Archive for December, 2011


If you’re wondering…

…where I am, I’m making this guy:

I found his Norfolk ‘Minicraft Kit’ in a charity shop months ago but finally needed a break from the relentless knitting. It’s been so, so much fun. I will post pictures when he’s finished.

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Christmas Jam

If you’re wondering where I’ve been, my door is broken and I may have locked myself out. I may also now be nursing a cold as a result.

Otherwise, here is a recipe for Christmas Jam. It’s brilliant with pork, turkey, bread and butter… most things really. It’s essentially spiced cranberry sauce.

Christmas in a pan. This smells divine.

So, for the above festive pot, you will need:

2 Sainsbury’s bags of fresh cranberries. I think there was 250g in each… I forget though.
6 oranges
6 cloves
a stick of cinnamon
enough sugar

Juice your oranges and add the juice to the cranberries in a big pan. Save your orange peel and remove the pith (the white stuff) otherwise you will have bitter goo. Slice the peel into big chunks so that you can easily retrieve it and stud one piece with cloves. You’re boiling the peel to release the pectin and set the sauce though for a more jelly-like substance you might want to skip this bit and use a pack of pectin/jam sugar.

Anyways. Add your cinnamon stick and enough water to cover the fruit and simmer until the cranberries release their juices. After about 5 minutes though, you should remove the clove orange peel and the cinnamon stick or you’ll taste nothing but the spices.

Post straining.

Strain your red goo into a measuring jug and take a note of how much there is. Return the mixture to the pan and boil up. Add the same volume of sugar as you have of liquid. It seems like a lot, but the cranberries and the orange are both very bitter.

Lovely coloured jars.

Baby pictures

Though I swore I was never going to post face pics of Bub online, I couldn’t not share these in which she is modelling one of the things I didn’t sell.

Giggle girl!

"Hello world! I'm a smiler!"

Tricky things, ducks.

So, there you have it. Bub, in all of her bunny hat glory. I didn’t knit her cardigan, by the way. That was picked up for 50p in a charity shop. I’m not entirely sure how people can give away hand-knitted baby clothes – I have a box full that I can’t part company with. The pillow, however, is my own work. I made it at school when I was 14. I didn’t get a great grade for it because the applique wasn’t deemed to be complicated enough. I wasn’t really fussed – the faster I got on with the ‘boring’ sewing things, the faster I could switch to making food. How the tables have turned.

Buttons

So I sold 3 button magnets. Yes. 3. In total. For £1. Nothing else.

But I’m overwhelmingly positive about the whole thing. Not only was it great fun making all the stock, but it was also really nice meeting new people and swapping tips and ideas with other stall holders. The lady from Hand on Heart Designs was especially lovely and makes some amazing ‘kid friendly’ jewellery. It’s bright and cheerful without looking garish so… yeah. Win.

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting the items that didn’t sell in my shop (see the tabs at the top of the page for link and blurb). I’ll ship anywhere that the UK Royal Mail will deliver to and all products are ready to post straight away. I can arrange for you to collect from my house or from Cambridge too. That said, I won’t do daft things like guarantee the items in time for Christmas. I’ll also be listing my vast collection of vintage sewing patterns to recoup the stall costs and hopefully fund a few more.

And if anyone wants to craft swap with me, that’s even better! 😀

My only sore point of the whole experience is that husband stayed up all hours last night, cooking me a lovely lunch to take, cutting strips of paper for the Danish Christmas star kits we did, fetching the printer down from the loft and fighting to get it working on Windows 7, baking ‘free sample’ Danish Christmas peppernut-cookies… his toiling was endless. When he wasn’t working, he was looking after a teething Bub.

And I didn’t do any business. All of his work to help me get going came to the sale of three buttons.

Three for the price of two.

Bad

I was about to tell you that last night’s sleep was the worst I’ve ever had, but then I realised I didn’t sleep at all. Unless you count those five minutes before the alarm during which I dreamt all too convincingly that I was sleeping in a haunted house which used to run experiments on ‘unwanted children’… which turned out to be monkeys.

I hate my subconscious sometimes.

If that little statement hasn’t scared you off completely, do come and see my at Risby Farmer’s market today. I’ll be the one with eyes propped open with toothpicks and nearly nothing on her giant stall table… watch this space.