Monday, October 20, 2014

Home Blessings

Red sky in the morning .... sailors warning!

It was a beautiful sunrise this morning, but I knew it wouldn't last. When the sky is all lit up like this in the morning rain and gloomy skies are sure to follow. We haven't had a huge amount of rain but gloomy skies are in abundance :)

However, gloomy skies don't often get me down. I really like the rain and the coziness of being indoors and busying myself with something lovely and creative to do - when I'm not teaching the girls of course.

Today we had a day off - getting back into the saddle of things after my mother-in-law flew back to South Africa on Saturday. I had quite a bit of lesson planning that HAD to be done followed with a bit of shopping. Both tasks were completed by 12h30, which left me a bit of stitching time.

These cute little hanging decorations came as a freebie in October's Cross-Stitcher magazine. I was thrilled with these as I had pinned something similar onto my cross-stitching Pinterest board. I loved stitching these little woodland creatures and plan to stitch the rest of the little folk soon. I'm thinking that they would look ever so cute on the Christmas tree this year.

Another finish - this cute little kitty playing in the snow with her robin friend. A freebie (I have many of them) from one of my favourite mags last year - or was it the year before? Hmmm, well either way it is now complete. I don;t think I will be sending it as a card as it is just too cute. I'm thinking that it would look lovely in a little frame and displayed in my home over the festive season.

Another magazine freebie completed and mounted into it's little card. This one is so cute and most certainly will make a lovely addition to a gift for someone special. Not sure who yet so I will pop it away somewhere safe for next years birthday rounds :)

Lastly, in the kitchen I've been doing a bit of bulk cooking for the freezer. I popped yesterdays roast chicken carcass in the crock-pot with carrots, leeks onions and various herbs and spices and let it simmer on low overnight to make a delicious stock. This will form the base of a lovely pot of soup later on in the winter.

Yorkshire puddings - loads of them. I usually make about two dozen at a time and simply pop them in the freezer once they have cooled. They keep beautifully and all you need to do is pop them in the oven for the last 5 to 8 minutes of your roasts cooking time to heat and crisp up. Delish!

That's about it for today's round-up of ordinary living :) Hope that you have all had a super start to your week.

Blessings to you all....

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hello! Are You Loving Autumn So Far?

Oh it is good to be back here at Under An English Sky. I've missed writing, missed recording our days and missed being here!

Have you been loving autumn? I have. I love when I drive around on my errands how the leaves fall from the trees littering my way. I love how I can smell wood-smoke in the evenings, how the nights are cool enough to give me an excuse to fill a hot water bottle and snuggle under the covers.

I thought that I would share a few touches that I have added to our home to bring a little of that autumn loveliness indoors.

This is what my mantle looks like right now...

Tiny pumpkins bought at the grocery store - perfect for the mantle. A vase of berries picked and clutches of cones gathered whilst on a walk recently.

This years new addition is a flower fairy string of scalloped bunting.

Oh and little tea lights - as the days draw in I love lighting candles around the house, it all adds to the cozy atmosphere

On the hearth is a vase of leaves and berries again picked on a nature walk. I have hung my pumpkin cross-stitch sampler too. 

On the coffee table is a little display of apples, some in knitted cozy's, cones and more berries. I have not found any acorns on the trees thus far - I can only think it is because they put out such a show last autumn and are recuperating.

On my kist which serves as an occasional table we have a jar stuffed with cones and trimmed with garden twin and some owl feathers we found while at a recent visit to the Chestnut Centre.

And another few touches on another occasional table in the lounge area.

A little fabric cob and an autumn message in a frame.

The kitchen windowsill has my new little stitched cushion displayed on it - that's the only real addition there.

And last but not least, I have strung up a garland of autumn leaves that I found in a gift shop on my teapot display shelf. 

So there we are, a few very economic but fun and cheerful touches to celebrate autumn.

Blessing to you all today...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Autumn Kitchen

'In the kitchen, autumn is my favorite season, too, because it is preserving time - jams and jellies, chutneys and pickles, fruit butters and cheeses, and the whole glorious season rounded off with the making of the mincemeat, to be stored until Christmas' - The Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill

I've been busy - chopping, cooking, simmering...

sterilizing and bottling autumn's harvest.

We now have lots of lovely Autumn Apple Chutney for the pantry :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Stealing Just a Few Minuets...

Psst! I have found 5 glorious minutes to steal away and show you my two latest cross-stitch finishes...

Aren't they just so cheery? I've added them to my autumn decor and am truly loving looking at them, especially the second little autumn decoration.

You can get both charts for free here and here.

:) - see you soon...