Saturday, 30 June 2012

Poppys veg patch

I have successfully dodged the rain showers today to tidy up the veg patch, this is a major triumph!! 
I managed to harvest tons of onions

I needed to be quick to get the raspberries before the birds

The first tomatoes are making an appearance

Anyone for Eaton mess??

I do actually have some flowers in my garden though!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Sugar Skulls showcase!

Most people who know Miss Poppy has recently noticed my relatively new obsession with sugar skulls.  I find these far from morbid or sinister, instead I find that they actually celebrate life, good memories and the people we love.  Many latin countries celebrate `the day of the dead` on 1st of November, when a graveside or altar becomes a gathering point for the family and friends of the departed.  Often, favorite food or drink is placed there, as a gift and the loved one is discussed and remembered.  The skulls are tradtional sugar sculptures which represent the day and the celebration of life.  Here are some of the great items I found on ETSY by some talented people.  I hope you enjoy them!

This bunting is a departure from the usual pennant style with polka dots, florals or blocks of colours, love the safety pin feature and the bright colours.

My shopping bag sure isnt as colourful as this one, the orange crysanthumums are also a feature of the `day of the dead` celebration.  Lovely details on this pocket mirror, great to pop into your bag!

Here is my spin on the genre - I made a sugar skull carved pumpkin last halloween!  I hope you have enjoyed these wonderful creations,  all to be found on ETSY.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Maypoles, buns and jam.

I attended the local church fete this weekend and a good time was had by all.  From the traditional maypole dancing, homemade jam, raffles, bookstalls, tombola and the ever popular plant stall (which completely sold out) to the crockery smash up, bouncy castle and - best of all - the tea and cakes.  Hopefully lots of money was raised for church funds, its always good for the community to get together!!

I just love homemade jam!

Expertly baked sausage rolls

Very cleaver knitting - its a tortiose!

A fabric flower brooch.

I really wish my cupcakes were this good.
Hmmmm buns and homemade jam, English summertime doesn`t get any better than that! AND it didnt even rain.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Chocolate, soap and mustard

I live in the city most associated with mustard - Norwich.  Its beautiful, querky, eccentric and very very old.  We also have some wonderful shopping opportunities.  The colmans mustard shop in the Royal Arcade must be one of the odder retail experiences.

As a soapmaker I`m always on the look out for inspiration and am forever sizing up my rivals, however my recent find of mustard and lemon balm soap is not exactly what I had in mind. 

The mustard chocolate bar, is, I think, one of the strangest confectionary mixtures ever. 

Browse if you dare!

Any bizarre chocolate or soap combos can be posted here!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Bread and Brie

Sometimes I go all folksy and have a need to bake bread.  This usually coincides with a urge to eat brie.  So yesterday, I bought a wedge of brie and then got out my bread making equipment.  I have Mr Jamie Oliver for the chocolate bread swirl inspiration:  Here goes!
500g strong bread flour
7g yeast
325 ml warm water
10g oil
pinch of sugar & pinch of salt

Mix to make a stiff dough

Kneed (my favorite part, especially when thinking about Jimmy Carrs tax bill) for 10 minutes until elastic.

Cut into 2 portions and leave for 45 minutes, covered with a clean tea towel, in a warm spot.

Once the mixture has doubled in size, flatten 1 loaf and coat with chocolate spread, then roll up swiss roll style and slice into inch long swirls.

Place the other loaf on a layer of greaseproof paper, and place the swirls next to it, leaving about 1.5 inches between each swirl.  Cook at gas mark 8 for 15 mins and then reduce the temperature to gas mark 6 for another 15. 

Allow to cool, then eat asap 

As this bread contains no preservatives it needs to be eaten the same day as it is made - if not you can toast it!!

My children love the chocolate bread - I love my homemade bread, especailly with Brie!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Soap Art

Being a soap maker - I appreciate the technical difficulties in producing the lovely artisan designs available these days.  Although I usually produce rustic designs, I really enjoy other makers work. Here are three of my favorite sellers and a mini celebration of soap art, click on the links to see more of their wonderful designs!  OH, did I say - natural soap really is best for your skin!

Pomegranate Noir by Earth Kandi is a white, grey & pink layered soap with dark pink circular inserts.  The layering and colour scheme enhances the fragrance, which is fruity fresh and feminine.

Kushmoma`s Atlantis has a swirled teal, green and white marbled effect.  I bet the fragrance is wonderful too.  It takes skill and experience to acheive this effect.

