Monday, 26 July 2010

Free stained glass patterns

I found this lovely website with free stained glass patterns.   There are a few pages of them so I am sure you will find one you like.

They are quite nice for painting as well, even if you don't do them as stained glass.

Enjoy ;)

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Freshly home-made rose syrup drizzled over hot pancakes mmm......

Rose syrup is really easy to make.  Get a cupful of fresh organic rose petals (VIP - not poison sprayed) and wash them off in cold water.  Add 2 cups of hot, boiled water to a small pot and add rose petals and approx. 2 cups of brown sugar and boil for 10+ minutes.  Remove rose petals after ten minutes (they are edible when they have cooled down).

When the syrup starts 'holding its bubbles' when its boiling then its ready to bottle.   It thickens up when it cools down.

We used magenta rose petals and ended up with a lovely thick pink syrup that was so delicious we kept sneaking some long after the pancakes were finished.......

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Summer is for growing....

3 months old already


Whilst wandering alone in the wooded area near our home, my daughter returned very excited and certain she had found an Elder tree.  There are precious few trees with in miles and miles of us so, this was an exciting discovery.

We have only been here for just over 2 years and summer is very short here so far north.  We have not yet had the pleasure of meeting an elder tree.

Off we raced to get samples for identification.  We got flowers heads and leaves.

It seems she has identified it correctly and so we will keep a look out for the berries.  The flowers are mostly gone so no elderflower wine, perhaps next year.

There is much magical and medicinal significance attached to elder trees.,Trees&Fungi/Trees/Elder/Factsheet1.htm

Evening Gathering

Gathering rose petals
in the moonlight
in the sunlight
its not yet dark

A breeze is rustling 
softly through the trees
complete with the sound
of busy buzzing bumble bees.

My lovely daughter and I went off to a local wooded area on the hill, to collect wild rose petals to make rose water.

My great aunt used to make some fabulous rose water and we thought it was time to pass on this family tradition.  The sun still sets very late here and the bumble bees were still busy .........even at 11pm.

When collecting rose petals only take petals from the old flowers.  This ensures that the flowers have already been visited by the bees and butterflies and that rosehips will  be produced regardless of the missing petals.  With the wild roses the petals drop very early,...after only a couple of days so they fall at this time regardless. (Rosehip and hibiscus tea is also lovely).

The rose we gather from is Rosa Rugrose and is a deep magenta.  There were also a few pure white ones.  These roses form a thick wall around the wood on two sides.

The rose water turned a deep pink colour as the magenta was bleached from the petals and the fragrane was awesome.  It is a lovely face and hand spritz.  Made a second batch from the same rose petals and used the slightly weaker rose water as a hair rise so so we smell like rose faeries :)

Inside the wooded area which is otherwise unvisited there are a few trees and a total thick carpet of nettles.  Since nettles grow prolifically and are not endangered species we trimmed a neat pathway through the wood which makes for a lovely meandering stroll. (leaving the low stems unharmed to regrow as the season progresses).

We collected the nettle heads outside the wood where they receive ample sunshine.  Nettle tea is very healthy.  We normally make the nettles in to nettle soup which is rich in healing energy but you can also make it into beer. Nettle beer was an ancient hobby of our ancestors.

Here is a link for Nettle beer, but I am curious about the piece of toast addition ...

Monday, 5 July 2010

Some windy days are good for flying kites

Blasts of Colour
Zooming through the air
Terrific speeds
Whistling their warnings
Fighting the wind