Friday, 26 October 2012

SILENT AUCTION - BID AWAY FOR #FROCTOBER


So remember the post about frocks, PND & the wonderful month of frOctober, well as well as the money I have raised for wearing my frocks I would like to raise a little extra for the fight against Post Natal Depression.

So I am hosting a silent auction...and the following delights are on offer

* a signed copy of 'Granny chic' with a few extra bits & bobs scribbled and stuck between the pages
* a most lovely Ted & Agnes bag stuffed full of all manner of goodness, doilies, fabric and vintage whatnot.



So how do you go about bidding for this exciting package

1. email info@tedandagnes.co.uk - write frOctober in the subject line

2. Write your bid at the top of the email and then your name & address and where or whom you would like the package to be sent.

You have until 6pm on 30th October when the highest bidder will be contacted, then when the donation has been made to frOctoberfun your parcel will be straight in the post winging its way to you.

Good Luck my dears...rx

ALL HAIL THE GODS OF THRIFT

It was such a special day yesterday we decided that it should be celebrated in a way most fitting to the title of our book...So arrangements were made with the most lovely Tracy my sweet thrifting pal, I wore my special brooch sent to me by my bestest book writing buddy so that I felt Tif was along with us for the day, we donned our best granny chic outfits and set off...


Our destination for the day was Bygone Times a rather large warehouse stuffed to the brim with treasures and quite a few lost souls...and a rather nice cafe that cooks up a tasty tuna melt panini..(also eaten with my dottie friend in mind) .


We wandered & rummaged, chatted & gasped with shock at some of the more costlier stalls & sniggered a few times at the ludicrous prices of a few bits of dirty china and a cat with no eyes ( although he called our names as we made another lap he had to stay put on the shelf).

Somehow we managed to spend the best part of the day there and with our purses emptied & feet weary we trundled off home.




On carefully unpacking my loot, there seemed to be an overwhelming lean towards jugs, all of which I was most pleased with and will certainly look rather dandy in my collection.

And then there was the best find of the day, I squealed with delight on spotting it and had to sit down rather sharpish as i read & reread the tag £15...surely not i exclaimed to my friend but there was also a small hanging tag on the other side confirming it. The deal was done and now there needs to be the all important shuffle to find it's perfect place in our granny chic abode!



Thursday, 25 October 2012

TODAY'S THE DAY - GRANNY CHIC HOORAH


As we sloped into 2012, I never imagined that I would indeed have published a book, all done and dusted by the end of October....but we did and here it is for all the world to see, I hope you all love it as much as we do...

A huge thanks to my book writing buddy Tif without the support, meltdowns, laughs & tears this project would never of happened, our super duper editor Judith who has been brilliant every step of the way (we have high hopes that her crafty soul is starting to shine) To everyone else at Kyle books who have sorted, sold and pushed their rose coloured specs right to the top of their noses and not rolled their eyes to our rather fanciful ideas.

And our biggest thanks goes to all you that have been buying our book and embracing our rather eccentric, crazy ways and are nurturing a few of your own...Bless you all x

Monday, 22 October 2012

MARSHMALLOW GOODNESS - THE SWEET SHOP CHRONICLES


In my bid to try to get organised for Christmas (a thing that I try every year & always fail dreadfully) I decided to 'have a go' at making some homemade sweets to put into pretty packages & make up into a hamper of joy...

Gourmet marshmallows seem to be the 'thing' at the moment but seem to have a bad rap in that they are really hard to make. So I dug out a recipe that had been ferreted away many eons ago and decided to try it out in my quest to create my very own homemade sweet shop.


Mentally preparing myself for a sticky, messy disaster I followed the relatively simple instructions and 30 minutes later had the most delightful, fluffy pillows of sugary goodness...obviously after the first bite there was no stopping me and a rummage through the cupboard produced various ingredients which I felt would make fine marshmallows....

So far these have been my favourite flavours




Earl grey was quite sublime but they got scoffed before I got the camera out...So if you fancy a go at making these fluffy sweet pillows of joy then here is the recipe

Ingredients

100g (31/2oz) granulated sugar
1 sachet (approx 10g) gelatine
180g golden syrup
85mls water
1tbsp icing sugar - 1tbsp cornflower mixed together

1. Mix gelatine in a heatproof bowl with 85mls of cold water stir a little and put to one side.
2. Measure golden syrup directly into mixing bowl
3. Place bowl of gelatine over a saucepan of boiling water and stir until the gelatine has dissolved, then add the granulated sugar and keep stirring until that has also dissolved
4. Using the ballon whisk in the mixer, turn onto the highest setting and pour the gelatine mix steadily into the bowl. (i haven't tried with a hand whisk but I am sure it would work...your arm may well fall off but the marshmallows are yummy worth it)
5. Continue to whisk for 15-20mins or until the mixture is thick & glossy
6. Whilst mixture is whisking prepare a small square tin by placing a layer of cling film inside, paying attention to the corners and sift over half of the icing sugar & cornflower mix.
7. When the marshmallow mixture is ready, transfer it into the tin, smoothing it until level and leave to set for 20-30mins
8. Sift the rest of the cornflour/icing sugar onto a flat surface & turn the tin over to release the marshmallow. Gently pull off the cling film and cut into squares, hearts or small dinosaurs...
9. Keep them sealed in a box & they will last for several weeks...that's if they last the hour!
10. Most delicious plopped onto a cup of milky hot choc...

* I have tried a vegetarian option but no success yet I will keep on it though...


