Where is this year going? I can't believe it's almost the end of October!
Autumn is well and truly upon us here in the UK, with leaves now falling in their hundreds from the trees which, during our hot summer days, provided us with much needed shade. They did a great job and now, in their glorious autumn splendour, they are putting on an amazing show for us. The colours of gold, orange, yellow, brown, that unmistakable rusty colour, but still with some green in evidence, make for some amazing photo opportunities and when the autumn sun catches them, that's a whole new level of wow! Right now, from our garden, we can see a large tree which has a few clumps of earlier leaves which are a gorgeous rusty orange colour, surrounded by the rest which are still green and yellow, which you can probably just about see in this photo - a stunning contrast.
We also have honey fungus every year at this time in our lawn - this is a fungus which grows from the remaining roots of two very large invasive species conifer trees which were in the garden when we bought the place. They were HUGE - easily 40 feet tall and about 6 feet wide each, and blocked out most of the sunshine, so they had to go! But of course there's no way you can remove the roots without digging up most of your own garden and possibly a chunk of the neighbour's garden too, so they got left in the ground and now we get clumps of honey fungus every autumn. The golden colour is amazing! This photo was taken a couple of days before they reached their maximum goldness!
Fungus in all shapes and sizes pops up at this time of year. Whilst out and about recently we spotted this beauty, three large toadstools in a clump, one still pretty much intact, each of which was larger than my hand!
Their colour reminds me of the bark of silver birch trees in the sunlight!
And these little ones. I must look up these amazing fungi and find out their names!
You can probably tell I am quite a fan of autumn. The days are shorter, which I don't like, and the temperatures can plummet, which I also don't like, but on these glorious sunny days, with a gentle breeze and mid-teens temperatures which we have still been enjoying on occasion .... that's my perfect kind of day. The colours are amazing and energizing, and with some flowers still in evidence, such as hydrangea, passion flower and fuschia to name just 3, there's so much colour everywhere that it really lifts the spirits.
Look at the size of this hydrangea bloom! Still in flower and it's almost November!
Speaking of flowers - check out these gorgeous blooms I received from my nearest and dearest for my birthday recently - gorgeous! Autumn in a vase - perfect!
And these ..... so much colour! I'm such a lucky lady.
The other thing I love about autumn, is fruit crumbles! We only ever eat them during the colder months of the year. Any fruit will do - my favourites being apple, pear or plum - and they are warm and comforting as well as feeling rather indulgent after months of salads! This week we made our first crumble of this autumn - yellow plum. It's almost gone now, just one portion each remains, which will be greatly enjoyed later today. Yes, it's looking a bit sad now - but you can see the fruit, and the juices, and the jammy crumble ..... is your tummy rumbling? Mine is!
The colours in this crumble are a very good representation of autumn, with the yellow/green of the plums and the juices which go a lovely golden orange colour when cooked, and having enjoyed indulging in this long-awaited gastronomic pleasure, I felt the best way to mark the occasion was to make some cards with an autumnal theme!
I decided to use papers from the Prima Autumn Sunset collection and made two smaller 6x4 cards and one 8x8. This collection really encapsulates autumn, with the oranges and golds, pumpkins and pears, butterflies and more. There is also an almost-rose-gold foiling on some elements. With such beautiful designs, I try not to use too many embellishments because I feel they obscure the designs on the papers too much, so they are not fussy cards. That seems to be my style, generally speaking - unfussy - but that's because I love the papers so much and want them to shine through in their own right! So here they are:
On this 6x4 card, as well as using paper from one of the Autumn Sunset paper pads, I also used one of the small journalling cards, plus a couple of butterflies from the ephemera pack. I used Sue Wilson's Noble Collection Double-Stitched Rectangles die set to create the double-stitched frame and Lisa Horton's Everyday Ticker Tape Sentiments stamp set for the message.
This 8x8 card features papers from the 8x8 pad, which I only needed to trim down a little to leave a narrow white margin on the card. I added a stitched square made using Sue Wilson's Noble Collection Double Stitched Squares die set, onto which I added another paper which features a fox and a sleeping deer - so adorable - on top of which I used two cards from the journalling cards pack (the 3x4 cards), plus some elements from the ephemera pack, including a butterfly with gold foiling on the wings. I cut the word "LOVE" from one of the papers and then stamped my own word "WITH" using the ticker tape sentiments stamps, using gold embossing powder to give it that foiled look. I added a strip of cream coloured lace on the left edge and finished with a few self-adhesive pearls.
This final 6x4 card features a gingham pattern as the base layer, onto which I added a stitched rectangle with a strip of another paper over the top, overlapping on the left and right. I used 3 pretty flowers from one of the Autumn Sunset flower packs, plus another butterfly. Finished with the word "HELLO" stamped onto white card, and some little self-adhesive gems.
With all three of these cards I used papers on the inside as well, but this is a personal choice and simply leaving the cards white inside is perfectly fine.
The Autumn Sunset collection, the dies and stamps, as well as a wide selection of ink pads and embossing powders, can all be found in our online shop.
See you soon!