Friday, 22 September 2017

So far, So good

The quilting has begun and it is looking good, just the long straight lines so far. I have rolled it ready to cross hatch but have finished sewing for today.

The mincemeat has been in the oven to melt the veg suet down, it is out on the side now cooling down. Once cold it will have the brandy added before going into cold sterilised jars, they have been washed and rinsed and are in the oven now, in an hour I will turn the heat off and let them cool down. 

I am planning a new take on the apple jellies, I saved the pulp, pips and skins from the oranges and lemons used in the mincemeat. I will chop those up and add them to a Kilo of chopped apples and some Haws and just cover them with water. To this mix I will add a whole nutmeg, some  Allspice berries and a couple of cinnamon sticks. The hope is that the spices will release their flavour and scent into the liquid so that I get Christmas Jelly. I am only adding the Haws for colour, my concern is that the whole spices will leach their colour and brown jelly is not what I hope to achieve.

I plan on a lazy evening with some gentle knitting, it is pouring with rain and I managed to get soaked earlier. I had to shower and got straight into PJ's and the clothes were spun before being washed.

I have some Saint Agur cheese in the fridge  and a grilled cheese and red onion sandwich is looking good for a lazy dinner possibly with a dollop of relish or chutney.

Ben is treating the weather with total disdain and has turned into a couch potato, I can not say that I blame him.

Washing is bumbling around in the dryer, less ironing later.

Now I need to drink my tea before it gets cold, the SO made it and I don't want to discourage him.

                    TTFN                                         Pam

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Shiny, Sleepy and Spiny

The jelly was a success, 6 jars and a taster (now gone, delish on breakfast toast). A very shiny photo, 

as is the Dresser, I have polished it once, it was gleaming the day that I picked it up.

Jelly making was of no interest to Ben so he retired to the sofa for a little sleepy time.

This is very spiny, all the basting pins are in and I am about halfway through doing them up. My fingers needed time out, I think there is a gadget for that and I know that I need one.

I made a small batch of sweetcorn relish this morning, see Sue's recipe from the cottage at the end of the lane blog.
No celery seed, bother! finely dice a stick of celery and add that. Mmmm there is curry powder and turmeric in there so how about some cumin seeds, done.

I have 3 jars cooling, it smells amazing in the kitchen so a larger batch may be in order.

We had really heavy rain last night, it hammered down but has dried out a bit now. If it stays dry I will be gathering Haws later, there are some stray raspberries in the freezer that may get added to the next batch of jelly.

I have a batch of mincemeat to jar, made with vegetable suet so that I can gift some (in jars and in pastry) with no worries. Many of my friends are either non meat eaters or avoiding beef.

Now I better knuckle down and get back to my pins, I did try stitching a few time but on a large quilt it takes too long, and they all have to be picked out later....all those threads.

            TTFN                                                           Pam

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Hips and Haws and other good things.

I had to do quite a bit of driving yesterday, I did get the dogs walked first though.
On my return, after a cuppa of course, I went "hunter gathering", well just gathering really.
Inspired by Jess I collected lots of Haws and then I spotted some rose hips. Suffering a few minor scratches I added those to my basket.
As I turned to go I spotted a few apples in amongst the turning leaves of a little thicket, another scratch or 2 but goal attained and 4 decent apples went in with the booty.
To round it all off I picked some late blackberries and then turned for home.

Once back I picked over my haul, put the hips into the processor and blitzed them. chopped the apples up, along with a few that were left from the last jamming session, washed the haws and berries and got them in the pot with enough water to cover. A good boil and simmer with a couple of attacks with the potato masher and into the jelly bag to drip overnight.
As I tap away the resulting juice is boiling away with some sugar and will soon reach setting point.
I will let you know how it is tomorrow, must dash now.

                     TTFN                                                  Pam

Monday, 18 September 2017

Marmalade out. Jess Jelly in.

Jess and Ivy came for a little visit yesterday afternoon, it was a wonderful tonic.
Jess brought a jar of Blackberry and Hawthorn jelly that she had made that day. I was on my best behaviour so I waited until she left before ripping the lid off to have a sniff. Oh My Word, sweet, smokey and deeply fruity. Autumn in a jar. I did have a tiny taste and the SO had a larger one. It now has a label on reading HIS.
Tomorrow I will be picking Hawthorn Hips and probably begging apples from Jess to make a batch.

I also received a thank you card, for Ivy's birthday gifts, that is on proud display while it waits for a frame. It is a montage of photo's of Ivy having fun and I love it.

The bright jumper and hat fitted and I have a green one that needs finishing in the same size. The next ones will need to be a little bigger. There is a special joy to be found in knitting little garments, nothing to do with a quick finish at all, even more so than with a pair of socks.

Here is the top of my Dresser, I am so pleased with it, I have not put all the china out, just most of the Old country Roses. The Silver Maple had to stay in the kitchen cupboards. The flowered stuff does look better against the dark wood though.

All my curtains are now hung, I am just waiting for a rug to arrive. 

Ben doesn't know whether he is coming or going, he spends a while in one room on the sofa and then moves into the other for a snooze. Rufus just took it in his stride.

I slipped over to Llandeilo this afternoon, I took a stack of books for one of the Cafe's which is raising money for a charity. Deb's hubby is having a turn out as well and will transport them all together.

She has some lovely new Alpaca blend yarn in but I was not to be tempted, however 2 balls of Acrylic and cotton blend did slip into my bag, just enough for a small person cardigan.

