Thursday, 17 November 2011


Ahhhh the time of year has arrived when I can crack out the mincemeat & sniff all its christmassy goodness...this year I decided to have a bit of a fiddle with my standard, make in 10 mins no fuss & bother muffin recipe...


375g self raising flour
175g golden caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
zest & juice of 2 clementines
2 eggs, lightly whisked
150mls semi skimmed milk
175mls sunflower oil

12 hole silicone muffin pan


Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl & give it a good stir to mix it up
Add the clementine zest to the mix & stir in.

Mix all the wet ingredients together & pour into the bowl
Stir max or 4/5 times so everything in just mixed in
divide into muffin pan & then add a dollop of mincemeat into each muffin
sprinkle with brown sugar
Bake 180 (170 fan assisted) for 25-30mins

Cool slightly & then turn out onto rack
Scoff with a large mug of tea
a little bit of christmas heaven....

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


A bottle of delicious flavoured spirit is always a welcome gift & this year I am making some Vanilla Honey Vodka

What is needed.....

A bottle of half decent cheap, tastes cheap even with delicious flavourings

Good quality honey, from a local beekeeper if you can because then at least you know its not blended with some dubious imported sugar syrup from far off climes. I am using some of our own honey which has a lovely deep caramel taste.....

Vanilla pod, you can use 2 for an extra vanilla kick

A nice bottle....remember this is a gift so make it special

Pop the vanilla pod into the jar
Using a funnel add a good glug of honey ( a tbsp or 2) warm it a little first
Add Vodka, seal & give the jar a good shake
Set aside in a cool dark place.
Most infusions take from 7-10 days but it depends how strong you want the flavour.
The only way to know if the infusion is ready is to have a sip every now & again.

Add a fancy label & a lick of ribbon & there you have it a wonderful Homemade gift

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


The eternal shifting of stuff has yet again reared its head in the Ted & Agnes household...I finally got motivated to shift the sewing room/studio upstairs into the attic room above the kitchen.

I do believe it is rather inspiring & at last its nice to have a high enough table to work at...

I have a few bits to finish

Extending the cutting table top so I can get a width of fabric on it

Sort through the ridiculous stash of wool & actually get some of it used rather than just buying new for projects I will half finish....

get tough on the hoarding of junk (obviously that's never going to happen)

I'm rather pleased with the space its got a air of a childhood junk shop that I used to visit..what do you think??

Monday, 14 November 2011


As you know I love Freecycle, I first came across it about 5 years ago & since then due to peoples great generosity & luck of the draw, many treasured pieces of furniture have come into my possesion. In fact with acception of a few most of the furniture in my house has been saved from landfill & give a new lease of life & a chance to continue there journey.....

I have been hoping for a free standing mirror for ages as there isn't enough wall space in the bedroom to accomodate such an item on the wall....I rather fancied one with a draw underneath but anything would of been fine.....Sunday night post on Freecycle.....

[skiptoncravenfreecycle] OFFER: Pine Cheval Mirror

Excellent I thought & I quickly emailed the lady & recieved an email back saying it was mine...could I collect tomorrow....

Of course I replied actually I would be passing by on the way back from dropping K at the airport so even better that I didn't need to make an extra journey....extremely happy I started planning where I could put my mirror.

About 1/2 hr later I recieved this email from said lady

'I'm sorry, but your website suggests that you're a reseller and I only Freecycle to personal users.'

PARDON does my website infer that I resell items from freecycle???

Disappointed & then really angry I replied to the lady an explained that I indeed had no intention of reselling everything!

I was quite put out as I completely support the ethics of Freecycle & I would like to state here in black & white for all to see & know
I would NEVER resell any items I recieved from freecycle, I always pass things on but mostly I give items a lick of paint, new fabricy jacket or just love them for themselves...

So if you are a fellow freecycler would has clicked through from my email please be assured I have no intentions of selling anything & all the pictures are of lovely pieces of furniture that I have been lucky enough to recieve from generous people on Freecycle!

Monday, 7 November 2011


Today my sweet girl was 3....

There was milkshake....


Seagulls & standing on benches......

and not forgetting the masses of chocolate buttons....xox

Thursday, 3 November 2011


After a fast & furious flurry of hooking finally I can step back & take a comforting glance at my lovely new addition to the household blanket collection....

My first dabble with this lovely yarn was wandering round a Jo-Ann's store in Harrisburg. I was smitten by the colours & price, my heart was stolen.

Back in New York I found out that my husbands apartment was just a block or so away from the Lion Brand's flagship store. As you can imagine in the 3 weeks I was there I made a point of visiting the store on quite a few occasions & can absolutely recommend popping by if you get the chance..

I was determined to bring home as much as possible but planning the logistics was interesting, Me, 2 boys, Violet, her car seat hand luggage & larges suitcases.
So no designer clothes or handbags for me, clothes were cast out & suitcases were stuffed with wool .....not what most visitors to the city would have on the top of their list I should imagine.....

Back home I  hooked away until it was all but gone & the blanket full of fond memories & a harrowing journey home now keeps #1 son snugly & warm...
But they do not sell this yarn in the UK, much to my dismay so all I can do is admire & remember my crochet heaven..

So when I received a lovely parcel full of Tiff's bits & bobs I was over joyed, skipping & hopping in a way that would make my dear dottie angel proud & thought the time for the ripple was here.....& Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice was perfect. I used Jane Brocket's ripple blanket from The Gentle Art of Knitting.  A great pattern for those new to ripply ways.....

Next on the list was to finish this blanket until I was tempted by the mustardy goodness over at Toast so was straight out buying more yarn & am crocheting up my own version...not in mustard tho.