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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fungi Fun!

The dye pots have been out again and this time we have a perfect excuse (not that we need one!) as we have been dyeing all sorts of textiles for Jane Southgate to use in her artwork.
Sam whose alter ego is Peg the Dyer at Kentwell Hall has been leading the dyeing and working with Jane to get the correct colours. We love to dye with plants at HH and are particularly fond of the purple feather reed heads that grow around here. They are ready to use in the summer but the season is so short that we have been experimenting with drying and freezing the heads so that we can dye with them all through the winter too!
The dyebath made from the reed heads looks just like Ribena!
We are extremely proud to be sponsoring Jane's latest projects at Thornham Walks and Lackford Lakes in Suffolk but we made it clear from the start that we would expect her to join in when we came to dye the yarns and fabrics...
Here she is supervising the madder dye bath, that fleece hanging on the line behind her is from the Gedgrave Flock a lovely curly fleece!
Even though the reed head dye bath is the colour of Ribena the shade you get at the end is this - actually my camera struggles with this and it's much greener in real life!

As well as the fleece and yarns from the Gedgrave sheep Jane is also making good use of the Colinette 'Point 5' yarn that we sell at Halfpenny Home and this is the shade 'Turquoise'. I'm pretty sure that it's not what the Colinette designers would have expected their gorgeous hand dyed yarn to be used for...
Jane is planning to make a hundred of these...can you imagine them all swaying in the breeze? The star of the show (so far) for me has to be this bracket fungus, the bottom part has been dyed with woad and the curly lid is the fleece that we dyed with madder. Everyone who meets it wants to hug it!
Jane is using natural fibres only as the artworks will stay in situ for a year while nature does it's own recycling...
The moss which is knitted in moss stitch!

Add ImageThe mushrooms knitted with Colinette 'Skye' in the colourway 'Star Anise', lovely! Jane wants us all to knit a mushroom for this and has written a pattern for them, so if you would like to knit one let us know and we'll send the pattern, yarn (and if you need them, some double pointed needles!) to you.

If I had to choose…

If I had to choose my favorite house that’s cropped up in blogland over the last year, it would have to be this one. 


The farmhouse’s owner is non other than Emerson from EmersonMade.  See the tell-tale sign on the leopard print coat?  She makes and sells these smashing  colorful blooms. 


White kitchen, open shelving, naked window.  What’s not to like?  Well… maybe the butcher knife and his little scissor friend.  They’re a little scary.


Would you believe this is their pantry?  My daughter would really dig this one.  Ha!




And this one = perfection.  Ahhhhh, I love it!

To see more photos of this spectacular home, the article is here at: Designsponge

All pictures courtesy Designsponge.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Pumpkin

Hubby (also known as Mike or Sweetie...or for this post, Pumpkin), has celebrated another birthday. He's forty (again). He's decided to stick with forty for another year...or so, and I couldn't help but oblige him.

Here's the Birthday Boy.

I made him a Pumpkin Spice birthday cake using pumpkins from the garden.

It was really delicious...moist and rich.

This is the recipe I used.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

How Clean are your Dishes?

How Clean Are Your Dishes?

Phosphates pose a threat to aquatic life and can end up in drinking-water reservoirs. In response to new laws, more and more makers of dishwasher detergents are reducing the amounts of phosphates in their products. But, according to a recent article published by The New York Times, "Cleaner for the Environment, Not for the Dishes," consumers claim their low-phosphate detergents aren't getting the job done.

Launched in 1991, Shaklee Basic-D was the first patented phosphate-free dishwashing cleanser. Today, our Shaklee Get Clean Dish Washer Automatic Powder Concentrate is a patented, high-performing, phosphate-free dishwasher cleanser. Its enzyme-activated formula removes tough stains without the need for prerinsing, leaving dishes sparkling clean. Shaklee Get Clean products do not contain phosphates—and never will.

Shouldn't everyone you know be using a phosphate-free dishwasher concentrate that leaves dishes sparkling clean?

Learn more about Get Clean products that are both safe for the environment and effective.

Help us get the word out by sharing this with your friends and family—they'll thank you for it!

Get Clean

This was a message from our Shaklee Corp.

I have been using these products for over 11 years and LOVE them!!!

I especially LOVE the dish detergent and liquid.

If I am washing a pot or pan, I seriously only use a couple of  DROPS of liquid and it gets all the grease off!

And for my dishwasher, I use Shaklee’s detergent and I NEVER PRE-WASH/RINSE my dishes. 


They come out CLEAN every time.  I am so grateful for this because it saves me SOOOO much time!

According to this cost comparison sheet, it only costs 18.9 cents of Dish Wash Automatic Concentrate per load of dishes.  CHEEP!  Did you know that Cascade Complete costs 28.4 cents per load and Seventh Generation costs 40.4 cents per load?

To order or learn more about  these safe dish products, please visit my online Shaklee shop today!

Have a great day!

