Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Under Construction...Please Wait...


Hi all, 
Sorry for going AWOL this week, i didn't mean to take so long to reply to comments, but all last week we had builders in, and EVERYTHING had to be moved upstairs bar the sofas.

We finally got downstairs sorted out and damp-proofed (a long last, and after plenty of pestering)
The living room, kitchen, downstairs loo and pantry were treated
We had to spend the week living upstairs. 
This was our makeshift kitchen.

 The whole bottom half of the walls were ripped out, and a damp proof course put in,



All of the kitchen units taken out and scattered randomly wherever there was space 





I can't even begin to tell you how pleased i am to be back to normal, sitting in our living room and not being surrounded by dust any more, being able to cook in our own kitchen.

Now, downstairs looks like half a job, as it is painted magnolia, and obviously the plaster is brown.
If you squint very hard it looks like two tone walls lol

Luckily,we are being reimbursed with decorating vouchers , so we can re-paint in whatever colour we fancy, for the living room i'm thinking two tone, with soft blue on the lower half and white on the top half, with some form of border running through the middle :)

But, i am so very,very pleased to have it finally sorted out, and with any luck, that will be the end of the problem (it bloody better be!)

I shall be able to resume normal posting, when i have something interesting to say hahaha :D



Stiff upper lip and all that...







Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Good Life Bible!

Hi guys, have you had a nice week?

Look at what i found!
Only 50p in a charity shop :D
I'm so pleased!
It's based on a tv show from 2010 where Sue Perkins and Giles Coren lived like Tom and Barbara.  
It's full to the brim of little hints and tips on how to become self sufficient , along with various crafts that Tom and Barbara did on the show


It gives information on how to keep hens (which we shall hopefully be doing soon!) various means of feeding them, housing them etc

A Christmas section on making decorations (which i already do) and various food recipes


A fairly easy looking cider :) 
and, of course, where would we be without the recipe for peapod wine? (hopefully will try this at some point, maybe not this year though)

How to make nettle dye, which is a great dye for wool :) 

Pickled eggs, which i shall be attempting soon :)

and lots more! 
I'm so pleased to have found this book!
some of the things i already know, but it also has a section on gardening and growing veg and preparing the soil, etc so i know already it was 50p well spent!




Now i have a lovely quick recipe for you, i made this today and my goodness it was delicious!

NB: If you have a cheese sauce recipe you want to use instead of packet mix then go for it. I just used the mix as it was in the cupboard at the time :)

Cheese and broccoli soup: 


This is my own recipe, made up as I went along lol
2 broccoli trees
 1 packet Morrison's cheese sauce mix 
280ml water 
Half a chicken stock cube 
1 onion 

Chop onion and sauté in butter for 5 minutes 
Chop broccoli roughly and add to pot,  
Make the chicken stock and cheese sauce mix in one jug and add to pot, you can also add a little single cream if you have it 
Bring to boil and let simmer for 45 minutes until the broccoli is soft and you can mash it or whizz it up in a food processor 
  If you would like it a bit thicker just sprinkle in a tablespoon of corn flour 
Also, sometimes the packet mixes aren't cheesy enough so i added a handful of grated cheddar too :)
Yummy!


In other news, we have a new table :)
We got it from a friend who had the sad job of clearing his late mother in-laws house , so he asked if there was anything we needed, and this was on the list of things to go, now it is doing a great job as a coffee/dining table



We also opened the ginger beer this evening!
Woohoo! 
Our first proper home brew :)
Well... it wasn't supposed to be ready until Monday, but quite frankly, we couldn't wait that long haha
It is absolutely delicious! We are both very impressed :)

We are looking forward to seeing Fast SOS's next home-brew project :) 

(hint hint Rich and Carly, lol :D )


I've also been crocheting rather a lot this week
I made a little pot holder as i was sick of forever burning my fingers when lifting pan lids (with the metal top/handle)


I've also been working on my blanket, slowly but surely :)
Our local charity shop had a big donation of yarn and i found this gorgeous mint green mohair type wool for 49p. 
I made a cowl out of it with broomstick lace (i can't find the picture, but i will post it on Weds for Yarn Along) and used the rest in the blanket, sadly it was only a 50g ball so only had enough left over for 1 round






Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Loooonnngg one!



Hi guys! :)
Goodness it's been rather a while after my wee rant about the boiler breakdown. Thank you all for your kind comments,the Bearded Wonder is fine and well again :)


As usual, time ran away, dragging me along behind it lol

Last Saturday was my birthday, so i celebrated in a quiet, civilized fashion, with a cappuccino and a croissant :)


I got the most lovely necklace from a friend at knit and natter, the picture doesn't do it justice at all!
It's so pretty  and gently shimmers in the light

I also got a little jar of sea glass from another knitter, aren't they gorgeous? I could stare at them all day :)

In the post i received some lovely yarn from Amy at Love Made My Home, as i volunteered to do a little crochet pattern testing
(I love the card Amy, it so sweet! it's sitting on my desk :)  )

The pattern was a little sunflower, which is pinned up on my noteboard in the kitchen :)









I'm also foraying into the world of home brew through the post! 
Well, if you can call brewing ginger beer in a butter tub home brewing haha :D

The lovely Fast - SOS sent me a little package through containing a ginger beer plant (like a factory, not the leafy variety) with instruction to feed it every day for 7 days (feeling rather like Little Shop Of Horrors! Will it want my blood soon? hahaha)

This is the link to the Instructions, which will explain much better than I

I've got to feed it until next Monday by which time hopefully it will be ready for the next step :D I'm so exited!


This bit is rather picture heavy, but this is so much fun to do, and the possibilities are endless!
Remember the whole bullet journalling thing i've been doing, to help me plan better? Well, it didn't quite work. I just had too much to write in on some days!
So, last week i found this for the grand total of £1.50



It's a patent leather pocket Filofax.
It didn't come with any inserts so, in true Sophie style i made my own! (those things are expensive!) 
I also made some cute little ribboned paper clips (just because) 


The good thing about this project is t helps me work on my hand lettering , which desperately needs tuning up (i'm left handed )

I'm quite pleased with this one :) 
The week on two page layout was made by using some old index cards the hubby unearthed from a dusty box 


All they needed were the edges trimming off and hole punched, which is so old only one side of the punch works,and it doesn't always punch the whole way through so you have to wiggle it a bit lol,  not ideal but i'm investing in a new one next week!

The edges are being put to good use as a little shopping list at the front of the planner.



And some nice little white ones as a notepad

Again, practising hand lettering and giving myself a little positivity :)


This week, drawing on my own layout (what a pain! get one day wrong you have to start all over again, so now i'm extra careful and vigilant)

I also made some wee dividers, which may or may not change soon, as i'm awaiting some wallpaper samples, so i may make more in different colours :) 

April is a reminder to use a ruler, as you can see my hand writing is skew whiff 

There weren't quite enough pink index cards, so i'm also using green, yellow and blue.

Pink for Valentines
Green and Yellow for spring months
and Blue for summer 
I must find some other colours for Autumn and Winter :)


And lastly, i've used more of the leftovers as a little birthday list :)



I LOVE drawing and giving birthday (and Christmas) cards, so if you like, you can let me know when your birthday is and i'll happily send you one :)
You can email me at : myempireofdirtgarden@gmail.com



Thank to Freecycle i also have a nice little computer desk with a cupboard below as extra (desperately needed ) storage

And my lovely highland cow Lucy has found a permanent home (after almost two years lol)
She was gifted in return for one of my paintings a few years ago 

Isn't she sweet? 






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