About Me

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antrim, antrim, Ireland
Hello and welcome to my blog. If you like flowers and gardens, housey stuff, food and banter, then this is the place for you. I am a decorative artist, florist and maker of things. I sell painted furniture, plants and crafts, through a local retail shop, in my native Ireland, and wedding flowers from home. I am married to a lovely patient man and have a smashing little girl. I blog for the fun of it. Thank you for listening.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Making things

from here
I love this quote, it's just how I feel. I have been enjoying making things without the pressure of having to sell them, simply for the joy of creating something. Here's what I've been up to..........

I painted some paper with cupcakes, coffee beans, ice-cream cones, I don't know what for, just for the hell of it.

I made Elvis Presley's favourite ice-cream......Peach.......it's not the usual custard based ice-cream, basically just pureed peaches and cream and it's pure summer heaven!
I made Peach Cake with Butterscotch Sauce......very naughty!...................

My husband doesn't like jam, so I make him Lavender jelly in the summer and Crabapple and Clove jelly in the winter. I love making jelly, I don't have a jelly bag, so I do it the old fashioned way by turning a kitchen chair upside down and tying a muslin hammock to the legs and straining the juices overnight into a bowl. Then I boil up the juice with the sugar and it gives me such a thrill when it is bottled to see the sunlight passing through the jewel-like jelly, as in the picture below..............

from here.
I had borrowed a book from the Library by Poppy Treffry. I have often seen her handmade goods featured in magazines and longed for one of her coffee cosies. So, I thought I would make myself one. Hers as you will see below are tall and thin, but my coffee pot has a protuding handle, so I had to alter the shape. Poppy's work is machine embroidered, but that would be my idea of hell, so I appliqued and embroidered by hand. I am rather pleased with how it turned out, especially as it was made entirely from recycled material.

It's not as finely sewn an article as I know many of you talented bloggers can produce, but it's fun and has personality I figure. Finally, I had a little go at crochet, it's everywhere you look at the moment, and in such vibrant colours, it's very appealing. I used to be able to do crochet, many many years ago, but had forgotten how, but with a little help from a magazine, I am off and running. Not too sure what I will make, a throw is a bit of a big first project, perhaps a scarf?

Last but not least, I dried some artichokes. I had hoped that they would just dry, sitting in a bowl, but no, one or two went mouldy. I then put them on a double radiator and kept turning them to dry them out completely. They are a bit browner than I would have liked, but still have the lovely purple colouring. This morning when I looked at them I couldn't believe my eyes, as the largest one had grown vibrant lilac tips to the centre part overnight, it looks fabulous, I just hope it's not some kind of mould! I think perhaps a more successful way to dry them would be in some kind of dessicant, or silica gel. If anyone has any tips, I would be grateful.



Thankyou to all of you who are kind enough to leave comments, I love receiving them, love Linda x.


  1. Hello Linda:
    You make us seem a couple of very lazy, incompetent tarts. Which is about right really!

    Oh, Linda, there is so much in this post we love but, above all, it is the coffee cosy. It is, as a friend of ours would say, seriously fab! After that we should stock up on some of your wonderful looking, and we are certain delicious tasting, jelly. So clear, so perfect. Where did you learn to make it? And surely you are the last person in the world to take the trouble to turn up chairs, apply muslin bags, and wait overnight. But, the results...!

    Tell your husband that the rest of the world has to make do with Bonne Maman!!

  2. Thanks for the book review. I had never heard of her before!! I just looked at her website and LOVE all of the goodies on there, so have just popped onto Ebay and bought the book!!! Happy Sewing xx

  3. Oh heavens that is so inspiring Linda! I have misplaced my creative mojo - dunno where I put it - and seeing all that you have done might be the thing that helps me find my way again. All of what you have done is awesome.

    I have that Poppy Treffry book - it was one of my birthday presents last year - and I made about 10 coffee pot cozies. I loved doing it so much I couldn't stop. Your one is brilliant. Don't knock it, it is FAB..

    And, I think I have the same (or very similar) peach cake recipe. I used to make that often in a previous life - I love it - especially if I make the sauce all thick and fudgy - but my hubby doesn't like it so I don't make it anymore. It would be just me eating it and we can't have that, can we !! :)

    And as for the crochet. Well. I simply have to try it again. I have attempted it previously but made such a dog's breakfast of it that I gave up but I think I wimped out and must be firmer with myself.

    Excellent stuff, you clever thing.

  4. Wow!You HAVE been very productive! I love the sound of the lavender jelly! I had never heard of it before. Sounds yum! Cx

  5. Wow, how creative you are!

    lavender jelly and cake and drawings ...

    Enjoy your day!

