Autumn Inspired Decorating

Although it felt as if Autumn was holding out on us for a while in September, there is no doubt that we are now starting to experience orange falling leaves, colder winds and the desperate need to drink more hot chocolate.

I adore this time of year as it’s generally mild enough to spend lots of time outdoors but even so, you look forward to coming inside in the late afternoon and getting cosy. The garden at the Finca is still quite new; lots of plants have only had a few months to begin to become established and even though I’m desperate to cut bits off to put in vases, I am trying to resist to give the plants time to settle.

autumn crochet leaves

While I was browsing Autumn-inspired loveliness on Pinterest and perusing some of my favourite blogs, I re-discovered the Autumn crochet wreath from Attic24.

This became the perfect solution to my Autumn-decorating-dilemma!

Over the last week or so, I’ve been busily crocheting little leaves, oak leaves, multi-coloured leaves, little berries and toadstools. Today’s task is to start to make some small acorns that will be scattered throughout the wreath design.

crochet oak-leaf

I’m so excited to get it finished and to have it hung up in the Finca kitchen – hopefully it’ll bring a bit more cosy to the space as the days start to get shorter.  If you haven’t seen it already, the finished wreath on Attic24 is utterly gorgeous – you must take a look!  I’m making mine slightly differently but I hope that it will be even half as good!

Also, if you feel like you fancy a bit more Autumn inspiration, take a look at my Autumn Pinterest board here – it’s not all crochet, I promise!

Speak soon x


Hang It Up :: Autumn Hanging Baskets

I’ve always been one to shy away from the concept of hanging baskets.  I’m not sure whether it was the fact that I hadn’t stumbled across many that I loved or that the thought of something heavy, dangled above your head seemed a little dangerous.  Whatever my earlier views were, I can now say that I am seriously digging them!

These aerial gardens are perfect for spaces where lower pots or flower beds would otherwise be obscured and not enjoyed;  by having the plants lifted to head height allows you to create 360 degree designs that flow and trail.

autumn hanging basket close up

… autumn flowering pansies with a heather backdrop …

{As it was a typical September morning, the sun was streaming through slightly misty air, creating a very romantic light for the photos! I would have re-shot them later on, without the sunburst bits, but I came to really love the feel of them}.

I had to run a few of my potential designs past quality control (Mr D-F) before I was allowed to run free in the garden centre (picture here, slightly gangly woman running through the rows of potted plants, slalom-ing around the other eye-rolling customers, pushing an enormous trolley in search for the right plants, while muttering to herself).

We finally decided on a purple and silver theme for our first basket.


… I was careful to choose different textures and heights …

The basket frame that I chose came with a coconut husk liner and as I had already blown my budget, I decided that it would be best to leave the sphagnum moss (my preferred liner) for when I re-do my basket in the spring.

After a bit of a jiggle on the trolley, placing plants next to each other, changing my mind a few times and then sitting back to look at them, I ended up choosing:

  • Pink heather
  • Autumn flowering pansies
  • Autumn flowering violas
  • Silver variegated ivy
  • Cineria silverdust

I also bought some hanging basket compost and the mechanics of my basket itself which was about 12 inches in diameter.

After covering the bottom of the basket with the compost, I began by underplanting with violas, ivy and the cineria (I had to cut holes in the liner for this) before filling up with a bit more compost. By using the heather as the height for the centre, I was able to fill up the top of the basket with a variety of pansies, ivy and cineria. Checking all the time that it wasn’t too symmetrical but had more of a natural feel.


… ta dah …

Although it looks very new and ‘gappy’, I’m hoping that the ivy will start to spread and the plants will begin to dangle over the sides to create an all-round design.

Have you seen any wonderful hanging baskets recently? Please let me know as I’ve already spotted a little place on the Finca that’s perfect for another one!


Making Everyday Essentials A Little More Glamorous

Hello there! So nice to see you. Please sit down with a cup of tea and let me tell you about my newest thoughts…

There are somethings that you have to keep around the house that are essential to day-to-day life but boy, aren’t pretty.  Dog poop bags are my case in point for the day.  They need to be handy at every available exit from the house shouting “Don’t forget me, I’m vitally important! No, a 10 year old supermarket plastic bag is not the same – they have holes.” (You can only imagine how I have learnt this valuable lesson)!

