Thursday, 31 July 2014

~End of July catch-up~

This last couple of weeks have whizzed past settling into the summer hols. I shall be speedy and succinct with a few photos thrown in...
Jack and I visited a PYO farm (Spuds and Berries near Selby see here)  The strawberries are nearly over but I wanted a few for some jam - PYO used to be the economic way to do this but I have to say the price of fruit per kilo was very expensive.  Picking fruit was part of my childhood; living in a Yorkshire village surrounded by PYO strawberry and raspberry fields. I think Jack enjoyed it (not exciting when you are 12) but I enjoyed showing him anyway so maybe it offset the cost a bit!
Nice set up with the strawbs on table tops for accessible picking, and rows of raspberries (a few ready) and blackberries (loads ready). The Farm Shop is nice too though we only bought some Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil

I'm making Chutney, Jam and Pickles as and when I can - the cheapest tomatoes I have found for chutney have been from Aldi.  I save my own tomatoes for eating as they're too tasty to put in chutney.  Looking forward to getting more donated glut fruit and veg from family and friends too.

I have finished my Polka Dot top, from the free Prima pattern I blogged about before.  This one fits much better - I made it a bit longer, adjusted the back darts and added a bit to the side seam.
 The invisible zip for the back cost more than the flipping fabric but never mind. A top for less than a fiver isn't too bad.
Much neater this time around!
I have been crocheting these flowers to make garlands as Christmas presents and also for my cousin's daughter who is visiting from Australia.  Fab way to use up odds and ends of yarn.  The pattern I based them on was from My Rose Valley blog (which is my current favourite blog to sit and read I just love it) and it can be found here
I'm also having a rationalising of cupboards/wardrobes and selling stuff on ebay to make some pennies. Holidays also give me the opportunity to visit different charity shops and have a rummage.  Latest find is this Early's of Witney white cellular single blanket, which was £2 and is like new
No expensive holidays here; just a couple of days away this weekend, and odd days here and there at Filey and Hornsea, with maybe some cheap camping in the Yorkshire Dales thrown in.   I've lots of odd jobs and decorating to do as well as crafty stuff, so I won't be bored -  though I'm sure my life might not be exciting to others it's what needs doing and I can't afford to pay anyone to do it!
See you soon x

Monday, 21 July 2014

~What to do with courgettes!~

It's that time of the year when the courgettes are coming thick and fast...

This year I was given 4 plants (free - yay!) and put them in 2 growbags in a sunny spot.
Turn your back for a minute and there's one of these...

I'm lucky I love courgettes and have now amassed loads of recipes to deal with the glut.  I've just made these little courgette and potato rosti, and added fennel leaves and feta.

Grate 1 courgette and about 3 small potatoes and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can with a teatowel. Add some crumbled feta and chopped herbs of your choice (I used fennel as I'm having them with salmon), along with a beaten egg to hold it all together. I added plenty of black pepper, but no salt as the feta's salty enough. Squeeze out the excess egg and shape with your hands into flat cakes and dust with flour before frying.
They are yummy!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

~Gingham Shell Top~

I'm struggling with both money and time at the moment, but have managed odd half hours this week to make a top for myself. Have lost a stone and a half so I need some new work clothes but have no pennies :(

I get a free paper pattern each month with my Prima magazine subscription I got as a gift at Christmas.  This month's is this top and skirt...
 It comes as a full size paper pattern (great), but printed on 2 sides, so you have to trace some pieces off (not so great - grrr!)  I think the sizes are small too (Bust 34" Waist 26" for a 12) but I cut out a 12 as I'm usually a 10/12 now.
I used 90cm of cheap gingham (£2 a metre) so in effect it was a toile to see how it fitted.
How I wish I had a mannequin!
( If anyone's great aunt Gertie is getting rid of one please let me know.)
This is the finished top...

It fits okay but is snug on the waist/hips and is also quite short.  I'm going to add half a cm to the side seams below the bust darts on my next attempt.

Didn't have the requisite concealed zip so made do with a normal one, but it looks okay; although I look like a broad shouldered weightlifter in this photo.
 The edges at the top of the zip are a tad wonky, but isn't that what cardigans are for?

It will be fine for work.  When I am office-based I have to wear black and white as a uniform, which is at worst morbid and funereal, and best, like a Betty's waitress!
Next attempt is in this polka dot cotton...
Has anyone else been sewing clothes this week?

Friday, 4 July 2014

~Birthday Time~

Today is Laura's 19th birthday. Last  Saturday we had some close family round for a BBQ in the garden.  One of my recent purchases that came in handy was this fab condiment holder,  upcycled from a wooden pallet...

It has blackboard paint on one side, so you can write whatever you want! 
I got it from PurePallets, a York-based company who create rustic home accessories from pallets.  They also do commissioned items.
You can find them on Facebook purepallets or email
I'm thinking it will be nice with church candles and greenery at Christmas too!
Birthday cake of choice was Honeycomb Cheesecake which was yummy and had 150g of cinder toffee in it, and on it!