Its been a while since I’ve shared a styling the seasons post on here. Its a monthly photography challenge hosted by Katy & lotts. I have enjoyed the opportunity to slow down & notice the subtle changes from month to month that this challenge affords. It has inspired our nature tray that I have posted about and which the children always help with.
November certainly is a month of chance. It begins in Autumn but by its end there I no denying winter I here. There’s bonfire night & pumpkins galore at its start & now its almost over the hustle and bustle of Christmas is all around. I wanted to reflect this in my pictures & tried a floral flat lay in a wreath arrangement. I included glitter to reflect both Christmas and fireworks night & the last of my munchkin pumpkins was tucked in there. November is a tricky month for taking photos and the light was all wrong. So I went back to the drawing board & decided to channel a little more Hygge in my flat lay. (Have you heard of hygge? f not read about this fabulous Danish ideal here) My favourite cosy blanket, a candle & pumpkins provide just the right amount of cosy. The foraged berries give a nod to Christmas, without being over the top. I like its pale subtle Christmas vibe & for me it captures November pretty well.
I realise its been AGES since I shared anything I’ve sewn with you on here. Sewing write ups tend to be quite time consuming. So I thought I would take the pressure off and keep it simple. This was dress I made back in the early autumn (look at that gorgeous low autumn light streaming through this photo, how I miss it).
I used a free pattern from an old copy of Prima magazine that a friend always saves for me. In hindsight I wish I’d drafted my own like I usually do for my children’s clothes. I used the pattern as I hoped it would save me time but I ended up having to use a small bodice size according to my daughters measurements, adding length to it and adding length to the skirt, its still a little short and I’m not sure it saved me any time.
The fabric was a lovely cotton lawn (I’m guessing) salvaged from a vintage ladies dress. The dress was a proper 1980s Laura Ashley style number with a long and full skirt and it was a fairly large size so there was LOTS of fabric to work with. the dress was fully lined and I managed to use the lining as well to line this dress. The dress was also given to me to use for the fabric and so the total cost of this dress was £0.
We have dubbed this dress the Blackberrying dress because of the time of year I made it and also the lovely green and purple bramble type design of the fabric. With a t-shirt and a war pair of tights underneath this dress is still getting a lot of wear.
In case your wondering about those boots, aren’t they gorgeous! They are a metallic leather with velvet ribbon laces. I got them on e-bay and they’d hardy been worn they were originally from Marks and Spencer and they go so perfectly with this very thrifty dress.
Those of you who follow me on social media will know pumpkins have slightly taken over my life (and my kitchen) lately. I do think pumpkins are the most magical vegetables and I enjoy collecting them in all shapes, colours and sizes throughout October. Come November they need eating though and this year I had quite a collection, thanks to some kind neighbours who gave us a couple of whoppers! I’ve always been fascinated by the American “pumpkin patch” and infamous pumpkin pie, a favourite at Thanksgiving. I confess that until this year I had never eaten it and hadn’t understood that pumpkin pie was a sweet, not savoury affair. Well now that we are better acquainted pumpkin pie and I are firm friends and I’ve been experimenting with this magical vegetable and pumpkin pie spice A LOT! So without further ramblings from me I bring you my recipe for pumpkin spiced doughnuts. Oh, and because I’m gluten intolerant these little nuggets of gorgeousness are gluten free too, yay!
This recipe uses my own pumpkin spice mix, which I have devised from reading various recipes online and adapted to suit my own tastes. Mix all the spices together and store in a Tupperware or jam jar and add to all your pumpkin recipes. 4tsp ground cinnamon, 2tsp ground ginger, 2tsp ground nutmeg, 1tsp ground all spice, 1/2tsp ground cloves
For the Pumpkin Doughnuts
- 100g Doves Farm plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2tsp of pumpkin spice mix (see above)
- pinch of salt
- 60g very soft butter
- 2 eggs
- 4tbsp sour cream
- 9 table spoon of pumpkin puree (either make your own or buy it canned)
For the coating
- 50g sugar
- 2tsp pumpkin spice mix
Measure all the dry ingredients and place in a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, sour cream and pumpkin puree & mix until you have a smooth batter.
Lightly butter your doughnut tin (ah yes should have mentioned this before you’ll need to make a small investment in a doughnut tin to make doughnuts, but trust me worth every penny. I have this adorable mini doughnut tin
and this recipe makes 3 dozen mini doughnuts). Using a teaspoon place the mixture into the tin, fill about two thirds full. Avoid covering the little divet so you get a nice doughnut shape. Bake at 180’C for 10mins.
Whilst your pumpkin doughnuts are cooking put the sugar and spice mix for the coating onto a plate or shallow oven dish and mix to combine.
As soon as your doughnuts are cooked, remove them from the tin and toss them in the coating. Serve immediately.
I have a little desk in the corner of our living room where I sew. I find it helps so much to have my machine out all the time, it means any time I have a spare 5minutes I am ready to sew. My family are very tollerant to allow me such a luxury in what is quite a small house. I like my space to be tidy and well organised but pretty too with all I need at hand.
I keep my spools of thread on my desk in a beautiful glass jar that I bought in Dunelm’s bathroom department, it wasn’t expensive but I think it looks a million dollars.
Because I sew in our living room I need to be very tidy I keep a vintage tea cup cup on my desk for all the threads I’ve clipped. I love old crockery and it’s lovely to find a way I can use this cup and have it out on display. My thread snips rest perfectly on the saucer and are always to hand.
I’d love to hear where you find space to sew and what little finishing touches make your sewing space special?