Jamming and baking days. Apple and raspberry jam.

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Today I needed to get my creative powers going but it’s tough getting the sewing machine out with the kids around so culinary creativity is the best option.  I had apples left over from our trip to Brockhampton Estate which seriously needed using and a huge tub of fresh raspberries so the answer was easy.  Jam!

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Apple is high in pectin as are most berries including raspberries so they are perfect for jam.  The recipe was basically : –
500g apples peeled, cored, diced
250g raspberries
750g jamming sugar
Juice 1 lemon
75ml water

Soften the apples and raspberries in a large pan with the lemon and water for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the sugar and continue to boil until the sugar is melted then rapidly for approximately 5 minutes.

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You can test for setting by putting a spoon of jam on to a small plate cooling in the fridge.  If after a minute or two it starts to skin and wrinkle when you push it then it’s right.  If not continue to boil for another minute or so and test again.

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Your jam jars have to be sterilised and heated.  I wash mine in the dishwasher on high then stick them in the oven in a tray to warm.

Once your jam is ready use a large spoon or ladle to fill your jars then seal them tightly.  You are supposed to put a ring of paper on top but mine gets used so quickly I don’t bother. 

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I also baked my favourite ginger loaf cake today too. My best mate is coming to stay tomorrow and it’s her favourite cake too. I love this recipe.  So easy and yet a wonderful cake.  I will add the recipe another day.

Update following morning toast with yummy jam xxx
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How to make a sock snake

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I promised my cousin I would write a quick blog entry on how to make a sock snake so here it is.
How to make a sock snake

To start with you need a pile of socks or sock ends. I make lots of sock animals www.sockanimalsandfriends.co.uk so having a pile of sock snake parts was easy for me.
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It does not really matter what colour or pattern though I mostly had stripes. It also doesn’t matter if each part isn’t the same length but I would make the socks the same size so that the width is more or less the same. I stacked my sock tube parts up then and got my sewing machine ready.
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To sew each part together I folded one sock tube inside another making sure the right sides were together. Then pin the raw edges together.
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Once the two parts are pinned together you can sew as neatly as possible around the tube.
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I did this from the inside as you can see. Removing the pins carefully as you sew around the tube. I didn’t bother zigzagging the edges of the join but I did whizz round a second time to make the seam strong.
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Now simply repeat this process until you have the length you want. I should note that I started with a sock toe so this could be the snake tail.
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I simply kept going and going as we wanted a lovely long snake. Once you have finished the length choose another sock toe section for the head. I used my scissors to cut a neat hole in the toe that I will sew up later for the mouth.
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Stuffing was not as easy as other animals and I had to roll the whole snake back in on itself to start stuffing it’s tail. I use lovely soft toy stuffing which I buy in bulk from eBay. It’s proper safety fire regulation tested too which is good. You can buy this type of soft toy stuffing from most fabric stores. I know big stores like Dunelm also sell it.
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Once snake was stuffed I cut a length of ribbon and sewed the opening closed with the ribbon in the middle. I did this in a straight line not gathering. After I had sewn the sock closed I created a mouth by pushing the end of the sock in and sewing it closed with a running stitch along the edge. Running stitch being just in and out. It created this lovely ridge.

The eyes are pieces of felt bought at a local fabric shop. I craft glue them into place then sew them on. There you have it. Lovely long sock snake.
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Halloween outfit for mummy. Pirate wench

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Finally the outfit for me to wear.  Since the theme was Pirates for us I opted for Pirate wench.  This is the finished outfit lol.

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The skirts are mine.  Two skirts layered with the top one tucked up.  The hat was an eBay bargain.  The shirt and little waistcoat thing I made.  The fabrics were cheap as the black is craft velour velvet and the teal is poly cotton lining fabric.  Both bought off eBay for under £5.

I used a pattern.  It’s a simplicity costume pattern 3618. I chose to only make the top part.
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Here’s the fabric when it arrived.
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