Wednesday, 14 September 2016


It's time for conkers, we have been collecting over the last few weeks.  They make a perfect subject for Autumnal painting with their bright green skins and the shiny brown conkers within .....

We love bowls of  conkers and decorate the house with them, but we also collect them because they do seem to deter spiders and it's time to replenish.  We keep them in corners of rooms, behind doors and on windowsills throughout the year.

watercolour conkers
There are still plenty of berries in the woods - we only have to walk behind our fence to find an abundance of blackberries.  Although I have made a lot of blackberry and elderberry cordial and a bottle of blackberry gin (which we look forward to seeing the New Year in with on 31/12/16); you can never have too many blackberries!  We are freezing what we find now for crumbles in the Winter months. I have a lovely neighbour to go berry picking with so it's become even more fun.

A bit of bargain shopping: this lovely maxi dress was reduced from £89 to £26 on Boden website so am putting it away for a future holiday...just needs taking up a bit on the hem and I intend to gather/pull in the shoulders so it looks a little less 'square' up top.  Do you like the swirly pattern? it's big and bold  - not my usual colours but I think it's a classic style so will get plenty of use.

To be honest I hadn't got on very well with my sewing machine despite having it for several years, but recently found You Tube 'how to' videos - the first thing I did was learn how to clean it and tighten the bobbin tension screw - what a difference!  we are now very good friends.  Next to find some pretty materials to sew with ..... any suggestions?  Something bright and 70s for a maxi  skirt would be fun.

I am resting up with an ear infection so not much going on here - but the men have been cooking outdoors on the bbq and everything is ticking over - I am reading 'The Fish Ladder' by Katherine Norbury - not sure if I will finish it as, although it looks promising - being all about a woman's walks following rivers from their source ... it's not all about nature, but about her - she's adopted, has a daugahter, has had a miscarriage and is examining her life and emotions.... have you read it? is it worth persevering?

source: Waterstones

Thanks for stopping by, if you have time to leave a comment it's lovely to know you passed this way....


  1. I haven't seen a conker for years. How we used to love collecting them as children!

  2. I read a lot of memoirs but haven't read this one. Your dress's swirly pattern is lovely.

  3. I love your conker painting!
    Your dress is pretty, too!
    I have not seen that book. Tell us about it when you finish?

  4. Hello Betty, beautiful conker painting. Your new dress looks fab too. I hope your ear infection gets better real soon, they are no fun at all. Havent come across that book sorry Betty.

  5. Loving your conker painting! Does the conker thing really work with spiders? I'll have to try it, it's the time of year when I get really jittery and check everything in case there's an eight-legged monstrosity lurking. xxx

  6. Happy Autumn my your painting!
    Tilly x

  7. Beautiful painting! I'd love to go out berry picking! Hope you feel better soon.

  8. That dress is gorgeous I love a bold patterned maxi and a brilliant bargain especially from Boden. I'm gonna hop on over there and see what they have left on sale lol love your conker painting too.

  9. I've never heard of a conker - will have to look for info on the Internet. Whatever they are, your painting is beautiful! When my daughter was little I shopped mini Boden for her. Have been too overweight to buy anything there for myself; however, I've been losing weight so maybe they will be on my future! I've loved perusing their catalog. Lucky you to find such a good sale.

    Writing a letter to you is moving up my "to do" list. Hopefully soon...!

  10. Fish Ladder sounds quite interesting. Love your blog

  11. I so enjoy finding conkers each autumn....must go looking tomorrow! Your conker painting is beautiful!
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

  12. Our conkers aren't quite ripe yet so will have to wait a bit longer :) I learnt about the Fish Ladder when Radio 4 did a bit on it, it sounded one of those 'try and stick with it' stories.

  13. oh I didn't know that conkers kept spiders away. must try that. x

    thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. Hope your ear infection is all healed now x

  14. I did pass this way and enjoyed your post via PomPom. Interesting bit about detering spiders. I'm sure I'll be by again.Deb (Ontario, Canada)

  15. At last someone else who keeps conkers in the house to deter spiders :-)

    Every time I do a blogpost mentioning this I get inundated with comments from folk that can't believe it works. It really does, we have dishes of them everywhere this year. Last year I had odd ones on windowsills and the cat kept playing with them knocking them onto the floor and then Mavis, the Jack Russell would crunch them up.

  16. I love your conker painting! I totally missed the conker season this year and didn't collect any. Next year I plan to be a bit more organised!


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