Saturday, 29 September 2012

~Macmillan Update~

Just thought I'd pop in and share with you how my Macmillan event went today...
Scones with cream and homemade jam

I loved how these buns turned out - green M&M's, green fondant daisies and icing as green as The Grinch!
(Tiny bun cases from Home Bargains 150 for 69p and cocktail sticks with printed Macmillan logos.)
Generous people helping out, donating raffle and tombola prizes and money for a very worthy cause close to many of our hearts...THANKYOU xx
 After a quick tot-up by my Mum and Jo, we have raised £190. Yay! We bet last year's total!
P.S I'm sure Anne at Marmalade and Catmint will have better photos and a write-up,  as once guests arrived I forgot about photos as I was in 'Raffle Ticket' mode!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

~Getting ready for Macmillan Coffee Morning~

I'm hosting a Macmillan coffee morning on Saturday from 11 to 1pm, to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan Cancer Support and I'm hoping to top last year's total of £130.86 which I wrote about here..

The Macmillan coffee mornings have been going since 1991 and have raised over £60 million for Macmillan cancer Support since then.
Thankfully I've got today off work, so I'm organising my tombola...
Roll up, roll up for the Macmillan Tombola!! Green raffle tickets, of course!

As a Tea Drinker (of huge quantities) I have to say my event will be a Macmillan 'Yorkshire Tea' morning as I have been kindly and generously supported by the lovely people at Yorkshire Tea (Betty's & Taylor's of Harrogate).

Some of my Raffle Prizes for Macmillan
 So, lashings of Yorkshire Tea, Taylor's coffee and cakes await new friends, old friends, family and Bloggy friends on Saturday!
I will be back with photos and a write-up after Saturday, but for now I am back to baking after I've sampled the latest batch of Brownies out of the oven with a cup of Yorkshire Tea!
I hope you all enjoy supporting a coffee morning near you...Hello to my lovely colleagues who are having theirs today...SAVE ME SOME CAKE PLEASE!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

~Finished Make-Do-And-Mend Dresser~

If you remember back in July in my
  ~ Dresser Envy ~    post I started the renovation of a dresser for my kitchen which looked like this....

I used any old leftover cream and white matt emulsion to give it all 2 coats of undercoat, with sanding between coats with either wire wool or fine sandpaper.  Then the shelves and back were painted in F&B Ball Green leftover emulsion, and then waxed.  The drawers and cupboards were lined in leftover Cath Kidston wallpaper from my bedroom, and the main body had 2 coats of F&B New White eggshell.  I was under pressure as we've got some friends coming for a meal on Saturday and I didn't want it half-done.  So here it is seen in it's fairylight glory...

 I haven't fully decided what to put where; OH says it's already *too busy* ...oh dear!
I love the green alcoves and wall paper...

It does feel good to get it finished; it was a bit of a 'Forth Bridge' project, but worth it!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

~Fruit foraging at Towton~

L and I are home alone today as OH and J are away at Cub Camp, so we took Small Dog for a nice long walk.  Despite only living 4 miles from the site of the Battle of  Towton, the renowned bloodiest battle on English soil which took place on Palm Sunday in 1461, I've never walked the fields or stopped to explore.  It's especially interesting as one of L's A Levels is Early Modern History, so it's a bit like having your own tour guide on the Wars of the Roses and the monarchy.  It was a beautiful sunny morning to take the time to walk the route; there are fantastic information boards all the way round. Visit the Towton Battlefield Society website here There's an evocative video (only 3 minutes long)  narrated by Robert Hardy, who is the patron of the society, which gives you a real idea of the landscape that snowy day and the brutal realities of the battle.
I couldn't resist a bit of foraging as there were some sloes and blackberries (albeit small).  Many of the blackberries are still not ripe.  The eldeberries were nice and black so I picked a few, due to the teenager rolling her eyes and losing patience with me as I scrambled into the hedge (getting nettled) with my carrier bag...    This was the result...

