Monday, September 18

{ let's go somewhere . Birmingham Botanical Gardens }


This weekend the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham threw their doors open to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Calthorpe Estates. With the chance to have a  wander around the gardens and greenhouses, and lots of crafty goings on, not to mention the promise of coffee and cake, and more, I kept my finger's crossed for a sunny afternoon and popped along.


The gardens themselves date back to 1829, sited on 18 acres of land leased from the Calthorpe Estate. Designed by J.C.Loudon they were three years in the planning and making, and opened to members of the Horticultural Society in June 1832. Apart from the greenhouses the layout remains much the same today. Throughout their history the Gardens have been important as a centre for social functions in the city. From flower shows to political meetings, playing host to festivals of drama and music, and Sunday concerts in the bandstand.


Sunday's festival was wonderfully family orientated, with plenty of things for young and old alike. Face painting, vintage fairground rides, and the Punch & Judy man were proving popular with the little ones, whilst the grown ups seemed more than content with the Prosecco and Gin caravans. As befits our recent conversion to something of a foodie city, there was street food aplenty, with the Mac and Cheese van in particular, drawing long queues of hungry Brummies.


The gardens themselves are lovely to wander around, but I think it was the glasshouses that stole my heart. Ornate and iconic in their shape and construction there is something about them that brings out the Victorian romantic in me. Not to mention something of the crazy plant lady in me, making me want to rush out and fill my home with succulents and cacti, and start propagating geranium cuttings and dahlia's, enough to fill my greenhouse ten times over. 


Oh, and after a cloudy start, the skies were blue and the sun even shone. Not too shabby a way to spend a September Sunday.

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, September 13

{ inspired#18 . Autumn . Leaves . & . the Woodland }

. inspired#18 .

" Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree "
Emily Bronte

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

I don't think I will ever tire of that lovely Emily Bronte quote.  Nor will I tire of beautiful autumn hues. How can we not be inspired by such a lovely season?

There's a little more Autumnal inspiration on my Pinterest board here.

But for now . . . 

{ have a happy day }

Monday, September 11

{ four I adore . fall collections for little Ones }


I have to confess to a love of Autumn time, particularly when the weather feels more appropriate for all the new Fall collections arriving in store and on-line.  I'm lucky enough to be popping over to Antwerp next week, to have a look at all the wonderful children's wear they have, but wanted to share some of the new collections that had already caught my eye.  This post didn't start out as an ode to wonderful children's knitwear, but coincidentally, all the collections that stood out for me had particularly good knitwear pieces, so as we head into #sweaterweather, I'm happy to share the four that I most adore this season.


Sophie's collection is exclusively knitted. Beautiful sweaters and cardigans that are the embodiment of modern fairisle.  British born, now living in Normandy, Sophie knits by machine, before finishing each piece by hand.  She finds inspiration in her 1980's childhood, folk costumes and textiles, and the modern aesthetic of today, all of which can be found in her designs. Her collection is bright and colourful, playing with modern and traditional patterns, and each looks beautifully made.

. Morley .

Belgian brand Morley has been thrilling mums with it's collections since 2010.  Known for it's beautiful use of colour, print and pattern, and it's combinations of all those things, this season in particular it's thrilling us with some wonderful knitwear too.  Showcasing one of the key trends of the season with a beautiful embroidered jumper, though one of my favourites is the ruffle jumper shown above, available in many of their seasonal colours. 

 . Ylur .

In Icelandic the word ylur represents warmth and comfort, things which this brand has in abundance. Another exclusively knitwear brand, Ylur was created by Fanney Svansdóttir, inspired by the long tradition of Icelandic women, her grandmother amongst them, who had handcrafted knitted garments for their families. All garments are knitted using Alpacca wool, making them soft, yet durable. Her designs have a timeless quality, beautifully garments in subtle textured stitches, or simple two colour patterns, perfect for handing down from sibling to sibling, from generation to generation.


As We Grow is another brand from Iceland, which seems to be quickly establishing a very cool kidswear vibe. As with Ylur, this label has an affinity with timeless design and tradition,  garments made to be worn time and time again, garments that last over generations. Their story, of being inspired by the travels of one woollen sweater is a lovely one, and their ethos of sustainability and social responsibility works cleverly into their collections;  colour blocked jumpers, hats & striped scarves make use of excess yarn, yet fit into the collection seamlessly.

Lovely collections that will keep your little Ones cosy this season. I'm now off to pick up my knitting needles, though I'm not sure whether to try to recreate those colourful modern fairisles, or those subtly cosy textured knits first?

