31.10.12

pumpkins

Dear Annie,







Today has been all about pumpkins: pumpkin soup, pumpkin & ginger cupcakes and the inevitable pumpkin lanterns.

Happy Halloween!

Love from,

Laura

PS: I'm so glad that you are safe and sound.

30.10.12

Waiting for the Storm and the Aftermath

Dear Laura,

In 1987 I was taken out of school, the winds were blowing so hard and I was handed to my mother via ladder over the fence in front of our house. It was exciting and the trees were swaying, the skies were grey and all the adults had worried looks on their faces. In those gales the roof blow off our school and tons of trees feel in the back of our house which became a fantastic playground for me and my friend for a long time afterwards.

Monday was similar but I had a worried look on my face, luckily this was far less destructive for us. With the metro shut and me working from home, I spent most of the day googling the hurricanes path and watching a man on tv standing in flood water in the wind whilst I waited for Sandy to arrive.

 Waiting
Waiting 
 Here's some rain
 No chance of leaving the house
 the aftermath

Luckily for us we haven't been very badly effected up the coast in New Jersey and New York things have been worse, we are hoping that things get better for everyone really soon.

lots of love

Annie

29.10.12

an autumnal walk

Dear Annie,











Armed with a map; a compass; a flask of hot chocolate and some marshmallows, we set out for an autumnal walk in the woods. We found mushrooms, a den, some firewood and plenty of mud. We breathed in deep lungfuls of fresh air, heavy with the scent of falling leaves.  On our return, there was only one thing to do: build a fire with the wood we had gathered, and toast the remaining marshmallows.

Love from,

Laura

27.10.12

A Weekends Work (I hope)

Dear Laura,

It has been a pretty busy two weeks, lots and lots of work. We are on a bit of a renovation kick in the house at the moment and this weekend holds a stairs treat in store. Here are a couple of before shots for you, fingers crossed I can give you some after shots soon!




I love the dress you made, it is amazing and you used patterned material which is gorgeous but much more tricky. I can't wait to see it in the flesh, I might have to steal the pattern off you.

Lots of love

Annie


21.10.12

Making a dress: McCalls 2401

Dear Annie,





Here it is. My first attempt at dressmaking. Following my two day dressmaking course, which got me started, I had plenty of finishing to do: the zip, the interfacing, the sleeves... All of which would have seemed quite terrifying not so long ago. With the help of my course notes, my new sewing machine and the pattern instructions, I got there in the end.

Not a perfect dress by any means. But a dress. Which fits me. And I made it. It really does feel like quite an achievement!

The pattern is McCalls 2401 and the fabric is LilyBelle Henna Stripe

My first attempt at dressmaking but not, I hope, my last.

Love from,

Laura

14.10.12

pedal power

Dear Annie,






After two years of his balance bike, S was more than ready for a pedal bike. Once we finally got round to fixing the puncture in his cousin's hand-me-down bike, he was off. It really was a joyful sight, seeing my boy pedalling away for the first time. The fact that he was wearing his mama-knit hand warmers just made the moment that tiny bit sweeter.

Love from,

Laura

Honey Potting and Paella

Dear  Laura,

Yesterday was a day of food. On a whim we went up to Baltimore to visit our friends and have some delicious food and we finally potted our honey. Eight jars in all, hooray, plenty to tide us over the winter!







Yum Yum, I hope you are having a good weekend.

Lots of love

Annie

11.10.12

Autumn Markets

Dear Laura,

A new market has opened up quite near us and on Sunday we went to have a look around. It is in an old industrial area which used to deal in wholesale food. The market is the beginning of a revitalisation of the area and so far it looks fabulous.


Wonderful autumnal veg and this swiss chard was so incredibly beautiful I wanted to get it just to look at it.




Still fairly industrial looking but hopefully it will turn into a food centre.
and of course to add to the autumnal feeling there was plenty of rain.

lots of love

Annie

7.10.12

sunshine in the park

Dear Annie,









The leaves are starting to turn. With the glorious Autumn sunshine this weekend, the park was a lovely place to be.

Love from,

Laura

6.10.12

The Honey Flows

Dear Laura,

Today we finally harvested the honey we took from the bees three weeks ago. In the olden days they used to have to destroy the hive to get at the honey, luckily we don't have to do that anymore, and we can extract the honey and give the bees back their wax and almost fully formed comb. We even leave the apparatus outside for the bees to clean up / take the rest of the honey back to the hive.

It was a fairly intensive process with a lot of running about and hiding the honey from the bees. But despite the mess, the water, the bees, I managed to take a couple of pictures of the process.



Removing the cappings (all wax we are going to use later on)

Six frames into the extractor with the cappings in the bag, we don't want to miss any of the honey. 

Frames full of honey ready to go

Spin Spin Spin, this is actually surprisingly tiring! 

All gone, now the honey is in the bottom ready to flow out into our bucket 

 Refinement number 1

Refinement number 2

And now we have to wait for 5 days FIVE DAYS before putting the honey in pots and enjoying it all winter! I need to design a label for it, and a name, any suggestions?

Lots of love

Annie
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