Thursday, 30 April 2009

Going AWOL

Morning! Ok so I went AWOL and forgot to tell you about it before I went! It was no surprise to me, the holiday has been booked for a while, I just forgot to let anyone else know about it!

We stayed here in North Devon, just outside Barnstaple in a fabulous barn conversion on a hillside over looking sheep!

This is the view from the lounge window and the bedroom too if you sat up in bed! The sheep you could hear bleating to each other during the day. They were so funny to watch - every now and then one of them would decide that they wanted to trot to the other side of the hill and would set off, whilst making plenty of noise, at which point the others joined in and noisily followed. I'm sure that none of them had any idea why they were off on a trot and then the one that started it all just stopped and started to graze again as if nothing had happened! This just left those sheep at the back wondering what on earth was going on! A bit like when you get stuck in traffic on the M25 only to find that it all starts again for no apparent reason!

This is how the week started
And this is the most tired member of the family who slept all the way home!
Well we did lots and took loads of photos so I'm sure they will be appearing here over the next few days or so!

For now, I have to go and bake again ready for tomorrows deliveries, so I'm off to the kitchen and catch you again tomorrow.

Take care, Sarah x

Monday, 20 April 2009

Those fields of gold

I'm walking on sunshine, yeah yeah! I'm walking on sunshine ooooo-ooo-oooo-ooooo..........

The fields of gold are blooming! Even if the photographer looks like they were out on the razzle last night with the wonky skyline!

It was a misty morning today but the golden glow from the fields was still amazing.

Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery so could not get a close up of this amazing tree just dripping with blossom.

I hope tomorrow morning is just like it was today, I shall be out to get more pics! Going to get on with some of those outstanding projects now, been baking today so need a change of scenery!

Take care all

Sarah x

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Exploding Mug Cakes

Last night I went along to a Pudding Party. As the name suggests you take along a pudding, as does everyone else, and then you shop inbetween eating puds! Woohoo, perfect combination! So I had the brainwave after reading Karon's blog at Dream Acres to make my Radio Cake and take that along as my pudding.

First find a suitable mug or two - one for a cuppa the other for the cake.

Gather ingredients together (see Karon's blog for list)

Put them all together, as per the instructions, in your mug. Having first swapped the drinking chocolate you got out by mistake for cocoa powder like it says!

After the alloted 3 minutes in the microwave you will have an explosion of chocolate cake which could earn itself a place in the Tate Gallery! It does, however taste very good, and ready in 3 minutes - brilliant!

I think next time I shall make 2 cakes from this recipe then there may not be as big a clear up job! It certainly was a distinctive pudding when placed with all the other delicious offerings! I took the whole lot, microwave plate included as I thought it should been seen in its entirety!

Just got back from todays event at Tilehouse Street Church in Hitchin, a garden sale to raise funds for their building project. It was a fabulous day with plenty of people visiting to get their plants and gifts. We were treated to a good lunch of lasagne and trifle and even managed to find room for a cream tea this afternoon!

My stall was very well sited under the springtime pictures the children had made of sheep and flowers - it matched my bunting perfectly!

Gilly from Garden Divas was next to me with all her fabulous gardening goodies. If you haven't yet seen Garden Divas then pay a visit to their website where you can find all the glorious girly gardening gifts and treats you could want!

And now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to drink this cuppa and have a wee rest!

Take care all

Sarah x

Friday, 17 April 2009

Buddy's Friday

Margaret from Margaret's Ramblings has added her Buddy's Friday article for this week and I thought I would add my thoughts too. I have followed Margaret's theme of childrens parties but let your imagination run riot and you can host any sort of party! These are games that require a little preparation but not much cost!

Party Games - I love games especially those that result in you rolling around with laughter so here's a few that we have tried and tested.

I discovered this website Party Game Central last year when I was organising a hen party for a few of us girlies. You will find that some of the games are totally unsuitable for your friends but others are an absolute riot! There will be something for you here!

We have played the Malteaser game on a number of occasions, always hilarious (other choccies are available but choose a light one!) The idea being that you have to transfer as many Malteasers from the box into your bowl using only a straw and a deep breath in! Thing is you can only do this once you have rolled a 6 on the dice, until the next person gets a 6 and whilst you are trying to relocate the choccies everyone else is rolling the dice and is liable to snatch the box of choccies away at any time! Beware - there are some folk who are very good at this, others of us can only dissolve into laughter and get no choccies! Alternative is to use a spoon - just as funny!

