Sunday, 28 October 2012

Food Glorious Food!

That was definately the theme to todays outing to the Durham Food Festival and what glorious food did we see, taste and bring home!

Always a fantastic outing, especially if youre anything like me and adore food (though you would'nt think it if you saw me, im a little skinny thing, but LOVE my food).

One person more excited than me was my partner Dave, after having been to Paris two years ago for my 40th at Christmas time we were lucky enough to experience their fantastic Christmas Market down the Champs Elysee.  Here it was that Dave tasted la tartiflette, potatoes, with reblochon cheese lardons and onions for the very first time and now everytime there is a food market in Durham we make it a must to visit so he can get his 'fix'.  Thankfully they didnt disappoint and Dave came away very happy.....

Even so more once we had found the cidre stalls in the Marquee up on Castle Green... he managed a taster and had a sneaky half whilst we watched the chefs demo (more on that later) and treated himself to a few bottles to bring home.

 Me, I treated myself to the most sumptuous piece of  handmade nougat, nothing like that pink and white stuff you buy in the shops that dares to call itself only having one very small piece at a time as im sure if i ate quite a bit id be trying to detach myself from the ceiling with the amount of sugar in it, it does have rapberries in so that may cancel it out, but im sure its all good for you ;-)
 As well as the stalls up on Castle Green in the marquees (there was a small cover charge to enter) there were some stalls down in the market place.  The smells of all the gorgeous, warm food being cooked overwhelmed you as you approached and you were spoilt for choice as what to have. As previously mentioned Dave had the french potatoes, me i went for the Spanish Beef Stew, which was very heart warming and definately warmed me cockles up!
After walking around the stalls several times we made a decision, its a hard one when theres so much scrumptious food to choose from.
Sweeties...for the kids, well Dave and Brandon
Olives a plenty...
Beautiful Greek and Turkish delights...

To name but a few stalls, but we choose some tasty french rustic bread to go with possibly the best tasting  balsamic vinegar ever!  

Well that almost sums up my Sunday, was a lovely relaxing, food fuelled day which id really been looking forward to, especially as the past two weeks have been a real struggle for me, having just been diagnosed with underactive thyroid.  I know that this isnt life threatening but at the moment for me is very life changing, trying to manage the tiredness and lack of motivation especially as im always on the go and have so many projects and things to do, so much that i had to cancel a dry stone walling taster day i was due to go on last week.  Hopefully the medication that im on now will kick in and i will get back to normality, just really struggling with the tireness.
One last thing to make you smile this Sunday.... Jean Christophe Novelli..

He was demoing in the Marquee, hence i guess the cover charge, but hey it was worth it, he's demoing skills may have been a bit hectic but was nice to watch ;-), and yep definately as handsome in the flesh as on tv (i have a thing for French men).

Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Sam x

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Just vaseline the lens...

... well if its not looking too good this is what you do if you want a good pic - some advice i was given today at The Mad Hatters Tea Party at The Crafts House, you can see some pics of the lovely food over at Blueberry Heart, from the lovely Kerry from Blueberry Heart who was my Autumn Blog Swop.  As we live quite close to each other we thought it would be nice to put faces to names, meet up at a fantastic event and my favourite place and swop, we were good though and didnt open them until we got home.

This actually took place at the end of September but its been a bit hectic and ive also been away since to my very first UK Facepainting Convention...but more of that later. Now back to my swop...

This was the first blog swop id ever done and was quite nervous about what and how much to put in, but as anyone who knows me, knows i always get carried away, but how nice is it to give pressie... i love it!

The theme was autumn and reading through Kerry's blog i managed to get a few ideas of what she was a bit like a scavenger hunt, trawling through crafty bits to see what i could make or the shops to see what i could include.

I forgot to take pics of a couple of things so i will try and describe as best as.

Firstly the basket of goodies that i put together.

The first thing i got was a piece of blue agate whilst we were away on holiday in Scotland from the Gem Rock Museum in Dumfries.  Kerry loves the Tiffany blue and when its held up to the light the colour is stunning.

Ive also been making a line of gifts for crafters over at Tinks Things so for inspiration i put a little heart in with the quote 'Do something creative every day'

I also put in a mini needlefelt kit, including a needle, some felt and some bits to get started as well as a piece of sponge (i couldnt fit this in!) along with some needlefelted acorns that i made to give some inspiration....

As you can see i made gift tags for each item...told you i always go overboard...but i do really love just making and giving!

Just one of the needlefelted acorns in amongst lovely felted flowers and butterflys in autumn colours
Thankfully Blueberry Heart took some better pics of the acorns...
I also had some small frames from Primark that i bought a while back and was wondering what to with them, this was the perfect opportunity to try something new... a button pumpkin!

I also put in some Cath Kidston bath crystals for a little spoiling along with some Yankee Candles in autumnal scents, some paper tissues with '"I've shopped all my life and still I have nothing to wear..." quote on, perfect for decoupage!  pair of warm soft socks covered in little hearts, a edible crystal skull from Hotel Chocolat (my favourite sweetie shop) along with a selection of flavoured hot chocolates for those cold and long autumn evenings.. and possibly the most simplest gift, one id seen elsewhere on the internet, a Autumn Photo List, this one i just changed (was American so not always compatible with us) to suit, designed all the artwork and printed off!

Think i might have to do one myself and put the results on here!

As mentioned i also did gift tags for all the pressie...heres a few of the ones i did take photos of but please pop over to Blueberry Heart to see the ones i didnt.

Phew...well thats the things i sent now to the gorgeous gifts that i received.

Im sat there like a little girl at Christmas with lots of surprises and camera at hand...oh and i had to call Dave in to share it as well :-))

All the gifts were wrapped in lovely stripey colourful paper...and smelling stunning...

with these gorgeous little pumpkins scattered in..i love these soooo much, need to get me some!

So on with the goodies...

Im quite sad really i laid them all out and went down the line, very controlled i must say!

The first i opened was this gorgeous hand cross stitched acorn cushion smelling divine and even better with sparkly thread!

Then this lovely hand made bracelet in gorgeous autumnal colours in a sweet little bag.

These sparkly gloves and if you know me you will know how i love my gloves, suffering from Raynauds i even carry them in my bag in the summer! I also received a handcovered notebook which i took with me to the UK Face an Body Painting Convention where i doodled and noted throughout the week!

Yummy hand made lemon biscuits and scrumption hot chocolate.

A beautiful handmade pumpkin wreath with bay leaves which is now adorning my light and fits right in with my colour scheme as we have predominantly oranges in the living room!  This will be staying up all year round. A lovely seasonal scented tealight.

The most stunning garland ever, lots of detail, glitter  and colour and looks gorgeous hung on my door!

Again thanks to Kerry for a fantastic swop, it definately made me think out of the box and delve into that craft stash of mine. Hope to meet up with you again soon, no doubt at The Crafts House.

Sam x