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Archive for the ‘nettles’ category


I have been harking back to my childhood of late, thinking about all the things I loved to do and read when I was a child, and thinking why not do those things now :) Just because I am now 26 years old does not mean I can not still enjoy reading my favourite childhood books, or dressing my favourite childhood doll up in pretty clothes I have made for her.

The news is so full of gloom these days, I avoid watching it as it makes me depressed, and to be honest, I think the world has gone slightly mad! So I have been thinking of happy times, innocent times, not just of my childhood, but of times my darling John and I have shared together, and that is what this post is to be about :)

When I was very very young, my dear grandad, who I adored and loved with all my heart, bought me a gorgeous Tiny Tears doll, whom I loved and took everywhere with me :) I spent all the money I got for birthdays, Christmases ect.. on dolls clothes for Tiny Tears, and accumulated  quite a collection for her, I had a special drawer where I kept her clothes :) Over the years my grandad bought me other things for my Tiny Tears doll, including a beautiful silver cross, navy and white, twin hooded dollies pram, which I loved with all my heart, and took everywhere, with Tiny Tears all snuggled under the broderie anglais blankets in the pram, I even took the pram into town shopping, which was no easy thing to do, as the pram really was quite big, lol. My dear grandad also bought me the most beautiful wooden dolls swing and dolls cot, which look so odfashioned and have sunflowers hand painted on them, Tiny Tears loved them :) The pram has gone, but Tiny Tears, the cot and the swing, I still have and would never part with.

My grandads lovely neighbour, Doris, was a great crocheter. I used to love to go and visit her, and hear about her childhood, and watch her knit and crochet, and to look around her exceptionally tidy home, which was full of old furniture, and smelled of polish and lavender. Doris was a lovely lady, and whenever she had a baking day, she always made my grandad a little something (my grandads wife died before I was born) and took it to him :)

On Doris’s bed was a lovely oldfashioned doll, I am sure it was a Tiny Tears doll, and she was dressed in a gorgeous pink crocheted dress and bonnet, which Doris had crocheted herself. I was allowed to handle the doll when I visited Doris, and I could tell just how much Doris loved that doll, as she held her so lovingly and gently, and the doll always look clean and pristine, sitting on Doris’s bed. I loved the dress and bonnet that Doris had crocheted for her, and always wanted one for my Tiny Tears doll, and now that I can crochet myself, I had the thought, well, why not make one now, so I did and here it is…

my favourite childhood doll, who I would not part with for the world, sitting on our bed, dressed in a crochet dress and bonnet, that I crocheted..

So finally, after about 18 years of wanting a crocheted dress and bonnet for my dear Tiny Tears, she now has one, and I think she looks lovely in it :)

Speaking of my grandad, I have a few things that belonged to him, that are so precious to me. My grandad was my mothers father, and he was the most wonderful man. He was a miner, right up until he retired, and I can still remember the knots of soot in his veins, from where he had a cut and went down the mine, and got soot in his cuts. He also lost his little finger down the mine, poor soul, and it was the mine that killed him, when he was 81 years old (12 years ago), as all the soot he had breathed in got into his lungs, my poor dear grandad. He loved me so much, and I loved him so much, and still do, and I still think about him all of the time, and dream about him too. Every year on his anniversary I go to pay my respects to him, in the crematorium,  and have never missed a year since he passed away, and I never will miss a year, I am the only one in the family who does this. We were so close, and it broke my heart when he died, but I still have a few things that belonged to my grandad or what my grandad gave to me that I treasure. Two of the things which belonged to my grandad is a very very old poem book which had been in the family for years, and my grandads diary and wallet…

The poem book is over 100 years old, I do not know who it originally belonged to, but now it is mine and I treasure it. My grandad also had other books that he always said I could have, and when he passed I did get them (no one else wanted them) but then my mother got jealous and demanded I give the books to her, saying they were her dads books! So I gave them to her, she put them somewhere and never looked at them, never looked after them, then when she moved home a few years ago, she lost them in the move, so now they are gone forever, and it breaks my heart!!! Also, my grandad had an extremely old walking stick and umbrella which had been in the family for over 100 years, and my grandad said I could have them when he had gone, as he knew I would look after them, but alas, my mother got jealous again, took them, and they also got lost in the move, never to be found again. But at least I have these few things. I used to love reading this poetry book as a child, it is a child’s poetry book, and the poems in it are magical!!!

