Tuesday, 31 August 2010

118/365 Its Carnival week.

Well, in fact, its more than a week, the celebrations started on 22nd August with a party in the park, continued through last week with a skittles contest, a comedy night and a barrel race along the canal towpath, with contestants in teams of 4 stopping for a drink at each of 9 pubs! Then yesterday we had the Street Festival, today there was a baby show, tomorrow there's a confetti battle and evening fireworks and next Saturday is the Carnival itself.
Today the fairground turned up on the Green, causing a bit of traffic chaos around town.

Monday, 30 August 2010

117/365 Devizes Street Festival

A lovely bright and sunny day, the day of the Devizes Town Street Festival

The main Market Square and Brittox were very crowded, it was impossible to see anything short of barging past loads of people, but I found this guy, a story teller, in a backstreet.

Then I saw this lady standing by the Market Cross inflating balloons.

Plenty of food and drink stalls, this one particularly caught my eye.

Having decided that we really didn't much like the crowds, we wended our way homewards, past cornfields

and scots pines.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

115/365 Photos

Yesterday by the towpath

This morning from the bathroom window, 6.15am

Friday, 27 August 2010

114/365 Rain

Well, everyone has certainly been having a good old moan about the rain, and I do really feel for all those people who have had their holiday affected by it, but we really did need it, our poor old Crammer, which is surface water filled, has been looking really dry and unhappy for the past few weeks, but look at it now.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

113/365 Alex has a job

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may remember that back in March Alex decided to leave university after 18 months into a 3 year course, as he just wasn't happy.
Well since then, after taking a couple of weeks to come to terms with his new situation, he has been job hunting. He has applied for loads and loads of vacancies, in almost all cases he hasn't even had the courtesy of an acknowledgement.
Now, at long last, not only did he get an acknowledgement of application, followed by an interview, but he has got a job!!! WOOOOO HOOOO.
He started work on Monday at Halfords in Bristol, which he himself has said is a lovely place to work for a young single man who is struggling to keep his little car on the road. Well done Alex, and good luck.
As I mentioned yesterday, it was Oliver's 20th birthday. He fully intends to have a big, boozy, boisterous party, but not until he goes back to Bournemouth next week. So in the mean time we gave him a nice meal at home, and shared a couple of bottles of wine. Alex was able to join us, so here we are, Alex on the left, myself in the middle, Oliver on the right and Rog behind the camera for a change.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

112/365 Oli's birthday

Today my "baby" is 20 years old, happy birthday Oli.

Back from my Surrey trip yesterday evening, had a lovely break, saw several of my favourite people.
My daughter-in-law loves rabbits of any sort. The one in the basket is one I made for her,

the one in the cage is a real one, called Angel

My second son has a very old dog, called Stan.

I met up with a dear friend, we had lunch together in this pub in Guildford, chatted for hours.

This morning I went out to let the garden know I am back

Saturday, 21 August 2010

111/365 Busy day

Sorry folks, no picture today, we've been sorting out the office and studio, moving stuff, putting up desks, checking out the heaters (they work), thermostats (also work) and generally being busy, and now we are both knackered.
I'm off to spend a few days in Surrey with the family tomorrow and will be back home on Tuesday evening, so radio silence from me until Wednesday.
Keep well and keep smiling.

Friday, 20 August 2010

110/365 Five positives

Several years ago I read somewhere that you should always try to find, and write down, five positive things that happen each day. It helps you to focus on all the good things around you instead of the one or two negatives that might be niggling away in the background. Ever since then I have been doing it, and have got through several notebooks in the process. So now if I need cheering up or am feeling a bit negative I can pick up any one of these notebooks and read all sorts of positive things.
I decided to share my five positives for just one day, so here they are.

1) I have moved all my Phoenix stock and paperwork into the new studio, which means that I have it all together in one place, for the first time EVER! and both the guest room and the little bedroom, as well as the dining room, are free of Phoenix clutter.

2) I absolutely love living in Devizes, coming here two years ago was the best move we could have made.

3) This spring I planted some gladioli bulbs in the front border, and the first one is just about to open.

4) The first couple of tomatoes are ripening, and should be ready to pick in a day or two.

5) Rog and I popped out together at lunch time today, we went to Wetherspoons where we had a couple of beers, then wandered back through the shops, did a bit of shopping and bought some cheap pasties for lunch. We are very lucky that Rog is a registered home-worker, so we get to spend more time together than lots of other couples, but as we've had builders on site for the last couple of months we haven't been able to get out together at lunchtime very often, so today was a real treat.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

109/365 Fig jam part 2

Well I'm sad to say that the jam didn't set too well on its own, so I had to resort to the addition of some shop bought pectin, but by golly it tastes delicious, even if I say so myself.
(note to self: next time need to cut the figs into smaller pieces - chunks rather than quarters)
Three of these jars will be winging their way to Surrey with me on Sunday, the two smaller pots will stay here for my own consumption.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

108/365 Fig jam

Yesterday there were no ripe figs on the tree, today there were loads. I picked all the ones I could reach, and then wondered what to do with them. I'm the only one who likes to eat them, so putting a couple to one side (they dont last very long apparently, only 3-4 days after picking) I browsed the web for a recipes and found a simple one for fig jam, nipped out to buy a lemon, and set to.
Here are the ingredients

Here they all are chopped and mixed in a bowl and left for 2 hours.

