Saturday, 31 July 2010

A Little Emporium! and Allsorts!

Sorry its been a while! I feel I have neglected you woefully!!
Even my Sister rang me to see if I was still alive - thinking - no blog - something must be amiss!
Well all is fine here, just busy busy!

These trusty boots have become Standard Carboot Issue! As you can see it was a bit muddy today - after the 'monsoon' that was Friday - the rain just never stopped all day.
We have been doing as many car boot sales as we can - boy have we got some stuff packed away! I've turned out all those nooks and crannies - bottoms of wardrobes, backs of cupboards, its amazing what I've found!

So here we are all packed ready to go!
Hubby P has become an expert packer, this little van can hold so much.

We pack everything in suitcases ( well we do have one or two suitcases here) - then we or rather Hubby P - simply lifts them out of the van, arranges them on the grass and opens them up. We can spread the contents out a bit - putting items in/on the lid. It seems to work quite well and people like to look at the old suitcases.

I found myself a nice old shabby vase/plant container. Here it is waiting for a suitable, pretty plant or something. I had to rather smuggle it home - as Hubby P keeps reminding me, we are supposed to be selling things to a make home less cluttered and easier to manage - can't see it happening myself - 'My name is Vicky and I'm a car boot Addict' !!!
Talking of clutter - a REALLY exciting little project - I've got myself 'A Little Emporium'!
We have 'taken' as they say, a storage -big - storage container - mostly to store all the stuff/er Vintage Collectables we had stacked in the house. The containers have been installed in the lockable/secure grounds of the carboot sale premises - so not only is it ideal storage, but on carboot sale days we can open up the doors and sell from it.

But what a job sorting it all out - mind you it will be fun - its like playing shop!
It has been taking up a lot of our time - and its still not just as I would like it - well frankly its a tip - stuff everywhere! No doubt we will get it sorted soon.

Its always nice to meet like-minded people - and if we can make it welcoming
hopefully they will come and browse.
Only this weekend we were talking to a couple who did WW2 re-enactments, they were looking for items they could use, items of Uniform and Vintage dress. It all sounded so interesting - its amazing the lives people lead.

And of course no self respecting Emporium would be complete without a touch of Bunting!
More photos when its a bit more organised!
On the Home Front!
The apples keep falling off the tree - its a huge crop, I can see us looking like an apple this winter - we will have so many to eat!
Still - An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor at Away!!

They are always good to put in the jams, jellies and chutneys.

Friends and family keep dropping off fruit and veg - it seems every ones garden is producing lots of lovely goodies - just need to make the time to 'deal' with it all. I do need to make some Jumble Jelly - its what one of my American friends calls mixed fruit jam - isn't it such a cute name!?
Surprisingly we are on our last jar - we must eat it by the ton.
All this standing out in a blustery - er - somewhat cold and wet fields - requires hearty carbooting food!

We've just eaten 'hearty' pie (made with all the nice veg a friend left on the doorstep - fresh from the allotment), and a coffee and walnut cake, made with nice fresh eggs from our chickens.
Don't look at the burnt bit on top of the cake - it was going to be iced - but needs must - I couldn't wait/was too tired to mess with the icing!
I just don't want to get the 'Hearty' ruddy cheeks that seem to be the 'look' of outdoors-y people - I'm hardly fragile and waif like as it is, Yes -I can definitely do without the ruddy cheeks!
Enough nonsense!
xxx Must be time for bed! xxx Take care for now xxxx

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Sorry its been so long!!
All a bit upside down here - the usual Summer 'full house' with family and guests and Hubby P being rather unwell - enough for the Dr to say he needs a break from work. Nice to have him home, but of course that means less money coming into the home - so as with many of you a further tightening of the purse strings!
And the RAIN!!!!!
We have had so much of it I thought we would be washed away!
At least the apple tree is loving it - all this rain is making the apples grow large and plump!
Hopefully lots to harvest for puddings and jam, maybe even some chutney.
The garden has taken a battering, but this large stand of Elcampane just loves the damp and is thriving

Elcampane I suppose is a bit unusual in a garden - it is usually found in the wild, I bought my cutting from a specialist nursery, having never seen it in the wild (although I have found some since, growing on some rough ground). I like to gather the unusual - well I did end up with Hubby P!