If you fancy experimenting with flavours here are a few tips

- replace the 85g water with tea, juice, fruit puree etc be careful to keep the amount to 85g
- add powdered ingredients after you have added the liquid to the golden syrup
- any choc chips, biscuits or peels etc fold in after you have finished whisking

A few flavours we have tried so far
* lemon cheesecake, replace water with lemon juice, add zest & crushed digestives at end
* choc chip cookie - add spoonful of cocoa & then choc chips at end
* raspberry & white choc - replace water with raspberry puree, add choc chips at end
* Spiced Apple - replace water with apple juice & add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger

and we have loads more ideas & sure you will have too...so happy sweet making x


Thursday, 11 October 2012

GET YOUR FROCKS ON...

for postnatal depression....It's frOctober....I came across this post on Kat's blog several days ago and have been pondering how I might help other than being sponsored to wear my frocks everyday that is...


Post Natal depression has taken me down with 2 of my children now, I took precautions with my first son in the guise of progesterone but foolishly didn't with no2 & no3 small beings...

After I had Violet I completely fell apart, looking back there were a whole host of environmental issues that had their part to play but even though all the people around me entrusted with my care asked all the questions & ticked all the boxes I managed to evade them and fell lower into that long dark pit of depression.




On a normal happy go lucky day, I don't ask for help ever, it is one of my biggest hurdles and I wish it would come naturally to me as I am happy to help anyone when they ask...anyway suffering pnd just made it even harder to speak out and interestingly enough people who I thought were friends just disappeared and some I haven't seen since Violet was born even though they would pop round almost on a weekly basis...shame on them. 

I finally gave in when Violet was 16wks old and my little sister gave me a stern talking too & I went to the Dr and started on medication straight away. They also offered counselling but as I have already done my fair share of that decided to decline for the time being. Although I chose not to it is a really important part of getting back on track and I whole heartily recommend it to all and sundry..


So the pills started to kick in and my life started to make sense again, I took solace in my sewing machine, a place that had always given me comfort, stitching lines of straight coloured stitches almost become a meditative act and it was really the beginnings of a new chapter of my life. I realised that I had been suffering depression on and off for years and only wished I had sought help earlier. 

I still struggle sometimes to talk about it and breeze of into a flurry of chit chatter about this and that as somehow I would just rather people didn't know. The Dr told me in the early days that if I had a heart condition or diabetes then daily medication would be necessary and that I should look upon this as pills for my brain. 

So this is why I am supporting this great charity and I am posting my daily frocks on my instagram page should you wish to have a nosey or indeed join in...(for those without the app click on the link in the sidebar and you will be whisked away to my feed) 

It would also be fab if your feeling generous to donate to this worthy cause here and I shall be holding a silent auction for a copy of our new book & a bag full of goodies later on this week so do pop back soon....

And don't forget to spread the word....x

Sunday, 7 October 2012

TEA, TOAST & TREASURE


I haven't been to Keswick for quite a while, well rather a long while actually if truth be told...it's about an hour's journey for us just a skip up the M6 so not too far away and I have been itching to visit Temporary Measure for an age.


I first fell in love with Emma's work back in the day, well as far back as the first Bovey Tracey Contemporary Craft fair where I too was a fellow exhibitor. Her stall was jammy packed with various treasures and I do believe I still have the bits I purchased from her hanging about somewhere or other. Anyway off we trundled to the pencil museum and when we were all clued up on pencils we took a stroll around the town with an eye on the prize...a refreshing cuppa & delicious cake at the wonderful Temporary Measure.



Carrot cake, salted caramel & the best toast & jam you have ever seen was washed down by a grand cuppa tea....plus there was the added bonus of browsing while Violet was entertained by a story. So I shall be finding a reason to whip back up to Keswick in the near future especially as my day ended on such a cloud as I strolled back to the car with this little beauty stuffed into a plastic bag...


(do try your best to avert your eyes from the mocking stairs as I have found if you ignore them they can do you no harm)...

Friday, 5 October 2012

HOW INTERESTING IS A PENCIL


...well very when you taken some time to find out how they are made. If you have a small area in your heart that is completely besotted with all things paper then it is only right that certain writing implements sneak in alongside them.

I have always been fond of the humble pencil with its various shades of softness, to cold hard precision of the H leads. I always think my writing looks nicer written in pencil and it is always a pleasure to scribble away with a favoured stick.


So you can imagine I was quick to agree when a trip to the Pencil Museum in Keswick was mentioned late Wednesday evening, we had a rare day off and wanted to do something different. (what this means in translation is that certain members of this household didn't want to be dragged around any 'charity' establishments hunting for treasure)


It's not a huge museum but jammy packed with the most interesting facts & pictures about the old pencil, there is an informative video which isn't too long but even so did get a few tuts from the coach loads of grannies as Violet asked interesting questions throughout its entirety...the smalls are entertained by a worksheet & the lure of dressing up to keep them sidetracked while you try to take in as much of the info as possible ( I did try to remember a few facts to wow you with but unfortunately due to my lack of herding ability & a certain person on his blackberry had to recover Violet from several sticky situations)



My heart was indeed stolen by the wonderful packaging and bundles plus they even sneaked a few lovely nibs into the displays....



We treated ourselves to a few bundles of 'seconds' which were super cheap and extremely well suited to those who aren't too careful with there artistic materials. The we toddled off into town, a couple of charity shops...(I can indeed here you groaning Keith) where a treasure or two was found and the most delightful tea & toast at Temporary Measure but I shall treat you with another post on that little gem...