Scentcosmetics apple soap, is realistically styled and along with the other items in their range are some of the most true to life soap products I have come across.  Looks good enough to eat but I wouldn`t suggest anyone actually does.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Super shoes

I love shoes - I`m sure I`m not the only one, I have so many pairs its scary.  I came across two lovely pairs in Norwich city centre yesterday all from  , totally lush!
Great excuse to pop on my new cowboy boots though!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Footie & pizza Friday

Dont you just love Fridays?? 

Lavender balm

I`ve listed my new lavender sleep balm today, I think I`ll need the legendary relaxation properties of lavender, during the football tonight, so I expect to be rubbing it into my skin like crazy.

I came across a new online selling platform the other day, its free to list and has no sellers fee.  Well worth signing up for! 

No excuse needed for pizza for dinner this evening.  I`ll probably add some of my homegrown salad though, as a nod to healthy eating.  The frequent rain showers and periods of sunshine are doing my veg patch the world of good but it really could be doing better. 
My courgettes are swelling but my green beans are less than happy.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Football, soap & spiders.

I must say that I`m now belatedly getting into Euro 2012, perhaps its the fine eastern european weather or the wall to wall coverage on the telly.  Cant make up my mind who I want to win, England, of course wont.  So who will?  Italy, Spain, The Netherlands (unlikely at the moment?), Germany perhaps.  My second team Sweden, have a mountain to climb after their defeat to Denmark and they are due to play England this week.  OK I`ll back Italy and will eat my hat if England do win (or a bar of my handmade soap).

Botanic Ocean
I`ve been messing around with new images for my new products, this is my favorite so far, very nautically on trend I thought.

I found this little critter in my kitchen yesterday - she was safely extracted using the glass and paper method and now lurks around the patio, waiting for me to open my windows to return to her hiding place - be very afraid!!!!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Quite a weekend wasnt it??  Strong winds caused mayhem in my veg patch and garden with collapsing trellis, bent broadbeans and overturned pots.  It all started so well with bright blue skies, however after a disasterous trip to Pleasurewood Hill near Lowestoft - where a trip on the chair lift was like scaling the north face of the Eiger in a force 10 gale - I`d completely lost the will!!
Exciting news later though - Norwich Ukulele Society have been confiirmed to play at Folkeast in August - I`m beyond excited!!!  Best get practising then!! 

at least the cat was chilled

It all started so well!

Collapsed Trellis - grrr!!


Sunday, 10 June 2012

10% off 2 day sale!

Citron 10% off

There are birthday celebrations in this house this weekend - so to celebrate I`m having a 2 day 10% off sale - on 10th & 11th June - click on my shop banner for details!

Friday, 8 June 2012

...still raining (part 2)...

sugar skull!!!

Its Friday!!!!
Popped into Norwich City centre today, found this lovely broach, now, I know that sugar skulls aren`t to everyones taste, but for some bizarre reason,I just love them! has a lovely range of sugar skull mirrors, keyrings rings etc (if you like that sort of thing AND ethically sourced and altogether lovely stuff to spruce up your home or garden.

Also listed some great handmade solid hand lotion onto Its tangerine fragranced and made with sweet almond oil, beeswax and shea butter.  My last lot of English Rose lotion had sold out, so I thought I would change the fragrance.

I also had a little visitor in my garden - this frog!  At first I thought he was a brightly coloured rainforest frog - the type that forest dwellers use to make poisoned darts - escaped from somewhere, but quickly realised he was actually covered in pond weed DOH.  Anyway I made him welcome and I hope he will eat all the slug and snails.

Happy weekend!  XX

Thursday, 7 June 2012

....and its still raining

Still raining here - to be fair it started at 4pm so most of the day was OK.  On the upside I have cut and stamped my newly made soap bars - piccies below - they are now off to `cure` for four weeks before they can be bought in my shop.  They both smell divine!!
Botanic Ocean - sweetly herbal - with cocobutter
Kismet - exotic, with a lavender crust and cocobutter

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Despite the unseasonal rain, Miss Poppys veg garden is starting to become bountious, salad leaves have been harvested tonight and I am looking forward to my strawberries, courgettes, broadbeans, green beans and watching my new grapevine grow after it was munched by a snail.
Looking Good!!

Botanic Ocean

Solid perfume

Kismet now has a lavender crust
Also been soaping today and made repeats of two of my most popular soaps - Botanic Ocean and Kismet and made a new formulation of my solid perfume - I just have to decide on the fragrances!  The photos show the just-poured cold process soap mixture, which will set overnight and will be ready to cut into bars in 24 hours.  I`ll upload photos of the finished result later!