Elcampane is a very tall plant - easily reach 6ft and huge leaves - it needs a big space - it is a rather striking 'full on' plant.
It was used inn the 'olden days' to make a cough medicine, and was said to be especially good for curing Bronchitis. I think they dug up some of the roots mashed them and boiled them up, then made a syrup with the liqueur.

I love to explore all the old receipts and 'cures' - it amazes me what they made from everyday plants growing in the hedgerows, no wonder they called the old women with the knowledge 'Hedgewitches'.
And of course the flowers are so sunshiny and pretty!
Onwards and upwards with the thrifting - and now of course thinking of all and everything to make a few more pennies, so many of my recent finds will have go on ebay to help things along, and we may do a carboot or two if the weather brightens.

Do you recognise 'Julie's' ironing board - I covered it in some of the pretty pink and blue fabric, it looks so sweet. I found the little pink push along trolley today at the carboot - the cheery pink colour attracted me - and how about the Hobby Horse! Who remembers? Who had a Hobby Horse as a child? Hands up!!!!

Found these today too!

Delightfully vintage and shabby! Just the thing to sit under with your G &T - if it ever stops with the RAIN thing!!
A little collection of dusty leather bags, I've had these a while - just took me a while to gather the enthusiasm to get the polish out and deploy a bit of elbow grease!

They came up really quite well - I just love the shabby leather look!

Of course I want to keep them all - I have two already that I use - they are really very shabby, but all the better for that.
It wasn't that long ago, I was in B & Q and a complete stranger - lady of a certain age - stopped me and asked where I had got my 'wonderful' shabby bag from. She couldn't believe I had found it at a carboot and preceded to offer me larger and larger amounts of money for my bag!
Stood there - right in the middle of B & Q!
Of course I said no - it is a very nice bag - and valuable too - or so it seems!
I can never go into B & Q now without thinking of the 'Bag episode' as Hubby P calls it - of course he thought she was completely Bonkers!

The new ones have come up quite well with a bit of polish and plenty of effort - bit boring though - polishing!
Pity I can't find the B &Q lady now - I wonder if I hung around B & Q touting shabby handbags !!?
xxx Must be bedtime! xxx Take care! xxx

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Weekend Treasure and Thrifty Snippets!

Hope you all had a nice weekend.
We had a nice time - we had a car boot stall both Saturday and Sunday - exhausting! Mind you I think its more of a social occasion than anything - we saw so many friends and spent a lot of the time chatting to interesting people.
Saturday afternoon we called in a little village - Menai Bridge - and stopped by a rather lovely Antique shop - lots of lovely, lovely things!
Hubby P treated me to a very old and very lovely garden trowel - it is just such a lovely thing - and Yes - I do intend to use it.

I have even put an old oily rag in my tool bucket so that I will give the trowel a wipe over once I have finished using it.
Lots of nice finds this weekend - I did get to have a mooch about, seeking out interesting things to show you.
How about this for a pretty Vintage dress?

I think its from the 1960's and in wonderful condition, the fabric has that 'new' feel to it - as if its not been worn or washed - you know, still kind of starchy.

It is just so pretty - real Boho Chic!
This fabric intrigues me - I feel its a bit, well may be designed by one of the well known designers of the day - Heal's or someone.

Such a striking print - anyone know anything about it? any ideas?
A quick Thrifty Snippet!
Lots of courgettes here - I have only two plants but they are going great guns - there are only so many we can eat in one week!

So I am doing as I did with the peppers - chopping them freezing them on a tray (flat) and then bagging them up. I should then be able to just get a handful out when needed, be nice to have courgettes in the colder months once the fresh courgettes have finished. I try not to buy out of season fresh veg - its always a bit expensive (and so it should be - the amount of precious resources that are used to produce it).

Spotted this little child's ironing board at the carboot sale.
So dinky and sweet!

It was Julie's ironing board.

Well it has Julie written on it - so forever it shall now be known as Julies ironing board!
I shall find some nice fabric to recover the board, give it a new lease of life.

Another quick Snippet!
I find lots of lengths of good useful fabric in the guise of unwanted
curtains etc.
I found this pretty cotton - it was a made into a blind, a bit grubby and unwanted - I bought it for a few pennies.

