Monday, 17 April 2017

Crafty Sew n Sews

I have been stockpiling crafty items for a little while and now I really must start to get stuck in a little bit with the actual doing. That ws the plan for this weekend Oh was going fishing but changed his mind so what I had planned did not transpire. He tends to hang out in the computer/craft room so for me to concentrate I really need yo be on my todd.  I had planned in the first instance to use my Go cutter and cut out my pieces from the recycled shirts and then hopefully once that was achieved to then start sewing.  So this has been put off until he actually goes.  Then I really shall down tools and get stuck in.  I dont have much time to do things during the week so the weekends are ideal to get going on something like this.  I am getting frustrated though.

I also have some table cloths to make.  I have a huge solid pine farmhouse style table and it costs an arm and a leg to buy decent drapery unless I spot it on offer.  I have recently bought some yellow cotton plain and spotted to make the main cloth and some knapkins but also matching tablemats.  The yellow is a warm primrose yellow which blends very nicely with a poppy tablecloth and knapkin set I have.  The colours sound shocking but I think they dit well together. Background is a very lemony cream and the poppy crockery already collected and to which I am still adding to should also complement this. In case you were not aware I have a thing about poppies.

I love colour its vibrancy and the way you can blend things.  I am starting to collate bits together so that the front room can in turn be refurbished. I quite like pinks n purples and creamy whites and I like the Sanderson rose and peony fabric and have recently bought a remnant off ebay to frame and back some cushion covers.

I bought flowers this weekend and these colours go well in my room as is but should also go well with the Sanderson fabric.

I have the curtains which I got from a car boot sale a while back.  I tend to collate pieces together before I start on a room.  Things just kind of evolve. but I certainly love vibrant colours.  I tend to go more for country style with a bit of victorian mixed in as it is very forgiving.  I like and love solid furniture too. I also love upcycling things as well and putting my own twist on things.  Lets just say there are lots of little projects to start or which are in progres or near completion.  Things like embroidered tablecloths and pillow slips.  Collecting embroidered damaged pieces of needlework with a view of turning them into a crazy patchwork bedspreads reliving beautifully worked pieces into something useful. Its going to take me years at this rate but I do so enjoy playing and making things. Some serious craft time this summer is planned.  I also plan during the week when I cannot do much to quietly plod on with my hexie quilt.  This will take a while to work but I knew that when I started it but that is the whole point.  It will be hand created.  Loving what I am doing and every stitch sewed with love.  This quilt is being hand stitched.  The other quilts I have planned will be done on the sewing machine. Such a lot to do.

I also need new cotton bedlinen.  I dont like fitted sheets and always buy superking sized sheets as that is the size of my bed.  However I have in mind that I would like embroidered bedding as it always looks so pretty and feminine.  I have some patterns and transfers so that is something I would like to achieve in due course.  Thats the idea anyway.

I also have lots of whitework pieces waiting to be turned into cushion covers and quilt covers.  I have also been assembling the pieces for a while together with lace pieces.  I have puctures in my minds eye for all of these projects and they will happen in due course that is of course when I can settle to do some serious crafting.

However first I have some cushion covers to make utilising recycled needlework and also needlepoint pieces I have previously worked.  These will be for the front room revamp.  I also need to liberate some fabric from the storage unit to use in the cushions. I am using flowers roses either embroidered or needlepoint pieces as the common theme and maybe some vintage crinoline ladies as well.  I have the tablecloth that my great aunt worked.  However we will see how things pan out.

There are also the quilts to make as well.  I have most of the fabric for these
  Now just have to get stuck in.  Fingers crossed I get to play this weekend.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan xc

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Pound Shop and. Some more fruit bushes

Yesterday while shopping I nipped into one of the pound shops that I do not get to very regularly and stocked up on some items which I use on a day to day basis. Things like shower gels soap etc.

I came across some lovely cupcake cases.

Some Purple spotted ones.

 Some lovely blue floral ones.

Some lovely pal tourqoise green spotted ones.

