Wednesday, October 18

{ hooked on crochet }

One of the many ( many ) things on my Fifty before 50 list, was to learn to crochet properly.  It's something I've dabbled with now & then, but not something I've ever felt I really knew how to do. I've been keeping an eye out for a crochet workshop, and was especially pleased to find happening not too far away from me, and even more happily, taking place in one of my very favourite coffee shops, The Steamroom.

And so, on the past three Sunday mornings, I've sat in the company of Clare, of Clare Gets Crafty, being taught how to chain stitch, how to execute a double crochet, a treble crochet, getting to grips with the magic loop technique, all accompanied by a cup of the house batchbrew. Happiness, as it turns out, is simply coffee and crochet on a Sunday morning *sigh*. Clare made the best teacher; calm, with infinite patience and a yarn and crochet book stash to make you more than a little envious. Looking back, each week was structured in ways that made the most of the time we had, teaching new skills each week with time to get to grips with those new skills during the workshop. It's safe to say that I was a little hooked after the first lesson. A brand spanking new Pinterest board pays testament to that! Week two saw us fall in love with Granny Squares - or maybe that was just me ♥︎ ? And in our final week we crocheted an amigurumi cactus, which I enjoyed, but I'm not sure that it will grab my heart in the same way that granny squares did. 

As I don't have an abundance, just yet, of crochet loveliness to share with you, here is a little of the inspiration I've been busy pinning. I think I've a way to go before I reach this level of crochet craftiness, but I'm guessing practice makes perfect. 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 

I can't thank Clare enough for the past few Sundays. You can find Clare over on Clare Gets Crafty, and read more about her workshops here. And for any of you local to Brum, she'll be at Etsy Made Local on the 2nd and 3rd of December, and at the Harborne Handmade Christmas Market the following weekend, on the 10th December.

And look, that pile of granny squares just keeps on growing #hooked.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, October 13

{ happy friday }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } A few black cats inked by Laura Hughes to ward off any Friday 13th bad luck.
{ 2 } When the city of Westminster is your playground #citykids.
{ 3 } A Technicolour treat from MilkMagazine #colourfulkids.
{ 4 } Wondering if I could get away with those cute Kitty tights?
{ 5 } Wishing I could go #nestandflourish with Object Style this autumn 🍂
{ 6 } Counting down the days to this Autumn Insta Gathering.
{ 7 } Etsy find of the week. Max and Mila. This Bham girl loves this BHM flag.
{ 8 } Chase your dreams #wordsfromthewise.
{ 9 } Can you fall in love with a painting #hillsandhouses.

{ have a happy day }

Monday, October 9

{ inspired#19 . Sheep . Lambs . & . a week of Wool }

. inspired#19 .

Baa, baa, black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full.

clockwise from centre
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Yesterday, over our Sunday lunch, my sister and I were reminiscing about our childhood, and in particular our costumes for the street party for the Queen's Silver Jubilee.  I was six, she was a toddling 18months. I was Bo Peep, and she was my sheep, complete with a hand knitted loopy lamb bonnet. Photographs do exist, though, possibly to my sister's relief, I can't quite place my hands on them at the moment. I still have fond memories of the crook that my Dad made for me, complete with crepe paper streamers. It turns out my sister's memories are less fond, though I seem to remember her making a particularly cute little lamb on the day.

Our trip down memory lane coincidentally coincides with The Campaign for Wool's annual Wool Week. A week of exhibitions, events, activities and initiatives, by amongst others, Wool and the Gang, Brora, and Jack Wills, who are celebrating their obsession with wool with a rather sweet, specially commissioned film, which you can take a look at here.

Not quite in the same league as their film, today's post is my own small celebration of wool, and those sweet sheep for whom we have to thank for so much lovely yarn, and cosy knitwear.

Now, off to knit my sister a brand new loopy lamb bonnet 🐑 !

{ have a happy day }

Saturday, October 7

{ happy weekend }

ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } So in love with this sweater and cowl combo knitted by Happy Love Co.
{ 2 } Boys in beanies looking just so blinkin' cute!
{ 3 } This week's 'Does it come in my size?'. Polder's covetable mohair coat.
{ 4 } And also crushing on this camelia pink embroidered dress from Hello Simone.
{ 5 } First there was sweater weather. Now I'm ready to get my beanie on!
{ 6 } October aka Inktober. Pop over & follow Flora Waycott to see all her inky adventures.
{ 7 } My Etsy find of the week. Sincerely Louise. And her most wonderful knitted taxidermy.
{ 8 } Live cosy.
{ 9 } Tomorrow I learn how to crochet granny squares. Properly!
{ + } Tuesday is World Porridge Day, and I'll be pimping mine with cherries and chocolate.

