Monday, 29 September 2008


Hi Folks!
I just love this time of year, the autumnal colours, that fresh earthy autumn smell - and the memories of times past, it brings with it.
I particularly love these Flag or water Iris, they grew in perfusion in the water meadows near my childhood home.
I have always taken a 'root' with me whenever I have moved house, and found a damp corner for it. I think the seed pods are particularly beautiful.
I picked these earlier today - just to have and admire in the house. I wondered - if I dried the seed, could I use it as beads - string them on some nice thread. I thought they would look pretty - rustic pretty!

Credit Crunch - Winter coughs and colds Preventative!

I had a little walk up the lane yesterday - to see what I could see see see! (who remembers that little rhyme - although it started as 'A sailor went''''?)
I digress - anyway I came home with a basket of hedgerow fruits, mostly blackberries although there are so few left now. So I made some of his Blackberry Cordial, said to cure all manor of coughs, colds and general chills!
Its just such a gorgeous colour - got to do you a world of good!

Hubby P kindly brought home this little book, he knows me well! Its full of serious useful country remedies, the not so useful and the down right silly!
The Blackberry Cordial has honey and brandy (well mine has whisky - what I had to hand - not literally!) in it, the idea is that as soon as you feel you may have a cold coming on, put a dash of cordial with hot water and sip said drink in bed.
After sampling last night - I am sure I had a chill from standing the Car Boot sale! - I think maybe I will be prone to 'chills' the winter!!

Car Boot Sale finds!
We had a stall again yesterday - the weather was great, bit chilly but fine and bright. We had a great time, its so much fun watching the world go by, having a good old natter with people. And of course you can still take turns (if there are two of you) to look around the stalls, and find 'goodies'!
I found these nice curtains, they are old toweling ones, the sort of thing we had in the bathroom when I was growing up in the 70s! The bag had lots of oddments of the fabric (old cushion covers I think) so I may keep the oddments to sew with and good old Ebay the curtains. It would be such a shame to cut them up!

This little picture is so bright and breezy, its a painting on glass in the shape of a dome, really pretty. I thought it just a bit different from the usual pictures we hang on the wall!
It reminds me of the Bluetits we get on our Apple tree.

This is a sad little tale, I was walking back to the car - I had just found this little basket - all for £1! People we starting to pack up their stalls, and as I walked past the various boxes of rubbish people leave, I saw this little dolly thrown in one of the boxes - my first thought was 'what a waste' some little girl, somewhere in the world, would dearly love a dolly like this. We are so obviously a nation of people with far too much, if we can throw so much away!
Anyway rather than 'Rant' on - I picked up the dolly - nothing wrong with her (she needs a bit of a wash is all ) - so I thought she could come live with us. Little people can enjoy her when they come to visit.

But - of course! she needs a Name! This is where you come in - if you can think of a nice name, leave me a Comment (with the name!) - and I will draw the winner out of a hat on Sunday 5th Oct. Winner gets a 'Seasonal Giveaway'!!
Go on - name the Dolly!
Speaking of hats! - I found a new one for the Winter, its a bit ' Men of Sherwood -y' or 'Robin Hood', but I like it! It cost the princely sum of £1 and its a Laura Ashley design!
Hows zat for style!

I know the photos a bit iffy - that's what you get when trying to take a photo of yourself with the aid of a mirror!

Ta ra for now! xx

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Hi Folks!
Its been a lovely sunshiny day here in North Wales - hope you're having a bit too!
The kind of day to sit in the sun with an ice cream! - I saw this nasturtium today, climbing up the trellis - the colours just reminded me of raspberry ripple ice cream!
On the Garden Front!
Not a great lot to report - much tidying of beds and potting on, not really photogenic stuff! However I have made an 'Artistic' decision! - No more plastic tubs, 'old galvanised' has just got to be more fitting for an old cottage like ours, and indeed! far more pleasing to the eye!