Bonnie :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Waiting for the leaves to fall

It’s quite a task to prepare for Autumn in 90 degree weather.  So while I’m waiting for the leaves to fall, these inspired ideas help hold me over…

falldisplay1image courtesy

I love the mixture of colors and layered textures in this votive jar.  If only it was hanging from a jute ribbon, it might even be better. 

falldisplay2image courtesy

I absolutely adore this idea of a baby tree in a burlap sack.  Could it get any sweeter?  I wouldn’t change a thing. 

falldisplay3image courtesy here

A pumpkin vase.  Now why hadn’t I ever thought of it?  Am I the only one?

falldisplay4image courtesy here

And you know cooking’s not my thing, but how could I resist baking itty bitty acorn cakes?  I could not. 

falldisplay5image courtesy here

This is a great idea for a little snack buffet… using a  family of gourds as serving bowls.   Wouldn’t it be even cuter to fill them with different nuts? 

falldisplay8image courtesy here

And last but not least is my favorite of all… a simple display of pale pumpkins with brown thistles and pinecones.  The subdued always seems to win out with me.  (if you haven’t noticed;)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkin Goodness

Two fresh pumpkins were plucked from the garden in order to make our pumpkin soup.

They were cut in half and their pulp and seeds scooped out.

I separated the seeds from the pulp, washed them thoroughly and roasted them. To do so, I spread them on a cookie sheet covered in Canola spray and sprinkled them with salt. After 10 minutes at 325 degrees, I stirred them again and baked them for an additional 10 minutes until nicely toasted.

Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious and some of the most nutritious seeds around. Ours didn't last long.

To make the soup, I took the pumpkin halves and placed them face down in a dish to bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Once they cooled, I scooped out the pumpkin and pureed it until smooth.

Here's the pumpkin soup recipe we used...

3 cups organic pureed pumpkin
3 cups scalded organic milk
1 TB organic butter
1 TB organic flour
2 TB organic brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger

Heat the above ingredients in a saucepan and serve.

This was the easiest and healthiest pumpkin soup recipe I found (no heavy cream). It came from the Joy of Cooking, although I made some adjustments. Also, to make it all the more healthy, I used as many organic ingredients as possible.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Making Orange Potpourri

Drying orange peel is a great way to make the most of your citrus, and with the prices we're all paying for a bag of oranges, it pays to get the most we can for the money we're spending.

I've always liked orange peel. I've candied it and just tossed a peel in the wastepaper as I passed to keep it sweet smelling. A few years ago I decided to take a more active role in saving peels, so from

Blue To-Do


On my to-do

Before the year’s through


Is painting the porch ceiling



Balsam Apple (Momordic charantia)

Balsam Apple Seed Pod(Momordic charantia)September 22, 2010
I have taught my husband well!  He was out on the golf course with a couple of buddies and spotted a rather interesting plant so he brought me home a seed pod for identification.  Despite warnings he should not touch unknown plants just in case apparently this plant did not pose a warning for him.  I now have to get him used to taking

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Fall Kitchen

Now that it's officially here, I thought I'd give our kitchen a warm cozy look for fall. It's become my tradition to change the open shelves seasonally and I always love the freshness it offers this familiar room.

I usually display my brown transfer ware plates, but this year I thought I'd try something different. I decided to just use art and other mismatched items including a select few brown transfer ware vases and dishes.

I love the warmth that wood and wicker offers.

The little girl and lamb picture is something my Grandmother framed many years ago. As you can see, the image doesn't quite fit the frame. I planned on recycling the frame with another image, but in the end it reminds me too much of her to change it.

Next on our fall 'to do' list is to pick all of the pumpkins! I gave a couple to my friend over the weekend and she in turn made pumpkin soup with them...very inspiring. I planned on using them for pumpkin pies but since the plant produced four times more pumpkins than we anticipated, I do believe that pumpkin soup will be on the menu.

Sounds deliciously cozy don't you think?

And The Rain Arrives

We had heavy rains the last few days.  It really has been a little too late though.  Now it will become an issue of too much rain for the local farmers to harvest before the crops rot in the fields.  The soybean harvest has been halted due to the rains and this definitely is not good for those trying to harvest tomatoes.  Our average day of first frost (ADFF) falls the end of the first week of

While the cat's away.....

I was really sad to have missed the inaugural Humble Jumble, due to a pre-planned "glamping" expedition to North Norfolk, more of which to follow another day! Our lovely friend Beth had taken on role of chief Humble Jumble organiser and what a fab job she did! Here is her account (accompanied by lots of lovely pictorial evidence) of the first ever Humble Jumble....
"We knew as soon as we saw it that the Ark would be the perfect spot for Humble Jumble. Seeing it full of beautifully laid out tables and decked in bunting was pretty exciting come Saturday morning.
We hosted six stall holders, who between them offered a wonderful mix of old, new and handmade goodies. Sam was there with her brilliant pic n mix bunting and traditionally felted accessories.

Claire was there with her beautiful hand made jewellery and Marion had a table full of lovingly crafted bits from toys to gorgeous pincushions and delicious preserves and brownies. The Scoffin ladies were as popular as ever with their amazing baked goods, cheese scones and mini carrot loaf cakes in particular flying out the hatch!

Everybody had some jumble too, from lovely toys and clothes, to vintage plates and homeware from the brilliantly named "Rumble in the Jumble"!

The first visitor came through the doors at 11am and we had a steady stream of visitors for the rest of the day....although we took advantage of the lunchtime lull to keep up our energy levels with some tea and Scoffin for ourselves!

Nicola brought Halfpenny Home to us at 2pm, with a bowlful of lovely pastel balls of wool in order to teach a granny square crochet class in the lounge. The sight of everyone getting crafty whilst sat in the afternoon sunshine was definitely a high-point, and a lovely, lovely way to round off the day.
Everyone seemed to have a good time, and the good news is that the stalls are already filling up for the next one, which I for one, am already getting excited about".

Roll on 16th October when Humble Jumble rumbles into Needham Market again!
This time I shall not be missing out!
Jacqui x

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