Here in the UK it has been a good year for apples. The very good news is that at this time of the year I get them for free! I LOVE free😃 my friends have apple trees and can only cope with so many so I get the remains. I have baked, stewed,chopped and munched through the last couple of weeks.
Today I have made Apple Cakes. I used a recipe from The Dairy Book of Family Cookery which I purchased from my milkman back in 1983. In those days I had a young family and not much money. Now I have an old family and not much money……..! OK so I’m rich in other ways.
I have altered the recipe a little but here it is.🌞
225g cooking apples, peeled and chopped.
175 brown sugar
350 self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 generous tea spoons mixed spice
175g butter, melted
1 egg beaten
Mix apples, sultanas, milk, and sugar
Sieve together flour and spice
Divide between 2 One pound loaf tins which have been lined and greased.
Sprinkle with Demerara sugar
Bake at 160 degrees C in a fan oven for 1 hour or until risen and golden brown.
Serve sliced with afternoon tea.
Yesterday I had a great day out at The Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts show in Manchester. The venue is great for me and my daughter kept me company. We tried Decoupage,watched a fashion show and learned about the art of Zentangle. I enjoyed every stall and could have bought lots of stuff. I did buy one or two ( ok more!) new projects.
I bought some gorgeous wool fabric to make a Winter skirt (and ordered the pattern on line last night)
I found a lovely stall selling French style Shabby chic textiles. See http://www.naturaleigh.co.uk Here I purchased some fat squares to make a secret Christmas present.
I bought a lucky dip gift bag, which amongst lots of other stuff, contained a HUGE Lindt chocolate treat. Diet? What diet?
One of my favourite stalls was Rachel John-extreme textiles! who created using mega! massive knitting needles and very multiple ply wool.
I also bought buttons, trimmings, craft magazines (note the plural!) rubber stamping stuff and quite a few cups of tea!
We returned home poorer financially but happy and tired.
In my wisdom I decided to check out how far along I have got with my “Bee Keepers Quilt”. Well! All I can say is not very far! This is going to take me YEARS! I will still be blogging about these darn Hexipuffs in years to come. Rather than try to do a bed quilt I think it will end up as a lap quilt. Small but perfectly formed. The problem is that I am definately a planner and a starter not a complete finisher. But Hey! So what? I’m not going to set the knitting world on fire with my bamboo needles but what fun I will have starting all those projects. You never know, but sometimes I might finish one of my multiple UFOs and how good will I feel then?
so maybe my “quilt” isn’t a mistake I will finish it one day!
This blanket is truly vintage. Now this is a secret but I KNOW it to be truly vintage because it was bought for me when I was a baby and I am vintage! Don’t tell anyone.
This blanket has kept me warm during Measels, Mumps and a Tonsilectomy. It has helped me through childhood illnesses and now is used in my Campervan AKA Damnvan1. I just adore the fact that my Mum repaired it many years ago and it’s still going strong. I covered my kids with it and still snuggle under in times of need and it was always called a Travel blanket. I wonder how many modern blankets will make “vintage”?
I use these plastic see through bags as storage when home and away. I use them to store, carry small craft projects, plugs and electrical accessories, tent pegs and even sometimes what they are intended for, toiletries and make-up! They are perfect as you can see what is in them. They zip shut. They come in varying sizes but often three in a pack. I buy them from Marks and Spencer and Aldi but I’m sure the they can be found in many retail places. Oh and they are cheap, squashy and light weight. Now how’s that for an advertisement? Sometimes you just stumble across a really good idea.
Well dear friends some of you may remember that theTour de France 2014 started in Yorkshire, England. I’m not sure why or how to be honest, but Yorkshire sure made the most of the short lived fame! All along the route there are still flags,bunting and bicycles. The cycles have been dressed,painted,hung from walls, and placed in shop windows, roadside verges and anywhere else they could think of. Most of the bikes are painted yellow but today I stumbled across the best that I have seen.
This particular bike was in the church graveyard in the tiny village of Hardraw near Hawes North Yorkshire. It had been covered in crochet. There were tiny mice,daffodils, hedgehogs, leaves and a multitude of other country artifacts all lovingly crocheted in multi coloured yarns. The work that it had taken was huge and very impressive. It was leaning on the church notice board in the graveyard. I particularly like the fact that it rests amongst very old tomb stones in such a peaceful location.
In the same village (Hardraw) I visited the Focus on Felt Studio/gallery. This is owned and run by Andrea Hunter who specialises in original felt artwork. Her work is absolutely beautiful and depicts gorgeous landscapes and horses. It is hard to believe that the pictures are created from traditional felt work. Well worth a visit www focusonfelt.co.uk
Loom banding is a craze currently sweeping across Britain. I didn’t realise how popular it is until my Grandchildren turned up from around the UK with boxes of the darn things! We set up a tutorial on the dining room table so that they could teach the adults how to do it. It was great how seriously they took the teaching. They had obviously thought about it and structured the teaching in a very impressive thought through method. These loom bands are essential coloured or patterned elastic bands. They are either “woven” on the fingers or using a plastic loom. They talked about chains,fishtails and links. They also bought and swapped bands, clips and plastic charms. It certainly improves their eye hand co ordination and gives the adults some very quiet time.
Having all now dispersed around the country to their various homes I am so missing them. However, there are loom bands in the well of my car, down all my seating, in my Hoover and under all the furniture. Fond memories!
On our way home from a week by the beach we stopped for lunch in a garden centre and I spotted the above sign! It was very apt after a week in a caravan with 3 children. I took my three grandchildren, Daughter and Sis to New Quay in Wales. This is a pretty coastal village with picturesque harbour and lovely beaches. We had a hectic week with walks, swimming in pool, swimming in the sea (cold) and evening entertainment. Not to mention digging sand and building castles. Needless to say there was no private crafting time although I did lots of colouring and paper folding games. We watched a childrens’ movie every night and ate pancakes for breakfast. (An unusual treat for us)
We had never all holidayed together before and it was wonderful to see all my grandchildren playing together, although it is exhausting being “fair” and resolving disputes amicably! I hope that I created some lifelong memories and maybe one day they will say to their Grandchildren “I remember when I went to New Quay with my Nanna Barb…….”