The blog of BaggieAggie, designer of bags, gadget cases and other fabulous accessories handmade in Wales. Sprinkled with recipes, gardening chat, the odd piece of short fiction, and anything else that inspires (or annoys!) me. So pull up a comfy chair and stay a while.


Friday, 30 July 2010

Fast Fiction Friday 5

©opyright, as ever, belongs solely to me, the author. Comments most welcome.


When I showed you the inventory, missing treasures highlighted, I first supposed you’d borrowed them, had forgotten to return them to the shelves. But your darting kohl-rimmed eyes told a different tale.
   Blind rage replaced numbing shock and I thrashed you with my latest copy of Book Collector – packed as ever with valuations and Wanted ads – till it fell in tatters from my aching hands. You cowered in a corner, cloaked in your oh so silky copper hair; hair you’d wrapped around my waking cock only that morning, like a Waterhouse siren in a pornographic shampoo ad.
   By the time I’d finished vomiting, you’d fled. I heard your car accelerate away, the silver sporty job you’d begged for, couldn’t live without. That Frostrup growl had me reaching for the bank cards every time.
   As you sit here now – taped to a dining-chair, napkin stuffed in your lipsticked mouth – it seems incredible that when the phone rang I prayed it was you. Oh yes, part of me longed to plunge these shiny blades into your throat – see how they glitter in the candlelight? – yet another, bigger, part wanted you back.
   But it wasn’t you; it was your mother: “All this fuss over a few old books," she said. "For heaven’s sake, nobody died, did they?” When she paused to suck on her cigarette, I heard you snigger in the background.
   After a long, punch-drunk moment I feigned acquiescence, remorse. And you thought I’d welcomed you home with open arms. Hah!
   Now, now, stop panicking; I’m cutting tape not flesh. Now I’ve got what I need to keep me warm at night, you can piss off. And stop that crying. You’re no Sinead O’Connor, but it doesn’t look half bad.

© Rosie Rose

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Baked Beetroot with Creme Fraiche and Dill

Recipe: Baked Beetroot with Creme Fraiche and Dill

Demolished last night with cold leftover chicken and salad leaves. Salad, beetroot and dill were fresh from the garden. Yum!

Serves 4

4 medium raw beetroot
Roughly chopped dill sprigs to garnish

2 tsp coriander seeds, cracked
150ml creme fraiche
2 tsp creamed horseradish
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

1. Preheat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6. Wrap each beetroot in foil and bake for 1 - 1.5 hours until they feel tender when squeezed.

2. Meanwhile make the sauce: reserve one teaspoon coriander seeds, then mix together all the remaining ingredients.

3. Remove beetroot from oven, and split each one down the centre (quarter them if they're big enough). Top with the sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining coriander seeds and dill sprigs.

Just fab! And the beetroot leaves and stems are in a food bag in the fridge, waiting to be used as a vegetable side-dish tonight.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Handcrafted business card wallets

I listed the above, my first 2-pocket business card wallet, on Folksy this afternoon. It's so pretty, I can hardly bear to part with it!

The main fabric is Makower's Stash (called that for obvious reasons!) and I've lined the wallet in a white-and-navy cotton twill. I've fully interfaced for structure and durabilty, and there's a ribbon loop and button fastening. Would be perfect, I think, for fabric sellers and crafters alike, or anyone who likes pretty things.

You can find more details in my Folksy shop, BaggieAggietoo.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Quick Spelt + Rye Bread

Spelt flour is an ancient wheat. As it’s easier to digest, it can be eaten by most people who, like me, have an intolerance to modern wheat. Spelt contains gluten, so not suitable for coeliacs, but ideal for bread-making. However, the gluten is more fragile than that found in modern wheat, so it won’t stand up to lengthy kneading and baking. This loaf recipe is the final result after much experimentation, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.


(Makes one MEDIUM loaf on a FAST-BAKE programme in your bread machine.)

