Friday, 18 December 2015

Winter time


A forage this morning across the fields.  Its barren and wintery now, the land stripped of all bright brazen colour, winter is the season of muted shades.  The lush corn long gone,  fodder for the cows over the long winter months to come, making the walk across the field to the ridge open and exposed to the elements, the wind whips making my eyes water.   Its wet and muddy underfoot, from all the rain, definitely wellie weather.... I'm waiting for the cold to come, its just too mild for December.  I don't even mind if it snows in fact I'd love it if it would snow.

 Taking time out to remember the small things and not get caught up in the chaos that Christmas can bring

A new to me earthenware bowl from the dump, perfect for the chestnuts.

And it seems I just couldn't wait and wore my Christmas Pinny to the Alzheimer's Christmas Party, the bloomers were quite a hit!

Fires lit now, there's a casserole slow cooking with pumpkin and chestnut and good beef from the butcher's in the village.... its smelling mighty fine.

I have one more present to knit and then I'm all done for gift making.
Im looking for a new knitty project...
how about you? 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


of my day in Glastonbury

Last bits of yuletide preparations completed


I used to grow a lot of herbs in our old home.  The garden was a good size and I had a large area just for herbs, plans for the future include building a new herb garden.

The fencing guy is coming this week hopefully, the old dead leylandii hedge has been taken out, and its a total mess out there!  I cant start anything until the fence is up, my fingers are twitching.

In the meantime I need to study and read and learn as much as I can.  I will tell you, Im excited for my plans, very much so

Til next time

Plotting and Planning....

hettie brown xx

Sunday, 13 December 2015


With the Winter months comes time for reflection,
its cosy in the cottage, the lights are low, the woodburners lit, even though its quite mild for December there is still enough of a chill of an evening for snuggling in & rugging up.

So although outside speaks of death and decay, mother nature is really only just resting her soul for the new season ahead.

I feel this also, as if my soul is resting, and taking time out, to nurture and nest.

I am thinking lots about what i hope for, for the coming months ahead, and I have lots of plans that I hope will come into fruition.

This past year has had its ups and downs to say the least, although its been a tough one I think I've learnt an awful lot, about the things I do want, the things I dont want and the person I am.  I've realised its important to work on your natural talents rather than trying to mold yourself into something else.

I read over on Milla's blog which is one of my very favourites, that it is maybe thought these days that blogging has come a tad redundant, I loved her responce to that....that she's waiting for blogging to become retro....& I figure i'm waiting for that too.  I'm hoping to grow my blog and give it some love, so it maybe becomes a nice cosy place to visit, a little like coming home.  I have thoughts on retreating slightly from other forms of social media.  I like instagram but just lately its been bombarded with adverts and sometimes I feel like, whos actually in control here? Mr says I think too much but I dont like the big guys invading my space and basically shoving stuff right up my nose!  If i want to like something I'll use my noggin and like it for myself.  I dont know maybe its just me but I hate the whole big brother aspect of it.  I'm still thinking that one out...whats your thoughts?

lastly but not leastly, I'm hoping to do a lot more reading, these books I rescued form the dump in the week, just as I got home the heavens opened and so I felt pretty happy I managed to save them before they were ruined forever.

speak soon
hettie brown xx

Friday, 11 December 2015

Slow & Steady

Is it me or does life go faster and faster? How quick can I do this, How fast can I do that? Whats the quickest root here?   SLOW & STEADY it seems is very much out of fashion now.  we are just not willing to wait for a thing, no siree.  I took Daughter into town yesterday after school, and found my self totally out of my comfort zone in High street stores selling an awful lot of stuff.  I felt like a square peg in a round hole, and it has made me realise how far I have come,on my path to a simpler life.  I haven't bought any new clothing since August, and am  happy making and thrifting my own clothes

I finished my new pinny for Christmas, its from the Merchant and Mills Trapeze dress pattern but this time a sleeveless version.  The fabric is a wool mix in a soft brown.

The sleeveless version I found quite tricky, harder than sleeves infact, but got there in the end and it fits real nicely.

Even Mr Brown said how much he liked my Pinny and that not many folk can say they made there own christmas Frock, which made me feel very happy indeed. 

I got myself an old Kodak film camera, from the Charity Shop, of which I have not a clue what I am doing, or even if it works.  But I have been taking it with me, out & about and reading lots on how it should work.  Im enjoying this so much, and excited to know if I have been taking blurry rubbish photos or actually no photos at all!! or maybe if the camera gods are shining on me some actual alright photos.  With film, of course you must go slow & steady as you have to finish your film and then send it away to be developed, I'm excited by this process.  And feel it may be rather a steep learning curve, but one well worth the effort.

So for now I leave you, are you in fast & furious mode? or slow & steady? I'm wondering.....

hettie brown xx

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

homespun Christmas ~ dried orange slices

Today I made dried orange slices
I thought I'd share how I went about doing so
As it was such a festive thing to do and made the little cottage smell wonderful....

Firstly you need to slice your oranges
I used large and medium ones, but you can use grapefruit, apples etc.

Place your sliced orange on a wire rack of a baking tin.

Then pop them in a pre heated oven.

100 degrees
I had it on fan.

Slowly bake, every now and then open the oven door to let the steam out, I also turned the m a couple of times so they didn't catch. It took 2/3 hours for them to dry completely.

Get all cosy...
Thread some string through your oranges...
Maybe with your favourite tipple...

Chin chin 


Tuesday, 1 December 2015


This is Pip

She lives in an old tin, and likes poetry and peacefulness.....

She's wearing a hand stitched 1950s Mabel lucie attwell fabric frock.

I will be listing her in my etsy shop soon 


Monday, 30 November 2015

The trapeze dress

I'm a bit behind on blogging, and haven't yet shown you my newly sewn trapeze dress. 

Pattern is from Merchant & Mills by far my most favourite shop in the whole wide world! 

The first attempt was a size 12, and it turned out a bit big.

So I took it down to a 10 for the second, it's now my go to wardrobe essential as its so easy to wear and so comfy.  It's a fairly easy make and quite quick. 

So have just started a sleeveless version in a wool mix which I'll wear as a pinifore. 


Thursday, 26 November 2015


I think the last time you met Sid he was in a rather uncompromising situation

 known as Sid to his nearest and dearest, knows exactly where he's at, unfortunately other folks have no clue where Sids at or which way up he goes, most of the time..... He has taken to wearing his woes on his knitted underpants, safe in the knowledge that he is just rather *misunderstood*

I'm really happy to say that things have improved immensely since then for Sid, and for me for that matter.  On the one hand life is looking decidedly more chirpy than it has been for a while, and my lack of blogginess has not been due to feeling sad but to feeling happier and being busy.

Happy thing #1

I now have a fair few old folks who need my help, I have two old chaps with dodgy knees, although the dury is out on little old man #1 with dodgy knees, {i say nothing!!} I also have 2 {very} old little old ladies, and two doglets to look after. This week has been busy, I cleaned little old ladies shower with cold water and vinegar...{she swears by the stuff}, me personally I wouldn't recommend it. I then rustled her up a delicious soup with a limp carrot and some left over cabbage, which quite frankly pushed my culinary skills to the limit!  leaving her settled in her favourite chair, soup bubbling away, hoovering done, and a sparkling shower....albeit stinking of vinegar,.....
Thursdays are now officially my new favourite day, as Thursdays I volunteer at the alzheimer's group in town.  and really that is what I waned to share with you, as since starting,  my heart has been filled up with so much love and my brain with so many thoughts...sad thoughts & happy thoughts. Alzheimer's is such a terribly sad disease the cruelest in some ways, because it takes from you the things that are most precious, your memories.
There is a lady named Dora who really is quite advanced with Alzheimer's, she can barely string two words together, she  just sits.   Her husband Frank who is the nicest man.  I don't know how long they have been together, a long time, a life time of memories, but for Dora they are all gone and she cannot remember.  I have so much admiration for her husband, he cares for her and stays by her side and shows so much love that it makes my heart so full.  Today we made Christmas wreaths, basically tying scraps of fabric and ribbon onto a wire coat hanger, Dora used to craft and today she came back a little, she smiled and she made a wreath, with a little help, but it is the most I have seen of her and the person she used to be, she even spoke to me and smiled.  It has made me pretty happy that smile.

