It's amazing what you can do with some crumpled up newspaper, wallpaper paste and paint...
....and how different a boring white lampshade can look when you cover it with patchwork fabric squares...
And it's that time of year to try out a few simple designs for Christmas cards. I used to make cards for everyone, and often used fabrics, cross stitch, embroidery, complicated cards that took a while to make. Then as the list of people to send to decreased, so did my patience for faffing too much, and knowing that most people just chuck the card away, I now only make cards for a handful of friends who I know keep them, year on year.... some of them must have quite a collection after all this time!
But here are a couple of easy and quick designs... the first using washi tapes, the second painted watercolour paper stars stuck to plain card with sticky pads.
They both take about the same time to make, so maybe I'll just do a few of each. Or maybe I'll do something completely different by the time December comes around!
I've also been doing some sketching using the modules from Jenny Maizel's sketchbook club. This is my interpretation of an early Coronation Street... note the grey sky and dark clouds, since everyone says it always rains in Manchester, even though that's not true! And this is a slightly lighter, different row of terraced houses...
I've managed a fair bit of reading, having been given an unexpected second lot of books to review for the RoNAs, both of which were Christmassy tales. I like to buy a couple of light, Christmas-themed novels to read over the Festive Season - I keep telling myself I should read something more 'worthy', like Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but really, that's not what I'm in the mood for at Christmas.
One of the best books read recently was 'Soul of Discretion' by Susan Hill, the latest in her detective novels featuring Simon Serrailler, and as usual, a real page turner. It wasn't a comfortable read at times, dealing with a very sensitive subject, but her writing it such that you just have to keep reading, and I managed this in four bedtime readings. Also excellent was 'The Girls' by Lisa Jewell, her novels never fail to please me I have to say.
The garden is definitely autumnal now, even though two roses, one in a large pot and one a climber, have both put out new buds, which I've bought indoors where they have opened and given off their delicate scent. A penstemon has also flowered again, and looking round, although the ground is spotted with little golden pennies, the leaves dropping from the silver birches now, there is still such a lot in flower. We've put the hedgehog igloo in place now, hoping for a resident this coming winter. There wasn't one last year, but I read an article lately by a man who said his garden had been missing hedgehogs for three years and then one came back, so there's hope.
And although I don't believe in Hallowe'en, I am looking forward to the fireworks display at Castle Rising this weekend. Fortunately we don't get bothered by trick or treaters, they tend to steer clear of where we live, just going round the estate further away in the village, where most of the younger children live.
Anyway, that's me for this time. Hope those of you who read this are enjoying the change in seasons as I am, and don't see it as a depressing time, the run down to the dark days of winter? As ever, thanks for dropping by, and especially if you left a comment.