Month: October 2013

A walk in the October sunshine

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It all started with the mushrooms and the bright clear sunlight.

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I spotted this clump of fungi growing in the grass as Buddy and I were out for a walk, got the phone out to snap a shot and Photo a Day was in the bag. Yay.

Then I just looked at the amazing October light and was inspired to snap snap snap all the way along our walk. When I got home I wished I’d had the big camera but hey ho, I used the camera I had with me and gathered a bunch of photos to document how bright that sun and how blue that sky was and how pretty it was outside on that day last week.

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I also have this mild addiction to utility type ‘covers’ on the pavements and often study them as I walk about. Work with me here I mean they do have some interest. Not just the shapes and materials they are made from but the type used and the fact that they captures a time in history. This one below for example, there is a wealth of history tied up in it.

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And I just love this grid.

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Anyway back to pretty things.

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And couldn’t resist this reflection.

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And finally it wouldn’t be right to post without a shot of the old feet would it?

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Good to capture the autumn colours and glorious sunshine.

Photo a Day – week forty three

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Okay it’s true all I do is eat……

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A few details – Took H for breakfast before school, letting Bud have ice cream – so bad! Delivery of photos, eating cake, looking up, an old dictionary that I use for crafting, the most delish toffee muffin. 

December Daily – getting ready

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Hooray! It’s time for December Daily™ planning and preparations. I’ve just re-read this post from about this time last year. Everything I said there is true this year too.

Here’s a few facts and things to consider about my December Daily™ process and experience.

  • I always make my own album including cover’s and pages.
  • I can’t get a way from red and white as the base colours.
  • I make the number pages in batches of five so there is a theme of repeating elements throughout the album.
  • I like clear or see through pages.
  • I like a variety of page sizes so you can glimpse the days to come as you flip through.
  • I get behind but it is okay.

Most of these ideas came directly from those first few years of Ali’s albums and this year I really thought long and hard about following her ‘templates‘ idea or sticking to my tested and loved method.

I decided to stick to what I love plus I had a pile of papers ready to use for the page bases.

Ali has her foundation pages and plan going up on her blog today I think so I am looking forward to reading her always inspiring posts.  I will be back with the cover which is half made and was influenced by some pins over here, here and here. And of course the foundation pages.

How about you? All ready yet? Click on the link in the sidebar for all my previous December Daily™ posts. I would love you to come back and follow me through this festive season.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. x

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December Daily™ is a memory keeping idea and album developed by Ali Edwards. December Daily is a trademark of Ali Edwards Design Inc.

Click tick list – Photograph 100 Gardens – Two Miami Gardens

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Here we are with an update to the list.

When we decided to tag along with my sister on their trip to Florida one of the first things Gav and I did was peruse the ‘1001 Gardens to visit before you die’ book to check out how many I could cross off. We were thrilled to find six potential places to visit.

First up were the two gardens near Miami. Here is the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden.

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It was such a hot day, weren’t they all? Yes. But wandering around a garden in the heat, even wearing my ridiculous hat, was a struggle for me and poor old Gav was fed up of me whingeing about half an hour into our visit.

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I think the quality and quantity of the photos suffered because it was so hot. Did I mention that?

Anyway we did wander and see some beautiful tropical plants and amazing views.

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The also have a butterfly house and we had a quick look inside.

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It was also Bee day at the garden and we brought back a delicious jar of avocado honey.

Then we hot  footed it (pun intended!) up the coast to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

On the drive through the outer suburbs of Miami we passed through some amazingly beautiful streets and neighbourhoods with tree-lined roads right up to gates, no pavements and the houses beyond, if you could see them at the end of the driveways, were huge and impressive.

Vizcaya is a complete contrast to the Fairchild gardens.

Built in 1910 it is mock Italianate with european style gardens.

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Set on the edge of Biscayne Bay it is serene yet dramatic in its setting. We did go into the house something Gav and I are not often interested in but it had to be done and was very interesting. Then out into the garden to seek out shade and grab some photos.

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Both these gardens were lovely but I did prefer Vizcaya. I think Botanical gardens are necessary and interesting but they are not my favourite. And the hard landscaping at Vizcaya elevated it to a whole other level it was really so well done.

I’ll have to count up but these tow must bring my total to about forty photographed from the book so far.

