Thursday, 28 June 2012

The 'not so' domestic goddess!

I refuse to think of myself as a domestic goddess these days. It's not the fact that I don't enjoy pottering about in the home and producing lots of lovely things to eat and to look at, it's more the fact that I refuse to think of my self as 'domesticated'. I rather think domesticated refers to one who is tame and obedient...that is not me! Oh no, not me!! It's that wild side that refuses to conform and become predictable in her ways. We all have that within us, it's just whether we allow it to be active or dorment. I guess it's back down to all that stuff about whether or not you act the person you are or whether you behave and live as others think you should. Anyway, how did I get here? Well I was going to share my enthusiasm for cleaning with you...yawn, yawn I hear....I know not the most exciting subject is it. I am not house proud in terms of being obsessive about cleanliness but I am proud of the home I keep and have created. I have moved house eight times during the past twelve years (an expert in the field I now think). Each time I have been incredibly sad to leave the home that I have grown to know and love, every intricate nook and cranny that I have endured to dust and polish time and time again. But as the process of moving gets underway, I have realised that it is your existance, your family and friends and your belongings that make your home special and homely to you, and when you and your treasured possessions become familiar with their new residence, then that becomes 'home'.
I have been at cottage number two for about ten weeks now (oh how time has flown)! I still have unpacked boxes around that I don't seem to notice much any more (there's a danger there). But I have some pictures up and I have created some lovely things to make my space homely.
 Fir cones look beautiful and natural and are great room fresheners if you pop a few drops of essential oil on them. I used Lemongrass which I love, although it did smell slightly of cat pee after a few days!
 Look, there it is again on one of our many bookcases!
 Oh this is sad...does anyone feel that amazing sense of pride when their sink gleams? Mmmm, (turns head away) I just can't help it. Perhaps it's because it doesn't look like that all the time!
 Here is my finished project with those crochet flowers that I became so hooked with...I am very proud of this one!
And a posy from the garden, there is something really lovely about bringing in some of the garden.

Enough from me, have a lovely day xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 22 June 2012

A taste of Summer....

OK so the weather is rubbish! This is Britain and we have to at some point accept that we don't get predictable lovely Summers as they do in other parts of the world. In fact, it is pretty safe to say that Summer is a pretty void season here, quite literally! Perhaps if we braced ourselves for storms and cold weather, we wouldn't feel so disappointed when such conditions occur.
Enough of that business, I wanted to share some of my sweet, delicious Summer nectar with you so that you can bottle it and dream......

Kim's Elderflower Cordial:

30 Elderflower heads, picked on a dry day and lightly rinsed
2 lbs sugar
6 pints of boiling water
1 packet of citric acid (available at chemists although they do ask what you are going to do with it, so steer clear of bomb-making answers!)
3 lemons
1 orange

Pour the boiling water over the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Allow to cool.
Add the citric acid, elderflower heads and juice of the lemons and orange, I squeeze each then chuck in the skins chopped up!

Stir and cover.
Leave for 24 hours then strain into bottles.
 Don't be put off by the rather 'urine-like' colour or the bugs, just strain those out and wipe them from your memory!
I just use a bit of clean net curtain for this (with small holes of course).
Dilute with water, sit back and enjoy! xx

If you bottle in an old fizzy drinks bottle you can freeze your mixture and enjoy it all year round, otherwise it's best kept in the fridge.

Mmmmm delicious!


Sunday, 17 June 2012

I did it!!!

Since moving into Cottage number 2 about two months ago, I've had numerous heaps (quite literally) of shelves, things and pictures that have needed putting up on the wall. With no man about the house and little F, well just a little too little, it's been left to me. I could have asked some other willing chappie of course and I've had some very kind offers of help, but you know how it is if you're the sort of person who is (dare I say?) just a little's OK to drive your husband mad when you say 'this way a bit, no that way, up a little...yes....oh no, here', but to drive some other poor man to the edge of despair from which point they may never be willing to help again, just doesn't seem right. So the heaps of things have just become part of the furniture and the drill I borrowed from Dad several weeks ago has just sat there waiting with intent.
 Until today that is.........I decided to start with securing an old bookcase to the wall in the shed (the shed is already falling down so I figured if things went completely wrong it's better to wreck the shed then the house!). Anyway, when I got out there I realised that there is just too much stuff in the way to get to the shelves, a bit of wood was protruding out of the wall which needs moving first and there was just not enough room to manoeuvre the bookcase to do it, so rather then give up before starting I moved to another job.
Now most normal people would practise using a drill on a small item......not I, I seem to have an inbuilt something that wont permit such, I tend to plunge straight in at the deep end......
 The biggest set of shelves to go in the most prominent area of the house!
Oooh the excitement of it all from working out how to open the end of the drill to put the drill bit in, to working out what size raw plug and screws to use. Hehe here was a girl on a serious mission!!
 With pencil behind ear I clambered onto the kitchen table with the shelves precariously balanced in arms...not an easy feat that. The trusty spirit level balanced perfectly on the top and 'mark, mark'....oh the suspense of it all!
A few quick revs on the drill (I've observed that to be part of the process) and away I went drilling freely. On the first attempt those little plastic plugs just wouldn't fit the holes, so a larger drill bit was needed and oooh in they went with a little help from my hammer...very neat!
Next I had to tackle holding that shelf and screwing in the screws...oh the sheer relief and delight to see my holes perfectly lined up and how easy it was to screw in those little babies.
 Tad ah!!!!!
Finally I can unpack another box and enjoy another piece of home.
Right what's next?