And some Muffin cups.

A lovely mint green

And rose pink.  Both are spotted.

Its my birthday in a few weeks so thought I would stock up whilst I can.  I have seen some cake carriers as well that I would nit mind. Cake carriers what does she need them for.  We have a tradition at work that when its your birthday you leave cakes in the kitchen for work colleagues so I thiught this year would make them myself and I will need a couple of cake carriers for this purpose.

I also stocked up on some foil and plastic containers for freezing meals vegetables and fruit and soups.  I dont like wasting stuff so if there is a good meal still to be had but we dont fancy it at that particular moment into the freezer it goes.

I also unexpectedly found some more fruit bushes.  This time blueberry redcurrant and gooseberry.  So I am well chuffed.  I was hoping to do an awful lot in the gsrden this weekend but the weather is not too brilliant at the moment. Fingers crossed though.

Catch you soon.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Putting stuff by to use out of season

We like our Sunday roasts throughout the year and are especially fond of roast potato sweet potato roasted shallots roast pumpkin.  So I always pop a load in the freezer for use until the fresh crops come back into season again. I also for the sake of convenience prepare carrots broccoli and other seasonal veg as it saves a lot of time during the week when time is at a premium. Thats just for the freezer.  There are other items too but preparing food whdn cauliflowers or carrots are on offer is a win win situation. It makes sure you have your own convenisnce food when needed it also ensures that family members can get a meal for themselves if for some reason you are not around.  I also prepare things like home made Cornish style pasties meat pies sausage rolls pie cases etc.  Its very much ip to you what you store away after all each persons pantry is calibrated to what you actually lose.

Tomorrow I intend to get some parsnips swede squash sweet potato and pop them up to use over the summer months. I also want to put some more veggie stock ala River Cottage the souper stock also to take us through to autumn when I will make more.

I also have some chillis to dry naturally.  I need to sit and string them.  I will get some more and string them during the week. Until i have enough dried for use in my pickled onions come autumn. This is just the start there is plenty yet to do.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan xx


Good Friday Eating

From being a tiny child it has always been instilled in me no meat on Good Friday but we have always had fish and hot cross buns.  A celebration which when I was younger marked the march in time. This year is no different and we have some lovely fresh haddock for tea to be served with home made chips and fresh parsley sauce together with mushy peas and onion rings.  There are hot cross buns to finish if we want them.

The fishes and the bread.

So I am quite looking forward to my tea.  Its a while since we have had home made chips as well.  We dont like frozen store bought ones. And the parsley from my plants in the garden. The fish will be floured and seasoned and then gently fried.  Simple home cooking.  Friday night when I was growing up was always fish night too.  My Nan always used to make batter from egg flour and milk but she always added a touch of custard powder.  The mixture was always beaten well and a splash if vinegar also used to go into the batter and then the fish was coated and fried.  We all loved Nans batter.  I dont know quite how she did it at times but her food was delicious and she used to make a little go a long way.  I think it helped that they grew their own veggies and fruit and with the pigs and chickens were relatively well off when it came to good food but they put in a lot of work to achieve this.  They were organic before organics were born.  Marrows were always planted into the compost heap which gave the hungry plants the food they needed but also tidied up the compost heap and made it look more aestetically pleasing. Down the side of the back lawn there were espalier conference pears that used to look magnificent come blossom time and a rose arbour at the end with proper highly scented roses. I think this is where my love of roses comes from and the bee hives.  We always had pops honey on toast done on the Rayburn with lashings of honey.  That is until the bees stung him and he reacted.  He ended up having to give the bees up.

Anyways I seem to have wandered off track.  Whats new.

Catch you later.

Pattypan xx

It was tasty.

The Plants are Starting to arrive

As a result of experiencing the delicious lemon thyme carrots I determined to locate some for my little back garden.  The little plants have arrived today and tomorrow I have the job of potting them on and growing them up a bit in one of my mini greenhouses.  I have also taken delivery of some corsican mint lovage devon lavender white and blue borage  and my 22 wild strawberry plants on the plant front. So a lot of potting up to do.