125g rye flour

375g stoneground spelt (or a mix of white spelt and stoneground spelt, or all white – I generally use half of each)

320ml warm water

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 level teaspoons salt

1.5 level teaspoons fast-action dried yeast

Mix the spelt and rye flours together in a large bowl.
Add the water to your bread-machine’s pan, then add the salt and olive oil.
Spoon in the mixed flours.
Make a well in the centre of the flours and sprinkle in the yeast.
Put the pan in your bread-machine and set to medium / fast-bake programme. If using white spelt in your flour mix, set crust setting to ‘Dark’.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Bumblebees Have Smelly Feet (and other facts)

Apart from having smelly feet, bees are imperative for man's survival on Earth.Yes, it’s true - they produce oily secretions to inform other bees which flowers have already been visited. Amazing creatures, but not just because of their smelly feet!

Albert Einstein apparently said that humanity would die out in four years without them. A terrifying thought, isn’t it? But he was almost certainly right. Bees, the most important pollinating insects, are crucial to the entire ecosystem. Agriculture – and therefore our food supply – depends on them, so no wonder their recent dramatic decline has become a cause for global concern.

So what’s responsible? Habitat loss, pesticides and disease. Also, our recent poor summers have accelerated this manmade decline. In 2008 alone a third of all bee colonies in the UK were wiped out. One third.

It’s pretty clear, then, that bee consciousness is vital. We all need to put out the welcome mat.

The simplest way to do this is to plant bee-friendly plants and flowers to encourage bees into our gardens and neighbourhoods. If you don’t have a garden, a windowbox or a hanging basket by the front door will do nicely. It’s amazing how much you can squash into them!

We should also reduce the use of pesticides in our gardens, by companion planting, using other green methods and products, and encouraging beneficial insects and other creatures. (If on the odd occasion pesticides are unavoidable, it’s best to apply them in late evening, when bees are less active.)

Installing bee houses (bamboo for solitary bees, or boxes for social bees) is also helpful – google to see where to buy or how to make your own.

Those of us with adequate space can set up a hive or two to help the honeybee. You don’t need to live in the country to do this – all you need is the right conditions. And think of all that free honey – one hive can produce up to fifty jars in a season! And if you don’t have space, why not adopt a hive?

I hope I’ve convinced you that all of us can do something positive to halt the bees’ decline, and also have fun in the process. After all, what could be nicer than relaxing in the garden amid the soporific buzzing of bees – all busy wiping their smelly feet on your welcome mat.

© Rosie Rose

(The Bees wrist key fob in the above photo is available here.)

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Dear Dogs and Cats...

A friend emailed this to me. Still laughing!

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height.

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years -- canine or feline attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why they call it "fur"niture.)
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

Remember: In many ways, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
1. Eat less
2. Don't ask for money all the time
3 Are easier to train
4. Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don't smoke or drink
8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don't want to wear your clothes
10. Don't need a "gazillion" dollars for college.

And finally,
11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

My wrist key fobs featured

My Citrus wrist key fob is featured today on Do You Etsy. The zingy citrus colours still make my mouth water! And my Daisy fob was featured last Folksy Friday on The Little Bead Box blog. I adore this Kaffe Fasset fabric with its jewel-like colours. Must see if I can get some more!

The idea for these was born when I found myself juggling kids and shopping, and struggling to find my keys in my bag or pockets. After dropping said keys (invariably in a puddle...!) for the umpteenth time, I decided it was time for action. So I designed and made myself one, using gorgeous fabrics. When complete strangers began asking where they could get one too, I realised I wasn't the only one with this problem, and BaggieAggietoo, my second Folksy shop, was born.

As can be seen, these are not made with webbing and hardware clamps, and therefore dashed off in a few minutes, production-line style. My washable and durable fobs are made with multiple layers of designer fabrics, often vintage, and two layers of interfacing. Some will also feature unusual braids and other trimmings. Matching or contrasting covered buttons feature, and the quality nickel-plated steel hardware has been sourced for its discreet simplicity. Time and care is lavished on each and every one. I also offer a custom service for anyone who requires an alternative colour or fabric combination, at no extra cost.

The shop is very new, and other accessories will be added gradually. Do stop by if you have spare moment as I'd love to know what you think. :-)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Water Is Fattening


Mum says water is fattening –
she heard it on daytime TV.
I’m sure she must have misunderstood
so I tell her I disagree.
But she gives a loud disdainful sniff
and says she knows she’s right –
eight glasses of water a day
are making her hips look a fright.