Pass the pillowcase is another one, not just for kids, oh no. There is a house not far from us where this is played every year at Christmas with the results documented in the yearly family photograph! (you know who you are) Get a pillowcase, fill it with random items of clothing (include snorkels and wigs, hats, gloves and anything else that is dated or outragous) then proceed as you would with pass the parcel. When the music stops that person has to reach into the pillowcase, without looking, pick out an item and wear it in an alternative fashion! The result is a colourful, yet easily dis-ownable family of odd bods!

Find the photos - I chose to do this with printed out photos of the bride to be which had been gleaned from her mum, the older, funnier and more embarassing the better! You could use any pictures you like. Simply cut up each picture into 3 or 4 pieces. Don't make it too complicated but also you don't want it to be too easy! You can use the same picture twice and cut it up differently, especially good if you have a bold colour on one. Take one piece from each cut up picture and keep safe. The other pieces then get mixed up and stuck up around the house on doors, windows, bookcases etc. Do this before the guests arrive and they will see random bits of picture around the house which may or may not help them! To start the game give each guest a piece of picture that you had put to one side. On your sayso they all have to go and find the rest of their picture. When they have found their picture they return to you with completed picture and if it is correct they can have another piece of a new picture to go and find. Keep going til all pictures have been found and the winner is the one with the most completed pictures.

This will involve people running about your house so set the boundries of where the picture pieces will be before you set them off or they will check everywhere!
Better go and get on with some proper work now instead of reminiscing about parties!
Take care all
Sarah x

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Message from the cat

Due to the fact that there seems to be a lack of cushion on the table (Mum says it is her work table but I think not - it is my action level sleep zone) I have decided to sit on the next warmest thing which appears to be this surf board shaped object. I don't recal ever seeing one of these before but think it is rather cosy as there seems to be a ready heat source at one end and insulation underneath!
Love from Missy x

So that'll teach me to remember to replace her cushion after using the table to measure fabric!
I'll be picking fur out of my clothes for an eternity! Oh no, I forgot, I don't iron, phew close shave there!

I seem to have rather a lot of projects on the go at present!
This is my strippy quilt which is all pieced together with it's fab panels, measured and waiting for the wadding and backing to arrive.

Then I fell in love with these fabrics too and wanted to make another strippy quilt! You can't quite see all the colours in this picture but they are so soft and gentle it is going to be lovely to work with.

And I have some ideas forming about these fabrics and ribbons, so will be playing about with those over the next however long!

And finally I have at last started some applique work which is something I have wanted to do for ages. Not my usual colours but I do like the look of these and it is nice to use something different for a change.

I am supposed to be sitting at the sewing machine now instead of the computer but am so full after my lunch, cooked by Hubby, that I just need a few more minutes of being still! I'd like another cuppa but I'm too full to drink one!
I may even have to have a siesta................
Take care all, til tomorrow
Sarah x

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Time for a cuppa

Right, so I am not feeling at my best today, hence I can be forgiven for being rather tetchy and owning the shortest fuse in the neighbourhood. But there is one thing that really really gets on my wick (was going to say 'gets on my goat' but decided that wouldn't be fair to saddle an innocent goat with any of my troubles) anyway what gets on my wick is this - supermarket checkout operative sending my shopping down the conveyor belt so blooming quick that I will never keep up with the packing in a million years! And then as if that wasn't going to be deemed rude in my book, then they ask if you have a loyalty card, whilst I am clearly still busy getting the super fast shopping into my eco friendly shopping bags as if that is going to make me go any faster. I think not. In fact I will refuse to stop packing and get my card out on principal. Yes I do have a loyalty card and I shall infact present it to you when i am ready to pay which will be when all my shoppping is in its bags and ready for me to be leaving. You see I do know that the process of paying for shopping really doesn't take all that long so even if I did give you my money and that blooming loyalty card whilst my shopping was still strewn all over the end of your conveyor belt I would not be leaving any quicker and the next shopper would just have to watch me remove said shopping after I had paid anyway - so why bloody well ask????!!!!!!!

No I don't think I am being irrational or over sensitive.

