A Mad Tea Party 2012

Hi everyone, welcome to my 2012 Mad Tea Party !
Pull up a cushion, pour some tea and enjoy a fairy cake, whilst I tell my tale :)
 At the bottom of the garden where the fairy folk dwell, if you look carefully you may find magic happening.
What is this, something through the trees, something which isn't usually here....
 Look closer..... what is this bundle of twigs and cloth....
 A fairy gypsy tent perhaps......?
 Oh but what's this beside it? fizzy pop maybe? Elderberry wine perhaps?
 Drink me?
Oh I'm not so sure....Alice drank from a bottle marked "drink me" and looked what happened to her !
Hmm it doesn't smell like poison...Ok lets see what happens....
 Oh goodness I've shrunk !!  Ah but now I can see into the fairy tent !!
 And it looks like company is expected....
A tea party set out just for me and you :)
 Pull up a cushion and make yourself comfortable.
 Ooooh lavender and honey fairy cakes, don't mind if I do.
 Yummm, thank you very much.
 Help yourself to a cup of tea, you simply must have tea :)
 Oh! Tea leaves! do you suppose we could tell our future in them?
 Now lets see.... hhmmmm.....yes.... the red queen approaches
 I don't think she will be happy to see we have stole her fairy picnic !
 Perhaps if we eat one of these biscuits we will grow tall again?
 Here we go......
 Back to normal...I think.
 Hey Poppy! Did you see where the fairy tent and the red queen went?
 "What you talking about now, what tent,silly girl",  thought Poppy.
 I hope you enjoyed my Mad tea party, be sure to visit the other participants along with Vanessa at 

An Apothecary at Home

I'm having a bit of a blitz in the cottage right now and as it is only half finished, we are quite limited on storage space. One of the ways I have found around this is by finding fab ways to display stuff, thereby freeing up valuable space in cupboards. Recently I was finding it difficult to find things in my witchy cupboard, when I saw a piccy on Pinterest and a light bulb went ding!.
Another lady had created an apothecary shelf, and I thought this was a fab idea for my remedy/incense herbs. So off I went raiding John's wood stash and using his power tools whipped up this  !!  I am so pleased with it, been ages since I have done any sort of woodwork, and looks good if I do say so myself.
I painted all the lids black on the jars they were already in, got some labels from a store on Etsy, hung it up and stood back. Now please ignore the fact it is slightly wonky on the wall but what do you think?
Actually I have been on a bit of a pinterest crafty streak, making bits I have been meaning to for ages, just need to find time to photograph them.
Right must get on and start making dinner, squash and chickpea stew tonight, yumm, and make some meatball calzones to freeze for when the boys are up. If I am not back before, see you at the party on Saturday :)

Summer in a bottle

It would seem that summer has finally found it's way to Orkney today with Beautiful, huge cloudless blue skies and some actual heat. Of course a once around the garden this morning means being able to see just how much the weeds are taking over.

One good thing has come form the odd weather this year, and that is our Elder trees are absolutely covered in blossom, much later than the rest of the UK but certainly welcome. It has been cordial and wine making the past couple of weeks, with two batches of cordial bottled and frozen, and another being used as we speak.

This is our go to recipe from the River Cottage Preserves Book

  • About 25 elderflower heads
  • Finely grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 1 orange, plus their juice (about 150ml in total)
  • 1kg sugar

Inspect the elderflower heads carefully and remove any insects. Place the flower heads in a large bowl together with the orange and lemon zest.
Bring 1.5 litres water to the boil and pour over the elderflowers and citrus zest. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.

Strain the liquid through a scalded jelly bag or piece of muslin and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar, the lemon and orange juice.

Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.

Use a funnel to pour the hot syrup into sterilised bottles. Seal the bottles with swing-top lids, sterilised screw-tops or corks.
 Also this is the first year there has been enough to make Elderflower wine. I don't hold out much hope for berries, the early autumn winds usually trash any foliage on the trees, and certainly berries would be lost too, but you never know.

I have also been working on my contribution to the Mad tea party taking place this weekend, can't wait, its going to be fun :) If you need me then I will be hiding away somewhere with my laptop and a picnic enjoying visiting the other parties. But first, where is that list of 376 jobs I need to complete before I take a weekend off....?

(This post contains affiliate links which help me run my blog and contribute to our family. For more info on affiliate links click here
Thank you for your support!)


