Hello all out there in blogland. It has been very cold here, sometimes crisp and beautifully frosty but also that grey dampness which I think is particular to January that seems to penetrate down to your very bones. My poor feet are like mini icebergs! So we have been indulging in some cheery projects to keep warm and cosy.
Myself and the kids had great fun making this sweet little pom-pom garland from this cool tutorial.
I have to say that these are so quick to make and so cute they become highly addictive. Miss E is planning to make a necklace and a bracelet and O wants a scarf for his toy dog. I think a long garland made in shimmery whites and frosty blues would make a lovely Christmas decoration. (Sorry, the very mention of the C word at this time of year does make me wince! )
Candle-light is so necessary for me at this time of year, warming and atmospheric, I think just a couple of well-placed candles and tea lights manage to create that homely feel beautifully. We especially need a little bit of soft focus here as we have yet to re-paint the house after its re-plastering, so we have super smooth walls but in a monotonous grey all over! I was actually re-visiting my pinterest albums one evening when I saw this simple make. It is a good use for those nice but empty candle jars that hover around without a true purpose and for my bag of coffee beans bought in error.
Finally, it has been marmalade season, I just love the brevity of the availability of these gorgeous sour oranges because it make one very organized and single-minded for a change. Marmalade must be made immediately! My local independent green-grocer, who is I think, the only supplier of Seville oranges around here, announces their arrival on his Facebook page and oh my goodness if you don't get a move on and hightail it down to his shop very quickly they just disappear for a whole year. Little O threw a bold tantrum when last years supply ran out so he had a lovely time perched up on his high stool watching me completely ruin the stove by letting the pot boileth over and laboriously ladle litre and litres of hot Spanish sunshine into warmed jars.
I followed the Darina Allen recipe that I found in this rather annoying article - so why even mention that marmalade making 'also appeals to guys'? Is the ancient art of preserving supposedly a predominantly female girlish occupation, until a huge chopper is to be welded with masculinity? Certainly the 'guys' in my house do like to munch the marmalade on crusty toast but are quite content to leave all the arduous hours of peel slicing and pip-squeezing to me, perhaps my knives are disappointingly feminine...
Apologies, I digress. I would indeed recommend Darina Allen's recipe and especially the whiskey version but I would be a little more heavy handed with the uisce beatha as I cannot really taste the whiskey in my marmalade. So, what about you? Any crafty or foodie plans for the weekend? I hope this weekend is a lovely one for you and that all your plans turn out great! xxxx