31 December 2009


and i took a little time this morning to reflect on what 2009 meant to me.

when i try and go over it bit by bit i can hardly believe the path it took...so much of it feels like a dream. a whole lot of it does seem self-centred with a sole focus on the journey for our baby but to have come this far fills me with a gratitude that i can't put in to words and i shall keep that memory dear in my heart as the best thing of the past twelve months.

the year has brought us a lot of happy times. times with family and friends and very special times together as a couple. it brought sadder days too for my loved ones. my grandma in poor health and difficult decisions to be made. losing my granddad just a few weeks ago too brought home just how important my family is to me. next year i want to give more love and support to them. and see more of my brother...or at least speak to him more on the phone!

all in all it was definitely a year of hope. and as 2010 draws closer i see a year of wonder about to begin. i always love new year's day with that sense of a fresh page. tonight we'll be seeing it in with some lovely friends...sharing a meal in their home. tomorrow i may just pop back with a few more resolutions...until then thank you so much for reading along and i wish you all the very best new year adventure wherever it takes you. XxX

28 December 2009


{just click the image to see the recipe enlarged}

our christmas guests have gone. there are a whole load of needles laying under the tree. i can't quite get my head around what normal food to cook. finding that these in-between days can be strange as we head towards new year.

but we are still on holiday here so the housework can remain in limbo until tomorrow and treats will remain a big part of the plans whilst c is off work. tonight we're off to the pictures to see sherlock. and rebels that we are we will be sneaking in homemade popcorn and hell yes...a chocolate orange!

23 December 2009


wishing you + yours a wonderful one Xx


it began with my christmas cards. i have a real thing for clementines this year. it's the colour...i love it with blue. and today i made a few gifts of clementine curd {recipe found in jamie oliver's magazine...but can also be found here as i'm too lazy to retype it!} i did hear of the clementiny being introduced this year in supermarkets but never found one...too cute!

we're gearing up for the festivities nicely here. my folks are coming to stay tomorrow and we're going to eat our christmas feast on christmas eve night which is an old family tradition. i am seriously looking forward to the food but i know i'm going to have trouble with my eyes versus belly!!

18 December 2009


i'm watching more snow twirl it's way down from the sky. it almost looks like feathers. crazy big flakes are dancing this way and that. the kind that don't really stick. a lot stuck last night though and we awoke to the dry crisp white stuff that is like icing sugar and satisfyingly crunchy underfoot.

the garden looked so pretty as the sun came up. and only the birds and the bosco had put their prints in. venturing into the town later and the sight was not so bewitching...grubby slush and a lot of folk making their way gingerly along the pavements. the council merrily gritting a bit too late.

but we're in for the day now and with plenty of wood to keep the stove going. tomorrow we're going to get our tree and officially declare it the holiday!

15 December 2009


just got ten of these little sets of button magnets ready for my dad's christmas work do tomorrow evening. table gifts for the ladies going along...to hear the men talk shop about flying no doubt!

i have a couple of extra sets should anyone need a stocking filler. they're in the shop now and i can get them to a uk destination in time for christmas.

today is the chilliest i've felt it...there is even talk of snow on the way here in the east of england. luckily i am home and have nowhere to go...a stove to light and jamie on the telly later!

07 December 2009


i heard on the radio that today is a big big shopping day on the internet. instead of facing the rain outside i joined in with the virtual hustle and bustle and filled my basket with a few things from the comfort of my desk with a hot chocolate for company. thought i'd share some finds with you if you happen to be stuck for gift ideas. it makes me very happy to buy handmade where possible and support some of the amazing talent around. if i were a little more organised i would extend this to overseas artists but i fear that posting dates may have come and gone...so these are all uk based with time to arrive**!

first up is julia smith ceramics...i love her little sugar pots and spoons...filled with some homemade vanilla or cinnamon sugar perhaps?

hannah madden makes these sweet hand printed notelets...i think my favourite is this festive cyclamen set. it's always nice to have some blank cards around and receiving a handwritten word has to be one of the best treats around these days.

i bought from dolly knits last christmas and am pleased to see some new additions to the collection this year...a ball ball brooch would make any hat or coat look very merry this season and i particularly love the 1920s inspired slipped pom pom hat too.

wouldn't it be nice to find a scandi set of magnets from screenprinter summersville in your stocking?

charming prints and cards from little doodles are birdy and funny which is about a perfect a mix as you can get for me!

abigail*ryan have at long last let us in to their wonderful world of homeware delights and in particular their tea towels...having some of abigail's fine artwork hanging on my kitchen radiator would bring a smile to my face. and how about wrapping a gift in one instead of paper?

**edited to add a pdf...i'd forgotten about the joys of the download and how it doesn't actually matter how far away the seller is! the wee wonderfuls store have so many nice crafty projects like this fairy embroidery pattern for sale which packaged along with the materials would make a lovely gift for someone creative.

and last of all i couldn't resist adding pam's recipe book to the list too. not strictly handmade i know but as we probably all have asked father christmas for something from toast this is a very good budget buy and full of lots of delicious irish dishes. i'm planning to listen to their podcasts whilst wrapping gifts by the tree.

phew...time to refuel on mince pies now before i head over to jamie oliver {and free p&p} for some other bits too {yes i must come clean and report that i'm not 100% handmaker-friendly!} but a good combination of the two is pretty good in my books.

02 December 2009


maybe it would all have made sense at school had the pie charts in the books looked like this?!

{a mid-week smile via nigella loves}

i'm off to make pastry! Xx

01 December 2009


a frosty beginning here to the new month. clear skies and the start of busy days ahead balanced with time to enjoy the good things. a fresh calendar has been printed out and lots of dates penned in to look forward to.

today i am happy i've worked out what direction our christmas cards are going to take.

got the mincemeat made {i include the almonds}.

discovered this sweet festive quilt project.

thought i might make this little tipple as a gift for friends who can indulge.

and fell for these charming birds {via tea for joy} who may just make their way in to someone's stocking.

yesterday i spent some quality coffee shop time with the very lovely miss pickering in stamford. drank a festive blended tea and talked blogs and flowers and long hair and babies. the hot topic of the morning was furniture revamp issues...how life is too short for tester pots and why do paints never seem to dry out the same as the shade card??