So! like mad woman on a mission! I have been buying up all the old buckets I could lay my hands on. They may not look terribly exciting just now, but planted up with lots of pretty foliage - they will look the business!
Hubby P wanted to take the lump hammer to 'straighten out' the old galvanised bath (I think it was used to feed animals!) - I was horrified -I had bought it precisely because it looked 'old battered, worn and well loved' (bit like me really!). I told him he would take his life in his hands if he went anywhere near it! He just gives me that strange look - sometimes we are poles apart! What was that book called? 'Men are from Mars !!!!

Carbooty Finds!!

Tuesday is Car Boot day - so this is hot off the press!

Look ! a whole bunch of pretty vintage smellies! A Girl can't have too much sweet smelly stuff! Only 50p a bottle, how could I walk away!

And thinking of the Chri******* word, a couple of little books to browse for ideas. I shall have a look make some notes, and probably put these on Ebay - I try not to collect this sort of craft book nowadays - I just haven't the space. Someone else can enjoy them.

These I thought were exceptionally cute - little vintage needle cases! What stories could they tell? Who made them? and why? The one with the swan is a manufactured case from Milwards -Finest Quality Needles! Nowadays you get then in an awful plastic box! These little cases are so much nicer - don't you think so?

Again - saved from the skip! These were from a house clearance 'Van Man', what he doesn't sell goes to the rubbish dump (I suppose its called the recycling centre now!) Although I don't really knit, I thought these would be nice to have and look at if only for the great Vintage pictures!
I could just see Hubby P in this snazzy yellow jumper! (I don't think So!! he would run a mile - he's not a jumper man really! and he certainly would refuse to do the 'Ahoy There' pose!)

And Yes again the Ch*********** word crops up! These little festive streamers took me right back to when I was a child, helping put up decorations in the school hall. Isn't it strange how you can almost 'smell' and 'feel' the time and place! I find old shoe box really nice - am I strange? -does it have to be old, worn and shabby for me to 'bond' with it?
Maybe its something to do with age!!

Earlier in the week the weather was more like this!

The nights are drawing in, it was cold, dark, damp - and I needed something comforting! So I made a batch of Treacle Toffee! It was sooooo good and sweet and sticky! Just the thing to snuggle up to the fire with! - of course I ate far too much!
I made lots, so I made little parcels off it - even sold some on the Carboot on Sunday! ( in this new era of tightening belts and earning extra, we have done/had a stall - a couple of times - its ok until we run out of surplus/unwanted/what Hubby P can prize off me - stock).
It must be said - the people who bought the toffee seemed to be Ladies of a certain age, shape and disposition as myself - no Posh Spice look-a-likes then!
I don't suppose Posh would know a good toffee if it hit her in the teeth! - and imagine the mess if the wrapper was to come off in her Gucci handbag! Anyway - I digress - how did I get to Posh Spice? - the Toffee was good - none left now - just neeeeed to make more!
Gotta go now Pancakes for tea! Ta ra for now xxx

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Well! Hello there!
Sorry to open with such a gruesome picture - especially nasty if you are a vegetarian. But this is life in the country! Its Sootin season!
My friend turned up with a Gentleman who was a retired Gamekeeper in tow, he had been at one of the shoots - had spare birds and would I like them? Yes Please! love a bit of Duck, and I certainly can't afford to buy it in the shops - and how could it be fresher than this?

Of course it involved me 'dressing' the birds, not that great a job, but I feel if we want to eat meat we should be prepared to do the nasty side. I got a goodly amount of meat from them that now sits in my freezer - lovely duck with orange sauce on a cold winters evening!

On to our Exciting Day out!!

Hubby P has taken a few days holiday from work - to fix the roof primarily! but I thought he should have a least a days fun! So - off we trot to the local Household Auction, armed with a bit of cash and trusty picnic basket (no expensive cafes for us Credit Crunchers!).

I just love it all! - the smell of the old well polished furniture, musty old books, the anticipation in the air, the atmosphere, and then the buzz of the bidding as the Auctioneer drones on in his sing song-y voice!