I do get enthusuastic about nature and the landscape and use the word * amazing...*  a lot, which exasperates L as well!
I actually prefer Damson Gin to Sloe Gin, damsons are a great fruit for preserves and liqueurs, although my little tree, Damson 'Merryweather' only yielded about 1lb of decent fruit, the rest of it suffered rotting and disease. I wrote a post about making Damson Cheese last year see here.
So today, I've made a blackberry and apple crumble and also set some Hedgerow Vodka going....

I got some great advice on making fruit liqueurs here...

Saturday, 15 September 2012

~I ♥ all things Coastal~

Our current (serious) 5 year family plan is to move to the Yorkshire coast.  Me being me; I've already started squirreling crockery and other household items for the interior of my cosy coastal retreat. Here is some potential seaside crockery hiding in a cupboard...
The pebble hearts mug is by Tracy Savage at Sugarmouse Pottery in Hornsea, the Mussels mug is by Richard Bramble, and the swirls mug is from Whittards.  The Masons Denmark blue and white dinner plates were from a charity shop in Hornsea (£3) and the teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl were found on eBay. 
Like my friend Anne at Marmalade and Catmint, I also have a coastal-themed downstairs loo.  I think you're allowed to be a bit over-the-top in the smallest room in the house.  I love shells, starfish, beach huts and old seaside postcards...and fairy lights and some reading material so guests don't get bored...

This week I've added some mussel shells collected in Cornwall to a wicker heart for the wall...

This glass apothecary jar is one of three given to me by a friend this week.  I've put pebbles and shells in the bottom and added a candle, I think they make great hurricane lamps.

I've also treated myself to this lovely starfish silver necklace...

Where on our beautiful coast would you move to, if you had the chance?
Have a lovely weekend!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

~Car Boot Sale thrifting~

What a glorious Sunday morning to get up early and indulge in mine (and my Mum's) favourite pastime - the Car Boot Sale! As I've mentioned before; this local car boot is a good one, moderately-sized and held monthly between April - September, run by the Rotary Club. Look at the lovely blue sky at 8am!
There were about 10 rows of sellers - it's held on a grass field next to a plant nursery about a mile from my house.
This morning's finds include these very old glass baubles for my kitsch Christmas tree.  The little vintage elves are apparently Swedish...

Sorry to mention the 'C' word in late Summer, but they were a good find for £1.
Also I bought these 1970s stacking cake tins, which I remember being a fixture in my
 early 1970s childhood kitchen...
Originally there would have been 3 of them, but they are in good condition ( and Made in England!) Another good buy for £1.
I must away into the kitchen and attend to my pickles and preserves...
Enjoy your Sunday! xx

Friday, 7 September 2012

~That was the week that was~

This week qualifies as one of those crazy weeks that have passed in a flash - back to school/college, back to work (despite still up to my knees in L's Leeds Fest smelly washing) and son J had minor surgery on Monday too...
Last weekend's trip to the trade fair was great - so much pretty loveliness to see and gawp at! Here are a few images I managed to take (surreptitiously) ...

I found a lovely supplier of handmade soap that I am hoping to stock in the very near future...
We had a lovely meal (Fish and Chips) in a pub next door to the hotel, called the Little Owl, which was one of the Vintage Inn chain - these are cosy and quaint food pubs-  new buildings, but done quaintly and decorated in a traditional country style with a twist.  I loved it - reasonable prices and excellent service and we sat out in the last of the evening sun in a lovely beer garden with comfy chairs and red geraniums in terracotta pots (and a glass of wine).
I'm busy tonight with preserves - piccalilli, apple and rosemary jelly, plum jam...more of that Autumn fun this weekend ...
I'd just like to say many, many  thanks for reading my blog - I noticed with amazement that I have had nearly  30 thousand pageviews; which is fantastic, yet humbling too x x Thankyou xx