Saturday, 29 September 2007


Hi there everyone! hope your all enjoying your weekend? Thought I would share some pics with you, this is what we've been doing today. Getting ready for the winter months. It's a bit sad but also very comforting, the thought of those cosy winter evenings infront of the fire doing my arts and crafts, feeling safe and warm in our little stone cottage while the winter reveals itself outside.Do you get it? maybe I'm just trying to be optimistic, I don't like the dark evenings though...
This is Andy hacking back the ivy, it had got a bit mad, he shouldn't really be doing it, it sets off his hayfever for some reason.
This is moi, picking apples before they rot. I really think I should have worn my ' Platex ' girdle, country girls are all the same!! (arn't they?oh... )

Here are the apples, they've made it as far as the kitchen. What now? I hear you asking, maybe chutney?, maybe jam?, a crumble?, Andy keeps muttering something about cider, yeah right! Maybe tomorrow? we might just eat them as they are with some bread and cheese, sounds good to me. Have a great evening xxxxxxx.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007


Every year in my home town we have ' The Open Studios' where artists and craftspeople open their homes and studio spaces to the public, this is over two weekends at the beginning of June.We have a wealth of creative people in this town and it is unbelievable but true, some roads have artists and craftspeople virtually every other house! I love the time of the open studios, it's great to see the work and meet the makers and the nosey side of my nature enjoys seeing how they live.
One such artist is the lovely Kate Loveday. Kate paints lovely still life and flower compositions that would fit in to any environment, they are easy to live with.I purchased my first painting from Kate last year, at the site 06 open studios, it's called ' Favourite Jug' and it had to be mine.
In May, Kate informed me that there would be an article in ' The Country Living Magazine' about her and the open studios. I love getting this magazine and consider it a real treat to thumb through a new one, in peace with a hot chocolate. On getting the June issue, much to my delight, there was the promised article, but even better, there was MY JUG! sat on the shelf where I had found it a year earlier. Silly me, I didn't realise that the articles are planned a year in advance.
Andy informed me that this would be the nearest I would get to being in 'The Country Living' magazine, HARSH! HARSH! A girl can always dream............
This year at the site 07 open studios, yet again, I purchased a Kate Loveday delight called,'Green figs on a red cloth', I haven't a pic of this one, but it hangs at the top of the kitchen stairs. It might turn up in ' Period Living' next year, who knows :)

I just had to show you the picture Poppy did of a robot, Isn't it great!
Have a great week, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

Saturday, 22 September 2007


Hi there everyone, as promised, Here is the recipe for the carrot cake I am so in love with at the moment. It is taken from the wonderful book pictured. I discovered this book at my local library when we were making our friends wedding cake. I kept going back for it time and time again, but some cheeky bugger knicked it! I found a copy on Amazon, it was one of my better purchases, it's worth investing in.
This recipe is for a round loose bottomed 7" tin.
Self-raising flour 125g
Plain flour 125g
Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
Ground ginger 3/4 tsp
Ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp
Bicarbonate of soda 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil 120 ml
Brown sugar140g
Eggs 3
Golden syrup 70 ml
Grated carrot 315g
Pecans or walnuts 50g
Baking time 1 1/2 hours
For the top;
Unsalted butter 150g
Icing sugar 150g
Glace cherries to decorate
Vanilla extract, few drops
This is the way we like our butter icing, but some might prefer it sweeter, if so, just add more icing sugar.

1. Preheat the oven to 170c (325f/gas 3 ). Grease the tin ( with veg oil ) and line the base. Sift together the flours, spices and bicarb of soda into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and golden syrup. Gradually pour into the well, stirring until combined. Stir in the carrot and chopped nuts.
2. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for the time stated. Test the cake at the end of the cooking time, a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for atleast 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
3. Whisk together softened butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until blended. Spread onto the cooled cake and decorate with cherries.
It's scrummy, if anyone out there has an alternative carrot cake recipe that you think takes some beating, let me know, I would love to try it.
Andy's making one later today, what a treat!!!

Monday, 17 September 2007


Hi there everyone! well I must say, it seems like such a long time since my last post, I have been a tad pre-occupied. As some of you know, it was a big day last Thursday. Can I just take some time to thank all you lovelies that left kind comments for Poppy in her new adventure, it was very comforting to me too, it was lovely xxxxxxxx When we awoke that day we were greeted with this lovely view. The mist had settled down in the valley and it truly felt like the first autumn day, I just had to capture it, and the smell! you know the smell I mean, the fresh earthy one that nips at your cheeks.
Here's my baby, looking so grown up in her school uniform, look at the shiny shoes! look at that grin! she was so excited and skipped down the road with me and Andy.
This is outside the reception waiting to be collected, Poppy is with two of her old chums, boy, they were excited! I was fine at this point and thought that maybe I had done enough crying over this, but alas, when they went in, hand in hand I crumpled, it was quite funny really:) I put my sun glasses on so Poppy wouldn't see her silly mammy crying and they steamed up, I couldn't see a thing!

It's been fine since, but Pops seems so incredibly tired, I suppose it's all the excitement and being with a bigger group of children.

We had a relaxing weekend. It was a neighbours 40th Anniversary and they asked if we would make one of our chocolate cakes. The writing's a bit ifie, but it was a bit early in the morning. Andy also made a carrot cake for Julian as payment for giving George guitar lessons ( he doesn't want money, he prefers baked payment) and one for us too. So yet again it was a cakey weekend ( definately comfort food ).

I must say, I have lots to tell you about, but at the moment I don't know where the time is going. I hope to catch up on things and show you the doll I am making, I need the feedback, to see if they are worth doing. I also need to do my Hobby Horses if I intend to get some ready for Christmas.