Today is a day in town, so I am typing this up from our brilliant local library, for such a small comunity Kirkwall library really is great, and the archives section upstairs is amazing, the sheer quantity of records they have is unbelievable.
I am hoping whist I am in town I won't miss our fledgling hooded crows leaving us. A few weeks back a pair began building and then sitting on a nest in one of our trees, brave of them as the nest is only around 9' off the ground. Then early one morning around 6am I heard one of the crows going crackers outside, and thought "Oh %$£&*^ poppy is up the blooming tree!!", so I leaps out of bed, goes running out the back door in no more than a tiny nighty and slippers to find popps trotting towards me with a new hatched baby in her jaws :(
Well I took it off her and it was still alive and headed to the tree, only for our poppy to come out of the undergrowth with another, also alive!
So there is me climbing up a tree flashing far too much body at the crack of dawn, hoping the farmer isn't out early for some reason, placing baby birds back in the nest and getting a lecture form the parent birds lol
Fortunately the chicks survived, and for the past few weeks as they have been growing, everytime poppy goes in the garden she gets mobbed by the parents, consequently she has spent a lot of time indoors, but serve her right I should think !
Now the chicks are leaving the nest and have been learing how to fly, one is more advanced than the other, but they are both managing to get up on the barn roofs, so not long now I should think. I took the opputunity to take a couple of snaps of one of them the other day, but I made a sharp exit as mummy crow was getting rather upset with me.
Well my time on the computer here is nearly up, time to go do the rest of the shopping before the bus home with hubby later. TTFN xx

The top of the List

Finally a chance to get on the blog! Since I came back from holiday, I have been completely buzzing, new projects, new ideas, and actually getting on with them too. I'm convinced it was the vitamin D top up after a week in the sun, although it is now rather cold here at home, forecast for today and the rest of the week is highs of 13c, brrrr.
So lots of posts of projects completed and currently in progress to come, but firstly.......
Shortly before I went on holiday it was John's birthday which happened to coincide with the jubilee weekend, so I made him a union flag cake. Truthfully I'm just pleased I got to use this recipe that I have had my eye on for ages. It came from out of one of my Ina Garten recipe books and is an American flag using blueberries, raspberries and cream cheese frosting,yumm. Switcharoo round the berries and you have a jubilee cake, yeay ! You can find the recipe here, although I halved it and it was still huge :)
Lots to do still today, I have a Halloween wreath frame to make from garden twigs, then it needs spraying up. Yes I am already making autumn and Halloween decor stuff, I love autumn, and the cold weather the UK is having is convincing me we skipped summer, the fire on in the evenings is also making me feel all cosy wintery too which reminds me I need to crack on with gift making for the big C but want to get all autumn stuff finished first. Right time to don the wellies !

A Mad Tea Party Invite

Ok next announcement, you are all invited to join me on July 28th for the 5th annual Mad tea party with Vanessa at a fanciful twist. This will be the second year I have joined in with the blog party, and I am so looking forward to joining in, just hoping the weather improves before then, unlike my party last year.

Visions of teacups and cakes currently dance in my head, heehee :)

Also it seems my new web address is working, yeay!!

Just a test

just a quick test to see if the new web address will still come up in google reader :)

First piece of news

www.madmadammel.com is going live !!!

The first piece of news to announce, is that I have purchased my own domain name and will be switching over to it asap, I will still be using blogger and hopefully everyone will be automatically directed to the new address, but I am not sure if this will be the case for those who follow in google reader etc, hopefully it will work fine, but I know I have lost other peoples blogs when they have transferred their blogs to wordpress etc, so if you don't see anything new coming up in your reader for a few days, it may be best to check here to see if their have been new posts and if reader is playing silly.
So in future, all being well you will catch me at www.madmadammel.com,  eeeek it's exciting, I've never had my own domain before !! See you there :)

A brief Update On My Busy Life !

Wow I can't believe how long it has been since my last post, busy busy busy few weeks, and I promise I will be back very very soon to show you all what I have been up to.
Such as going on my first trip out of the UK, to Corfu. The Eden Festival before that. building a new website, and setting up an Etsy store. More patchwork and crochet projects completed. And loads happening in the garden and kitchen.
In the meantime I will leave you with our Poppy being all cute rolling around on the drive :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...