Thursday, May 21, 2009

Flowers, strawberries and... vinegar?

Hello again! Thanks for all your lovely comments. I had a productive day yesterday, posting off my Sweet Tweet Swap parcel to Ele in the USA, and the Auld Alliance Giveaway to Olga in Poland. I learned a lot too - Olga is originally from Belarus - I told you she is well travelled.

For those who aren't sure how to pick up my award, I know the feeling! I finally discovered that you just right click on the picture, click 'save as' and use it exactly as you would a photo in your post or on your side bar. But it took me a while to work that out... My lessons were all cancelled yesterday, as my private pupils were in school (usually, Wednesday is a sports and outside activities day for children in French primary schools). Son 1 had the afternoon off as usual, being in secondary school, but he was my only company all day... I got sewing, taking my small sewing basket to his piano lesson with me. When I glimpsed it inside our modern(ish) car I realised how vintage everything in it is!
My mother and I both collected, and used, vintage sewing items through the 1980s. We had a natural division of the spoils - she prefers more elegant, 'Edwardian Lady' type pieces, while I have always loved the 1930s 'Milly Molly Mandy' flowers... I'll try to get some photos of her vintage sewing things when I'm in Edinburgh next month.My little sewing project for the day was fabric flowers. So many of you have been asking 'what are you going to do with all those buttons?' that I thought I'd better get started! I quite like these, although if any of you has a pattern for something more realistic I'd be interested to try it. I think I'll use them at my 40th birthday Garden Party (more on that soon...)Whilst both boys were enjoying the pool in the sunny early evening, I got round to cleaning out the fire. It's our only real source of heat throughout the winter, and we lit it several times in April to dry out soggy cyclists and wet clothes when we had a spell of bad weather. Therefore, I'm always reluctant to put it into summer mode too quickly - but now is the time!French fires have a wonderful glass door which allows you to keep the fire burning all night without risk. By the end of the winter the glass looks like this:But I have a secret weapon:
Spot the gingham, Sarah!

Once everything was clean, I stacked up some pretty logs (including ones from our poor fallen tree) and some pine cones, and shut the glass doors until autumn.
Before I got vinegary, I finally baked the wonderful shortbread recipe that Sumea's friend Betty gave her. I totally recommend it, as do the rest of the family!We ate it with strawberries, peaches and cream or ice cream of choice...It being strawberry season, Ben got making jam again...Sticky kitchen season starts again - it's another long weekend here for us, and we'll be cherry picking tomorrow!

22 comments:

Melanie said...

Lovely post. I tried making blackberry jam last autumn, following a recipe from the net, but the recipe had too much sugar in it, and said let it boil for way to long, the result, my blackberry jam turned into blackberry boiled sweets! xxxx

Elizabethd said...

Mmmm, jam! Our garden strawberries are looking pretty good, but not ready yet. Gooseberries, however, are. i have to go and pick a million.

Jeannette said...

That fireplace looks so pretty with the logs.
And look at Ben....what a perfect husband. Does he also make jam from the cherries?
So yummie...homemade jam!
Have a great long weekend, Jeannette

Sarah said...

How lovely, you can't beat homemade jam. Love the little fabric flowers.
x

Jackie said...

Your shortbread looks lovely - I'm sure it didn't last very long! I have seen the recipe on Sumea's blog and will need to give it a try myself :O)

Mrs. Cozy Home said...

That shortbread looks amazing!!

It's something small, but I love seeing French packaging -- the vinegar glass bottle is actually really pretty!

Love the jam making!!!

Floss said...

PS - has anyone spotted Chanel, sitting at the window behind Ben? Two handsome males...

Lululiz said...

Hi Floss, your fireplace looks wonderful, filled with logs and pinecones. The French fireplaces are just the best, superefficient and they look great, too.

The shortbread looks very yummy, and its making me drool, how very naughty of you to post pics of something so delicious!

And as to fabric flowers, these instructions are quite easy to follow and make for a lovely, full and fluffy flower - http://www.ehow.com/how_4420861_make-fabric-flowers-.html. x

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Sounds like you have been busy. That shortbread looks yummy and you could put a little jam it also. :) Awww - Lot at the sweet kitty.
Glenda

Glenda/MidSouth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenda/MidSouth said...

I can't type very good today. That should be - put a little jam on it also. And look at the sweet kitty - not lot. My coffee has not kicked in yet! :-)

Sarah said...

Hi Floss
Thanks for letting me know about the hankies on your post. I've just had a read and a drool at the lovely embroidery on them. I wish they were made like that now!
x

A Thrifty Mrs said...

Cor you have been busy.
I am looking forward to making jam this summer too.
Thanks for showing us your pretties.

Melanie said...

Hi Floss, just to let you know about the book swap, I have listed a load of books on from Deb (this vintage life), and also, if there are any of my books you would like, or any of Deb's books you would like, you can swap us anything at all for them, it does not have to be a book for a book, it can be a book for anything, so take a look, you may find abook you really want on there.
Would you like to do this also, or do you just want to swap your books for books? xxxx

Melanie said...

I may be mistaken, but in your email I'm sure you gave me a list of books you would like from me, well, you can have them my dear, for anything in return. xxxxx

Lace hearts said...

Oh, goodness, I was drooling over the incredible embriodery, and then you have to bring up a pic of a fabulous shortbread. What have you done to me tonight! Wonderful stuff. x

Olga said...

Hey hey, I see you had another lovely day :)The wood looks so beautiful piled up in your fireplace, it is so much better than just leaving it empty... Lovely family pictures and the sewing kit is very nice - they gave me this comfy-family holiday sort of mood - very positive. I love your posts - always pure positive emotions :) Keep it up! (Is Chanel a man? - got a bit puzzled there :D)

Josie-Mary said...

Sounds like a perfect day, the fire looks lovely with logs in. enjoy the jam making :)

Olga said...

Sorry, I mean 'male' not 'man'! I could tell it was a cat behind the window, but the name 'Chanel' made me think of a female... :)

Floss said...

Yes, everyone thinks 'Chanel' should be a female name, including the French. I guess that our former neighbours, who named him, couldn't tell what gender he was as a kitten! There is a whole post's-worth of stuff about Chanel's history - I shall let you know more about his half tail one of these days...

Laura said...

Wonderful pictures....strawberry jam....yummy! and there's something about a cute guy in an apron! Thanks for stopping by and leaving kind words...I always look forward to your comments! Have a great night....
Warm regards, Laura

Sarah said...

Oooh I love the embroidered antique pieces. Your flowers are looking very sweet too. Great idea for scraps too. Homemade strawberry jam - you can't beat it! Love the gingham jar lids of course. That gingham really does get into everything doesn't it?