  6. Oh Dear Linda ~ I had to read and re-read this wonderful post, not truly believing that you actually created ALL THAT! You are absolutely amazing! You paint, you sew, you bake, you crochet ... and the list goes on ~ what a dear gifted lady you are! I had to look twice at what paintings you were referring to ~ certainly not supposing those sweet little ones that very much resembled designer gift-wrap!! And as for your baking, jelly-making, crochet and coffee-cosy ... your wonderful creations ALL looked like they've come straight from gourmet cook books and craft books! Absolutely amazing ~ You truly are so gifted and talented! And as for those artichokes ~ what a brilliant idea ~ they look wonderful ~ who'd have thought they'd sprout that gorgeous purple hue?! Such a wonderful post, you dear clever lady! Love Brenda xo ~ PS Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my last post ~ I didn't know about using glycerine! Thank you! :)

  7. Dear Linda, there appears to be no end to your amazing talents! I am totally in awe of all your creations. I get in a panic when my husband has lost a button on a shirt, so would not have a clue where to start with painting, making peach ice cream and jelly (upside down chairs... genius!) not to mention your handy work with needles. I have dried flowers though, but not attempted an artichoke, which is a brilliant idea. A wonderful and inspiring post, thank you for sharing all your ideas.
    Thank you for your kind comments on my post. You always take the time to visit, and I am very grateful that you do :)
    Have a great week. Love Abby x

  8. Oh my goodness me, Linda. You certainly put me to shame with all those multi-talented things that you have been up to! I love them all, and, by the way, can I please come and live with you?! Lavender jelly, peach cake, peach icecream and butterscotch sauce. I am literally sat here drooling over my laptop, and I am very envious that you can do all these things. Hugs to you.

  9. This post show's your real passion to beautiful things:)

    I love the Quote I guess I should adopt that:)

  10. My oh my you have been a busy girl!!
    Love your painted paper - very summery!
    That peach cake and sauce looks delicious, and your jellies such a pretty colour - i made grape jelly last year with our grapes for the first time. Shall def do again.
    Love the embroidered applique coffee pot cover - so pretty, well done!
    And crochet too - is there no end to your talents!!! Is looking good!
    Lovely creative post!
    Gill xx

  11. Linda, I am so impressed with all you have made. Jelly making, crocheting, painting, making a coffee cosy and drying artichokes...Wow, you have been busy! I would feel proud if I had just accomplished one of your projects. Just doing the blogpost is a big feat to me. The colors you chose for your crochet project are such a pleasant combination. I like them. I am so sorry I gave an afghan away to Goodwill many years ago that I crocheted. The colors, orange, green and white were dated at the time but all that work ! I should have kept it only because I spent so much time on it.

    I like the "things I love on your sidebar".

  12. You have an amazing wealth of talents. I am now sadly regretting pruning my crabapple quite so harshly, there will be no fruit this year. Your jelly looks amazing and I bet it tastes gorgeous.
    I have the same pattern for the crochet blanket that my mum saved for me from Woman's Weekly. It really is very pretty and you look like you are on a good roll with your squares so why not go for it!
    You coffee pot cozy is divine, I just LOVE it!
    Becky x

  13. Hi there!!

    Love the quote.. Very inspiring :) Also, that cake that you made looks so good! Oh, wish I could have a slice :(


  14. Goodness, you've been a bust bee! Love the coffee pot cosy - Poppy Treyfry's stuff is lovely. I remember the muslin bag / upturned stool scenario from years ago when I used to make lots of jelly! Abby x

  15. Thanks for your lovely comment Linda.
    Was the first time i'd ever made jelly rather than jam, and like you i turned a stool upside down and set up a straining contraption - a bit Heath Robinsonish!
    But i didnt get that lovely clarity that you achieved, but it still tastes fine!
    Must try crabapples as we have a tree and i picked loads last year then never got time to make it and there was a wicked waste of fruit.
    That cake and sauce does look good - where could i find the recipe Linda?
    Gill xx

  16. Lovely Linda, you always pop back to my blog to say thank you for my comment on your post, and then leave more nice comments for me too. I find it very touching that you do.
    All the comments from your readers are so well deserved, you really are a very talented lady!
    Enjoy the rest of the week. Love, Abby xx

  17. Oh Linda - you have been burning the midnight oil. Such creativity and variety. That lavender jelly would be top of my list in the food category. I also love your sewing, painting and crocheting. Artichokes are fascinating. I once saw a field of them growing in California and it was absolutely spectacular - they had the purple flower like yours.

    Keep creating

  18. Goodness, I thought you were taking it easy!! Do you sleep lady?
    Those artichokes looks pretty amazing dried.

  19. Hello Linda

    I have so enjoyed reading your post today. I too have used an upside-down stool to hang muslin when making jelly. However, I have never even heard of lavender jelly. I know that rose petal jelly is usually based on apple - is this true for lavender too?


  20. What a lovely creative post! I love your painted papers, they are so pretty and make gorgeous backgrounds too. And your coffee cosy is brilliant - I love the way you've designed and stitched it, and I too much prefer hand embroidery and applique. And lavender jelly - how perfect that sounds, and the beautiful clear jewel shades of the jars - I must try that one day. Have a happy crafty day!
    Helen x

  21. That tea pot cosy is so charmingly pretty! And that peach cake looks out-of-this-world delicious.

  22. this is what I call a productive girl!!! congrats you are so talented!!! love everything from the very first picture to the last one!!! a big kiss sweetie!

  23. Hi Linda! Thanks for your comment! I would love to have the recipe when you have time, as it is just the sort of thing I know my daughter would love, moist with fruit and with a naughty sauce - i feel she really deserves a pud like that after shes been working so hard with her exams - only 2 more to go on Friday and shes all done!
    Yes I must try the crab apple jelly this year - lets hope I get a good crop like the ones i wasted last year!
    have a great day!
    Gill xx

  24. I love the first quote! I'm going to put it in my quote file! Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing me to yours. Lovely posts and ideas! Followed you back.


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