Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cassi the goose

Introducing Cassi the goose. She cost us 1.80€ at our local garden centre.

Shes only small but already holds a big place in the families heart. Shes very naughty though. As I was planting out ll of me leek sets in the garden she was following me and gobbling them up!!! I now have to be careful when shes out because she knows where all the good veggies are now!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Sorry for having not written in a few weeks, I could think of a thousand reasons to give you but non of them are good enough.

Truth is I've been busy in the garden planting out seedlings and sowing new ones. My chickens have found where I planted out some spring peas and so we have a few green casualties but other than that the peas and the onions, carrots, parsnips, radishes and salads are all out in the garden. Fingers crossed this heavy rain we have been having isn't going to damage anything, time will tell....

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trinket Walnuts

I didnt get an engagment ring in mine unfortunatly, in fact I didt get one at all. I stumbles accross this by complete accident actually. Last year I made a bowl of gold painted nuts for my christmas table and then packed them away for the next year. Upon opening them up for our christmas just been they had all split open. Great! This gave me the idea to put a little something inside as a secret treat. I wrote a simple 'I love you' on a note, put it inside and left it on my partners pillow. True he thought I was odd putting a painted nut on his pillow for him especially as he doesnt like nuts but when he realised it opend he was over joyed. He now keeps it next to him on his desk while hes working.

Its just a little something cute to say I love you...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A little personal card I have made to send to people just to update them on Evies growth etc... The frame was found from the graphics fairy. Little touches like this make everything so much more personal don't you think...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Homemade Vintage Cards

I'm tired of paying extortionate amounts for cards. The trouble is... I'm a huge fan of putting pen to paper and sending letters the old fashioned way. There is no better feeling then opening the post box and finding something inside be it from a long distant friend or member of the family.
There is nothing I love more than to snuggle into a warm blanket or even hot bath to read my letters. That's why I think they should be personal. Sure you can find really cute ones in shops but you end up shelling out a small fortune over time. I'm making my own from now on.

You can find loads of great graphics online to use. Like the ones I found above. These are from a blog called the graphic fairy. She has thousands to choose from. Then all you need to do is print them onto blank cards, easy. Its like shopping from your own living room.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Creamy Flan Recipe (Creme Caramel)

Another one of my French families recipes...

You will need
200 grams sugar
6 large eggs
3/4 ltr whole milk
fleur d'orange or a vanilla pod

This is a super super easy recipe but one that impresses most guests.

In a flan mould or thin oven proof dish melt 5 tablespoons of sugar with a dash of water to make the caramel. Once the sugar has caramelised, take it off the heat and tilt and rotate the mould to spread the caramel evenly around the outer walls and bottom.

In a bowl whisk together the remaining sugar, eggs and milk and then add either  a cap of fleur d'orange or the seeds of a fresh vanilla pod. You could just use a splash of vanilla essence if pods are hard to find but the seeds of the pod make the flan look really beautiful.

Pour into the mould and then place the mould into an ovenproof dish filled with water. Into the Oven at 180 degrees for around 45 minutes or until set but not coloured.

Take out and leave to cool. Now heat gently the outside of the mould over the gas on low and turn the whole thing upside down onto a plate and viola!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Homemade Stinging Nettle beer

Right, I'm jumping on the band wagon. Everyone seems to have gone brew crazy in the UK and I myself am partial to a drink or two when it takes my fancy. I have tried making my own wine and so I thought 'why not russle up a quick batch of beer'. We are doing alot of work on our property so there is no shortage of victims I can experiment on with what I make.

Here's the recipe I have tried out.

1.5 kilograms nettle heads
800g of sugar
8 litres of water
2 lemons, Juice and rind (no pith)
half a tsp of powdered ginger
5g brewers yeast

  • Wash the nettle heads and then bring to the boil in 4 litres of the water.
  • Strain the mix and squeeze out the water from the nettles which will no not sting keeping all water and throwing away nettles or... give to hens if you have any. Waste not want not.
  • into the water goes the sugar and mix until its dissolved.
  • Add the rest of the water and then in goes the yeast and lemon
  • Leave for four days
Now you need to find bottles. I have used the spring attached ones like for grolch beer which are easy to find at the supermarket. Sterilize them before filling.

