This year I've felt so hugely inspired by the colours of Autumn, and have found much happiness in gathering some little bits of nature to bring the Autumn season indoors. I'm lucky in that I haven't needed to venture far to find what has been calling to me. Walks through the park and local woodland have provided me with a beautiful collection of leaves and acorns....
....and the allotment plot has gifted me berries and rose hips.
Last week I cleared some of the Spring/Summer things from my fireplace, gave the whole thing a good dusting down (oh, the volume of dust was astonishing) and started to decorate for the Autumn Season. Actually I was a bit sad to take down my Baby Bunting which I made last year using yarn left over from the Cupcake blanket - I realised (with a jolt of guilt) that I never got around to sharing this pattern with you, even though I had promised it in the Spring. I am so sorry. I do have every intention of still making this tutorial as I get asked about the pattern a lot on social media. Consider it added to my list and I'll see what I can do during the next month or so.
I absolutely love this kind of decorative faffing in the home, it is satsifying and joyful on so many levels. It doesn't have to be anything complicated either - a few little glass bottles or jars filled with some twigs/leaves/berry stems, maybe some smooth pebbles gathered from a walk on the beach or some pine cones picked up on a woodland walk - I find these things so beautiful to look at.
I have a small collection of old glass bottles that I've bought from the local collectors centre over the years - I never paid more than £1 for any of them (the old glass ink bottle was only 50p), but I do love them very much. Any little glass jars would do though, they don't have to be old ones. Try looking in the baby-food aisle of the supermarket, the pureed baby mush comes in the most dinky little glass jars that would be perfect for small displays of nature.
I can't tell you how much I love my crocheted pumpkins (details in this post, in case you missed it last week), I absolutely adore them and they look fantastic placed all along my mantel.
I swapped around a couple of pictures, moving my beloved Loretta Grayson print over to the dining room, and adding an original canvas by Annabel Burton which I love as the soft colours remind me of that delicate Summer/Autumn season shift. I've been a fan of Annabel's acrylic paintings for many years, you can see more of her work here. She usually sells her originals on eBay, so it's worth keeping a look out as they change frequently.
Something else I collect all year round is feathers - I find them completely irresistible and unless it's in a shocking state I simply cannot walk past a feather without picking it up and bringing it home. Over the years I've collected plenty of seagull feathers from various beaches, as well as duck feathers from the riverside. But my most favourite are pheasant feathers which are harder to find but just beautiful when you come across them out in the countryside. Pheasant feathers do seem to be particularly evocative of Autumn I think.
I added a few feathers to an Ink Bottle Posy for my Autumn display, and I really love the simplicity of it. I used oak leaves from the park, rose hips from the allotment and seeded stems from the montbretia plant growing rampant in the front garden. I think it looks delightful and just as lovely as any shop-brought flowers. And those pumpkins.....oh I just love them so much. They honestly make me smile every time I look at them!
Now I can't remember how much I've shown you of the Autumn crochet that's been occupying my hands and mind of late? I know I've put a few images on Instagram and Facebook in recent weeks, but can't think if I've shown much here on my blog. Well, I've been hooking up some leaves, berries and acorns to create an Autumn Garland which is something I've wanted to make for a few years now. You might remember my Autumn Wreath from 2013? This garland has a similar feel I think. I knew I wanted something seasonal to hang in place of the pastel-coloured Baby Bunting which I've just taken down from my fireplace, and a garland of leaves seemed just the thing.
The leaves have been a joy to make as I've designed new patterns for them and had loads of fun playing with the colours. The oak leaf was a major design challenge but so satisfying once I finally nailed it!
I've spent time during the last few days photographing and creating a tutorial to share with you. This will include patterns for three Autumn garland/wreath thingies - a two-tone Beech Leaf, a two-tone Oak Leaf and a cute little Acorn. I've almost finished it (just need to do some final pattern checking) so will hopefully be able to publish all that tomorrow, just in time for the weekend.
I have to tell you that today I finally pulled out everything I've been making during the past month or so and laid it all out to see if I had enough.....and it was just perfect. There were 4 sycamore leaves, 16 beech leaves, 12 oak leaves, 6 acorns and 4 berry clusters. I quickly hooked up some teensy little single berries and set to work creating my garland...such fun!
My garland is now hanging beautifully on my fireplace and I am thrilled with it.....I can't wait to show you tomorrow.....