Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Bright Blessings....Welcome to the New Sun!

Bright Blessings....... the year is turning....what will this new sun bring?
Just look at the lovely pink glow of the sky... this was taken about 3.30pm... just as the sun was setting on the shortest day.
This is the view from my doorstep.... the 'tower' is an old windmill, now home to bats and owls...and the odd pig!

What have you been doing today?
Its been too cold to venture very far....so baking seemed a good warming occupation.

Pies for tea.

And Gingerbread biscuits.... I haven't got any 'shape' cutters, Gingerbread men and the like... I fancied a Christmas tree shape.... must lookout for some. One will turn up at the car boot sale ... everything you could possibly need turns up eventually.

A little more Yummy Treacle toffee.... for gifts.

This afternoon a surprise bunch of the most glorious Holly from a friend... I've never seen so many berries!
I wired it up into swags and pinned up above the beam with my lemons.

I gathered some together in this pot.....this seems to be a less 'spike-y' sort of Holly... so many berries.
Do you like my new chenille style tablecloth? Its just one of a pair of old curtains....but it looks the part....very festive.

So glad I got my stack of logs in....and they say we are in for more snow!
xx Take care xx bye for now xx

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Snow Bound Bits Of This And That!

Well..... how are you all coping with the weather.... isn't it just beautiful! The sunshine on the snow this morning is just lovely.
Shame its such a pain too.... its okay so long as you don't have to go anywhere or do anything!

We have had a fair amount for Anglesey.... usually we get very little or miss out completely, but its had us 'snow bound'!
Our big 'useful' van we bought for carbooting is useless in the snow.... so we've had a few days mooching around at home.

Gave us time to appreciate the glorious spectacle....... the wonders of the snow, and care for our little birds. I've been putting lots of high energy foods out for them... peanuts and suet etc alongside their seed.
Mr Robin looked rather colourful and smart against the snow.

Its amazing how it sticks to everything..... coating everything in its path.

The back of the house must be a bit more sheltered, it seems a bit less snow-y.

I've started to think about Christmas..... not that we make a lot of it here. I think really we celebrate the season rather than the Christian aspect of it. We use it as a time to reflect on the year and spend time with each other..... gifts are are simple and often homemade.... a nice gentle time.

I managed to get some choccy treats made for presents..... always a winner.

On the thrifty/wholesome cooking front ..... its soup all the way!

My Girls... the chickens....need their warming 'mash' too, lots of nice veg peelings boiled up and mixed with a handful of porridge oats.

Ummm Yummy!
Not having a tree this year... I will only have a rooted one if I do have one, so that it has a chance of living on in the garden..... but they are so expensive I really couldn't justify the buying of something that was simply to be used for a few days.... and simply an ornament at that .... I know I sound a miserable Old Crone!! haha!
I would much rather have something that represents 'us' and our life here... a bit of greenery that we have grown in our garden... to celebrate our life and family.

I found some nice Holly.... buried under the snow! Gave it a shake off and together with some prunings of the Bay tree.... brought them inside.

Looking around the place for other natural materials......... I should have been more prepared and dried some seedheads from the garden .. but well .. I didn't! so I found a few dodgy looking lemons, sliced them up and dried them in the oven.

I found a jar of cinnamon sticks in the cupboard and some pretty, festive red ribbon.

Sat and watched an old film and strung them together.

They look rather festive hung along the beam of the inglenook.... and they smell good too!
I'm hoping we can get the van out today... provisions are running low.
xx Do take care in this slippy, slushy weather! xx

Friday, 3 December 2010

Keeping A Girl Occupied On A Winters Day!

Another cold day..... too cold for me to want to be out and about.
I've been quite happy pottering about the house.... bits and bats of jobs, and happy family to visit.

I eventually got the 'summer' lightweight curtains washed and ironed and put away ~ somewhere 'safe', ready for the sunshiny weather returning in Spring.
Lets hope I don't forget where the 'safe' place is... like I did with the last set of Winter curtains... and have forever lost, resulting in me having to make some more for this Winter!
Anyway not very exciting but its a job done....
Poor Hubby P has the most dreadful poorly chest..... yet off he went today to earn a crust, I think lots of us have coughs and colds....
What we need is something soothing, something to sooth the throat and warm the cockles.... I looked in the store cupboard to see what I had....
Uummmmmm.... the makings of Treacle Toffee!

