tempus fugit…time flies!

You may have noticed a decided absence of posts. It is not that I have not been working at all – there have been custom orders and stock developments – but there have also been distractions in the form of visitors, days out with Mark and needing to get things done for the Bath WI. We now have no visitors, Mark is back at work (for a couple of weeks anyway) and my lovely comrades at the Bath WI committee have taken quite a bit off my shoulders so I have two weeks to work very hard…before Mark and I hand over the house and cats to our regular ‘sitters’ and head to Devon for a week in a listed barn conversion; peace and quiet, lots of photos and perhaps a little crochet beside the wood burner (probably alone as Mark has spotted there is a PlayStation in the property!).

So first of all, let me share some of my distractions…

Stourhead National Trust house and gardens:

Stourhead 17 Sept 2014 - 007

Stourhead 17 Sept 2014 - 140

 

 

The Courts, National Trust gardens at Holt:

the courts 18 sept 2014 - 069

the courts 18 sept 2014 - 096

 

Afternoon tea at the Bailbrook House Hotel:

Bailbrook House - 16

 

Yeo Valley Organic Gardens:

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 034

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 045

Yeo Valley Gardens 7 Sept 2014 - 130

And now the work! I have been having fun printing photos on to cotton poplin, and there are now options in my Etsy shop to request custom orders using your own photos…the kids, pets or holiday snaps! Christmas present for Granny?

garden cakes and lavender bags - 11

 

photo fabric 1 - 07

photo fabric 1 - 15

photo fabric 1 - 16

garden cakes and lavender bags - 15

garden cakes and lavender bags - 16

In addition, there are organised people getting ahead with their Christmas shopping and I have had a number of custom orders including Wizard of Oz Christmas stockings – I liked the ruby slipper one so much I made an extra one to pop in my shop, and am always happy to make items personalised with names and/or photos.

w of o stocking 19 sept 2014 - 3

wofO stocking2 - 2

a ray of sunshine

After several weeks of grey skies and heavy rain and gale force winds, I woke today to blue skies and a strange glow in the sky that I seem to recall is called…sunshine…or something like that (it’s been a while since I have seen it). Miraculously Mark woke up at an almost reasonable hour and we headed to Westonbirt Arboretum. I have dithered about putting more photos here rather than on Deere Diary, as I have not sold any photo cards and had almost decided not to include any photos in my shop. However, I have received such nice comments about my calendars that I think I am going to take a chance that the comments are genuine (rather than just friends and family being kind) and will continue to make my photos available. However, I plan to open a second Etsy shop for photos and photo cards, so they do not get muddled up with the sewing and fabric stuff.

Mark was very patient as we walked through the arboretum and I kept stopping as I spotted patches of dappled sunlight tumbling through the leaves. Not only did he not complain as I stopped every few minutes, he also carried my camera bag in case I wanted to change lens…he’s a good chap that Mark!

sunlight gems
sunlight gems

dappled sunlight
dappled sunlight
leaves in Winter sunlight
leaves in Winter sunlight
first signs of life
first signs of life
flowers! yes, really...flowers! and yellow ones at that.
flowers! yes, really…flowers! and yellow ones at that.
English Winter countryside
English Winter countryside
branches against a rare blue sky
branches against a rare blue sky
banners in the wind
banners in the wind
I think this must be corkscrew witchhazel with catkins
I think this must be corkscrew witchhazel with catkins
no need to stick your tongue out!
no need to stick your tongue out!
reflections in a muddy puddle
reflections in a muddy puddle
iconic view from Westonbirt Arboretum
iconic view from Westonbirt Arboretum
Winter woodland
Winter woodland

finishing touches

I decided my bags and purses needed a little extra je ne sais quoi and ordered these fab little labels from Able Labels. I am very happy with themand will be stitching them in to everything from now on.

 

seaside shopper

I received them very quickly, but had already made this little seaside shopping bag…what is it about bunting that is so irresistable? I want to put miniature bunting on everything now!

seaside shopper
seaside shopper

 

greetings cards

Although I plan to mainly fill my Etsy shop (which I hope to open the week after next!) with sewn goodies, I also decided to get a few of my photos printed up as cards…here’s a few and I will put some more in the photos gallery.

seaside/countryside
seaside/countryside
birds
birds
bees
bees
butterflies
butterflies

 

strawberry gin

The strawberry gin is ready! I don’t quite understand how 70cl of gin, when left to stand with sugar and strawberries can now fill two 35cl bottles and still have enough left over to fill another small jar plus a good measure for the cook. I guess the strawberries must just have been very juicy.

I did find myself pinching the leftover gin-soaked strawberries as I cooked (mushroom and stilton pie) until I realised I was fast becoming a gin-soaked strawberry blonde!

gin-soaked strawberry blonde
gin-soaked strawberry blonde
strawberry gin
strawberry gin

 

and finally…

Last Saturday was the Flavours of the South West food festival in Bath and my cake won the WI Queen of Cakes title! It was a bit of a rush tracing the logo and filling it out with melted chocolate, and I managed to squish the icing while transporting it – I even forgot to take a photo (this was one the ladies (wo)manning the table took). I didn’t know there was a competition, but it’s very nice to win!

Bath WI cake
Bath WI cake