Monday, 30 June 2008

Seaside love

It's been a while but I have finally got round to uploading my photos of southwold, unfortunately about half are missing. I took them using my mum's camera, (because the battery pack in mine isn't holding it's charge anymore, and is always switching off) but when I put the SD card back into mine when I got home, they seemed to have disappeared, and they aren't on my mum's camera either.

I have finally given in to getting a new camera, so after a bit of blog and review reading, I have made my choice, and hopefully it is winging it's way to me as we speak, yippie!

But in the meantime here are some lovely beachy pictures from beautiful southwold....

I loved this one, someone had their children (or grandchildren) waving from a window painted on the wooden shutters of theirs.

We couldn't keep Ella out of the sea, although she never went in deeper than bottom level, we all had a paddle too, But Danny won the award for bravery (or stupidity) and had a rather chilly evening swim after too many pints of Broadside in the Nelson!

These are my lovely things that I brought home with me, some lovely stripey towels in pink/white and blue/white, two new baskets, the shopper was £11 and Dad bought me the lovely green one (such a lovely shade of green) for my vegetable patch (it's available online from Garden Trading if you fallen it love with it like I did and at a reasonable £13.50)

I couldn't resist this pretty rose enamel basin, although I'm struggling to find a place or use for it, as Danny keeps reminding me.

and here are some beach finds, (apart from the shell) a piece of wood, painted a pretty shade of pale blue, two stones with a hole right through, they are supposed to be lucky so I'm told......

as well as these lovely weathered bricks, they crop up all over the beach, I wonder where they came from, and what they used to be?

In keeping with this post's seaside theme, I've recently discovered a lovely new blog called driftwood shack, so if your hankering after some more seaside love, pop over and say hi.

Finally, thank you to all of you that have entered my blogiversary giveaway, I will be announcing the winner on friday, but remember, everyone who entered is a runner up and gets a little present so please email your addresses via the link on my 'about me' profile, so I can start sending your little packages!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Happy Blogging Birthday To Me!


Well to be truthful it was actually yesterday, but things have been busy this week (more later).

So in true blogging style we have cupcakes to celebrate, and a giveaway, Yea!

I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started this little blog, and I'm so glad I did, I've got to know some lovely people, and made some lovely blogging friends who share my passion for "others people's old crap" as my husband calls it, my love of making and painting things, and all the other nice things in my life, as well as inspiring me and cheering me up with your lovely comments when I'm feeling low.
I still feel real excitement when I check my inbox and see that someone has left me a comment. Although over time my posts have been become less frequent (after the initial buzz of having a new blog) I still love my little blog and appreciate every little comment that anyone makes, even if I don't get time to answer them all (or if I forget!)
Thank you so much to all of you that have visited me from the beginning of my blogging days, and to all of the new people that pop by too.

So to show my thanks I am holding a giveaway, but with a difference, there will be one main winner, but everyone who leaves a comment will receive a little token of thanks, it could be some ribbon or lace, some bits of fabric, a handmade card, or something else, who knows!

The main winner will receive a larger package, stuffed with some fabric, vintage buttons, ribbon and lace, perhaps a pretty vintage cup and saucer and some other little treasures that I can lay my hands on.

All you have to do to enter is to tell me what your favourite colour is, and tell me about one of your most favourite things that you have in that colour. If that makes sense!

Now, I have to show you some of my latest treasures........

My latest haul from the lady with the junk stall at the Saturday market in town, you have to look hard because most of it is a bit grubby, the candlestick holder was really dirty and covered in old wax but it scrubbed up lovely, along with the three pretty floral ceramic brooches.
The embroidered picture was a great find but was in a falling apart dodgy black plastic frame with a very dirty mount, here I've already put it in new frame and mount from the hardware shop, which has now been painted in ivory.

Next is my latest charity shop finds, all vintage cotton pillowcases, on different days, in different shops, but for the grand total of £4.45

These were the first £1.95 for a pair of pink candy stripe with a ruffly edge.

Next where a pair of white cotton housewife pillowcases with a pretty hand embroidered edge for £1.25

and finally a pair of white cotton square oxford pillowcases dotted with little embroidered blue roses for £1.25

all in mint condition without any stains, you can imagine my joy, all I need now is some square pillows to put the blue rose pillowcase on! I am doubly pleased as well, because charity shop finds are becoming very thin on the ground in my neck of the woods, and often when you do find them they are a bit overpriced for my liking.

Oh....I almost forgot, the reason for me being rather busy this week is my new project, on Monday I was chatting to my neighbour over the garden fence about the fact that I was keen to start a vegetable patch (spurred by recent TV chefs that shall remain nameless, as I'm sure you know who I mean) but due to long waiting lists for the council' s allotments and the restricted space in my garden I wasn't having much luck.

Anyway she mentioned that a while back she used have a vegetable patch towards the back of our other neighbour's (86 yr-old Joe) rather large garden, but after an operation a couple of years back she gave it up, but she was now keen to start again. So later that day she had a word with Joe, as she knew he was having trouble up keeping what was grass and hedge, and so in return for keeping the back of the garden tidy, and a few vegetables once they are grown I am now the proud owner of a plot.

