Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Off to the big smoke ....

Exciting times this weekend as I headed for London with two girlfriends for a bit of a girls weekend.
Our destination - Shoreditch , East London.
It was all planned some time ago and it has been lovely having this all booked up to look forward to. We caught an early train Saturday morning, reaching Paddington Station by 10:00am with the whole day stretching ahead.
First stop after checking in and dropping off our bags was to head straight to the rooftop restaurant on the 6th floor for a late breakfast. The view from up here was AMAZING.
After scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, juice, tea and possibly a little Bucks Fizz we were set up for some serious retail therapy. This of course deserves a whole post of its own so more of that later.
One of the things that I loved about wandering around this part of London was that around every corner there was the amazing contrast between the buildings - the beautiful reminders of old London town and right next to it the bang up to date buildings of the present.
It really gave a very special feel to the place.

Returning several hours later ( I know, doesn't time fly ! ) we picked up the keys to our rooms
and WOW, what a beautiful sight. Time was then spent snoozing, chilling, drinking tea 
and for me..
a little bit of crocheting.

The rooms were just beautiful,
very simply done but with everything and more to  make you feel at home.

Energy levels restored we headed back upstairs to enjoy an evening that probably involved too many cocktails, too much food and far too much time spent in the photo booth ( fun to look back at the photo's in the morning though ! )

 Safe to say a good night was had by all and treatments in The Cowshed the
next morning were hugely beneficial.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Quintessentially Quince ...

Walking through Bradford-on-Avon the other day I noticed that someone had a basket of Quinces ( is quinces the plural of quince or is it like sheep and sheep ? ) for sale out on their porch. Having enjoyed my first experience of chutney making a few weeks ago I thought I'd give Quince jelly a go.
I'm sorry to say this Quinces but you are not the most beautiful of fruits, so I can't say it was the look of them that grabbed me but more that having tasted some when out to dinner with friends I wanted to try making my own.
So, I found a recipe online and set to washing, coring and quartering. Looking at this picture it looks like I've got a pan full of conker cases but I promise its not.

Still loving my new preserving pan ...

 Not looking much better as the cooking process continues especially as it all has to be pulped down with a potato masher.

Very glad I bought the muslin straining bag and stand as I think hanging bits of muslin from stools and the like could have all got a bit messy.

Uummmm - still not grabbing me visually...

...but after a couple of hours of drip, drip, dripping I think we're beginning to get there. With sugar added and some vigorous boiling ( no photo's of the boiling sugar bit as Mum very successfully drummed in to me the dangers of boiling sugar ! ) look what happens... end up with the most beautiful ruby pink jelly.

The little jars looked really beautiful with the autumn sun shining through them.


With covers on and labels attached that's another little tick on my Christmas pressie to do list.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Hats, hats and more hats ....

Last week Vanessa at the gorgeous Blog Coco Rose Diaries posted the details of this years Innocent Big Knit.
I remember the first time I saw these little hats on the Innocent smoothy bottles when I was shopping with my three girls a few years ago. We all just fell in love with them - such a brilliant idea and a fantastic way to raise funds for Age UK.
So spurred on by Vanessa I had a go !
The little clip below shows just how quick they are to make - well, it's a little speeded up, but they are certainly super quick to do.

... and here's one all finished and ready to go.

Before too long there was a little line up on the fireplace.

I added a couple of a slightly different design..

and there they are ...

ready to go and join all of these...

WOW !!
That's a lot of 25p's.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Its good to go....

Way back in beautiful balmy August I posted some pictures of Megs empty room, as she flew off to her own little home sweet home.
Well, it's taken a while but .... the room is done !
Just in time as we had visitors this weekend.
A little peep through the door...

and tah-dah .....

I am so happy with how it has all come together. The colours are warm and cosy, and in keeping with it being a spare room I've given it a bit of  holiday feel with spotty bunting, seaside cottages and flying ducks !

I fell in love with this beautiful little row of seaside houses when I saw it in Notonthehighstreet, and the muted but warm colours were exactly what I was looking for.

The ducks I added because - well, just because ! I saw them and loved them and knew they had to fly off in the distance over the cottages.

Not the best of pictures, but you get the idea.

I had a lovely Saturday afternoon a couple of weekends ago making the curtains and  I am really pleased with how they turned out.

I made tie tabs for the tops of the curtains and this was definitely the bit that took the longest as I made 48 in total, but I'm glad I persevered as I love the look the ties give to the finished curtains.

The room didn't need much else adding to it, but I couldn't resist adding the rhubarb and ginger candle.
 It smells wonderful when you open the door.

The thing I love the most in the room though is the vintage eiderdown that I bought months ago with this room in mind. It makes a very satisfying crunchy, feathery sound when you squish it and it looks so cosy you just want to climb underneath it.

So, this weekend with visitors to stay and the first real Autumny weather of the year we mostly sat in front of this...

just chatting and doing a bit of this...

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Dishcloth love...

So here's something I didn't ever imagine myself saying ......
I am more than a little in love with dishcloths right now !
Possibly something not to be said out loud too often - but yes, it's true.
I even have a few favourites - I know, it gets worse.
My absolute, absolute favourites, and the start of my obsession, are made by the hugely talented Jules at Little Woollie - just take a look at these, are they not things of beauty ?
Totally gorgeous in every way.

  One day I plan to teach myself tapestry crochet from Jules blog.
 I have even added several more lovely pictures of dishcloths to my Pinterest Board - I am quite probably beyond help...

..... all just lovely !
Obviously one thing led to another and I now can whip up a dishcloth in no time, from the start of X Factor to the end of Downton - done.
I have tried a couple of different cottons for them but King Cole Bamboo is just lovely to work with and gives the best results.

And here are a few of mine....

If anyone has the number for Dishcloths Anonymous just let me know.