Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Baby Knitting!

Two friends of mine are about to have babies ... so I have been busy knitting little bits for very little people! I have a huge amount of this lovely Rowan wool and find it is perfect for keeping precious little newborns warm.

This cardigan, hat and booties is for the baby who is due ... any time now!! The patterns are from the lovely "Vintage Knits for Modern Babies" by Hadley Fierlinger.

So now I need to get knitting for the December baby! And start various Christmas knitting projects! I'm finding that there really are not enough hours in the day to get anything done anymore!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Winter Knitting Part Two!

 Here they are!! I showed you one glove back in August and I have finally finished the second one!
Now that Little Miss Plum (at 13months, can't really call her a baby anymore!) is in bed at a reasonable hour (6.30pm!) I have time to get some knitting done in the evening, I have also started up a knitting group where I work and joined the new local knitting group which meets every other Friday! Knit-tastic!

I have just started to cast on a beret for Little Miss Plum using the same wool as my gloves. I think that it will look very pretty!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

My best ever jam!

I must tell you about my jam!

This isn't like my blackberry jam which was rock solid ... or my rhubarb and ginger jam which turned to toffee in the pan.

This is lovely, 'firm' (can you use 'firm' to describe jam?) strawberry jam!

Remember our allotment plot? (More of that another time ...) well, this summer we picked 11lbs of strawberries from our patch! 11lbs!! Most of these were scoffed, still warm from the May sunshine ... but a good proportion were picked by Mr Plum while I was staying with my parents and bunged in the freezer.

So I defrosted ...

After my runny strawberry jam incident, I made sure I got sugar suitable for strawberry jam!

I popped to John Lewis and got a sugar thermometer 
Sterilised my jars 

Mmmmmm 8 jars of delicious jam! I will have to make scones this weekend!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Happy Birthday Baby Plum!

Can you believe that my beautiful girl is one year old?
Here is the card Mr Plum slaved over to send in to Cbeebies. Hopefully they will show it!

Happy Birthday Baby Plum!

We are having a party this afternoon - so will let you know how it goes!!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Baby Plum is Almost 1 Year Old!

Baby Plum is One year old on Saturday!

Can you believe it? Where has this year gone?

We are going to have a little tea party to celebrate and I have been busy baking today, while Baby Plum settles into her nursery.

I have baked some lovely cupcakes - which, unfortunately I am unable to share with you as Blogger won't let me upload the photo ... and of course, a "Number One" birthday cake for the birthday girl.  When I dropped her off at nursery this morning one of the staff said that they were going to have a little tea party for Baby Plum tomorrow afternoon and I could provide a cake if I wanted...so I knocked up a victoria sponge! How exciting!

I'll post more cakey pics on Saturday.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Winter Knitting

I know what you are probably thinking .... gloves in August? Has Victoria Plum gone stark raving bonkers??

Well, having spent the last year or so knitting baby bits for Baby Plum and other babies I thought that it was about time I knitted something for little ol' me.

I wanted something quick and easy ... and I figured that this was the right time of year to start my winter knitting! Here is the first glove!

I picked up this lovely multi coloured yarn in the John Lewis sale and thought that it would be a perfect match for a bargain jacket I got in the Joules sale which has 3/4 length sleeves. Perfect.

Anyway, enough nattering on here ... I'd better get on with my second glove!

For those who follow me on Twitter, you'll know that the London riots were scarily close to the Plums. Mr Plum wrote about them on his blog - if you are interested in those awful few days from our perspective have a read here. Thank you for all the lovely messages of concern.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Fruity Infusions At The Berkeley

On Monday I met up with my two oldest and dearest friends for afternoon tea. Baby Plum was still a bit scabby from her bout of chicken pox, so she stayed at home with Daddy Plum.

It was a bit of a novelty having a day out and not having a pram/sling/nappy bag with me! I thought I would make the most of this rare baby free day!

I headed into town and popped to the John Lewis haberdashery department where the clearance sale was still ongoing (finishes on Sunday, I think!) and picked up some wool to knit myself some gloves with!

I then popped to work and met a friend for a quick drink to catch up on the news and gossip.

After that I met my friends for a lovely afternoon tea at The Berkeley. As you know, this is the home to the fashionista's afternoon tea and I have blogged about the wonderful cakes before. Previous seasons can be found here, here and here.  We are all fans of lovely cakes, aren't we? 

This time I was lucky enough to try out the new fruity infusions. Don't you agree that fruity/herbal teas quite often smell better than they taste? Mmmm smells of lovely fruit, but tastes of dishwater? Not these infusions!

These lovely fruit infusions are produced by Spiceway and rather than a dusty ol' tea bag in your cup you put a couple of teaspoons of delicious dried fruit into your cup ...

Add freshly boiled water ....

