Tuesday, 13 September 2011


All work and No Play Makes Jack a dull boy

So the saying goes!

I have had a lovely day - just playing letting the creative streak flow and I mean flow - and it is driving OH up the wall as he cannot see the rhyme and reason to what I am doing !
It started with a lovely walk down by the river - our usual track - the wind has been rough and blustery (but not as rough as yesterday and last night) but I don't know it was wild it was free it was invigorating - it was alive - it reminded me of coastal walks down in Cornwall on a blustery day where the sea spray blows up and hits and whips you in the face and makes you grateful for being there and experiencing the moment.

I am when we go for a walk always foraging looking about for things - even if I don't take them with me today I remember for tomorrow - I try and plan what I am doing so as to take best advantage of the same.  I am only human - so don't always achieve things, but today I was very satisfied with today's foragings - especially as all it has cost me is a little time and effort  for raw materials with no money changing hands its been brilliant and I have had some exercise to boot.  A win win situation.

We looked for puffballs, one or two small ones coming through but nothing big enough to eat as yet - they will be there for another day.

I then located some teasels, which although not a big bunch is a start - I have already mentioned my idea for making some decorations for the stair bannister, but I have had other ideas since then.  I intend to collect some more at the weekend, bring them in, strip the stems of the leaves and rub the pointed end of a pair of scissors down the stems gently to remove the prickles making sure to hold each stem gently so that it is supported at all times and so does not snap, bend or break the emphasis is on gently.  I don't want them to snag on anything. They are now wired up ready to hang.

We found apples and brought a bag home - there are still a lot left - so I am going to be busy in the kitchen again.

I have picked more rosehips, this time not for cooking although I shall get some more at the weekend as I would like to dry some more, but also would like to make crab apple and rosehip jelly as well as Rosehip Syrup and some Rosehip Wine and mixed Hedgerow jelly.

I also picked some hawthorn branches, some willow branches, and found some blown down, and some miniature fir cones, for smaller decorations together with the bay leaves.

OH cooked me egg and bacon for brunch served with a cup of tea.  I have then sat down and started playing.  

I have always wanted to have a go at making my own garlands for Christmas  and with me having lots of bay leaves at the moment I got my roll of thin gauge florists wire out and started threading a rosehip, a bay leaf and so on.  To thread the bay leaves is simple enough and some rosehips (yes they are Rosehips and the size of the ones I have been drying) you will be able to get the wire through but I put a fine skewer through and then threaded them on to the wire.  I am probably making these far too early, but as the materials are to hand and I have been on holiday, I have had a go and I must say I am extremely chuffed with the result so far.  

The berries may go orangey rather than red and the leaves may go paler, but the heating is not on a the moment so they should dry naturally.  If it dries well in situ I will make similar garlands for the bookshelves although the central garland for the fire place I will probably leave until the week before Christmas to do.  Up to now I have always used mostly artificial decorations and they will be used as well, but as I cannot afford new decorations at least this way I am ringing the changes without spending any money and having a really good play in the process, with something I haven't really done before.  I just like the space and time to explore and get to know what I am dealing with.  Not bad for a first attempt I don't think.

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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)