Tuesday, August 31, 2021



Strawberries are beginning to ripen in Jack's garden. At the moment it's a bit of a battle to get to them before the birds do. Jack has put up strips of tin foil that move in the breeze to deter the birds, but they're not easily fooled! There should be enough strawberries for us and the birds before too long, hopefully. 

Friday, August 27, 2021



Apparently chocolate icing is more popular than lemon icing, so yesterday's order was for four dozen cupcakes with chocolate icing. 

I set out to write this post yesterday and Bluetooth flatly refused to transfer the photo from my phone to the computer. This morning the photo sped across, no problem at all! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Combining Patterns

 I really like the cupcake at the top of these crocheted kitchen towels, but I don't want to crochet a whole towel. I like the detachable daisy towel topper.

With a little bit of thought, I was able to turn the cupcake pattern into a detachable towel topper:

I've bought some tea towels, I think a towel with a topper will make a good item at markets. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Back To Beads


I received a phone call from someone at the shop selling my beadwork to say that they had sold some items. Hooray! I took along some replacement stock, including the last of my keyrings. And then promptly had a request for five keyrings. Ain't that the way? So I made another five keyrings. Good thing to keep my hand in really, it's amazing how quickly I forget the finer details. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021



I've been busy processing produce from Jack's garden. Last week I made rhubarb chutney. I needed chutney and there was rhubarb in the garden that needed using, so I was glad to come across this recipe
via Pinterest. It's not hot, but is spicy, reminds me of Christmas mincemeat! 

Yesterday I made piccalilli to use up a cauliflower, carrots et cetera. 

This morning I've been sorting out tomatoes. I peeled and cut them up and then sprinkled them with salt. This draws a lot of the moisture out. That liquid would otherwise have to evaporate, so doing this cuts down the cooking time.

I mixed them with chopped onion, dried herbs, garlic and a bit of paprika for colour, and cooked them for an hour. Now they look like this:

 Once the mixture is cool, I'll pack it into tubs for the deep freeze. 

On Sunday I cooked baked plantain chips, after coming across the recipe , again on Pinterest. A friend of ours said the other day that the bananas Jack was puzzled about are not bananas at all, but plantains and need to be cooked. Aha. Jack plans to pull the plants out and spread his 'proper' bananas, but in the meantime the baked chips are a good way to use them up. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

And The Bear


The bear is the last puppet in the series. His tuba (I think it's a tuba) gave me some difficulties, as you can imagine. Yesterday I saw the little silicon funnel I use for putting beads back in jars and remembered that it has a smaller brother that is pretty much useless. So that's what I've used for the bear's musical instrument, covering it in tinfoil.  

Here's the whole gang:

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

A Mouse Or A Rat?


I imagine a rat would be offended to be called a mouse, and vice versa, but I don't know the story book well enough to say whether it features a mouse or a rat! I knitted an i-cord for his tail and pressed Jack into service to whittle his guitar. 

Friday, August 13, 2021

The Goat


The next story book puppet is a goat with a drum.  The puppet itself didn't take long to make, but I spent some time thinking and planning beforehand! If I made it again, I'd make his face a bit smaller, but that's a minor point, not enough to make me redo it. The horns are made from handmade felt. I puzzled for a while to work out how to sew them on at the right angle. The drum is made from a pill bottle. The student teacher will paint it to resemble the picture in the book. 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

For Kalli


I took some time off from making puppets to make a gift for a new baby. I sent it off with a soap of Sarah's, one that is specially mild for babies. I had hoped for one of her ladybug soaps to go with the towel, but had to settle for a butterfly instead. 

To finish off, I cross stitched a card with baby's name:

I've been making these cards for a long time. It was fun, when I looked out my alphabet patterns, to find patterns I'd scripted in the 1980s and '90s. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Spot The Tatting


Butterfly is the second of the five puppets. I tatted some antennae for it, can you see? I like figuring out how to do the different elements to resemble the pictures in the book. The butterfly should be able to flap its wings, especially if it's worn with the wings on the palm of the hand. 

Monday, August 9, 2021



Funny how one thing leads to another. On the strength of my 'character' towels, I've been asked to make puppets - five of them to illustrate a story for a teacher training project. It's quite a good way to use up the scraps of toweling I have left over from  making the hooded towels. Hmm, bath mitt puppets in the future perhaps? This is my second version of the piranha. I hope I learnt enough making the failed first one to avoid having to do them all twice!

Friday, August 6, 2021


 The market on Sunday has been canceled, which is a big disappointment for vendors and the organisers. For me personally though, the news is not all bad because the shop that took towels on commission has sold two! I took two more to the shop yesterday to replace them, a hippo and a blue dinosaur. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

More Critters


If all goes according to plan, there will be a market on Sunday. I've been dawdling along in lockdown, so I need to get my act together! I bought some fleece towel sets in soft pastel colours. They're a bit smaller than the towels I usually use, but they're soft and snuggly and I think they'll be fine for babies.  I've been making critters with them - ladybird, owl and dinosaur. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Pot Holders


 It has taken a while, but at last my kitchen is adorned with a new set of cotton pot holders in interlocking filet crochet.