Friday 5 December 2014

A potted christmas tree - for life.

I've been a champion of the potted christmas tree for as long as I can remember. My mum always preferred artificially ones when I was growing up, due to the 'needles getting stuck in me slippers!' but as soon as I had my own house, it was real living trees from the get-go. I not only name my trees, they are also addressed as one of the family .... "you alright Maud? not getting too warm in that corner are ya dear?" Yes I know I'm a big softie / crazy person but it makes me happy knowing this little tree is alive and kicking, and it makes me equally sad to see a strong beautiful tree adorned in all it's glory, only to then notice it's a ghost of a tree which has been cut off at the base  ...  and will soon be chucked out with the rest of the rubbish in a matter of weeks.

Wild camping in Scotland - A Handmade Cottage

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Friday 24 October 2014

The magic of mushrooms - real and otherwise

There is something so lovely about about wild mushrooms. Aside from the fact little fairy families live under them, they possess a magical aura I think. There are many things I love about Autumn - and spotting little mushrooms growing in the undergrowth is one of them.  

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Friday 12 September 2014

How to make Blackberry jam

How to make Blackberry jam

I made jam for the first time this week. Now you know I'm a self-confessed terrible cook. I can make a hash of the easiest of recipes so it's no wonder I haven't attempted Jam before. But then I found out how you make it ... put berries in a pan + splash of water + lemon and sugar = pot of jam. I had no idea it was that easy. So under the guidance of my crafty jam & jewellery-making pal Yidan, we made jam!

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Tuesday 3 June 2014

How to make Elderflower cordial & the 'Hugo' cocktail

Before I learned how to make Elderflower cordial I was often put off by long winded instructions and the general 'faff' that often comes with making your own produce. But I do so love Elderflower cordial so I was determined to give it a try and I'm so pleased I did - It is unbelievably easy to make, there is hardly any faff and it also tastes a thousand times better than shop-bought. I now look forward to making it year after year (as does my family) and once made you can also use it to make scrumptious Elderflower cocktails such as the 'Hugo' which I served at our wedding! I've included the recipe for that at the end too ...

How to make Elderflower cordial

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Wednesday 20 November 2013

How to make Rose hip anti-aging moisturiser - Part 1

Hello lovelies, 

It's cold, our skin is dry and in need of a beauty-hug (?)
So I'm going to share one of my favourite beauty recipes of ALL time ... 
This is easy, cheap and VERY effective. The lovely, the luscious

 *** Rose hip Oil ***

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Friday 8 November 2013

Decorating your home with Autumn delights

Autumn - Simply my most favourite time of the year.
 The milky light, the rainbow of colours on the trees, the slight chill in the air which of course means fluffy socks, hot-water bottle and milky drinks! ... but before thoughts turn to winter, it's worth taking a moment to savour these glorious days. If we learn anything from Autumn it is to enjoy things while they last.

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Sunday 6 October 2013

How to make sloe gin - 'the wintry tipple'

  Well last weekend I successfully made my first tipple of Sloe Gin! It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday and I can't WAIT to taste it while my chestnuts are roasting on a chilly December eve. Christmas will never be the same without this lovely wintry Liqueur and it's a lovely way to enjoy our bountiful hedgerows. It's far more satisfying to enjoy something you've gathered / made yourself than to get it from Tesco and I've no doubt this autumnal ritual will become a firm favourite in our household. It's easy to prep, easy to make AND you can blot out Xmas with it! (if need be).  So get the kids off their phones, grab your baskets (guys - your plastic containers) and enjoy a day in the wilderness together! 

Note - Sloe gin is a sweet berry liqueur and can be enjoyed on the rocks OR with a mixer ... perhaps Soda water or sparkling wine Kir Royale-style, so don't be put off if you don't like Gin. I don't but I do LOVE this drink.

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Monday 9 September 2013

The cottage guide to BLACKBERRY picking!

I LOVE this time of Year! When blackberry picking time comes around I get so excited. I do love summer but I love autumn more. It's such a beautiful time ... the colours, snugly blankets, fires, hot chocolate and BLACKBERRY AND APPLE CRUMBLE! we're also allowed to get a bit fat as we need the warmth : ) I realise I haven't talked about craft much lately but I'm just too distracted by the pick n' mix of berries in our hedgerows at the moment. Thanks to a glorious summer the bushes are jam-packed (see what I did there?) with fruit this year which means? ... 'one for me, one for the basket, one for me ...' 

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Monday 2 September 2013

Making Sloe gin - How to tell when Sloe Berries are ripe

So it's been a wonderful summer and the hedgerows are bursting with bumper crops this year ... 'one for me, one for Ralphy, one for me ...' I'm determined to make the most of mother natures bounty this year. So today I want to give you a heads up on the SLOE berry. It's not picking time yet but it will be soon so here's a guide to picking at the right time.

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