On the seed front I have received plain chervil and curled chervil seed and large French Sorrel, red veined sorrel, summer savory, winter savory and Angelica. Sorrel de Belville, humulus Lupulus (hop seed) specially for brewing your own beer
.  I also have pot marigold seed to plant (poor mans saffron).  There are still a lot more plants and seed to arrive. I am just determined to do what I can in the garden.  In the summer first thing if the weather is fine I like to have my breakfast in the garden.  I am after a small metal table with two chairs that i can pop in the corner near my shed so that i can enjoy breakfast cereal with a handful of fresh raspberries.  I have raspberry canes so I am hoping to get fruit but if not this year then next. I am trying to do a little bit at a time.  I have also bought some hanging bags pockets to pop herbs in and hang them off the fence or to fill with busy lizzies or something like that.

I have also bought another 12 strawberry plants to pop into hanging baskets or tubs. I got the six blackcurrant bushes potted up at the weekend as well as the three tayberries.  I have the loganberries to pot up.  So an awful lot to do but hopefully I will end up with lots of things to use fresh or preserved in my kitchen.

We are still waiting for the fence to be replaced by the landlord so one part of the harden cannot be dealt with yet.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Lemon thyme and carrots

Last Sunday I was taken out unexpectedly for my Sunday lunch. The pub/restaurant is a fabourite haunt of ours being an old traditional thatched pub with a lovely fireplace for when cold.  I used to meet here regularly to go for a drink with my dad and we also had my mums wake there.  Pubs have always played a big part in family life over the years not because we drink much but more for socialising and meeting up with friends.  The name of the pub is the Fitzwilliam Arms at Marholm but it is also known as the Green Man by locals.  The food is certainly very delicious.  Sunday lunch there were some seriously lovely options but unusually they did what they called a sharing platter for two which consisted of sliced roast beef and also rib of beef.  I think it was short rib sometimes known as Jacobs Ladder and it was delicious.  The meat was that tender it just dropped off the bone.  However what we fid find delicious was the honey roasted carrots with lemon thyme. The carrots were blanched in boiling water then drained and tipped into a hot roasting pan and then glazed with honey with fresh lemon thyme sprinkled over and then roasted until the carrot is cooked through.  They were absolutely delicious.  What an unusual way to serve carrots but its a different way of cooking a well loved veg.  One which I am going to add to my repertoire.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan xx

More Easter Items

This year I have so far been concentrating on a few items for the Easter table. The other week I bought some ducks n drakes egg cups from Dunhelm which I am pretty pleased with.

The other evening whilst watching Tv I saw an advert for a well known supermarket that had some Geese egg cups and today I have purchased some of those.  They are much bigger than my ducks n drakes but I quite like these as well.

I have also bought two glass storm lanterns which are decorated with spring flowers and two small glass pillar candle stands which will go particularly well with two larger versions I bought at Christmas.

So am very pleased with the purchases obtained today. They should look lovely on the Easter table.  I have also bought some hanging eggs.  I thought I would collect some ling stemmed twig
Branches pop them in a vase and then decorate with  the hanging eggs and use as the centre piece for the table.  I also have loose eggs which I am going to use to decorate a couple of wreaths to pop either side of the twigs on the table.

I remember as a little girl being taught how to make chicken egg cosies out of felt beige felt and then a huge red felt wattle. A very simple project but it looks so effective. Maybe I will make some for next year.

I have also bought two little fluffy chickens also for the centre of the table.  I also have two bunny rabbit ornaments for the dressers and two bunny rabbit toast holders to go with the geese.  I now need to get some nice mugs cups to go with.

