Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Baking

I have been baking again, this time for Christmas. But it won't last, the snickerdoodles, yule log, mince pies and biscotti will be eaten before Christmas.  So I will be making more before Christmas Eve.

I have never made snickerdoodles before, but have always wanted too, so I did. The only problem was the spoon measurement they said "a tablespoon of dough rolled into a ball" the picture made the snickerdoodles neat and round, mine were miss shaped and large. The next batch I tried a smaller spoon they came out smaller but just as flat never mind they taste good and are nice with a cup of tea.

Then I made biscotti, which I just love and is always better than the shop brought one. I added some nutmeg on top for that Christmas taste.

Our Yule Log has been done with butter icing and a little chocolate butter icing as I not a lover of chocolate.

And you can't have Christmas without mince pies with little hearts on top.

I want to make Lebkuchen-German Christmas Ginger Cookies but I need a good recipe so I am off to the library to find one or if anyone knows of a good recipe please let me know.

Happy Cooking

Thanks for stopping by .. See you soon and Happy Hoildays'

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Sweet Bowls

I have been making more Christmas Decorations. This time they are little sweet bowls.
These are so easy to make, I made the small bowl in my quilting class on Tuesday and just got carried away.

All you need to make one is;
2 x square fabric (your choice on size.)
1 x 2oz wadding or ant wadding you have.
Beads, ribbon, thread ...........

Layer the fabric together, right sides together and wadding.
Then stitch around the square leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance and leaving a small opening to turn right sides out.
Then stitch the opening closed and press.
Fold in half and sew a dart in each side, then fold in half the other way and dart.
Embellish and add sweets.

I am going to make some for Easter and general use.

Happy sewing  and thanks for stopping by... see you soon and happy holiday's.......

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Gang of Three

Well as some of you know I have been away from the cabin for a few days and kept the gang in their run. This has not been going well...

It starts like this..........

I go to let the girls out in the morning at 6am. Some days this is not early enough. Betty is kicking the door and banging on the window to get out, because it is time for her to lay her egg. Now she can and does sometimes lay in her house, but mostly she likes to lay in the cabin, next to the radiator.

Other days they are fast a sleep and don't want to wake until 7am. Alright for some, I have been up since 6am. I am beginning to understand who gets the lay in and it is not me.......

They have breakfast, layers mash ( chicken food), meal worms, sunflower heart, porridge and toast for Daisy, Corn on the cob for Dotty and Betty . Lots of variety. Bowl of clean water and sometimes for Betty if I have some, Cornflakes with milk.

After we have spent some time in the cabin, I go digging with them in the garden, to find some worms. Daisy is very quick at finding the worms with Betty being the slowest. And by golly she gets cross and starts pecking Daisy on the head. When this happens I try to split them up. Dotty in the mean time just gets on with it.

When I went for my Cupcake and Sugarcraft Course I had to leave at 7am, which meant I was up at 5am to get myself ready and then let the girls out at 6am. Before I went I cleaned them out and filled their run with Ivy as they love to peck this. So I tied lots to the sides of their run and added fresh water ( this is done daily). 

Betty and Dotty both thought I was putting them back to bed as it was still dark at 7am, but finally went in. But Daisy...... well she was not having any of it. Refusing to follow me down to her house and run, I tried to bribe her with Cheese,this did not work but Betty loved it. I then tried her with a whole corn on the cob, but she still refused to move. Dotty had that and loved pecking at it. Then I tried porridge with warm milk, Daisy loves this on a cold morning, but still refused and hid under the Ivy. Well time was getting on so I had no choice but to go in and get her out and what a noise she made, for someone so small she can wake the dead. Anyone would have thought she was being attacked by a fox!
Once they were locked away nicely in their run, with enough food for a party, off I went. One last look round to make sure they were fine as I locked up the cabin.. Daisy was staring back at me, frowning!!!!!

The next day the girls woke at 6am and Daisy refused to talk to me, usually she is very vocal, but that day she just gave me that look, "You left me all day and then locked us up late". Dotty was very quiet also. Both would not eat their toast, which I did think was strange.
Then Betty came into the cabin, having laid her egg in the hen house and well she stood in front of my chair and went for it crowing at the top of her voice, which at 6 in the morning when everything outside is very still and quiet, was loud. And if that was not good enough she proceeded to walk round the garden making all the noises possible for a chicken very loudly.
I can honestly say I have never been told off like that before and what made it worse was I felt I was being told off.

