My favourite cottagecore books!

I made a list of all my favourite cottagecore books which you’ll love if you’re into nature, vintage, art and writing.

#1 Anne of Green Gables

#2 Little Women

#3 Heidi

#4 The Secret Garden

#5 When Marnie was There

#6 The Garden of Lost Secrets

#7 The Various

#8 The Animals of Farthing Wood

#9 Emily of New Moon

#10 Flower Fairies of the Spring

Christmas Leftovers Pie

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This pie recipe is perfect to make with leftover vegetables from Christmas and is so warming on a chilly winter evening. Plus, it is vegan and fun to make! You can also make it gluten free by using gluten free flour. The measurements are only approximate because it really doesn’t make an awful lot of different if you use a bit more or a bit less of any of the ingredients. You could also use different vegetables depending on what you have left over.

For the pastry: (you could use ready made if you are short on time)

16oz of self raising flour

8oz of dairy free margarine sliced into small pieces

Water

For the filling:

1/4 of a broccoli

3 medium carrots sliced into coins

2 small parsnips chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tbs of Dijon mustard

1 tbs of soy sauce

You will also need a rolling pin, bowl, saucepan, spoon, knife, a large pie dish, a baking tray and a selection of festive cookie cutters.

Method:

Make the pastry by placing the flour and margarine into a bowl and rubbing it together with your fingers until it forms fine breadcrumbs. Then add a small amount of water and mix with a knife until it forms a slightly sticky dough. Leave in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.

To make the filling place all the filling ingredients into a saucepan and cook on a medium heat until the vegetables are soft but not mushy. Take off the heat.

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4. Next, take half the pastry dough out of the fridge and use a rolling pin to roll it about 1 centimetre thick. Use the rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry into a greased pie dish. Use a knife to cut off the excess. Now place the filling inside the dish. Take the other half of the pastry, roll it about 1 centimetre thick and then cut out shapes with your festive cutters. Place the cut out pastry onto the pie, and then place the pastry shapes onto that. Cut off the excess. There should be a few gaps in the pastry on top of the pie but not too many.

Cook for about half an hour or until the pastry in firm and slightly golden.

Now enjoy!

Eloise xxx

Winter Wonderland

I want to start by saying that I hope you all managed to have an enjoyable Christmas despite it being very different to normal. The wish we always have for Christmas was granted to me today, even if it was a few days late! I woke up to a wonderful icing of snow sprinkling slowly down as if it was being sieved down from the heavens. The silence it created was magical – you could almost hear the buzz of quietness (a very rare sound that is so peaceful and tranquil).

I had heard that snow was on it’s way but I am always very sceptical about the weather forecast so I was very surprised when I looked out of my bedroom window to see a winter wonderland. Snow is something that doesn’t happen very often where I live, so straight after breakfast I wrapped up in my coat, gloves, scarf and ear muffs and took my camera in out into my garden. There were some beautiful gnarls of snow wrapped around the bare fingers of the Japanese maple and the hawthorn was embellished with a white wedding vail. Berries popped their Rudolph noses out of the crunching crystals and out on the road a trail of human and little dog footprints were captured in time. It was a truly magical experience and I really hope we get some more soon as it is already melting away.

I hope you like the photos I took:

Please Save the Pangolins

I was inspired to do these two drawings after watching a documentary a couple of years ago about how pangolins are sold at wet markets for their scales and meat. The documentary was heartbreaking to see and I really felt I had to do something to help these beautiful animals, so I decided to do some art to raise awareness of this terrible situation.

Covid 19 was likely caused through selling animals such as Pangolins at wet markets so this really needs to stop! You may like to consider giving a donation to https://www.savepangolins.org/ to help them. Thank you so much! xx

Crafts for Sale

I have recently set up a Depop shop selling all my own jewellery and accessories, and one of my recent creations for sale are these bookmarks with my own original illustrations for just £3 each.

My dream job is to be an artist / illustrator and designer, selling my own artworks and products with my own designs so I feel that this shop could be the start of my future livelihood.

If you are interested in purchasing these bookmarks or any of other items click here, or if you would just like to view my range of items visit my ‘Shop’ page on this site.

