Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Short Break

I'm all of an excited tiz at the moment as not only am I going away for a couple of weeks to my beloved Cornwall, but on my return I am hoping to be taking part in the first Bath Artisan Market. On the back of the hugely successful Farmers Markets and Vintage & Antiques Fairs that take place at Green Park Station in Bath, the organizers of The Secret Tea Party are giving handmade and artisan products their time to shine. I have submitted my booking form and am very much looking forward to hearing if I have got a place at the fair.
The first market, which is going to be held on the 2nd Sunday every month, is being run in conjunction with The Great Bath Feast 2012 on October 14th. This is a month long event celebrating all that is mouth-wateringly great about the South West.

Green Park Farmers Market - photo by ethical property

Anyway, whilst I am waiting to hear I am going to be soaking up the sea air in St Ives. I will let you know all about my rambling around the cobbled streets and cliff tops and visits to the Tate when I get back. 
Until then, check out these wonderful places where you can find vintage treats and handmade & home grown delights. Just click on the photo's to find out more...
Secret Tea Party

Bath Farmers Market

Vintage & Antiques Market

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

September Love part 2

Yesterday I had to pop in to town for a few supplies and I got the chance to do a few of my favourite things. It was a crisp autumn day so I grabbed a soy hot chocolate, wandered around to the Abbey courtyard and started people watching whilst listening to some of the many buskers that play in the city centre each day. 

Tucked in a corner of the courtyard, I love sitting and soaking up the life going on around the Abbey. There are tourists wandering around eyes heavenward, kids chasing the pigeons, suits grabbing lunch and musicians and acrobats milling about waiting for their turn to do a show. You are always guaranteed to see something unexpected, and yesterday was no exception. Just as I was watching the local healing group talking to those who need a little comfort, singing could be heard in the distance. Suddenly, a large group of Regency clad Americans came in to view singing in harmony. It turned out they were a touring show here for the Jane Austen Fest which takes place each year. They just calmly wandered past chatting and singing, and that's what I love about Bath, the random things that make you smile.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

September Love

What a lovely start to the autumn season! Those who know me well, know that September is my favourite time of year. The light around Bath is beautiful and catches the Bath stone in a way that makes it glow golden.
During this season, when I'm not working away in my shed, I can usally be found donning my cute Joules french navy wellies (they tie with a gossamer bow, what's not to love?) and heading out to the fields to forage.

haw berries

There is nothing better than finding trees and hedges groaning under the weight of fruit that has been soaking up the sun all summer. Now, this year hasn't been great for fruit and veg (wild or cultivated) so the harvest is minimal, but this week I found a great selection for using good old Pam 'the jam' Corbins hedgerow jelly. You can basically put in any hedgerow edibles to capture the flavours of autumn and for mine I found elderberries, sloes, haws and of course blackberries. To add pectin and bulk it out a bit I also used some cooking apples. Below is the recipe taken from The River Cottage handbook...

Will make seven or eight 225g jars
1kg foraged crab apples (or cooking apples)
1kg mixed hedgerow berries
Around 900g granulated sugar
Pick over your fruit, removing stalks and leafy bits and rinsing the berries. Don't peel or core the apples, just chop them roughly. Place all the prepared fruit in a large saucepan with 1.2 litres of water.
Bring gently to simmering point. Simmer until all the fruit is soft and pulpy. Remove from the heat.
Turn the contents of the pan into a scalded jelly bag or muslin cloth. Leave to drip into a bowl overnight. the jelly will turn cloudy if you squeeze the juice through, so just let it drip at its own pace.
The next day measure the juice - you will probably have about 1.2 litres, though this will depend on the berries you used. For every 600ml of juice, allow 450g of sugar.
Put the juice in a large pan and bring slowly to the boil. Add the sugar as it comes to the boil. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Then boil rapidly without stirring for for 10 mins or until setting point is reached.
Skim the jelly and pot and seal as quickly as possible. Use within 12 months.
The jelly that I made turned out well and will be enjoyed with hot buttered toast, scones and maybe for a Sunday roast sauce, yum!

Enjoy xx

Saturday, 8 September 2012

I've neglected you rotten!!!!!

Well it is fair to say that I have been more than a little rubbish on the blog front. I really want to make this a place that people want to come and find a little joy, but over the last couple of months it just hasn't been possible. I have been concentrating on my business and getting a range of jewellery together that I can feel excited about showing the world, so I hope I can be forgiven for not making any new posts.
I think I will need to be more realistic about the amount of time I can put into my blog, but I am going to try and share with you my thoughts and new finds as much as I can. Just follow me any way you like to hear when I've got something new to show you (only if you want to obviously!).

So, here is the reason I have not been on here, my workshop and what it produces....

my workshop

 This is my sanctuary where I spend most of my days. I really love this space.
"we're all mad here" 
"the time has come the walrus said...."

silver heart pendant
the peabird pendant
Many of my pieces feature quotes from favourite books and songs, my 'I want a fairy tale' series takes quotes from stories like Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

This is just a small selection, I hope you like them xx
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