Just like I think it was a perfectly good reason to go and get a new kettle once I had decided that a contributing factor in my declining health today was the state of the old kettle from which I was getting my staple diet of tea from. So with that in mind I had to set off from my poorlyness and go and find new kettle.
Did this! Found one which has a suitably large gap for filling up with water - that'll be a lid which so many of the kettle manufacturers clearly think is just a design statement and not a vital part of a kettles operation to be able to be filled with water! and this one has a decent pouring spout, also a good feature in my book! I do not need colours or whistles (although I have always fancied a nice proper kettle on a stove top that whistles) anyway I did not have the time or the inclination to find one of these, plus I had missed out on a few cups of tea whilst I had to abandon poorliness and feeling sorry for myself to go and get this new kettle.
So you can now feel sorry for poor hubby who has to put up with me for the rest of the evening and just hope that I get out of bed from the other side tomorrow!
Take care all
Sarah x who is now feeling a little better having got that out of my system, thank you all x

Monday, 13 April 2009

It wasn't us

Suspision is growing that the reason the patio is looking such a mess is because 3 little feathered ladies are out there each day re-arranging the pebbles and relocating mud around the garden!

No, really Gladys? I cannot imagine that your feet got that dirty just walking from your house. More likely you took the long way around via the veggie patch and had a quick scout around for worms before you thought you would clean your beak on the patio door.

Of course to leave the gravel along the side of the patio would be a nice little finishing touch to make it all neat and tidy, but why do that when there are so many interesting bugs and things to eat living at the bottom of the gravel, far better to hoof it all out where we can get a good look at things and sift through all the insects.

But away from the house, this is why we no longer go in the cow field!

Some may say that they look cute and adorable, but I say that this is a menacing cow look. Underneath all that lovely coloured fur is a brain which is working out just how exactly it would like to keep all the field of grass to itself and not share it with any human of any kind. Not that I would like any of the grass to take away but try telling that to one of these.

They are also the new tennants of the mystery paddock which was being fenced off the other week, so you would think that as they have twice the space they would spend some time in the other paddock so we could have a play in this field, but no such luck!
Take care all
Sarah x

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Roch Furniture

Just before my internet access went awol I was planning on introducing some of the clever folk I get to work with at the Welwyn Garden City Craft Market. I like what they do and thought you may be interested too.

Roch Furniture is based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Roz and Rachel select solid wood furniture and restore it into beautiful items that would look fabulous in any home.

Each piece is handpainted and waxed.

Some items are finished with decorative handles and knobs.

Whilst others are decorated with beautiful wallpaper.

I have picked my favourite pictures from their collection but for more information and plenty of other items of furniture have a look at their website.

I think they are just so clever to have the vision of what each piece can look like with hard work and good taste! I have to repeat - definately good taste - you see the first picture, well I thought it looked familiar when I first saw it in person at market, turns out that I have a cupboard the same but in its original, still needing tlc state! One day I shall treat it to a makeover but for now it blends in with the rest of our 'worn in' furniture!

Next time I am at Welwyn I shall corner another clever crafter and show you what they can do! I am off to walk the dog now in the mist and rain - don't know exactly what happened to the sunshine that was forecast for the weekend!

Take care all, til tomorrow

Sarah x

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Drifting day

Ooops, spring cleaning has suffered a setback - just sat and watched the film Antz! Should be finishing the big clean, but lets face it - the dirt isn't going anywhere is it?

To be fair, all I have left to do is hoover the stairs and keep the door shut on my workroom! Everything else in every other room of the house has been duely dusted, wiped, cleaned, disinfected, washed and scrubbed, not necessarily in that order!

Now the other problem I have is that now I have watched Antz, how am I going to deal with the little critters if they decide to pay a visit in the warmer weather? Couldn't possibly just exterminate them with no thought now! I thoroughly enjoyed watching the film, did just managed to catch the fact that Finding Nemo is coming on later too! Maybe today will be my day off after all!

Well if I am to skive off again shortly, I had better put some effort in now. Does anyone else get days where your head just wont focus on any one thing in particular? I am just not feeling 'driven' today, like I forgot to set myself a few goals before going to bed last night so therefore I am just drifting through the day. So I am going to drift off here then, take care all, til tomorrow
Sarah x

Friday, 10 April 2009

TV Debut

So the cow field is back to having cows in it after its brief encounter with sheep. I must say I prefer the sheep, not that I have anything against cows and would be more that happy to own some one day but I do not really trust someone elses cows! They can actually move rather fast and don't seem to like folk being in their field so I shall be leaving them to it for now!

