Saturday, 28 February 2009

Pimp My Chook

Been busy in the garden again this morning, it really isn't as warm as it looks! Lovely bright day, although it has become rather ominous now, but not spring like today!

So I'm busy taking product photos for the website and the Chickadees are helping, well sorting really, earth moving to be more precise. But anyway, there I am getting cold hands and trying to operate small fiddly buttons on the camera when I spy across the garden Gladys strutting along, sporting a go faster stripe!

Obviously my first instict was to have a look around to see where I had left the white paint, but then I realised that apart from the fact that I have not been painting recently, there would be a vast amount more mess if the feathered ones had gotten hold of a paint pot! Mind you, I'm having a thought - if a shed door can make it into an art gallery, surely a master piece by a trio of Chickadees would be worth a try? Hmmmm.....

But on closer inspection it would appear that Gladys has infact grown herself a bright white feather in amongst the usual brown ones on her left wing. She would not oblige with an outstretched wing view but she did stand on one leg for us.

Off to see if any of them have tried to grow a fat exhaust or shiney hub caps, they'll probably be propped up on bricks, just waiting for some corn!

Take care all

Sarah x

Friday, 27 February 2009

Spiced Mug Mats

Have been adding the new range of Spiced Mug Mats onto the Land Cuckoo website ( this week so thought I had better let you have a look too! This fabric collection is so cheery with its big bright sunflowers it brightens my day just sewing with it.

It has been quite a bit harder than I thought it would be to transfer my products to be viewed by pictures only. When you see something 'in the flesh' you naturally use all your senses at the same time but being restricted to a 2 dimensional screen, no aromas or the ability to be able to pick up and feel means that I have to be able to describe the missing links. That is testing! Having flash backs to school english lessons, eeugh! (obviously I would be marked down for that sort of descriptive language!)

Off to test an email thingumy I want to do now and then I can finish my quilt - yes I am nearly there, eager to get onto the next project now!

Take care all, Sarah x

Thursday, 26 February 2009

My band of happy helpers

Just been out in the garden taking the photos for the new mug mats that are ready to go onto the website and I was joined by a quintet of feathered and furry friends. I am not including the rather chatty crow who watched from nextdoors tree whilst gabbling crow speak at us the whole time!

Firstly we have the georgeous George who isn't really interested in photography or mug mats but would rather like to play with something he has found in the garden.

Here he stayed right next to me, only just out of camera shot with the occasional nudge just to see if I was ready to play yet.

The chooks were not really interested in taking part in anything work related once they had found that the corner by the compost bin was looking like a good place for some grubs today. So all we see of them is their fluffy bottom side inbetween feet fulls of dirt being hoofed onto the grass.

And then Missy, who decided that she would observe from afar and took her seat on the old table. This look that she is wearing is the one which means 'I have no idea what any of you are doing and don't much care to join in as it all looks rather too much like hard work - taking photos, playing or kicking up dirt, not really for me thanks all the same'

So the photos are done, just in time as it is now starting to rain. Will be getting them all onto the website ( next if you wanted to have a look. After that I have to figure out how to be in 2 places at the same time or at the very least, how to be at one before I have left the other, oops, I either need a very good plan or a Dr Who moment!

Take care all

Sarah x

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Thank you

Just wanted to say thank you today, to all of you who have been reading my ramblings and to those of you who have left me comments or emailed me . You have been very kind and encouraging and it means a lot to me.

Thats all I wanted to say today, nice and simple.
Thanks again, take care all, til tomorrow...... x

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Paperwork mountain overthrown.

When I woke up this morning I had an overwhelming desire to go to that large yellow and blue Sweedish superstore. The only reason I can think of for this is the fact that the last thing I looked at before bed was a shelving unit which would work rather nicely in my workroom, and it was on special offer. Incidentally I had been looking for something totally unrelated when I found this! Incredible how my mind must have been ticking over (sometimes surprised that it does that even) whist I was sleeping for me to wake up compelled to do something so specific. Now I only have to train my brain to use this to stop eating chocolate, biscuits and crisps, go to the gym lots more, plan and prepare lovely meals, save money and work lots! Then I shall write a book all about it and make a few more pennies, simple!

Did knuckle down and get the pile of paperwork, which has been threatening to take over and run a small country, reduced to nothing today though! Look at that - a clear desk, even as I write which is a few hours later the desk is still clear.

Anyway, didn't get my Ikea fix today, will have to plan another trip to look at all the lovely storage..................... ummmmm boxes, files, things to put other things in, I love it! And meatballs.