All you need is a zip stitch-y tool or a pair of scissors and a few spare minutes - I just keep it by my chair, and when I sit down for a cup of tea I do a bit of unpicking. I took off all the curtain header tape and unpicked the seams - gave it a good wash and iron, and ended up with some good big useful bits of fabric.
Fabric is so expensive to buy, for my bits and bobs of crafting these reclaimed lengths are just fine - and I find some nice unusual and/or vintage prints.
I think I may use some of this pretty cotton to recover Julie's ironing board - the blue in the fabric matches the blue paintwork on the ironing board.
Must be bedtime now - been a busy weekend!
xxx Take care xxx

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Bit of This 'an That ~ Thrifty Snippet, Shabby Chic!!

A little bit of everything tonight - just what I've been up to the last couple of days!
First of all my harvest - just look at these glorious little gems!
Its the first time I have had red currants to pick - the birds usually beat me to it, and last year the bush was stripped of leaves and fruit by ants. It seems to have recovered, although the other bush (I planted two ) is a poor scraggy thing.

I just have the two red currant bushes, I have them in the border with all the pretty flowers - they don't really get any attention, I just had a fancy, at the time, to grow red currants then I could make red currant jelly to have with roast lamb.
I don't have the garden space for a fruit garden, so I just make do -

although I don't think there is enough here to bother with jelly - all of 6 ounces!
I put them in the freezer - they will be used in something or other. They are a fabulous colour - Mother Nature has a wonderful sense of fun.
Playing about with my door again!
I put a little collection of Shabby stuff together in a boring sort of corner -its where we sit, so I wanted something to look at - if you know what I mean!

I dragged the old step ladder out of the shed - I had painted it up a while ago, a nice gentle green-y colour.

And nestled my little collection of vintage fish tank and cloche on the top. I have a little dish planted up with a teeny tiny fern, and some Navel wort - a fascinating little plant that grows like crazy on the walls, and in our hedgerows. I hadn't seen it before we moved to Anglesey - its called navel wort because it just looks like - well a navel - its round like a penny with a dip in the centre (I think its other name is Penny - something). It grows quite large in the wild, depending on conditions - mine is confined to the small dish - so is a dainty - fairy size!

I found this old shabby chair at the carboot - Hubby P was going to do it up - but I quite like it as it is. The old enamel potty is there to act as a sort of repository for Hubby P's cigarette butts, and other unsavory things - quite apt really, considering what it once perhaps used for!

We went shopping - we I couldn't put it off for much longer!
I managed a couple of Thrifty buys - some fruit and veg was on offer, so that was good, I bought quite a bit. Peppers were a mixed bag of 3 peppers for 50p - cheap and cheerful so I bought 2 bags. Now there is no way we will eat 6 peppers in a week or so, so I chopped 4 of them and lay them on trays and put them in the freezer.

They should be ok tomorrow to bag up and stay loose, so that I can just grab a handful for stir fries and the like - bit like I do with the frozen peas - everything gets peas in it here.

Hubby P does like his Shepherds pie, so we have to have minced beef, I like to buy British or Welsh - even more local, if I can. They had these big packs for about £2.80 I think, far too much for just Hubby P and I (Both Richard and William are veggies) - so I split the pack into three.
I think it said 400gms on the box/pack - it doesn't mean any thing to me, I know its shameful, but I cant get a grip on this metrication! My formative years I grew up with pounds and ounces - so that's how I think - so anyway - back to the mince - it madeapprox 8oz per pack and three packs, thats 4oz of meat per person which is plenty - it all gets padded out with lots of veg, or baked beans in the case of Shepherds pie.
A good deal there, and mince always gives good flavour to a dish - very versatile and quick to cook.

At the moment I am all for quick and easy - I have so much to do and not enough hours in the day - I've just noticed its after 11pm now - I should have been in bed ages ago - Ahhhh the things I do for you lot! hehe!
Lots going on here, big project ????

Here is a hint of things to come.
It must be said the 'Men' of the house are not too thrilled -but Hey! sometimes a Girl just Has to have her own way!
Show you some pic's next time - if the sun shines for me!
xxx Take care xxx

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Use It Up an Eat It Up! Thrifty Snippet!!

