Friday, 7 October 2011


I do paid surveys on line (more about that later).  Today there was a quick poll on the site asking which season is your favourite?  And it took me no time at all to think of my answer as it is autumn.  And for anyone wanting to know the entire quote for the heading of this blog today it is from John Keat’s poem and can be found here
As a person who likes to indulge in woolly crafts like spinning, knitting and crochet then summer is not ideal.  My “big” project at the moment being a classic traditional creamy heavy cotton double bedspread.  It is ok doing the triangles and making those into squares, but assembling an entire bedspread and adding an edging means its weight precludes doing much work to it in warm weather.  Autumn is when I decide on projects that I am going to do in the winter and spring, and so is full of anticipation, and excitement at procuring the materials.  Its like a new dawn of crafty goodness every year. 
Autumn is good baking weather too, the bread doesn’t take forever to rise, and the kitchen is not searingly hot.  Hands are cool enough to work the flour and fat into a pastry that is not going to resemble playdough. Pickles and chutneys can be laid down in a relatively conducive climate.   
The garden chores are winding down too, but most days are pleasant enough for forays outside not to need swathing oneself in scarves, hats and gloves just to go out to the dustbin!!  So lets raise a glass to a long Autumn!

Entries for this edition are:
1)    A penny for your thoughts
2)    Autumnal Salad
3)    Heard this podcast?
4)    Seen this site?

1)    A Penny For Your Thoughts
Readers will know I like sites withmo ney saving ideas, but this item is about “earning” money on a survey site.  Many sites offer incentives to those willing to participate in market research.
  Rule Number One is that this is not going to create much wealth for the participant!
 Rule Number Two is that some sites want so much input over such a long time before a meaningful reward is achieved that the participant could be 100 before this is achieved!  I would also be loathe to put in a number of links to these sites of which there are plenty without having first hand knowledge.  The site I use is Valued
One can “earn” vouchers for well known outlets like Amazon, M&S, Argos, Tesco etc. The company emails a survey offer and  if the participant wants to do that survey they answer a couple of questions to ensure they are suitable and then do the entire survey.  Some surveys pay more than others.  I have earned vouchers (got one in the post this morning!), so do know it is not a con.   In fact I went to the site on recommendation of a colleague. 

This is a nice Autumn salad and only needs decent bread to complete the meal. The basics are suggested, but as always feel free to add extras like grapes/walnuts.  For the latter just raid the larder and experiment
1 Fennel bulb ,2 leeks, 12 oz tomatoes
4 tbs olive oil,  1tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper to season
Finely chop the fennel bulb, I know the feather bits if left on are pretty but that is all they are. Finely slice the leeks having chopped off the ropey dark green tops.
If the tomatoes are large chop them up, if you have those nice cherry ones just halve them and congratulate yourself for choosing decent ingredients which don't need a lot of preparation.
Put the fennel, leek and tomatoes in the best bowl you have (this does not affect the taste but aesthetically you can feel smug at your skills in food presentation). Mix the dressing up and pour over the salad and mix thoroughly.
Now serve this up to someone who will be impressed that you actually know what to do with something as exotic as a fennel.

Easily downloaded from itunes is Craftlife podcast. An audio podcast Craftlife Or from the blog This craft related podcast has excellent reviews on itunes including a good recommendation from the highly rated Martine of imake.  The site is worth viewing and check out the Monkey bread recipe!!! 

4)    SEEN THIS SITE? It came as a surprise to me that this upmarket site not only showcased current patterns and yarns, but also has an excellent selection of free patterns.  Many of these patterns were previously in their paid for publications.   This site is inspirational and never fails to whet the crafting appetite.  The free patterns cover wide range of projects of wearables and projects for the home.


  1. I'm also a member of lots of survey sites, sometimes though I can't be bothered to do them. I've had the most money out of (a couple of £50 cheques in a couple of years) and (£50 cheque in a similar time) also as a member of the (invite only) shopand scan i've had lots of amazon/brewers fayre/beefeater vouchers too.
    Like you say some take you round the houses before dumping you out with a "you don't fit the criteria" message!

  2. Hello Peter, thanks for the information on these sites. Am off to take a look NOW!