Off to see what Hubby has rustled up for dinner
Take care all
Sarah x

Monday, 23 February 2009

Arms of jelly

Please excuse any typos in todays blog due to the above mentioned jelly arms, just been swimming and I have to admit that one bowl of coco pops does not give you enough energy to do however many lengths I just did! Thats another thing - how the hec do you keep count of the lengths you have swum? My friend used to move one bangle from her left arm to right arm at the end of each lap and then back again if we were there long enough, genius, but she wasn't there today and I cannot keep count in my head, too many things pop into my mind as I am going. Not least 'remember to breathe when head is OUT of the water' and 'do not start a conversation before you have reached the end as you will take on board more water'. And another thing - I am truely amazed at how some people can swim up and down whilst holding a conversation and not get their hair wet! How does that happen, really, I am too puffed to talk (OK so maybe I need more practice) but dry hair? Never going to happen.

So now I am resisting the urge to raid the biscuit cow (its where the good biccies are kept) and am trying to hang on til lunch time. Made a good soup yesterday with random veggies that we had left before we go off and raid the farm shop later. Still doing ok with our restricted budget for food so far this month (even including the 4 currys!).

Now the chooks have started laying again we wont have to include the eggs in the budget! Vera has joined Gladys in laying now. Her egg is the little one, she does lay the most beautiful patterned eggs, I guess they match her markings/feathers as hers are much more striking that the others.

Think the sheep may have finally had enough of the cow field. Saw them this morning all penned up ready to go off somewhere, I really don't want to know where, just in case, so I believe that they are off to escape from another field around the village. I did think that they had all got out and make themselves at home in the cemetary at first when I saw them, but soon realised that even the black faced sheep were in there and that wouldn't have happened if left to their own devices!

Lovely Hubby bought some flowers home for me last week and they are just coming out beautifully now, very striking perfectly white tulips, georgeous!

I can wait no longer, off to raid the larder for lunch now. Before I forget there is one more hot koala picture left. Possibly my favourite, but they are all so lovely. I know they were coming out of their usual habitat because they were so hot and thirsty but it has been great to see these animals that are normally so hard to see in the wild, at least they were when I was looking for them on my travels. I hope that all the charities in Australia continue to recieve enough money to help restore the wildlife affected by all the bush fires too.

Take care all, til tomorrow x

Sunday, 22 February 2009

She saw seals at the seaside

So we didn't go to Devon this weekend, but we did go to the seaside for the day yesterday. First visit of 2009 and it was so nice to blow the cobwebs and get some sea air, I love the smell of the sea.
This is the coastline at Caister, just north of Great Yarmouth. The sea was so still yesterday, was more like being by a lake. It did make a change from the last few times we have been where you have to walk into the wind first or run the risk of not having enough energy to walk back to where you started. Even George was looking at the sea like he might give it a try, but he is still not keen on the whole moving water thing.

We were treated to the closest encounter with a seal that I have ever had. The black mark in the centre of the picture is in fact a seal, quite a large one and so close to us too. I have seen quite a few up this coastline but never as clearly as this one. Next time I shall have to remember to pack the binoculars.

The sunset was spectacular and this picture only tells half the story. By the time we got back to the car and were on our way to get the fish and chips (we were at the seaside - it had to be done) the setting sun was glorious with streaks of bright orange and red across the sky. Naturally, my camera was in the boot of the car and with no safe place to pull over, the images are only in my head, sorry!

And now it is back to work, there are lots of jobs around the house and garden to keep us busy here. So I'm off to do more washing, not that it's that taxing really, the machine does it doesn't it! I'm just the administrator of clean and dirty stuff!
Take care all
Sarah x

Friday, 20 February 2009

Four currys and a cold

I had the most fabulous idea this morning whilst catching up on the washing up, lets go to Devon. Well I could make it work, nothing I like more than being completely random and going and doing something as soon as I have thought of it. Right now I could have had us all packed up in the car and off down the A1, Missy booked in to the 5* hotel, aka my parents and George asleep on the back seat. But the thing is I have a husband. That should not be the end of the sentence should it! What I mean is that I have someone who is very sensible and level headed, which is almost definately what I need, but not necessarily what I want! At least not today. It makes sense to stay and work (for me) and make the garden better/tidy (for him) but I just want to not be here for a bit. I have no particular reason to not want to be here so cannot make a vaild argument for my case other than the spoilt only child one of 'but I want to!' spoken in a rather whiny and whinging voice whilst skulking off to my room.

I am going to put this one down to the fact that I obviously feel better than I have done all week and am rebelling against the cabin fever from being stuck in the house of poorlyness this week and prior to that the 'I don't actually need to go out so I wont be silly and drive in the snow unnecessarily' stuck in the houseness.

