Hello again!

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Hello lovelies!

It's been such a long time since I last blogged, the past seven months have been a bit of a whirlwind but I am, at last, back.

The new job is working out fine however it didn't take long before I realised working full time whilst managing this place was not ever going to be easy. I persevered, thinking I would just work full time for a couple of years and then take a step back but several months in I knew two years was never going to happen. I requested going to part time hours, something I was very nervous about as I was still in my probation period, but thankfully they were open to the idea and gave me the option of cutting two days out of my working week and I started on the reduced hours last month.

Oh. My. Goodness.

This was a game changer. I now feel like I can get back on top of what's happening around our little acreage and on top of the issues I have with my ear, something that was impossible working 5 - 5 1/2 days a week. I'm not there yet, my ear is currently annoying the crap out of me and I'm still working to get on top of the garden after an extreme summer (will there ever be one that isn't anymore? I highly doubt it) and not spending a single minute in it over the entire growing season.

In February I squeezed in a weekend Introduction to Permaculture course my lovely little family enrolled me in for my christmas gift and this has changed my entire vision for our little plot. I've mulled it over constantly since then and recently decided to do the full Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) so have enrolled to do this in spring. Both courses were and will be at the wonderful Limestone Permaculture in the tiny hamlet of Stroud Road, about 1 hour 15 from home. If you haven't heard of it and have any interest in gardening or food production it's worth a look. There's tons of information about it online so a quick google search will have you enthralled.

The long work hours also meant very little knitting was done over the past 6 months, some, but not much, so I've also been able to pick my needles back up which makes my heart so incredibly happy. I even finished one project this morning and will share it as soon as it comes off the blocking mats.

All in all it's been a crazy seven months for me but life is starting to get a little closer to where I want it to be heading. Stay tuned to see more of our adventures, I promise it won't be another 6 months before you hear from me again.


Merry Christmas!

Friday, 28 December 2018

Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

If you didn't read that in Bowie's voice I'm not sure we can be friends. Hee hee.

Big changes are afoot at Homespun Headquarters. I have a new job! I'm sure some will think that's not that much of a big deal but in an age where people change jobs like changing their shoes I can still count on one hand the number of jobs I've had in the 30 years of my working life.

But the biggest change will be the change in hours as it is full time! Argh! I haven't worked full time since Miss 15 was in infants school. I think it's going to kill me. Or at least kill my feet.

So this also means I won't have as much spare time for doing things here on the little acreage. My gardening time will take a hit but at least with daylight savings starting this past weekend I will still be able to squeeze a little time in before it gets dark. My knitting time will also take a hit so I have promised myself that as this time will be so precious I will treat myself to only the yarns I really, really want, the beautiful hand dyed stuff instead of the commercial stuff. I'm a little excited about this bit.

I have taken a few weeks off between finishing the old and starting the new (oh how I will miss those gorgeous girls at the old!) I had huge plans for painting during this two weeks but we have had more rain in this 2 weeks than we have had for months and because we need the rain so desperately I'm not complaining. The first day of my holiday started in horrific circumstances, but I'll tell you all about it when I can bear to think about it without breaking down. But rest easy, we are all well here.

Talk soon.
R xx

Aisling Shawl

Monday, 17 September 2018

I realised I have quite a few knitted and crocheted items I haven't written about so expect a few crafty posts over the next couple of weeks.

I knit this shawl a few months ago for a lovely neighbour's birthday.

I vastly underestimated the amount of time it would take me to finish this, each lace repeat on the border took over an hour and that wasn't including the ridiculous amount of tinkling back as I made so many mistakes. Tinking lace back is crazy difficult and takes forever.

But it was such a lovely outcome. I used some bamboo yarn I bought a couple of years ago so the drape on it is just lovely.

Ravelled here.


Giant Granny Square Blanket

Friday, 14 September 2018

Oh my goodness, I’m a little in love with this one! Who doesn’t love a granny square blanket, don’t we all have one in our childhood?

This one is from a tutorial by Sandra from the Cherry Heart blog and I only made one change in the colour scheme, swapping a very pale peach for a more vintage, muted peach.

It is now gracing the back of the lounge in my studio (more on that in the next post) and it still needs a bit of a block and the ends woven in but let’s ignore that for a little bit longer shall we?

Details ravelled here.

Easiest and Best Ever Muffins

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Big call I know but they really are, as well as being ridiculously versatile. So many muffins out there are incredibly cake-like but a perfect muffin should be somewhere between bread and cake in texture. This is a recipe that has been in my family for as long as I can remember although I have made my own changes along the way and is a favourite Saturday morning wake up.

2 cups self raising flour
1/4 sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup milk
1 egg

Place the flour and sugar in a bowl and give a quick stir with a fork or whisk to ensure a lightly and fluffy mix.
Add milk and egg (in that order) to the melted butter and mix until well combined.
Add wet mix to dry mix and stir until combined, the mix will look quite lumpy but that's normal.
Gently stir in your favourite flavourings and then fill muffin tins approx 2/3 full. For sweet ones I also sprinkle a little raw sugar on top.
Bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes for small muffins and 20-30 for large ones.

Our favourite additions are:
Chopped bacon or ham and grated cheese
Grated apple and cinnamon
Chocolate chips
Chopped strawberries and white chocolate

If you have a favourite muffin flavour,  please let me know, I'd love to try some new ones.


Garden diary

Sunday, 12 August 2018

The loquats will be ready soon

The poor vegetable garden has been terribly neglected over the last few weeks as we spent almost every spare second building my studio (squee! more on that later) but this week I was able to spend a little time up there.

Most excitingly I have planted these very-hard-to-see sticks!

So they're not really sticks but raspberries! I ordered them a while ago and have been waiting rather impatiently for them to arrive and this week they did. I put them in one of the raised beds, no doubt they will need to be moved next year but for now I hope this spot will be adequate.

We still have 3 weeks of winter left and we had a severe frost a few weeks ago, so bad that some of the trees around the house were even damaged so I have very nervously planted some seeds in the shade house.

I have sown the following:
Tomatoes (Rouge de Marmande and Beefsteak)
Zucchini (black and green varieties)
Cucumbers (Lebanese, Crystal Apple and Long Supermarket)

I've had a bit of a problem with rodents eating my seedlings during the winter months and have taken some steps to prevent this happening again but it's a wait and see game.