'If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.' Thomas Edison

22 December 2011

Two Days....

Two days, both holding two different meanings for me.  Firstly, my first born turned 14.  We opened presents, we gathered the larger family together to have food and celebrate,....

...we ate cake, we laughed, we listened to music...

....we gave him his own door key (thank you Claire for the idea), with a keyring made by the fabulous Pippa.  Go take a peek at her shop ...she can do bespoke items too :o).  As I was in the kitchen for most of the day I also made the Christmas puds.

Second day...the six year anniversary marking the day my Mum died.  I still dwell on the details of the day, even though I know I shouldn't.  I know I would get loads more christmassy things done if I weren't counting down the days until this day, but.... on the actual day (the 21st) I'm actually ok.  I light a candle, my mood lifts, I think of her, I made two lots of soap in preparation for my first craft fairs, I made the cards for the boys and the Hubby...

 ...I finished the chocolate frog earrings (a pair for a lovely friend and a pair for me)...

...I made some hanging snowmen for two other lovely friends from the home ed group.  By the end of the night I was very excited about Christmas again.  I dreamt about her overnight...she came to see me...she's still there, in my heart :o).

19 December 2011


Well, the tree is up, some of the pressies are wrapped, the food is ordered or in the freezer, the invites are out, but...I don't know, I'm just not really feeling it yet!  Is it really this weekend?  Am I the only one feeling like this?  Maybe its the blooming cold that has been lingering in the background for over a week, that finally decided yesterday that it would rear it's head properly.  Out came the honey, lemon and echinacea again.  Probably a bit late, but when it was just sort of lingering in the background I stopped making it...serves me right really ;o).

(mmmmmm, dumplings...)

So today, I'm waiting for the shopping to arrive, I'm waiting for the courier to pick up a box of milk bottle tops (recycling for charity), I'm preparing for tomorrows birthday (eek a 14 year old), I'm sneezing alot, I'm hoping the glass doors will be back on the painted and filled cupboards so I can show you them, cos I LOVE them, and I'll be trying to find my Christmas zing again.

12 December 2011

Beautiful Things

I finally got the doilies in my window (and no, I didn't get round to washing the windows first ;o) ).  They look beautiful and work really well.  Ooh, I meant to take a picture of my money tree plants because they are flowering!  I've had them for years and didn't even know they did that...they have the most beautiful delicate white flowers...has anyone else's flowered?  I'll try and get a piccie later.

I forgot to show you my beautiful needle felted Yule log last week.  Isn't it wonderful?  I got it from the very talented Dawn over at Dawns Woolly World.

Lastly, for now, is the most beautiful white hyacinth flowers that adorn my kitchen table (along with a ton of rubbish!).  Wish I didn't have this snotty nose so I could actually smell them!

09 December 2011

Wreaths and cupboards (unimaginative title but brain too tired to think ;o) )

So the cake is finally made (the soaking fruit sat on the side for three days!), and these gorgeous, fabulous kitchen cupboards (upside down and without the glass in the picture) are now on the wall waiting to be painted.  I just love, love, love the 1950s cupboards - my Nan has some on her wall, and now we do too :o). 

I also made this the other night.  It used to be a necklace which was given to me for my birthday.  I didn't really like it as a necklace but didn't want to be ungrateful and get rid, so I changed it into this mini wreath.

05 December 2011

Christmas is coming...

...so I thought I better make a start on the cake!  Here's the fruit soaking in brandy and sherry.  I've also made the mincemeat...it looks quite disgusting in this picture but, trust me, it's delicious.  I use Delia Smiths recipes for the puddings, the cake and the mincemeat as I find them very easy to do and I've always had good results from them.   Anyway, back to the mincemeat...it is now packed tightly into jars waiting for me to start on the mince pies in a few weeks.

I'm also drying some apples and oranges.  It's the first time I've dried apples...I forgot to brush them with lemon juice so they've gone a little brown.  There are more oranges still drying as they are taking ages.  Lets hope I don't burn them like I did last year!

Don't forget the give-away over on this enchanted Pixie

Give-away :o)

I'm having a little give-away over at the lovely 'this enchanted Pixie' blog.  Pop over for details on entering, so you'll be in with a chance to win three bars of my lovely soap :o)

02 December 2011


See that lovely dragon up there?  My lovely, lovely friend made this beautiful gift just for me....to congratulate me for passing my driving test.  Isn't it just wonderful....how special for someone to take time out to make something just for me.

While at home ed group we made clementine and clove pomanders and cinnamon bundles ready for christmas and then today we are making lego figure wax crayons.  I think there will be an army by tea time ;o)

30 November 2011

The trouble with driving...

...is the amount of time spent out of the house, meaning that hardly anything gets done!!  I honestly don't know what I've been doing these past few weeks.  Christmas seems to be creeping up far too fast for my liking.  I have done a fair bit of gift buying (the joys of having children who are still easily pleased by Lego!) but I really must get on with the cake, puddings and mincemeat side of things.  I did actually manage some baking yesterday.  This has got to be the first time in months...shame on me. 

I did manage to get my doilies starched a couple of days ago, now I just need to wash the windows before I hang them up.  Right, must go get ready as I've got someone coming to pick up an order in an hour and it's not very professional to hand it out whilst still in my dressing gown ;o).

