mandag, september 26, 2011

Closer to home


As regular readers of my blog will know, we keep a small flock of sheep of an ancient Norwegian breed called "gammelnorsk spælsau". It is a lovely breed, the animals are hardy yet gentle, quite affectionate even. The ewes are excellent mothers and mostly have uncomplicated labours.


A while back the breed was near extinct, as commercial sheep farmers prefer the more meaty white variety. So more often than not the "spælsau´s" fate is left to eager idealistic "hobby keepers" like ourselves, where the love for this ancient breed outweighs monetary gain.


Our flock consist of 24 ewes, one lovely ram and 31 lambs. All summer long they graze at summer pastures further away from home, and we only get to see them on our short weekly visits (to make sure all is well with their world). But come September we bring them closer to home, to graze on the green pastures around our house.


I do like to have them closer to home, so I can see them from my kitchen window. And at the spur of a moment I can go for a cuddle, should I feel so inclined (yes, they ARE affectionate). But even better, in just a months time most of them (minus the young rams, and some of the young ewes which are sold as livestock) will be back in the barn for winter.


As a sheep keeper autumn and winter are my most favourite time of the year. I love the quiet calm contentment in the barn. But we are not there yet. The straw bedding from last winter (full of manure) is still waiting to be spread on the fields. Due to recent rain the fields are saturated, making it near impossible to manoeuver a tractor. But soon... I hope.

lørdag, september 24, 2011

Look what I found...


In my attempt to bring some more cosy colour into my autumn living room, while still sticking to my beloved pastel colours, I went for a rummage up to the loft to see if anything usable could be found there.


And I think I found it. A colourful kelim rug that has been hiding there for quite some time. Now I know I have previously made a few feeble attempts with rugs. Without much success, I might add.


Even the one I now brought down has made a short appearance in the blog before, only to be returned back into the dark attic. But I am fond of this kelim (suppose it is the reason I have been hanging on to it for years), so once again I am willing to give it a go.


I do like to think it adds a certain element of cosiness. And I like the colours in it, and tend to think that they go with my otherwise lighter, brighter colours. But what colour do I see in the rug...?


Orange! I have always thought orange is not "my" colour, but here it is, in my rug. And now that I have a second look at my knitted squares (from the previous entry) maybe I should not have been quite so harsh with the orange wool I bought (and returned to the store). Ah well, it is never too late...

onsdag, september 21, 2011

Does it sing...?


My latest woolly blanket is growing, slowly but surely. And I keep adding colours to it as I go. I started out with more or less the same colours as in the cushion to the left, but soon found out that I needed more.


I have added lighter colours, as for a while I felt it was getting a bit too dark (for my taste). Then I felt that it did not "sing", and needed a bit of razzmatazz, so I bought some bright yellow and orange wool.


But they did not work for me (I guess I am not quite daring and bold enough...?) so I returned the wool to the store and replaced them with more lilac and light green.


The squares are a joy to knit, while watching the news or just taking a break with a cup of tea. And a ball of wool is easy to bring along when going for a visit (yes, I always need to bring something along...)


I still have some 50 squares left to knit. So there is a chance to add more colours. Even though I do quite like the look of it so far I do not hear any "singing". But then again maybe I do not need to. What do you think...?

mandag, september 19, 2011

September


September - the first autumn month. Early September usually feels more like an extension of summer, but now later into the month it is quite obvious that autumn has indeed arrived.


This year more so than before. But then again it is what I say every autumn... that autumn seems to arrive earlier than ever before. Yet this time I really think it is true.


The leaves are changing colour and many trees have shed theirs already. The productive potager has called it a day, and I have started tidying up.


By this stage not many flowers are to be seen in the garden (at least not in mine!) save for the odd rose that somehow has survived the rain and cooler nights.


As for apples, I can not say I am expecting a good crop this year. I think the exceptionally cold May, when the apples trees blossomed, is to be blamed.


I consider myself lucky if there is enough apples for an apple cake or two.


Then again I can not complain about the blackcurrant crop. Which has resulted, not only in delicious jam, but in lovely blackcurrant cordial. The bottles are now stored in the outhouse, waiting to be consumed on cold winter evenings.


