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Friday, 29 July 2011

Faces and a few flowers from around the back garden.

I'm just not finding so many bargains lately - not such a bad thing as space is getting scarce!  I was watering the garden last night and realised just how many faces there in the back garden, so I thought I'd share them with you - oh, and a sprinkling of flowers too...

I see these faces from the kitchen window.

You'll discover I like 'The Green Man' in his many guises.

This King has been with me for over 20 years.
His 'crown' of flowers has gone over a little now.

Well it IS a face of sorts!

Such a happy face to greet me each day :o)

This poor chap was rescued and moved to here after the ivy completely covered him on another wall in the garden.

What can I say about this one?  Only that strangely,  I like him!

This serene soul sits at the back of the pebble pool.

And a flower or two...

The hydrangea brought from my Mom's previous home

The David Austin 'Wisley' rose...I'm disappointed with this I've asked many folk and NONE of us can detect ANY perfume at all :o(

One of the bay trees and pots at the side of the back door.
The pebble pool is just off to the right.

And the other side of the door...Sid's cat flap even has a covering of flowers!
(This shows part of my kitchen window too)

A few more faces..

This sweet little face is watching ...

This sweet little face, who in turn is looking after one of these*

Sweet little faces (three of them!)
And then there's..


Who were rescued from my Aunt's garden when the house was cleared.
The now snuggle together at the base of the 'whirly-gig' washing line!

This big Bhudda is unloved by all except me :o)

Then there's this little fella,

With his lady wife who abide next to the side door of the garage -
rescued from a box of junk and re-homed by me years ago.

Finally, a few more flowers...

A new this year double lily, sorry no variety.

Pretty, delicate looking Corydalis, that self seeds and fills my borders with colour for at least nine months of the year.

As you can see my garden is as eclectic as my home!

* Back to the three baby blackbirds..
They've had a lucky escape this week.  I popped out to the shops on Tuesday morning and they were being fed by Mom and Dad.  When I returned the nest had tipped over and one baby still clung on but two of the babies were in mortal danger lying, breathing, in the border.  I cannot touch birds, I love them but couldn't touch them - so I made a mercy dash to my kind new neighbour Sarah and asked if she could put the babies back.  She didn't hesitate.  I lifted the nest back into the crook of the branches and Sarah placed the babes gently back in.  (Phew, Sid was still asleep on the bench - missing all of the exitement)  Later on after making sure Mom and Dad had returned to feed the young 'uns I wired the nest into the crook of the kiwi, hence the green garden wire zig-zagging across the side of the nest!

Hope you all have a great weekend!
Best wishes

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

And FINALLY the recipe for Home Made Vanilla Extract ;o)

Ever wondered just why Vanilla Extract is SO expensive?  It's the alcohol!  I make my own, it couldn't be simpler ;o) and just for Kim, (sorry it's taken me SO long)  and whoever else would like to make some here's the recipe.

Home Made Vanilla Extract

First, take a flat  35cl bottle of (cheap!) Vodka*.

Second, take 3 good quality Vanilla Pods - I get mine  HERE (highly recommended!)
Slice the Vanilla Pods down their length leaving approx 1 inch (2.5cms) intact, (mine had lost their 'plumpness' as they're about 14 months old, but are still full of flavour!)

then push them into the Vodka bottle.

 Replace the lid tightly and place into a dark cupboard. 

Shake each day (or when you remember!) for 6 to 8 weeks.  The liquid will slowly darken....until it looks like this.

  It is then ready to decant (WITH the pods) if you wish and use in your recipes in the normal way :o)  As you use it up - or pass on as gifts** to friends who cook - keep topping up with Vodka, if you feel it's getting a little pale just add another split pod.  Mine was originally started in 2009. 

*You can also use Rum, but I prefer Vodka as it doesn't alter the flavour.

**Either keep old Extract bottles or have a look on E-bay. 
They're easy to 'pretty-up' with a label and a raffia bow.
(Though I'm sure your's will be prettier than mine) 

Hope that'll save you some dosh :o)

Best wishes to all.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Introductions in the dark!

I don't think this post needs more words from me....

Aaaaah :o)

Best wishes

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Welsh Car Boot Sale (in the rain) and other things.

Hello folks!

I told you in my last post that we'd been out for the day.  We had gone off to Wales to visit friends and my big Brother.  On the way we passed Rhug Farm at Corwen, who happened to have a small  tiny boot sale going on (in the rain!)  So, we pulled up and had a quick stroll round in the drizzle.  I found a couple of goodies :o)
Six little kitties approx 1.5" long.  Additions to my swelling collection.
ALL SIX for £2.  I have bought this type before, they are at least £6 each.

Then as I strolled hurried along in the rain I spotted this...
A Denmark pattern dish 8" diam.  20p

There was also a lovely pale blue (jasper ware type) teapot that was well over 100 years old, but sanity took over as I thought - now WHERE will I put it? So I left it at only £1 for another bargain spotter.

Back home, and I've spotted a few other things that called to me.
A 10" oval gold tray that will no doubt be useful for somthing!
(sorry, the reflected colour is the top I was wearing - doh!)

Also, my weird sense of humour kicked in when I saw this quirky object!
An animated wooden toy - turn the handle and...
The sweethearts....
They stand 10" tall, and cost the princely sum of £4.
Hope they don't wear their lips out..tee-hee!

And lastly, I found this cheeful 6" high Bhudda candle holder
for £1.25

It was my Brother in Laws birthday on Sunday, the one who has lost his dear wife Joy  just before Christmas.  When I got there they had been having a sort-out and handed me a box of blue & white pottery (which Joy also loved), with the instructions "Please, take what you want and pass the rest on to charity".  Some hard decisions had to be made, but here are some of the things I am keeping.

A little vintage coffee cup and saucer
A pair of Alfred Meakin coffee cups and saucers

Then of course I HAD to keep this...
sweet Royal Worcester 'Forge tme not' Honey/jam pot.  What better way to remember Joy?

Then I was left with a real quandry - This pretty Mason's trio,
The plate is perfect, but the saucer and cup have been broken and glued back together -
The 'Strathmore' design number was registered in 1940.
This trio must have meant a lot to Joy as she had repaired it - the problem I have I don't know the connection.  I know it wasn't her Mothers, but I wonder if it was her Grandmothers? In which case it has a family connection.  I remember it was displayed in her lounge.  I think I'll keep it and ask a few questions...what would you do with them?

Sending best wishes to you all.

P.S.  I promised Kim I'd post how to make Vanilla Essence last month - hangs head in shame.  Sorry Kim I've only just remembered.  Next post HONEST!