Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Christmas Forest

I can always tell when Christmas is around the corner, as Boots launch their Christmas catalogue! I always have to pick up a copy and flick through, looking at the array of awful socks, Simpson's soap and other dreadful gifts for men.

Talking of Christmas, who me? *wink* I made these Christmas trees a few weeks ago and forgot to post pictures. Maybe I did post pictures?!?! Who knows, well here they are anyway -

I finished off the gingham hearts yesterday and tried to be arty by hanging them in the pear tree. A partridge is so old hat. With the sun setting, I didn't quite get the look I was hoping for, but you get the idea.

After planting far too many pumpkin seeds - always better to plant to many than too few, I only ended up with 3 pumpkins and a green mutant 'bottom' pumpkin.

Am in Duesseldorf now and Rome tomorrow night, then have my days off. The marathon sewing fest will then commence. My last push before the stall on the 28th November. Have brought several white buttons and silver wire with me and will make a few button hearts this evening. They seem really popular. Wish I could bring my sewing box along, but think that is going too far. Wouldn't have enough room for my shopping then............!

Can't believe it is 16.10 (well 17.10 here in Germany) and dark already. Gloomy and miserable outside, so will sit and craft until bed time. Was up at 5am this morning and starting to feel it now. Will be woken at 4.05am tomorrow by the, no doubt, chirpy receptionist. How I hate their upbeat voices at that hour. Hee hee.


C x x

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh, the shame.

Would you have a dog and bark yourself? No, but I hung my head in shame as I walked into the farm shop today. I was forced to buy eggs!! It isn't the girls' fault. They are seriously dropping feathers now and look like ex battery hens - well Cornelia does. Just glad that it isn't too cold at the moment and they are snug in their eglus! Elsbeth is the only one laying and her eggs are tiny. She lays every 2nd/3rd day, which I am grateful for, but I need more eggs for baking.

Been at work for what seems like weeks. I have two days off now, well one, as I am back on Thursday. Spent today making fabric stockings -

and tiny gingham hearts which I am still in the process of sewing. Quite chuffed with the results so far.

Spotted a new friend in the garden the other night. Have been on at Jase for ages about rescuing one, but no need now as Humphrey had taken up residence.

I think the flash startled him somewhat. Oops.

I popped into Pets at home and bought some hedgehog food. Either he is eating it or we are feeding the mouse/rat population. I 'built' - use the term lightly - a hedgehog area behind the oil tank when we first moved in. Just some dry leaves, sticks, twigs and logs and forgot all about it. Maybe Humphrey is the reason for the lack of slugs and snails in the garden?

Jase should be home soon, so thought I would update quickly. The craftings at Farm Cottage are going well. Fingers not quite bleeding, but rather impressive callouses have appeared on my hands. I am worried about the amount of things I still have to make. Too few and I won't have enough for 2 days. Too many and we will need a bigger house. Dilemma.

I was extremely weak the other day. I saw a book I fancied and couldn't wait. I know that I am doing this 'buy nothing new for a year' and could claim that it was a crafty book and counted as 'business', but that wouldn't be right. I wanted it. Simple as that!! I have done really well this year. I do think more about what I am buying and have saved some cash. (The Bank Manager is laughing at my last comment)!!

Crafting Christmas Gifts need I say more?

Visited the sewing shop, again. I really should have my own dedicated parking space outside. I did pick up some cotton tape to make some bunting though! My next project. When I get 2 minutes to scratch my backside. Needed more cotton for the stocking felt and a few other bits and bobs.

Last week I bumped into a girl at work that I flew with months ago. She asked if I was selling my Christmas puddings again this year as she was interested. I gave her my new business card *proud moment alert*. Someone else on the crew bus asked for one too and has ordered 4 Christmas puddings and 6 jars of jam for friends and family.

I have 3 medium puddings cooking at the moment. Well, they have been since 12 o'clock, the steamer is working overtime today. Will wrap them tomorrow and then they are ready for delivery to Italy! An Italian crew member I flew with in May has ordered them for his Family.

