Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The modge podge fairy is back....

It's hard to justify to Cleggy why the house looks like it's been burgled (by a particularly messy burgular) when there's clearly a new birdhouse outside the back door...but that's exactly what I'm going to attempt!

The modge podge fairy has been busy again, nothing is safe! (see Grandma's stool) and this time she has made a little house for teeny tiny birds:

cute, but could be cuter
White washed
then the ta daaa

In situ
Also enjoyed soaking in the glorious colours of my primulas, especially after they've been watered...now, back to the housework! fee x

Sharing the love.....

 I love a Penguin classic (who doesn't?)!
Now, I also know that almost every fellow blogger (whos blog I read on a daily basis) also reads Meet Me At Mikes...but for anyone who doesn't, take a look at todays post:

fee x 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

lots to show and tell...

Friday night started with an invitation to a charity fashion show held at Mum's church. Now, if I was to be completely honest, I didn't relish the thought. Fashion shows are notoriously hard to pull off and Friday nights are precious!

BUT...it was incredibly well done, an absolute hoot AND I came away with some guilt free purchases!
All the models (and most of the audience) were in their 70's. The clothes they were modeling were all second hand, and the evening finished with a sale of charity clothes and accessories - all in aid of St Ann's Hospice, who do amazing work in the Manchester area, caring for those with terminal illness and their families. 

Along with a couple of tops (LK Bennett and Whistles no less) I picked up two beautiful vintage dresses

This one is floor length (Imagine the parties it's seen!) and is trimmed with pink ric rac!
The blue one will make a perfect pinny...
 a little silk scarf (10p!) and some accessories
how adorable is that little peacock?!

On Saturday we had a visit from Mabel (and her parents!)who was seemingly so bored by our company she slept for 4 hours.

We decorated the easter tree in honour of her visit...
Baked the obligatory cakes...apricot crumb square, recipe here
The recipe is from a little book by BBC Good Food magazine and consists of sponge, topped with apricots, THEN a cinnamon crumble. Never fails! ( I once made it at a holiday cottage where there were no scales so all the measurements were guessed. The crumble literally swallowed the rest of the cake...and it was still good!)

While the boys played happily together (ooh, enjoyed writing that!) we spent the afternoon around the little table (we've lost the big one to piles of paper!!!) and laughed....a perfect way to pass the time.
Mabel LOVED lying under the Easter tree
 Then got bored again and fell asleep!
Off to see some friends we haven't seen for TOOOOOoo long...fee x

Friday, 25 March 2011

♥ First Chipper Nelly Easter tree ♥

I know it's still a little early but I couldn't resist a play with Easter decorations yesterday.
Here's how I got on...
 Each circle is covered on both sides with beautiful vintage storybook images....
sanded and sealed with varnish...and hung on bakers twine

 A set of 6 comes wrapped in tissue and with a candy striped bag for extra gifting pleasure!

Available on Folksy... 
as always! 
fee x

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Busy x 3

What a beautiful sunny day we had here in Manchester (we don't get to say that very often!). The hens have started producing 4 eggs between the 6 of them, Ned has been getting himself nicely warmed in the sunshine and most exciting of all...we candled the duck eggs and they are both growing embryos!

This is not my photo...try as I might I just couldn't get my (rubbish) camera to pick up the spider web pattern.

Ducks are notoriously hard to incubate but so far so good.
Not liking the fact that the resposibility of turning of the eggs like Mrs Duck would be doing is lying largely with ME! I keep forgetting! (I'm guessing that in the world of nature some Duck Mummys are busier than others....and I'm just one of those busy ones)

Anyway, it was another productive day in the workshop. I finally posted the BIG order for Olga, a set of 20 blocks to celebrate her Godson's baptism, in Dallas!

And lots more makes:
New birthday blocks (available on Folksy)

some bigger vintage nursery blocks (also available on Folksy)

some bits and pieces for a charity event Mum is involved in
and classic Love/Home blocks (unsurprisingly available on Folksy!)

and....some more easter products - too many pictures to update tonight but will do so tomorrow (housework avoidance!)
fee x

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Random acts of kindness...and new wedding blocks

This morning my little sister posted a sad but very touching story about something that happened to her friend Kate ...thought I'd share it with you

along with some little details of yesterdays workshop makes;
chocolate inspired wedding blocks with gold leaf

black and white block with sparkle

a card for a friends birthday
a friendship blocked  picture - loved the way the sun shone on the buttons while it was drying...   
And the sun is shining here again today here...happy days! fee x

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Hot cross bun pudding

I've seen a couple of recipes for this kind of pudding but this one is particularly quick and easy
  • preheat oven to 170*C
  • place the buttered buns in a dish 
  • cover with the milk and egg mixture
  • scatter over the chocolate (we chopped up a big bar of rather than use chips) 
  • sprinkle with sugar
  • cook for approximatly 30-35 minutes

I didn't get chance to photograph it cooked as it was served and wolfed down in five minutes flat! Result. Fee x

Monday, 21 March 2011

Ned wakes up...!