Happy thing #2

I am making again and my little Etsy shop has opened its doors once more.  This has made me very happy for there is, and always will be, a big place in my heart for my making, and for other folks to like the things that I make, makes me truly grateful.

Happy thing #3

I have so much I want to make and so many ideas i may need to grow an extra pair of hands ..... 

and lastly

happy thing #4

I am counting my blessings for the universe serving me a dodge ball, although at the time i didn't know it and I thought that life was falling to pieces I realise now it was actually falling into place and I am happier now.  I can be me, with all my flaws and faults and scattyness because that is the person I am.


little note ~ I have changed names to protect peoples privacy....except Sid, hes definitely.... Sid xx

Friday, 30 October 2015

homemade & hand~me~down #2

dottie frock sewn
from Simplicity pattern 1080
Moda floral fabric

boots oxygen
Seasalt nanna cardi in moss green
St Margarets charity shop

boots uggs

Gap corduroy Jacket ~ St Margaret's charity shop
Dyed using Dylon machine ~ Pewter Grey

Hand Knitted bear brooch & vintage thrifted tortoiseshell buttons

Edwardian petticoat ~ thrifted from vintage fair, dyed Pewter Grey

just incase you thought I didn't have a head.....

hettie brown


Friday, 23 October 2015

hettie browns homemade & hand-me-downs

For those of you who do not know, due to my recent deleting ways (do apologize)  I grew up in the Cambridgeshire fens in the 1970's.  We lived Mum, & Dad, Sis and myself in a ramshackled old house in a small village edged by miles of fenland. 

here I am outside, wearing a hand knit brown jumper, hand-me-down boys jeans wellys and a riding hat....

The house was once a butchers shop and out back there were many barns where the animals were slaughtered.  I spent my childhood & crafted my world of imagination, intertwined with the spirits of those animals, and many an alive one too, as Mum had a big heart and couldn't ever turn away a lost soul who needed a home. Maybe I was a slightly odd child.....Most of my childhood Dad was renovating the house, he bought it so cheap and saved and saved on his milkround, to buy it.  Alas it was in a poor state and I know that Mum used to cook our dinners on a camping stove and wash up in a bucket for years!   During the winter of 1976 Dad ripped out the old staircase and when it was time for bed we went by ladder, my Mum would be so scared incase we plummeted of the landing in the middle of the night, she always kept a night light burning. 
Any how I digress, we weren't rich, and most of my clothes, for day to day were hand-me-downs, usually boys! as Mum's best friend had a boy just older than me, I didn't care for him that much, but then that is another story! Our clothes also came form the jumble sales in the village, I wore other people's castoffs and didn't really think about it. Mum also made our clothes, but only when we were very small. 

So Thus I have grown up with a love of thrift, second hand, and homemade.  A good jumble sale is a rare treat these days, Charity shops and making my own clothes mostly makes up the majority of my wardrobe....

hettie browns homemade and hand-me-downs  it is a follow on from my homemade closet project, but will also include found second hand items, How I made it, or up-cycled it, or just kept the same,but  pre-loved by someone else.

It will reflect the kind of clothes I wear everyday.

I start today with one of my favourites, I call it my Mormon look, as its simple and earthy.....and oh so comfy.

:  Homemade ditsy floral blouse, with peter pan collar, drafted from my own pattern

:  Black linen tank charity shop £3.00

:  Homemade Saturday Skirt from ~ Sew What You Love by Tanya Whelan


:  Boots Oxygen (not second hand)