I hate to advertise but it would really boost my confidence if I had a few purchases. If you buy one item I will give you another item of your choice entirely FREE!

Thank you!

Eloise xxx

Watercolour blossom

I was inspired to do this watercolour painting by a beautiful hawthorn tree in my garden which is like a bridesmaid of nature during spring when it is covered from head to foot in a white – slightly tinted with pink – vale of delicate blossom.

I took some photos of the blossom while it was still out, and then did this painting from one of my photographs. As always, I feel that watercolours are the best medium to convey the pretty nature of flowers so this is what I chose.

I enjoyed doing this painting and I hope you like the result. The blossom in my garden has been taken by the harsh grip of wind now, but I still have this painting, and photograph, to remind myself of the beautiful flowers until it returns next spring. 🌸🎨

World Bee Day

I started this drawing of a honey bee about a year ago because of my passion and concern for these beautiful creatures, but have only recently got round to completing it. However, this was perfect timing because it is world bee day today!

World bee day is a time to reflect on all the reasons why I felt the need to do this drawing; bees are nature’s essential workers, we could not live without them. They pollinate flowers so plants can grow. Without plants there is no food. Without food there is no us.

So bees are important right? We couldn’t live without them. But the bad news is that bees, especially the honey bee, are becoming increasingly endangered.

Bees are dying out because of many reasons, such as diseases, which are out of our control. However, one reason they are dying is because of pollution. As the air fills with pollution, scent from plants is harder for bees to detect so they cannot pollinate flowers to make honey and get the nutrients they need. A second reason is the use of pesticides which are designed to kill species which are harmful to crops. But some of these pesticides also kill bees.

What can you do to help?

Since the coronavirus outbreak, the number of bees has risen by a small amount. This is because there is less pollution from cars as people haven’t been going out so much during the lockdown. So the best things you can do to help are: don’t use cars so much, stay away from harmful pesticides, and plant flowers such as sunflowers, rosemary, buttercups and lavender which encourage bees to continue pollinating! 🌸🌻

You can also learn more about bees and what you can do to help here: https://savebees.org/learn/

With your help we can save the bees! 🐝

Thank you,

Eloise xxx

Windmill Pencil Drawing

I wanted to do this drawing of a windmill because of my love of the countryside. I love going on holiday to places like Wales where it is full of green fields and, occasionally, windmills but it doesn’t look like I am going to be able to go there this year because of Covid 19. So drawing it is the next best thing.

It might seem strange for me to draw beautiful things during this hard time, but art can often be used as an escape method – a way to travel somewhere else, and this is exactly what I wanted to do through this artwork.

It took about a month, on and off to complete this drawing. I enjoyed capturing the detail of all the bricks. I hope you like it too.

Eloise xxx

Rainbow Tears

The NHS, and all the other key workers have been playing a vital part in keeping the world ticking through this difficult time, so I decided to join many others in painting rainbows to put in my window as a way to say a big THANK YOU to all the amazing workers.

I thought that the delicate effect of watercolour would be the perfect medium to create my rainbows with. I did one basic, ‘simple but effective’ rainbow, with a calligraphy style ‘thank you’ in the centre:

I then created a ‘drip effect’ rainbow. The drips are designed to represent the tears and suffering caused to so many families, but the cheerful colours give hope that we will overcome this pandemic:

I hope you like these paintings, and, once again, a big a thank you to everyone doing their bit during this time!

Eloise xxx

Watercolour Tulips

Despite not being able to go anywhere or see relatives, the Easter bank holiday was sunny and was the perfect weather for sitting outside in my garden and painting.

We have some beautiful tulips in flower at the moment so I decided to paint them. I thought that watercolours would be a good way to capture the delicate and sunny mood of the flowers, plus the fact watercolours are quite easy to take outside because they aren’t too messy.

I wasn’t very pleased with this painting at first but on later inspection found that maybe it wasn’t too bad after all. My family liked it but I always feel like my art isn’t great. I thought I would share it with you anyway – let me know what you think. 😊🌸🧑‍🎨

Eloise xxx

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