Sunday, December 2, 2012

I can't believe its been a month!


I really can't believe that its been a month since I last posted. We have been busy here as usual but I have been particularly caught with making things. It all started with a message via Facebook did I want to have a stall at a christmas fair? Did I ? Well the crafting has taken over rather and I did and do still need to move items- as my sewing room -well actually the spare room- is full of bags of cushions, lavender bags, bags , christmas stockings, aprons- mostly in a completed state. There is however the mountain of fabric that I seemed to have accrued. It has become quite obsessional.

 Needless to say I did say yes to the fair - as I really needed the prompting. My stuff wasn't going to sell sitting in my back bedroom.  I have long been following Christian from Christians blog and his stories of his craft stalls have inspired me to have ago too- so thank you Christian.
 The date of the fair grew closer and closer and the closer we got,the more things I felt I needed to make!
 I had a tablecloth ready, float, bags to put sales in  ( recycled brown paper bags from work- which my daughter and I stamped with a cream paint leaf design), spare sewing kit, lunch and of course all my goodies.

The morning came and off I set. I had planned my table sort of in my head. I didn't really know the size of the table so I knew I had to play with the arrangement once I arrived. I found the hall and parked and there was my table with my name on- it was very exciting. The adrenaline was flowing!

 My table was ready to go - all we needed was the customers! I don't know what happened but there were 36 stall holders and only 50 odd customers all day ! I did make a couple of sales which went towards the cost of the stall and I did manage to part with some money for some Christmas presents but  that was my day. It was a bit of an anticlimax but hey I did my first stall! And I met some lovely stallholders!

A friend also had a Christmas evening and I made far more sales then- so at least I can get into the back room now! I now have a few orders to make for people and I will be concentrating on these before thinking on what we need  and all that christmas shopping I need to do!

Ps sorry for the quality of some of the photos but I have dropped my phone and the back is cracked and its affecting the quality of the shots - sorry!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween- Pumpkins, Biscuits and Spiders!

Mad spice
Halloween this year was spent away from home. Younger daughter went to visit Elder daughter at university and Younger Son and I went to visit my lovely Mum.

 The last two years  have been a very difficult time for the family . A serious mental illness crept into our household unnoticed and the last eighteen months  have been spent dealing with the effects this has had on us all. I am so delighted that our family relationships are re building and slowly step by step we are moving forward and in the right direction. Things have improved in ways I hadn't expected and even in the last three months things have proved so that family time has been far more enjoyable and seeing these pumpkins made by the girls makes me smile from my heart outwards!
Scary spice
 The girls  decorated my daughters flat kitchen with web type stuff and hung millions of these scarily lifelike spiders all over.

 They then had fun making and baking and decorating halloween themed biscuits

I loved the fact that although they burnt one lot of biscuits ( and they were burnt until they were black) they didnt waste them. They used the black bats to decorate the flat ! ( I'm glad I don't have to clean the walls after them!) I'm so glad they had fun and it just goes to show that you are never too old to enjoy  halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Starting to think about the C word!

Its getting near the end of October and again I was reminded by a post on Twitter that Christmas is not an awful long time away. I think I get a sort of nesting fever and it tends to start right now. My family (well mainly Mr H) find it difficult to comprehend but I hate not being ready and particularly after two years ago when I went down with flu the week on the run up to Christmas. Luckily I was reasonably ahead of the game but it did mean all hands on deck so that we were ready for the big day.

So I'm thinking of making our pickled onions this week and as its half term next week it seems an ideal opportunity for us to make the cake and Christmas pudding!
How are you doing- have you started planning yet?

Talking of half term - this is my self imposed deadline for the garlic and over winter onion planting. I do hope the weather will be kind to us!

Its a brief post today- I thought you would like to see what I have been making this morning. One of Mr H's side of the family is about to have their first baby . This will be the first baby in the next generation but unfortunately they live in New Zealand  so no quick visits to meet the new addition. Thank goodness for modern technology - at least we will get to see photos  and be able to follow the progress via Facebook etc.