We had looked at what was for sale earlier, and noted down a few lot numbers that perhaps we could have a bid at, Hubby P left me to go for a -break (smoke!) - That was it - I was so enthralled in it all, the Auctioneer mentioned 3 Antique chairs (my attention was grabbed!) -Chairs for renovation project (more bells ringing - he said renovation - that's the same as crafts/sewing/fun to me!!!) well my hand shot up! - I just had to have them! Got them for a £1!

Funny no one else wanted them! - No wonder when Hubby P went to track them down (we had not seen them earlier - they were stacked on top of a wardrobe!) - well! they all had 3 legs! one had no seat! but they had been beautiful - still were in a sad, crumbly, faded fashion. They just had to come home with us - to spend the last of their glory days fading away in our garden!

I think they look rather elegant!

As if they are just waiting for the Fairy Princess to take a rest amongst the flowers!

Hubby P managed to win this butter churn, it came with a crate of milk bottles! I like the churn, but I'm not sure what we will do with the bottles!

I won some Potty's (Chamber Pots)! again for £1 - no one wanted them. I have them in my bathroom for storing things in!

We got lots of other things - boxes full, because they sell things by the box, and if - for example I wanted some Willow pattern mugs (I won them for £1) I got the whole box of household items -an iron, heated rollers, clocks, pictures, and endless all sorts! Some things were really grim and went in the bin, but the rest - well we did a Car boot sale on Sunday! and turned a profit! What fun!
Just thought I would show you this -

Its a wonderful great big piece of woollen fabric given to be by a friend. Fancy finding this at the back of a cupboard! It really wants to be made into something rather fine, tailored into a nice jacket or coat.

Think I might put it on Ebay and share any earnings with my friend - I don't feel confident enough to put the scissors to it!
More Apples!
Hubby P came home with a box of windfall apples someone had kindly given him - we put them in the freezer (I made a few apple pies) and the peelings and cores I boiled up to make apple jelly.

Just before I put it in jars I added some finely chopped chilli - I don't know if it will work! - what it will taste like! but its a bit different!

Bad photo of the jars of 'Apple jelly with a hint of chilli'! as you can see I got quite a lot considering it was just the peel and cores I used, I will do that again -Nothings Wasted in the Crunch household!
Hope you are all having a good week Remember 'Gird Your Loins' against this Credit Crunch, and we will come out the other side!
Ta ra for now xxxx

Wednesday, 10 September 2008


Hi folks!
What a week! The house and garden are both littered with this sort of thing!
Tools, paint, nails roofing felt, sticky-on-y stuff and ladders, gravel, you name it we have it here! And all this for a new - non-leaky roof!
Hubby P - bless him, has taken a weeks holiday from work to fix us a new roof. We desperately needed to do something, the roof was in a terrible state. Good job Hubby P is very good at this sort of thing, and can turn his hand to most things without much incident - we have had our moments during DIY but usually its me that gets my boot nailed through! or whacked on the head with a piece of timber - all in the process of 'helping'! Thank goodness I'm past being able to get up a ladder now (dodgy ankle, and general dizziness - not a good combination!) - and we have the Lads to help. It was a real job trying to get the bitumen off Richards hands and arms! he works as a Baker - not a good look 'Tarry ' hands dealing with bread!
We are half way there - what a job its been trying to do it around the rain!

Hubby P just has the finishing bits to do - fascias and flashing, if that means anything to you!

We still managed to visit a Car Boot Sale - or two!
Got myself this little 'Shabby' table - I knows its very shabby, people were giving it a wide berth, but its just what I have been looking for. I wanted just a small table to put in the conservatory, something to put the newspapers on. And I think it is just charming - well loved as it is! The blokes just throw the papers on the floor - its just one of those things that really gets to me - so now and forever it shall be the 'paper' table!

I couldn't resist this! Isn't it delightful! and in such good condition. I know the its outside, but 'artistic licence' and all that - I just wanted to get a good photo of it.
Not sure if I will keep it or not, I need to play around with it, see if it 'fits' anywhere in the house.
Very 'Country Living' though!