{ have a cosy day }

Friday, September 8

{ happy friday }

Ten lovely things that caught my eye this week.

{ 1 } It's sweater weather.  And I'm coveting this lovely loopy knit from Il Gufo.
{ 2 } And so to bed. Beautifully balletic shoot by Vanessa Nicette.
{ 3 } Is it even possible to look at this pixie bonnet without sighing *sigh*.
{ 4 } Far too cool for school.  Back to School shoot for Tatler by Anne Bundfuss.
{ 5 } This weeks artist crush is Maggie Chiang. Tasting the sweetness of summer. Berry by Berry.
{ 7 } Is it too soon for pumpkins?
{ 8 } Be kind.
{ 9 } This weeks Etsy crush. Nikki McWilliams. A calorie free way to enjoy your Digestive.
{ + } Not as fancy as the biscuits on GBBO, but these are my choice for this weekends bake.

{ have a happy day }

Friday, September 1

{ hello September }


. hello September .

{ have a happy day }

Wednesday, August 30

{ my august }


And so the year continues to fly along at a frightening pace. It may be a little too soon to mention the C word, but go on, admit it, you've had a few thoughts already haven't you? 

August has been a slightly strange month. I've been wrapped up in cardigans and contemplating all sorts of lovely autumnal things, and yet, isn't this supposed to be the height of summer. And then, all of a sudden, we get the most gorgeous Bank Holiday weekend weather, all blue skies and sunshine, and we feel silly in our cardigans, until just as suddenly as it appeared it disappears again, and I don't feel so bad returning to all those autumnal musings again.


{ knitting }
Thankfully this un-summery weather is perfect for sitting knitting cosy big blankets, and snug as a bug bobble hats, so for that I am most grateful. No sign yet of anything for sale, but this month has been far more productive than others, and we are getting closer to popping a few things up on Etsy.

I had some lovely reactions to my knitted wallhangings when they were posted on Instagram, and they've been a lovely way to use up left over yarn, and are a lot quicker to knit than those cosy big blankets.  I have one more waiting to be blocked and hung, and once I have a few more ends of balls left I'll be knitting a few more.

I can't wait to show you those snug as a bug hats I've been working on. Super snuggly and cute, and perfect for those autumn days that are already knocking on the door.


{ eating }
The extremes of this month was perhaps most evident in what I ate.  I finally ventured into the garden and tackled the greenhouse, which had started to resemble Sleeping Beauty's castle.  On the upside to this was a lovely haul of blackberries growing amongst the brambles.  I have a new found respect for anyone who goes foraging each year for blackberries.  The deliciousness of the blackberries made up for the numerous scratches and prickles, though I may stick to buying my fruit from the farm shop.

August is a birthday month in our family, with my Dad's on the 9th, and my Mum's falling on Bank Holiday weekend.  Traditionally a homemade birthday cake is made for all family birthday's, and as my Dad is rather partial to dark chocolate this year's cake was a Chocolate Mud Cake.  Filled with raspberry jam, rather than the ganache, and topped with flowers it was handed over with much love, and eaten with much enjoyment.

And whilst there has been plenty of summer berries, there has also been plenty of soup and stew making.  It seems wrong to be wanting comforting bowls of soup and stew, but I'll take being warm over eating salads just because it's summer.  My go-to favourite soup is a spicy butternut squash and carrot, topped with chilli roasted seeds, though I think perhaps I need to extend my soup repertoire this autumn and winter, so any suggestions and favourites are welcomed.


{ visiting }
It really has been a month of home sweet home for me, the only exception being an outing to Hay on Wye.  It had been year's since I had been, though it's an annual trip for my book loving parents. I'd forgotten quite how many bookshops there are, but also how many vintage and antique shops too.

Khoollect's wanderlust post on Hay provided some useful tips on where to brunch and lunch, in particular the great cafe at the back of Richard Booth's Bookstore and Cinema.  I breakfasted there with the yummiest selection of breads which turned a simple breakfast of toast and blackcurrant jam into something just that little bit more.  The Old Electric Shop was an eclectic mix of loveliness for you and for your home, supporting local artists and makers, also with a rather lovely cafe at the front of the shop. 

If you haven't been, and have even a passing interest in books then pop it on the list of places to visit next year.

September is off to a super busy start with a weekend full of musing over The Trouble with Goats and Sheep at The Little Book Club, and meeting the makers at the Quartermasters Market in the Jewellery Quarter, and at Pop Up + Hustle over at Tur Langton.  After which I'll be staying home as I'll have probably spent all my money at those two lovely events!

{ have a happy day }