Petals are the best thing about September around here; they stand out after a long winter like stars in the sky. My friend Kate brought me these hellebores the other day, aren't they gorgeous? They were growing under some trees at her house.
Inspired by all the botanical goodness, I sewed up some new cushion covers for my shop.
I made this amazing chocolate and apricot fudge cake as a school fundraiser, and we had enough left over to take a few pieces on a beach walk today (it turned out to be a handy bribe and distraction when someone small cut their foot on a sharp rock so for that alone it was worth it.)
The recipe came from the local newspaper and Kalamata Deli, but I have discovered it here since- so you could make it too, if you feel so inclined. I halved the recipe and it still made a huge amount. We dissect the newspaper at journalism school each morning, and finding this recipe was a bright spot in amongst a lot of less-chocolately news.
Also this week, we were sent a copy of this beautiful little book: Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot, by the author herself, Anna Branford. K and I both read it and loved it. I will now be on the lookout for other books in the Violet series. She reminds me a little of the small girl who lives at our place, so thank you Anna for thinking of us.
Hope you've had a great weekend and are feeling fortified for the new week ahead.
I had to recycle my marigold photo for this post, as the plants have been drying out for a while and there are no flowers in sight. I collected their seeds while digging over the garden and this is the result: a heap of organic seeds ready to be dispatched to gardening friends and family. I used small brown 'wage' envelopes (left over from previous years!) and decorated each with watercolour illustrations.
Can't wait to plant some new things- probably just practical stuff like salad greens and maybe some beetroot, my favourite vegetable of all time.
My small piece of escapism arrived today in the form of Liivia's blog - do you know it? It's beautiful, and I was imagining I was standing at this window, looking out.
Arlo actually has a 'real' bow and arrow set which he uses at his grandparents' rural place (less chance of injuring anyone) but on the weekend he and his sister devised this alternative for using here in the big city. We are lucky enough to have a wild and overgrown bit of our garden, and over the fine parts of the weekend, they played with this homemade 'bow' (a stick bent into a curve with a piece of waxed thread) and 'arrows' (random bits of branch found in the undergrowth) endlessly. The arrows needed a quiver of course, so after presenting me with a detailed design right down to the measurements and type of strap required, I made this for them. It's just a simple lined bag with a leather strap. Keira especially enjoyed carrying around her arrows, and even wore the quiver while eating dinner one night.
It makes me happy that the kids are still so into their pretend play these days, and get any visiting friends into it, too.
I hope you're having a good week so far. We have had a few dinner parties, my Mum to stay for a couple of nights and fun shopping at this beautiful little store which is just down the road.
And I was honoured to have some of my photos featured on this British blog- thank you Natasha.
Some more brooches were made- this time from pieces of hand-embroidered linen that were left over after cutting out baby slippers- and I didn't want to throw these remnants away. Some of the handwork is very old, and starting to come away from the linen a bit, which is quite characterful I think.
Yellow is all around these days- the lawn is covered in daisies and we went for a coastal walk last week and there were huge bushes of glossy bright wildflowers like the ones in the top photo. And spreading gorse, of course.
Have you heard the new Bob Dylan album? I'm into it, especially the song Long and Wasted Years (can't find it online anywhere except spotify) and I think it will be playing on our stereo all summer. He seems to be getting even better with age.
Thank you for leaving a comment on my last post! I drew two names for a set of cards- and they were Sera and Marilyn.
Here are some pins I've been working on this week- little bird brooches. I made them from flat brass frames that I found on etsy, and lacquered on top some tiny illustrations from an antique science book I've had for a while (it fell apart long ago so I had the pages tied together with ribbon. It's nice to give the papers a new life.)
I made a few for my shop and one for my favourite spring cardy.
And now it's the weekend, well soonish. We have a dinner party and some other social engagements planned because it's really starting to feel like friendlier weather for such things.
I am really happy it's September. I challenged myself to a sugar-free August (I picked something I knew would be hard to relinquish as I am a lifelong chocolate devotee and wanted to see if I was tough enough to go without something I loved. And surprisingly I was- hooray!) So while that was all good, I must admit I was happy when September rolled around. I had some chocolate gelato to celebrate.
Also, because it's early spring, I'm obsessing over forget-me-nots again. Just like I did last yeartwice and two years before that, it would seem (it's handy to have this blog as a reference to past obsessions.)
Anyway, the other day I completed my paper-cutting work by making a collaged forget-me-not. Then I got some sets of postcards printed up in town, so that each set comes with a print of each botanical collage and matching envelopes.
I popped some in my etsy shop, but thought that in order to celebrate spring arriving here, it would be nice to give a couple of sets away too.
So if you would like to be in the draw for a card set, just leave a comment below and tell me why you love September where you live.