Anyway I have made some burp cloths ( sick cloths - whatever you like to call them! - all hideous names but I can't think of what else to call them!) . I made them using 100% cotton with brushed cotton backing for softness and so that it won't slip off a shoulder easily!

I had to choose neutral colours as the the babies sex is going to be a surprise. I'm hoping that
the fabrics I have chosen will suit either a boy or a girl. I hope they will be liked and most importantly useful!
This afternoon I am going to have a bash at making some bibs. So wish me luck........

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A day out with Jamie and Alex at Feastival

Recently things have been a bit disorganised and chaotic. We are still settling into our new routines. Mr H and I - our routines haven't changed a lot - except I'm managing to fit in a few more days going out to work. Necessary as we now have two children at university ( in different directions of course but both beginning with C so thats helpful when the odd moment of dementia or middleageness sets in). I say children, I should really say young adults as they are definitely not children anymore.

Our younger two are now at sixth form college. I know I'm going to sound boring but "in my day we were at college from 9 until at least 4.30 every day except Wednesday which is a half day. This does not seem to be the case anymore- and we have teenagers coming and going at different times every day of the week. Also this week they have an extra two days off  so it feels as if my week has flown by in a trance! The lack of any routine is what is so difficult to get to grips with! Never mind no doubt I will get used to it just in time  for them to finish their A levels!

I'm feeling sad as I really haven't had time to blog and have so missed talking to anyone who wants to read this but it does help one to sort things  and put them into perspective. I am soooo looking forward to catching up on all the blogs I havent had time to read either! So next week I shall give myself sometime to do the things I want to do like blogging etc. Anyway enough of the rant and more blogging !

During the summer we had hoped to pop over to France for our annual holiday but  with exam results both GCSE and A levels featuring heavily this summer and also University places to sort it just wasn't going to be.
We did however manage a day trip to Jamie's Feastival on Alex James( Blur ) farm in Oxfordshire.
We had a lovely day with fabulous food on offer

They made fabulous veggie paella!

 cooking shows, and bands to listen to.

We loved it because all though there we a good number of people there we didn't feel crowded in. The loos were much cleaner and more organised than other festivals_ ( very important in our house- we like decent and clean loos!)

We got to see Jamie close up ,

( who incidentally was lovely- insisting on signing all the people in the queues books even though he had run well over time!)

We saw Gennaro

as well as Alex James, Julia Bradbury from Country File. Mr H is convinced that he saw Adam from Country file in the loos but he felt it was inappropriate to ask!

We were so lucky with the weather as it wasn't promising as we set off and I have to admit the prospect of a day sitting in the rain did not appeal. The weather cleared , just the odd spit of rain- but on the whole it was dry.

Lots of things to do!

 We saw Josh Osho, Razorlight The Guillemots,   and Texas

All in all fabulous day and I think next year we might even make  a weekend of it!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Birthday celebrations

This time of year is always manic for us as we have five birthdays and our wedding anniversary in the space of five weeks. Not very well planned you might say and I would heartily concur! But thats the hand that has been dealt to us and so we just have to grit our teeth and not think of our bank balance!

The first of our birthdays belongs to my elder son. This year  to celebrate we decided that a family day out to the New Forest was in order. Travelling time for us is probably three quarters of an hour to an hour. We love the New Forest and last year we often had a Sunday afternoon picnic- complete with Sunday papers. I have very fond memories of those trips.

This year we headed down to Beaulieu (pronounced Bewley)- I know I know it looks like it should be pronounced the French way.

Beaulieu is a lovely  unspoilt village  popular with tourists. Along the high street is a fabulous family run Garden centre - Fairbrothers. This garden centre has great plants and a lovely shop area selling lots of lovely pretty gifts. Its the sort of place that you know you will find something there for even the most difficult of people! We love browsing there.