I mention her love of Dundee cake
and her passion for full-fat cheese,
then remind her how much she adores clotted cream
but she protests, “Now, darling, please.
They’re little treats I have now and then
and I’m sure they can’t possibly matter.
It’s water I ought to cut down on now
because that’s what’s making me fatter.”

I go to her fridge for milk (full fat)
as Mum brews up the tea,
and there upon the second shelf down
I see Stilton, Cheddar and Brie.
Not tiny portions for one, of course –
they would feed her street for weeks.
And when I spot the fresh-cream eclairs
a blush spreads over her cheeks.
“I normally only buy one box
but three-for-the-price-of-two
was Tesco’s generous offer today
so what else could I do...?”

“But the ‘Use by’ date is today, Mum –
are the neighbours invited to tea?”
“Good God, no! Eclairs are my favourites –
I’m saving them all for me.
Don’t worry, I’ve worked out a clever plan
so I can eat them all at once:
If I give up water completely today,
I know I won’t put on an ounce.”

© Rosie Rose

Sunday, 11 July 2010

For Sale: One Silver Cat


For Sale: One silver cat
adorable and not too fat
but she scratches the hell out of sofas
I’ll make no bones about that.

She’s lost a few of her lives
because she brings me out in hives
when she claws holes in the carpets
and eats all my chives.
The basils have all turned black
(she pees on them behind my back)
and last night she poo’d in the parsley pot –
I hope it’s survived the attack.

I can’t visit the bathroom at night
without switching on all the lights
in case she’s sicked up a fur-ball.
(I’ve stepped in a few, all right!)

But this morning was the last straw
when I woke up at half-past four
to find a dead rat on my pillow.
I just can’t take anymore!

If you can put up with all that,
you can have my silver cat
but I may come round to reclaim her

because I’ll miss her – despite all that. :-)

© Rosie Rose

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Swiss Chard Recipe

A delicious Swiss chard recipe.
Like so many veg growers, OH and I have an enormous glut of Swiss chard (and other beets), thanks to the cold spring we experienced this year, conditions they apparently love. So here's a recipe I'll be trying out today:


2 large bunches Swiss chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 strips thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


Slice the stems into 1-inch pieces and reserve. Stack the chard leaves into a pile. Roll together into a bundle and slice into 1/2-inch ribbons.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute until browned, rendering the fat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add chard stems, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

Begin to add the chard ribbons in batches. Once the chard wilts down, add the next batch and the balsamic vinegar. Stir occasionally until completely tender, about 5 minutes.

Serves 3 to 4.

(I'll be serving this for dinner with braised lamb's liver and red peppers. Yum!)

Monday, 5 July 2010

Keywords - learning curve or glitch...?

I googled 'handmade shoulder bags' this morning, and was happy to see, on Page 2, a Folksy link containing eleven pages of said items. However, I was not so happy to find that my shoulder bags weren't on any of these eleven Folksy pages - despite the fact that all three words were in my keyword lists.

So I did some investigation and experimentation and eventually found where the problem lay - I'd separated each keyword with a comma as instructed while listing, ie. handmade,shoulder,bag. Big mistake, as it seems that certain words, like 'handmade', can stand alone, but 'bag' and 'shoulder' can't - the two words must be separated by a space, ie. turned into a keyphrase. Now I've done that, my shoulder bags appear on those eleven Folksy pages. (Oh, and I've added the single word 'bag' as well as 'shoulder bag' - just to make sure I've covered all angles!)

This seems utterly bizarre to me. Is it a Folksy glitch, or just another example of my ongoing struggle with all things webby...?!?

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Pinch Punch

Is it really July 1st...? I'm always amazed at how quickly time flies, yet when I was a child, Monday to Friday seemed forever.

And Christmas, well, it seemed a century away; if only that was so now! In approximately three months, the shops will be putting up decorations and setting up seasonal displays. Is it only me who thinks Christmas should begin arriving no earlier than December 1st...?

And not only is it July 1st, it's also Thursday so almost a week has gone by without a single piece of fabric or length of thread having passed through my hands. Not through choice, of course, as recent posts show. Ah well. Maybe, just maybe, Figure8 bag will see some action later today!