Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day!

....... and here it is ..... decorated and with candles alight on Christmas Day!

We had a fantastic Christmas. Not because we had a wonderful tree and lots of presents, or because we had plenty of special things to eat. It was fantastic because we are truly blessed to have each other. I have a wonderful family, for which I am truly thankful. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our Tree!

Lucy and Luke went out at the weekend to find our Christmas tree. This is it folks! This is the one they decided on. As you can imagine, I was a little unnerved when they arrived home with it, however we did manage somehow, and it is now standing in our living room. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is it Christmas yet?

Well I have had my hands full just lately. Both my girls have had the flu with soaring temperatures. I have been been running around with a thermometer in hand, mopping brows and holding hands and giving cuddles ... my favourite bit!

I have made the most of Luke's presence this weekend, I have started to unpack some of our Christmas decorations. These are a real kishmish. Old and new, things we have collected year by year. Some handmade with our fair hands. Nothing matching. These are a particular favourite of mine, a part of one of my many collections, Father Christmas babushkas. They are very old and the paint is chipped in places. I love their unusual shape, and the raised texture to the paint on the largest Father Christmas.

What is your most cherished Christmas decoration?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Visit Home.

I have just returned from a trip home to England. A trip to England means catching up with all of my friends and family. Above is a photograph of my mother and my dear Aunt (left) who died unexpectedly at the tender age of 49. Had she still been alive it would have been her 60th Birthday during my trip, it meant that Sam and I were able spend the day together and do the things my Aunt so loved. I miss her.

I surprised my mum. I arrived on her doorstep with a bunch of flowers and a big smile. I think it took her a good thirty seconds to realise that it was indeed me. It had been almost a year since I had last seen her. Above is a photograph of us together during a family holiday to Sardinia.

Sam and I went to visit our Auntie Ann. It was wonderful to see her. Here she is with our Grandfather (left), cutting the cake on her twenty first Birthday ..... both looking very bonnie!

I spent lots of time with Sam and her family, it was the best time. Here we are on my 8th Birthday, Sam looking glorious and happy in the red, and me looking grumpy in the pink. I do believe the magician had just asked me to part with my watch for one of his tricks!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Deer in the Garden

This was the view from my kitchen window yesterday. The onset of Winter means the local wildlife come closer to the house in search of food. Can you spot them? It always amazes me just how big their ears are ..... all the better to hear you with ......

PS. If you click on the image it will enlarge it! You can even make out the big wet nose of the deer in the foreground! Blogger won't allow me to post it any bigger.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Colour of Autumn

What does Autumn mean to you? For me it means the last of the late Autumn raspberries, as tasty as the summer varieties and so very beautiful to look at. The children and I run down to our kitchen garden with basket in hand, our intentions good. We leave empty handed, little mouths and tummies crammed full of the tastiest fruit imaginable. I would love to share a well loved recipe but we never get that far. My advice ..... pick, pop in mouth ....... and savour!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Etsy Project Embrace

Fantastic news! Etsy Project Embrace now has official Etsy team status. An enormous big thank you to everybody who made it happen, especially Kristin of loveartworks, thanks Kristin!

Etsy Project Embrace began in support of Laura Slocum of lauraslocumpainted. Laura was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she has recently received news from her Doctor that she is now cancer free and in remission ... the very best news.

Etsy Project Embrace aims to raise money for cancer research and promote awareness in support of Laura.

A big thank you to everybody, and enormous big hugs for Laura, an inspiration to us all.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Twins

Let me introduce you to our twins Squiggle and Sashy.

We have three cats. Humbug is the eldest at 8 years old, quite a madam and a tough cookie. Sashy and Squiggle are the babies. At the moment they are having a rough time, a nasty big Tom has been hanging around, chasing them and picking fights .... the big bully! They have suffered a variety of scrapes and bites, and we have been visiting the vets on a regular basis for the last month. My poor babies! It is quite traumatic for us all, but at least they are close and have each other.

Postscript... Any advice as to what we might do to discourage this Tom from hanging around would be gratefully received, thank you!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Would you like to help with harvest ....?