So, drawing on a lovely review that a customer left in my Etsy shop the other day ‘Love that there is NOTHING that cannot be crocheted! ‘ I decided to crochet my way out of this situation.

crochet poop bag pod

… my crochet solution …

Meet the poop bag pod! A little cocoon that you stuff with bags so that it can act like a dispenser and remind you to grab one every time you leave the house.  I made one up yesterday and strategically placed it at the back door thinking that if it was successful, I would make one for the front door too.

Well, it must have had the seal of approval because it reminded Mr D-F to take a bag out first thing in the morning, instead of me having to do lawn-clean-up-duty later on in the day. Yuk!

poop bag pod in action

… the poop bag pod in action …

By now, some of you might be thinking that this would be a great April’s Fool post. Ha ha, who in their right mind would make something like this?!

Well, I’m afraid friends. My life has got to this point and I have made this for real…

… and it’s the business!

It’s time more everyday, boring essentials got a facelift. Don’t you think?!

xx Speak soon

Adventure Comfort Food

Picture the scene:

You’re out on an adventure.  You might be on a long family walk or a boat trip or camping.  It’s fun and you’re really enjoying being outside, but it’s a bit windy and damp.  Your mind starts to think about the snacks that you have brought with you…

…this is usually our scene. Before we have even parked the car and begun the journey, the cry for ‘I hope you brought snacks‘ is let loose and somehow, it’s my fault if I’ve forgotten, or the snack choice (a slightly browning banana) is not up to par.  I’ve also been in that awful situation where you think you’ve been ever-so-well prepared and you whip out your thermos with a flourish only to find that the tea you made earlier tastes of plastic and something you can’t quite put a name to.

This Autumn, this situation is all going to change my friends. This time, I will come prepared. This is the year of the adventure comfort food.

cheese straws detail shot

… cheese straws – the perfect first step …

This first round of adventure comfort food was inspired by cheese.  I was kind enough to be sent some cheese from Wyke Farms to try.  When I took a sniff of their mature cheddar, soft, melty cheese straws came flooding into my mind. I am pretty certain that if a tub of cheese straws was produced at just the right moment during an outside excursion, the exclamations of joy from all around would be enormous. (Why don’t you try – let’s see who can get the loudest whoops)?

I used an easy recipe from BBC Good Food, but I left out the mustard powder and substituted it with a little black pepper.

wyke farm extra mature… Wyke Farm Extra Mature Cheddar …

cheese straws

… this snack will surely keep you out of jeopardy during extreme outdoorsing …

So next time I have to pack some sustenance for some serious outside activity, these are going to be the first thing that I prepare and take.  I wonder if there is a good dip or sauce that goes well with cheese straws?

I now need to think about what else to bring.  What are the best uses for a thermos, for example, as tea definitely doesn’t seem to suit one?! I’d love to hear your ideas…

Speak soon x

Sparing A Square For KnitAid

If you have been following my feeds on Facebook and Instagram you may have noticed that I recently finished an incredibly colourful, crochet blanket.  It took quite a while to make and many, many granny squares were crocheted and joined together.  I absolutely loved each part of its creation and the finished product was just as I had hoped; warm, soft and a riot of colour.

festival blanket

… a section of the Festival Blanket …

Almost the same day that I was commissioned to make another matching blanket, I read a blog post from Crochyay.  If you haven’t heard of them yet then it’s time you made a discovery – especially if you are into crafts and crochet – as they create a box for each month, filled with crochet treats, patterns and new bits new to the market; hooks, yarn, the works.  Click on the link above if you fancy spending some time delving through their beautiful website.

Crochyay are currently encouraging fellow crafters to make a granny square measuring 20 x 20 cm in any pattern of their choosing and send it to Crochyay headquarters. The plan is that all the donated squares will then be put together to make blankets for Knit Aid’s refugee appeal.

lime granny squares

… a stack of lime granny squares …

After reading their post, I decided that with the leftover yarn from my blanket commission, I would attempt to make an extra square, in each colour, and send it to Crochyay for the Knit Aid appeal.

As I go about making the first of my squares, I think about how receiving a warm, colourful, made-with-love blanket would make someone’s day even if they were having the toughest of times.

multicoloured granny squares

… hopefully there will be enough leftovers for squares in each colour …

If you would also like to knit or crochet a square for the Knit Aid appeal, you can either visit the Crochyay post by clicking here, go to the Knit Aid site here, or send your squares directly to this address:

Crochyay Boxes, 7 Liverpool Terrace, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 1TA.

