Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lot Valley

Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux

The castle was restored - and lived in - by the 19th century opera-singer Jean Mouliérat

The Dordogne
 Maisy started off with them but changed her mind half way and we had to find a way
down to the river bank to rescue her 


                                              Prehistoric Park, La Cave 

Near Rocamadour  – For the family especially if you are a dinosaur fan. Walk through a forest spread over several hectares (pushchair friendly) and walk back into the past with life size dinosaurs around every corner. A great fun trip with the chance for a photo in a dinosaur’s mouth at the end 

After the park we went and visited a shop full of chocolate where you could taste before buying, chocolate heaven


Figeac Medieval Town

This is in the village of Cornac where we were staying a village of artists, around each corner you would find artwork like this on each building and we were staying next door to an amazing sculpturer this was in the garden next to us
click here

You can see more of what we saw here

Book Recommendations

I have just got back from a lovely week in the Lot Region in France and managed to read a couple of books that I really enjoyed
First one  A Thistle in the Mist by Megan Denby, there are quite a few swear words really rude one but if you can get past this then a fabulous read, this lady has a brilliant imagination

The second one is What the heart keeps by Rosalind Laker

What the Heart Keeps

I found these on a site for free books for kindle but I am afraid they are no longer free but you can find more here at
Happy reading

Monday, June 30, 2014

Today it's Redcurrants

Well the cherries are nearly finished and the Redcurrants are just right for picking

I found a recipe for Redcurrant and Red Onion Relish, but boy does it pong when making it, I think it was the Red Wine Vinegar that made the smell, Maisy came home for lunch and said she could smell it from up the road. managed to get 2 and a bit pots

Then I found another for Redcurrant & Rosemary Chutney, this gave 7 pots and took slightly longer to make, the colour is amazing

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Custard Buttons

Today I made Custard Buttons from Marie's English Kitchen, they are so yummy, although mine did not turn out like a button mine were slightly bigger and I only managed to make 12.

You can see the recipe here  Marie's English Kitchen

Living in France I was unable to get hold of any vegetable fat so I used all butter
and I added Jam to one side of them as well as the cream, I shall certainly be making these again, and again and again

Monday, May 26, 2014

Say it with Words

Brand new Cd from Ooh la la featuring the beautiful artwork of Marie Rayner, to be launched on Create and Craft Monday June 9th 3pm with Kathryn Sturrock as guest presenter

We first met Marie through her love of cooking, she has her own blog called The English Kitchen and all of her recipes are tried and tested by Marie herself, I have to say we have all put a little weight on since finding her.

Then I discovered Marie loved to draw as well, when she sent out a recipe eBook with artwork she had done.  We were so pleased when she agreed to let us use her artwork and the rest is history.

We hope you love it as much as we do, my grand daughter Maisy certainly does this is her card she made for Mother's day in France yesterday, the image is from one of the digi images that she coloured in herself, she decided to put the quote on a separate piece of card just in case.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Experimenting with Marshmallow

Well yesterday I decided to have a break from CD designing and what better way than making Marshmallows
I made a whole batch up and instead of Vanilla I flavoured mine Raspberry, the recipe came from James Martin

These are really sweet so I decided to cut circles out and attach them to biscuits, I spread a little Nutella on top of some and added coconut.   The verdict from the family were yummy

I am thinking of new flavours now for my next batch, these will defiantly be in my Christmas present
hampers I do

                   Photo: Yesterday I made marshmallow, today I added it to little round biscuits, half I spread a little Nutella on and dipped in coconut the other half I left plain as they were Raspberry flavour mallow.     My trusty tasters tried them today and the verdict was yummy, what flavour will be next I wonder, they are def in my Xmas hamper this year I do as pressies.   Don't look too close they are my first attempt  

James Martin's Recipe


For the marshmallows
  • 450g/1lb granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp liquid glucose
  • 9 gelatine sheets, soaked in 140ml/4¾fl oz water
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 5-6 tbsp icing sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp corn flour         
  • Preparation method

    1. For the marshmallows, place the granulated sugar, glucose and 200ml/7fl oz water into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Heat until a sugar thermometer shows 127C/260F.
    2. Add the soaked gelatine sheets and water to the hot sugar syrup. Stir the mixture and pour it into a jug.
    3. Place the egg whites into a grease-free bowl and whisk until firm peaks.
    4. Continue to whisk the egg whites, then pour the sugar syrup onto the egg whites, whisking all the time until the whites are shiny.
    5. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape on a whisk.
    6. Lightly oil a shallow 30cm x 20cm/12in x 8in baking tray. Dust the tray with icing sugar and corn flour.
    7. Pour into tray and  chill in the fridge for at least one hour.   ( I left mine overnight ) 
    8. Remove the marshmallow from the fridge, dust some more icing sugar and corn flour over the work surface. Loosen the edge of the marshmallow then turn out onto the dusted work surface
    9. Cut into squares and roll the marshmallows in the icing sugar and corn flour to coat.                                                                                       

                         Or you can watch him making them here

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

French Buffet

I love all the old French furniture you can get over here and I have just bought this beautiful
Oak Henri II Style French Dresser (1880 - 1900 ) I love thinking about who had this and what type of house it was in originally, I was going to paint it but after I had polished a bit of it I felt it would be a shame to paint over all the wear and tear it had had so it's staying this colour

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stitching Faux or Real


Over at Ooh la la this fortnight the theme is Stitching and I adore stitching on cards
whether it be real or faux, I did try to do real stitching but I have a problem with my sewing machine
the thread keeps breaking, perhaps it's because it's about 60 years old, so I resorted to Faux

We have some sad news this week as Dawn has decided to leave, she has a new grandson who I am sure takes up a lot of her time as well lots of other things she would like to pursue, We would like to thank her for everything she has done and hope she still pops in from time to time.

The good news is that Anne has agreed to return and take over so things should carry on smoothly

I too have chosen an image from The Shawn Jenkins Collection I love this CD
This one is called " Tis the Season " and you can purchase your copy
over at Ooh la La Creations Website you can also see all of the fabulous samples the Design Team
made for the show in the