  • After the four days are up, strain the mix (which should smell quite potent) through a cheesecloth (or clean tea towel) and pour into bottles. I have read that putting half a teaspoon at the bottom of the bottles will make the beer extra fizzy although I have also read that there is no point.
  • Leave now for three weeks...
Right, well I don't need to wait long as my three weeks are nearly up so watch this space for the result...

Friday, February 25, 2011

My little Cupcake...

When given advice on what to buy for a newborn I was told that you could never have enough plain white baby grows. I bought soooooo many. Almost all of Evies other clothes are too fancy for a normal stay at home day so I save them for special occasions, but this leaves me with a dilema... how boring are those plain white babygrows!!! So... I  have set about making them cuter, more personal and fun. This is my first one, for my little cupcake...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wine Time!!

Wahoooo its the day I've been looking forward to nearly as much as the new fabric delivery on its way. My wine making order has arrived. Have any of you been watching river cottage? They are always coming up with interesting beers, wines and champagne so I figured I would give it a try. There is nothing I love more than to have my friends over and to serve them up some of our own home brew in my garden.

I went to a brewing shop called Hops and Vines in the UK on my last visit and picked up this little 4.5ltr kit.The lovely lady in the shop said that it was fool proof and that you can make some truly unique wines with it. So I've given it a go. Apple and Mimosa flower wine. The reason for the Mimosa flower, I live in a forest of it.

Its not ready yet but because I enjoyed making it so much I decided I'm going to make more, hence my order, but this time, without the kit... we shall see where this leads...

Buttons Buttons Buttons!!!

Amazing!!!! My mother-in-laws button collection!

There is a really old beautiful wooden sewing box in one of the corridors in my partners parents house that I happened to look in for some pink thread when I came across an old box full of buttons. All kinds. Just the kind of thing I love. She has kindly said that I can help myself to them which has got my imagination running. Now all I need to do is decide what to make with these little treasures...

Royce the Bear

This isnt one of my creations but I wanted to share it with you as it is something I have decided to try out myself. This is Royce, he was a gift from my mum to Evie for her birhday. Her first teddy bear. The jumper was made by my God mother (God granny to Evie) Isnt it lovely! Because Evie is English/French she incorperated the french and english flags on the sleeves. Sooooo cute!

I have never knited before and its something  really want to try. Do you think you can learn from a book or website? Im going to give it a try...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our Babies are our Inspiration

Sat in bed this morning with my honey and lemon (I'm sick) reading blogs and craft websites for inspiration I noticed one common factor. We are all inspired by our children. Its true, mostly everything I do is for Evie-Rose or inspired by her. I'm currently working on clothing projects as I don't feel there is enough 'range' sold in France. I'm all over making little embellishments to brighten up her wardrobe. I'm cooking up plans for toys, all sorts, its all I think about. It must be something which switches on after conceiving as I was certainly never this inspired before!

I'm just hoping a friend gets pregnant soon so I can shower them with homemade gifts!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beautiful Covered books

This is one of my Cath Kidson inspired ideas. I'm a keen list maker. I organise everything by lists. I put it down to years working on superyachts where there is no room for mistakes so everything should be written down and not forgotten. I have loads of different books. One for lunch recipes, another for breakfast, crafts, cakes, gardening... They wernt interesting, plain boring books so Ive decided to make them beautiful

Cut your chosen material to two Cm's thicker than needed on three sides of the book cover
                                           Now Iron half a cm in on each of the three sides

 Glue the neat side onto the front of the cover. You only need one line of glue on the left hand side. Use strong glue.
Turn over the cover page and glue in each of the three sides pulling tightly
And then glue on a sheet of thick card or paper. Done. Easy


Cath Kidson is a big inspiration of mine! I simply love everything she does. My mum recently bought be a beautiful baby changing bag and cushion and my God sister bought Evie the sweetest little teddy. This sent me into a frenzy! I want more! Now living in France we don't have Cath Kidson so ordering online is the only real option for me... or is it...