Just realised I have had curry four times this week, is that a lot? Two in one day is possibly a little excessive but I did that too! Oh well, I'll get my veggies off the market tomorrow and juice myself silly for a few days.

Found Missy had tucked herself away in a different spot today, this is her spot in the evenings when the fire is on, must be a sign that it is warming up. Still not as hot as the koalas are though. The Bushfire Appeal shop on the Etsy website is going fantastically well (find it at they have raised over $13000 Australian dollars. Just had to retype that as I initially read it as $1300, that really is a huge effort from the Etsy community.

Off to get busy now, take care all

Sarah x

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Found my quilt

The quilt is back! Well by that I mean I have dug it out from the far reaches of my cupboard, spent ages looking for the bag of material left over from the piecing together of it and have begun finishing it off! Hmm the words begun and finish in the same sentence, not sure that anything I have ever done has been started and finished very quickly - no worries with starting things............

So, great day so far, sewing this morning and leggo this afternoon (been playing with my friend and her little boy), onto the mint tea and ginger biscuits now - going to improve my digestion no end with that combination aren't I? Don't think all the sugar in the biccies can get cancelled out just by a spoonful of ginger tho! Ah well back to the gym tomorrow now that I am not longer sneezing for England.

Sorry to be brief, want to get back to the quilt so I'll just leave you with todays bear.

Take care
Sarah x

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

And then there were two


We have another tree! Those nice men from the tree nursery came back and dug another hole to keep the first tree company. Apparently they wont get to 40 ft tall, that is their maximum height. The reason for the trees is to replace the one that had to be cut down as it had grown so big it was damaging the houses! It will be nice to have them there, did miss the big old tree when they took it down, although it has been heating our house lovely in the woodburner!

Finally got a picture of the snowdrops which are popping up in the churchyard. They did make it through the snow but I thought I'd wait until they weren't so camoflauged.

In our village we have quite a lot of squirrels, and they are responsible for planting a lot of trees, especially walnut and conker trees. Last year I dug out over 30 conkers from my veggie patch and a fair few more from the lawn! Caught this little fella running through the trees this morning. If you are a squirrel (you probably wont be reading this) but if you were, then it is possible to get from one end of the village to the other without your feet touching the ground using trees and telephone wires.

Found some lambswool on the fence in the cow field, it is so soft and smells great! Don't worry, these sheep don't have an identity crisis from living in the cow field, they don't know about the cows. But I have decided that the ones with the black faces are not as rebellious as the ones with white faces. This fact is apparent because everyday I go there, the white faced sheep have jumped over their fencing and are mooching around the entire paddock but the black faced ones have stayed within the fence because that is what you are supposed to do. Now I dont know much about sheep but I do know that they can loose their heads when crossing a busy intersection!

Anyhow, off to make more tea, not forgetting the koala for the day.........

Take care all, til tomorrow

Sarah x

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Trees and birds and birds in trees

We have a new tree.

Some nice people from the tree nursery came yesterday and planted a Sorbus thuringiaca Fastigiata on what used to be the grassy bank until we all had building work done which turned it into a mud bank. This was very nice of them, apparently it is a 'compact tree', when I checked in my gardening encyclopedia it grows to 40ft!

Just stuck my head out the back door to speak to the chooks and let the dog and cat in and out and back in again. It is so nice to hear all the birds chattering, coupled with the mild day that it is today it actually makes spring seem possible. As I cannot send you the sound that I can hear I took a picture of what I was looking at at the time! If you look closely you will be able to hear the woodpecker tapping away too. We have both green and greater spotted woodpeckers, don't know which one is making the noise!

Found the Chickadees running from the scene of their latest crime - rearranging the fallen leaves from our 'Spikey', yes we have even named our tree. Then they decided to check out Missy, who was not in the least bit impressed and sloped off to the other end of the patio.

And finally do I have room for another hot koala picture? Oh yes I think I do!

Take care all and be safe, til tomorrow

Sarah x

Monday, 16 February 2009

More Hot Koalas

So the weather has brightened up and here I am stuck inside with Hubbys germs that he has kindly passed on to me! Not going to bleat on about feeling rotten so going to look at some of those koala pictures!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend full of romance and pampering. We, in the Land of Cuckoo had a duvet day yesterday! This consisted of finding all available pillows and duvets and sitting on or under them whilst watching films and eating pizza!

Time for more tea, tissues and a vitamin c boost now. Take care all and stay safe

Sarah x

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Pretty boats for dinner

Time just got away without me yesterday, never got near the computer to post on the blog at all.

