This month has been manic which I haven’t kept a secret from any one. It’s left me totally overwhelmed most of the time and feeling like I’m doing a very bad job at juggling 20 balls in the air. My November Styling The Seasons shots hopefully give you a peak inside my head with things dotted all over the place in confusion whilst longing for rest and a chance to take note that November is even happening. We’re slowly moving from Autumn to Winter and I haven’t given myself a moment to take that in until now.
Budapest definitely stole my heart, even in the bitterly cold and on / off drizzle. I think the thing that first struck me was just how beautiful the architecture was. Everywhere I looked there was another regal looking building, each in an array of soothing pastel tones and there I was with the camera glued to my face, staring upwards to the point where my neck hurt. I loved all the grandeur that was left a little rough round the edges telling the story of the city’s fall from grace in war time after it’s sparkling hay day. I literally had no clue about the history of this city before I arrived but I loved getting acquainted with it. The first thing I think to do in any new city is to take a free walking tour. These tours are led by locals and take you on a route throughout the city to tell you all about the history and the quirks of the place and are usually pretty amusing at the same time. I’ve taken one in Berlin, Bath, Brussels and now Budapest (apparently my city break criteria is it must begin with the letter ‘B’) and I haven’t been disappointed yet. Take one near the beginning of your trip so you can get your bearings in a new place.
I realise harvest comes in September but I’ve felt as if October has been a month that’s consistently come back to the idea of harvest. You lay your foundations way before, sewing before you even see what it will produce and there’s an excitement in the idea of harvesting all the good stuff. Your initial efforts haven’t been in vain, the results just aren’t initially visible. That’s something I particularly struggled with embarking on my freelance journey. I’ve said before, that I spent a lot of time doing the groundwork, expanding my portfolio, designing templates, setting up online shops, working for free, marketing myself and feeling like I was talking to no one, trying to somehow become known for wedding stationery. I hoped it would all go somewhere but I didn’t know for sure so I just had to keep my head down, work at it and wait and see what it produced.
Happy October! Here’s my Styling The Seasons contribution for this month. As I said before, I’ve got to the stage where I’m ready for Autumn in full pelt now. Wading through leaves, hot teas, cosy scarves and donning a blanket when reading all sound rather appealing right now. I wish the weather would catch up with the month already. I’m not so excited about losing light hours but perhaps all the pumpkin related recipes and beautiful colours in the trees will make up for it. I find it amazing that every year without fail God moves us from one season to another. For me it’s a reminder that he’s constant, creative and in control of all of nature.
So for the first year in a long time I’m embracing Autumn. Maybe it’s something to do with not having been on a soaked holiday that’s made the transition a lot easier, I’m not sure. Now I’m just thinking ‘hurry up, get a bit colder so I can get my coats out again.’ Anything in between is just plain confusing. In this autumnal spirit I thought I’d gather together some items to help inspire a spot of Autumn entertaining. Not that you need to go to town every time you have people over but sometimes it’s nice to put a bit of effort in. I enjoy that sort of thing.
- Try making a pine cone garland. It’s probably one of the simplest DIYs you could ever make and it’s essentially free.
- Why not give the plain white bowls a rest and try these gorgeous ink affect hand painted porcelain bowls. The colours are so striking along with that shot of gold.
- Bring food out on a wooden serving board to add an element of rustic, laid back charm. No need to plate everything up before hand.
- Tie everything together with a linen table runner. Table runners really do make dinners a bit special.
- It’s pumpkin season. That time of year when Pinterest goes crazy cuckoo with thousands of pumpkin drinks, meals & desserts filling up feeds everywhere. Why not try this pumpkin ricotta gnocci with pancetta and seared radiccio recipe.
- Brighten up the centre of the table with some seasonal flowers. Dhalias are about at this time of year and make beautifully big blooms for a centre piece. Arrange them in something sweet like this blue spotted clay vase.
- For so many years I had an aversion to candle stick holders and now I love them. Tie the metallics in with this metal candle holder.
- Sip your tipple out of a gold rimmed goblet. Classy.
*Putting together an online portfolio is something I’ve been putting off since Summer. I get tired just thinking about it but at least I took the first step by shooting a load of stuff with Nick last weekend.
* So the much talked about Uk storm came and went and I slept right through like a baby. The next morning Autumn lined the floor rather than the trees and it looked kind of beautiful in the aftermath Sun.
* Tea drinking and slipper wearing had been on hold for a while but October left me no choice but to take up these activities once again.
* I’m sure I bake every week anyway but I felt like I baked a whole lot more this month, trying out new recipes and rehashing classics. Baked desserts taste a million miles better than bought!
*A whole month in our new church venue and hoping to stay on much longer. I’m so thankful for God’s provision and I’m pretty sure the kids are chuffed about the extra running around space.
* I got new glasses! Hurrah I can see again! Been having a great time reciting shop and sign names from yonder distance just because I can.
*Nick and I celebrated 2 years of being married. So much has changed since that lovely day but I’m very thankful for where we are.
*This was my very first month of Freelance Fridays. Aside from the pleasing alliteration, it’s been so amazing to have an official day dedicated to doing my freelance projects. It’s made my weekends a lot more relaxing. Welcome to my studio…our dining table.
*Leaves are turning golden and lining the pavements. Nick’s ‘I love Autumn’ t-shirt has been worn all through Spring & Summer but has finally lost it’s irony.
*Plans have been underway for our church to move for a trial at a new venue next Sunday. For more info check out the Trinity West blog.
*My favourite children’s illustrator came to town! We made the most of it by visiting Mr Jeffer’s new exhibition at Lazarides and spent an evening listening to him talk about his life, work and inspiration at the Southbank Centre. What a legend!