Monday, 28 March 2011

Pearls, Pearls and then Some More Pearls

I did mention in passing a while ago that for my Mum’s birthday I made her a pearl necklace. This was entirely new to me and fortunately she loved it! And, my mother in Law loved it too. So much so that for her birthday she’s getting the same thing. (well, slightly differently but still a pearl necklace).

And while buying her pearls (the second I knew I got too excited and had to buy them right away) I also saw lots of lovely pearls that I liked.

So now I have her necklace, a bracelet for myself, and order from my mum for another necklace and bracelet set (made my the lovely pearls my bracelet is made from) and two up for sale on Folksy. And a whole lot more in a jar just waiting to be loved in to something new. (If only my packages from the states would arrive!)

Firstly, here are the two new ones I am selling. And remember I have a sale on until midnight!

And this is my Mother in Law’s new necklace (As of April 12th)

And my new bracelet.

Both of those lovely vintage clasps, by the way, were from this lovely lady at folksy!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Mother’s Day Sale

Indeed the title is not deceiving; I am having a Mother’s Day Sale of sorts. I say of sorts because it’s not actually on Mother’s day. It is in fact a whole week, starting now and finishing at midnight on Monday the 28th of March.

And there are two possible discounts. Either, free postage and packaging, or 10% off. If something’s purchased, I will select one of those that gives you the most off. No point having 10% off a sale of £9 when you could get £2 off! And if anyone feels the urge and spends £100, a mere £2 P&P pales into insignificance, and so they get a tenner off! :]

So, you can either message me before hand and I’ll make up a private listing, or just buy it and I’ll refund via paypal. (Though I’m not entirely sure how to do this, but it can’t be that difficult!) And it does apply to every single thing in my shop!

Hopefully it may help some people with Mother’s day gifts :]

so here are a couple of items that are for sale :]

Friday, 18 March 2011

Sad and Sulky Folksy Friday

So today I thought I had a genius idea for a blog. I’ve seen several people do an “alphabet” theme over a course of weeks, and I liked that idea. But to try and put a wee twist on it I thought I’d try and do a “Greek Alphabet” theme.

So I sat down today, full of ambition and hope looking for “Alpha” related things. Eventually, I gave up. I realised I was being quite ambitious here, and the more I thought about the rest of the alphabet the more my hope and ambition dwindled. I mean, omicron? What the hell would I do for that? I don’t speak any Greek so I don’t even have words to relate them to. No. Bad idea.

This realisation made me quite sad and pouty so you all go. A grey and miserable theme, but made of lovely Folksy items. (I really do like all the items in here, by the way. It’s the theme that’s grumpy. Not these items!)

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Veal Casserole

You can probably tell that I quite enjoy blogging about food, and recipes. But so far I have only indulged my sweet tooth. This is mainly because when people come to our house it’s “yaddah-yaddah-yaddah hurry up and eat this main course. Oh good! It’s dessert time!” I never intended to be good with desserts, it just happened. And strangely, I’m more of a savoury person. (That implies I don’t eat sweet foods. I do. A lot. But I’d choose a chicken over cheesecake for my desert island food.)

So, as we had a casserole last night I thought bugger it. I’ll blog about this today. Now I can literally hear some little moans. If you’re against veal (I like to try and use veal that’s as humanely kept as possible, where I can!) then just use chick thighs. (Yes thighs. Not breasts.)

This started when my parents brought us some lovely veal back from France (they take weekends to stock up on meats, and mushrooms and wine, and what not) and I had no idea what to do with it. So I chucked lots of things we liked in a pan, crossed my fingers and it was lovely :]

Normally, I see casseroles as winter food but my partner could have this all year round, every night of the week. In fact, he had it for tea last night, lunch today, and he’s getting it for tea tonight too! (And chances are tomorrow’s lunch as well….)

Stuff you’ll need. I estimate everything I cook so I’m afraid this is all a bit fo guess work!

Shallots (those long, large ones)
Garlic Oil
Sweet Potatoes
Pearl Barley
Lemon Thyme
An Orange
Concentrated Chicken Stock
Gigantes beans, in a jar in a tomato-y sauce from Sainsbury’s

The oven should be pre-heated to around 180 to 200 degrees. I’m not sure what gas mark that is? Sorry.