So this whole week has been spent clearing the long grass and brambles, digging new beds, huffing and puffing, and constructing wooden frames to create two neat beds of my very own, I'm so pleased, and even more pleased I did all the back braking work to get them!

It has been a bit of a race against time, because as you will probably know if you are a veg grower, it's a bit late in the season, so time is of the essence to get some use out of it this year.

Also, tomorrow we are off to Southwold for the weekend. Mum and Dad have rented a house there for two weeks right on the sand dunes next to the beach (and it's got a verandah!), and we are to be the first of their many guests. So Lily is being bundled off for her first stay in kennels, and the car is already loaded up with buckets and spades, balls, picnic paraphernalia, polka dot windbreak, and clothes for all weathers (the forecast hasn't been great, but that won't dampen my spirits, we will cook sausages on the beach!) So wish me luck, and fingers crossed it doesn't rain too much!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

four years ago.....

Danny and I got married, it was a very 'homemade' wedding, I made the invitations, Mum and I bought and arranged the flowers the day before the wedding (luckily the man had plenty of Peonies), the food was a typically English buffet, with coronation chicken, plenty of salads, cold beef and ham, salmon, strawberries, meringues, cream, and chocolate torte all made by myself, mum, my sister, my grandmother and Danny's brother.

Phillippa made us a gorgeous wedding cake similar to one I had seen in a magazine, with beautifully made pink sugar roses in between the layers (I shall have to find a photo). We had the reception in the evening in a marquee in Mum and Dad's garden decorated with fairy lights and plenty of tea lights inside and out and the luckily although it had rained a couple of days before, we had lovely weather.

I'm so glad that I chose Peonies for the flowers, because they are only really around for June, and so it's always just before our anniversary that I see them in the florists, and I can't resist buying a bunch!

The only thing I regret about our 'homespun' wedding is that we didn't get a proper photographer. Although everyone took photo's at the wedding, and gave them to us, with all the commotion getting everything ready in the marquee before everyone arrived we forgot to take photos of everything laid out beautifully before it had been 'trashed'

I love this photo of Ella at our feet, see was six months old when we got married and I was still breast feeding her! She slept throughout the evening reception, but when we got back to the hotel she wouldn't go back to sleep, so she kept us up all night. At 6 in the morning Danny got up and took her to his mum's who lived round the corner just so we could get some sleep!

This was taken at the reception towards the end of night after plenty to drink and lots of dancing looking slightly dishevelled. I think it was one of the rare points that night that we were together, we spent so much time making sure we spoke to everyone there and thanked them for coming and for bringing presents, that the evening went so quickly!
So to anyone reading this who helped out with our day, thank you so much, it was such a lovely party, and we couldn't have done it without you!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Bottling Spring

Last weekend on the way to Mum and Dad's I noticed the elderflowers where out, and when we arrived I announced that I want to make elderflower cordial or as Ella has now dubbed it "flower juice", so after the rain had subsided Mum, Ella and I put our wellies on, grabbed a basket and a pair or scissors and set out foraging for elders in flower, and within our reach.

Due to the fact this had been a rather off the cuff, must do it right now, urge to create, make or cook something, I hadn't actually looked up any elderflower cordial recipes so I was unaware:  
No.1 How many or much elderflower heads we needed
No.2 that you are supposed to collect the elderflower heads on a sunny day when their pollen is most strongly perfumed
No.3 what other ingredients are needed. 

We decided that the more elderflowers the better and managed to gather a huge amount (rather too much as I discovered later) and I have say, it was almost worth it just to be able to put your nose in that basket and draw in all that beautiful scent.

When I got back home that sunday evening I got straight on t'internet and after some research discovered that I needed more sugar than I had, more lemons that I had, and some citric acid, which I didn't have any of! So back in the car for a quick trip to the co-op where I managed to get lemons, sugar, but not surprisingly they didn't have any citric acid. Not to be defeated I decided to make it anyway, citric acid or no citric acid. 

If you search elderflower cordial on google lots of different recipes come up, and all of them are slightly different (amount of lemons to citric acid, and amount of time you leave the infusion to steep) but in the end I chose this one, doubled the quantity, and added the citric acid to the mixture the next day when I had managed to track some down from my local hardware shop that sells wine making stuff. (If you are looking for citric acid you might be able to get some from your pharmacy). 
It made five bottles, one of which is already finished, and one now on the go and one gifted to my mother. I used two plastic bottles which I didn't sterilize, but used these first and kept them refrigerated, and three glass bottles, which I sterilized using the tips in the recipe I have linked to above.

Apart from sourcing the citric acid it was really easy to do, and apart from the boiling water and bottling it's a good recipe to make with children (Ella loved it that we made 'juice' from flowers that we picked from a tree in the hedgerow of a field, and she loves drinking the end result!)