Is it raining with you? 'tis a bit miserable here!
We went to the carboot sale today but I'm afraid I haven't anything exciting to show you, any goodies were a bit thin on the ground, and rather too expensive for me. Still - can't expect Treasures every week!
So I thought I would share a Thrifty Snippet or two with you.
Well really it was just a case of 'what on earth can I make for tea' when I knew I ought really to go shopping - although I couldn't face a busy supermarket today. I hate shopping at the best of times - and Hubby P was busy playing - oops sorry - - familiarising himself with his new sanding machine, a noisy power-tool thing-y, so shopping was out of the question.
Very little fresh veg left in the fridge, and some rather 'sprout-y' potatoes that needed eating up.
So - that's healthy/low fat oven chips made from the potatoes (chunky chipped, par boiled and roasted in the oven with brushed on olive oil).
What to do with the end of the cucumber?(now don't be rude)
I chopped a goodly amount for our salad - only Richard and I had oven chips and salad, Hubby P statin 'a Man can have too much green stuff' so he chose something else - more manly!
Now when I was a girl - 'in the Good old Days' - maybe? In my Grandmothers kitchen, and ours/my Mothers, during the summer there was always a dish (in my Grandmothers - I can 'see' it clearly, it was a huge cut glass dish) of cucumber and onion in vinegar - its a lovely pickle to have with just about anything, I eat it by the ton.
Its very simple - just use oddments of cucumber (skin cut off and chopped) and onion and put them in a dish/jar (I use a sealed jar - it can make the kitchen smell a bit pickle-y otherwise), pour some vinegar to cover them and I add a bit of sugar, give it a stir.

I keep adding to the jar whenever I have an odd bit of cucumber left, or bit of onion - or I just make more because I love it - especially on cheese sandwiches!
Eventually of course you have to start afresh with new vinegar - the vinegar will get cloudy.

Next out of the fridge was the last of the carrots, a cabbage and I always have a few onions - so coleslaw it is then.

Grate the carrot, finely -ish chop the cabbage and onion, and mix with a bit of Mayo.

Now Richard was hovering around in the kitchen (asking why I was taking pic's of his tea? -
I suppose it is strange behaviour!) - anyway I asked him to pass me the mayo from the fridge and he said that he preferred my coleslaw when I make it with half mayo and half salad cream. Well - things being in the desperate state they are - shopping wise, I said we didn't have any salad cream unless - we had any in the Saddam Cupboard.
Now the Saddam cupboard goes back a long way - when the children were little and the News was full of the threat from Saddam Hussein, and any conflict with him may lead to shortages - so I had a cupboard where I kept extra tins of food - extra emergency rations.
I suppose I was brought up (living in the 'wilderness' - no easy access to shops etc) with full cupboards, not fancy expensive food - just basic staples.
So the Saddam cupboard is still a feature - and the name stuck, its not a huge cupboard, but it holds all the necessary to get us by.

But as you can see - no salad cream! - Bad Mother!

So we had Coleslaw made with just mayo - and very nice it was too.
(pleanty left - we didn't eat the whole dish full)

Plenty of lettuce - did I mention I have a greenhouse?!!!

Today a friend kindly gave me some homegrown new potatoes (they do look rather good - tomorrows tea?) and some Garlic - rather small but all the same very garlic-y, and very welcome.

I decided to make some Garlic oil with it - I have quite a bit of garlic in the fridge, we don't eat it at every meal, so the garlic oil would utilise the fresh garlic - preserve it I suppose.
I made a lot of this oil when I grew garlic myself, a couple of years ago - I shall grow it again next year - did I mention I now have a greenhouse?!!!

Simply peel the garlic cloves and pop in a clean jar, pour some olive oil over them (or whatever oil you use to cook with) - in a day or so the oil will be flavoured by the garlic and you can use it to cook with. You can also of course use the cloves themselves, just fish them out of the oil, give them a chop up and add to your stir fry or whatever.
As you use the garlic oil from the jar top it up with fresh olive oil - lots of garlic-y power in those little cloves.
Its just one way of using up the garlic - I don't know about you but the ones I buy soon seem to sprout - give the oil a try, scrummy used when frying mushrooms - well, that's if you like garlic of course!