All day they followed me around and Betty was constantly disagreeing with every thing I did. It was not until 4pm just before bed did Daisy and Dotty forgive me. They jumped up on my lap the pair of them and roosted down and tucked their heads under their wings and fell to sleep....... only for 15 minutes. So I let them stay up until 5pm as I felt better that they had forgiven me.

Then I left the cabin to go to the Dickensian Christmas in Rochester, this time I was leaving at 11am which was not as bad as when I put them in their run as it was light. But it was cold and the ground was frosted and very hard. So out came the fork and I dug the run over. The girls went in their run with enough food for a party. They had a large tray of layers mash, cheese; lots of cheese, meal worms, porridge, corn on the cob, 2 lettuces and a bowl of rice and spaghetti. Betty loves rice. Daisy and Dotty love spaghetti as well as Betty. After locking them up , I checked they were OK and left for the day. This time I had someone to lock them up at 4.30pm once they had gone to bed.

I let them out at 6am and Betty and Daisy wanted to lay their eggs at the same time so there was a big disagreement on who was going first. Betty got into the box of straw first, Daisy got in and started to push her out, but Betty pushed back. Then Daisy got on to the chair opposite mine and then went for it, She crowed and grumbled and squawked and squawked, until Betty could not concentrate any more or had enough of Daisy telling everyone that would listen it was her turn to lay her egg first.She got out of the box of straw and let Daisy get in and lay her egg.  Once Daisy was finished Dotty decided she would just like to sit in the box of straw as it was nice and warm after Daisy had finished. Dotty laid her egg in the hen house so she was "chilled". But Betty was not impressed and decided she would get Dotty out by sitting on her, that did not work so she tried pushing her out of the box. That did not work either. So Betty stood right in front of her and crowed, grumbled and squawked just like Daisy. This carried on until Dotty had enough and got out of the box grumbling. Betty laid her egg and the rest of the day went well......... So I thought.
Now everywhere I go they all follow, when I leave the cabin to put the washing out, they follow, I walk back in they follow, I use the bathroom they follow and stand outside. If I am too long they start to get unsettled and Daisy starts her worry cry and this takes along time for her to calm down. She will not let you out of her sight, which is OK when its just one, but when they all start it takes a little longer to move around as I am herding three girls around instead of one.

This is going to be interesting when in go Christmas Shopping, perhaps they should ask Father Christmas for their own computer or iphones so we can keep in touch on Skype when I am shopping.........

Thanks for stopping by... see you soon........

Merry Christmas.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas Cupcakes

I was asked to make some more Christmas Cupcakes. So I did.............

I made Christmas puddings, some with candy canes, some with holly and some with holly and trees and lots of Father Christmases.
I brought this great Holly cutter, it prints the lines on the holly leaves. Saves me a job of drawing them in.

I had such fun making them while listening to Christmas Music. Nothing like "The Rat Pack" sing Christmas songs to get you in the Christmas mood.

Now all I have to do, is make some for me and the gang of three.... And I need to start making my mince pies too.

Happy baking ......
Thanks for stopping by, see you soon.........

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Garland around the door........ Welcome!

As some of you know I have been making heart to create a garland for my front door. The girls and I have been busy to day, we have been decorating the house and the front door. Its been too cold to work in the cabin so we started on the house instead, well it is -2 degrees today, not as cold as yesterday mind that was -6 degrees when I got them out at 6.30am and warmed up to -3 degrees by bedtime.

The garland is made from the Ivy and Holly which have been growing in the garden, then I have added the heart garland.

The mirror is conifer and Holly with a red bow and one of my Hexagon Christmas Wreath's.

 The fire place is the same but with pine cones and my two wooden reindeer's.

And the book case is conifer and holly with a red bow and pine cones too.

I am getting the tree this weekend, next thing to decorate can't wait !!!!!! I love decorating the tree.

See you soon... thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Embroidery Stitches part 2 Chain and Blanket stitch.


Chain Stitch and Blanket Stitch are today's stitches we will be doing. For all these refresher lessons I am using calio and two strands of embroidery thread.

Chain Stitch.