The garden centre also has a lovely cafe called Steff's cafe where there are lots of fabulous ( good sized cakes to choose from). Their lunch menu includes many delicous options- eg local sausages and mash as well as crayfish, omlettes and panninis and so many more lovely gastronomic delights. Here we had a very enjoyable lunch before visiting Patricks Patch.

 This is a fantastic kitchen garden  which  apart from supplying the kitchen with the produce, is used to teach primary school children all about growing fruit and vegetables. I love browsing the garden - getting inspired by all the varieties grown there and dreaming of having  a similarly neat and well tended plot!.

We headed down the high street visiting the little shops and spotted some of the New Forest donkeys sauntering down the street nibbling on what ever took their fancy.

 The boys lead the way down towards the Beaulieu classic car garage where we drooled over the fantastic cars on offer.

The owners  must have had a lot of people wanting to touch and view these fabulous cars as they have a notice on the door -which made me smile.

Beaulieu incidentally is also home to the Beaulieu Motor museum- which often has some of the James Bond cars on display. A must for all car fanatics.

We made for home and arrived in time for friends to arrive for an evening barbecue. A good time was had by all!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Catching up

We have had a very busy summer with lots of comings and goings. I even found time to do some time to do my proper job. But the main goal was to see everyone settled into their academic or work enviroments. It has been a summer of nervous waiting,  anticipation and  just working out what they all wanted from their futures.
I am happy to say things have worked out well. Those of the family who didn't think they would do well- did well and are into college and doing the subjects they wanted for A levels. We have one happy member off and in the middle of freshers week at University. My elder son has changed course literally - it has  been a brave decision to leave his current job and is starting a new degree . We only heard this week that he has the student finance in place to be able to complete the course. Talk about last minute! He has his last day at work today. It was a hard decision to leave the safe confines of the work environment and the regular pay packet, especially in this current climate. How ever I think he would only have regretted not taking the plunge. He is still young enough and has no ties - so its now or never!
 So you can see things have been a bit manic. We are all trying to get used to new timetables, beginnings and changes of direction.
 I have managed to do the odd bit of cooking and crafting and hope to update you on those over the next few posts.

On one of my recent visits to the allotment I found  I had a few oversized courgettes or  should I say marrows enough to enable me to make my first batch of chutney of the year. I based my recipe around Hugh Ferningly-Withingtsalls autumn chutney recipe and substituted fruits and vegetables.
Heres the finished article.

Its been difficult waiting the required three to four weeks for it to mature and become more rounded in flavour.
The vegetable box they have been sitting in was a lovely present from a friend who knows I have a love for my allotment and all things produce. I also received this beautiful  french style first aid box. Isn't it fantastic! I just love it!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Old Margate

 One of our day trips on our recent holiday in Kent took us to Margate. We headed to the old town which is has a number of vintage shops and cafes.

Sorry I  had to include a kiss me quick type postcard!

It was a good day, sunny with some cloud but at least it was dry1

The window displays  were great . This one was in a shop front for a community project.
 There were lots of cafes including The Cupcake cafe seen here in the pedestrian square
 Sadly on this visit the vintage shops were shut. So guess what. we had to make another visit the next day!
 Oh and we found our favourite-  an old fashioned sweetie shop!
There were  a number of gift type shops.
 There were lots of lovely buildings and alleyways.
 and some lovely flower displays down near the seafront!

 And yes we returned the next day- to visit the Vintage shops- two were open this time . I bought two vintage  yellow flowery pillowcases for one of my daughters room.

 We also visited the Turner Contemporary museum to see the Tracy Emin exhibition which was certainly  thought provoking. It had a definite sexual undertone!
 We then stopped and had a coffee and cake outside on the terrace in the sun. As you can tell we love our coffee/ tea stops. I was relieved to see that not only do they offer mugs of tea  for those that like it but also  pots of tea too! I love my tea poured from a pot into a china cup and so I was a happy bunny. I am  very easily pleased. How do you like your tea? Are you a mug or a china cup person?