I know its well past Bonfire Night when its traditionally made, but I am sure its really a
Winter-y sort of thing... got to be good for coughs and colds.

I just made two little toffee tins of the delightfully rich stuff .... full of proper ingredients like real butter and rich dark sugar, non of your nasties in good old Granny's toffee.

Although you 'score' it well it never breaks as it should does it!
So I put all the odd shapes in an old sandwich tin .... a kind of help yourself tin.

And wrapped the larger pieces in greaseproof paper .... these can be sneaked into a pocket when venturing outdoors in this chilly weather. I'm sure I will need a stash on Sunday when we go to the Carboot Sale.

A sweet little stash on the dresser!
And for Hubby P ..... coming in from a long cold day....

his absolute favorite...... Shepherds Pie!
xxx Take care for now xxx

Monday, 29 November 2010

How Many Hankies Does A Girl Need!??

Hope you are keeping toasty warm...
I have spent the day going through my boxes of treasures, trying to 'thin out' all the stuff I have collected over the years.
There is so much of it!..... there is no room for new finds!

These were in my hankie box .....
Just how many hankies does a Girl need?
I went through them and put some aside to go to the Emporium...... someone else can have the pleasure of them.
I do use 'proper' hankies ..... clean one everyday ...... although I don't tuck it in my knicker leg ..... me reachin for my handkerchief would raise a few eyebrows at the carboot!

I just love this spotty one and of course the retro blue colour delights ... I wonder who 'D' was?

And just look at all the embroidery and drawn thread work on this one.... its just lovely..... my hankies are just a little something that I enjoy everyday.

I found this too ..... its a cover for slipping over nice, 'best' clothes when storing/hanging them in the wardrobe. Another nice, thrifty ... gentile sort of thing we no longer do.
The cotton fabric, well its vintage now..... is just so pretty. I gave it a bit of a wash and thought I would keep it, and use it.... but maybe I will ebay it... still a few bits to get for Christmas and the old ebay account is a bit low.
Hay ho... where does all the money go.....!
How's your Christmas Shopping going? I went to Asda today.... got quite a shock at the prices, everything has gone up! I went to buy a vest .... silly prices!
Off to do a bit of crochet now.....
xx Take care xx

Friday, 26 November 2010

A Peek Into The 'Emporium' - Distract Us From The Cold!

Brrrrrr ~ its cold here, I think it is everywhere, at least we haven't had tons of snow ... yet!
My Sister and Partner are coming to visit tomorrow ... they rang to say they were at a B&B in the Snowdonia mountains ... they had hoped to camp!!!!?? But no campsites would let them... I said she was a crazy person!
She laughed and said it..... 'craziness' ran in the family!
They hope to go walking tomorrow.. in the mountains... she said 'its beautiful here - the view fantastic!'.. I said 'it was a pretty good view from out of my window.. and it would do me!'
I will have something hot waiting for them tomorrow, they will come on to us after their walk and stay the night ... be nice to see them... its been a while.
They have the habit of travelling the world .... kayaking up the Amazon last time, and she's written a book about their adventures..... If your curious now look at the blogs, oh.... and they have an exhibition on in Manchester at the moment .... take a look...
General Blog - piecesofsky-chris.blogspot.com
Finding Manchester, lost in Bolivia (The University of Manchester).....

So .... on to the mundane ... I live the quiet mundane life ..... its cold ... so I think of food!

Warm hearty, happy food .... so today - industrial amounts of warm veggie soup, we go thorough it at an alarming rate!
Family drop by ... for soup!
Pies for tea .... allsorts pies ... eating up odds and ends pies.
And of course flapjack ... It couldn't even cool and be photographed before Richard had pinched a bit.
I've mentioned of course that Hubby P is now his own Man.....answers to no one (but me of course! - but don't tell him!) and has his own little business....... wheelin and a dealin!
Well the little Emporium we started has grown from strength to strength .... well its Hubby P's really..... I just play about doing the nice bits, helping out ..... playin shop!
Thought you might like a peek.....

