Friday, 23 September 2011

mabon, autumn equinox, brandy & vodka

Its been a beautiful autumn day today; a gentle breeze & sunshine. I love this time of year! Spent time in the studio and in my garden whilst isla slept. We went out together and gathered hawthorn berries to make brandy. I have enough blackberries for vodka too and this seems like the perfect day to do it.

I use cheap brandy (cheaper the better!) simply because I'm flavouring it so it doesn't need to be the good stuff. Agitate the jar every day for 2 weeks then strain through muslin and put into sterilised bottles. This is a wonderful heart tonic, perfect for the older gentlemen in your life. Makes a lovely xmas tipple for dad or grandpa (or anyone else for that matter)

Caution - Hawthorn is a powerful heart tonic and shouldn't be taken with other heart medicines or blood pressure medication. Excersie caution and seek a qualified herbalists advice if concerned.

Again cheap vodka is the way to go. Agitate the jar every day as before but leave for up to or beyond 3 months, then strain and bottle. I have some from a few years ago that I forgot to strain and some that I bottled and haven't drunk yet so it should be a festive xmas! I can recommend a shot of this with lemonade, yum!

Have a wonderful autumn equinox! Spend today appreciating everything in life you are grateful for and the people that have made that happen.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

postscript to a sunday stroll... daughter took her first unaided steps tonight! She's been cruising and climbing everything for months but she's finally done it!

I'm so proud! xxx

a sunday stroll

the sun came out for what seems like the first time this week, so we went for a walk in the local woods. I'm taking every opportunity to introduce isla to nature, showing her leaves and plants and different trees. at 16 months she doesn't know one tree from another but she loves being outside and messing about in the dirt. we found a meadow of flowers to sun ourselves in for a while and collected autumn coloured leaves.

as always, I'm on the lookout for inspiration for my work whenever we go out & about. we brought quite a collection of bits back with us, I'll have to take them to the studio and see what comes of it. I have an idea for toadstools & feathers...

and now after a lovely calm day, the remnants of hurrican Katia are beginning to batter us here in the UK tonight. My heart goes out to those across the Atlantic who have suffered the full impact of this storm; I hope that you're safe and that your lives return to normal soon.