Allow the fruit to infuse... I had a spicy apple tea which would be absolutely perfect for a chilly winter's afternoon. All apple and cinnamony! Delicious!

Then drink (the picture below is the Funky Fruit tea). At the end you can eat up the fruit from the bottom of the cup which is now like a compote!
A lovely cup of fruit tea!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Melt in the mouth shortbread buttons

I was inspired by Retromummy to make a batch of yummy shortbread shaped like buttons!! Retromummy was inspired by the May issue of Country Living - so this idea appears to be bouncing from the UK to Australia and back again!

I'm looking forward to a biscuit with a nice cup of tea this afternoon!

What are you baking this weekend?

Knitting for Winter Babies

A couple of my friends are expecting babies this Winter so I thought I would start a bit of knitting for them nice and early!

I don't know whether they are expecting boys or girls so had a brainwave! Rather than just stick to blue/pink/yellow/cream, I would use some more of this lovely green yarn and knit a basic layette cap (from my current favourite knitting book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies).

Inspired by my favourite flower fairies I am then planning to add either little green leaves (in felt) around the top of the hat for little boys or pretty pink petals for little girls. Of course, I just have to knit a big one for Baby Plum to wear this winter! 

I'm really pleased with this pattern - so quick and easy to do - even with a chicken poxy baby in tow!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Vintage Apron Dress

Here it is! I have finished Baby Plum's little apron dress. I am rather pleased with the finished product!

Here is a detailed view of the pocket. I bought the ladybird buttons at the Knitting & Stitching Show I visited back in January.

The neckline was a bit tricky. But with help and advice from lovely people on Ravelry, I worked it out. The button holes went slightly awry (i.e I followed the pattern exactly) and the button holes had vanished! Anyway, I have stitched the straps together for now and added another couple of ladybird buttons.  I'm thinking of making a little felt ladybird to put in one of the pockets as a little surprise for Baby Plum!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

If only computers had smell-o-vision

I couldn't resist these beautiful stocks when I went shopping yesterday.  They smell so beautiful and remind me of my wedding bouquet.

Friday, 1 July 2011

A Work In Progress: Part Two

I thought I would give you a quick update on my current knitting project.

I'm rather proud of the amount of knitting I have managed to do of late.  This has coincided with Baby Plum going to bed a bit earlier and rather than passing out on the sofa exhausted, no longer having a night feed and getting at least 8 hours sleep now means that I have got my evenings back!!

I have a few concerns about the back of the dress (right side). It looks like a completely different shape to the front, but please be assured that this is just because I have it on the circular needles. I still need to cast off. I am a bit worried that the button holes may not be in the right place and have prepared my self to unpick the last few lines of the back of the dress and re-do them, if needed!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Another day out in London town!

This weekend my sister-in-law and her boyfriend came to visit. We thought that it would be fun to head into town and visit a couple of museums.

Mr Plum was keen to head to the baby friendly areas. The Science Museum had an area called The Pattern Pod which was aimed at 5-8 year olds, Baby Plum had fun chasing fish on the interactive floor!  There was a whole area called "The Garden" aimed at under 5's so Baby Plum spent some time in there with her auntie and uncle. 

Next we popped next door to the Natural History Museum. Baby Plum was fast asleep in her pram, so auntie and uncle had a look round the museum while we had a cuppa in the cafe and a wander around the shop!

What a lovely day!!

Baby Plum enjoying a pain au chocolat on Sunday morning!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside!

On Tuesday I headed into London to meet a friend for lunch. This was one of those exciting last minute-ish things as my friend was on a flying visit back from New Zealand and was only going to be in London for a couple of days! It was lovely to catch up with her. I hope she comes back home again soon.

There is always something interesting going on along the Southbank. If you find yourself in London and at a loose end - head down there! You won't be disappointed. 

As I headed towards Giraffe I was greeted by this ...

and these ...

deckchairs outside Foyles? What is going on??

The seaside theme was all part of the Festival of Britain and the "Summer of Fun".  There were exhibits inside the chalets, but it was a bit of a tight squeeze to get me and Baby Plum inside along with all the tourists! 

 A lovely sunny afternoon ... yummy food and fun with Baby Plum!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Strawberry Jam

I forgot to tell you about my jam!

I made strawberry jam with the first batch of berries we picked from the allotment.  

Unfortunately I didn't add enough lemon juice to the jam so it is very runny at the moment.  My mum found some remedies to sort out runny strawberry jam, so I will be having a go at thickening it up soon!

We picked about 10lbs of strawberries from the allotment! Our allotment neighbours even commented to Mr Plum that they thought we had the best patch on the site! Hmmm...I bet she pinched a couple! ha ha!

Our freezer is bursting with more strawbs ... I'm planning on making some more jam and some ice cream. Yummy!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A Work In Progress

I have been knitting Baby Plum a little pinafore dress since February!! It's taking ages as I'm finding it hard to juggle Baby Plum and my crafting, but I had a good go at it last week while staying with my parents. I have now completed the back and two pockets! I will shortly begin casting on the stitches to begin the front of the dress.

It's a lovely pattern from "Vintage Knits for Modern Babies" by Hadley Fierlinger and I am using the wool I picked up half price at the Stitching and Craft Show earlier this year. 

I'll keep you posted with it's progress!!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Girls in White Dresses ...

On Friday me and my parents went to Woodstock for the afternoon. After a lovely lunch we had a stroll through the town and popped into a lovely shop called Perspective.

Nana Plum treated Baby Plum to some beautiful dresses! We got a bit carried away and couldn't resist them! The dresses are a little big for Baby Plum at the moment, but will be perfect for next Summer!

I thought that you would like to have a little look ... 

Nana Plum can't resist a sailor style collar!

I just can't wait until Baby Plum can wear them!

Of course, I will be knitting a pretty pink cardie to wear with them ... and maybe making some lovely little hangers to hang them on! If I have time!!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Can I have a pea, please?


Thanks for all your lovely comments...I think I was just in a bit of a funk :) A holiday in Kent and a week in the Cotswolds (with my parents entertaining Baby Plum lots while I had a rest!!) has left me feeling refreshed and ready to get back on here!

Mr Plum has been busy on the allotment.  I have to admit that when we took it on I had a romantic vision of spending my maternity leave down at the allotment with Baby Plum in her pram sleeping or playing. Unfortunately that wasn't to be as it has managed to coincide with Baby Plum going through the "separation anxiety" phase (and how long does this last?!). It has meant that we have found it very hard to keep on top of the upkeep of the plot as we have been away a lot.  While I went to my parents last week, Mr Plum was down the allotment each evening digging, weeding, weeding and more weeding!

But, we are starting to see the fruits of our labours! We have had about 10lbs of strawberries from the plot! I have made a batch of jam (more about that tomorrow!), my mum whizzed up a couple of jars of strawberry sauce yesterday and I have stacks of berries in the freezer (ice cream?)

We have also had some peas!! Eaten last night for dinner. Delicious!

Gratuitous "baby eating homegrown strawbs" picture!

Friday, 27 May 2011



I know that I have said it before, but I really don't know where time goes! 

I barely get time to read blogs let alone write posts anymore! I just haven't been inspired to write about anything, and I couldn't put my finger on why ... and then I realised - I don't think that I do very much worth blogging about anymore. I've banned myself from baking as I was putting on too much weight, I hardly get the opportunity to pick up my knitting needles as once Baby Plum is in bed I am generally passing out in front of the tv with exhaustion, I started a bit of sewing back in March ... I burnt some jam in April ... I went out for afternoon tea a couple of weeks ago.

When I started this blog in 2008 I was a very bored civil servant who sat at a computer 9-5, Monday to Friday and felt that any bit of creativity I had once had had been beaten out of her by "the system".  Starting this blog and writing about the stuff that I love to do (pretend I live in a lovely little village, baking, knitting, gardening etc) made me realise that there is so much more to life than sitting in an office, day in, day out. I felt inspired by other crafty blogs to get on and make stuff!

I have been on maternity leave since mid July (oh no ... due to go back to work in August) and my days are spent looking after the beautiful Baby Plum (now 9 months old - can you believe it?). My days are a mix of fun baby clubs (rhymetime and lots of coffee mornings), play dates with other babies, trips to the swings ... being a full time entertainer! I don't really get much time to do anything else.

Do you want to hear all about my day to day life with Baby Plum? Therein lies a problem itself as I'm a bit weary of the internet and don't like too much personal information 'out there' and by telling you all about me and my baby just seemed a bit too personal and how could I remain anonymous with more and more detail about my life going out?

The blogs that inspired me back in 2008 were the crafty ones and now more and more I find that I am drawn to the Mummy Blogs and the Baby Led Weaning blogs...I had always felt that my blog, although a happy mix of all kinds, did tend towards to crafty side of life...should I now rebrand?

But tonight I made some jam! Strawberry jam with berries from our allotment!

So I now have something to tell you all about, if you are still interested? I hope so!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Is someone getting married?

Love them or hate them ... it is hard to escape tomorrow's nuptials!

I'm very excited! If we didn't have Baby Plum in tow, I would be tempted to hop on the train into London and have a look! 

The Plums will be celebrating the Royal Wedding with a champagne breakfast at home and then onto friends for a BBQ in the afternoon.  I promised the hostess that I would bring along something Royal Wedding themed ... do you reckon my Victoria Sponge with Berry topping will go down well?

Hurrah! Congratulations to William and Catherine!

How will you be celebrating the Royal Wedding?