This is where my husband Luke spends all of his time at the moment, in the driving seat of a combine harvester. I am not sure how he manages this for the hours he does as after twenty minutes in the cabin I start feeling dizzy and my eyeballs have dried out from the air conditioning. There is something incredibly hypnotic about the header turning and the dust and chaff floating out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Special Moment.

Where does the time go? In a couple of weeks Ellie will be 3 and starting kindergarten. I should be tackling my huge pile of ironing, but instead I am going through old photographs and videos. I found this one of big sister Lucy with her new baby sister. This was taken in the hospital the day after Ellie was born. How precious they are. In the past I have sometimes found myself wishing time away, and now I want to hang on to every special moment.

Busy Bee.

Well I have been such a busy bee, and I just haven't had the time for blogging. Our weather has been rather lousy and my children have been tetchy. My shop may be an internet shop but, as a lot of you know, this still takes lots of time and effort. So the children will be at kindergarten from September 1st and I will have some time to myself for the first time in 6 years ..... wow!

So hopefully I will have more time for blogging and such like very soon. In the meantime I just wanted to share this photograph with you. Real fresh honeycomb. Luke arrived to one of his fields one day to find some hives just plonked in the middle of it! When the owner arrived to pick up his hives he gave Luke a whole tray of honeycomb .... yummy! I do so wish I was as eloquent as my friend Kathi, then I might begin to describe just how incredible it tastes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Please vote for my little bee!

Well, I am VERY excited, over the moon in fact, I have been included for the first time ever in an Etsy voter!!! So please would you go and vote here ...... voter. Thank you my friends!!!!
Oh and .... whooooooo hoooo!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

E is for Ellie - Assemblage by Lucy.

At the moment we are having a few essential things done by some builders. They are lovely chaps but they are fairly messy. Work tools and equipment litter my lawn and veranda, I have to pick my way carefully through it all everytime I venture out of my door.

Today Lucy ventured outside under strict instructions not to touch any machinery or tools. I peeped my head out of the door after two minutes, only to discover she had assembled some of their detritus with some leaves she had picked from a willow.....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Etsy Project Embrace

♡Etsy Project Embrace♡

Do you know Laura? ( / ) This is a photo of Laura with her son Drew. Laura has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has just started chemo. You can read more about her on her profile page.

This is what Laura would like to say ...........

I believe that you must play the hand you’re dealt. Six weeks ago, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. My mom died from the same. I am a huge believer in eating right, exercising, and getting regular checkups. I’ve done all those things, yet, I have cancer. WOW. That’s a life-changing situation, for sure. I just turned 46 …. (a very very young 46!) Strangely, I feel blessed. Most everyday of these 6 weeks, I’ve had a smile on my face. I’m going to play the hand I’ve been dealt in the best and most positive way I know how. I’m so fortunate my boys are older, they drive, they can do laundry and help around the house. There will always be some people in this world who have it better and some who have it worse. That’s just life.

I’ve been an Etsy addict since around this time last year, when I started doing treasuries. My sister Jenn, of jennreese7 and my niece Kelly, of SweetnessJewelry, are also crazy about Etsy. The one thing I’ve learned in the past year is that Etsy has made it a point to have their competing sellers be friends through promoting each other in the treasuries. That sounds kind of funny, but, on the quest to have the “coveted” FP, we create treasuries, we comment on other treasuries, we “convo” people all over the world to congratulate them on their successes, and we make friends. Aren’t we supposed to be competing for sales?? Well, maybe some things are just more important than sales. From the moment I had a diagnosis, while still in the hospital, my Etsy friends were first on the scene – building treasuries just for me, wishing me well, offering advice, sending gifts, and a few have gone so far as to donate proceeds to the American Cancer Society in my
honor!! Just to remind you………these are people ....I’VE NEVER MET! They have completely gone out of their way to be a friend or try to put a smile on my face. I now even talk to some of them on the phone! Now, I’m not talking 2 or 3 friends, I’m talking like 30 or 40! Some people just have checked my profile and offer words of encouragement! The first day that we learned about my chemo and all the ‘ins and outs’, the ‘goods and bads’, etc., my husband went online to search for support groups. He said to me that night, “I will never do that again, I was so depressed that I had to get off the computer” I said, in reply, “I don’t need support groups, I all need are my friends on Etsy”! They lift me up on a daily basis.