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, October 4

{ four I adore . Cake Bakers }

There was little question of what this month's four I adore should be about. With National Cake Week falling in this first week of October, it was the opportune moment to share some of the fabulous foodie bloggers I follow, the ones who seemingly have the same fondness for cake as I do. I could wax lyrical about the culinary creativity of these bloggers, their absolutely beautiful styling and photography, but quite frankly I know that you are just here to gaze at all that cake, so without further ado, here are four cake bakers that are worthy of our adoration.

Call me Cupcake began back in 2009, and is written by Linda Lomelino. She published her first book back in 2012, aptly titled Lomelino's Cakes: 27 Pretty Cakes to Make Any Day Special, which is a pretty lovely way to think about cake. A lot of her baking is inspired by her Swedish heritage, none more so than the Cinnamon Bun Cake pictured above. As today also happens to be Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden, it was the perfect recipe of hers to share. The cake is scented with cardamom and speckled through with that most Swedish of fruit, lingonberries, the brown butter frosting is heavy with cinnamon, and the whole thing is doused liberally with a cream cheese glaze *sigh* How incredibly lovely does that all sound?  Just as incredibly lovely as it all looks. 

For something just as Autumnal, but perhaps a little simpler, lets pop over to The Kitchen McCabe. Cardamom also appears in this recipe for Spiced Wholewheat Apple Cake, which is topped with an intriguing sounding Honey Caramel. A delicious sounding way to use up that glut of in-season apples you may have, and the use of wholewheat flour turns this into a slightly more healthier treat of a bake. Kayley, the author behind the blog, has a baking style that gravitates towards wholesome ingredients, and making a considered choice about the nutritional qualities of the recipes she develops. 

At the moment I have a few fresh figs languishing in my fruit bowl, which is one of the reasons this layered Fig and Almond Cake caught my eye. The other reasons being all those lovely lovely layers, and that most darling of dark chocolate glazes. Butter & brioche is one of my favourite blogs, not just because of the recipes, but because of the quality of Thalia's writing. Using the most poetic of quotes and prose to accompany her posts, her writing has a literary quality, and more often than not, a melancholic note, that can resonate far deeply than perhaps a recipe post should. Butter & brioche is one blog where you should not just skip to recipe. Or perhaps skip to recipe, bake the cake, then sit and take time to read her wonderful words.

After the fanciful layers of that Fig and Almond Cake, we return to something a little simpler, though no less delicious I'm sure. My final bake, and baker, is this Tahini Cake, from Souvlaki for the Soul, the perfect cake to bake if you happen to find yourself without butter and eggs, or you need to bake yourself a vegan friendly cake. Souvlaki for the Soul's author is Peter, an Australian with a strong affinity to his Greek heritage, who marries his loves of food and travel in his blog. A photographer by trade his imagery is an absolute delight. Simply styled, but with a strong narrative, in line with his aim of capturing the beauty and simplicity of the food we eat and the big wide world around us.

Now, are you still with me, or are you already busy in the kitchen, lining cake pans and searching for enough eggs to make all of the cakes featured here? If you're already in the kitchen, I can't say I blame you. If you're still with me, then what the heck are you waiting for. Go. Bake. Cake!

{ have a happy day }

Sunday, October 1

{ hello October }

. hello October .

{ have a happy day }

Friday, September 29

{ happy friday }

Ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } I think I would be quite happy with this Cup of Happy.
{ 2 } Pop over to Moumout and happily browse through pages of autumn hued loveliness.
{ 3 } This week's 'Does it come in my size?'. Velveteen's gorgeous gold pleated skirt.
{ 4 } Though this stunningly simple dress comes a close second.
{ 5 } Just a little in love with Emma Lacey's little bowls.
{ 6 } Etsy find of the week. Pretty Little Knots Co. Who does indeed tie the prettiest of knots.
{ 7 } Just a little in love with Katy Pillinger's Plant Love Grow Peace pin.
{ 8 } Courage, dear heart.
{ 9 } The prettiest pear printed by Ruth Green.
{ + } The prettiest pear baked by Dolly and Oatmeal

{ have a happy day }