Thursday, 11 June 2009


What a wonderful word - strig! The name given to a stalk of redcurrants or white currants, but not blackcurrants for some reason; or what I've always known them as. More interesting than stalk, or even string. A strig of redcurrants, and I picked the first of them this morning. Will need to be a daily exercise, I think, to beat the birds to them, but looks like an excellent crop.

I also picked the first of the broad beans - got to get them very small and bright green so they are at their best. These are destined for a risotto, with peas and mint.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

June giveaway - Sea Glass shawl

Here we go, this is for June, ready for those balmy summer evening outside with a glass of wine or three..........
Handknitted in a Rowan yarn, a linen mix, it drapes beautifully and is the colour of washed sea glass. The pattern is based on a traditional feather and fan pattern, found on the net. If you'd like a chance to win, just leave a comment here, or shout out in another post (I read them all), or e-mail me on
Good luck!

Macrame giraffe, anyone?

This is a wonderful book I bought yesterday, subtitled A Celebration of Overlooked 20th-Century Crafts. I would say overlooked for good reason in quite a number of cases! It has some wonderful vintage and vintage stype illustrations, and insturctions for making some of the crafts. Some great ideas, with a little tweaking could be greatly improved too. I fancy having a go at a sock monkey and some record serving bowls - I've seent hese about, but not caught up with the instructions yet, and here they are! Poodle toilet roll cover anyone? (Yes, it's on my list LOL)

In the meantime, here's a little contribution to the retro revolution, a retro cosy, a special order on its way to a customer now. It turned out nicer than I thought it would, given the choice of colours. Reminds me of a banana toffee..............

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Think I've cracked the housework thing............

I've been experimenting on the housework front for the past two or three weeks, and I think I've cracked it! I know it wouldn't work for everyone, but it does for me, so am pleased so far. Although I haven't gone out to work myself for a long time, now, MrL does the Monday to Friday thing; so, my life is still organised around weekday/weekend divide. I had begun to realise that by the Wednesay/Thursday morning I was definitely running out of steam in the housework department, and it occurred to me that I could treat the whole week like a day. Start off full of beans in the morning, then by supper time, tired, had enough. So now, I do the bulk of my housework - tidying, cleaning,washing, etc on Mondays. Tuesday is ironing, plus the leftovers from Monday (eg today it's the bathroom, which I didn't get cleaned yesterday); Wednesday is mending/sewing;Thursday is any other stuff that needs doing;Friday is now baking day. Odd bits of laundry etc get fitted in too. Teh rest of teh week is split into mornings and afternoons - mornings for the hosuework bits, afternoons for making, gardening, reading, etc.
I can still fit in the necessaries - sweeping floors, cooking, plus gardening, bits of baking as required, brewing, sewing, etc on the afternoons and evenings. So far, it's been a success, and the pressure to do housework everyday has eased off. So far, byt Wednesday, the work in the house is winding down, so come the weekend, it's usually all or mostly done, so the weekends are free of the chores, and I can spend them gardening, sewing, knitting, etc, or going out if we have to, and getting back to a proper day of rest on the Sunday. I love it when a plan comes together - it doesn't often! LOL
The photos show some of the things I got done yesterday - made some yoghurt and picked sweet peas, started 4 gallons of elderflower wine,Washed soem tea towels, got the soap cut for further drying before storing, and got the mushrooms ready for putting away after drying.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

The moon tonight

A stunning moon here tonight; this is the view south from the house, towards Bulbarrow and across the Vale. Not the best picture, as my camera isn't that strong on moon shots, but it gives an idea of the intesnity of colour and overall !! factor, I think.

Sunday on the farm

I spent today with Bean and a friend demosntrating spinning at Longburton Farm which was taking part in Open Farm Sunday. I spent a blissful five hours spinning, with nothing else to do, a whole five hours. Bliss; I got one and a half bobbins spun of the pre-prepared Southdown fleece I am currently working on. Bean took a small bit of video; not the best quality, apparently the wheel was going too fast to register it turning, shutter speed, etc, but that's me spinning. The pciture above is of some of the flock of Poll Dorsets on the farm, really beautiful sheep, great characters, and lovely wool to boot.

Strawberry jam

One of the very best of the seasonal jams - summer wouldn't be the same without it! I madet his yesterday, a good, reliable recipe.Why not give it a go?

4lbs strawberries
3 1/3 lbs sugar
6 tbsp lemon juice

Hull the berries, crush a few in the pan, then add the rest of the fruit and the lemon juice. Put in the warmed sugar, heat slowly until sugar is dissolved completely. Then bring to the boil and boil hard until setting point is reached. Skim if necessary, and leave to cool for a few minutes, then pot into clean and hot jars. Cover and seal.