Friday, 16 August 2013

Juggling things !!

Well , we are really enjoying the school holidays , as a family we were ready for this break .We've had a good mix of lazy pyjama days , enjoying just being at home  and  busy away days .  We haven't been able to afford a family holiday but we do like to make sure that we get family away days . We have always made the effort to get the boys to  experiencing the natural world ( however there are now slight protests coming from the increasingly hormonally charged 12 year old ).

 One favourite place we like to visit is Leighton Moss R.S.P.B Reserve , Our little twitcher loved it , as did Mr.P and myself .

One day we went to a place I've been wanting to go for years , Dent in Cumbria . We joined some friends for the day the who were up in Dent camping for the week . I loved it because of it's Heritage  'the terrible knitters of Dent ' only terrible because they were sooo terribly good ! Cobbled street and a mish mash of old buildings and cottages my idea of heaven .

This woolly chap was the first thing to great me as I got out of the car .
The children frolicked in the river , bathed in the glorious heat of the sun while we adults sat on the river bank and watched the fun unfold . Oh to be a child again splashing with friends , that's what summer is all about !
Dent is situated in  idyllic beautiful countryside , we enjoyed lots of blue sky  with wisps of clouds that day.
I seriously fell in love with this  rundown cottage which had just been sold , my heart did a leap when I cast my eyes on it , I can but dream !

But although we've been out and about I've really enjoyed having some quality  time at home, a very generous friend and neighbour delivered some Gooseberries and Winter berries which were a glut from her husbands allotment and she knew they would be gratefully received and I would enjoy cooking with them .   I decided on making Jam and one thing led to another and I was in full scale home produce mode , turning out 12 jars of various Jams and 10 jars of Marmalade. Once I get going there's no stopping me , unless I run out of supplies . You can't beat home produce and I like a well stocked larder .

Ive also been spoiling the boys ( Mr P . is included in this as he is the biggest kid of them all ) with lots of homemade yumminess . I made two jars of Coconut ice  , only one is pictured here as they had scoffed one jar before I had time to take this  photo .  But just in case any of you feel like indulging your little ones or yourself this holiday or even making it with the little ones , here is  the recipe.

Ingredients :
397g Condensed Milk 
350g Dessicated Coconut 
350g Icing Sugar 
A few drops of Vanilla extract 
A few drops of Red or Pink ( I used pink) Food Colouring 

Instructions :
 Place the icing Sugar into the mixing bowl first of all , then add the Dessicated Coconut followed by the Condensed Milk and a few drops of Vanilla Extract  . 

Gently and thoroughly mix all the ingredients ( mixing slowly with a large wooden spoon will stop the Icing Sugar billowing into dust clouds every where) .

 Once all your ingredients are thoroughly mixed divide into two equal amounts into two separate bowls .

 Add a few drops of food colouring to one half of the mixture . It can take quite a bit of elbow grease to get the colour to mix evenly , but persevere it's worth it in the end .

Next find a container that is about 7 inch x 7 inch  , firmly press the white half of the mixture into the container first , it should be about half an inch deep . Then firmly press the coloured half of the mixture on top of the white mixture .

Then place the mixture in the fridge , I usually leave mine about 3 or four hours  . Then remove from fridge and divide with a sharp knife into desired size cubes . I do mine about half inch squares .

Remove from container , I usually use a palette knife and remove it as individual pieces and store in an airtight container . 
No need to worry how long it will store for because once you've made it , you wont be able to resist it ! .

Cinnamon Crumble Loaf is another big favourite in our house my youngest likes it plain and eldest likes it with butter and jam and they like to have it for breakfast  . I miss spending time in the kitchen when I'm really busy with other things , so it's good at holiday time when I do get to  time to spend in the kitchen cooking , baking and prettifying .  

In my Kitchen my love for blue and white never wains and the addition of these fantastic Sunflowers really complimented the collection . Blue and yellow can look stunning together.

I have found myself doing a real juggling act this holiday trying to work and do childcare but it doesn't usually work something usually suffers , so I decided not to try .However now  Handmade Over Yonder is my only job I do have to work as often as possible ,so with the fabulous support of Mr P. I have been going down to the studio to work on an evening . I am hoping once they are back to school I can build up a good level of production , working Monday to Friday in the studio and evenings if I have really  busy periods . As many of you may have noticed my productive periods have been rather patchy whilst I have been juggling two jobs as well as being a wife and mother . I know I'm not the only person out there doing this and I feel now I have given my school job up I can really start to build up 'Handmade Over Yonder' .

I've been getting started on producing  Felt Christmas decoration kits for the next open studio event . This will co inside with Yarndale . The studio will be open  Saturday the 28th September from 10am until 3pm ( I will be closing at 3 as it's my youngest 7th birthday and we are having a tea party for him , which I cannot miss ) & Sunday 29th  , 12 til 4 pm as I'm going to make a mad dash around Yarndale on the Sunday morning then race down to the studio to open it up for the afternoon .

I am on with some new things at the moment for the Next open studio and I will let you have a sneaky peak as and when things are being made . All this productivity has meant I needed a trip to my favourite patchwork fabric shop to get a few supplies . Patchwork Chicks is the most delightful fabric shop and I never fail to get a supply of spots or stripes or linens . I couldn't resist the two heart hangers they are so sweet . Not quite sure what I will do with them yet but I'm sure I will come up with something.

On my last visit to Patchworkchicks I bought some lovely rusty red coloured American linen with a make in mind . But it's taken me a while to get around to starting it . But two evenings ago I had the urge to give it ago .

Here he is in development , we will call him Mr.Fox for the moment . He still needs arms , a tail , a nose , eyes whiskers , jodhpurs , either a knitted tank top or scarf or a waist coat . I've not decided on the later yet as It's a work in progress and I am hoping to have some for sale at the next Open studio event . I'm very excited about Mr Fox and my youngest has requested one for his birthday ( he did ask for one two Christmases ago and started the whole Fox idea off ) , so he may be getting one for his birthday .  

So on that note I'm off for a good nights sleep as there is a Foxes tail to work out tomorrow and my youngest wants to help me , master P. and I  sat discussing what shape it should be and decided to pin some paper templates to it tomorrow to help get an idea of size and shape  .

So thanks for popping by and have a wonderful ( crafty if possible ) weekend . Ta ta for now  ,Tracy .x