Firstly, you need to brown some veal, (preferably in a cast iron pan that can do the frying and the cooking) in some garlic oil.

And then fry two large shallots and 6 (trust me….) cloves of garlic in the same pan, in the lovely meaty juicey stuff.

Once all that’s done, you need to add the meat back to the pan and take off the heat. While they were frying I peeled two medium sweet potatoes and chopped them into large chunks. Add that to the pan and 4-5 small handfuls of pearl barley.

Then, I made 1¾ litres of stock to add. I juiced a whole orange in to the jug and I added the tomato sauce (or as much as I could get without adding the beans) from the gigantes beans, a large splash (or two) or port and 3-4 teaspoons of Knorr liquid chicken stock. I then topped this all up with boiling water, and poured over the stuff.

Give that a good mix up, and then add some black pepper (you don’t need salt, as the chicken stock is salty and you can always season at the end), sugar and the herbs. I added some lemon thyme whole and pulled some off, and added the rosemary whole.

Pop the lid on, and in to the oven!

(I was going to take a picture in the oven but it’s ridiculously dirty!)

Stir this occasionally. It should cook for around 2 hours.

After an hour, remove from the oven and add another 4-5 handfuls of pearl barley. It gives a nice difference in textures. I’m not sure if you then end up with some overdone pearl barley, and some perfectly cooked. Or if you end up with some perfectly cooked, and some a bit raw. But it tastes good :]

Ten minutes before it’s done, add the beans in. (That was just before the beans and just ignore the fact that I threw some all over the hob…..)

And there you go! Casserole :]

Enjoy! x

Friday, 11 March 2011

Geeky Folksy Friday

Again, I nearly forgot it was Friday! I was so involved in my programming (and by programming I mean “Four Weddings US”) that I nearly let it slip right on past me. I quite like forgetting it’s Friday because then Saturday takes me by surprise. But I miss the Folksy Fridays.

As I’m supposed to be programming, and I am a big geek anyway, I thought I’d do a computery/geeky/programming one.

Enjoy, and let your inner geek thrive :] x

And of course I needed to add one of my circuit boards in, too :]

Monday, 7 March 2011

Lovely Things

The intention of this blog was to merely show you my amazing nail patterns. But as I was taking photos I found something else to show you and then I remembered another thing. So just revel in the randomness!

My Lovely sunny daffodils in jars and bottles :]

The orchid I maimed the other week is flowering nicely in its vase! (Also, the picture for the orchid was taken a while after the original daffodils were taken. They didn’t just die within the hour.)

And my amazing zebra print nails, that my amazing boyfriend sat and patiently painted :]

It’s a bit chipped now though, as it was done on Friday and I’m hopeless for keeping nail varnish in tact.

Unfortunately, the lid on this lovely OPI Alpine Snow was not on properly and I lost most of a bottle to the coffee table. (The £5 Ikea table survived and I lost a nail varnish thrice the price. Hilarious.)

So nothing much, but there we are. The daffodils brightened up my Monday, at least :]

Sunday, 6 March 2011

My Senior Sunday Folksy Friday

So I had a senior moment this weekend. I entirely forgot it was Friday. This may not sound such an issue to most but recently I've started finding grey hairs. And wrinkles. And these senior moments seem to be happening a lot more recently. At 21, this is worrying.

But I intend to embrace maturity and age gracefully. (Mainly because I'm too lazy to prevent it.) So in celebration of my incredibly premature ageing, I want to do an "old theme" Folksy Friday. Today, on Sunday.

To be quite honest, I'm not that much of a high flyer. So yes I want a good job and I'm quite determined to get what I want in life. But I spend my evenings in floral aprons, the only thing close to alcohol to be drunk is slightly fermented orange juice, and getting a little over excited when I see Heston has a new series out. I do not see my later years spent skiing in the Alps (mainly because I hate skiing) or having odd orgies like they suggest in "Bendidorm" (the program). No. I see myself all snuggled up with my partner on a nice beach in the north of France, reading a book. Or taking wee day trips to the safari park and having a picnic amongst the peacock poo. Or having naps.

So these are items that come to mind when I think of my own old age.

(It wasn’t intentionally nearly all photography. I just happened to like a lot of them!) x