Monday, 25 January 2010

New Blog

Hello everyone,
I bet that you have all just about given up on me as it has been so long since I have added a post to my blog.
I now have a new blog called "Rosie in the Loft"
Please come and visit me there and sign up as a follower! I look forward to seeing you really soon!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Trick or treat?

Ohhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhhhh- are you feeling a little spooked in anticipation of ghouls, ghosts and witches paying you a visit on Saturday evening? If so, I have just the thing to ward them away with no hint of a trick or a curse being left in their wake! Read on.....

Halloween comes just once a year, and despite all the protestations of Americanism and commercialism etc, I think that it is a jolly good chance to have some good old-fashioned fun!
Having recently lived in the good, ol US of A, I can vouch that the Halloween I spent there was absolutely  great! Goblins and monsters everywhere I looked that day- on the streets, in the parks, in the shops.

I am lucky in that parents of small children residing in the road where currently we live collectively organise trick or treating in a very sensible way. Signs are distributed to all houses a few nights before, and if you want to take part in the fun, you just stick the sign on your front door to indicate that trick or treaters are welcome!
You may recall in my previous blog, I presented this image with very little explanation.

Clearly, the more astute of you out there in blogland wouldn't have had any difficulty working out that what was pictured were the ingredients for toffee apples! Would you like to know how to make them?  Read on!

First of all, for the quantities of ingredients that I am going to give you, you need 14-16 small apples (ideally acquired from a farm-shop where they are currently in abundance).
Wash them thoroughly and then insert lolly-pop sticks. I bought these in a packet of 100 from my local Lakeland shop, but you can also get them from craft shops.

The next step is to make the toffee. For this you will need:

  • 750 grams of demerara sugar

  • 75 grams of unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons of vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons of golden-syrup

  • 175 mls of water

Put all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan and stir until they have melted.
Bring to the boil and then let it boil for 5-7 minutes without stirring.
You can test if it is ready or not by putting a tiny spoonful into a cup of cold water. The toffee will harden immediately when ready.

While you are waiting for the toffee to boil, line a tray or dish with foil and lightly grease with butter.

Okay- now the fun part.
When the toffee is ready, take it off the stove and place on a protected flat surface on your worktop. Then dip your apples, ensuring that they are thoroughly, well and truly and wonderfully covered with the delicious golden toffee.
They should look something like this:

Here's a close-up view. Mmmmmm- yummy!
Leave them to set- mine only took about 10 minutes to set and cool down.

Another fun bit comes next and that is the wrapping. Be as creative as you like! Now, that won't be hard for all you wonderfully clever crafty-types.

I used cellophane (purchased from the local florist shop- I simply could not find it anywhere else, despite searching high and low!) and Halloween-coloured ribbons!

Wrappity, wrap, tie, tie. For me, this part was the most fun and I must admit, the results were very pleasing!
What do you think?

Here they are all finished and packed into my Halloween basket waiting for those tricksters to come a knocking! Not having any children of my own, I love being able to be involved somehow in those fun things that I miss out on. Gosh, I hope the parents won't mind their children having toffee apples- at least they are organic apples and the toffee is chemical and additive-free!

 Last year I tried to encourage healthy habits as well as treats so gave out clementines with the sweets. Needless to say, I am not sure that the children felt the same way. I guess that not suprisingly, they were just interested in the sweets!

Don't they look good, all lined up on my kitchen bench? So easy to make too! Why not have a go yourself?

So, have a great Halloween and remember it is all just a bit of fun.

Bye for now,

An autumn afternoon

Hello All
I am working from home today but have just taken a little bit of time out to share some photos of my day with you. Well, actually not really my day as such, but some things that are making my day a good one!

I really love roses, and have some beauties in my home this week. Big yellow ones with some pretty carnations as well. The sunlight is streaming in at the moment and it is a stunning autum afternoon here in kent- just perfect for showing these beautiful flowers to their full glory!

Don't you think they look pretty?

My photography skills are not the best (as you will know!) but still, I don't think these snaps are too bad at all.

On another matter, with Halloween just around the corner, and me loving the fun that goes with it, these few items have appeared on my kitchen bench................................................................................................

I wonder what is to become of them?

Watch this space!
Now I must get back to work!

X Lucy

Saturday, 17 October 2009

A productive afternoon

Hello again,
Another post today- I am harnessing this very out-of character energy! I hope that you are not too shocked.