Now I must say a big thank you to Becky who kindly let me nose through her new book last weekend with the end result being that I came home and immediately ordered my own copy. Did try to sneak out with hers but she was too quick! The book in question is Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food and it is brill! It is written so that any recipe challenged kind of a person can read and understand what to do! Don't you just hate it when some recipes just assume that you know to do any number of instructions without telling you?

So I did cook a curry last night with veggie bargies (ok so I know that must be wrong spelling, I now have an image of pretty miniature narrow boats arranged on the plate) and my own mint sauce! Would have taken a picture of the feast but seems as I managed to dish up a whole hour later than planned we just ate it!

Saturday's Bear!

Off to tidy up the house, it has been a little neglected this past week.

Take care all, Sarah x

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Machines need love too

Evening All x

Don't have a vast amount to say for myself today, it happens sometimes! Been back at Maggies (Sunflower Fabrics getting my fabric fix and am now all keen to get back to sewing things! Apparently I should have changed the needle in the sewing machine quite some time ago - this could explain the strained noise it has been making recently. I just assumed it was going through the January blues, hmmm, but I suppose it is a machine so doesn't have the capacity for feelings, hell no, of course it has feelings! But all the same I shall treat it to a new sharp pointy needle and some oil and we will see how we go, call it a trip to the beauty parlour! Why do I keep saying words I have never used before today (meaning parlour, eh?)?

Here's todays koala

I am loving these! Hope you are too.

Off to see if in fact you can play table tennis with an iron.............

Take care and be safe

Sarah x

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Bush Fire Appeal

Please visit the Etsy shop which has been set up by an Etsy member to help raise funds for those affected by the horrendous fires raging in Australia. All the items available to purchase have been donated by different members of Etsy and will be shipped free of charge worldwide.

I know we are a long way away over here in Blighty but just one little action over here may well make a big difference over there.

I have been sent some more pictures of the hot koalas by the lovely Shireen over in Perth, so I plan to put one on here each day, they are just too cute to see all at once!

Here is todays bear cooling off:

On the home front, I can tell you that the lemonade was a success! Loads of it! We even had blue sky and sunshine for a while here this morning, so I imagined it was a glorious summers day whilst I had my glass.

Take care of yourselves and don't forget to check out Many thanks in advance, Sarah x

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Eggs and lemons

Note to oneself - when filling up the compost bin, do not stand on rather slippy piece of wood as there is a great danger that you will end up face first in the compost bin. Enough said.

We had the first egg of 2009 yesterday! That has been a long time coming, seems ages since our girls stopped their egg production for the winter. This one is being attributed to Galdys, seen here at the front. This, incidentally, is the first day that the Chickadees have decided to come out of their enclosure due to the 'white stuff' on the ground. It took them 2 days to decide that it was ok to come out of their house without any encouragement! So why no picture of the fabulous egg I speak of? Well apart from the fact that I believe that you are all familiar with the humble egg, I must confess that I dropped the darn thing! S'ok I did manage to save it for a scramble which I shall be tucking into for my lunch.

So what should I do with the lemons I seem to have accumulated? Lemon cake, lemon curd....... no lets go for good old fashioned lemonade.

Thinly peel 8 lemons and place peel in bowl with 8oz caster sugar (I gave up with the peeler and used a zester instead, I'm sure it will have the same effect!). Pour over 4 pints of boiling water and leave overnight in a cool place. Juice the 8 lemons and keep the juice in the fridge. The next day, strain the mixture and add the chilled lemon juice, bottle and keep chilled.

Dug out this recipe in my favourite cook book, found in a charity shop a few years ago, I always seem to find something good to cook from it.

Will have the finished product tomorrow. So take care and be safe, til tomorrow x

Monday, 9 February 2009

Etsy shop

Well I have cycled through the Welsh mountains and Central London today. Managed not to do the Bridget Jones dismount at the end of the excercise class at least!

Have a look at these items from Debi's Doodles Etsy shop.

Aren't they fab! I love the colours and the faces, such fun.

Have a look at her other items at

Take care all and be safe x

Sunday, 8 February 2009

First sale at Etsy

What a lovely surprise I had on Friday. I made my first sale in my Etsy shop and had a wonderful write up in Miss Maisy's blog.

Thank you Maisy x

Had a good weekend so far, finished my lavender filled bunting and popped that in the Etsy shop:

Am hoping to get a couple of other pieces finished off today and will put them into Etsy as well. Its been busy lately making plans for the Christmas bookings, am now booked up for nearly all weekends in November and December!

Off out with George now who is waiting patiently at the bottom of the stairs!

Take care all