I have a list of jobs to do in the garden over the course of the week, fingers crossed the weather will co-operate. 

I don't think there is anything else for today, I hope intend to get Ivy's green sweater finished tonight and possibly cast on the cardigan. I do have socks on the needles, of course I do, but want to save them for my hospital waiting time. Rufus,s owner is still in plaster and consequently we are trailing back and forth.

On that note I am off to get dinner ready to put in the oven, I want the timing set so dinner is ready when I get back from walking the dogs later.

                             TTFN                                        Pam

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Resting up.

After the past 2 weeks of moving things around, and generally being in a perpetual whirl, I have thrown the towel in.
Knitting is is it's bag and the door to the craft room is firmly shut.

I had another disturbed night, that's 3 in a row, and woke up feeling completely out of sorts.

The dogs had their walks and I settled into the corner of the sofa with Copper on the box.

2 cups of mint tea have refreshed me but the thought of food brings on nausea ( I hate being sick so food is off the menu).

I think that a day or maybe 2 with clear liquids only will perk me up.

I have bought myself a Welsh Dresser, a lovely old piece that has been polished by generations of women. The owner passed and her daughter has not got room and the granddaughters were not interested.

It is not only lovely but now houses my pretty china that has been languishing in the cupboards for far too long.

I have a photo but the camera is in the craft room so it will wait for another day.

The sun is shining from an azure sky but the garden is a bog after so much rain. Perhaps tomorrow.

Now I am going to put episode 3 on and sink back into my cushions.

                       TTFN                                       Pam

PS. Copper looks very realistic, I am so glad that smelly vision has not been invented.

Friday, 15 September 2017

New look Craft Room

A few days have slipped by since I was here last, they have not been frittered away. I have been working away at my Crumb Blocks.

This is part of a long strip that will be the side borders,

this is the other end. I am not sure about that dark stripe, I may cut it out. This will be cut in half lengthways and there is plenty for both sides. The cut aways will be built up to make top and bottom borders.

Here is a section of the Crumb Quilt, I cut the sashing too wide and that is why I am making the colourful borders. I will bind it in either the sashing green or a darker shade.

The move from back to front of the house is complete and I am reasonably happy with the layout, there will be some tweaking I have no doubt.

Most of my small cuts of fabric and notions are here right behind the sewing cabinet.

This is my knitting corner, right next to the sofa all my pattern books are on the bottom shelf, nice and handy. All I need to do is clear a space for my cuppa.

The rest of the yarn storage further along the wall, just like the fabric there is still quite a bit in large storage boxes. I will get to them after some serious crafting.

A close look at the bottom shelves in the knitting corner, I have plenty to keep me busy through the darker months.

A long shot of that wall, the overlocker and a small sewing machine are in the middle, the printer is ready for any pattern that takes my fancy. You can just see a corner of the ironing board, it is far too big and I intend to make a pressing pad to have beside the Janome for when I am making blocks.

I will get photos of the other room asap,but finishing the Crumb Quilt is my number 1 priority. I have another top ready to baste and want to get them done in tandem. hauling my roll of batting around is hot work and the fewer times I do it the better.

Now it is time for me to get off my btm and get dinner on the table.

                   TTFN                                                Pam

Saturday, 9 September 2017

A little chink of light.

Shining through the gloom of moving stuff from here to there (and back again a few times!) there is a tiny light. The Grace frame has gone to her new home and is set up ready to serve. 

That space gained is wonderful but much better is the knowledge that she will be working again, not gathering dust.

I admit that I had reservations about parting with her but knowing that she was going to such a good home soon sent those off.

I now have to hold my hands up and confess to blanking out all the jobs on my list and having some quality sewing time. Several more crumb blocks have been pressed and attached to the sashing strips.
Even better 2 rows are assembled and the 3rd is on it's way.
Right now I am considering a 4" -6" crumb border and then a solid binding. 

Once I have cleared enough space to photograph my makes I will have a  photo heavy post.

I also have to knuckle down and reply to comments AND get some blog reading done. The past week has raced by and when my bottom has hit a chair my brain has turned itself off.

Thanks to the tireless grafting of the SO ( and a big thank you to the rain that has kept him indoors ) the work is all but finished.

We have eaten out of the freezer and a fresh meal from scratch will be cooked today ( roasted veg and cauliflower cheese) and tomorrow (probably a roast). Then it will be back to the freezer on Monday, I have a loooooong list of jobs, including more marmalade as the SO has taken a shine to it, so cooking time has to be sacrificed. I also want to clear the freezer of made up meals before they become ancient.

I want to thank everybody who has stuck with me and my hasty scribbling, and a big thanks for all the positive comments. It is lovely to read them all and each one gives me a little boost.

My storage, that looked so right in the big room, is so topsy turvy and higgledy piggeldy in the smaller room that I see some shopping on the horizon. It may well be in the form of wood for some custom built shelving ( is it too naughty and selfish to hope for more rain).

All these decisions and plans have kept my mind whirring most of the night. A good long walk with Rufus will blow the cobwebs away and clear my mind, I hope.

I almost forgot to tell you that at one point I could not get to the breadmaker (or the making for a loaf) so I bought one. Sunflower and Pumpkin seed, it tasted pretty good but my word it was doughy. I made a copy yesterday and will be trying it for breakfast, if looks and smell are anything to go by it will be fantastic.

I hear Ben stirring so better get the door open for him. Back soon.

                             TTFN                                           Pam