Aug 16, 2013

Book Week 2013 and other bits

It's that time of year again! Book week always seems to sneak up on me (and it doesn't help that school only gives parents a couple of weeks notice), we panic a little, and then go through every book we own and try to work out a character to dress up as. R wanted to go as the tree from the book Stuck (by Oliver Jeffers), but the nasty cold/chest/cough thing that I've had for the last two weeks put a stop to that. He went as Puss in Boots instead.

I reused the hat and belt from his Robin Hood outfit two years ago. Those medieval outfits just all look alike, so just add some felt for a buckle and knee high 'boots' (I even used a fancy stitch to edge the tops of them - and they sit above his black school shoes), a cape/cloak made out of panne velvet (which is awful to hem), a quick tunic complete with no hemming and his little brother's red pants and you're done!

Don't forget the whiskers and tail (which was borrowed from the little guy but sadly does not appear in the photos) and you're done! He was the only Puss in Boots this year, which was pretty cool.  Amazingly, nobody dressed as Harry Potter!

In other exciting news, I've made a couple more hats. An extra small one for my new little nephew and a camo grey one for R. Both these hats have lightweight black denim on the underside as well as the interfacing. I think the extra weight will help them stay put on a windy day. Such a great pattern - I've even cut out a few more for next year's school fete.

Somehow, whilst feeling under the weather, I began dreaming of making jams, especially strawberry as it's currently in season. I've never made jam before, or done anything else that goes in a jar hot, but the urge was strong enough to make me order some small jars, lids and utensils.

I also has visions of making my own tomato sauces, dill pickles and preserved fruit in giant jars, but then reality set in when I worked out just how much those jars cost, then the produce cost, storage space and then the worry about food poisoning and botulism.

I decided to go low scale and just make small quantities of seasonal jam and mustard pickles in half pint (230ml) containers. I'm thinking the small size will get used up quickly (so we won't get bored of the same flavour) and won't take up too much room.

I just bought a dozen regular mouth Ball Jars from Ozfarmers if you're interested. I really want ALL sizes of Ball Jar (especially the blues one) as I'm a jar lover, but it will have to wait until I get the gigantic kitchen of my dreams.

And now I'll just have to go and find some strawberries for a good price and get jam making. I'm still going to make some dill pickles with summer cucumbers, but I'll be making these Refrigerator Pickles instead.


  1. Ooh I saw that Ozfarmer had a sale on Ball jars. Am tempted but we have started out with Fowler's Vacola so I guess should stay with them. Nice work on the costume. Still dreaming options up here (and trying to stay simple or recycling what we have like you!).

    1. Yes, the sale is fantastic - the postage is the killer though! I want more, but unfortunately can't justify spending over a hundred dollars on jars no matter how pretty they are...