I'm planning a few crafty Cath Kidson inspired items to make myself. Watch this space...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Evies Quilt

Finally, I started making this when I was pregnant but have only just completed it as there wasn't enough hours in the day to sow for personal projects.
I'm so Happy, it turned out just the way that I wanted. It doesn't smell of me enough for Evie to like it right now so I'm planning to sleep with it a couple of nights and then she will love it!!!

Quilting is so easy and a real pleasure. I find it very therapeutic. I'm actually making three other quilts as we speak. I figure they will make the perfect baby shower/birthday or Christmas gift.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Green Inspirations

These are the two books that are guiding me through the veggie patch this year. One of which I have stolen from my darling mother whom I hope wont see that its missing until I have squeezed out all of the information possible from it. Its amazing when you compare different advice how lost you can get but luckily enough I also have my trusty father-in-law to help guide me through things such as Jerusalem artichoke planting.

The weather has again dropped here so I'm inside again. To be honest I'm quite glad as I am playing with old scraps of fabric and finishing Evie's Quilt which I started when I was pregnant.

Here's to being crafty!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring has sprung!

Finally, after the rain and snow the last few days came the sun again. Thank goodness really because the bad weather has put me back a few days in the garden. It seems like only a few days ago I had itchy feet wanting spring to arrive to start planting and now its here I'm over run with garden chores to do.

I have ordered my seeds. The bulk I already have from last year but the seeds I have ordered this time are special ones. Yin Yang beans that are beautiful, black and white. These can be dried for winter use and look amazing stored in jars. Giant pumpkin seeds. Now, I have really cute little ones but I want my hand at growing a monster and in a veggie book I have had for years it says there is a fool proof way of growing a giant... right then... we shall see just how fool proof it is!

So, Sunday tomorrow and I'm off to get some sleep so that I can be up bright and early to sow my seeds...

Night Bloggers

My baby Evie-Rose

This is a picture of my little angel Evie-Rose who was born December 15th 2010.

I had always wanted to be a mummy since a very young age. Being a very creative person I have so many plans to do with children and having one of my own couldn't come soon enough. Even better, shes a girl so I get to do fun things like make her clothing and jewelery. I would love a little boy as well but I think I would have problems being far to 'involved' as he got older. "Mums so embarrassing she still makes me little cakes when my friends come round" are words that haunt my fantasies. But Alas, my firsts a girl so I get to have all the fun in the world!
I cant wait until I can host her special birthday parties and buy or make her princess dresses! Shes only 2 months old so I'm going to have to wait a while I think... hehe

The Most amazing Tarte Tatine Recipe

Ok so Ive been at it again, trying to perfect another french recipe. This time its my mother-in-laws Tarte Tatin recipe. Don't get me wrong, hers is perfectly Delicious but Ive always found it a little lacking in something. So I set out about making my own. Ive only done this a few times before and needed to impress as I had told everyone what I was going to do. Thankfully, my plan succeeded. Here's the recipe.

8 cooking apples (the ugly brown skinned ones are the best)
50 grams butter
Sugar to taste
Pastry (I used ready made this time as I wanted to concentrate on the apples.

Over a very low heat melt the butter and 5 tablespoons of sugar in a deep cake dish.
Peel and slice the apples into quarters and place into the dish. Taste the butter sugar mix to see if its sweet enough for your liking. If not add as you want.

Spoon over some of the butter sugar mix onto the top of the apples and then place a heavy pan lid on the top and cook for 40mins very very slowly, every now and again spooning some of the mix over the top and lightly pressing down on the lid to 'flatten' the apples.

At this point the apples should be soft but still keeping their form.

