52 weeks of Happy: 43, 44, 45, 46

Or in other words, the 22nd of October until the18th of November! It’s been a while since I sat down to blog so I’m going to catch up now….IMG_3753

Making leaves from some left over variegated yarn and having fun decorating them with buttons and beads. I should have given this to my Mum for her birthday but it looked too good on my coat, with my scarf!

IMG_8522More beautiful, autumnal rainbows, this time during our half-term trip to see the family in Penrith.

IMG_3794I could write a whole post about finding sweet chestnuts, it made me so happy. I took loads and loads of photos of them so maybe I will get around to it soon.

IMG_8590Homegrown pumpkins! I always hankered after a Halloween pumpkin when I was little. In my day all we got was a turnip and it took forever to hollow it out. It’s been very satisfying to grow a good crop this year, thanks to the wonderful July weather we had and plenty of watering by Babykins and me.

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IMG_3922As soon as Halloween is out of the way Bonfire night needs to be celebrated. We did our customary back garden fireworks with a few friends. Nothing fancy, just a box full of good old Standard Fireworks, plenty of rockets and a few sparklers.  Cups of tea (and a few sneaky little nips of damson gin) were drunk while we snuggled up with blankets and hot water bottles in deck chairs on the patio. The Middle Miss did a sterling job distributing her Halloween sweeties and the boys created glow-in-the-dark shapes from a kit Son Number One was given ages ago. I really like the children to have those glowing necklaces on because it makes it easier to see where they are, just in case they get a ‘burning’ desire to head to where the fireworks are being let off.

IMG_3945There has been a lot of crochet going on. I signed up to sell at a craft fair a couple of weekends ago and as well as snowflakes, bunting and corsages I made few of these tea light cosies. This trio were the ones I liked best but they didn’t sell. I love the way they look when they are lit up. They really do cast a cosy glow. If you want to make some similar, I think I have pinned the patterns I used on my ‘crochet’ board on Pinterest. Click here to find it.

So, that is by no means an exhaustive list of what has been going on here but at least I feel as if I’ve caught up a bit. It would be a shame not to finish this project with only a few weeks to go.

[Grammar fail? Babykins and me? Babykins and I? – pah, I wish I was more confident with this] 

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52 Weeks of Happy 42/52

IMG_8447Sunset, or ‘God’s Glitter Ball’ as it was once described to me. The only downside is that it is arriving so much earlier.

IMG_8471Beautiful flowers in autumn colours.

IMG_3728The joy of jam making. The smell and colour is so rich.

IMG_8496The first crop of allotment carrots. Appropriately, they are a variety called ‘Autumn King’. They were crispier than shop bought carrots but much more time consuming to prepare. I am very happy that they grew though and I’m looking forward to pulling up some more.

52 weeks of happy: 40/52 and 41/52

This is a short ’52 weeks’ post. Maybe I just haven’t been taking as many pictures lately? I certainly haven’t been any less happy. IMG_8409A very easy evening meal for the children at the end of a very trying day. Two spectacular toddler tantrums were the cause of my stress. By the time I threw this together from fridge left-overs Babykins was fast asleep in bed. Reason enough to be happy. Typically, this meal was received rapturously. Sometimes I wonder why I bother cooking proper dinners with vegetables. Oh well, I made the children happy.

IMG_3687The Middle Miss lost her first tooth. She has been waiting for this for a very long time so she was very happy indeed. In our house the tooth fairy rewards clean teeth with a pound. What is the going rate at you place?

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My first foray in to selling my crochet work. I was very happy with the way my stall looked.

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Successful Yorkshire Puddings courtesy of Kat at Housewife Confidential. I could never get them to rise until I tried her recipe and it has never failed me. It seems that an extra egg is all it takes to make good Yorkies.

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I know this picture will have shown up here already on my instagram feed but I thought I would share it again. So many things about this make me happy. I mean, it’s full of such cheery colour, how could you not be happy looking at this hat. It also makes me happy because it reminds me of my lovely Yarndale weekend.

IMG_8445Leaf progress. Happy with the way they are turning out, happy that I found a free pattern online and happy that I finally seem to have got to grips with Pinterest.

52 weeks of happy: 39/52

IMG_3601Some crochet stars that must have been inspired by beautiful the British asters we had in the house this week.

IMG_3620No need to say any more. If you have no idea why I would be excited about this, visit the website, here.