Lots of Vintage-y stuff ... hats, bags..... stockings
and the like.

And Buttons .... lots and lots of glorious buttons...... well lots of bits and bobs of sewing and crafting stuff in general

More pretty scarves and .... well..... general prettiness!

And of course with all that access to lots of crafty/sewing stuff ..... some of my pretty heart corsages.... ideal for Christmas stockings!

Oh .... and some dingly dangly bits for your tree .....
So you see I have been busy .... and I must admit its nice to meet the Ladies who visit the Emporium..... as you can imagine it attracts crafty people .... so we have lots to talk about!
Lots and lots of talking!
Anyway enough for now! you must be bored rigid .... that's if you have made it this far!
xxx Take care xxx keep warm xxx

Monday, 22 November 2010

Make Do & Mend Curtains and Cosy Evenings

Hello there all you kindly people!
Hope you are having a good week and getting prepared for the snow they are promising us - well, we in good old Blighty that is..... we still get all excited about the weather!
Well the nights are well and truly in, real 'Winter evenings' now, where the only warm place is around the fire, snuggled with a blanket around my knees.
I like a little candle light too, I find it soothing and gentle on the eyes..... no good for sewing or reading mind..... but nice for contemplation!
Busy busy here this week ~ I had a 'that's it - can't stand it any longer' moment.... the 'it' being the tatty paintwork in the sitting room..... well all the house really - but lets break it to Hubby P gently!
I rummaged about in the shed to see what paint we had, and came out with some large tins of 'Farrow and Ball' - posh paint...... indeed expensive posh paint. Obviously it was a 'find' from a carboot sale - there is no way I would or could afford Farrow and Ball prices.
Sooooo - ever so posh ere now with our posh paint on the walls!
Of course new paintwork makes everything else looks a bit sad and worn - still its homely and warm.... and its paid for!
I've been searching for weeks for my thicker 'Winter' curtains - I've put them away somewhere 'safe' - I can't find them.... anywhere!
So I looked to my stash of fabric and found some really rather nice, very old, heavy-ish cotton barkcloth curtains, 1940/50's I should think.... very very nice.

First of all in the spirit of Make Do & Mend I had to find some header tape - so I unpicked some from an old curtain (a rather nice Laura Ashley curtain as it happens - I think it may become a door curtain, so I can sit and look at it, and it can hang and look pretty!).

As you can see I have finished and hung the first curtain ( I really must get on with the other).

I just so love this pattern, and the muted old fashioned colours are just lovely.

Of course some of us ..... namely Charlie the cat.... didn't lift a paw to help!
xxx Keep warm..... Take care for now xxxx

Monday, 15 November 2010

Stocking Up For The Chilly Days!

A quiet, thoughtful, winding down sort of day at the Allsorts.
The days are getting chilly and our thoughts are turning to snugly times by the fire.... I just hope its not too long and cold a winter.
This morning I donned my new carboot 'find' - how do you like my 'new' Vintage Gardening Gloves.... I must admit I was highly thrilled to spot them in a box. They remind me of the sort Margo Ledbetter wore in the TV series 'The Good Life' .... anyone remember Margo? wasn't she just Splendid!!
Anyway preparations were for the delivery of this wonderfully scented stuff!

Luckily Richard was at home - Hubby P having taken himself off to earn a crust..... a full load would have been a lot for a Girl to stack on her own... and anyway can't get my new 'Margo' gloves too mucky!

A good start to Winter preparations.

Richard had a good session raking up the leaves, I helped with the brushing bit .... the Margo gloves of course made all the difference..... adding a touch of style to the occasion!

I had the camera with me too, the sun was lovely, shining on the front of the house, and brought out the pretty colours of the few remaining flowers.

This simple sedum looked so striking.

A last few flowers, braving the cold.

I tried to capture the green of this pine .... it was so fresh and bright.

Piles and piles of leaves... surely they must be all down off the trees by now.

The sun was low in the sky and soon the rain showers drove us indoors.
But its a nice feeling to be prepared for whatever the Winter months may throw at us.
Hope you had a good day!
xxx Take Care xxx Bye for Now xxx