Thursday, 29 September 2016

Hello Autumn {Bucket List for the Changing Season}

I know I'm not alone in being so glad Autumn has arrived at last! I'm so ready for the new season, and September has always felt like just as much a month for new beginnings as January to me.

The transaction from Winter to Spring is always much more gradual than the arrival of Autumn, which seems to appear all at once in a magical haze one morning, gilding the garden with beads of dew and chilling the air. I'm excited to wear knitwear again, to get out my scarfs and snoods and finally wear that ear warmer D bought me several years ago and I always forget I own! I'm excited for those days where we hibernate indoors, and revel in it rather than feeling guilty that we're not out enjoying the sunshine. I've already washed all my winter pyjamas (and oversized onesie) and pulled them still warm out of the tumble drier, thrilled at the thought of cozying up after a freezing walk.

I'm excited for pumpkin carving, fireworks, for crunching leaves, for watching films by candlelight and cinnamon on everything! For getting back in bed with a book and a cup of tea on a rainy morning, for gingerbread and mulled cider and maybe even toasting marshmallows! This is the season of cooking shows and of course Harry Potter, because I'm sure it's always Autumn at Hogwarts! I love the looming feeling of Christmas in the air, still far enough away not to induce panic, and the general feeling of preparing, the chutney making and fruit cake baking, and looking at baubles out of the corner of your eyes.

We moved into our current house in the Spring, and we're already excitedly anticipating discovering how it feels in the colder months. Our living room has a wood burner which I can't wait to light, and the flue runs up through our bedroom which should make for some very cosy nights. We're slowly working on the renovations, making it ours and finding out how our things fit in their new space. It's been wonderful to really take our time and slowly make decisions.

On the subject of slowing down and making more considered decisions, I read a brilliant quote recently, and I totally agree:

We're heading into a season which is often so focused on 'stuff', on feasting and indulgence and piles of new things. Don't get me wrong I adore giving presents, but this Autumn I'd like to focus a little more on experience than physical excess.

So, on that note, here is my Autumn bucket list - some things we've got planned for the upcoming months before Winter sets in!

  • Take a flask of hot chocolate to the beach (add to this - acquire a flask!)
  • Preserve the rhubarb from my Grandad's garden in a more interesting way than leaving it in a box in the freezer which is where it currently is!
  • Watch Practical Magic (I used to adore this film!)
  • Walk in the woods and hunt for pine cones (ready for some Winter making)
  • Build a campfire and eat outdoors
  • Tidy up the garden ready for Winter
  • Make some bird feeders (or at least refill the ones we have!)
  • Finish decorating the downstairs toilet (it's copper and grey and I cant wait to show you!)  
  • Make some candles! I love a candle but I'm increasingly conscious of burning nasty synthetic ones and I'd love to make my own.
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving. I'm jealous every year of Thanksgiving and love the idea of a holiday which is all about being grateful. Of course we won't be celebrating from a religious standpoint, but I realised there's nothing to stop us having our own version - turkey and all! 
  • Update my scarf collection. I have a favourite mustard yellow one I want to add a little fun too, and a grey snood which is crying out for some pom poms! 
  • Make some 'healthy' caramel apples - I know they're never going to be amazingly healthy, but I've seen a few recipe ideas and want to have a play with coconut sugar and this space. 
  • Make the sourdough starter we've been talking about for years!
  • Cycle to the farm shop (and maybe pick some plums!) 
What do you have planned for the Autumn? Are you revelling in it too or already mourning the passing of Summer? 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Currently Coveting - Wednesday Wishlist

It feels like a very long while since I've written a wish list! With the addition of The Language Magpie on alternate Wednesdays, then my complete failure to notice the passing of Wednesday last week I suppose it has been quite a while really. 

This week calls for a general round up of bits and pieces I've spotted over the last few weeks. So, without further ado, here are five bits of beauty I am currently coveting: 

I have long been a fan of Leon, and vividly remember the day I fell in love with the cookbooks, both from a foodie perspective and also from the point of view of someone who adores the way a book feels, smells and is photographed and designed (Also, if you include stickers in your book I'll pretty much snatch it our of your hand) 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Sew Along Toddler Backpack {Part Two - Sewing}

Slightly later than planned, here we have part two of my sew along toddler backpack! 

If you've been following since part one, you should have all your pieces cut out and be ready to sew, which conveniently is what part two will focus on! If you need to go back to part one you can find it here:

Just to recap, for this part you will need:

  • Your cut pieces from part one of the tutorial, including: front and back panels, gusset panel, 5 lining pieces, one flap piece pinned to its lining, two rhombus shaped pieces pinned to one larger piece, inside/outside pockets both pinned to their lining fabrics
  • Two meters of webbing for the straps (I used 1.25 inch white webbing)
  • Bias binding for the flap and pocket
  • Wadding/batting/stabiliser for the quilted back, I used an iron on foam stabiliser
  • Sewing Machine/Matching Thread/Scissors/Pins/Snacks/Tea/Podcast...etc....

First, we're going to sew the outside pocket,  sewing along three sides and leaving one long edge open for turning. When I cut my pocket piece, I drew out the measurement of the finished pocket, then added a seam allowance, you if you've done the same, you can sew along the drawn line. 

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