Monthly Archives: November 2014

My Reasons…

to be thankful…


What are yours?


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Filed under General, Happiness Project

Friday I’m in Love: Horticultural Fireworks


I’m not normally a fan of chrysanths (mums)…years of working as a floristry assistant have trained me to think of them as mere filler. But these:IMG_0831


…seen at Descanso Gardens this week, are something special!


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Filed under Descanso Garden, Flowers, Gardens, Happiness Project, Plants

Design Inspiration: Ainu Attush

The Ainu are an indigenous people of theislands of Hokkaido and Honshu in Japan, and Sakhalin and Kuril in Russia. Originally hunter-gatherers, they made clothing from many materials including animal hide, bird and fish skin. But the fabric perhaps most associated with the Ainu is attush, made from the bark of the elm and other trees which is soaked, made into yarn and woven. Garments could take many months to make, and are amongst the most spectacular designs of ethnic clothing in the world. As contact developed with Edo Japan, cotton and silk were incorporated into the garments, but the intricate designs are unique, and authentic vintage Ainu garments are now highly sought after and very expensive

Ainu robe montage


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Filed under Art, Crafts, Decor, Pinterest, Textiles

Friday I’m in Love: Pinecones

And not just cones…piled in a beautiful bowl…cones and seeds in bowl

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Filed under Decor, General, Happiness Project, Nature, Seasonal Pleasures

Happiness Project: Descanso in October

In October Descanso Gardens was taken over by The Rise of the Jack o’Lanterns.

Jack O'Lanterns montage

It meant the loss of access to the rose garden for a month and at first I was a bit peeved. But it was worth it after all…

IMG_0795 IMG_0796

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Filed under California, Descanso Garden, Gardens, Happiness Project, Seasonal Pleasures

Friday I’m in Love: Liquidambar

This is as close as we come here to Autumn foliage and I love it! Gorgeous red and gold leaves…and aren’t the seed pods wonderful?

liquidambar montage

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Filed under California, Gardens, Happiness Project, Nature, Plants, Seasonal Pleasures

Happiness Project: Bonfire Night

Until quite recently, Halloween was a not big thing in England. The major Autumn celebration is Bonfire Night, which commemorates the capture of Guido (Guy) Fawkes and the foiling of his plot to blow up Parliament. Of course, the bonfire and fireworks are the main event, but it wouldn’t be England if there weren’t some kind of associated food. Here are my favourites:

Bonfire toffee. I much preferred this to toffee apples, although it can be a tooth-breaker! This recipe comes from a book belonging to my my mother:


Parkin. A delicious Yorkshire version of gingerbread. More of this at a later date …
Jacket potatoes. Pretty universal these days, but I have clear memories of eating potatoes baked in foil, with butter and cheese (sharp cheddar of course) at the Boy Scout bonfire every year.

Happy days! What autumnal food brings back memories for you?

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Filed under England, Food, Recipes, Travel