Talking of work, I guess you will have heard the news about us being balloted for strike action? Not a nice time, but I don't really want to go into it here. Walls have ears and all that *looks around anxiously* Hee hee.

Better sort my puds out and stoke the fire. Was tempted to hide the egg box to see if Jase would notice the difference, but the lion stamp would have given it away!

Speak soon,

C x x x

Friday, October 16, 2009

Panic stations!

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I forgot to update my blog this week!

BIG NEWS, I popped into the Craft centre on Tuesday after another quick trip to Ikea. I only went in to pick up the items I left for them to look over. Anyway, I was offered a stall at the Christmas Fayre!!! I paid for the stall in 2 seconds flat and have agreed to do both days - 28th/29th November. I am now petrified! Jase told me to get sewing, so I have been.

Got back from a 3 day trip this morning, bright and early. Let the girls out as they had been confined to their runs for a day. Feathers everywhere! Thought a fox had got them to be honest, but they have all decided to moult this week. Cornelia has no tail feathers and looks hysterical! 1 egg from 5 hens in 2 days!! Never mind, they need a break.

Right, back to work on stand by tomorrow. Will be loitering around Terminal 5 with a mobile phone hanging around my nexk, praying they don't call me.

Night night all!

C x x x

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Brown paper packages, tied up with string...

I must be in a writing mood - 2 entries in 2 days. Must be a record for me.

My third favourite thing, after an overflowing fridge, and a packed log store, (not forgetting rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens) is receiving parcels through the post! Look what arrived today!

Wet walnuts in a stunning box. I have a box addiction as well as jam jars, pens, pencils, paper and fabric, so can add this to my collection. Jase will be pleased! A massive thank you to Louise (aka Cloots) from the Omlet forum.

My headache continued today and I think it is the stress of the Christmas fayre is getting to me. I spoke to them today and they informed me the Committee would be meeting at 4pm and would inform me on TUESDAY! My heart sank, but what choice do I have? He did say that they were impressed with the items I gave them and that they were different to everything else they had seen. That is a good thing. Apparently. He will take a look at the 'quality' and inform me via email. Will try and forget about it until next week.

I was feeling festive today, so decided to bake some Christmas cakes. Like you do in October. I found 2 jars of dried fruit, that had been soaking in Brandy since Nov '08. You could say it has steeped for long enough. I made 6 cakes! No Christmas carols today. My head could barely cope with the oven fan. a huge one still in the oven. 1 made in a sweetcorn tin and 4 in half size baked bean cans! The, erm, mice have eaten half a small one. Quality control purposes you understand *wink*
Why is it you realise you have run out of something, 2 minutes before you need it? The cake mix was ready, just lacking one minor ingredient. Flour. I dashed down the road and bought a couple of bags, only to discover a large jar of it hidden in the utility room. Arrgggghhhhh! Managed to grab a few handfuls of blackberries on the trip home though. They have nearly finished for the year, but I now have quite a few tucked away in the freezer.

I had a bag of cooking apples left for me after my last blog entry, about lack of fruit. Thanks Amber! I decided to bottle them along with some pears from our tree.

3 jars and two have sealed well. The largest one didn't. Typical. Will add them to the blackberries and freeze the lot for crumbles.

I made a couple more draw string bags today -

I really like the way they turned out and would rather keep them, than sell at the fayre. (Maybe I will be keeping them?!? No, have faith Christian)!!!

I know that you have all seen my beeswax candles, but here is a picture with my new business card!

I have attached them to everything! Hee hee. Maybe I should have ordered more than 200?

After seeing a lunch bag on a 'crafty' site, I thought about trying to make my own. Theirs was made with white fabric, (would get dirty quickly - ahhhh, I sound like my Mum) and had a knife and fork embroidered on the front. Knowing my limitations, I went for a patterned fabric, thus solving the problem! Still more practice needed with the needle.

Remember the spinach I planted a few weeks ago - rations for the girls over winter? Look at it now! I think it has doubled in size since the torrential rain we had yesterday.

