October 04, 2018

Baking and Making

After my gushing last week about autumn's arrival, she hightailed it outta here. We are now considering our options with a move to Michigan, Maine or England because I cannot live in a place where summer lasts 6 months, it being the least desirable of the seasons in my world. I am at least half serious about this.

The heat wave can't keep me from turning down the thermostat and pretending it's chilly outside. Of course those daily dog walks serve as a wake up call. I've been doing a lot of baking and making lately. This granola is addictive although I increased the spices in the recipe to 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. I made it with honey but might try it with maple syrup next time. And I'm sure there will be a next time. The first batch I made I didn't bake it quite as long and it was good, but a bit chewy. The 2nd batch was well toasted and perfect. I'm just recalling there is some left in the cupboard where I hid it from myself, so obviously I will need to pause here while I go rescue it.

While in the kitchen, I realized I hadn't had lunch and decided on leftovers of this healthy slow cooker lasagna recipe. We are in love with it, although I must confess I veer off from the recipe and break up the lasagna noodles into bite size pieces and just mix it all together. I don't have a lot of patience for lasagna layering. My longing for autumn has also been accompanied by a desire for homemade bread and this recipe has been one that I make time and again. It's Emma's favorite. I like it because it doesn't take long to prepare and proof and it's so good toasted for breakfast the next day. That is assuming you won't inhale it all in one sitting and if you do there won't be any judgement from me! Also, don't forget to add the salt. I don't know why you would, what kind of person would do that? But trust me, if you did, you would miss it.

I've spent a lot of time sorting and organizing the house for the last few months and when I came across this project in the studio that I started a lifetime and two moves ago, I thought maybe it was time to finish it. I'm not sure a decade of procrastination is justified for something that took 10 minutes to finish. I feel like there is a lesson in there somewhere? Hmmm.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in doing large "important" projects that we forget how satisfying it can be to just take a few minutes to make something pretty. I think the feeling of accomplishment almost always leads to more creativity, even when it's something as easy as covering some old books with some pretty paper.

I also recently started an online art class. I'm struggling to carve out the time to give it the attention it needs. It's not that I can't. It's that I don't. I'm giving myself permission to be okay with that. I'll get to it when my mind is in the right place.

It probably won't surprise you to know that for now, I'm reaching for my knitting needles whenever I can. There was actually about a two week span of time when I had no socks going and I was dedicated to trying to finish this sweater. Those were desolate days.

But, she now has two sleeves and a completed body. I got a little stuck finishing up the neck and button bands and so have put her in the naughty corner while I wait for some mystical knitting knowledge to be imparted to me as I sleep, so that I might do a better job than first attempted.

So of course, while I waited, I (casted, cast?...) started on a new pair of socks and another sweater. I also dusted off my cross stitch skills that have been in hibernation since that peach and seafoam green Victorian House I stitched up in the early 90's. You know the one.

As usual, I have more creative projects and dreams than I have time for. This is just who I am and part of what gives me so much joy in life. I recently read this line in The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan:

“Her grandmother had once told her that one could blame ugliness on one's genes and ignorance on one's education, but there was absolutely no excuse whatsoever for being dull.”

Amen, Ruth. Amen.

P.S. Do you guys read my replies to your comments on posts? I really like having a conversation with you in that way so that you know I hear you!


  1. ‘Those were desolate days.’ Hilarious!! 😂👍

    S x

  2. I always love my visits to,your blog. I always,leave with a sense of calmness and inspired to be creative. I have been in such a rut lately. My oldest left for college and that really rocked my world. Now I am on a desperate search to find myself. I have taken up knitting..sort of. It's been a slow process but I love it. I am always inspired by your sock posts. And the sweater you are knitting is stunning.
    I love your garland. It's very fallish.