Chain stitch is also one of the basic stitches for embroidery and has a number of variants. Chain stitch is used to create lines and repeat rows to create fillings. The loops on chain stitch should all be the same size and not pulled tight as you need to allow them to look round in shape.

  1. Bring the needle to the front of the fabric.
  2. Put the needle in again at the start  and bring in out just passed the starting point, keep the thread under the needle.
  3.  Put the needle in at the same place you came out of and bring it again with the thread under the needle. Repeat all three steps and your chain will take shape.
  4. To finish, make a small stitch over the last loop.

    You have now mastered Chain stitch...... Well done!

Blanket Stitch.

Blanket stitches have developed from the traditional stitch used to edge blankets. The horizontal part of the stitch gives a neat finish to a raw fabric edge and prevents fraying. They are also used for applique and when worked closely together, for edging buttonholes. Decorative versions have developed for use as bands and boarders.

  1. Work from left to right or right to left depending on if you are right or left handed.
  2. Bring the needle up on the line of the pattern or edge of the fabric.
  3. Take a stitch down from the line and bring the needle back to where you started, keeping the thread on the left (for right handed or on the right if you are left handed.)
  4. Insert the needle to the right of the first stitch, down from the line or edge, and bring it back out on the line or edge. Always making sure the thread is behind your needle.
I do find this stitch difficult to keep even but when I was read my Ladybird Book Learning to sew, it suggested that if you put a chalk line parallel to the edge of the fabric or design, it will help you keep the stitches even.

Have a practise and see how you go..........

Next time we will look at Cross stitch and Satin stitch. Soon we can start our picture sampler for the cabin.

Thank you for stopping by....... See you soon !

Happy sewing

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Embroidery stitches

Hello, only 14 days until Christmas..............

I have traced the picture I want to sew and I have been practising some embroidery stitches, by the time I have finished practising my piece of material will look like a sampler or dictionary of stitches.  I used to embroider many moons ago but I have lost touch with this skill, as life took over. Now I have decided sewing is going to take over.

Firstly here is the picture I want to stitch.

I have traced the picture and now I need to draw it on my piece of calico. For this I am using a normal pencil. When I start sewing I will use a embroidery hoop as I find it easier to sew with. If you are using a hoop remember to take your material off the hoop every time you finish sewing. The hoop will stretch the material if left on for long periods of time and after all that hard work you don't want a mis-shaped work of art.

Traced picture.

Embroidery Stitches part one;

These two stitches are your basic ones, that can be used for a number of different things not just embroidery but every day stitching and mending.


This stitch can be used for curved and straight lines. This is a perfect stitch when you require a well defined outline.

To start bring your needle through the fabric just abit ahead of where you would like your first stitch.
Then bring your needle behind your thread, then bring your needle back through your fabric passed the first stitch.

Each time the stitch is made, the thread goes to the back to fill the gap and another stitch is made. To get even stitches takes practise, the guide is to make sure the gaps and stitches  are the same length to guarantee even stitches.

(mine are not all even but I don't mind as it makes it more home / handmade)
Practise a line of backstitch to see if you can get them even.

Running Stitch.

This stitch is know as running or straight stitch. This stitch is also used for straight lines and curved lines.
The stitches on the front of your fabric will be the same on the back of your fabric.
This stitch is used in hand quilting all the time. As the picture or pattern which is created on the front of the quilt is transferred to the back at the same time.

Bring your needle through the fabric at the beginning of where you want to start, then back down through your fabric and back up. This is your first stitch.
Carry on repeating this long the line making sure the stitches and the space between the stitches are the same size.

Tomorrow I will show you how to do chain stitch and blanket stitch.

Hope this has help get you started, thanks for stopping by.... see you soon.

Remember practise makes perfect. Happy sewing....

Monday, 10 December 2012


Hello everyone, sorry I have not been here for a few days. Dotty has been under the weather since Thursday. At first I thought it was just a little chill as Wednesday night was icy because of the snow, (which the girls don't like). But when Dotty did not improve on Friday I was getting a bit worried.

Dotty has been very quiet and not moving around much. She has spent most of the last three days sitting on my lap / shoulder going to sleep.  Dotty has been eating and drinking, which has been very positive but I was worried about this constant sleeping, especially on my lap.