Sorry if its been a bit of a 'same-y - cooking-y' post, just thought it would be a bit different - Richard says 'hope you enjoy pictures of His Tea!' I think he thinks we are all mad!!!!
xxx That's all for now xxx Take Care xxx

Friday, 2 July 2010

Harvesting My Lavender!

Just a quickie post - just to share these nice pic's of the lovely 'blue' that is my lavender!
So what have you been doing today?
I thought it a good day - at least it was dry, to harvest some of my Lavender to make little dried bunches of the summery flower.

I don't have a great many lavender plants - I would like to have great swathes edging garden paths, like you see in posh gardening magazines! - but unfortunately I have only a modest sized garden. But I must say, having lived with a small backyard - I am so very grateful for what I do have, and fill it to bursting with all the flowery delights I can find - on the cheap-ie of course!

My couple of little bushes have done me proud and flowered their little socks off - so before they 'go over' I thought I would save their delights, and their wonderful summery scent, by drying a few bunches.
I can scatter them amongst my linen, or in my drawers - a waft of summery lavender is always welcome in the depths of winter!

I simply snip the flowers with a longish stem and tied them in smallish bundles with cotton.

I have hung them on a little clothes hanger and knitting needle contraption I cobbled together, and hung them in the conservatory where they will dry nicely - smell wonderful too.

xxx That's all for now xxx Take care xxx

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Rain! Treasures! And a Bit of The Geoffrey's

Welcome to another Bloggy week - where does the time go?
I don't mean to leave it so long between Blogs - I do have lots to tell you - and I do try and keep up with every one's Posts - it just seems there is not enough hours in the day or days in the week!
Weekend saw us off the Island (a great event for us - we don't venture far!) and all the way to Lancashire to visit family. It was our youngest Grandchild's Birthday party - a hot and sticky affair!
Hubby P swears he drove all the way home with strawberry jelly behind his ears! - I think he was just being a bit dramatic myself - whats a bit of jelly between friends!
Anyway an enjoyable time was had by all.
It was so hot over the weekend - we had wonderful, growl-y Thunder on Monday night and then the rain started - well its been pretty wet shall we say.
I quite welcome it in a way - the garden certainly needed it - no doubt the weeds will grow like crazy now.
But its fair bashed about the Elder trees, the flowers are falling like showers of rain, pretty - lacy, scented rain - the air is filled with the scent of Elderflower.

Just look at the steps up to the shed - it looks like confetti - just like outside a church after a lovely, romantic wedding!

Here they are scattered over the hood of my herb pram - just look how dainty and perfectly formed they are - there must be millions or trillions of them - twirling down from the trees, gracing my garden - what a treat!
The greenhouse is doing amazingly well - full to bursting! I've moved a good few things outside - so many its hard to walkabout the yard, but is so nice to pop outside and pick fresh salad and whatnot.

Car booty Treasures!
Just a couple of things to show you - how about this for a little cupboard!

How dinky is this - I know the blue is a bit extreme - and its badly painted when you look closely, so the idea is to give it a vintage shabby makeover. Once the rain stops and I have a spare couple of hours.

Just look at its dinky little feet - I think it will make a lovely, unusual little piece.

And I couldn't resist this! I couldn't walk by for just a couple of £££££ 's!

I just like the whole shabby green-y colour thing-y going on.
It must at one time have been a functioning outside electric light - all the internal lamp-y bits are missing and the glass. So its really just a shell of a lamp - a lamp at the end of its 'useful' purposeful life - maybe how some of us feel sometimes! ha!
So I brought it home to live with us.
I put a couple of old jam jars inside it to hold little candles - we had them alight the other night, and how pretty they were - still life in the old lamp yet!

A bit wet for the Geoffrey's tonight - but the other night we got some good pic's.

Geoffrey enjoys a custard cream biscuit!

Remarkably tame - the camera is almost inside the tree house.

This is one of the younger generation, lighter in colour and of course much smaller, helping himself to the peanuts. What do you think ? Is he a Marvin, or Billy? or perhaps a Gertrude - Gertie?
That's all for now folk's - I will try and get you some more interesting pic's once the rain stops, and of course there will be more treasure hunting at the weekend!
xxx Take care xxx