Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter Solstice

Bright Blessings this fine Yule.

This morning I rose early with the other half, woke the dog, made a flask of hot water and made a bacon sandwich for him and a vege sausage sandwich for me.

We set off upto the Weardale to catch the last of the luna eclipse and to watch the sunrise and welcome the Sun back, and so begins the process of rebirth. The nights will begin to get shorter and the days longer, now is the time to feast and be merry and snuggle down and wait for spring to arrive. It is a time of reflection and planning the time ahead.

This year we have been truly blessed that a luna eclipse coincided with the solstice. It was a wonderful sight and not something I will ever witness again in this lifetime. Unfortunately my camera would not show what I saw and made the large moon shrink to almost a dot. I'm glad I was able to witness such an wonderful phenomena.

I love watching the sunrise, I miss it most of the time as I also love my bed and when in my bed the bed wins. However as it was such a special solstice this time round I made the effort to go find a spot high(ish) up to view the light coming back to the earth.

Today I'm a little blissed by the whole thing. I'm going to float around the entire day.

Here's a little pic of how the pip squeak is worshipping the sun. I like her way actually, when I finish work I may join her. lol

Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas/Yule cake

This is my Yule cake (Christmas cake). I love my Ivy decorations, its similar to my wedding cake.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Craft Fair

Today mum and I attended a craft fair at a local community centre. I thought I'd share a few piccies.

The day was incredibly quiet, we put it down to the fact that as people have been stuck inside for so long due to the bad weather they'd taken advantage of today's good weather to go stock up and do their Christmas shopping.

Gave me an opportunity to knit another hat though.

Friday, 10 December 2010


Here's the hat I made last night, I have hats in several colours now and hoping they will sell. This is the first one to be modelled by the head.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Today I received a head in the post.

Today I received a head in the post, and before you gasp in horror it's a polystyrene head so that I may display my hats for sale. Its fantastic.

Its been driving my dog mad though, she doesn't seem to like it and has spent 10 minutes barking and growling at it, bouncing and then running away, much to my husband and my amusement. She's not one for barking so to hear she has a bark is quite a rarity but the head brought out her Big dog bark. Bless her.

I can't wait to get some pictures of my head wearing some of my hats.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Lip Balms

I am being rather experimental at the moment, and saw a recipe in a magazine for making my own lip balms. So I ordered the ingredients and set to.

The recipe came from MakeScents (Issue one) and the ingredients include:

15-17g Cosmetic grade Beeswax
33g Shea Butter
15g Cocoa Butter
33ml Sweet Almond Oil
5ml flavouring oil (mine was honey)

and the result.

10 little 15ml pots of lip balm and some left over which now sits in my fridge waiting for a spare pot to go in. The picture only shows the 5 I have left, the others have been either given as gifts of given in return for a donation.

They smell delicious and taste just as good. I need to buy some more containers and will be experimenting with essential oils to see what I end up with.

Guess what family and friends are getting from now on as gifts. I may look to sell these also but need to check on the insurance and legal gubbins.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Frou Frou

This is a little Frou Frou Ballerina Cardigan I made a little while ago. It was intended as a gift for someone's little one, but by the time I'd finished it unfortunately the little one was not so little and so wouldn't have fit her. Its therefore gone on my Facebook page "A Hint of Magick" to be sold. I have enough wool to do the next size up so that will be for sale as soon as its done.

Its a sweet little cardigan don't you think?

Pot pourri

I'm full of experimentalness at the moment, I've recently made some pot pourri for the festive season.

Ingredients include:
4/5 dried orange slices
2/3 cinnamon quills
2tsp cloves
1tsp allspice
10 drops of orange essential oil
10 drops of clove bud essential oil
10 drops of frankincense essential oil

Place all in a tub for about a week, longer if possible. Arrange on a plate. I've added 2 oranges which I've cut in half and a orange/clove permander.

Smells lovely. Its currently sitting beneath my Christmas tree in my living room.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Soap making

I recently started making soaps, I ordered a bucket of soap base online. It was on special offer, I didn't think about how much a 20kg bucket actually was so was surprised and amused when the order arrived. Its palm oil free and clear, which means its easy for me to add bits to the soaps if I desire.

I've made a selection of soaps so far including

Rosemary Essential Oil (with Rosemary bits in) soap, Frankincense, Neroli and Rose Essential Oil soap, and I had an experiment with some Mixed Spice which I had in the kitchen. Doesn't look too pretty but its a yummy smell.

I had a request from my sister to make some black pepper soaps. Here they are setting, again not too pretty but they smell peppery.

I'm continuing to play with different scents, but you can guess what the family will have included in their Christmas stockings this year.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Randomness - How to wrap a cat

I wish my cat's were this sedate.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Yuletide greetings

Ok, so t'is a bit early for the season to be jolly, however I thought I'd share my Yule decorations which will hopefully sell during the craft fairs that I'm going to in the weeks leading up to Yule or Christmas.