When any of the girls are ill, they all just sleep on my lap, its their way of telling me that they are not feeling well, I think.......... As usually they never sit still. And Dotty has never been ill, so I was abit concerned.

Daisy has been very worried and would not leave her side, while Betty has been telling everyone very loudly that there is sometime wrong. So our three days have been a bit noisy.

I think it is due to her change over of egg laying. The girls need 14 hours of day light to keep their eggs flowing but now it winter they are up at 6.30 - 7am and off to bed by 4-4.30pm, which is just not enough day light hours. All free range chickens have this problem but I decided Sunday night that if Dotty did not come out of her house with a skip in her step she was off to the Doctors' (Vets) as I could not go through other day worrying. Also Daisy needed to be put at rest as she was worrying more that me. And Betty was heading for a sore throat with all her crowing.

So I let them out at 6.45am and Dotty came out first chatting and running to her box of straw in the cabin, settled down for half an hour, but has not laid an egg today. Though she is feeling much better, running around the garden eating everything she can find, anyone would think she has not been fed for a week but she seems alot better.

I'm going to keep an eye on her for a few more days, just in case. Daisy is a lot calmer and Betty has gone back to her normal self. Today we have had words about sharing breakfast and lunch......... we will see how dinner goes. At the moment she is sharing the corn on the cob!!!!!!

Oh the snow lasted one day!!!!! At least we can say it snowed this year... If we are lucky we may have some for Christmas.

Thanks for stopping by...... see you soon.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

It's Snowing


Its Snowing!!!!!!!!, it started at 7am this morning, so I went out and took some pictures.

But the weather forecast has said it will not last.............. Good while its here though.
The girls are not keen and will not go out of the cabin. Betty just keeps looking out of the window shaking her head......... not impressed

Thank-you for stopping by, see you later......

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sewing in the cabin.

Product DetailsProduct Details

Today I popped to the library to pick up the book I ordered, Stitch at Home by Mandy Shaw. This is her second book, her first was Stitch with Love. Both books are good but I have decided to do a project or two from this book.

The first project I want to try is; Sampler Picture, this sampler is all embroidery, but to start with I must practise the stitches required. I remember doing some embroidery at school many moons ago, so to complete this project I must do a quick refresher course.

So I have decided that each day I am going to practise a stitch, this is the list I need to practise;
  • Back Stitch
  • French Knots
  • Cross Stitch
  • Chain Stitch
  • Running Stitch
  • Satin Stitch
  • Blanket Stitch
  • Lazy Daisy Stitch
These are the stitches I would like to learn;
  • Herringbone Stitch
  • Stem Stitch
  • Feather Stitch
  • Fern Stitch
  • Couching stitch
Some of the stitch I can do, but it does not hurt to practise. So tomorrow I will start at the beginning with Back Stitch. Also I shall show you the picture I want to sew for the cabin.

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon, keep sewing or join me tomorrow in a Back stitch lesson............

Monday, 3 December 2012

Dickensian Christmas Festival

On Saturday, I left the cabin to go to Rochester Kent, for a Dickensian Christmas. Everyone taking part is dressed in Victorian Costume. The streets are full of entertainment with Singing, Dancing, Readings and Storytelling.

I met some familiar characters from Dickens stories like;

Pip and Miss Havisham from Great Expectations.

The Dickensian Christmas has been held since 1988. The Medway was a special place for Charles Dickens as he spent five years of his Childhood here from 1817 to 1822. He did return here for the last few years of his life, Charles Dickens' died in 1870 at Gads Hill Place.

In this Chalet Charles Dickens wrote five of his novels and many other works, whilst it was in the garden of his Rochester Home " Gads Hill Place"
It is now in Eastgate gardens on Rochester High Street.


Victorian Fireman
These are some of the people dressed in costume

This Lady used to be the Mayor of Rochester. 
Then there was a nighttime procession and carols being sung as they all walked up to Rochester Cathedral for Christmas carols by candle light.
As the night drew in the street began to look and smell different, people in the surrounding house started to burn coal and wood so you had the smell of a Victorian Street in winter.
It all seemed very Christmasy all of a sudden.

In the castle grounds there was a Market and fun fair rides. The weather was dry but very cold, they did have a snow machine to every now and then you though it was snowing and the street looked very festive.
Thanks for stopping by, see you soon.....