Friday, 14 November 2014

November Rambles - what I love about this time of year.

The colours... this is the wild cherry in our back garden, just beginning to turn, taken the other day when the sun was shining fit to burst, but it was still quite cool, only about nine degrees. I love that at last it is being seasonably chilly, with crisp mornings. It seems wrong buying locally freshly picked strawberries in late October. I am one of these people who like the changing of the seasons, the contrasts between long days and shorter ones, food in the right season, getting logs for the fire, looking for sweet chestnuts in the woods, raking up leaves in the garden and bagging them up, getting snuggly throws onto the chairs and bed. This is one I made for a friend who has a terminal illness and who spends a lot of time in her conservatory, just sitting and watching the wild life coming and going...

My own current favourite is this one made from hand spun and dyed pure wool that I got from a lady in Wales. It is quite large, made up of squares using one hank each of different colours, and is incredibly warm, light and soft, perfect for snuggling under with a book!

Being able to sit in the summerhouse and sew at this time of year has been an unusual event, I can't remember doing it before. Sitting out for a hot cuppa, with a throw wrapped round me maybe, but sitting and sewing? Not before now. Is this going to be the norm, or just an exceptional year I wonder? Still, sewing goes on whatever the weather, this is a little felt picture I made for a friend, a thank you present.

I love the idea of using the tapestry ring frame as the frame for the finished article. It's something that has been popular for a while now, and is the second time I've used it. The first was for an embroidered picture I have hanging here....

Both have been backed with a circle of felt. I know not everyone does this, and I admit it's fiddly to do, but I like the finished look it gives.

I don't suppose you can mention November without fireworks really, and I do love watching them, from the comfort of my own home! However, and here I don the 'Grumpy Old Woman' hat.... I do wish they would only be on sale in the couple of days up to the 5th itself, and no longer. It seems that some years, people start setting off fireworks ever earlier, though a lot depends on the day of the week the 5th falls on of course. This year, it was midweek, so we could hear fireworks the previous Saturday, the day itself, and then this weekend. I am all in favour of organised displays in preference to private firework parties, but sadly where I live, a couple of long-standing displays have now been cancelled, due to Health and Safety or the cost of Public Liability insurance making it impossible to carry on. Such a shame. I do wonder how many children 'Oohing' and 'Aahing' actually know why fireworks are being let off, what is the meaning of Guy Fawkes? A bit like Christmas, I suspect the true meaning has passed them by.

I have also been doing some new journal pages, finishing off old ones too. Here are a couple of images, the first using paper collage, paints and felt tips.

And this one using collage with card, paints, salt (to give a rough, sandpaperlike texture to the paper).

And still on papercrafts, a Christmas card using one of my own photographs, and an ornament made for a friend....

Last weekend we made the Christmas cake, a bit later than usual, but it was a last minute decision. I haven't made one for the past couple of years, since the last one didn't turn out so well. I'm not too sure about this one either to be honest, it seems a little well done around the edges... oh, all right, it's like a brick round the edges!!! I may end up cutting off the outer one and a half inches. I don't go in for fancy icing these days, just slap on some marzipan and icing - all ready made - and tie a ribbon round it. I don't like fruit cake at all, though occasionally will go all Yorkshire and have a thin sliver with a piece of good Wensleydale cheese. Don't eat the pudding either, so we buy a small, good one for Himself. I'm fussy about my mince pies too! And can't stand turkey. Aren't you glad I'm not coming to your house for Christmas!!!

And one of the very best things about this month, is that it is the time when the geese arrive for their winter holidays. Tens of thousands of them, and every morning they fly over our house, huge skeins, little skeins, sometimes low enough to see clearly, sometimes higher, but usually you hear them before you see them. They come  back later in the day, often at dusk, which often makes me wonder how they know which part of the mudflats they're heading for in the dark, with no lighting? They are an integral part of living in this area, most people don't seem to take any notice of them, but I can't wait for their arrival each year.

Well, this is me for this month. Thanks, as ever, for popping by. Please leave a comment if you can.