 Our tortoise Ned had never been hibernated before...so it felt like a big risk (and a little weird) to put him in the fridge!

We suspected he was ready to hibernate when he slowed right down at the end of October (he's normally pretty nifty!) and stopped eating. We had to wait until he had not eaten anything for 2-3 weeks - to ensure that he had no undigested food in his tortoise tummy.

We finally took the plunge in November. Every day since then we've dutifully opened the fridge door for a few seconds each day to make sure he had enough oxygen, and occasionally given the box a little nudge just to check he was alive.

It was crucial to make sure the temperature was exactly right and constant (which is why an empty fridge works so well). We had to make ensure that the workshop temperature didn't change too much either - so a toasty workshop was fully justified!

If all the conditions are right then the tortoise's metabolic rate slows down and he can sleep until the spring. If there's any food in his tummy, or the temperature fluctuates then there's a good chance he'll die during hibernation (very common).

Waking a tortoise up can also be tricky - the sleepy tortoise needs to warm up quite quickly and needs to drink to get rid of any toxins. 

If he hasn't eaten within a week of waking then you're in trouble! I'm pleased to report that Ned woke up really quickly, enjoyed his spa and had a good munch on an apple this afternoon. Think we might just have managed a successful hibernation! (thank goodness)


Ned is quite the adventurer (he was stuck on that hoover for about 20 minutes!), really nippy round the kitchen and fascinating to watch....so glad he's back.
fee x

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Where do the weekends go??

Can't believe it's the end of the weekend again...how did that happen? This one has been full of fun and laughter with family and friends - for which I feel blessed and grateful. 

I can report back that a playlist of oldies makes for an excellent nights entertainment. It also has to be said that Cleggys 'Copacabana' was the top choice of the night, closely followed by Sandras 'whole of the moon' by The Waterboys. We learnt loads about each other that we didn't know...and I learnt that you don't need to speak spanish to be able to sing the part of Montserrat Caballe in a rousing version of Barcelona!

Today was spent with more friends who cooked us a fantastic roast dinner. 

The boys love visiting Sue, Simon and Izzy...not because they are good company (they are) OR because they cook us lovely food (they do) but because they have 2 HUGE dogs (Newfoundlands)called Monty and Nellie.

I can't imagine what it must be like to meet a dog bigger then you (but I don't think I'd like it...)

A weekend of laughter was just what the stress doctor would have ordered....thank you good and generous friends! fee x

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Little fluffy clouds and golden oldies

 We are going to our good friends Sandra and Dave's for tea tonight - lovely Dave continues his (alleged) midlife crisis with the grand unveiling of his home brewed cider (Why can't Cleggy have this kind of crisis...as opposed to the one where he 'needs' a 2 seater???)

Anyway, Sandra has asked us to bring our 6 favourite oldies - such as the type people send in to radio 2 of an afternoon. Now, this has casued a small rumpus in the Clegg household. What is classified as an oldie (we settled on anything pre 1990), who gets first dibs on Kylie's 'better the devil you know' (apparently Cleggy) and, since this is for a Saturday night, are you alowed sad/moving songs?

It was a much harder exercise than it would appear...and I thought I'd share my picks;
  • Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush (not my favourite KB track but iconic)
  • Don't stop til you get enough by Michael Jackson (disco classic)
  • This charming man by The Smiths (favourite band of all time, still get goose bumps)
  • I would die 4 U by Prince (could have picked any one of 50 Prince tracks- another all time favourite)
  • Things that make you go hmmmmm by C+C Music factory (just reminds me of summer 1990)
  • Each and everyone by Everything but the Girl (a very introspective time in my life)
My, more than a little eclectic!

Cleggy's list appears to include Barry Manilow's Copacabana....which is one reason why I love him so!

It's a beautiful sunny day here - thought I'd also share the view out of the workshop window
LOVING the blus sky and little fluffy clouds!

Hope your day is sunny too...fee x

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A surprise in a box...

Cleggy surpassed himself in the present stake today (not an easy feat - he's great at presents) by presenting us with two fertilised beautifully blue duck eggs in a box!

The school he was visiting today have a pond which is regularly frequented by a lady Mallard. Every year, after a hot date with Mr Mallard, she lays her eggs near the water....but every year some greedy crows swoop down and pinch them for their lunch.

So, Cleggy, always eager to expand home farm, said he would bring the latest batch home. Out came the old incubator we used to hatch the chicks last year and tomorrow we begin the exciting 28 day project duckling!
It's unfortunate that none of the lady chickens are broody as apparently they are more than happy to sit on a couple of extras! (duckling fostering?!)

If we manage to hatch them the ducks will be wild so we'll be releasing them back into a nice lake whenever they are big enough. 

Meanwhile it looks like we might have some fun!

I will of course post some photos - keep fingers crossed for some more bundles of fluffy gorgeousness! fee x