I recieved my very first award it's the ' YOU MAKE ME SMILE AWARD', from the lovely Kat (kat-in-a-flap) I'm afraid I haven't managed to drag it over to my blog yet :( but I'll keep trying!I do believe that I am to pass this on to bloggers that make me smile too, this would have to be each and every one of you lovelies that take the time to visit and say hello to me, it makes my day.

Sunday, 9 September 2007


Arn't flowers wonderful ? more and more as I get older I seem to fall under their spell and am amazed by how seductive they are, not only to bees and insects but to us humans too. I haven't as yet met anyone who hasn't fallen under their charms, wheather it be as a love token, for their beautiful perfume or the part they play in producing food. Look at these beautiful flowers, they are growing on our butternut squash plant, and look what they turn into, a squash!

Now you may think that we named Poppy because we love Poppies, well, yes I do, but no, I feel that fate played a part in this. You see, Andy, Pop's dad loved the name but I was not sure, may sound strange, but I just couldn't imagine the name growing with her, I could only see a Poppy as a cute little girl but not as a young woman or old lady, I was not buying it.
One sunny Saturday morning in early July I went into labour. I can remember standing at the kitchen sink gazing in to the garden trying to breath through the pain, when something caught my eye, there was a beautiful pink Poppy bobbing in the breeze, all on it's own. It hadn't been there when we went to bed and there had never been Poppies there before. FATE I told myself, how could she be anything else. We still have that beautiful Poppy pressed intoan old ' Hutchinson Encyclopedia', our name. It's one of my most cherished things and I think Poppy will enjoy the story of how she got her name.
Poppy starts school on Thursday, she starts a new adventure, without me. I thought I would make her a kit bag using odd bits of material to make her name and ofcourse flowers are used, she'll know it's hers, Mammy always gives her flowers, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxEnjoy baby girl.
P.S. I was watching the news one evening, a wonderful sweet 80 year old was being interviewed, her name came up as Poppy. I smiled to myself, my fears were very much unfounded. xxxxxx

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


I'm afraid I'm having a few teething problems with my blog, have lost two blogs that took an age for me to write so am reluctant to write very much until problem has been sorted. Thought I would put some pics of some corners and cupboards in my house, then try and post, wish me luck!
Do you like Emma Bridgewater? I love her bird and animal series.There is a story to be told about the little painting above the smeg, hope I can tell you someday soon, a little clue,' Country Living', May or June issue.

I love my old meat safes, discovered these in a cellar of a house my friend Lawrence had bought. I made some decorated bathroom cabinets in exchange for these two beauties, they took some cleaning and stripping I can tell you.

Sunday, 2 September 2007


OK! I take it all back, I promise I won't tag you, It's gettin a bit lonely over here. Come and have some cake, come on. xxxx

Saturday, 1 September 2007


Hi there, I've just discovered that I've been tagged by Kat (kat-in-a-flap), it's called 'The Name Game' where I have to use the letters of my middle name to describe things relevant to myself. It's not easy is it?I don't have a middle name, so I shall use the middle name of one of my best and oldest friends (i've used it before in other tight situations, but we wont go into that...)
L.ayers - I always wear layers of clothing, I have gained the name of "Annie two skirts" from some and it has been commented on many a time. I just love mixing different textures and colours and I'm always prepared for our British climate.
E.ngland - I have lived in England now for 21 years (!!!??!) I came to study sculpture back in 1986 and have been longing to return to my beloved homeland ever since, that being Wales. Don't get me wrong, I love where I live, it's very beautiful, but I have to have my fix of the Welsh mountains. I shall go back , I have a cunning plan..........
A.llergy - I have an allergy to eggs. I hear gasps from all the cake lovers out there, do not despair, for I can partake of various spongy delights, but the cakes have to be well baked, I cannot eat meringues ,moose or anything like that. I can tell now by the texture and smell of a cake if I can eat it or not, and if I'm in doubt I don't risk it, the consequences are too great.
Last week, Andy was making carrot cake, I walked into the kitchen, in a bowl was what I thought was the lemon butter icing for the top, I don't know why I did it! I'm usually Miss Paranoia when it comes to mixtures in pots, but before Andy could stop me, I put my finger in and put it in my mouth. He told me it was raw cake mixture, I ran to the bathroom and did all I could to remove any trace of the mixture, immediately I could feel my throat thickening, I tell you, I was scared. I had the biggest dose of Piriton I could have and waited.I took my mind off it by cleaning the bathroom (that is bad). Thankfully, all I received were stinging lips and mouth, I won't do that again!
H.air - I have mad hair. I started going grey at the age of sixteen, an inheritance from my mother, THANKS MA! As a child I never had my hair cut and it was very long, at fourteen I decided enough was enough and got it cut to shoulder length. When I got home, as you do, I washed all the products out of my hair. I remember being in my room and catching sight of myself in the dressing table mirror, had the shock of my life, my hair had gone incredibly curly!On showing my mother she calmly said," oh yes! you had curly hair when you were little". We didn't have any photos of me as a baby( I always thought this funny...) and my hair was sooo long it only had a slight wave in it, so I never knew.
Now my hair is 98% white, so i've been told, but, with the help of a fantastic hair salon, I choose to cover up this fact, for the time being anyway.
There you go, strange but true. I believe I am supposed to tag four people now, thing is, I think all the bloggers I visit have been tagged, so I will say, If you visit my blog and leave a comment ( you watch, I wont get any comments now will I, come on girls you know you want to really!)Your tagged! TTFN xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx