Weekend Reading

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The temperature seems to have dropped in the past few days and though I haven’t spotted any frost, the heating is on pretty much all the time now. As you can see from the photo above, Louis doesn’t seem to feel much of the cold though. As for me, I’ve been spending most of my time inside packaging up bath salts, soaps, and goodies in preparation for all the events I have planned for the Christmas season. One of my biggest shows of the year will be running from November 21st-24th in Douglas town centre and I’m busy making sure I’ll have plenty of stock.

Work with the allotment and bees is fairly quiet at the moment though I do need to put in a bit more time tidying up my plot before my schedule starts to get too busy. I still have leeks, brussels sprouts, carrots, chard, and a few other veggies on the go but most of the veg is over for the time being. I’m looking forward to a good harvest of Purple Sprouting Broccoli in the new year though and hope that the birds don’t nibble at my plants over the winter. They seem to leave the plants alone in preference for cabbage and other produce but with those gone over the winter I’m thinking that I’ll need set up some netting.

Have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back with you next week with quite a long post on basic soap recipes and formulating your own. It’s been a real work in progress but hopefully will be a good resource for those starting up with making their own natural soap!

Weekend Reading


This project for making candle holders from dry twigs barely needs instructions. All you do is glue dried twigs to the vessel of your choice. Add a candle and voila, a beautiful handmade craft to use yourself or present as a gift.

We’re into November and it’s time to start feeding the birds. Our Fairfield Home & Garden gives tips and photo examples on how to keep your local birds and wildlife protected and well fed throughout the leaner months of autumn and winter.

I’m in love with this Brown-Butter Banana Beehive cake from Zoe bakes! My birthday is next September btw 😉

Look away now Vegans and Vegetarians! The Gardening Cook shares her recipe for the Ultimate Grilled Marinated Steak. Looks divine.

If you’re anywhere near northern Georgia in the USA then make a trip to this miniature animal farm a priority. Tanglewood Farm has all kinds of tiny farm animals including sheep, ponies, chickens, pigs, and cows. Serious cuteness overload.

Time to clean up those sad veggie and flower beds and put fragile garden pieces away for the winter. Have a read through this post from the Garden Charmers for more tips on winterizing your garden.

Who knew that chickens can actually get a form of Chicken Pox?? Garden Betty’s hens seem to have recovered okay but you can’t help but feel sorry for these little ladies with their spotty combs.

…and here are a few highlights from my week and Facebook page:

After Miracel passed on we’re now left with just four hens and Randy the Rooster. All are doing great and are enjoying their foraging trips into the garden each day.
A soaper friend of mine has inspired me to make ‘Farmhouse Soap’ by melding pieces of all of my soap types together. What do you think?

Fancy learning how to weave willow baskets or Christmas ornaments? Then get in touch with John Dog Callister (see above). Courses offered throughout November and December. 
Children at Kewaige, a primary school in the Isle of Man, built this wonderful insect and wildlife hotel with the help of several local businesses. I think it’s ‘the bees knees’!

10 Discussion to this post

  1. I love that farmhouse soap Tanya – I think it is a great idea.
    I cannot see which of those birds is a rooster – they all look like hens to me.

  2. CJ says:

    Love the insect hotel, it's fantastic. Your post has made me feel very cosy. It's the time of year to be inside keeping warm I think. I haven't been to the allotment for over two weeks now, it's just been too wet, and half term as well meant I was doing other things. Your cat looks so happy! Hope you have a good weekend.

  3. Even here in the south, I'm putting the heating on for a good part of the day but, when it's not raining, it's lovely to be outdoors moving around. I wish I lived close enough to attend those willow weaving classes, what a fun activity to lead up to Christmas! Hope the preparation for your November show goes well and have a lovely weekend!

  4. Leigh says:

    Louis absolutely has the right idea!

  5. Hi Tanya…love the look of the farmhouse soap… The willow basket making looks like a great thing…wish I lived close enough to have a go!!

    Love the bug hotel. A friends girls are going to make one like this on my bee plot in the top corner ready for the years to come and it is currently a work in progress, I think ours i going to have a more 'rustic' look to it though!!

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