It is Sunday. Tomorrow morning, I will leave my house at 7:30 am for my first round of chemo. I will have an IV drip for about 6 hours and be home around 5:00 pm. I will do that again on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday. then again on the following Monday. I look forward to 8 months of that chemo schedule, followed by another year of some form of maintenance chemo.

There are 4 things I know for sure:
1. I am a Christian and I believe God has a plan for me.
2. I believe in myself to do the very best I can do and try to help others in the process by getting my story out there.
3. I have the most wonderful and supportive husband, family and friends.
4. Logging onto Etsy everyday and hearing from my friends will keep this smile on my face, no matter what I am going through.


Some friends and I have started a project, we aim to raise money for cancer research and promote awareness in support of Laura. We are calling the project 'etsyprojectembrace'.

If you would like to be a part of etsyprojectembrace you could donate the profits or percentage of profits from one or more listings to the American Cancer Society. Add the tag 'etsyprojectembrace' to the listing (or listings) and mention the project and reason for it in your listing description/s.

If you have any questions, or any ideas as to how you could help further then please feel free to convo me or Amy at ThePeachTree.

♡♡♡A huge big thank you to all of you who are already taking part in Etsy Project Embrace♡♡♡


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Bit of a Builder.

My mother-in-law Vizma, and father-in-law Anthony have arrived in Latvia from the UK. They have renovated the main farm house and a few of the surrounding buildings and plan to move in to it gradually. Anthony is a very talented architect, he refers to himself as 'a bit of a builder'. The first photograph is of a barn he designed, all the materials of which were sourced on our farm.

And what about this for a roof? I love what he did here with one of the farm buildings.

These next photographs are of the main house.

They have had a few things shipped out from the UK, although they have yet to unpack everything. One of the first things they unpacked was this amazing garden seat. I love this red against the greens of the garden.
The children were more keen on this ..... a really special wagon. Lucy pulled Ellie around all afternoon. They just don't make stuff like this anymore.
A very happy little Ellie after her ride in the wagon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Residents in my garden .....

As well as our storks George and Betty, we appear to have some other residents in our garden ...... a family of hedgehogs. Luke took this photograph last night. Isn't he (or she) adorable?!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I have been tagged .......

I've been tagged by my friend Kathi, otherwise known as kathiroussel and 5gardenias. Thank you Kathi!

I've been Tagged

What is your current obsession?
Writing .... anything, everything .... ideas, notes, lists ......

What is your weirdest obsession?
Raw cacao nibs (organic raw crushed chocolate beans)

What are you wearing today?
Jeans and a floral shirt.

What's for dinner?
Barbequed chicken, garlic polenta cakes and a salad.

What is your favourite book?
The Catcher in the Rye.

What's the last thing you bought?
English tea bags.

What are you listening to right now?
BBC Radio 4, a British radio station.

What is your favourite ice-cream flavour?
Pistachio, I think for the colour as well as the flavour.

What do you think of the person who tagged you?
I think of Kathi as very talented, wise, warm, open, and kind hearted. I think of Kathi as a friend.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
The north Norfolk coast, England, UK.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour where would you go?
Holkham beach to meet my cousin Sam.

Which language do you want to learn?
Russian, so I know when someone is swearing at me. In Latvian there are no swear words, the worse thing you can say is 'go mushrooming!' so everyone swears in Russian, the second language here in Latvia.

Who do you want to meet right now?
Sam on Holkham beach .....

What is your favourite colour?
I have two faves ..... sludgy green, and brown.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
A cheesecloth top with hand crocheted straps. It was my mum's, and I think it dates back to the 70's.

What is your favourite magazine?
I am more of a book person, but I suppose my favourite magazine would be Country Living.