And the notebook my grandad used as his diary is a treasure to me. In it he listed all the things he planted in his garden as my grandad was a wonderful gardener, he listed what he and his family had ate that day, there are shopping lists in there, and local news events too…

The pen that is stuck in the middle of the book also belonged to my grandad, and he kept it always in the pocket of his blazer which he always wore, he was an extremely smart man :)

In the diary I also keep my grandads wallet, which still has stamps in which he bought in the 60s, and it has a very fragile newspaper cutting in it of my grandad, as he was the one millionth customer to put his wages into the bank, so he got his photo took, had some champagne and was in the papers :) And in the diary I have birthday cards my grandad gave to me, and I also have Christmas cards he gave to me too, I adore my grandad :)

Other happy childhood memories I have are of reading. I have always loved to read, and would devour the likes of Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter, and I still have some books from childhood. I had quite a collection of Enid Blyton books, most of them vintage, which I had found in charity shops, and when I moved out I asked my mother to keep them , and I would take them off her hands when I had found space in mine and Johns new home, she said she would keep them, but then behind my back, she gave them away, so that is also something else precious to me gone by the hands of my mother (i do not speak to mother any more, have not for almost 2 years, we do not get on, she is wild and out of control now) but some books I did manage to salvage are these…

All of the Beatrix Potter ones my grandad bought for me :) I love childrens books, and even though I am now grown, I can still enjoy reading them, there is an innocence in them that I long for. I am now reading The Adventures Of Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley and am really loving them, they are so full of innocence, so cosy, so family orientated, they are wonderful, and the illustrations in them are so wonderful too, and I mus confess, I am currently colouring them in, lol, something else I loved to do when I was a child :) I am finding the gentle process of colouring in very relaxing, and I am sure I am not the only one who has coloured these delightful pictures in lol..

I was looking through some old photos and found one of mine and Johns engagement party, another really happy even and memory :) John sang to me, he is a wonderful singer, and my dad played guitar while John sang, he sang to me Diamond Ring by Bonjovi, it was beautiful :)

Other memories that has been popping in my head are of my favourite holiday of all time, which John and I went on a few years ago, we went camping in Appleby and had the most fantastic time. I love the countryside and I love camping :) I loved this holiday so much because it was just John and I, in a tent, in the country, simple holidaying, and spending lots of quality time together :)

A photo of the beautiful river Eden :)

On the brewing front things are going well :) We bottled our nettle beer, but it is so fizzy, one of the corks popped off and flew into another adjoining room!!! Here it is when it exploded…

We also have on the go a beetroot and carrot wine, made from beetroots and carrots we have grown in our garden :) Yesterday we did the last stage of it, straining and adding the extra sugar and water, here it is before those things were added…

Isn’t it a glorious colour!!! And just look at the colour the lemons went from the dye in the beetroot!!!!


The other day we went shopping and got a new cheap table to use as a tea table in the sitting room, and to use to hold my ever growing collection of wool, lol

Has anyone been watching the new channel 4 programme Superscrimpers??? I have, and have loved some of the tips on there. My friend June, who has also been watching it, suggested that we all put on our favourite thrifty tips on this post, in the comments box, so please, if you have any good tips to share, please do :)

Before I go, I want to tell you about a give away my good American friend Barb is hosting on her blog The Barbara Show , to enter, please visit Barbs fab blog, leave your answer to her question on her blog, and you could win some vintage maps and books :) Good luck :)

I am off now to collect a dress dummy from someone fro freecycle, then I shall have a lovely rose scented bath, put on my jimjams which smell of sunshine, and relax :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog and leave your lovely comments :)