More Grannie Bags, again these were common place when I was growing up!
And do you remember Peek Frean's Biscuits! I remember them being Soooo sweet - covered in garishly coloured icing with pretty pattens decorating the top! Real tooth-achy stuff!
Maybe they were a bit more expensive - I remember they seemed to make an appearance at Birthday parties.
The little blue bag I bought to decorate with felt toadstools and embroidery.

More builder type goodies - Hubby P bought these stained glass windows for £3, he intends re-doing the little porch we have on the conservatory and will incorporate these. Just - well because he wants to! Make it look a bit different and pretty!
A bargain at £3!!

Gardening news!!
Not a lot really - its all been roof, roof, roof!
These exciting little boxes came the other day, some Allium Bulbs I had sent for ages ago.
I really must try and get them in soon.
Should be a wonderful show next summer!

On the Crafty front!
Just some little Friendship Bands and Brooches/Corsages - the sort of little projects I can do whilst watching TV, I've not had much energy to do much else after mauling about with the roofing.

Got to go and assist with some big boards/fascias now - just hope I don't get nailed to the wall!!
Ta Ta for now xx

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Hello there! Hope you are having a good week!
Just a little bit of worrying news - Yes! the Credit Crunch is snapping at the heels of the Allsorts household! Hubby P has been told at work, the situation is - if we don't have any work/orders then we will tell you not to come in to work, and we cannot pay you for those days. Things are really bad in the Printing trade, lots of Printing companies are in the same position. So we are living one day at a time, hoping things pick up - Hubby P is confident they will, and I have got my fingers crossed!
On to happier things - Car Booty finds!
Just look at this wonderfully Pink! dressing gown! It just shrieks 'Girlie Girlie' at you!
I know its not my size (it will go on Ebay I think) - but I just had to save it from the recycling/rubbish tip (a lot of Booters are House Clearance people and what they don't sell they take to the tip, to make room for the following weeks house clearance).
It just reminded me so much of the 70s - I had one just like it - I think everyone did. Mine was a lovely lemon colour with little roses embroidered on the collar. I remember Mum repeatedly warning us not to go too near the fire (although there was always one of those huge nursery fireguards around it - remember - with all the towels an d socks drying on it!). I suppose being made of Nylon they were a real fire hazard!
This pink one is real glam! for the sophisticated Lady!!
It was a day for reminiscing! My Gran had one of these (this was scrunched up at the bottom of a box!) it was kept behind the pantry door and she kept little bits if string in it. She saved every last piece and the same with wrapping paper - and even butter wrappers! I suppose it was habits formed during the war. I tell you - that pantry was like an Aladdin's cave to me! We had a great time, she had all the time in the world for me, we sat and did all sorts of crafty things.

This is a lost lonely little Staffordshire dog! Hubby P brought him home one day - I have a little collection of similar dogs (which were my Grandparents) and he thought this one could join them.

The others are here sat on my bedroom window sill. Although he is lovely, I just don't think he fits in - too flowery for me. So he too is destined for Ebay or car boot!

An exciting little gardening project, our neighbours want away for a couple of weeks (somewhere nice and warm!) and I looked after the house and resident goldfish.
How thrilled was I when they brought these special exotic seeds back for me!
The seeds need a good soaking and whatnot, buts lets hope I can get them to grow! Watch this space!

On the Home Front!
Apple wine (made from the peelings of the apple harvest the other week) is doing well - the kitchen smells like a brewery! I got almost 3 demijohns full - that's some party!

And whilst snapping around with the camera, I caught this - this is something I found the other week. I have been using it for eggs, I thought it was rather cute! Only thing is, it doesn't hold enough for me, maybe its time for it to move on!

I know it sounds like I am 'moving everything on'- but if you could see the amount of stuff I have packed away in cupboards!! Trying to be firm with myself, got to lessen the load a bit!
Time for Tea! Bye for now XX