Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring days

Sunshine on an early Spring day heralds the start of potion mixing season. Fairy soup, home made perfumes and curious bath time essences. Oh h
ow I remember doing this in my own childhood and whilst I quietly dispose of the stagnant, rotting contents after suitable period of time has passed I cannot help but smile to know that blossom and water can still provide so much fun in a digital age.

The rhubarb has flowered once again. I cut the stems quickly, eager for the plant to return its energy to fruiting, these un-fur
ling pink and green cauliflower like heads provide a strange sort of beauty when placed in a vase.

Tea outdoors, of course it tastes better.

Alongside potion mixing, den building is the order of the day.

Cherry blossom against a wide Suffolk sky. A promise of the fruits to come.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The goodness of bacteria

I have wanted to make yoghurt for a very long time. Over the years I have periodically bid on yoghurt makers on Ebay, never winning any of them. Every six months or so the urge tickles once more and I waste a little time browsing
various methods and machines.

Sometimes I was put off by the size of the machine.

Sometimes I was alarmed by the idea of mixing in a mysterious sachet of powder.

And often I was terrified by talk of temperature control and bacteria.

But yesterday, in an effort to distract a bored child, I took out my copy ofRiver Cottage Every Day

The method was explained in such a simple, matter of fact way and after all, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall is the same man who gave me the confidence to mess around with boiling sugar and egg whites resulting in the very best marshmallows anyone ever tasted.

So we took courage and made yoghurt. It took minutes (well, apart from the waiting around bit). It really wasn't scary at all.

The results? Only the very best yoghurt anyone ever tasted. Seriously, this yoghurt is amazing, so fresh and creamy, truly better than any yoghurt we have ever tasted and that is before we even added anything. The children and I are smugly thrilled with our home made yoghurt.

The Technical Advisor is unconvinced and will not indulge, he is scared that I will poison him with my freely growing live bacteria. Sigh, but you cannot please all of them all of the time, such is life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Reaching the other side

So I limped my way through the end of last week, feeling very viral once again but in between running a temperature I managed odd bits of frantic sewing and preparing for Sunday's craft stall.

On Saturday as I sat shivering in the warmest sunshine we have had this year I really did wonder if The Technical Advisor might find himself standing in a marquis singing the praises of hand sewn hair slides and Liberty prints but around about 4pm adrenalin began to take over and much was suddenly achieved. I worked until late on Saturday night and went to bed with plenty of coughing.

Somehow, on Sunday morning I awoke buzzing and feeling good! The sun shone down and full of nerves I began to lay out my wares. I was surrounded by wonderful smells, there was bread and cheese. Pies and cakes. Gorgeous lotions and soaps, a stall full of beautiful greenery. There were tantalising sausages and curry to die for. Happy beef and of course there was Handmade at Poshyarns too.

I really was nervous, anxious that no one would buy, I wasn't sure that a Farmer's Market was even the right sort of venue for my first stall. But I need not of feared.

The people kept coming, hoards of them. There were cars parked right through the village and some of those people even bought my things!
Hurrah, hurrah, I was so very relieved, the atmosphere was full of friendly bustle and I certainly hope to be doing it all over again at the next Assington Farmers' Market. By 2pm it was all over, I was quickly packed up and by 2.30pm I was back at home, sipping G&T in the garden (this is a very local event for me!) , grinning from ear to ear and feeling as though I had most certainly reached the other side of my little mountain.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

In praise of yarn

I first stumbled upon Quince and Co a couple of months ago and was immediately smitten with their beautiful pattern selection.

The yarns sounded exciting too and I cannot tell you how much I love the fact that they use the same colour palette across the entire yarn range. I don't know why more yarn companies don't do this and I have no idea why it makes me so happy, but it does.

Quince and Co is the baby of knitwear designers Pam Allen (former Interweave Knits editor) and Carrie Bostick Hope alongside historic mill rescuer Bob Rice. I fine pedigree indeed.

After several months of cyber stalking I could bear it no longer
and placed an order. This is glorious Lark in Peacock. It is all that I hoped: soft, squishy, gorgeous saturated colour. It came wrapped in a brown paper bag and the enclosed compliments card had a handwritten note of thanks. Perfect in every way.

And in case you don't want to pay Royal Mail's rather irksome £8 handling fee (although even with that added on this yarn still works out at a very fair price compared to something like Rowan) the good news is that I have been reliably informed that Loop will be stocking Quince and Co yarn in the not too distant future.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday job

I had an array of Saturday jobs from an early age and whilst waiting for the early bus to work I often used to feel I was missing out on those teenage activities such as lying in bed or talking on the phone.

As I folded t-shirts under horrid florescent lights I would fret about not being able sit around chatting with my friends - smoking cheap cigarettes and drinking endless cups of coffee in dingy cafes.

But I did like the money in my pocket, the money to spend on new pairs of lacy tights and jingle jangle bangles, the money that paid for my Saturday nights out.

I found myself working today, the prevalence of germs in this house of late have put me way behind schedule with my craft fair preparations. So I sat in the garden, the sunshine was warm upon my shoulders, the scents of fresh mown grass and early blossom in my lungs, I had tea & a little snack to my elbow and I sewed. As I worked the birds sang for me and I did not resent working on a Saturday for even a second.

Labels: , , , , ,