It is a cold, bleak day where I am today, so just the perfect afternoon for some sewing. That is just what I have spent a few very enjoyable hours doing and this is what I made:


 Two little cosmetic bags made from vintage- style floral fabric.

This one made from roses fabric.

And this one, which has little pink flowers on it.

They are lined inside with contrasting fabrics.

The pattern came from the "Sew Pretty Homestyle" book, which I know some of you have. To be honest, the instructions were not the easiest to follow, but I think they have turned out okay. Most importantly, they will come in very handy as I needed some new make-up bags. All I had to buy was the zippers, so quite a thrifty project!

While I had the camera out I thought I would take a few snaps of the crocheted quilt that I finished making a few weeks ago, but haven't shown you yet.
Here it is on our bed.

 Do you like the colours? I think it looks pretty and although it is only put on the bed like this at night, it does actually look okay with the floral patchwork quilt underneath.

I think the best thing about it is that because it is pure wool, it is deliciously heavy and warm- no doubt it will be getting lots of use from now on in!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend,



Hello and welcome to Saturday!

I hope that you are all having a good day.

Despite my rather uninspiring aand unimaginative title to this post, I am feeling energetic and full of creativity!
It has only just gone midday and so far I have already:
- finished the housework and tidied up
-put on a load of washing
-supervised the kittens while they played outside (still too young to be let out independently)
- shopped for groceries, including some lovely fresh salmon fillets for dinner tonight from a fabulous new fish-mongers that has just recently opened in the town
- made a huge pot of vegetable soup which is now contently bubbling away on the stove- it smells delicious and just the thing for a very chilly day like today!

Hooooray- that's all the mundane stuff over with (except the kitten part)! Now there's still loads of time left today for the fun stuff. My sewing machine is all set up and ready to whiz into action and I have a perfect project in mind. More about that later.....

Speaking of projects, do you remember the shopping bags that I made this week. Well, one was put into good use today!

Something that I also bought were some pretty pink tulips.

 I love fresh flowers, and having a surname like I do, feel that it is my obligation to buy fresh blooms regularly!

Besides, they definitely add something to the house, especially when displayed in one of my many jugs!

Enough  about flowers for now- I must get on with my sewing. Have a good day and I will be back later on.

Lucy x

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Big Knit

Hello again,
Every evening this week I have tried to do something creative as this is something that makes me feel happy and fulfilled and balances the stresses of work. So far, so good! On Monday evening I finished making the gorgeously bright green and pink bags (thanks for your lovely comments- no talent involved though-they were incredibly simple!). On Tuesday evening I bottled 6 jars of delicious grape jelly/jam and that was really rewarding. Needless to say with my excessive jam production this year, I really doubt that I will ever have to purchase jam again! I really must stop now as it has become almost addictive!

Yesterday evening I finished off my ten little bottle hats for the Innocent Drinks Big Knit 2009. What do you think?

They are cute aren't they? These were really very easy to make and when I looked on the website today to find the address to send them to I saw that they have extended the deadline until the end of the month. So, now I have time to make a few more. It is for a fabulous cause, so if you have a few spare hours, why not give it a go? Honestly, if I can make them and they turn out half-decent looking, anyone can!

Here's another snap (just slightly different from the first- I really should have posed them differently!)

Just one more thing- if you do decide to make these, keep your pets away from the proceedings! Our playful,mischievous kittenshad a ball stealing the completed pom-poms that I had made!
So much fun in fact that they completely destroyed 3!

Would you like to see how fast they are growing?

Have a good evening and I'll chat again soon!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Autumn is here

Hello Everyone,
Thanks for your lovely comments about my bags (glad that you liked the colours too) and the half-marathon. My legs are a little stiff today but I am still pleased that I did it!
It is really cool and autumnal here in Kent, the leaves and trees are very pretty and there is that definite earthy/woody scent in the air. It won't be long until it is time to get out my big winter coat!

I leave home to walk to the station quite early in the morning, before most of the neighbourhood are even out of bed, and this morning there was a light frost on the cars and the air was very chilly- it was also still quite dark. A sign that winter is creeping in!

I love coming home after a good day at work and settling into some creativity- this is another thing that makes me happy and adds some balance to my life. This evening I finished making some grape jelly (grapes from our own vine- they are in mad abundance and we don't know what to do with them all- any ideas????) and then I finished knitting some innocent drink bottle hats for "The Big Knit". I  have made ten in total and now just need to add the pom-pom to the tops and they are done! I will show you what they look like tomorrow.
Bye for now!
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