Monday, 21 October 2013

Embracing Autumn

It's hard to believe that October is almost over and we are well and truly into Autumn once more.  On a recent trip to my beloved Lewes in Sussex, I delighted in this window display with its knitted pumpkins.  I once visited New England for the Fall, they really know how to decorate for Autumn and I'd love to go again.  But Lewes was very welcome instead.


Only a few weeks ago, it may even have been ten days, I was still able to pick these splendid roses from the garden.  This is my favourite variety, David Austin's Jubilee Celebration.  I am a Summer-loving girl so although I am getting into Autumn slowly, I am still really missing Summer.  Boo hoo.


I really feel like behaving the same as Charlie Boy.  There has been much lap hogging going on by the furry friends of late.  They are always excellent barometers of the changing climate.  No doubt they are keenly awaiting the big event: the switch on of the central heating.


We've moved into the cosy lounge for a few evenings.  The fire in here has a much larger grate and the room is a little smaller than our family room so it feels much warmer and cosier.


Autumn also brings another much anticipated event in the HenHouse; yes, the Munchkin is yet another year older.  He's not quite a teenager just yet and still small enough for his mum to get away with calling him by his pet name!


A few weeks ago, I was invited along to another birthday party on the other side of London.  This super lady, and I think kindred spirit, I have met through Instagram and the gathering at her lovely home allowed me to meet her and some other fellow IGers.  Erin put on a super spread and we had a good old knit and natter.


It gave me an excuse to have fun with needle and thread and I made her a rather large flower brooch.  Erin is something of the IG brooch queen, a lady after my own heart!  This flower is based on one my heroine Julie Arkell makes so it's one I'm happy to make as a gift but I wouldn't sell (in case you were thinking of asking!)



Talking of brooches, I may have mentioned a while back that I'd been having fun of the sticky, messy variety and getting back to basics with some papier mache.



I've been a bit obsessed with what I loosely term "textile art" of late,  which I suppose is mixed media to those in the know.  To me, it's faffing with paper, fabric, buttons, thread, beads, lace; you name it, it's all going on and boy, do I have the stashes to do it with!


It was back to brooches, using first newspaper then top, fine layers taken from damaged old books, including one from 1906 on the subject of gardening which came complete with handy little line drawings.  The best tip if you are papier mache-ing on a small scale is to use really thin absorbent paper and slim hand-torn strips.  Add oodles of patience and you're getting there!

When that was all dry, I could get on with the bit I love best, as it involved fabric, of course. I love fussy cutting little images from fabric, flowers being my very favourite, no surprises there.  I can while away a lot of time choosing just the right ones.  I also dug into my vintage lace and beads.  Everything was hand made, hand cut and hand sewn with teeny tiny stitches.  Restorative stuff.


Finally, my little collection was finished.







I had help, of course I did!  Jacky Ginge, despite his ageing sixteen years, has learned to make a flying leap from the armchair in my Den onto my cutting table.  There he settles himself right in the middle of whatever I'm doing.  If you are a fellow cat owner, you will already know that this is what pussy cats do best of all.  Purrrrrr.


I don't do just floral, you know!  Loving this one, if I may be so bold to say so.


I never make just one, though I never make the same thing twice, really, either.


As you may have guessed, these little lovelies are waiting patiently over on Etsy to find new homes so if you fancy a little treat for yourself or you have someone special in mind (it's not long until the "Big Event" is it, yikes!)  then I'd love to see you over in my little shop.


Thanks for reading today.  Xxx

32 comments:

  1. Wow! your brooches are gorgeous Hen. Love the Roses from your garden, and I love the big Julie Arkell style flower, like you I make as gifts for special friends.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  2. They are so sweet - but typically I was also adoring the woollies you've displayed them on - the one with the ribbon neckline is beautiful. Our heating keeps going on for quick bursts at the moment but I do prefer lighting the candles and sitting by the fire (we do have electricity as well I hasten to add!) Your home looks so cosy - I think I'd be snuggling up next to Charlie Boy! Jane x

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  3. I really love your brooches, they're very unique and I love that they're all different. We've had the heat come on in the mornings a few times now. I switched the furnace on about two weeks ago, and it only starts up if the house gets cold enough, like this morning. Happy belated birthday to the Munchkin! I really like the hamster wrapping paper. :)

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  4. Lovely brooches with all their little embellishments! Of course Jacky Ginge had to help out just in case you had forgotten about him. Cats don't like to be ignored you know?!!! x

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  5. All the brooches are lovely but my favourite is the one on your gorgeous cardigan. I know what you mean about cats. One of ours is particularly partial to lying in the middle of my cutting board just as I am about to cut the fabric. One of these days I foresee a nasty accident! Philippa xx

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  6. Not up to sewing or making currently, so vicariously enjoying seeing what you are doing. I am spending my days sitting under a blanket/asleep in bed, so cats VERY happy!

