Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Autumn Wreath

I was quite taken with the beautiful autumnal colours on a recent walk, and before I knew it I had filled the pram's shopping basket with leaves, twigs and conkers. As all of my craft things are packed away, I decided that I would embrace my inner womble. When I returned home my husband seemed a little bemused by my squirreling little scavenger hunt. I sat and had a little ponder, as to what to make with my finds. I decided to create an Autumn wreath.

Things you will need.

Firstly I wrapped the long sticks, I had collected, around and around in a haphazard manner and poked the end bits in among the other twigs. This took a bit of fiddling about until I was happy with the arrangement.

Things I have learned from this - perhaps use some string to hold this together as every time I moved one of the sticks another fell out. Try not to use sticks with thorns. (Ouch!) Also, if the sticks are not bending easily and snapping then wet these and they should be easier to shape.

Next I surveyed the array of leaves I had collected. I decided that I would form some of the leaves into flowers. Strangely enough the leaves I collected from the ground were a bit dirty, so first I dipped them into water and got rid of the dirt. This also helped make them more pliable when shaping the flowers.

Once I had washed a leaf, I bent it in half and wrapped it round to form the middle of the flower. I then took a needle and thread and put a few stitches in. I then took another leaf and kept adding more and more petals to the flower until it was the size I desired.

I made different sized flowers to be interspersed between the twigs of the wreath. I then positioned the flowers and attached them to the sticks with the thread and left the wreath to dry. The leaves weren't quite as bright orange, but I still love the colour and texture now they are dry. 

I love making objects from things that are literally lying around. What's your favourite autumn crafts?

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Toffee Apple Crumble

'Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness,' It's the time of the year for one of my favourite Keats' poems.   Autumn is such a beautiful season, and I have been enjoying some autumnal walks with my son. We have collected lots of conkers ready for a family tournament on our half term holiday to Scotland, and autumn leaves and twigs. This week I have been loving wrapping up warm, and having snuggles in blankets.

My father-in-law gave us a veritable hoard of apples that he had been growing, so I have been busy making plenty of apple puree, as we are currently weaning our son onto solid food. With the kitchen full of delicious fruity scents, I thought it only fair that I made something for the rest of us. One of my husband's favourite puddings is an apple crumble (in fact he tells me he is a connoisseur), so I felt obliged to make one. I thought I would try something a bit different, and attempt to create a toffee apple crumble. I must admit I am not a fan of fruit in puddings, but the scent of spice and toffee in the air was magical.


Fruit filling
8 eating apples cored, peeled and chopped. (I used eating apples, but add more sugar if you use cooking)
3 tbsp Golden syrup
100g Caster sugar
1 and a half tbsp Mixed Spice
6 tbsp Water

Crumble topping
150g Butter
150g Flour
150g Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 190°C.
2. Add the sugar and water to a pan stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Add Golden syrup and bring to boil.
4. Add apple and mixed spice. Cook until fruit beginning to soften (Adjust water if going dry, but these apples had plenty of juice)
5. Put into ovenproof dish.
6. For crumble topping, rub butter, flour and sugar together then spoon onto top of fruit. (You can add oats for extra crunch)
7. Put in oven for 20 minutes. (I then put the grill on briefly- just to make the topping extra crunchy - be careful not to burn.)

Hope you have had a lovely weekend filled with autumnal treats. I'm just off for a long soak in the tub and a hot chocolate! I love getting warmed up after a bracing walk. 

Friday, 11 October 2013

Family traditions...

As you know we are in the stressful process of moving home. I am longing to do crafts and baking, but unfortunately everything is packed in boxes, and moved into storage. As the lease is up on our rented property, but our house is not yet sorted, we have moved in with my parents for what we hope is only a few weeks. I have lots of plans for the decor of our new abode, but more importantly I am making plans for our new family life.

I want to live a simple life. I spent the majority of my twenties spending money on dresses, makeup, DVDs, etc. In my thirties, I have every intention of owning a 'capsule wardrobe', being as organised as IKEA intended, eating healthily, and being as prudent and thrifty as my father. More than all of this, what I want, for my new family home, is some wonderful memories and traditions.

With this in mind, I am now going to dedicate a section of my blog to family. I want to have everything from games that I can play with my son at every age to ideas for traditions to uphold every Christmas and birthday. What better way to save money and enjoy the simple things in life! I'm sure I will find a lot of wonderful ideas from the world of Pinterest, but if you would like to share some of your favourite traditions or games then please email I will credit you with your suggestions and provide a link through to your blog.

Lastly a huge well done to my husband who completed Chester Marathon at the weekend! We are so immensely proud of him!