Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Take 5

1) You might remember that way back at the beginning of August, I talked a little bit about 'Land Art' (here). Well, we've had plenty of the usual beachy Land Art that happens very naturally on a regular basis, but a few little experiments in slightly different situations too.

Possibly my favourite was a creation of Theo's in the river. Not purely because of the end result, but also because there had just been a bit of a spat between the children on whose turn it was to be in our little dinghy, and Theo had basically stomped off in a slight sulk. After a few minutes brooding and muttering about the unfairness of being one of four children, he started moving stones around and arranging them. Very quickly he became engrossed in what he was doing.

And by the time he'd finished, he'd forgotten about how unfair life was.

As well as Theo's creation, the girls and I have played around with leaves a few times. These 'spotty' leaves caught our eye on one outing.

And another time there were some beautiful fallen leaves, with gorgeous colours already. We strung these together very simply with some nearby large gorse thorns, and then hung them from a tree.

I say 'simply' but it didn't feel all that easy at the time, gorse thorns aren't the easiest things to work with, but then it didn't help that I'd just been swimming in a contender for chilliest river I've ever been in, and my hands were shaking with the cold!

But it was quite addictive taking photos of it as the sunlight caught it.

And I'd like to think that, with all our Land Art efforts, maybe other people passed that way and spotted them and enjoyed the sight.

2) We're enjoying quite a few windfall cooking apples at the moment. If you're the same and are looking for alternatives to apple pie or apple crumble, this pudding is very popular round here.

Baked Apple and Almond Pudding
1lb cooking apples, peeled and sliced
2oz brown sugar
4oz ground almonds
4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
2 large eggs

Place the apples in a saucepan with the brown sugar and 1 tbsp water, simmer gently until soft, and then arrange them in the bottom of a prepared pie dish.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and then beat in the eggs a little at a time with the almonds. Then spread this mix over the apples and bake for approx 1 hour at 180 degrees/Gas Mark 4/ 350F.

Very good with custard!

3) The garden is a lovely place to be right now. 

Our beans are still flourishing and providing lots of munching opportunities.

Spot the tiny carrot too!

We're still waiting for our first sweetcorn, but they're getting so, so close! Perhaps this weekend.

On the other side of the beans and sweetcorn we have quite a lot of very promising pumpkins, of varying sizes.

A few green ones, both large and small.

And lots of yellow ones:

These all get inspected on a daily basis to see how much they've grown!

Cucumbers are carrying on producing nicely but my tomatoes are still a worry. I have lots and lots of green ones, and they've been green for weeks. I think they've desperately needed more sunshine. I've been incredibly brutal in stripping off any shoots with no fruit at the start of this week, and we're actually having the sunniest week for a long time this week so I'm still hopeful. I like my tomatoes red not green!

And this week I've also been busy clearing out the potato/broad bean/onion part of the veggie patch.

Bit more work to be done but there's another raised bed well under way.

4) So many photos from the last couple of weeks that I could include here. But here was a very special day. The boys were off elsewhere so it was just the girls, my Dad and I. After an afternoon's swim and play at the beach, we headed off for fish and chips and some crabbing as the tide came in high.

A feisty crab!
Lots of fun was had crabbing, but then as we set off home, the sun was getting very low and it was obvious that there was going to be a spectacular sunset. So we turned around, stopped off quickly for marshmallows, and instead headed back to the beach to watch the sun go down with a quick beach camp fire.

The light was really magical.

It was just beautiful.

And my photos don't really do it justice.

Very much an evening to remember.

5) More fish sewing is going on again.

Including some scrappy patchwork fish. I had quite a few, thin strips of fabric, mostly from Maria's quilt, too thin to use in standard patchwork. 

I just sewed these down on to a thin scrap of cotton, overlapping them slightly, raw edges exposed.

And then cut out my fish shapes from this fabric.

But if you have long, thin scraps like this (or maybe discarded selvage strips), then they'd work in this way for lots of things, not just fish. I've cut simple tree shapes, birds and hearts in this way before, either to then sew down on to something else, or to use as they are, perhaps in a garland. (If you want to do this then use a thicker backing fabric, rather than thin cotton, or possibly a layer of wadding too, and then just sew around the cut out shape a few times to secure it.) It's something quick and easy and yet strangely satisfying too.

As well as the fish, a giant squid has also appeared...



  1. Wow, look at your garden my friend, it looks amazing!!! And your time at the beach with your girls, stunning. You captured some beautiful photos of your girls.

    Hope you are well. xo

  2. The stripy fish is brilliant. Love the land art as well, talent runs in your family.

  3. Land art.... I think it is all beautiful but the light through the leaves is really captivating me. I am near a beach for a few days myself and keep thinking of your girls dancing on the beach and the block you made of the same topic. I might have to give it a try. xx

  4. I would have been captivated if I had come across Theo's stones sculpture, I love it. Your sea creatures are wonderful. I particularly like the giant squid. X

  5. Creativity abounds in your household. What a wonderful day!

  6. Well wow! What a sunset!! And I love steers landlord, it would be so much fun to randomly come across that in the middle of the stream wouldn't it. And then there is your garden. It's all looking incredible and seriously put mine in the shade, poor little garden! So now you have to tell me your top tips for squash and pumpkins because mine have been abject failures!

  7. Marshmallows - what a wonderful finish to the day. Your squid is awesome.

  8. Such a lovely post :) Everything about it is so happy. The photo of your Dad watching your girls crabbing is just brilliant, and I love the Stripey (strippy) fish, so cute! What are you going to do with them ?

  9. Lovely post - your garden and veggies are amazing! Just wanted to say I cooked your apple and almond pudding and it was delicious and a great hit with everyone. I'm not so good at crumbles so I reckon this might become my apple mainstay - thank you.

    1. This is such a lovely comment to read, thank you for taking the time to leave it. You never know whether what you post about is going to be useful to others, so thanks for letting me know it was. And it looks from your 'profile' that you might write a blog yourself, but if so I can't find any links to it or a name for it even. And again if you do, you're a 'no reply' blogger so I can't reply directly to you. If you do happen to be checking back here for a response and you do have a blog, please leave me the details because I always like to go and explore other blogs when their writers have taken the trouble to explore mine. Thanks again.


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