Monday, 11 June 2012

News from the cottage

Awww rain rain pleaaaasssssse go away!
I think I speak for most of us when I say 'enough is enough'. Surely that hose-pipe ban will have to be lifted soon? We shall all have to build arks at this rate!
Anyway enough of my complaining....what's been going on in cottage number 2?
Well we had the Jubilee weekend......
My bunting flew in the tree looking pretty and the sun beamed down for some of the weekend at least. We went along to our local Street party and discovered that 'The Cameron's' were also in attendance. In fact the children sat next to them! Me being the cool, 'I don't want to appear startstruck' momma just casually nibbled my food whilst standing around, and it wasn't for about 30 minutes that I whispered in Miss P's ear that she was sitting next to the PM....Mmmm what a surprise that was to her.
This was a Nigella 'London Cheese cake' I baked for tea with my family. We used my grandmother's old bone china tea set so serve it on. Tea with cucumber sandwiches and cake (lots of it) arrr just perfect and very British!
This is my latest sewy project...'What is it?' I hear you ask, well this is my newest creation and it's a badge banner. Yes, that's right, you sew those wonderful swimming, ballet, whatever badges on it and hang it on the wall. Brilliant for displaying all those sew-on numbers for keeps. Shall be selling these if you're interested!

This is the little sports car that Tim bought me last year. I love it!
Loved the vrooom and the rattles as it put puts along...not so sure about the cloud of smoke that erupts occasionally from the exhaust though!
Just drove it for the first time yesterday to the vintage and classic car show in Churchill. Yes, that's a sale sign in the window...unfortunately it's not really a family car....but I shall enjoy it whilst I have it!

And finally.....
Don't forget to smell those flowers! Aren't they pretty?

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Totally hooked!

Have I told you about my new passion? 
I had been wanting to create a 'Granny square' for oooh ages and ages. I borrowed several books from the library but could I follow the instructions a word 'no'. How could something creative escape my capabilities??? Not to be deterred I looked up the basic steps on You tube and within no time I had whipped up a bag (sort of). Then I stopped practising my new found talent and forgot how to do it , until, that is I discovered Lucy at attic24 then arr I was totally hooked once again. I realised that my house also needed to be filled with colour so I've been busy playing hooky here and there for weeks not snatching little bits of time to create beautiful things to cheer up my house and all who grace her.
Check out these roses, I can master one in 20 minutes now....yes I know I told you I was hooked!
I've gone on to create a whole bowl full! Not sure what I'm going to do with them? Perhaps I could make brooches, hair clips, I could decorate clothes....oooh the possibilities are endless....
But my latest project.....
 It's going to be a cushion cover.
Did you gather my new passion is Crochet?
Right I'm off, I have more cupcakes to decorate....Mamas coming to tea! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 1 June 2012

Red, white and blue......

Jubilee time at last!!!
I have to confess to not really being terribly into things 'Royal'. But with all the hype surrounding the Jubilee, how can you not feel just a tad bit excited by the weekend that lies ahead? There's soooo much going on (almost too much) and with all the bunting flapping outside houses....Ok, so we're going with the flow.
Not content with the plastic bunting that is lurking somewhere within the over packed garage, I decided to make my own (why oh why????). Anyway here goes.....

Pretty fabrics purchased from Freelance Fabrics in Kidlington.
 I cut out three different sized triangles and some hearty hearts too and laid them out on the floor to determine my spacing and the pattern of flags. I've made mine double sided.
 The finished garland! I snipped the edges with pinking shears, it stops the flags fraying and gives them a textured look (also hides imperfections!)
 Tad ah!!!!
 And here they are on my fig tree for all to see when they visit this weekend. That'll be the cat, dog and the postman then.....
 Oooh had to share the decorations of Chipping Norton with you. Aren't they lovely? There's a lady who knits and crochets and sneaks around popping up these little beauties to glorify the town. Well they have certainly cause a stir and talking point in our household.....Yes mam, well worth a glance!!
 Well lovelies, enjoy the festivities of the weekend whatever they may be xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx