Wednesday, 11 July 2018


My desk on Tuesday night. I’ve got another busy day today.

I have just finished the little red heart – details below. Beside it is the mopping up sheet of kitchen paper which is maturing nicely – once all the white is covered, it will go in my box of inked/painted kitchen papers to be used in projects.

On the left you can see my new 10p mug tree with all my tapes on it! What a bargain.

Not a lot of deskivity this week – too busy, too tired, too hot!!

This is my desk as it was on Monday when I was working on the heart. Here I am painting the pieces ready for assembly.

Remember the woodgrain heart I made for my hubby for our anniversary in May? A friend saw it and loved it, and asked if I could make another one for a couple who are getting married soon – amazingly they share the same initials as my hubby and me so I haven’t had to redesign anything! She wanted it in red and cream, rather than woodgrain and gold, so this is what I’ve done. Here are the pieces, all painted, and the initials backed with small squares of cream card. After this I painted the backs of these with red, because the inside of the heart is visible through the pierced holes.

Here is the piece finished, with a loop of gold thread to hang it by.

Outing to Tyntesfield

Yesterday we went to visit Tyntesfield near Bristol, a National Trust house whose renovations we have been following with interest. My hubby went fairly recently with the local history society but it wasn’t an outing particularly suitable for me so we decided to go by ourselves on another occasion. We had a wonderful day. I shall be doing a separate blog post about this once I’ve sorted the photos – this will probably take me about a week because I took so many. How could I not, when the whole place is one great big OTT Wow!


The kitties are continuing to be Trolley Dollies. When they come in from being in the garden all day, once they’ve been fed, they are absolutely exhausted and crash out on my trolley at the top of the stairs. There are usually lots of legs and tails hanging over the edges of the trolley and Ruby usually has at least one part of her anatomy draped over Lily!

They spend most of their time in the garden just wandering about looking at things, and chasing butterflies, most of which fortunately make their escape – we’ve got lots of butterflies, more than last year, which is good news as they are getting very scarce. We’ve got two buddleia bushes and one is already in full bloom and this is attracting the butterflies. In this hot weather the kitties are not so active and aren’t chasing each other around and playing with things as much, but they are still very tired when they come in! Lily gets very stoppy after supper and demands to be let out again, until she gives it up as a bad job when we refuse, and she takes herself off upstairs and joins her sister to sleep.

Here they are from above.


I’m having a friend over tomorrow for lunch so I thought I’d cook something a bit special – my hubby gave me this fabulous book for my birthday:

and I’m gradually beginning to explore some of the recipes. Today I am planning to cook a lamb tagine and a chicken dish, and I shall decide which to serve tomorrow. These things are always best cooked the day before so that the flavours infuse well. Photos later, if I remember to take them! In the meantime, here is my jar of preserved lemons that I made, and which have been pickling in strong brine for several weeks. Apparently preserved lemons are lemons on steroids.


After a few disasters, I’ve come to the conclusion that my starter wasn’t as it should be, so I’ve ditched it and started again, and already it looks a lot better. Following what seems to be a tradition among sourdough bakers, I have named mine and she is called Esmeralda. Here she is in all her finery, on Day 2 when she’s already fermenting nicely. You can see her bubbles in the picture.


Since coming out of hospital I’ve been making kefir and I feel better than I’ve felt for ages since drinking it on a daily basis. I’ve also got my hubby on it and he enjoys it too, and we are hoping it will help his diverticular disease.

Here is the latest batch, just strained and ready to go in a bottle in the fridge, together with my two little jars with the kefir grains in them, ready to be topped up with milk for the next batch.

Straining some excess kefir to make cheese, which is delicious. You can see the whey collecting in the bowl underneath, and this is full of goodness an useful in lots of recipes.

Kefir cheese ready to eat. It’s delicious, especially on my little sourdough crackers, made from excess sourdough starter.

I have done a blog post on my recent venture into fermented foods and you can read about these in more detail there if you wish.

As promised last week, here is my knitting. Still a bit more to do before I think it’s long enough. I am hoping to make some fancy tassels for the ends.

Not sure how many desks I’ll be able to visit this time as this week is turning out as busy as before. Have a great week, everybody.


  1. That National Trust property looks amazing! I look forward to seeing more of it in your post soon. I've only ever heard of Kefir cheese on the Archers; lol! Hope your meal with your friend is a yummy as it sounds it will be! Helen #1

  2. Good Morning Shoshi, what a coincidence having the same initials regarding the hanging heart. You have had a super busy week again. Tassels will be a great addition to that fab knitting, i'm rubbish at anything with wool. Esmeralda looks so helpful in the kitchen hee hee!!
    Have fun with your friend on your lunch date, I have to agree infusing those flavours really is the best way to enjoy a handmade meal with all those incredible ingredients.
    Thanks for sharing WOYWW, have a fabulous week.
    Creative wishes Tracey #2

  3. You certainly are busy! I've been researching fermented foods recently as my tum is a bit sensitive, is the kefir easy to make? I must investigate it and I love sourdough bread too so shall have a look at that as well. The heart is beautiful, clever you, but my fav pic is the one looking up the stairs at the trolley dollies, love that!

  4. Wow Shoshi, busy, busy, busy. Those kitties look so cute in their little heap on top of your trolley. Hope the meal goes well and look forward to seeing your pictures of the NT visit. Have a great week and meow to Lily and Ruby. Sarah #14

  5. Morning Shoshi. Goodness me. You must be feeling really well, as you are so busy and able to be doing so much. Wonderful! Cheese, bread, milk, all the different recipes you are trying out. Well done.
    Take care. God bless.
    Margaret #7

  6. I love sour dough. Your kitties have found a good spot there. The heart is lovely and good to see kitchen paper being used like that - I've done so in the past - a good reminder for me. Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a good day - Hazel, WOYWW 17 x

  7. I love the little red heart - what a lucky coincidence having the same initials. I am interested in the kefir you make as I occasionally buy it from the Chuckling Goat and take a 21 day course of it - it's delivered fresh and I take a small bottle each morning - I know it has enormous health benefits to the gut and I always take it after I've been on antibiotics. I've never heard of making it yourself, but it's a great idea, I shall look into that as it's quite expensive to buy - I hope it helps your husband.
    Have a good week,

    Diana x #11

  8. Oh my goodness you have been busy! The kitties are adorable, lots of legs and tails hahaha. The outing looks amazing, excited to see other photos. Have a great week
    Ellie #22

  9. Hi Shoshi, love the heart hanger, it's lovely. Interesting post about your cooking experiments. Have a lovely week, Hugs, Shaz #5 XxX

  10. I love your heart (and I also keep my mopping up tissues and actually used one for the first time this week). I love the naming of Esmeralda - hope she does a good job! Thanks for sharing. Caro x (#17)

  11. Tyntesfield, looks like somewhere I'd love to visit.
    Enjoy your visit with your friend.

    1. Thank you Jackie! Yes, Tyntesfield is a fabulous place to visit. Something beautiful wherever you look. We had a great time with my friend and she loved the Middle Eastern meal I cooked for her!


  12. I apologize for visiting so late. I’m having a terrible time with my internet. I’ve even called my provider twice this morning.

    I bet you are glad for the Nat'l Trust. Here in the states, we have something we call Nat'l landmarks. Unfortunately it's a long drawn out process where the wrecking ball comes in before the landmark can be saved.

    The kitties are SO funny. They sure create their own personalities. I enjoyed reading about the sourdough starter and how it can go for years. Loved how you named it. Happy WOYWW from # 4.

  13. I like the black lines between the colours on the scarf, keeps it nice and neat looking and stylised. Nice of you to make the red heart, it looks lovely. Great coincidence and frankly, time saver, about the happy couple’s initials! Are you adding flavour to the Kefir..fruit or what not?

  14. Hi Shoshi, sorry it's been a few weeks since I visited. So pleased you are crafting and knitting and making sone interesting fermented foods! The love heart is beautiful. I've already decided to make my daughters and their husbands one each for Christmas, and something similar for my grandchildren. Have a lovely week Heather x #12

  15. Wow, you sure are one talented lady. Lots of cool interests and looks like you're good at all of them. Have a wonderful week! Dorlene #34


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