16 November 2011


Well hello... it's been a busy week again.  I've been making a new batch of soap everyday for the last few days.  I've also been out driving, which I'm loving!  I've had a lovely day out with my sister and our two youngest kids.  And this morning the youngest and I went trawling the local charity shops.  I had a good little haul - the above mini doilies were 10p each and I'm going to spray them with starch and hang them from the windows as snow flakes.  This book was 60p.......60p!!!!  How mad is that?!It's full of information - fab for my soap making.

I also got this blue valance (much nicer blue in the flesh) for £1.  I'll use this for material. 

I've also been making a new Christmas Decoration which is on the other blog (as the photo is on the other computer).  I'll hopefully get some more of those done, and I've got an idea for a new card too.  I should probably be doing some housework too, but what the heck...sewing and soap making are much more fun :o)

08 November 2011

What have I been doing?

What have I been doing?  Do you know what..I couldn't even tell you?  The days are just whizzing by aren't they.  I'm sure everyone must be feeling it!  I can tell you what we did today though ;o).  We went to visit my lovely Nan, who cooked us lunch, then we went to see the Seals at Donna Nook which is just up the road from hers.   It was a wonderful sight seeing them all and listening to the noises they make.  The pup in the first picture isn't very old as you can still see the umbilical cord.

Oh..we were invited to a lovely bonfire party on Sunday evening.  We all had a fabulous time with wonderful food, wonderful friends and a bonfire and fireworks.  I drove there too (and home in the dark) which was great.  I'm trying to get out as much as I can - today was the furthest I have driven, with big ditches and narrow roads! 

I've hardly done any crafting though...the crochet scarf which was going to be for the MILs birthday will now be a Christmas present!  I did manage to make a big batch of butternut squash soup yesterday (see above) but it has been noted by several members of the household that the cake tins have been empty for far too long.  Looks like I need to pull my socks up ;o).

27 October 2011


I'm not usually one for text speak but OMG..I passed my driving test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thought I'd failed as a bloody rag 'n' bone cart pulled in front of me (it could only happen to me on my test), then I ended up stalling...but, anyway, I passed!!!!!!!! 

Flipping heck, that means I'm allowed out on my own...eek!

26 October 2011


...I'm surprisingly calm, although if my last couple of lessons are anything to go by, I'm sure I won't stay calm for long!  Why is it when I get close to something as huge as a driving test I end up making silly mistakes while driving!  Anyway, tomorrow is the big day.  My hubby is the only family member who knows the exact date and time, as I didn't want people constantly asking about it.  It would be really great if you could all keep your fingers crossed for me...hopefully I'll have my little green P to show you. xx

23 October 2011


13 days since I last posted!  Loads has been happening - my youngest turned 5, I've had an appointment with a business adviser about making Handmade Haven official, visits to our local Fishing Heritage Centre and the National Space Centre, and more driving lessons in preparation for my test next week.  Trying to remain calm about that last one but the closer I get the worse I feel (rescue remedy helping a little).

I made grape jelly yesterday with the mountain of grapes my Dad brought me from his vines.  Still got to use another pile too!  Not much else to say really...hope everyone else is keeping busy.

10 October 2011


Where has the week gone again!  We've had a whole week sat at the table and it's fabulous.  I've had more driving lessons...and booked my test for the end of the month, eeeekkkk.  I've done lots of sewing, website changing, and waiting for deliveries so I can get on with the new soap varieties over at Handmade Haven.

It's hubby's birthday today so I made his card yesterday while he was at work.  Today I shall be making tea for the stream of people that will be in and out, I'll be trying to ignore the lounge that still looks like a storeroom because of the kitchen, and I'll be making homemade pizza for tea.  Doesn't sound too bad (especially if I manage to make some soap too).

02 October 2011

At last

(Picture by JJ)

After living here for 4 years, 4 months and 1 week, we finally had our first meal sat at a table...and how fabulous it was.  When we moved in the kitchen was tiny, with an even tinier breakfast bar!!  Not suitable at all for 5 people (even though one of them had a high chair!).  So after adding a bedroom, moving a bathroom and a bedroom, then knocking a couple of other internal walls down, having 2 Christmas lunches on our knee!!!!, we had the space to put up a table.  We still need to paint and sort out the flooring, but heck...we really, really needed that table. 

27 September 2011

Cowl/Snood Pattern (hopefully)

 (picture 1)

Firstly, I used 2 balls of Twilleys Freedom wool (100m), with a 10mm hook.  Make a foundation chain so it's big enough to fit over your head and is divisable by 4 (I did 72).  Join, making sure you don't twist the chain, then turn (picture 1).

 (picture 2)

 (picture 3)

Round 1.  *Chain 4 (picture 2), then join this to the foundation chain 4 links along (picture 3)*. 

 (picture 4)

* Repeat to the end then join the last ch4 to the first chain in the very first ch4 you started the round with.  Slip stitch into the loop created (picture 5).

 (picture 5)

(picture 6)

Round 3 to end.  *chain 4, slip stitch into loop*  *repeat to the desired length of your cowl.

 (picture 7 - you can see the pattern beginning to form)

(picture 8)

To finish, slip stitch through loop then pull thread all the way through (picture 8).  Weave in ends.

(picture 9)

If this pattern makes any sense at all your cowl pattern should look like picture 9 ;o).  I've never written a pattern down before so let me know how you get on...please.