IMG_3635Pretty buttons and beads. A random moment of shininess while I prepare for my first craft fair this weekend.

IMG_3681Babykins and I harvested our first fully orange pumpkin this week. I made an enormous batch of pumpkin soup and unusually for me, decided to keep and toast the seeds. There are loads of recipes out there but I used this one, which is about as simple as it gets. They were delicious. Even Son Number One and the Middle Miss nibbled a few and approved.

52 weeks of happy: 37 and 38/52

Arachnophobes beware, there is a picture of a spider at the end (but it is small and pretty).

IMG_8269Babykins can peel a carrot! We cook together almost every day and he’s watched me do it lots of times so I’m very pleased to know, that at the age of two years and nine months, he can do it himself.

IMG_8279Dropped scones. We’ve had them twice recently. They are so quick, easy and comforting. Cooking and eating them makes me feel good and for some reason I associate them with autumn. They have also saved my bacon when the children have been squabbling – make up a quick batch of these, sit them at the table and hey presto – 10 minutes peace and quiet.

IMG_8287Crochet: I have been trying really hard to make lots of my hanging decorations. I am going to take the plunge and sell some at a small, local craft fair. I love the colours in these. This is an ‘in progress’ photo. Now they are all stitched together with a few beads between each heart and look even prettier. I wonder what colour choices other people would like.
IMG_8261Sunlight coming through the ruby red of my steeping damson gin. It should probably be in a dark place but where’s the joy in that? I just love looking at it as the colour seeps out, bit by bit each day.

IMG_3548We went on a family bike ride on Saturday with Son Number One’s scout group. Son Number One was off like a shot with his friends, but The Middle Miss found it a lot harder. I was amazed at how hard she worked to complete all 17 miles. It was a very proud moment when she crossed the finish line.

IMG_3595These pretty little stripy spiders define the season – late summer, early autumn. There are so many of them about at the moment and when the sun shines low through their delicate but superbly strong silk is a thing of beauty.

52 Weeks of Happy: 36/52

IMG_8204I received this photo from my husband while I was enjoying an end of holidays caravan trip with my Mum and the children. While we were taking it easy, he was slogging away, clearing a large patch of our allotment. In theory, there will be fruit trees in there soon (don’t hold your breath, we’ve had them three years).

IMG_8218Courgette and goats cheese soup, more or less as per Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s River Cottage year. I’m just glad to be using some more monster courgettes. They keep on coming.

IMG_8221My Mother-in-Law brought me 10lb of damsons from the Lyth Valley in Cumbria at the weekend. I was very happy to have them. I enjoyed looking at them and thinking about how tasty they would be when turned into jam and gin. I must confess that the epic batch of jam making was not so much fun. Removing the stones from that many damsons is a real pain.

IMG_8224I finally served up a very special potato to my husband. Ah, love is a mutant root vegetable.

52 weeks of happy weeks 34 and 35/52

If you follow me on instagram you will have seen most of these pictures already.

IMG_8046A family trip up Roseberry Topping. A first for all the children and a very proud moment as Babykins did the whole walk under his own steam.

IMG_8058Digging up potatoes at the allotment. The older two complain a bit about being taken there but they really do enjoy harvesting. Much fun was had searching for spuds.

IMG_8064Picking must lead inevitably to preserving. I have been freezing our redcurrants for the last few years. We had a bumper crop this year so I thought it was about time to turn them into jelly. A large portion of the strained juice is also being turned into currant ‘shrub’ a kind of fruity liqueur.

IMG_8104Adding the last pieces to my sleeveless cardigan. It was originally going to be a blanket so I hope it’s going to work as a garment.

IMG_8113Birthday cake for The Middle Miss. We had a great time making this. It started out looking a bit ropey in places but the addition of copious amounts of pink icing and edible glitter soon improved matters. When you are six, you can not have enough hearts and flowers.
 
IMG_8142Some surprise new additions to the family. The stick insects went to Grandma’s for their holidays and when they came back there were babies!

IMG_8152This is what happens if you don’t harvest your globe artichokes. Honestly, they are such a faff to prepare that I think it’s worth leaving them to flower and the bees absolutely love them.

IMG_8159The tomato crop is in full swing and I am loving eating them. This was a light supper of grilled tomatoes and poached egg on toast. The tomatoes are so sweet, flavoursome and juicy that they need very little doing to them.

Eight happy summer memories.