Take off the heat and roll out your pastry to half a cm thickness. place over the dish and cut off the excess pastry. Now press the edge of the pastry down to curve around the apples slightly.

Bake in the oven at 180 for 20 mins.

Serve as it is or the way I like it with vanilla icecream.


Friday, February 18, 2011

The Garden plan for 2011

My plan this year in the garden is, well, a muddle to be honest. Last year I was still working away alot and attempted a veg patch. But with the heat of the sun in the South of France and with Fabien always away the poor patch got frazzled a fair amount and my harvest was very poor indeed.
Now I am here full time this shall not happen again. I have been outside digging up flower beds, raking the leaves. I even had to use a very large jackhammer to get rid of an evil concrete slab I found in an area I wanted to plant in.
Now that I have a baby I really want her to eat well and with all the talk about pesticides and chemicals being used I have decided to grow everything for her organically. No nestle bought supermarket food tubs for her. If my plan fails I do have a splendid green grocer down the road who's prices make it look ridiculous to grow your own. I don't even know how the manage to keep their prices so low.
So I'm off to dig out mu old gardening book and plan out whats going into the ground this year.

Wish me luck...

More about me...

This is a picture of my partner and I. I say partner, we have a baby together and have talked about marriage for along time so I know its coming. I'm just waiting for... the big question. Hopefully he wont keep me waiting to long as I cant wait to start planning all the little details (as if they are not all thought out already)

Fabien owns and runs a company that specializes in sound and lighting for special events, He works mostly in St Tropez and Monaco but also works alot for the Cannes Film Festival etc. Hes always very busy and so unfortunately, I only really get to see him when hes working at home in his office. I have made myself a little nest in his office where I can sit and do my crafting while he works. Otherwise Id be pretty lonely.

I used to work for some of the richest, craziest people in the world. I chief stewardess ed on super yachts for 6 years. Ive seen all sorts, Billionaire junkies, vogue orgies, royalty, Russian arms dealers, celebrities you name it. It was a good insight to 'how the other side live'. But there was one thing that I came away from all that with... the knowledge and proof that money doesn't buy you happiness. I would see some of the richest people in the word, miserable. Surrounded by a sea of people but all alone as they couldn't trust anyone. We (being the crew) actually felt sorry for them. So now I know now that I have left my work to become a mum, that money doesn't bring you happiness. At all in fact.

So stop working so hard and enjoy all the things that are free in life, the things that can make you truly happy. Love, family and food!!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

French Onion Soup

My French mother in laws delicious recipe

Ingredients (serves 4)
5 large white onions
25 grams butter
olive oil
Chicken stock cube
Plain flour
Grated cheese

Slice the onions into rings and place into a heave bottomed bowl with the butter and a generous glug of olive oil. Cook until the onion is translucent. Now add 6 tablespoons of flour, chicken stock cube and a litre or water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the temperature leaving the mixture to simmer until thickened.

Slice and grill some baguette and put into a deep oven dish. Pour over the soup and sprinkle the cheese. Emmantal is my favorite but cheddar will also work well.

Leave to bake in the oven until the cheese has formed a nice crispy top.



Right, well this is a first. Im always hunting down blogs online to enrich my mind but writing myself is a first. I seem to be the last person in the world to have one.

I think that my 'about me' area pretty much sums things up but again, my plan for this blog is to document all my little things that I do. My partner is a very hardworking serious man and me... well, Im a little eccentric. He comes home from his busy day in Monaco after having argued and faught to get things done the way he wants in his company to find me, spread out on the bed surrounded by bits of cloth and beads making some kind of animal puppet creature to send to my aunt for her birthday. Yes, we are completly different but isnt what they say 'opposites attract'. In our case it is completly true. But when he sees me doing all my mad things he always comes to tell me how much he loves me for it. I lift him and he grounds me. Perfect.

Ok so I had better go and make something otherwise this blog is going to be pretty uneventful.

Ciao for now Bloggers