Monday, May 30, 2011


My cousin has a birthday coming up shortly. She has recently started her first real job, and will be going to university part time too, so I thought that a new tote bag would be just the gift. One with lots of pockets to carry around all of her stuff. I used duck cloth for the exterior fabric and quilting weight cotton for the lining which I fused to interfacing. For the straps I used that webbing that you buy by the yard at the craft/fabric store. Here is what I came up with ...

This pocket has a zip, somewhere to keep the more important things. I added a fleur de lis jewelery charm to the zipper pull,it adds a little bling, and It also ties in with the design on the fabric.

This is the other side - it has 3 pockets on it.

The inside - again there are plenty of pockets. I also included 2 pen pockets (my pet hate is having to search for a pen which is invariably lying amongst the junk in the bottom of my bag!!!)
Then for those troublesome keys, which seem to also gravitate to the bottom, I included a clip.
I loved this lining fabric - the red just added the splash of color I was looking for:-D

I hope she likes it. I think I want to make one for myself now.

On a jam making note .... I made kiwi fruit jam on Saturday, it was perfect, and soooo delicious.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I've always thought of those who make jam, as being at the absolute pinnacle of domesticity... in the same league as the likes of Julia Childs. The whole process, from sterilizing the jars to making the jam, to vaccum sealing the jars in a water bath, just seemed way beyond my ability. So, I decided today would be the day that I took up the challenge, and gave this jam making thing a try ..... so ....

With the ingredients prepared ..... and ....

The recipe chosen and read .... and read again ..... and again, just to be sure, I set about making my jam. I followed the recipe exactly .... I mixed, I skimmed, I boiled, and then I bottled the jam. I tentatively set about doing the canning bath and ..... It worked perfectly!!! The lids all sealed like they should .... no click clacking when I touched them:-)

This is what I have to show for my effort - 7 sweet little half pint jars of strawberry goodness!!! I do hope it gelled like it should .... the little test that I did on the cold plate did gel nicely, so I hope the jars do too. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, and have picked out Kiwi Jam as my next challenge. I will give these jars a week or so, before I open one to see how well it did gel - Yummy, I see English tea scones with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream in our future.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend:-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Our YOE ornament for April was nests. My partners package will have arrived, so I'm not spoiling her suprise, and I'm going to share with you what I made.

I put away my sewing machine, knitting needles and crochet hook for this one, and I have to admit, it was a lot of fun.

I used garden twine and glue to make this nest. I covered the bottom of a bowl in plastic wrap. I then soaked my twine in a mixture of 1 part white glue and 1 part water. After squeezing out the excess liquid, I wound the twine around the bottom and sides of the bowl, to make a nest shape. I intentionally left gaps in the twine, so that I could thread yarn and bits of fabric into the nest once it was dry. I left it to dry for 24 hours. After removing it from the bowl and plastic wrap, I threaded the bits and bobs into the nest. I finished it off by lining it with spanish moss and feathers, and I glued some teeny tiny wooden eggs that I found in my treasure trove of goodies:-) I glued a wooden peg onto the bottom of the nest, so that it could be clipped onto a branch on her tree.

I thought that these would also look cute on an Easter or Spring table setting.

We have a few real birds nests scattered around our garden at the moment ..... I love that they're a promise of new life, and we eagerly await the hatching of their precious contents each year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This is going to sound a little wierd I know, but I woke up this morning remembering not the dream I had, but the apron that someone was wearing in it .... who was that someone - I have absolutely no idea!!!
It was a gardening apron, really simple, but I thought I'd try and put the thing of dreams into reality. I made it up as I went along, using fabric and binding from my stash, and I really do love how it turned out:-D

I made pockets of varying widths to hold all the gardeners neccesities (plant journal, pens, seed packets .... you get the idea), and I also added 2 D Rings from which to hang things.

I can see myself wearing this little creation while I tend my veggie garden, which is doing VERY well, and of which I'm extremely proud ..... I've never grown veggies before, so I'm quite thrilled at how well It's all doing:-)

Until next time ..... keep dreaming!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Well it certainly has been a while!!! That strep hung around far longer than expected. All is well with the world now ... no more sore throat or feeling yukky!!!

Nothing says warmer weather to me, more than lemons. Yellow, tangy and just altogether summery:-) Making a lemon meringue pie really signals the beginning of long, lazy days to me. I made my first one of the season, for a girls get together, yesterday.

I thought I'd share the recipe with you .... it's quick, easy and totally delicious!!!


1 pie shell, prepared, baked and cooled


2 tins full fat condensed milk

4 egg yolks

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix together the ingredients above. Once well combined, pour mixture into the prepared pie shell and bake at 350 deg F for 20 mins.


- 4 egg whites

- 1/2 cup ultra fine (castor) sugar

Beat egg white until stiff and peaks form.

Add the sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.

Pile on top of the pie filling, ensuring that the edges of the pie are sealed.

Make peaks in the meringue with a fork.

Return to the oven and allow top to brown slightly. Watch this very carefully, as it does not take long.

Allow to get completely cold, and then enjoy!!!

Now to show you the reason I jetted off to the UK for 2 weeks .....

My super cute niece and nephew ...... I absolutely adore these 2 kids:-)

I only wish that we all lived closer to each other, so that we could be a more integral part of their lives, and so that my kids could have their baby cousins close at hand.

Until next time ....