If you had a £100 now, what would you spend it on?
New jeans. Every pair I have has at least one hole somewhere.

Favourite artist/s?
My 6 year old daughter Lucy.

Do you admire anyone's style?
People who remain positive in the face of adversity.

Describe your personal style?
Down to earth.

What are you going to do after this?
Catch the drop on treasury west .....

What are your favourite movies?
Benny and Joon, The Shining, and The Shawshank Redemption.

What is your favourite fruit?
Wild raspberries.

What inspires you?
The world all around.

What music do you like this week?
Lloyd Cole, specifically his album 'Rattlesnakes'.

What is your dream job?
Taste tester at all the best restaurants around the world ..... I love my food!

What is stopping you?
Mmmmmh ...... lack of funds, two small children, a husband, three cats ........

If you could change something in the world to make it a better place what would that be?
I would cure all the sick.

Something about yourself that makes no sense?
I don't like feet.

The rules:
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.

I am tagging:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Best of British!

So I live in Latvia but I am British through and through. I love my food, especially old English traditionals. One of my absolute favourites, a real 'comfort' food for me, is good old English custard. I have a wonderful recipe which I am going to share with you.

1 vanilla pod
1 pint sweet cream
6 large free range egg yolks
1 dessertspoon cornflour
2oz golden castor sugar

Pop the cream in a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, put it all in with the cream and start heating very gently on the stove.
Whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar together in a medium bowl with a balloon whisk.
When the cream has warmed to just below simmering point remove the vanilla pod, and slowly add the cream to the egg mixture, stirring the egg mixture all the time.
Then tip it all back in to the pan and heat it up again, fairly slowly, until it thickens.

Tip in to a jug and serve with a fruit compote or pie. It's also rather good cold with some fresh whipped cream and fruit.

Right then .... I'm off to my fridge ..........

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A trip to market.

This morning we all bundled in to the car and took a trip to the saturday morning market in our local town, a 15 mile drive.

I was so glad I remembered to take my camera along so I could take a few snaps. I thought this stockings stall was wonderful and half expected those mannequins to start doing the 'can can' at any moment.

The market was an abundance of colour and smells, not to mention wonderful fresh local produce. We drove home enjoying the glorious pungent smell of ripe home grown strawberries.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunshine at last.

After such an incredibly long winter the sun is now shining here in Latvia. I really have no idea where spring went to, we seem to have skipped it completely. Last week I was shivering in wool jumpers, today I have dragged out my shorts - what a shocker!!!

Ellie is a real handful, she is very naughty and always on the move. I took this pic today on a rare occasion ... Ellie sat still for all of two minutes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I love presents!!!!

Yesterday my husband Luke came home with some presents for me ...... he has had these wonderful obelisks made on the farm. Here they are standing in my kitchen garden .... my beans and sweet peas are going to look sooooo stylish this year!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fairy Bright Sparkle!

We have had a rather eventful couple of days, my darling daughter Lucy lost her top teeth. She looks goofy and gorgeous at the same time, and it just reminds me she is growing up - too quickly. Fairy Bright Sparkle has been kept rather busy, making night time trips and leaving sparkling coins, much to the delight of Lucy. Lucy turns those coins over and over, and whispers 'these are magic' ......... and all the time I am watching her thinking 'you are magic'.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Middle of Nowhere

Okay, so when I say I live in the middle of nowhere, I really do mean it! This photograph was taken this winter. The snow has gone now and, after five months of it, spring has finally arrived, phew!!

We live in the north of Latvia, about a two and a half hour drive north of Riga, and about a half an hours drive south of the Estonian border. Our nearest village is Burtnieki, which sits on the edge of Burtnieki Lake, about 6 kilometres (4 miles) away. Burtnieki means 'the people who read the stars', and it is supposed to be a very magical place. Folklore tells of a village sitting on the bottom of the lake, and I have spoken to locals who believe this village exists and is alive today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

George and Betty

Well here we are ...... I have finally got my very own blog up and running .... sort of!!

I am going to start by attempting to attach a photograph of our summer visitors, we call them George and Betty ......