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Hiya everyone :) I am been good keeping on top of my blog aren’t I :)

How are you all today? I have not been very well I am afraid, have had the flu, poor John has had it too.  It is a weird type of flu, making us  feel very unwell and feverish! I hope it goes soon, but on the plus side, I have been getting on with a lot of crochet thanks to been stuck indoors,  and it has been lovely spending so much time with John with us both been poorly together, you have to look on the bright side of everything dont you :) I love spending time with John, and we have been catching up on films together, looking after each other and just having a lovely time together, so even having the flu has its plus sides :) want to see what I have been crocheting? :)

I have crocheted some Mary Jane type slippers for my dads lovely partner Pam, who is just lovely and like a mother to me :)

I have crocheted quite a few pairs of these slippers for Pam, as she absolutely loves them, so I am sure she will be happy with these when I give them to her in a few days :)

I have also crocheted a set of Rosary Beads, and a Rosary Bead pouch to keep them in, for myself

I really enjoyed doing this pattern :)

And I have finished crocheting the baby blanket and teddy bear for our great niece who is due to be born in December, I am very happy with how these have turned out

I will give these to our niece, for her baby, when she is born :)

And, I have also started crocheting my Christmas projects, yay!!!! I am currently making a ginger bread house. For this project, you need a glue gun, to glue the crochet house to the cardboard house, and to glue all the bits and pieces onto the house, so John and I had to have a walk to Homebase the other day, about 30 mins away from us, to buy a glue gun, and I can tell you, that walk really took it out of us, with us both suffering from this dratted flu, but it was worth it, as making this ginger bread house has given me so much pleasure! And has gave John pleasure seeing me so happy, bless him :)   Here is the ‘cardboard’ part of the house, though I made it using some black plastic sheeting I had, as with it been black it will not show through the crochet :)

and here are the crochet bits that I have glued onto the house so far, the back, front, sides, roof and icicle trim

The sweeties on the roof were meant to be done in the French knot, but I could not get my French knot to show properly, so I crocheted them, and sewed them on instead :)

Our little Staffie ornament thinks this is his new kennel! Oh no Mr Staffie, I think not, and dont go getting any ideas about pinching the sweeties from the gingerbread house either, lol :) I have crocheted the door, the wreath for the door, the candy twists, windows and shutters also, but have not glued them on yet, I will do that today :)

Still on the subject of crochet, I have bought some very nice sock yarn, that I may or may not make socks with, I will more than likely crochet some little toys with it, and coasters and perhaps face cloths too, I love the colours in this wool :)

And still talking about crochet, I got a lovely surprise the other day :) Remember the Family Of Blankets I crocheted for Nicola from Smilernpb, well, I received a beautiful card from Nicola in the post, thanking me for the blankets and saying that everyone loves them, and in the card was a beautiful drawing from Nicolas 6 year old daughter, with a message saying thank you for her blanket! Isn’t that so sweet and thoughtful! I was so touched by this, such a lovely surprise

I am so happy to know that everyone in Nicolas lovely family loves their blankets, thank you Nicola and M for the lovely card and beautiful drawing :)

Now that the crochet is out of the way, I want to show you the blackberry jam I have made :) I am so proud of this jam, as the last lot of blackberry jam I tried to make, I must of boiled for too long, as when it set, it set into hard boiled sweets! This jam is real jam, great spreading consistency, not too sweet, can still taste the blackberries and I am so happy with it :) I made the jam with 2lb of the blackberries we have been picking and freezing over the past few weeks

I did pick some blackberries that were not quite ripe, as I knew the majority would be going in jam, so I figured it would not matter, and it didn’t, also, I added a handful of raspberries that had ripened in our garden. The recipe I used was very simple, 2lb of blackberries, 2lb of jam sugar and 1 and a half pints of water, and that was it

all you have to do is let the blackberries and water simmer gently for about 10 mins, add the sugar, turn up the heat and let it boil until setting point is reached

I decided to mash the blackberries a bit in the pan, to help break them down

and you end up with a litre of such lovely jam!

I had some on my toast this morning, yummy!

and here is a piccie of the two jars of jam I have made this year, my first two successes :) My blackberry jam, and my rose petal jam :)

I am so proud, lol :)

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

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend

Take care everyone

Bye for now :) :) :) :)

Witches Brew

Hello Everyone :) How are you all on this Autumnal day? I am doing great, and believe it or not, I am loving this cold, wet and windy weather, I absolutely love it when the Seasons change and you can really see and feel the change, and I love Autumn and Winter, they are my favourite Seasons, so cosy and homely, spending your evenings at home, by the fire, crocheting, knitting or sewing, the smell of home baking wafting through the house, planning Christmas, it is wonderful :)

Anyway, on with my post :) Remember in my last post I said I was going to crochet a Halloween Witch, to sit on our hearth, or somewhere in our sitting room come Halloween, well I did and I love her, may I introduce Winny, The Friendly Halloween Witch :)

I love her stripy stockings and blue hair :) As you can see, she is a friendly witch with a cute smiley face :)

And she loves the warmth, sitting by the fire….

or even on the fire..

Someone saw the above photo on FB, and asked why was she on the fire, lol, I can not imagine what he thought I was trying to convey by this photo, lol, but the truth is I just liked the fire as a background, made it more cosy looking :)

So that is Winny, and she has been put away until Halloween, when she will be making her re-appearance and sitting warming her backside by the fire again, lol :)

Now to the Witches Brew part of this post :) John and I went out and collected an absolute load of elderberries last week, and we have turned them into elderberry wine, which should be ready by Christmas :) I do not drink, so I will not be sampling this, but we have made it before, and everyone who tried it liked it, so we have made more. I may not drink, but for some strange reason I love to make wine, especially with things from the hedgerows :)

Here is the bag of elderberries (about 4lb) with Jack The Cat guarding them :)

And here is my other bag, which I was gradually filling up with the empty stalks as I picked the elderberries off

And to pick the elderberries off the stalks, you need a very high tech piece of equipment

A fork, lol :) I have found this is the best, and quickest way to de-stalk the elderberries, though saying that, it still took me 3 hours to de-stalk 4lb of them!

The recipe required 3lb, so the pound that was left over, I have frozen to use with other things, in the next piccie is the left over elderberries and the book from which we took the recipe from :)

Now that all had been de-stalked, it was time to crush them in the food processor, to release all those lovely juices…

and put the sugar syrup on to boil

once all the elderberries were crushed, we had to boil them up with water

isn’t the colour glorious!

let it cool, add the yeast and sugar syrup and leave it to ferment for a few days. After a few days, it was ready to strain

and to add more sugar syrup to it, then rack it, and leave it until it is all clear and lovely :)

On the day we racked our elderberry, we also bottled our Red Clover Wine, which will be ready to drink very soon…

I love the label we made :)

I have also crocheted 2 more Jack O Lanterns

and I have crocheted a baby blanket, in pink and cream stripes, with a deep picot edge, for our great niece who is due to be born early December, but I have not took photos of that yet, and I am also crocheting a little pink teddy bear for our great nice too :)

Of my Halloween crochet, I have now got some better photos of the things I have made, so I thought I would share them with you :)

I’ll be spending the rest of the day doing the washing, putting clean sheets on the bed, along with an extra crochet top blanket, as it is chilly on a night now, and crocheting the teddy bear :)

Thank you so much for reading my blog and leaving your wonderful comments which I love reading :)

Take care everyone

Bye for now :) :) :) :)