Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Gruffalo Forrest

As we approach the forest that we visit every Sunday afternoon for a walk, Molly the dog sits like a meerkat  in the back of the car and strains her neck to see out of the front window.  Here is a place where she knows that she can run wild and sniff every tree to her hearts content.
As children my parents brought us around this forest in buggies and pottered alongside of us when we were toddlers.  The Sunday walk carried right on through to our teens and as soon as my kids could walk I started up the tradition once more.  Every turn brings back another memory and each special place has a story to tell.  This I love sharing these with my kids and making memories of our own.
This place is teeming with wildlife and it is so beautiful to see it in it's natural environment.  We have seen deers wandering lazily across our path without a care but to Lucy's constant disappointment are always well hidden from view when we get to where they were standing.  Pine martins run along the river hunting for food.  There are squirrels gathering up their acorns for the winter months and in the spring the little pond is so full of frog spawn that the water almost looks like jelly.
But there are two main reasons why my kids love visiting here so much.  Two elusive creatures that we have never seen but found plenty of evidence that they do live here.
The first is the Easter Bunny.  In the centre of the forest there is a clearing under the tree canopy and it is full of rabbit burrows.This is where the Easter Bunny and all his helpers have their egg factory.  Making, wrapping and painting the eggs.  Each Easter Sunday we visit this secret place with our little empty baskets and a great felling of excitement.  It is always a wonderful sight to see the bright multicoloured eggs hanging from branches or lying snugly at the feet of trees.  The kids are always in seventh heaven, running around filling their baskets as fast as they can so that they can sit on the forest floor feasting on chocolate until their bellies are full and swollen.
Also in this magical place is where the Gruffalo and his child live.  They sleep in the deep, dark forest and only come out at night.  But we can see things that they have done when they get up to mischief at night when they come out to play.  Like this tree has to have been knocked down by something strong.  And my kids decided that the Gruffalo when he was chasing some poor woodland creature.  There also was two chairs and a table carved out of tree trunks that we have found hidden away in the forest.
Patrick and Lucy also think that these wild clematis vines would make a great climbing frame for the Gruffalo's child.
Here are some more pictures from this wonderful place.
The trees have toes here and late at night when nobody can see them, they move around.
 The veins are on the outside of the tree.  It'S life force visible to all.
There is a multitude of fungi growing here of all sizes, shapes and colour.  Wonderful to see.

I believe that a childs imagination is like its body.  It needs to be feed and nurtured in order to grow.  And what is a childhood without imagination.

Thanks for calling in and looking around the Gruffalo's Forest with me.  Have you got a magical place to go to, to let your imagination run wild?
Rosie xx

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Farewell To My Summer Garden

It is sad to see the end of my summer garden.  Knowing that from here on in there will only be grey as I look out my kitchen window.  But some of the flowers and plants are giving quite a grand farewell.  How brave they are to bare their heads during the early frosts and the pounding rain.
The ever reliable nasturtiums that always add wild colour to my garden in late summer and to the salad bowl too.  And I'm not the only one to love them.  They are great to attract butterflies and bees to the garden.
I really love the colour of these dwarf lupins.  Even the little furry seed pods are very attractive.  I took some of the seeds this year and put them under our laurel hedge and I hope that they will add some colour to it next year.
I love the way that these ganzias are the colour of fire.  They are reluctant little flowers as they only like to open in the warm weather.  I think that this year they just got tired of waiting and finally despite the cold they flowered in all their glory.
This poor little lone geranium flower is all that is left on the plants that flowered all summer long.
My elderberries have finally ripened.  One month late.  I was beginning to think that these little black beauties would just fall from the tree still red as often happens if the summer has been too wet or cold as it was this summer.  I must have a jam making day soon.  They make wonderful elderberry jelly.
The Japanese maple that sits just outside my kitchen window in all its golden glory is very slowly turning red. Worryingly I must move this tree next year in order to build my studio.  I'm hoping that it will survive the move.  Would you know what is the best time to move it?  Winter or early spring?

