>Nature inspired

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This English summer has made me want to go for long walks in nature and stop to smell the flowers, admire the hanging baskets and listen to the birds. I love the following British brands who have turned their inspiration in to gorgeous prints and products:

Vanessa Aarbuthnott
Massey and Rogers
Rapture and Wright

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>South African love

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I am so happy and proud of South Africa hosting the World Cup. It seems to have been a really wonderful nation builder and that is always incredible to watch for any nation in this big world. Being far away from it all makes me miss home and remember things that I love…
peanut butter and jam sarmies on fresh white bread
the karoo
chappies bubble gum
buying things in Rands
rondavels
drinking g&t on the verandah
the sound of windmills
wide open space
my family
african mamas laughing from their bellies
old yellow number plates
children playing soccer on the side of the road
dipping rusks* in morning tea
ubuntu**
bokaap in cape town
5fm
bobotie and Mrs Balls chutney
big and quirky south african homes {enjoy Frank Features by the lovely Kerryn Fischer and Luanne Toms}
the word “eina”

* Make some rusks:
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients.
Combine all the wet ingredients, pour them into the dry ingredients, and stir until you have a soft dough, similar to biscuit dough.
Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and roll or pat it to about a 1/2 inch thickness.
Cut the dough into rectangles about 2 by 4 inches. Bake the rusks about 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheet for about 25 minutes until the tops are crisping and browning a little.
Loosely pile the rusks on a baking sheet and keep them in a 200 degree oven all day or all night (about 12 hours) to dry. The finished rusks should be very dry and hard. Cool and store in a beautiful airtight tin. Rusks will keep for weeks for dunking and enjoying.

**I received an email about Ubuntu and it reminded me of the need for community in our current world. Archbishop Desmond Tutu described Ubuntu in 2008: ‘One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. 
We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

>Truth is

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I am tired of being at my screen.

All I want to do is hold a book, turn the pages, smell the paper; bake cookies and smell them in the oven, lick dough off my fingers; lie in the green grass in the park looking up at the sky; walk fast outside and breathe the fresh air in; speak on the phone with my nearest and dearest; sew and iron and knit and feel the fabric and wool in my fingers.

So that is why I have not been blogging. Yes, I know I have been a rubbish blogger. I am kind of tired of it in some ways. Me, the screen, a monologue. Blogs for the next season may be sporadic and random. But I have found a whole lots of blogs that you might love so you can go and read them everyday; is that okay?

Anyway, my love bought me a sewing machine. How awesome? So I am on a one-woman mission to learn how to sew extravagantly and I am going to be burrowing my head in fabric and pins and pressing and stitching. Some blogs and websites I have been perusing for inspiration and that I wanted to keep in a safe place to click on:
Colette Patterns
Anna Maria Horner
Lena Corwin
Free Needle
Sew Mama Sew!
Anna Allen
Very Purple Person

Some other blogs I have discovered, or been told about and enjoyed:
Under a Paper Moon {where I got these lovely pics; see her blog for where she got ’em!}
Curious Bird
Playing Grown Up {Thanks Tess!}
Cakies
Love Notes and Polaroids
I might not see you again for a while I must warn you. I am off to sew!