Bloom 2.0 – Sunflower Swan Song

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I forgot I had done this one. It was a few weeks ago now and it is definitely the last arrangement of the flowers I have specifically grown for cutting.

The Italian White sunflowers, although late to the party, have given loads of delicate blooms and I will grow them again next year. I also noted with this arrangement that I cut lots and lots of the sunflowers and many were not in bloom when cut but as the days progressed almost all of them opened up. Another win for the Italian whites.

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I added some trailing ivy and a few clematis stems trying to keep it monochromatic with just a light touch of dusky creamy yellow.

Photo a Day – week forty two

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Wow, only ten weeks of the year left!

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A few details – veg lasagna, waiting for the bus, look at that cup compared to a normal size one! Relaxing, a tunnel of autumn leaves, making chocolate mouse cake and hot dogs with the baseball.

In the garden right now

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The sun peeked out and I was suitably inspired to capture a few photos of the October garden. The Mahonia is going to be a stunner when it flowers this year. All the spiky bits will be blazing yellow through the winter.

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This pansy was grown from seed by my Mum. I think it was a photo a day star earlier in the year and is hanging on in there.

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That flying thing is a wasp. They adore the blossom on the ivy.

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A pineapple Salvia cutting I took last year is about to flower….. a bit late but amazing all the same. I love the smell of this plant and must try to get another cutting this autumn.

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That path is getting a teeny bit slippery.

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Don’t tell Gav there are mushrooms growing in his precious lawn.

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Cooking apples almost ready.

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The fireworks from this Acer are about finished now.

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And finally this wonderful Fuchsia Thalia is still giving a great show. They are my very favourite fuchsias and worthy of a spot in the garden.

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The apple and the crumble

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We have a lovely apple tree in the garden. Remember I took photos of all our fantastic blossom?

Well the eating apple must be ten years old now. Wow! It is magical to watch the process of a tree with help from the bees making fruit for you. Every year is like the very first year I watched this happen.

This year has been a bumper crop and I must have gathered five of these basketfuls.

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The variety is Discovery and it doesn’t store well so this year as I had so many apples I decided to try and freeze some. I treated them just like cooking apples and peeled and cored then cooked down for ten minutes or so.

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They don’t break down like cooking apples do and this may affect their freezability. I popped them into individual dishes ready for their crumble topping.

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Using a new recipe from this book, which is supposed to be for plum crumble, I topped off the little puddings. Oh and that dish in the middle of the above photo was handed down from my Nana, not sure how old it is but I recall many a baked egg custard been served in that beauty.

Anyway I froze some and then we baked two that evening.

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Delicious lets hope they freeze okay too.

An autumn mantel – work in progress

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Our poor old (new actually) fireplace has waited a long time to be finished and really it isn’t yet but we’re getting closer. I was inspired by all the ‘fall’ decorating going on in blog land and thought I could decorate our mantel a little with an autumnal air. (Yes, maybe the summer feeling is finally over…..)

I pinned plenty of swoon-worthy pictures of halloweeny and autumn feeling mantles and could have headed out to the shops for new bits and pieces to decorate with but I wanted to keep any costs down so hunted around for suitable items.

And the whole autumn thing gave me a really good excuse to gather acorns and conkers. Gav doesn’t understand how I find it hard to walk by a fallen conker…….. I brought a pocketful home the other morning. And then the next day when we went to the park I gathered some acorns too. Happy happy.

I tried out a couple of flower arrangements along with the conkers and a lantern.

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While messing about with these few things I remembered a pumpkin stamp I bought a couple of years ago and made a little garland to hang from the mantel. The envelopes had also been hanging around for a while and I liked the shape.

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Added a couple of different designs of washi tape for a bit of colour and hey presto.

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And then I couldn’t stop trying out different bits and bobs and see which I liked best.

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Gav said he liked the acorns best. But I’m not sure yet might just have to keep changing things up till I run out of combinations.

What I did like best though was that candle light.

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A bonus of autumn.

Photo a Day – week forty one

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Plenty of food this week and autumn keeps coming.

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A few details – cannelloni at Pizza Express for my sister’s birthday, H picking apples, a jar full of conkers, naughty treats, first time gloves on while walking Bud, homemade pizza and salted caramel hot chocolate!