My tomatoes, on the other hand, will not stretch far, as out of one plant I got all of 10 tomatoes. Three of which managed to ripen outdoors. The rest I have brought in, hoping they too will in time turn red. If not, "fried green tomatoes" it is...

torsdag, september 15, 2011

Cosy and snug


Mid September already and summer is definitely over. Even though the temperatures are still relatively pleasant it will not be the case for long. Time to make the home snug and cosy again.


What better way to do it than with wool, sheepskin and the like. Our bedroom is my favourite room in the house, any time of the year, but even more so now that the cooler season is over us.


I love to read in bed, with a cup of tea at hand. And I do love "September" by Rosamunde Pilcher (not a coincidence). Now it will not be the first time I read it, neither will it be the last, as I am one of those capable of reading a favourite book time and again (the same goes for watching a favourite movie).


So this is where you will find me on dark September evenings, cosy and snug. Where will I find you?

tirsdag, september 13, 2011

Precious


All summer long my garden is full of flowers that I love, but have a tendency to take for granted. And I am ashamed to admit that I do not always make an effort to bring a bunch of them indoors to grace the table. My excuse for this is that during the summer we tend to spend most of our time outdoors.


But come autumn it is an altogether different story. Every flower from the garden counts, maybe because they are becoming exceedingly rare. And I do my best to fill the house with flowers while I still have a chance.


This autumn flowers from the garden are extra precious as all the rain has ruined their beauty before time. But a tiny bunch of them has been picked and unceremoniously plonked into an olive can, which in no way diminishes their beauty, but rather accentuates it.

søndag, september 11, 2011

Thrifty chic


"Thrifty chic - interior style on a shoestring" is a new book to me (but maybe not to you, as it was first published in 2009) and one that I truly like. Thrift, recycling, make do and mend... you name it.


All of the above are close to my heart, as it is how I have always decorated my home(s). And lately it has even become fashionable. Not only has recycling become popular, but with thrift you can create a very personal home, far removed from mainstream style (and high street stores).


This book is full of photos of lovely homes decorated with thrift, reused and recycled items. It also contains a "how to"- section with great projects, ranging from padded headboards, lampshades made out of buttons, knitted patch throws (not unlike the one I am working on at the moment) to patchwork pillows.


Speaking of patchwork... my latest project is coming along nicely. It truly is the epitome of thriftiness, as all the fabrics are either recycled clothes, old soft furnishings and left over fabrics. Some have even been found at a local recycling centre.


I am fascinated by the idea of making "something" out of "nothing". And not just making something, but hopefully something quite pretty and useful too. Which really is the essence of patchwork, I like to think.


My patchwork quilt is growing, and so far I quite like what I see. Pretty blues and turquoise (my latest fancy), along with white and rosy pink. It is a joy to make, this little thrifty project of mine. As for chic... remains to be seen.

torsdag, september 08, 2011

Worse for wear


I regret to say that my garden is way past its prime, and is definitely looking worse for wear. I do not have a lush late summer/early autumn garden, just as I do not have a pretty spring garden.


Probably because I have in shied away from yellow, orange and red flowers, the typical late summer colours. So I have to put my trust in the annuals. But even they are looking quite forlorn by now.


The only yellow flower in my garden is this late blooming perennial, tucked away behind my little studio as it has not been allowed anywhere near my flower borders. But boy, am I glad to have it!


As once again I seem to have a craving for more colour. For most people autumn is all about earthy and mellow shades. But for me... it is all about colour, in my house and in my garden. How about you?

tirsdag, september 06, 2011

Another scrappy one


It has been a while since I last made a patchwork quilt. All summer long I hardly paid any attention to my good old trusty Husqvarna sewing machine. But now I feel a definite longing for some quality time, in lonesome solitude, in my little studio along with the aforementioned trusty one.


There is only a slight catch... I have hardly any fabric to work with. For the longest time I have been intentionally working through my fabric stash, and hardly having bought any new at all. Apart from these, of course.


Truth be told, I am in fact most fond of scrap quilts. Where old pieces of clothing and other snippets of fabric, with a few pretties thrown in for good measure, end up in one charming quilt. Nothing too planned or too studied. These kind of quilts appeal to me the most.


So here is me hoping that I can stretch this little collection of left overs, vintage fabrics, old shirts and summer skirts into yet another scrap quilt. The last one I made has become a firm favourite.


Now that I have nearly convinced you lot (not to mention myself!) that this is indeed quite possible I am off to my little cubby house to start cutting into this lot. And I do have an idea how I hope the end result will look like. I shall keep you posted!