Monday, November 28, 2011

Muriel Loved Polka Dots...........

Mondays seem to be rolling around pretty quick these days and after a relaxed weekend I find it a little bit hard to get back into the routine.

Today is meant to be a 'production line' sewing day.........
I have managed to work my way through a few jobs on the 'to do' list but there was a little bit of 'play time' first.

"'Muriel loved polka dots.....'

A little idea that popped into my head and I needed to play around with it before I could settle down to the jobs at hand.

When todays 'to do' list is completed I will play around with the idea a little more.

A little chooky fun needed to be explored too...........

I was thinking brooches.
The one on the left turned out to be just a little too big for my liking, so I scaled it down and it's a better size.

Just a bit of fun before I get into the 'production line' sewing.

I have a market coming up on Saturday, it's not the usual but an extra and although I have enough stock I always like to have something new and fresh.

Since Friday we have had 3 inches of rain.
It was very on again off again, heavy, light or not at all.........

It hasn't been torrential which is good and the garden will certainly be enjoying it.
With warmer weather forecast for this week, all the plants including the weeds will be growing whilst we watch them.........

I have been picking lettuce for the last two weeks and it's so nice to pick just what you need.
This cage belonged to a friend she used it for clucky chooks and gave it to me when she moved house.
It's a little on the wonky side but has come in very hand to protect the lettuce seedlings from the chooks and birds.

The Spring Onions in the foreground are ready for use, so with the warmer weather it will be salads galore.

The tomatoes are still a long way off but we do have bucketloads of berries.
It's time to think about using them up...........

I kept this old book of my mums, there's lots of interesting recipes in it, like Walnut Ketchup !!

Or, if that doesn't take you fancy how about mushroom ketchup?
How does preserved pears with coffee jelly sound?
Sorry, but I'm starting to feel slightly queasy.......

I don't intend to make any of the above but if you are interested just leave a comment and I can send you the recipe, hehe...........

I thought I would start off making a small batch of jam after being inspired by Jules over at Little Woollie

Easy peasy recipe, 1kg of sugar and 1kg of fruit and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice.

I can see myself making quite a bit of jam over the coming weeks.
The raspberries are coming on thick and fast as well, so the pantry shelves will be groaning with jars of jam very soon.
Plenty for us and some to give away to family and friends.

Sadly, there were no freshly baked scones so a slice of bread had to do for a taste test.

It was yummy and No. 1 declared it to be a lovely colour, so I think it was a success!!

Did you know that I actually worked in a local jam factory for 7 years?
We made the most delicious jams there but we used 100's of kilos of berries at a time.

My favourite was/is blackberry and apple and raspberry jam.
The smell when the berries were cooking was amazing and just like making jam at home if you turn your back on it when it's boiling.................

Well, you can imagine the sticky mess it would make if a kettle full of jam boiled over, eek.

Fortunately, it only happened once or twice and I have to say it wasn't my fault either, phew !!

Thought I would let the chooks in for a treat while I picked the berries and had to laugh at Noddy's acrobatics.

He jumps up and picks a berry then drops it on the ground and 'calls' the girls over so they can enjoy it.........

He's very thoughtful like that.

There's plenty to go round.

The netting over the orchard has been very effective in keeping unwanted birds out this year, so we can enjoy more of the fruit.

There are plenty of apples and pears coming on that aren't netted.
Very soon the parrots will be paying us a visit to enjoy the bounty.

A snap of Just's a beauty and the perfume is delightful.
The rain didn't spoil too many of the roses, but there are plenty of buds just waiting to bloom.

For some reason the girls and Noddy seem to find rose petals irresistible and rush to eat them.
I wonder what the attraction is?


So there you have a brief roundup of what's been happening in this neck of the woods.

Once December is done and dusted I would like to pack away my sewing machine for a little while, or at least unplug it and have a go at a few other little projects which have been in the back of my mind for a few months now .

I feel like the noise in my head, you know, all the ideas which keep popping in and wanting your attention.
Yes, all that sort of stuff has died down and I am really enjoying the 'peace and quiet'.
But it would seem that my blogging has dropped off a little too, which is fine.
We all know how life gets in the way.........
But I am still here and definitely getting around to blogs and keeping tabs on what you are all up too.

So thanks for dropping by for a visit, always nice to have a visitor or two and your comments are always appreciated.

Till next time,

Claire X


  1. Just loving your new creations, especially the chooks and the noises they are making.
    We had heaps of that rain down here two, three inches in 24 hours. Everything is green, soggy and with humid weather growing madly.
    Wow, your berries look wonderful and I love the photo of your rooster jumping up for a tasty morsel.
    Good luck with the market on Saturday.
    Anne xx

  2. Yes high time we had some more Bgurk lovin! 3" of rain, well I'll be! Showed Craig your gorgeous boy getting into the berries. The rose petal thing is interesting, will have to see what our girls say about that. Happy market day Claire.

  3. Love you little embroideries!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. What a lovely atmospheric sky and gorgeous roses. What a gent Noddy is, he knows how to keep his ladies happy!

  5. Love your new embroideries Claire - great ideas as always! Your pic of bread and jam and tea is absolutely mouth-watering - yum :)

    Will keep reading to hear about your other new projects - sounds intriguing :D

  6. Just Joey - just lovely! A long wait until summer for our roses.

  7. Noddy is quite an acrobat! That photo of him jumping at the berries made me smile! Lots of rain here too!

  8. Great post. Just as it's getting warmer there it's cooling down here! I just love "Muriel loves polka dots."

  9. The detail on Muriel's face is amazing; did you do it all on the machine?

    Noddy is such a gent!

  10. Hello Claire,

    Love the the the jam making and the free motion sewing.

    Can you tell I loved everything about this post!!!! Love getting a peak into your corner of the globe..winter settling in over here. I love it.

    Janet xox

  11. I love your sewing - and nice to see some warmer and sunnier climes than here where the days are getting darker and colder!

    Pomona x

  12. Love the embroideries. We have also been making berry jams here but I've been adding mulberries that I froze a month ago. Berry yummy!

  13. Sounds berry busy at your place!! love hearing about your chooks and latest sewing project, did youe sell your cute little tea cosy?

  14. I think leaping Noddy has just made my day I laughed sooo much, tell him from me he's got a new fan! ;D that jam travel? x;)

    email pending...Head for those (beautiful) hills! xxx
    Big loves to you, the gang and Noddy!

  15. Claire,
    I'm sure it was hard work, but I am very impressed and a little envious you worked in a jam factory. And you still love it and make it always I am transported when I see the magnificent place you live. oh those chickens.

  16. Oh your berries look amazing!!!! I had one. Only one!! So envying your berries right now :) How cute is that jumping action :)

    Like your polka dot creations too.

    What kind of chooks are yours? One Looks a bit like a barnevelder?

  17. That jam is a delicious color! (Can color be delicious?) And your polkadot Muriel brooches are so cute! Hope your market stall is going well today!

  18. Hi Claire,

    Just love your beautiful pictures and seeing what you and the chickens are up to!
    The stitched brooches are great, love the polka dots... Karen


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