  3. I was just wondering if perhaps you might like to do a little swapsies for a quirky Victorian terraced house right in the middle of England? I'm struggling to keep on top of the leaf sweeping and it's definitely getting a bit chilly. I'm stoically pushing on with my flip flops but their days are numbered. Sigh. xx You sound like you're in a good place. *smiles*

  4. I am with you on summer being the least desirable season. I live in NC and it is 90 degrees here today - yes, I said 90 - in October! It seems to be warm here at least nine months out of the year, and unbearably hot and humid at least six of those. I dream of moving to England. Your granola looks yummy!

  5. You are nesting for sure with the granola, bread and lasagna! We still don't have fall. I usually do not go back to a blog post after I have posted, so I would not see a reply. When people post comments on my blog it comes to my email, so I usually respond to questions that way.

  6. Wanna trade houses? You can come live here in northern IL, and I'll live in central IN. ;-) Only in my dreams would summer last six months out of the year! I would probably be happiest living in California. You have really been on a creative roll! You are an inspiration to get more in the groove with that. Give myself permission to take the time for some of these pleasures. Oh - and no, I don't come back to your blog to read comments. That's why I stopped posting replies to comments on my blog. I knew no one would ever see/read them. If someone asks me a question in a comment though, I do privately email them.

  7. We recently had brunch at Traders Point Creamwey, which I believe is very near your little village. It was lovely! I so enjoy your blog and I am so glad that you continue to share your creativity and peppers with me! Wishing you a warm cinnamon scented, leaf crunching Fall!

  8. The jumper may be a slight pain, but it looks gorgeous. As do the socks - I feel there should always be at least one pair of socks on the needles. Wise words Ruth Hogan...

  9. It's almost the beginning of the weekend (Friday morn) & your descriptions are motivating me to craft and bake this weekend. Some of my favorite things! And I hear you regarding the seasons & where I live...I long to live in New England...someday goal.

  10. All my friends are loving the long spell of summer but I've had it! I want to wear jeans, sweaters and boots.....not shorts, tank tops and flip flops. I lived in England for eight years when I was first married and it was wonderful. It's been 22 years and I still ache for it. I wish you were my neighbor so you could teach me knit....and to cook....and to bake. You're such a sweetie.

  11. HI!
    Maine is one of my favorite places. There is so much to love about it. The air is so clear and it's so peaceful. And the good food is plentiful. Belfast is one of my favorite towns. I, too, love this season best of all!

  12. Ahhhhh....The Keeper of Lost Things was my favorite book last year. Are y'all seriously considering moving? I love your little projects. Covering the books is brilliant! I might have to borrow that idea. Where did you find the pretty paper? Cute little garland, too!!!

  13. I have to check out all those recipes, I'm a sucker for a new great recipe!! I have zero skills when it comes to knitting, so I can't be of any help with the sweater project, sorry!!

  14. You are now My Favorite Blog!! I love your photographs, your ideas, and your words. I'm with you about moving to a more friendly climate. I spent waaay too many years in Arizona before I moved to Oregon. I feel I finally have found Home. Your covered books look so pretty and what a good way to use up that scrapbook paper I over-bought. Keep these good posts coming!

  15. Autumn in my neck of the woods (south west UK) has been very warm indeed, not complaining, it's very pleasant. Bread baking is on my agenda too and I have a sourdough starter bubbling away in readiness. Your books look lovely in their new wrappings. I have a few much loved books that could do with a bit of a makeover, just need to source some pretty paper. I love your cute little paint brush pot too.

  16. I love all your projects -- they are inspiring me -- a little! My girl and I with our sewing projects have taken over our entire dining room! We went from cool weather to 95 to 56 in one last week and then the rain moved in and it's not moving on! Even the farmers in Nebraska are saying no more rain and they never say that! Have a good week sweetie!

  17. I always look forward to your posts! The granola looks so yummy, wished you would have given the directions and all the ingredients you used. Sounds like a perfect fall snack.

    1. I put a link to the recipe in my post and listed the changes I made. Hope you try it and like it!

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