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Crafty gifts

With the flat in turmoil owing to the kitchen refit during december, the elements weren’t conducive to a handmade christmas. So it was that for the first year in a long time, we had no tree, no wreath, no mark of christmas cheer in the flat. In fact, we were lucky to get a cup …

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Chutney 101

Its been quite a long time since i made chutney. A bare chutney cupboard in my life is a sure sign of general busy-ness. I then discovered that Malcolm, en route to work, had been purchasing shop bought chutney for weekday lunches. Oh, the shame! The ignominy! So i got to work with the help …

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its a wrap

Many will know that i’m a stickler for a well wrapped present. Perhaps i’m reading too many interiors magazines of late, with stacks of stylishly wrapped gifts piled high under chic trees (no tinsel in sight.) Despite the fact that wrapping is of course designed to simply be torn off to reveal the goods within, …

Financial times wrapping

Christmas bits ‘n bobbles

I tried very hard to lose my christmas humbug this year, and I must admit a massive drive at organisation and a 2 year old have definatley helped. However its truly the run in now, and I cant say I’m totally organised, it’s more a matter of just giving up! Have adopted the granny method …

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Hedgerow Membrillo from Drumsesk

Here we have another esteemed guest blogger joining us with her inspiration and salvage secrets – our auntie Gladys (mum to Brona, also a guest poster of old), who has been busy this autumn in the Rostrevor thicket…. I am excited about having the time and intent to use whatever is available and full of potential …

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Seasonal salvage, and some nostalgia

I’ve been particularly seasonal in spirit this year, given that its only dec 3rd. Christmas tree decorating yesterday, mince pies today, advent evensong tomorrow… I have also been getting busy with thrifty decor, making my usual wreath and fireplace garland from the wealth of wonderful foliage at Blackford Hill. I find the trick is to …

Home grown Victoria Plums, Blueberries and Pears

Seasonal food: Victoria Plum Crumble

I’m proud of our wee country for being able to produce it’s very own fruit! That’s why I feel compelled to do things with it. Right now the contents of my kitchen table are all locally grown NI fruits given to me by lovely organic comrades. We all know there is only so long you …

Christmas Crafts 3

At some point in November, i started feeling adventurous. Using guidelines from a sewing book, i began making various cosies. These egg cosies, made from tweed and free Cath Kidston swatches, have been personalised for my brother’s family. I then expanded the size to make tea cosies. Tractors are a big theme in Tullyroan, so …

Christmas Present-ation

I was inspired to write a post about christmas presents having received this beautifully wrapped gift from my friend Julie. I love receiving a well wrapped gift, especially with consideration given to detail and use of simple materials. Forget fancy ribbons and expensive print, the best materials can be found all year round (as above; …

Oh Brother

I have been pondering a new sewing machine for a few months now, since my £100 friend purchased about 8 years ago started to show signs of tiring. The thing about sewing machines is that you can a decent model quite cheaply, but the servicing will often cost 3/4 of the initial value, and if, …