 Photos to follow.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan x

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Herb Garden

I am after restocking my herb garden and have ordered a selection of different herb plants and seeds off ebay.  These include lovage and savory French tarragon lemon thyme lemon verbena golden sage, Oregano, chives, strawberry mint, pineapple mint, mandarin mintpurple sage, a variety of different mints and angelica to name but a few. I am hoping the majority arrive before the weekend so that I can get stuck in with the planting.  I want to grow as much herbage as I can to make my own herb mixes and make sure that I have a variety of flavourings to add to my cooking whether that be dring herbs and storing them or making vinegars and oils.

Oh is particularly fond of mint sauce and as a result I always put a lot of keeping mint sauce up when the leaves are at their freshest and then store it very finely chopped under vinegar.  There is no sugar in this so it is ideal for him with him being diabetic although when serving you can add a little sugar to it if you wish.

I have also ordered some alpine wild strawberries.  These little fruits are packed with flavour.  I know first hand as my cousin had them in her garden. I am hopung my plants will be as productive as hers were.  They will probably get popped into planters here to start with at least.  So very slowly at least the herb garden is coming together. I am ahead compared to last year but things can change at the drop of a hat.  I have a lot to do yet though.

Right upwards and onwards I am very much ready for the weekend.

Catch you shortly.

Pattypan xx

Saturday, 8 April 2017

A little gardening

Is planned for this weekend.  I have been slowly sorting the small herb garden outside of the back door.  I have bought some already done containers with an assortment of plants in them.  However I have chives mint parsley sage and rosemary to plant up to start with.  I also have raspberry tayberry strawberry and blackcurrant plants to pot up.  I got them quiet cheaply in the pound shop B n Q wilkinsons.  Where I intend to pop them is not ready yet but I wasnt going to let them get away at that price so as an intermediary position until the land is sorted lots it is then they will when land is ready be transplanted. I also have pansies and violas to plant up some paoenies and I have quite a few containers to sort out as well. As the weather is meant to be nice over the weekend I also want to get the new covers on the grow houses and to start some seeds off.  I am a little behind but hopefully i will be able to play catch up.  Nonetheless there is plenty to do.  I have also picked up a couple of hibiscus plants the pound shop again. I slso want to start getting the rubbish sorted and taken to the tip. So a lot to do.   There are also some wild blackberrys  that have set themselves so I am also hoping to get a couple of those into pots as well. If its fine it will be good to be in the fresh air for a change.

Catch you later

Pattypan x

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Apologies for he absence

I have now fallen foul of a horrible chest infection which ranges between losing your voice and having a raging sore throat lots of blowing noses and sneezing as well as being bunged up.  Needless to say I am stuffing myself full of vitamin C i am not drinking milk hot toddies mugs of cassis with hot water very soothing just before goinf to bed.  Oh has made me a batch of French Onion Soup so I am hoping that the hit of onion and garlic will knock it on the head.  In the past this has helped an awful lot. I would rather use food to help in the getting better process as really I am not keen on popping pills.  Probably as a result of having to take pills from the age of seven.  When something is enforced on you in my case I came to resent it. Potentially it was doing me good but in the circumstances I think it is a natural reaction one that I overcame for the best part but with me preferably trying alternative more natural methods.

I do owe some of you emails I am sorry for being so rude did not mean to be. apologies for not responding thus far however we have trouble with the email connection and I am having to do everything off my phone and that can be hit n miss.

I know its spring but the last few days have been lovely weatherwise.  I have started work in my small back garden which is mostly used for my herbs.  However I do need to restock these. I do however have some containers that came from my mums earlier I had one of her pots unexpectedly flower with crocus the London pride is thriving.

The violets are through the original plant belonged to my great grandmother my grandad transplanted it to his garden he gave a clump to my mum and she transplanted it to a tub which it remains in. There is also a rhubarb plant in there which came from my dads allotment. My great aunty Ivy's clematis has survived.  Silly I know but these plants mean a lot there is still a connection there still a memory.

Right am off to get some onion soup down me and also get some more washing on. Hopefully in the next few days I will be able to shift this cold.  I also want to get some seeds sown and also start getting stuck in with my preserving. Be back soon.

Pattypan x

Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)