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Cold and frosty! The pond is completely frozen and yesterday hail stones the size of small pebbles were bouncing and dancing on the icy surface. Today there has been sunshine, but already the temperature is below freezing again. We brought in some logs for the old Rayburn today to stack around it to dry out, but the log pile was frozen solid! We had to drop clusters of logs to smash them apart before we could load up the barrow! The birds are now feasting on the bird table as the light fades, preparing for another long cold night.

I have been sorting out my studio and wrapping presents, planning Christmas food and thinking about getting the decorations down from the attic. Now that the Christmas orders from shops and galleries are all on the shelves and the online shop here is well-stocked I can take a breather! It is a time when I think of new designs and in the depths of winter I love to source fabrics old and new for inspiration and colours ready for launching off in the New Year!

With my best wishes for a very Happy Christmas and a huge thankyou for your custom throughout the year.

October was the wettest on record here on the Lincolnshire East coast, overcast and dull too, with very few sunny days. This photo was taken in November last year, a prettier picture than any I could take in the garden today. Fortunately we have escaped the pretty bad flooding not far from here.

I am preparing for Christmas, both domestically and in my stitching! There is always a lot to do at this time of year as November flashes past and by December there is not much time left to stitch for selling, or plan ahead for Christmas guests; I have learned it pays to get cracking early!

This year I have designed and stitched several new Christmas card designs, including the ‘White Christmas’ trio which is selling well; the Scandi-themed designs in red white and silvery grey are a new twist in some of my earlier designs. Seasonal framed items have been re-stotcked too, like ‘Robins with Mistletoe’ and ‘Blackbirds with Winter Berries’ which as one of my kind customers told me ‘make a special little gift to last a lifetime’ !

Here's hoping for some bright crisp frosty days to cheer us as we head towards Christmas!

Most of our vegetable harvesting is now done, with the last lot of tomatoes, and courgettes incorporated into a large pot of minestrone soup, along with a couple of the leeks (from the bed which will last all winter) and a couple of red peppers from the overgrown greenhouse. The soup is now potted up in the freezer all ready for cold winter days. The squashes are curing in the conservatory, taking up some of the space where Bramble likes to sleep!

The garden jobs change at this time of year; no more weeding and watering, but apples to store, the last seeds to collect, and logs to bring indoors. My work continues to be mostly geared to Christmas orders although most of them are delivered now, so I can begin designing and stitching the three commissions which are waiting. Then I will photograph and list new work here to re-stock what has been sold over the summer.

As we spend more time indoors and close the curtains earlier I notice the birds are again eagerly feeding from the bird table; the hens retire before our supper now, not after and the robin is singing again after his quiet period during the late summer moult. Golden October brings sunsets and conkers, acorns and spiders, roseships and berries!

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