don't have to talk to anyone or think about anything, and can just read a magazine and drink a cup of tea in peace...ah, bliss...




{ Make } Something for the home.

{ Bake } Something from the kitchen.

{ Sew } Something crafty.

{ Grow } Something in the garden.

38 comments:

Jennifer said...

I'm glad you're able to work in some relaxing creative time with all you have going on. Your crochet and cross-stitch are looking really good and I think your cake sounds delicious. I hope you have a nice weekend.

Sharon - creativity and family said...

Gorgeous roses and I love the corner to corner crochet pattern! Can you recommend any good crafting podcasts? I have only listened to Sandra's from cherry heart so far and really enjoy them so would like to find some more. Have a great weekend. xx

Christina said...

The surprise roses are beautiful, aren't surprises like that the best? You have such a good eye for colours, I really like the ones you have chosen for your throw. It would look lovely on the back of my chair, too. I find juggling work with all things home quite difficult at the moment. What I find most tricky is to make choices when all I want to do is everything. I am glad you find the time to write this post, I just love stopping by and admire your craft and kitchen magic. Have a relaxing weekend. x

Mac n' Janet said...

I always enjoy your Make, Bake, Sew and Grow posts. The Corner to Corner Throw is so interesting looking.

Sarah said...

You are so productive Gillian. I've been looking at the recipe for your fantastic-looking apple cake and I can see by using molasses it would be really moist and gooey. Your colour choices are sublime as ever and your stitching on the sampler exquisite. Don't worry about the garden. Most garden-obsessed folk only get to grips with their gardens once the children grow up. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Heritage Open Weekend continues tomorrow when lots of places throw open their doors for free.

SaraJ said...

Love the crochet. :) I'm not getting much crafting done at all - a certain puppy tries to ear the yarn, every time! He'll grow out of it soon - but I'm getting withdrawal symptoms as I'm not getting my crafting fix! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. x

Lovelanebyanna said...

I love your crochet it's so pretty, I attempted this a good few years back, I wish i'd kept going,
I really need to get into this again! X

Jen Walshaw said...

I love the colours of the crochet, I would love to snuggle under something like that. I am not yet in the swing of things. I am hoping it comes in the next couple of weeks!

CJ said...

Love the throw, what a clever pattern. And the shades for the new rug are perfect. Hope you had a nice time at the hairdresser, it sounds blissful. CJ xx

Emma Louise said...

Such a lovely way to take stock of your time. I am trying to be more appreciative of everything around me, rather than sulking because nothing is as I imagined! I have recently bought some tshirt yarn and am crocheting a foot rest, as our last one sadly gave up on life after being used as a football by my wonderful kids. I think it's called Tek Tek, and it seems okay, but haven't got anything to compare it too. Will possibly try the Boodles next, although this project is giving me hand cramps and shoulder aches so may stick to thinner yarn in the future!

Wainwright and Wright.Co said...

Gosh you are productive given your busy week of school and work. I agree, love the colours of your crochet and I do like your cross stitch too. We built a wood store last autumn and we love it, it's comforting to see it piled with wood waiting to warm us this winter
Caz xx

Sol said...

I love looking at your cross stitch. I think at some point I am going to have to learn to do some of these crafty things.

p.s. the cake looks lush

Bronwyn McConvey said...

Work sure gets in the way, doesn't it? I started back to work this past week and I am already missing the freedom of the summer. :( I really like that blanket. The diagonal lines are very eye-catching and the overall pattern you are creating is marvellous! Make it bigger. You'll regret it on a cold February evening! :)

Susan Smith said...

I like your Make,Bake,Sew & Grow posts whilst you've not much time to blog. The apple cake looks yummy and the rug very interesting. I may just look out that pattern. As for gardens, they do change with seasons and what we need from them. Hope the weekend is going well and take care.

Jo said...

Love your post today. I have got the end of some pretty hefty craft projects that have been a bit stop and start over the holidays with the children around. I don't think I have ever done as much unpicking as I have over the last 6 weeks due to rushing and not concentrating. We are baking too mostly courgette cake. Happy weekend. Jo x

Cheryl mylittlepieceofengland said...

I love the contrast of the bright coloured threads on the black background. Lovely post xx

pandchintz said...

Gorgeous post, thank you.

Annie Cholewa said...

That rug's going to be lovely!

No peace at the village hairdressers here ... everyone chats away to everyone else and there's always laughter, I much prefer it to the hairdressers in town where everyone's quiet.

VeggieMummy said...

I've missed these posts of yours. Your throw is looking great - I've never tried any corner to corner crochet but it sounds fun. I have that recipe book and a huge number of apples at the moment, so will give your cake a try. Hope you had a peaceful time at the hairdressers. xx

Ingrid Orens said...

