Thank you so much for your comments on my holiday embroidery. I'm really glad you liked it, and I really appreciate that so many of you took the time to say so. A few people have asked if embroidery is hard and how I learnt. It is not hard at all, but it is time consuming and you need patience. I am by nature a very impatient person, so you'd think I'd prefer whizzing things up on the sewing machine, but no, hand sewing is a relaxing indulgence for me. As for learning, well I am learning new and better ways all the time. I am a beginner, an enthusiastic hobbyist, and have never been on any courses or anything like that. I remember sewing a little with my mum and Grandma as a child, but I didn't really pick it up again until a few years ago. I just sort of feel my way and go to YouTube when I need to learn a stitch, like French Knots. I worry that people think embroidery is a lot harder than it actually is and are put off for fear of doing it "wrong". For me there are no rules, I don't care how untidy the back of my work is, I just enjoy the process, the colours and the textures. So if you are thinking that you might like to try it, just start. Just play around with colours and threads on a small piece of fabric. It's fun, I promise.
The changing of the seasons has been really noticeable this weekend. Yesterday was warm and sunny but today it's wet, windy and about ten degrees cooler. I've spent the day in the kitchen, cooking for the week ahead and making a big chilli for tonight's dinner.
All the photos above were taken in West Dean Gardens last week, or perhaps the week before - the days are rolling into one and the weather makes it feel like so much longer ago. It was beautiful though and I think it's lovely there whatever time of year you go, especially with all the glasshouses. At the moment there are still the most stunning dahlias, and apples and pears growing on the trees, and we went for a long walk through the surrounding woodland with my family, picking blackberries and collecting feathers, before finishing the day with a cream tea.
I made another trip to the Pick Your Own farm in the week, buying green beans, corn on the cob and yes, more dahlias.
It's been another busy week but I've tried really hard to carve out some quiet time at home, although that does seem to inevitably get spent on housework and chores, before work starts tomorrow. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done over the holidays: decorating, cleaning out the garage, sorting through the filing cabinet, tackling some jobs around the house and garden. We did get most of them done.
As well as my France embroidery, I've had a few crochet projects on the go this holiday. I made a wall hanging for Bella's bedroom using some leftover cotton yarn. I made it in exactly the same way that I made this one, for anyone who might be interested.
I've been cooking a lot, baking cakes and cookies, and stewing fruit. I love the plums cooked with a little sugar and spice on top of porridge or yogurt. And I've been peeling, coring and slicing apples from my sister's garden for the freezer. It's a tedious job but it's great to pull out a bag of frozen apples, one of blackberries and another of crumble mixture and have created a pudding with minimal effort.
Do you remember the crocheted vegetables I made for the school I work in? I've started on the fruit.
I was hoping to have them done by the start of the school year but there just isn't going to be time.
As I'd hoped they are just as much fun to crochet as the vegetables were and I am thoroughly enjoying this project.
Finally, I'm delighted that this blog has been nominated again for an Amara Interior Blog Award! Thank you so much to whichever person nominated me, I can't tell you how much it means to me. It's a popular category and there are some big blogs in there so it's stiff competition, but if you would like to vote for me then that would be absolutely lovely, and you can do so here. I hope you know how much joy I get from sharing my love of crafting and interior design with you all here.