For those who would be interested in these they are priced as follows, your comments on whether you think the pricing is right is very welcome:

These are 25p each

These are £1.50

These are 75p each

These are 50p each

There are a number of other things that are going to be added to the stall, but they haven't been made by me and too numerous to list anyway, so this is just a taster of the things that are included for sale. Hopefully it will be successful. Wish me luck :)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Christmas Craft Fair

I've agreed to do a stall at a Christmas Craft Fair in November. So I'm busily making Yule decorations that could be sold. Here are a few of the things I've been making to go on my little stall.

I've created 12 mini wreaths so far. I think the wreaths could do with some ribbon to hide the glue but I'm happy with the results so far.

I'm still deciding what to charge for the items, I'm sure I'll come up with a good price.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Elderberry and Apple Jelly

There was an elder in the back garden of the cottage we're living in. It takes up most of the garden and we agreed with our Landlord (i.e Daddy) that it should be removed. Before my hubby began cutting it back he's collected the elderberries for me. He's also brought some home from a garden he's tidying up for a neighbour. So with this in mind I've been given some apples from my parents and I've made Elderberry and Apple Jelly. Here's me in the process

And here's the result.

I'm gradually building up quite a stock of preserves so will be giving some of these jars away as gifts.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

A neck warmer for the pip

At the weekend I decided that I needed some fresh air and a good ramble across fields and along hedgerows. Me dad would be so proud.

I decided it would be nice to take Pip, so got her ready, with collar, coat and lead and did us a flask of tea (yes I made enough for me and Pip). Off we went on our little ramble or amble.

It was a bit of a blustery day and Pip decided it was far to chilly to continue, so part way round I gave into her protests and leg hugging and walked along a road instead of across my planned route to bring her back home to the warmth.

The walk however showed me that her coat has a gap above the shoulders and so the wind was probably winding its way down and making her cold and therefore complain. She's only a baby whippet so not much meat on the girl so I can forgive her for not liking the cold wind.

So I've knit her a neck warmer which she seems to like, time will tell if she can stand the cold outdoors a bit longer than an hour and a half.

So above is my creation to keep the little miss a bit cosier.

Blessed be.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

And it all ran slightly amock

My apologies for the very long pause between posts, life has been somewhat hectic. Hubby and I have moved to the town where I grew up, where we're renting a little cottage from me par. Since moving I also found a job in London of all places, so life currently consists of a lot of travelling and sleeping and not a lot else. My life does seem to be less fulfilling because I have no time for the stuff I love to do, but there is an unfortunate need for money at the moment.

Anyway, have just put an offer in on a new home and with all luck we will be in by Yule, which means I can resume my pursuit for self-sufficiency with gusto next year. It has a decent size garden and a mammoth greenhouse, so I think I should be able to grow maybe 80% of the food the two of us would be eating. :) I've also been asking family for chickens and their kit as presents. So come next year I should be getting eggs regularly to either cook with or barter with.

I'm already planning a hearth outside for my tripod and cauldron, I hope to be able to cook outside as much as possible during the summer months, just because I like it. Hubby has been told he's going to need to build me 4 raised beds, so that will keep him occupied in his workshop. :)

My plans for my business are there in the background. Mulling away and maturing. This current job means I'm self-employed, but putting it together with my other plans of preserves etc is taking some doing. I start my college course for one element of my portfolio business, the sign-language which will be my security to ensure there is money coming in for bills etc. It will take me 2 to 3 years to get my level three which will put me to a level of earning a respectable income from it.

So although I have been somewhat quiet on the blog front, there have been a lot of changes going on and a lot in my little head to start putting into place to get where I want to be, living a life that I want for myself.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Angelica - from this to this.

Last year at the festival of history at Kelmarsh hall I bought myself a little Angelica plant. I dutifully planted this baby in my garden and have nursed it through the severe snow and frosts of the winter by wrapping it up warm and placing a plastic dome over it and much to my delight it survived. It is now over 5ft tall and growing still and now flowering which is quite pretty to see, but alas I understand that once it goes to seed that will be it.

So here's a little pic of my Angelica plant in flower, when it was just under 5ft tall.

Before she went to flower I did a little bit of preening back as some of the stems were bending. Not one for waste I decided to candy the angelica stalks, here is the results which I'm quite pleased with. All ready for cake decorating, adding to pies and generally to sweeten things. Angelica has a sweet perfumy taste so is used sparingly. I was left with some of the syrup and not knowing what to do with it I've bottled it while I research want it can be used for.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

1940's style knitted nightie

This is my latest completed project. A 1940's style knitted nightie. I absolutely love it and am so pleased with how it has turned out.

Hope you like it.