You made me realize it is high time to go to the hairdresser ;-)... Not so much for that haircut or colouring (already so long overdue, it's even not visible anymore that I always postpone my hairdresser visit haha), but just for those couple of hours of pure peace & quiet :-)..
Love the geometric pattern of that throw !

Librarian said...

Honestly, the amount of stuff you manage to do on top of work and just general household tasks amazes me every time, and I feel (and truly am) the laziest woman in the world!
My Mum is a good baker and comes up with creative ideas about the use of apples in the kitchen, but I've never had an apple cake with honey icing. It sounds and looks delicious!
The garden doesn't look too bad - I've seen a lot worse when slowly trundling past people's back yards on a train! With your garden, one can still tell there is a sort of order behind it, just waiting to be dealt with.

Jo@awholeplotoflove said...

I need a trip to the hairdressers too, I have the week off utter bliss or will be when I have learnt how to relax properly! I did manage to colour my hair at home though - the Cruela De Vil look wasn't looking good on me any more. Apple cake, a new blanket & surprise roses all lovely things. Take care xx

mags said...

Glad you are finding time to create. Love the crotchet throw, so different to the usual and I can see it looking great with your style. Xx

Marion Ogden said...

I've also started making a rug with fabric yarn. So far it's going well and the yarn (Tec-Tec Big Bobbin) is nice. I'm looking to the next rug you'll make, I really liked the ones you've made for your kids' rooms. The apple cake looks delicious, just the sort of cake that's perfect at this time of year. Enjoy your weekend! X

Anonymous said...

It's hard to make time for everything but it is important to fit in those things that make us happy. All your creative output looks wonderful. I'm going to have to check out that cookbook! As for your garden – everyone has an area (or areas, in our case) that looks like that! And our working areas are too scruffy to show. It's impossible to keep it all looking photo-ready all of the time :-) Hope your hairdresser time was super-relaxing. Have a good week Gillian. Sam x

Jan Doling said...

I love the corner to corner throw you are making and your cross stitch design - it looks wonderful on the dark fabric. Your Apple cake with the honey topping looks delicious too.

Ali Whale said...

I am amazed at all that you fit into your life and manage to share with us. I hope the hairdressers was relaxing and I love the roses you found among the brambles. I did a corner to corner baby blanket recently and enjoyed the rhythm of it. I never thought about putting those type of squares together but can see that it is very effective with that geometric pattern. I would definitely make sure it is the right size for you, there's nothing worse than a too small blanket!

Jacqui Galloway said...

You've been busy. Love your makes! I don't seem to be able to find time to blog at the moment. Thanks for sharing. Have a good week!
Jacqui

Helen said...

You sound very busy! I love the corner to corner throw and the yarn for the next rug :) The cross stitch is stunning, those lovely colours against the dark. The apple cake looks scrummy, I think it made my tummy rumble. Looking forward to seeing more garden progress, the roses are very pretty xx

Hannah Taylor said...

Beautiful photos, and yes you have been busy. I too have had to make my peace with UPVc.....it took some time but i'm there now.

Life With The Crew said...

Looking forward to seeing the next rug - those muted shades are very pretty. You are just so darn crafty Gillian - look at that crocheted throw AND the embroidery! Both lovely of course. There was some apple and honey eating at our house also, but in the form of homemade applesauce. Might have to whip up a cake like yours too!

Jacqueline said...

Golly you have so much on the go and they all look great. I like the design of your throw and look forward to seeing your completed rug. As for the cake, well I could easily have a slice of that with my coffee!

Lisa said...

Your cake is a real hit if you've made it so many times already, how lovely to find a new favourite. Baking first thing is a good idea, sometimes when the day gets going it seems to take more time somehow.
Your new crochet is an interesting project with the pattern matching.
Lisa x

Penny said...

Your photographs are very beautiful Gillian, I particularly like the ones of the cake (the apple really brings it to life) and the roses in the jar. The roses are gorgeous, a just reward for all your hard work getting rid of the bramble bushes! X

The Creative Academic said...

Your cross stitch is coming along beautifully... and those roses...gorgeous. What a find :) I really love these posts - a round of events and happenings but focussed. Have a fab week - enjoy that cake xx

Ladybird Diaries said...

I really enjoy these posts Gillian. The apple cake looks and sounds delicious.
Marianne x

Katie said...

beautiful yarns, and I'm with you on the early morning baking (although my recent attempts seem to stretch on for hours) happy new haircut - the silent magazine reading part is my favourite too!

Gillian Roe said...

I'm afraid I don't listen to any crafting podcasts on a regular basis. It's usually the archers or woman's hour podcasts here!