…and if you’re not into squares, there are lots of other ways to use your knitting and crocheting skills to help – just have a look at the KnitAid website (they even have free patterns to get you started).

Happy stitching! x

A Creative Backdrop ~ Accessories That Make You Wanna Make

Ha ha – I can’t believe I used the word ‘wanna’ in my title. I’m so down with it.

So, I’ve been spending a lot of time being creative with the old crochet hooks over the last few weeks. I mean A LOT.  So much so, that now that I’m waiting for my new yarn order to arrive and I’ve finished my last commission piece, my hands are twitching in a muscle memory fashion – desperate to get back to work.

I’ve filled the temporary crochet void by reading a lot of lifestyle blogs and staring wistfully at beautiful posts screaming ‘Your life could be as beautiful, golden, arty, with a touch of pale pink icing as this… insert incredible photograph.’

Gold tealight

… golden tea-light holder from Chickidee …

… and I lap it up each time. Yum, yum, yum. I always want my life to feel like that. Icing and all.

For me, having a cosy, lovely space to work in does make each part of the process a joy. Except perhaps the paperwork bit, which is not fun, whichever way I try to spin it to myself.

BUT! I have found a few more little things to add (*whimsically buy), so that I can create that I-could-be-living-in-a-blog atmosphere.

I discovered this new online shop CHICKIDEE which is like all my home decor dreams in a box. (This isn’t a paid post, but I got a free mug, which was kind of due to a postal accident… anyway, I digress, my point is that this is an unbiased post)! 

Gold tealight on mantel

… doesn’t it look at home already? …

I instantly fell in love with this star-punched, golden tea-light holder and knew that it would go perfectly with the ever growing assortment of lovely bits on our mantelpiece.

I also splashed out on this piece of greatness:

drop it like its hot mug

… oh yeah, I’m down with the kids …

As it made me laugh and feel trendy at the same time, I went for it.  There’s nothing like a good whimsical purchase to make you feel on top of the world!

So I urge you to take a look at Chickidee – if only to look through their gloriously minimalist themed website. Be warned though, they’re really nice and you will probably end up buying more than you should.  To quote Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory)… ‘What’s life without whimsy?’

I stand by that.

Have a great day. x


Beautiful Things

This week seemed to be full of beautiful things.  Either surprises from friends or little parcels in the mail.  It was one of those weeks where everything seemed to come at once.

I was thrilled to find that the person who bought my festival blanket was a fellow colour-lover and fantastic company as well.  We spent a lovely morning chatting about crafts, flowers and crochet over a cup of tea.  Hilary (of Eliza James Flowers) had the perfect place in mind for the blanket and kindly sent me some pictures of it already looking quite at home in this beautiful country bedroom.

festival blanket in situ

… looks like the idea place for a cup of tea and a curl-up with a book …

Hilary also surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in her signature relaxed and carefree style.  Bursting with colour and scent from the various herbs and flowers, I proudly carried it home where it is now sitting in the kitchen for all to see!

Eliza James Flowers 1

Eliza James Flowers 2

…. breathtakingly beautiful …

All of these events were certainly making my week a great one when something else exciting dropped through the mailbox.

custom stamp

… great product wrapping from Creatiate

Now if you go crazy for stationery like me, this shop will have you in fits and whoops of joy.  I found it after a lengthy search for a custom stamp for The Dorset Finca.  My plan was to stamp away merrily on the backs of envelopes, packaging and anything else I could get my hands on.  It seemed like a much more eco-friendly solution than buying branded stickers all the time.  Although saying that, I love stickers badly too. 

When I found Creatiate’s shop, I knew they were the ones to sort me out, mainly because it took me about four days to choose which design I liked – there were too many delicious ones.  Furthermore, once I had chosen, I already had my eye on another purchase! Yes, my whimsy-self was in true form this week!

The Dorset Finca Stamp

… ahhhh, perfect …

This bad boy was made, wrapped, shipped and delivered within 1-2 weeks. From America.

Me = one very happy customer!

To keep up-to-date with these two creative dreams you can check them out here:

Hilary at Eliza James Flowers; click here for the website, here for the Facebook Page and here for Instagram.

Sarah at Creatiate; click here for the website, here for the Facebook Page and here for Instagram.

 Speak soon x