Saturday, 30 December 2017

Upwards and Onwards

.........and once more into the breach dear friends......I have not sat idle despite not being up at the  moment to play with the new embroidery machine although hopefully will get to play prior going back to work next week (cold allowing).

In the coming year I intend to really get to grips with the following:


I have ordered wool to make myself a blanket throw for my bed worked piecemeal in squares. The wool has been ordered via the Patchwork Heart (Derramores) and there is what is called a Black Forest Collection which is   pinks, brown, heathers very pretty.  The colourway should blend very well with the hexie patchwork I have on the go.  I am a big sucker for comfort and so to have this blanket finished before winter next year will be very gratifying and something cosy to snuggle under.  It is for a Super King sized bed. 

I must get back into doing the hexie patchwork a little bit at a time also.  This is ideal for working during the week as well.  It is something I can pick up and put down and build up gradually especially when I do not have a lot of time to do something.   It is being hand-worked.


I have a big pile of unfinished items to clear up and also a whole stack of new stuff.  Will try and get the UFOS out the way first.

Embroidery machine

Now I really need to get to grips with this one.  Hopefully when I have my head sorted I will get to be able to play before I go back to work next week.  The idea behind this is to make as many Christmas presents and birthday presents etc. throughout the year as I can

Ordinary General Machine and Patchwork

This is also hopefully going to get sorted over this weekend.  It may come out before the embroidery machine merely so that I can feel as though I am accomplishing something.  I have jelly rolls to make up in Christmas fabrics and creams and the idea is to make two throws from these for Christmas next year .  I also have a whole stack of panels, advent calendars, table mats, tablecloths etc. also to make up including a heap of repairs. 


I have sent off for fresh yeast, and also a sourdough yeast.  I have tried with the sourdough before and managed to kill the mother off so I am hoping that I will get to grips with it now.  The fresh yeast is 1kg block which I am going to split down into useable amounts and then pop into the freezer.  My mum always used to make lovely bread from fresh yeast.  So I am waiting for these to come.  I may also start off another sourdough mother myself bearing in mind I have some grapes that need using up and this was the  method I used before but we will see how we will get on first.  There are several things that I want to get to grips with this year.  This is for the bread.


I also want to take this a step further than I have done to date and I am doing further research into this as we speak.  Being able to produce simple cheese at home would save a lot of money.  One of the things I am trying to do is to buy only what I have to i.e. the bare ingredients and to prepare the rest of this myself.

Home made Liqueurs and spirit based preserves

I shall continue to make these they have turned out well.  I shall continue buying in a bottle of Vodka, Brandy or gin during the beginning of the year to make further variations for this year to come.  Now I know where the sloes are I shall hopefully sloes providing make more sloe gin than I did this year as this could be a lovely one for a Christmas hamper.


I need to get back into the swing of things on the wine front.  I did for a little while last year but then it lapsed again.  I have a few kits to start with.  I also intend to make some house Orange, lemon, and grapefruit wines which I have been reasonably successful with in the past.  Home made country wines are the best.


This is where I really want to get to grips with things. My aim is to provide my own charcuterie for Christmas next year (whether it will be achieved or not is another thing but that is the direction I am going in). It is going to be a steep learning curve but we only grow if we learn. 


This is definitely going to be put into use but I think I need more space for storage than I actually have at the moment.  This will get brought into play early on in the year as I want to get a head start on this although I am still sourcing recipes and also instructions on doing various things.


I intend to use this a lot more than I did last year.  I have been pleased with the results so far.  I am going to strive at getting a lot of grapes and fruits dried  for use next Christmas.  Yet again I am aiming to do my own fruit for my Christmas cake.


I want to get back into a proper baking day as well - time when I just do not bake but make and prepare things for the freezer or the fridge for use further on or during the week.  I would hope to do this on a Saturday  - the day when I can get to the veg shop, but I want to make things like home made Cornish pasties and fruit pies etc. so that we can feed fairly well during the week with the minimum amount of effort.  Making the pastries and the cakes for ourselves and for my brother gave me an awful lot of pleasure and I was particularly pleased with how things turned out in the long run.  There is still a lot to do and still a long way to go though.

So there is a lot on the plate and plenty to get stuck into as usual.  I would not have it any other way.  I do not get a chance to get bored then.

Right upwards and onwards.

Catch you sometime tomorrow.




  1. My Goodness Patti, that's an awful lot to get through especially when you work full time too - I think I need to get my act together, I made a lot of Christmas gifts during 2016, but didn't in 2017 and I felt under pressure this Christmas by not being organised, so need to follow your lead and sort myself out - Good Luck with that list xx

  2. I am going to need it but if you do not aim high and start out with good intentions. Its just a yardarm really. When I do stuff I tend to do it in tranches like make a load of liqueurs together, or jam, or oils, vinegars, wines etc. Simplifies it a bit and then just have to go from recipe to recipe. When OH goes fishing again then I will really make use of the time this year compared to last. I think the greatest frustration for me is when I cannot get on and do the things I plan to do. I am not very patient in that department. Take care and Happy New Year to you and yours Tricia xx


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