all things pumpkin

I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t love autumn, and I’m no exception. I LOVE crisp days with clear skies, those days remind me of home. I LOVE crunchy leaves, dragging my feet through them with my kids. I LOVE the bright colors as the leaves change, although here they tend to rot more than change color, but I have my one favorite maple tree that always gives me lovely red leaves every fall. My greatest autumn love of all, though, is the fair pumpkin. I love it’s perfect shape and color, and I adore the goodies that can be created from its bright orange ‘fruit’. I haven’t yet tried to make my own pumpkin puree to use in those goodies, and it’s a rarity to find canned pumpkin on the shelves of the shops here in the UK. This past week a friend of ours made a quick trip to the States so I bribed asked him very nicely, (with the promise of some turkey from Canadian Thanksgiving), to bring me back some pumpkin.

Some of the pumpkin goodies I’ve been making…

Starbucks pumpkin scones… one of my all time fav treats. i used this recipe, and ate them all before I even thought to take a picture…here’s the one from the website.

impossible to resist - pumpkin scones

Today I tried to replicate the Pumpkin Spice latte, since Starbucks in the UK doesn’t offer these in the fall *sniff*. The recipe I used called for a LOT of cinnamon, even too much for this cinnamon-loving gal, I only realized this after I’d added it so I ended up having to double up the water/sugar/pumpkin puree to offset the intensity of the spice. I also added a tablespoon of vanilla. So now I have loads of the syrup, which I plan on sharing of course! My daughter loved the taste of the syrup and thought it’d be great on pancakes, genius I tell you. Here’s the recipe I used, but like I said it needed a lot of doctoring… I found this recipe later and think it might be a bit better, and the topping of whipped cream and caramel, amazing!

Okay, one more recipe. Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, need.i.say.more. Absolutely delicious, perfect in every way really. I halved the recipe to stop us from eating all 36 cookies in one night! You think I’m kidding. I’m actually having to take breaks in my typing so I can keep taking bites.

Last on my pumpkin rant are these sweet fabric pumpkins.  I made a couple for our mantel, part of my attempt to make it look a bit more fall-ish without actually spending any money! I prefer the bright fabric combinations from the tutorial, but I had the brown so I used it! Bonus, they were pretty easy to do. (only injury was me jabbing my thumb with a huge embroidery needle, no biggie!)

my kids thought they really should be orange...

Well there’s a glimpse into my pumpkin obsession! Hope you’re enjoying the treats that the fair pumpkin brings as much as I am!  x

valentine’s day

first casualty

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, I’m sure you knew that already. Well it didn’t seem like a day for romance and celebrating love around here. The kids watched Star Wars: Clone Wars, over and over, and I spent hours working on the chair. I had great plans to make heart-shaped, pink-iced cookies with the kids, but alas, the chair and Star Wars took over. I did manage to make a nice meal {lasagne – a favourite for both Mike and I} and dessert. I then proceeded to fall asleep on the sofa at 9. How romantic is that?

I got the back cushion of the chair {mostly} finished. It involved a few mistakes {okay maybe a lot of them}. Pictured above is the needle I bent while trying to sew in the zipper, without using the zipper foot. I tried to sew over the zipper tab thingy and that’s what happened to my needle. I also had some crazy seams going on {I’m pretty certain using the zipper foot would have helped with that, for the second cushion I plan to locate and use said zipper foot}. I attached one of side pieces of the cushion the wrong direction and had to rip that out as well. The cushion is also slightly over-sized, I added a bunch of batting to it today and I’m hoping it’ll look fine once I’ve tufted it. I bought a mega-huge needle to do that with today, it’s kinda scary! Tomorrows plan includes getting my hair done {priorities} and then starting on the bottom cushion. I’m going to try and sucker sweet talk Mike into painting the frame for me, we’ll see how that goes. x

back cushion finished - sort of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh one more thing, I discovered a new addiction today… I heart them.

it was an accident….

That is Stella’s favourite phrase these days. This was her “accident” today.

She’s clearly misusing the phrase. She’s very clever and observant, I guess she figured since ‘it was an accident’ works sometimes for her siblings {when it actually is an accident}, she’d give it a try. Gotta give her credit for trying, and tomorrow I will be buying a new measuring tape.

Today ended up being a home day for me, kind of unintentionally. I just lingered on the sofa with my coffee a little too long, took my shower a little too late, and next thing I knew it was noon, and I needed to be in the flat from noon until half five to wait on the washing machine repairman {who incidentally came at 5 and needs to order  a part, which he assured me will take no less than 7 – 10 days, he didn’t seem to understand my concern with that timeframe}. I hung a few bulletin boards with the next 8 months of calendar pages tacked to them {trying to plan ahead}, and finally tackled the chair. This involved de-tufting {is that really a word? not underlined in red so must be I guess} the tufts, peeling off the old cushion covers {that part was kinda gross, I was covered in fine foam ‘dust’}, ripping the covers apart and starting to create a pattern for the new covers. The further I get into this the more I’m convinced I’m in over my head. Tomorrow I plan to take my rough outlines of the covers and try to make them straight, after I replace my measuring tape that is. I’m also hoping to get cutting the new fabric! Here are a few pics of the gross old cushions, and my attempt at making a pattern.

pattern out of a paper tablecloth? why not..

I also went to a baby shower tonight. I love a baby shower. All the wee clothes, the excited new mum-to-be {who has no idea what she’s in for in just a few weeks, I tried not to burst her bubble}, the lovely chocolate and cakes….I gave what is going to become my signature baby gift {burp cloths}, and a few onesies that I appliqued a few shapes onto.

my favourite is the wee elephant.

It was my first go at applique and I love how it personalizes even a simple white onesie, I’m planning to do a few t-shirts for Stella also, little miss ‘it was an accident’.

it was a stay in pjs until noon *or later* kind of day…

I woke up feeling really rubbish this morning, and my amazing husband let me have a lie in – on a school morning! Stella and I slept until just past 9 (when she began to demand breakfast). Mike fed, clothed and walked the kids to school, and brought me back a latte! Unfortunately that did not cure my head cold, but it did brighten my day.

Well not a lot of progress was made on my chair this weekend, except for an impulsive purchase of fabric from Laura Ashley… so at least the fabric is chosen and bought {which may have been difficult for a more thought through – less impulsive person than I}.

My favourite part is the wee bird!    Well my head is  fuzzy… so I’m off to bed…

so i bought am armchair for £15 today…

and it looked like this

I have all sorts of things planned for this chair, painting the frame, white or possibly black {easy}, recovering the cushions {very challenging, seeing as I have absolutely no idea how} and possibly beefing them up a bit with some extra batting. Mike is a bit skeptical, and perhaps not as excited about this project as I.

This is how far I got today…

Tomorrow I’m hoping to pick out some fabric and start making a pattern from the existing cushions… will keep you posted.

One thing I did complete today, and felt surprisingly good about, was adding these lovely wooden hearts to some canvases I have that are covered in burlap.

Cute, don’t you think?

 

burp cloths and baby showers

I made some burp cloths the other day for a baby shower I went to last night. I got the idea from this blog I’m completely obsessed with. It has inspired me to spend more time creating, making beautiful things myself. We’ll see where I go from here, but so far it’s been life-giving!

So about the baby shower, it was a lovely evening celebrating a soon-to-be-born baby. The mum was so excited and we all oo-ed and aw-ed over all the wee gifts. Can’t help but get a bit broody in a room like that, seeing all the cute wee clothes… but our family has to be complete at some point right? I need to keep processing that one I think.

Off to eat chocolate and watch some mindless tv… xx