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  7. Oh lovely Hen you always tempt me, I have fallen in love with all of these and will be whizzing over to the shop to have a look. You have a wonderful eye for design and colour Hen, a real natural. I do love your real fire, I wish we had one here at home but it is a modern home and doesn't have anything like that - boo hoo! May be we can move one day and have a lovely fire. A wonderful post as always and a Happy Birthday to your young man - growing up quickly. Thanks so much Hen, big hugs
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  8. LINDO,LINDO.BEIJO.VALÉRIA.(BRASIL).

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  9. Oh dear Hen your post today made me smile (after a pretty grim day) I feel honoured that a picture of The Granny Shack has made it on to your lovely blog! Celebrity status indeed! I adore my brooch (along with all your other lovely makes in my collection) and wear it with pride (during weekends obviously!!) looking forward to seeing you next week!!!! E xxx

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  10. Did my earlier comment get lost or is it awaiting your approval?! Just in case it's the former I am going to try again (apologises if this means I'm repeating myself!) if its the latter you can choose which one meets your approval! Your post today made me smile after a pretty horrible day work wise. I feel honoured that my little Granny Shack has made it to the dizzy heights of your blog! I'm so glad that IG has meant that we have been able to meet in real life (after all yours was one of the first blogs I read years ago, indeed you saw the old email when I ordered my crochet roll from you!!) and I look forward to many more meets my lovely crafty friend. I adore my brooch and gaze at if lovingly when I wear it (strictly weekends and holidays only!!) looking forward to our next real life meet up next week! E xxx

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  11. Just discovered you. Great blog. .... love the brooches. Jacqui x

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  12. Ooh I just love the little brooches Hen ... must dash, popping over to Etsy!

    Love Claire xxx

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  13. Yep Autumn is well & truly here, I have my yearly cold! Love the brooches & it's nice to see the pussy cats again :) xx

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  14. Lovely brooches. I haven't started thinking about the "big event" yet but will definitely keep an eye out on your etsy page when the time comes. By the way, your roses are splendid, they almost look like peonies!

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  15. What a fabulous post Hen, with so much colour and so much life in it. I do love your warm fire, I find a "real" log fire brings so much life to an empty room on the most bleak, grey days. It looks like we'll be lighting ours again tomorrow night - just when we thought we had an early start to Summer we now have a forecast for chilly days, even a frosty start on Thursday.
    I am so in love with your Charlie Boy and Jackie Ginge!
    x

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  16. I love your brooches, and especially like to see them on your scrummy knitwear.
    Fortunately for me I love autumn too - snuggling up by the fire with hubby and cats, long evenings to read and sew, preparing food for Christmas, jam making --- oooh! the list goes on.Added to the usual autumn likes, this year we still have roses coming into bloom. What could be better?
    Jenni

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  17. Ahhhh! Ain't you the clever one! Some of these are so pretty!

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  18. Hey Hen, love love love your papier mache broches! I Over at http://creatingandbaking.blogspot.co.uk I love Autumn, too. Already made chutney and jam - yum! x

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  19. I just love that fireplace. It's so beautiful, that I'd want to sit and knit and stare at it every evening!

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  20. Always a lift when you have a new post. The brooches are just wonderful - love all of them! Happy Birthday to Munchkin - he seems to be a very special young man. Love dear Jacky Ginge - what a very fine helper he is!
    Mary

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  21. Love the fabric flower you made for your friend! Your little paper mache brooches are precious too!

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  22. Mrs Hen - we love your post today. It's our turn for the sun, promise we will take care of it for you. We are finally able to open the doors and windows all day and slip on our sandals. Miss Pops is molting like crazy now, a sure sign of spring.

    Happy birthday to your son.

    Julie and Poppy Q
    xxx

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  23. The brooches are lovely, obviously I can't help but look longingly at your cushions though! the one I bought from you has sadly been put away until the spring. x

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  24. I love your new brooches, so many nice things in your etsy shop!

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  25. Gorgeous brooches Hen and I love your house, it looks so cosy and inviting!! xo

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  26. They are lovely brooches, so pretty. I now have a cosy room too after getting a wood burner installed in the back room. Toasty feet :)

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  27. What super brooches, I just love them.

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  28. Your brooches are so beautiful! Love your blog, I enjoy so much reading it!

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  29. Lovely brooches, Hen, and I love the big flower you make for special gifts too. Your fireside looks so cosy and inviting....the perfect place to sew and crochet!
    Wishing you a happy weekend.
    Helen x

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  30. As usual Hen, your blog is a joy to behold. I so reckon that you should write a lifestyle book, especially as your blog is far better than some of the books that I've read. Keep up the good work! x

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  31. Beautiful brooches! The cat is adorable.

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