Friday, 28 December 2012

Season's Greetings

Hello,  Just popping in to say I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and aren't feeling too full of festive food!

I didn't mean to be away from my blog for so long, but put my back out just after my last post and spent about 10 days unable to do much other than mope about feeling sorry for myself and trying everything to  get rid of the pain.   When it's happened before it usually lasts a couple of days so I was pretty fed up until Christmas Eve when it finally felt ok again.  Oh! the relief :)

Anyway, I managed to wrap the presents, but didn't get round to taking any photos.  I made some bottles of  Orange Liqueur which turned out really yummy.  Also some candles in mugs, sugar body scrub and some bags of  the Amaretti fridge cake that I made last year.  It was fun making more gifts this year and avoiding the town centre.

We've had a nice lazy time, watching TV, eating too much and I've been working my way through the books I received and thinking what to do with the lovely fabric.  Isn't it pretty?

Kaffe Fassett's books are always on my wish list.  Such a lot of beautiful eye candy at a very drab time of year.  This one was inspired by The Swedish village of Skansen which looks like a wonderful place to visit.

Jamie Oliver's very inspiring too.  I just love his simple but tasty style of cooking.  There's loads of things I'm looking forward to trying in this book.  I made a start by going through all the herbs and spices in the cupboard and re-stocking the basics.  Of course that led to cleaning the shelves and re-arranging everything, but it's great to have clear out every now and then!

Best wishes for the New Year and lets hope all this rain makes way for a bit of sunshine soon!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Decorating

Hello,  I hope you're keeping warm in this freezing weather.  We've still had no snow round here, but it sure is chilly outside.  I've been shutting the curtains and putting the fire on at about 4 O'clock, but it does make the evenings seem really long!  Not long 'till the shortest day though thankfully.

No proper tree again this year.  My decorating gets more minimal every year I think, but I dug out a box of decorations for the twig "tree" and think it looks very cheerful.

I'm trying not to spend much this year and have been busy making a various presents. (Can't say any more at the moment!)  Loving my home made crackers too. Simply made with crepe paper and a bit of wrapping paper. Prettied up with some ribbons.  The only drawback is having to buy my own gift :) but  rather that than yet more nail clippers etc!

Looking forward to some good food and treats at Christmas.  I've been saving up my Nectar card points all year and boring the family with how much they're worth each week.  I think I've got about £130 now so that should pay for lots of nice "free" goodies.

I think tomorrow is mince pie making day.  I've got a jar lurking in the cupboard from last year. Pretty sure it will be ok. Wish me luck!


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Bit of a Kitchen Makeover

There's been a bit of pre-Christmas kitchen tidying and sorting out here which started with some basic cleaning and re-arranging of  "stuff" and led to some new shelves being made by hubby which I think look great.

This bit of the kitchen has always annoyed me.  There were a couple of impractical metal shelves and an unused blackboard, together with assorted clutter that tends to end up near the back door, and various gadgets like the sandwich toaster that was never used!  It all made the area rather dark and depressing, so last week it was all cleared away and he made me some lovely shelves out of a piece of old floor joist that's been sitting in the shed for years, just in case it came in handy for something!!

I debated leaving them as plain waxed pine, feeling too lazy to paint them properly, but found half a tin of "Garden Shades" paint leftover from doing the inside of the summerhouse years ago.  A couple of coats and a bit of sanding and they look lovely, with the grain of the wood still showing slightly. 

Once they were up, I could start arranging some bits and bobs and I really love the way all the random things go together and make the room much prettier and lighter.  Especially as it all cost nothing to do!

The little drawers had a makeover too and I'm trying to decide on some new little knobs to cheer them up.

The other end of the kitchen had a tidy too, with all the shelves and china being cleaned. Where does all the dust come from? :(  I found a mirror for only £8 in Homebase which brightens up the mantlepiece.  (It's a bit distorting, but hey, for that money I don't mind).  Some fresh branches ready to decorate and a bit of holly and it's looking almost festive.  (Oops, just noticed the missing light bulb. I knocked it out when turning a shelf over and forgot to replace it)

Bye for now