And finally the tree at the end of my garden.  I can never remember the name of it but as my mother gave it to us when we first moved in here, we call it Ma's tree.  It is wonderful and changes colour throughout the seasons.  In spring it has vibrant red berries and soft yellow leave in the summer that slowly turn green and then to deep red in the autumn.  Fantastic display.
Well thanks for taking the time to visit my garden with me.
Rosie xx

Friday, 5 October 2012


Can I get your opinion please ladies?  This is the dress that I bought for a wedding (looks nicer on, honestly) and I want to knit a shrug for it.  I started one with a lace stitch but then ripped it back thinking that it would be much with the beautiful lace at the top of the dress.  But when I said that I was going to make a plain shrug instead, my Mum said  "NOOOO! a block of colour wouldn't be as nice."
What do you think ladies?  Can you help point me in the right direction?


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Wiggly Teeth Scones

Both of my kids are loosing their baby teeth at the moment, ahhhh. They are finding it hard to bit into most things so I have to be really careful about what I give them to eat.  We call these Wiggly Teeth Scones because unlike normal scones the outside is not very hard and the inside is lovely and light and fluffy.  Perfect for lunch boxes.  I got the recipe from a Good Food magazine a few years ago and they called them The Ultimate Scone.  I don't think that I would because they don't rise very high like most scone recipes but they are perfect for little mouths.
16oz self raising flour
1/4tsp salt
4oz butter, cold
2oz golden caster sugar
8floz buttermilk
4floz full fat milk
2 handfuls of sultanas
1 egg for glazing, slightly beaten
a little granulated sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C
  • Tip the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt and butter.  Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar and sultanas.
  • Mix together the buttermilk and full fat milk.
  • Pour in most of the milk into the centre of the flour mixture.  Not all of it because it may make it too wet.
  • Using a round bladed knife gently work the mixture together until it forms a soft dough.  If it is too dry you can always add in more milk but be very careful a little can make it too wet.  If it is too wet add in another handful of flour and work it in.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and on a lightly floured surface knead 3-4 times to remove any cracks.
  • Pat the dough gently with your hands to the thickness of no less than 2,5cm.
  • Cut with a floured cutter and place on a baking tray.
  • Brush with the egg and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.
  • Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve with butter and jam to kids with wiggly teeth and watch a lovely jammie smile appear on their faces.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Short Row Craziness

First of all I'd like to thank everyone who left such lovely messages and words on my last post about the sad passing away of poor Nutmeg.  It was very kind of you all.
Now down to something a bit more cheerful, knitting.  I've been working on this waistcoat for some time now.  It is a beautiful design by Kyoko Nakayoshi.  And oh boy was it a learning curve.  It was a first for a lot of stitches and techniques.  It was the first time that I attempted doing a reverse cable stitch but slowly got the hang of it and by the end I didn't even need to look at the pattern.  Here I also learned to perfect my wrap and turns.  They always drove me crazy because I hated the way that they looked when I had to pick up all the wraps at the end.  And I think that I must have ripped back this knitting about five this because I was so unhappy with my short row shaping.  But I eventually got a link on the internet and it said to always lift the wraps up from the knit side and place them behind the stitch to be knitted.  On the knit side the two stitches should be knitted together from the back of the loop and on the purl side they are just purled together normally.  It leaves the wraps totally invisible.   
I'm still not sure about the colour of this though.  That's always the danger of buying yarn over the internet, you risk not getting the colour that you expect.  What do you think?
Now just being so close to finishing this, I have to put it aside.  I have a wedding coming up on the 20th October and I need a wrap to go over my shoulders and keep me warm.  So I'm knitting against the clock.  I love knitting to a deadline if I'm honest.  It makes me work a lot harder on it.

I chose the Illyia Shrug from ravelry and Garn Studio Merino Extra Fine.  I love the colour.  And it matches perfectly with the trim on my dress.  Now that was a lucky internet buy!!

Anyway I better go now.  I've got the Hubby's jeans to mend too.