Baby its cold outside!

It seems that January is flying by, and already we are halfway through it!  The remenants of Christmas still surround us, but the mince pies have now all been consumed, and all that is left is chocolate coins, a couple of bowls of nuts, and a  mournful foil wrapped reindeer! The nuts will be shelled and stored for making crunchy biscuits, and I might get Jessie to make a string or 2 of the monkey nuts for the bluetits. After all, its soon time to do the RSPB  Big Garden Birdwatch , which is such a great activity for kids.  And with  the weather having taken a turn for the cooler, and  the last few mornings having seen a sharp frost outside,  we  need to help our little feathered friends out as much as we can. One of the main things people forget, is to make sure to put fresh water out every day as the birds can`t get to natural water sources, which often freeze up. We have a big staghorn tree outside the kitchen in the yard, which makes a great feeding station for the little tweeters, but we utilize any surface really to feed pigeons, blackbirds, lots of finches and bluetits, and we even get the odd robin!

feeder tree (and a heap of shedbuilding stuff!)

Anyway, what has been going on in our homestead? Well, although its wintery now, it will soon be festival time, and so we need to start thinking about booking our pitches for this year. With the tax return dealt with before Christmas, I have started looking forward to stock making, and have done a little bit already. Whitby Gothic Weekend will probably be the first on our list this year, at the end of April, then we are thinking of a bob over to Derby for Bearded Theory as punters to see what it`s like, then Wychwood Festival in June, then a favorite of ours, Worthenbury Blues festival in early July, then hopefully we can find a nice one to slot in for August . That is so far. I hope we can eventually get to somewhere different every weekend of the summer- but I do have to take time in between to make stock- so its tricky…

Obligatory `ethnic handicrafts' for the summer stall. I can buy em in, but I always like to make some of my own. Its more honest I think.

I have  been asked to participate once more in Jessie`s school `world of work’ week, to show the kids the sort of stuff I make and work on. This year they have opened the invitation to parents too, as a few of the local further education places will be in attendance to drum up some custom! Last year I took a rail of assorted garments- nothing to wild, plus my design book, sketch book, sewing machines and patterns- so the kids could get the feel of what is involved in dressmaking. I just need to think of some kind of giveaway freebie thing. Maybe an activity sheet or something.

This time of year is always one of resolutions. Well, as I quit the ciggies back in July last year, this years resolve must be to shift some excess blubber- especially seeing as that is the result of the previous resolution!  To get this going, I have been trying to start the beach walks again, and although the sun was out, the sand on the dunes still had frost on them!

Razz in her leopard coat

 I still need to stop snacking, but- well, I dunno if you are like me, but when the weather is cold, my body seems to cry out for nibbly things and stodge. Maybe this hails back to some prehistoric trait of our ancestors, who no doubt bulked up against the bitter winter chill. Or maybe I am just a bit of a greedy stodgemeister!  Either way, its a battle of the bulge!

Dont look into its eyes! It will draw you into its chocolatey web !!

 These are mostly Jessie`s Chocolates from Crimbo I hasten to add. Me and Paul have a tin on the side with museli bars, low fat cookies and bags of mixed fruit in- but the lure of the choc sometimes is too strong! 🙂

Anyway, what else do I have to report?

 Oh yeah, I quite often get asked to do other styles of dressmaking other than my alternative stuff. I was asked by a playgroup called `Seren Bach’ if I could possibly make them some Hi- Viz vest/Tabards for the kids- and so I did, and here is our little Jessie modelling one for my scrapbook photos..

Hi Viz kids tabards

 The stars were a bit of a brainwave before I even  knew of the nursery name- which is `Little Star’ in welsh. I sometimes wonder if  i`m psychic!  The customer loved them, and asked to retain my details for future use! Yay for satisfied customers!

I have also been out in the garden- and well, I only got one flowerbed weeded out, but its a start! The sweetpeas and all the old shrivvely tomato stalks have now been fed to the compost monster, and the soil is bare pretty much. The Rhubarb is just starting to show now, so I need to get my thinking head on as to what to plant out this year. We have big plans for raised beds, a shed for me, and a good old sort out garden wise once the weather gets warmer, but for now, I will have to dream…

wishful gardening in Paint!

 Until next time…


~ by Zoe on January 17, 2012.

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