In a few weeks time we shall be walking in golden fields as the un-identified crops that have been quietly growing over the winter have shown themselves to be rapeseed. It will be so uplifting to be walking through these when they are in full bloom.

This paddock is a little further ahead than the others, already showing its yellow blooms.

Talking of blossom, I passed some beautiful flowers in the hedgerow, had to take a number of pictures.
Some of the trees appear to have mostly leaf buds with one or two branches only bursting into bloom, whether it is just the most recent growth that blossoms I don't know, but they are beautiful.

So TV debut! Oh my how funny! OK so I probably shouldn't really laugh but it is just so unexpected to see and hear yourself pop up in a televised report! Last weekend when I was at the Festival of Food I saw the camera man and presenter from Local-News TV and desparately tried to remain busy hoping that they would film my stand and get Land Cuckoo out there whilst not capturing me! No such luck, eventually the customers moved away and they asked me if I would like to do an interview - help - what do I say? Yes please, great advertising, how exciting! But that means I have to be filmed - eeeek, I prefer not to get on the wrong side of a still camera! Anyway the bit of me that seems to operate the business side of things just said 'yes, that would be lovely'. So here it is - my first televised interview! I, or at least someone that doesn't sound like me but seemingly in my body, pops up half way through, a little bit loud and very scary, I was so nervous! I have no problem talking to any amount of customers but stick a camera infront of me and I seem to lose the plot, thank goodness they edited it well! Considering how many traders there were there with some fab products (The Wine Guest being one of them) I am really very flattered that they chose me and my products to put on the report.

Off to see if I can get the biscuits on the website now - mail order biscuits anyone?

Take care all

Sarah x

Yes I am going to crack on with the spring cleaning - in a minute!!!!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Weekend planning

Sorry no photo for you today, have not got back into the fact that I have my blog back again! Will get back to full service tomorrow! Ha, not that I know what that is anymore. My work room is yet again a great big pickle and the whole house needs a good spring clean. My Mum commented on some dust last week when she visited so I told her it wasn't dust but icing sugar from where I had been baking! The kitchen is spotless and seems as that is where I have spent most of my time this past week that is all that matters, I can shut the doors on the rest of it! Oh I knew we got doors put in for a reason, it has just become clear!

Right going to go and prepare myself now for the day ahead, a good sleep is required me thinks and I feel like sitting in my pyjamas for the rest of the evening. Good night folks, til tomorrow
Sarah x

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Yes at last I am back on line and cooking on gas - well I never did run out of gas but you know what I mean!

And the best bit? If I had spoken to the same person as I eventually did at 4pm this afternoon, three weeks ago when the problem first occured (actually I think it may have only been 2 weeks) then this whole fiasco would not have happened at all! All it needed was some code entering to kick start it back into action. I wouldn't be as miffed if it hadn't happened exactly the same last year which is what I kept telling everyone at the no-help call centre but until last thing this afternoon no-one seemed to be hearing me! This time I have written all the instructions down too so I will fix it myself next time!

So, have I done anything whilst not being here? I did take a stand at the Festival of Food last weekend, booked it only 3 days before the event which meant I had a marathon of baking to do last week! Did it though and it was a success. I had quite a bit of interest in my biccies and have a few farm shops and coffee shops to catch up with on the back of it. I also decided to get myself out there and show off my biscuits to local outlets this week too. I figure that no-one will know I am here unless I go and tell them, so I did! Hope to know how things are going better over the next few weeks.

Well I am quite sure I have more to say but I am eager to catch up with what you have all been doing so I'll leave you now and catch you tomorrow!

Take care
Sarah x

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Still not connected!

Hello all!

I trust you are all keeping well and on line. I am still not back in the land of the t'internet, hence I have grabbed a moment to borrow a friends internet briefly.

I do, however, believe there to be a modem at home waiting for me to return and then with any luck we shall be back in business! Keep your fingers and everything crossed for me as following technical instructions is not a strong point of mine! Give me flat pack furniture anyday over connecting computery things!

Am looking forward to catching up with you all soon. Don't want to overstay my welcome on someone elses computer so shall love you and leave you for now.

Take care all

Sarah x