Take care everyone, bye for now :) :) :) :)

Quick edit :) I have been trying to remember a book I saw on someone’s blog )can not remember which blog) and on it they showed  a book they had found, a vintage childrens book with illustrations. The illustrations were black and white and from what I can remember, there was one of a granny and grandad (I think) sitting in armchairs on either side of a fireplace, and the book was called something and something,  can not remember the name, but I am sure it was …… and …… if you know what I mean, if you have any idea which book I am talking about please let me know :)

Cakes And Ale

Hello Everyone :) Long time no see!!! Sorry I have not done a post before now, I have been quite busy with gardening, crocheting ect…, but I have finally made time to do my blog :)

You may be wondering what the title of this post means??? Well, I have been baking and brewing :) I have baked a spiced apple sauce cake, the idea for this came from LRTC, as Dorcas ate one and I thought, mmm, that sounds tasty, so I baked one, and it really does taste as good as it sounds :)

and, I have been brewing too, lol. Yesterday John and I went for a lovely long walk, and I took my rubber gloves with me, why, to pick stinging nettles!!! :) I gathered a huge bag full, John held the bag open for me, and it took quite a while as all the nettles are still very small, but that is perfect, as they are young and will taste better :)

And when we came home, I washed the nettles, boiled a large pan of water, put the nettles in the boiling water and left it to infuse, then strained them, added lemon juice, sugar, cream of tartar and yeast, to make nettle beer for my darling John :) I dont drink, but John does, and I thought this would be nice for him to try, plus its an excuse for me to go foraging and to brew, 2 things I love doing :) The beer is now fermenting in the boiler cupboard…

and on Sunday, I shall bottle it, and in about a month it will be ready for John to drink :)

On the crochet front, I have crocheted quite a few things, , I have designed and crocheted some shell stitch tea cosies, which have roses on top… (please excuse all the photos in this post, I took them, hence why they are not very good, lol :) )

My favourite is the green one :)

I have also designed and crocheted this bright, shell stitch beach bag (please excuse my arm in this shot, lol )

I have crocheted a shawl inspired by the one Emma wears in LRTC….

There is  a crochet and knit along in the LRTC group on Ravelry you see, to crochet or knit a shawl worn by Emma or Queenie in the series, and so this is my Emma Shawl…

It is really thick and warm and I just love it, I wear it over my pyjamas to keep me warm on a night :) And now I am working on my Queenie shawl which will look something like this…

Also, I have been doing a lot of reading lately. I have been reading my herbal books….

My Lark Rise book…

my magazines….

And a lovely early birthday present from my darling John, two fabulous crochet books :)

Oh, and the postie has just been and delivered the latest Cath Kidston magazine, so I shall be reading that later today too :)

I have been re-watching my favourite series of all time, you guessed it…

and as you will have probably spotted, the new series 4 dvd is there too….

This is another early birthday present, from my dad and Pam :) I just love my LRTC dvds, I would not part with them for the world!

So yip, its my birthday next week, and I have been getting some early birthday pressies! I am so lucky :) So, I got the books from my darling John, the dvd from my dad and Pam, and my dad and Pam also really kindly bought me the most gorgeous dressing gown with matching pyjamas I have ever seen, and some lovely slippers…

They remind me very much of Cath Kidstons pj’s and dressing gowns, but I prefer these, as there are more flowers on them :) The dressing gown is super super soft, I just love it!!! Click on the piccies to view larger size :) I am such a lucky woman :) I am surrounded by love and kindness.

Right, I am going to do the rest of the housework now (I have already done the washing and hung it on the line, and changed the bed sheets ) then I am going to dig up some veg, prepare the soil to grow a herb garden, and plant some rhubarb :) Then, I shall have a lovely hot bubble bath, put my new pj’s, dressing gown and slippers on, and watch LRTC while crocheting my Queenie shawl :)

Just before I go I thought I would share photos of the lovely flowers John kindly bought me, bless him :)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and leave your lovely comments.

Take care everyone, bye for now :) :) :) :)