No eggs today. What makes it worse is the sound of next door's bantams announcing another egg has been laid! They aren't supposed to lay well, but are doing a very good job. Agnes' comb is still very pale and has shrunk quite considerably. Don't think she or Cornelia will lay again until the Spring. Never mind, they aren't machines. Although £1.94 for 4 free range eggs in Waitrose is shocking! Might have to adjust our prices.

Time for bed now....have a long day ahead of me tomorrow. Jase should be home by 10am ish and then we have visitors for the weekend - should arrive by 10pm as driving 'doon' from Scotland.

Thanks for reading!

C x x

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Decision time

I woke up with a banging headache this morning, which I still have. I don't think the constant rain is helping much. Being a human barometer (yes, seriously, muggy, heavy, need-a-storm kind of day and my head hurts) is sometimes a nightmare! My mum is the same. Strange but true.

The girls have been very quiet today. I took them some pellet porridge earlier and they weren't too keen to leave the run. So I fed them inside! One egg today, one yesterday, looks like Waitrose might be getting business from me after all. White feathers everywhere from Winnie, but she doesn't look like she has a feather out of place. Very strange. Cornelia has snapped out of her broody spell, but hasn't laid in a week. Agnes is looking slightly more feathered than last week. Elsbeth and Pru are the only two laying. When they feel like it.

Locked them up in their run at 6pm this evening. They looked like they were ready for bed. Cornelia was eyeing up the nest box, but a plant pot quickly stopped that idea.

Went into Town as was desperate for Le Parfait jars. Can you be desperate for jars? I can. Picked up 4 and will bottle the last of my apples and pears. Also got some bits from the sewing shop and toiletries from Boots, then headed back to the safety of the car. Strange people around today. The rain must drag them out.

I made another 6 wheat pillows yesterday and a couple of draw string bags. I plucked up the courage to go to the craft centre and left them a few things I had made. They were discussing the 'entries' for this year's Christmas fayre today and said the Committee would contact me tomorrow. It is a local Christmas Fayre, but they would have you believe it is the hosting of the next Olympic Games. No idea what I will do if they say no. They want local handmade goods. Everything I do is hand made and I live less than 3 miles away, so I hope I am 'acceptable'.

They also sell the Village Voices dvd that I would rather forget ever happened. It raises money for the Air Ambulance fund in Hampshire. I do think that it is not 'what you know, but who' with this kind of thing. Maybe it is like the Olympic Committee? When I popped in to see them, the shop keeper screeched "Good morning Chicken Man" at me. Much to the surprise of a Lady buying washing up liquid, so maybe I am in there!!

No pictures today as the rain has kept me in and the light isn't right. Ooooh, I sound like I know what I am doing with photography!! Wrong - 'Point and click' is my motto!

Fire is stacked and ready to go. Jase is away until Friday, when his Sister and Hubby are down for the weekend. We are going to Londinium on Saturday for a spot of shopping and to see Les Mis. Yay!! Have wanted to see it for years. Not too sure about the underground or staying overnight, but am assured it is a nice hotel. If we arrive outside the YMCA I will not be amused.

I started some embroidery yesterday, for the first time. It is said to be relaxing and de-stressing. It is neither. I am only trying to stitch a small acorn and two leaves, you would think it was the Bayeaux tapestry, judging by the colourful language erupting from my armchair. I seem to lack the hand/eye coordination needed to get a needle a millionth of a millimetre to the right of a stitch. Will persevere though.

Work is simply vile at the moment. Talks between the company and union have broken down (were they ever 'up)? and the company will be enforcing new terms and conditions in December. They have offered everyone a change in contract i.e 50%, 33% working etc and I am really keen on a 50% contract (am currently 75%). However, I don't think the mortgage company would be too happy with that, so, being sensible about things, I will stay as I am.
It is going to get worse, with talk of strikes etc but I am not one to bury my head in the sand. Just hope an agreement can be reached soon.

Time to get my dinner on, light the fire and throw the embroidery, *cough* I mean, finish my embroidery. No idea what I will do with the finished fabric, but will think of something. Hoping for a thunderstorm this evening to clear my head.

Night night all. Will update you of the outcome tomorrow.....Dum dum duuuuummmmmm. *looks anxious*

C x x