Transfered to a saucepan, and slowly brought up to the boil.

Boiling slowly for an hour.

Then I have to leave the whole thing to cool down overnight, reboil for 15 minutes tomorrow and pot up. I should have 3 nice pots to take up to Surrey with me at the weekend to give to the girls.

And how about this shot taken through the bedroom window at about 6.00 this morning, doesn't the lighting look strange?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

107/365 Free products

Twice now I have been approached by companies requesting that I do an unbiased review of their product in exchange for their product free of charge. In the second instance it was a "systems admin" package, and as I think I may have mentioned before I am married to the world's best systems admin man, so a free admin package is useless to me. But it leads to a wider issue. I started my blog as a sort of online diary, where I could post my own thoughts and ideas, share my craft work, home improvements, garden, etc. etc., and I like to think that any recommendations and reviews I may choose to make are about people and products that I have freely chosen, used and enjoyed. And I want to keep it that way. So please, if you read my blog, be aware that I will not accept any unsolicited goods for review.

The final stage in the renovations of the outbuilding are now in hand, the ducting for the telephone and ethernet cables is being laid down one side of the garden, and is proving to be a more difficult job than first envisaged, due to the varying thickness and width of the concrete "path" beside the fence. But we are getting there, slowly but surely.

Monday, 16 August 2010

106/365 Sightseeing

Just a quick taste of the delights of Devizes Market Square.
First we have the Estcourt Fountain, I have done a quick web search and cant find a page dedicated to its history, but I'll have another longer search later and see what I can come up with.

Next we have the Market Cross, click here to find out its history

And thirdly we have Devizes Castle. It's privately owned, and they dont like trespassers, which is why I couldn't get any closer to take a decent photo. Its history is long and interesting, although the current building is fairly modern.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

105/365 New shops

For quite some time now there have been quite a lot of things going wrong with the MISI site, where I have two shops to sell my knitwear, so I've really been thinking long and hard about whether to make any new listings in these shops, or perhaps to open new shops elsewhere.
Having "listened" to what various other of my on-line craft-selling friends have had to say, I have finally decided not to list on MISI for the time being, but have opened a couple of new shops instead.
One is called GroovyCart, and that's where I'll list and sell my stationery, and the other is called Zibbet, that's where I'll list and sell all my knits. Currently I dont have anything listed on Zibbet, and only a few "dots and spots" cards on GroovyCart, but when I get my act together and list a few more things on each site I'll post clickable links for you to have a look.
You can still click here to have a look at (and order from) Phoenix.
Its a lovely sunny afternoon here in the centre of the Universe (Wiltshire), so I'll see if I can get out with my camera later, but at the moment Rog, Oli and I are clearing a lot of building and garden rubbish into the mini-skip. Hope you are having a nice sunny afternoon wherever you are.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

104/365 Cuddly carrots and a step in the right direction

The soil in the garden is not stony at all, so we've had lots and lots of lovely long and straight carrots so far this season. However, yesterday I pulled a couple with a rather romantic attachment to one another.

Also yesterday, almost the final touch to the trapezium, a new doorstep into the lobby.

We have vertical blinds on order, and when they've arrived and been fitted I'll take final pics to show.

Friday, 13 August 2010

103/365 Scarves

Oh, my goodness, it is such a gloomy day. I know we need the rain, and all, but wouldn't it be nice if the rain came at night time instead of during the day, how I feel for you all out there whose children are still school age and at home right now unable to play in the garden, and begging you to "do" something because they are bored. I remember it well.
Anyhow, I digress. This gloomy weather has seen me pricing up all my Christmas Cards, and then my thoughts turned to scarves, which I really ought to start listing for sale before long, otherwise winter will be upon us before we know it. I haven't yet made up my mind whether or not to put these in my MISI shop, I probably shall, as I just love the MISI community and I have a feeling in my bones that this Autumn the "hand-crafted" economy, which has been in the doldrums throughout the summer, will pick up and fly.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

102/365 the C word

Its early August, but already I have seen the "C" word mentioned in several blogs, it seems that crafty people all over the country are already preparing their wares for the "C" market, which we all hope will be a little more bouyant than last year.
So I dont feel quite so guilty blogging about my activities for today. Yesterday I had a couple of large parcels delivered from Phoenix, one with all my stock and the other with the "C" supplements. Today I am stamping all the supplements with my details on the back page, and then I shall be putting sticky price labels on all the stock so I dont have to rely on my memory.

The supplements will be sent off to all on my mailing list at or around 1st September, so I hope you are looking forward to seeing yours, with all the lovely new products for this year's Festive Season.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

101/365 In the garden today

Having, at long last, had a decent amount of rain yesterday, it was a real treat to wander round the garden this morning and see everything looking so much happier for having had a good old drink.
I love this cosmos, sown from seed, this is how it looks when it first opens up:

and this is how it looks after a few days (both these flower heads are on the same plant).

We have some really deliciously scented white pinks in the front border

and the honeysuckle seed pods are a gorgeous splash of colour amongst the lilac foliage