Friday, 6 February 2009

Little green shoots............

Despite the whirling snow outside, these little green shoots continue upwards and onwards - won't be long until spring now. The potatoes are chitting away by themselves on the front kitchen windowsill; the little seedlings are parsley - sown only a couple of weeks ago,but already well on their way. I've sorted out tomato and chilli/pepper seeds in readiness, but it's still a bit on the cold side here, even to start them off in the kitchen, and the light levels are low too. The sweetpeas seem to be OK in the greenhouse, but the pots the broad beans went into were frozen on Wednesday, so I hope they'll survive and come up too - all in their own good time, I know; you can't hurry Mother Nature.

The prettiest plate of all...................

I have a lot of lovely plates, but this one is definitely the prettiest, with its wavy edgedness and little floral print. I managed to find 4 of them, sadly a fifth one was broken, but four was fine................ I have no idea of the date of manufacture, but I suspect it is quite old. They're (almost) too pretty to use, but would look so nice with a slice of cake on LOL. I'd like to find out the date, so will do a bit of research into it.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

New projects.............

I really should get on with things started, but sometimes I can't resist making a start on something else! These are a couple of knitting projects; poppies waistcoat started yesterday, slippers this afternoon. Progress can be followed on my knitting blog here:

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Even more snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looking up the hill towards the church:

The barn in the farmyard next door:

Our cottage in the snow:

Looking east towards the Vale:

Couldn't resist taking some more photos, from around the village where we live

February Giveway - treat your feet!

This month's giveaway is to pamper your feet! A pair of handknitted 100% alpaca socks, in a very beautiful shade of sage green. Will fit UK size 6-7, very soft and luxurious, but handwash only............Would make very nice bedsocks for the winter!
Leave a message somewhere, or e-mail me on
Good luck!

Home made bath salts

I made these yesterday, based on a recipe from an old magazine. Very easy to make, and you can "flavour" them with your favourite oil. My favourite is rose geranium, but I think I'd like some lavender ones too.

Into a bowl:

200g sea salt
200g soda crystals
100g bicarbonate of soda
oil/s of your choice

Mix everything well, adding about 50 - 60 drops of essential oil/s of your choice. Put into a jar with a well-fitting lid, and leave to mature for about a week or so, shaking occasionally.
Put a good handful into a warm bath and relax...............................:)

Would make a lovely present at any time of the year; you could also add dried herbs/rose petals, oatmeal, powdered milk, etc to jazz it up a bit.

My jar is an authentic Mason jar, the legendary American canning jar. I can't get them over here, and I only have one - this one - which I found at the tip a few years back. It's a lovely jar. :)

More snow

Indulge me here - we don't get much down here in the balmy south of England LOL We've ended up here with almost 4", the countryside looks so lovely, and it's quiet - oh, so I imagine our little village was before so many had vehicles.
People get so cross when they get a bit inconvenienced by the snow. I know there are real emergencies, accidents, no power, etc, but that's not what I mean. There was one man on the news last night bemoaning the fact the road near him hadn't been gritted and was shouting how it was " a third world country!!!!" Er, no. No, it isn't. It's one bit of road that isn't gritted. Walk to where you're going, or if you can't walk, then stay at home or wherever you are. It won't last long (relatively), and very soon things will be back to normal. Some people are unable or unwilling to cope when something like this comes along. Stay sensible and keep things in proportion is what I say. If you really do need help, then someone will be able to get to you hoepfully. I take my hat off to all the workers who have to be out in it - gritting lorry drivers, emergency services, breakdown trucks, they deserve the praise.
Bean is at home today as I'd be surprised if the college is open; they shut yesterday lunchtime to allow those who take buses to get home. I'd be even more surprised if the wee bus got up and around the lanes to our village. So - she's still in bed:)
There - that was a wee snow rant......................LOL

Monday, 2 February 2009

The Victorian Farm

Currently showing on BBC2, this is one of the best programmes there's been for a long time. I've just pre-ordered my DVD, due out in March.

Get ahead of the crowds, and pre-order yours here too:


Still snowing.................

........ but I got my mat finished LOL. Pleased with this, it's nice and squishy and soft and thick, probably headed for my side of the bedroom :)

The old chair in the picture is one I picked up at the tip a while ago, ripe for renovation. I will replace the webbing and make a new seat of some sort for it, then paint it and make it its very own cushion. I want to get on and paint a couple more of the kitchen ones too, and there's a wee one in the sitting room needs attention to. I like chairs :)

A snowy Candlemas

Today is Candlemas, traditionally when stores of candles were taken to church and blessed. Candles were of huge importance before electricity; not just for light, but for purification against illness and disease, rituals, etc. I have in mind a new place to store my candles, in their own box, so would like to get that done today, as it seems appropriate.
It's snowing at the moment; we ararely get snow here in Dorset, the climate is quite mild and even. We woke up to a slight covering this morning, though, and it's just started again.
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another fight;
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain
Winter won't come again.
If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o' the winter's to come and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o' the winter's gane at Yule.

On the peg loom

I warped up my smaller peg loom to take to the Guild open day on Saturday, but it wasn't used, so it came home ready to go. I was going to put it away yesterday, but got ensnared in starting a new small mat! I had several bobbins of dark blue rug wool, some of which I had used as the warp. I wasn't sure if it would be thick enough to hold together on the loom, but after a few inches, I was sure it would. Said mat is now almost complete, nothing else much getting done yesterday afernoon! Bit addictive.............

I hope to get it finished today and a picture up. Meanwhile, these are pictures of it just underway.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


First of February - cold, bitter wind, snow threatening later in the day and for the coming week. February, for me, heralds the coming spring, with so much to look forward to - spring growth, new life in the fields, longer daylight hours, getting on in the garden, thinking towards spring cleaning.

"February comes in like a sturdy country maiden, with a tinge of the red, hard winter apple on her healthy cheek, and as she strives against the wind, wraps her russet-coloured cloak well about her, while with bent head, she keeps throwing back the long hair that blows about her face, and though at times half blinded by the sleet and snow, still continues her course courageously.... the mellow-voiced blackbird and the speckle-breasted thrush make music among the opening blossoms of blackthorn, to galdden her way; and she sees faint flashings of early buds here and there, which tell her the long miles of hedgerows will soon be green"

Chambers Book of Days, 1864

Also, ofcourse, the festival of Imbolc, and St Brigid's Day, marking the beginning of spring in the Celtic calendar.

From the lovely Chalice Centre site

This is traditionally a time of purification — clean your house!
If you have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now.

Make your own Brighid’s crosses and hang them up,
especially in the kitchen where her influence can bless your food.

Put out food — cake, buttered bread and milk will do — outside your door:
Brighid and her cow walk through the neighborhood tonight, and will appreciate your offering.

Leave a silk ribbon on your doorstep for Brighid to bless:
It can then be used for healing purposes.

Meditate upon what you would like to see grow in health and strength this year:
for yourself, your family, your community, the Earth,
and ask for Bride's blessing upon your prayers

January Giveaway - the winner!

Congratulations to Quilting Cat, whose name was first out of the hat. Please contact me with your name and address,QC and I'll get your prize off to you this week.

This was a popular giveaway, and I'd have loved to give everyone a prize! Thanks for reading the blog, it's lovely to know you're out there.:)