Saturday, October 31, 2009

pics of pifs

now that my PIF gifts are safely received by their recipients, I can share the pics:
I'm on a bird sewing production line at the moment - all birds are cut and waiting patiently to be sewn. They make pretty scraps:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's still October but...

I've listed a few of my scrappy tree Christmas decorations in my etsy and folksy shops today. I'll also be listing some of my birds soon too.This weekend I've also been working on a couple of PIF gifts for Mrs Locket and Dotty Designs. I'll share these once they have arrived with their recipients.

As most people reading this will know, the clocks in the UK went back last night (they probably also went back in some other countries too right?). How great is that - a whole extra hour of sleepy goodness, and as a result I seem to have had quite a productive day. The bad thing about this of course is that it gets darker earlier - and taking pictures is more difficult with less natural light.

This week I was also featured on Cuteable - a whole post all of my own. Sweet. Thanks Lyndsey.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

glove love

There really is still hope for all the single gloves out there. phew.

if you have any single gloves hanging around looking for a life partner, you can donate it and help it find love. You can also purchase a newly matched couple too. How sweet.

Monday, October 19, 2009

ducks, pups and chairs

check out this fab fabric (can you say fab fabric?)

You can get it online here. If I could think of something to do with it then I'd have already purchased some - especially at £3.99 per half metre!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I've recently been collecting fine bone china It might seem a bizarre thing for a 33 year old but I have reason. Next year, me and Mr Monda are getting married, and have decided that we'd like an old fashioned afternoon tea as part of our celebration. It will be quite a modest affair really but will be quite beautiful with an ecclectic mix of old fine bone china. I've found some lovely pieces and feel like I almost have a new addiction for pretty china. It's understandable that people used to have this saved in cupboards and sideboards for special occasions. I think it's massively underrated and I'll no doubt be using some of the lovely pieces after our wedding too (I can't believe I am writing 'our wedding' - it makes it all seem very real).

I've not had much time for creativity this week, I've been sewing a few more birds but really need to get my butt into gear and get a 'to do' list on the go. I've been doing some drawing and have some ideas for some new softies that will hopefully emerge in the coming few weeks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

birds of a sweater

A little something I've been doing in the last few (chilly) evenings. I made some of these hanging birds last Christmas also, and they proved quite popular so I'm making a whole lot more for my upcoming fairs this year (and a few for my shops too).

This weekend I've also updated both my etsy shop and my folksy shop. Some prices in etsy are reduced (exchange rate check) and have added some of my stitched postcards into my folksy shop

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

shoes, lasers and green tomato chutney

I've been doing a spot of internet window shopping today, and came across some shoes that must be mine. It's a shame for my feet that they are not in stock in my size, but my bank account is happy about this - they are £80! They are lovely though aren't they.

Today I also had my 6 weekly laser zapping session. PCOS causes a hormone imbalance - increased testosterone and this results in excess hair growth. Some people can deal with this but it really depresses me, so I opted to pay for laser treatment to reduce and elimate the hair.
The lovely lady who does the treatment whacked up the intensity of the laser beam today, and I definitely knew about it. It's only a momentary burning sensation but I was just on the right side of yelping out loud, whilst tyring to have a conversation with her about the recession. The things us ladies have to go through just to look and feel normal.

As a couple of people have requested it, here is my recipe for Green Tomato Chutney:

1kg green tomatoes
2 medium sized apples
500g soft brown sugar
500ml malt vinegar
2cm root ginger
125g raisins
300g onions or shallots (I used white onions)
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon of mustard seeds (I used the white ones, not sure what it would be like if you used the black ones)

  1. Wash and chop the tomatoes into small pieces. 1kg is a lot of tomatoes, so I gave mine a quick blast in the food processor
  2. Peel the ginger, and bash it with a rolling pin - but don't break it up
  3. Peel apples, and chop onions to roughly similar size to tomatoes - again, I blasted mine in the food processor
  4. Put all the ingredients in a deep cooking pot or jam pan, stir with a wooden spoon and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  5. Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. Prepare glass jars by washing, drying and then heating in a 200 degree oven for approx 20 mins
  7. The chutney is done when it has a jam like consistency. Depending how liquid it is, you may need to cook it for up to another 30 minutes
  8. Before decanting into Jars remove the ginger. Decant chutney into the warm glass jars and cover each jar with a disc of greaseproof of wax paper whilst still hot
  9. Leave for at least a week before eating. 3-4 weeks is best :o)
I tried and tested the chutney today - I had it with some pate on toast and it was dee-lish.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Canvas Bags

Last night I went to see Tim Minchin - a very clever, funny and talented guy.
I've just checked You Tube to find a funny to share with you. This one will require you to crank up the sound a bit, but it will be well worth it (there are also other versions on YT but this one was closest to the one we saw last night). I love the Michael Jackson moment towards the end. Genuis.
I just won't believe it if you tell me you're not hooked on this tune. You'll probably sing it when you go to the supermarket from now on.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

for the love of tomatoes

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE tomatoes.
I've been busy using up the last of the tomatoes from the greenhouse - the ones that were just not going to ripen before the plants started to rot. I've been a fan of green tomato chutney since my mum made it when we were kids. This one wasn't my mums recipe though, just one I found online that suited the ingredients I had to hand. It's been maturing for a couple of weeks now and I'm having to resist opening it and having it with some nice strong cheddar and soft fresh bread. I'm salivating.

I do actually have one tomato plant left which I planted out in the garden late. I've moved it to the greenhouse now but I'm not sure if the tomatoes will ripen - we've had some warm days but some pretty chilly nights of late. I might need to make a few more jars of chutney.
I'm finding more and more that I enjoy the process of growing, eating and preserving foods. Last week I treated myself to a Maslin Pan, a confectioners thermometer, and the WI book of preserves. Mr Monda just groaned when he saw the book, in a 'you're becoming an old woman' kind of way. Oh well.

Last week I also made myself a little button necklace to go with the outfit I was wearing. I didn't own any purple accessories so I raided my stash and made a long necklace from buttons, felt balls, and a length of black waxed string. My friend also liked it, so I made one for her in oranges and yellows - very autumnal