Thursday, 24 December 2009


I can't believe how long it is since my last post. In case you wondered, I haven't been sitting around doing nothing. I have, as every other year, left everything to the last minute, (I think I work better under pressure). And here is the photographic evidence to show that I HAVE done something. I have made another box of these .......... And quite a few more of these .....
And a couple of these .....

But I've finally finished. My cards have been made and written and posted and are out of my hands and into those of Royal Mail. Shopping has been finished, and presents wrapped, and other than making Brandy Butter I'm done. Brandy butter being one of my favourite festive foods - you can keep your "perfect roast potato" hints, and recipes for "how to cook brussels for people who don't like brussels" (why bother??? Just don't eat them, they're poisonous, the devil's food) In fact, don't tell anyone, because I'll be thought of as ungrateful, but my perfect Christmas meal would be a turkey sandwich, followed by a bowl of brandy butter. Anything else is just extraneous.
So can I wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and leave you with a seasonal photo, taken on Tuesday. (I've driven past this sign so many times and couldn't wait for it to snow so I could take this picture.)

PS - I bought a sensible pair of boots yesterday. Well, reasonably sensible for me. But, if I was considerably younger - I would have bought these. They are so beautiful, I considered buying them and just wearing them indoors as slippers, but in the end, common sense prevailed.
However, if Father Christmas is reading this and is still looking for the perfect present for me, I'm a size 7.

Sunday, 6 December 2009


Had a very busy day on Friday - I drove to Suffolk with a friend to do a day's tuition on Photoshop with Sarah Brownie, who we contacted via the Computer Textile Design Group . It was brilliant and we learnt loads, and I certainly feel that I know enough now to experiment by myself. Sarah was a very patient teacher, answered all our questions, and tailored the tuition specifically for us - a really valuable day.

Having got back home it was round to Val's to set up for our Coffee and Cake Craft Sale. (Although I didn't do much of that, Jill and Val had more or less finished by the time I got there. Then back home to bake my 'signature dish' - white chocolate and raspberry muffins. Fortunately, unlike my initial flapjacks - I didn't forget they were in the oven and burn them to a frazzle, and they turned out beautifully, even if I do say so myself.
Up early Saturday morning, to put the last finishing touches to our tables. Val's knitted scarves, hats, mitts and accessories ...
Jill's beautiful cards and paintings .... and my stitched stuff (if you look closely at the Lavender bag label, you may see evidence of the Photoshop course)

The table for coffee and cake looked pretty (please note - my second batch of flapjacks are a much better colour)
with masses of cakes waiting for customers

It's always a worry whether anyone will come - but at exactly 10am the doorbell rang and our first visitor arrived. We had loads of people in the morning, and were really busy, then it slowed to a steady flow in the afternoon.
We sold lots of stuff, and the refreshment money raised just over £100, which we are going to donate to a Breast Cancer charity - hence the abundance of pink .....

MUCH less work than last year's craft fair, and more successful all round. Still have some cake left (in spite of my best efforts!) but they will hopefully go when I get to work tomorrow.
Thank you to everyone who came and supported us, and to those who were happy to make donations, even though they weren't able to come and sample my cakes. (Or maybe BECAUSE they weren't able to sample my cakes?)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Charcoal, anybody??

Some time ago, my Mum asked me if I could find a use for these little bags for detergent tablets in the washing machine. I couldn't, but I don't like to see things thrown away, so I saved them. I gave it some thought, but until today I hadn't come up with a use for them. More of that in a mo.I was busy in the kitchen this morning, baking for our Coffee and Cake Craft Fair on Saturday - (I hate cooking) making biscuits and flapjacks. While I was in the kitchen, I saw the reason why the birds nuts are disappearing at an alarming rate - the pesky squirrel is back!

There's no point in chasing him off, he goes about five yards down the garden, turns around and sneers and then sits there until I close the door then comes back, so I just give up. Anyway, back to cooking ..... the biscuits turned out ok - they are called Keddie's cookies, because I got the recipe about 30 years ago from my friend's Mum, and she was called Mrs Keddie. Oh, and they are supposed to look like that, before any of you criticise the fact that they look a bit mis-shapen. I went off to sort out a couple of other things, and unfortunately, completely forgot about the flapjacks that were still in the oven.

Which is why they look slightly less successful ......

It didn't help that as I was scraping the burnt crumbs out of the tin, Delia bloody Smith was on Woman's hour, endlessly banging on about how to cook the perfect turkey, and the crispiest roast potatoes, and how delicious home made pork pies are, (I'd better not tell you what I suggested she do with her home made pork pies) and how much cheaper home baked mince pies are compared to shop ones. Of course they're cheaper you daft bat, you don't have to go through all that aggravation of weighing stuff, and making pastry and burning yourself and washing up. Incidentally, Delia, I've seen the price of football socks and we don't see you surrounding yourself with yellow and green wool to knock out countless pairs for the Canaries, do we? Have you thought about how much cheaper it would be?!?!?

So, to come back to the washing bags - I decided they'd be perfect for holding charcoaled lumps of flapjack, to hang up for the birds.

So that's what I did ......And, I have to say, since I've hung them out, I haven't seen hide nor hair of the squirrel or the massive fat pigeons that plague my bird feeder. And that gave me an idea....................

To Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones

c/o Dragons Den,

Dear Mr Bannatyne and Mr Jones,

I am looking for £500,000 of investment to produce and market my all-new failproof squirrel deterent.

To give you a breakdown of the costs, I need about £100 for basic ingredients, about £200 for the little bags, and the rest will go towards the cost of having a couple of fire tenders on standby for when the inevitable happens.

Yours hopefully

vintagerockchick x