Tuesday 30 September 2014

The Simple Things In Life

During a recent trip to Halifax, we visited a shop that sells all kinds of tools and equipment.  This Tala Cook's Dry Measure caught my eye, as I've been wanting one for ages.

There was a card tag attached to it giving a little bit of information about the history of Tala, which is one of Britain's oldest brands: the company has been in business since 1899.

This clever dry measure has been made by hand in Liverpool since the 1920s and the only change to the production process was the addition of metric measures to the imperial ones.  Such a handy tool to have around when cookery books vary between imperial and metric measures, depending on when they were published.

I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, as our kitchen is in a state of upheaval due to some refinishing of the cupboard where I store all of my baking equipment.  I'm looking forward to getting back to normal and being able to do some serious baking soon.

Monday 29 September 2014

Wedding Sampler - part II

I managed to finish the wedding sampler last weekend before our trip to Cape Breton.  I wrapped it carefully in tissue paper before delivering it to Emily, who was both surprised and delighted.  

I was very pleased with the results, as I improvised the pattern with the aid of some graph paper.  The design is stitched onto the knitted square using the technique known as Swiss darning.

It made a pleasant change to hand deliver a knitted gift, as so many of the gifts that I've knitted during the past year or so have been posted to family and friends.

Sunday 28 September 2014

St Ann's Bay

Last week we spent three nights in Sydney, as I was on the teaching faculty for a course.  On Tuesday, we travelled back home and it was an absolutely glorious day.  

These photographs show St Ann's Bay from a viewing point adjacent to the highway.  The first photo is looking into the bay.

The second is looking towards the Atlantic Ocean.

If I hadn't spent two days working long hours, we may have taken the opportunity to do a little exploring, but I was tired and ready for home.  We do hope to return to Cape Breton before the end of the season and follow the world famous Cabot Trail, which offers even more beautiful views at every corner.

Thursday 18 September 2014

Wedding Sampler

My latest knitting project is a wedding sampler, which is rather late in being completed (the wedding was in early August).  For one reason or another, my knitting was delayed ~ firstly, due to having to order the yarn online and wait for delivery, then due to the colour being much darker than expected and an attempt at lightening with peroxide (not really successful).  I had hoped to complete it this weekend, but then I ran out of thread!

The design is adapted from a couple of sources, though I'm not sure how it will turn out until it is finished.  Watch this space...

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Autumn Colour

September is here and the garden is looking verdant and lush.  It's just a pity that much of that green is due to weeds, but you won't see them if you don't look too closely!

Little Lime Hydrangea with its pom-poms of flowers which start off green and then turn blush pink is a favourite, which I planted last summer.

Borage is a firm favourite with the bees and they happily buzz around its flowers throughout the day.

Pink Sedum, which brings a splash of colour at the beginning of autumn.

Rudbeckia are a new addition to my garden this year and introduced yellow to the colour scheme.

Cosmos 'Purity' which I grew from seed and some were self-sown from previous years.

Love Lies Bleeding ~ another first year of sowing and growing from seed.  Every time I look at them, they seem to have got longer and they hang right down to the ground!

Cow Parsley which forms little birds' nests as the flowers go to seed.

This silver leaved, downy perennial is another new addition to my garden this year.  I planted it in the spring, but I've mislaid the tag and I can't remember what it's called.  Does anyone recognize it?

Dill and Cosmos make a nice combination of yellow, white and green.  This is more of a happy accident, rather than any attempt at garden design!

Sunday 14 September 2014

The Cutting Garden

I dream of having a cutting garden, where I can grow a variety of pretty flowers, so that I have an endless supply of them throughout the summer.  I have yet to achieve that dream, but at least I have managed to cut a mixed bunch for the kitchen.

I'm very happy with the flowers as, with the exception of the snapdragon, the others were all grown from seed.  Not a bad result from a few packets of seed is it?

Monday 8 September 2014

Fresh From The Garden

With so much going on in daily life, our vegetable garden has been severely neglected this year.   Considering how little time we have spent working in it, I am surprised that anything is thriving.  The French Marigolds were grown from genuine seed (from France!) and I'm delighted with their prolific blooming.  Hopefully, they have deterred a few bugs!

We arrived home from a day in Halifax on Saturday to discover that the French beans had toppled over, but we salvaged a good crop from the plants when we untangled the mess on Sunday.

The carrots are Parisian Market (do you detect a French theme here?)  There were only two, so I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the row.

Spring Onions - my first attempt from seed and swede, which looked much better on the outside, as they were bad inside.  I think this is due to the fact that the ground was so very hard, they were growing upwards, rather than down.