Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Cheer

I hope you all well and not too frazzled. The stress is getting to me a bit.  It's not bad stress, just that funny feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you think of all the things still to do.  At least the Christmas present shopping is out of the way.  Just the dreaded food shop and then I can relax.
Here's a sample of one of Miss Cakeaholics Baileys cupcakes. They are yummy.
Well just in case I don't get chance to blog again here's wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful and prosperous New Year x

Monday, 12 December 2011

May the Force be with you

Is it me or is it beginning to feel like Christmas?  I got a bit panicky this week as I had got it into my head that Christmas was next weekend.  You can imagine my relief when I realised that I had another week.
I hope you are more organised than me.  I'm like a headless chicken at the moment scooting from one thing to another whilst not really getting anything done.
Steve wanted us to spend the day together yesterday as it was his last day off until Christmas Day.
I needed to go shopping and so did he so we went in to Doncaster.  It was a pretty swift visit as you don't hang about with a bloke in tow do you?  Anyway on the way home we stopped off at the Lakeside Shopping Centre which is literally five minutes away from where we live, and look who was there.
Storm Trooper
There were all the characters from the Star Wars movies.  If I'm wrong about this being a Storm Trooper then I apologise.  No doubt Joe will put me right.
There were lots of people taking photographs but when they got out of the way this guy posed especially for me.  It must be the first time I have actually had my camera with me and the courage to get stuck in and take pictures.  I'm quite shy and don't like drawing attention to myself.  However since blogging I feel the need to take pictures so I have something interesting to talk to you about.  So thank you for visiting, you are helping me to face my fears, so to speak.
Finished projects this week have been the dolls blanket and a dog jacket.  Unfortunately because I didn't complete them until Friday night and they we collected Saturday morning, it slipped my mind to take photographs.  Never mind.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

More Finished Items

Just to let you know I have completed another two jobs on my to do list.
One doggy jacket for a puppy not yet born.  My friend Carron has a friend who will have the pick of the next litter that Rupert's Mum has.  This has been made in lieu of the happy arrival.  You've guessed it.  She wants a girl.
And one pair of baby bootees.  My customer didn't seem too keen on these but I think they're gorgeous.  I did give her the option to have another pair but she took them anyway.  It is abit disappointing when someone thinks they're doing you a favour but you can't win them all can you?
I also finished a tidy bag and a silk necklace but forgot to take pictures.
I took an order yesterday for 2 more baby cardigans but they're not needed until April so that's not a problem, another decoupage box and another silk necklace, these are for Christmas so I had better get my skates on.
As always thank you for visiting my blog and I'll speak to you again soon.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Visit to Southwell

Gossips Coffee House
I wish I could be off work everyday, I would have such fun.
Yesterday I took my Mum out for the day to Southwell (pronounced Suthell).  What a treat.  It was lovely. 
I was told about it originally by a friend at work and then after reading Diane's blog (Heartshaped) I decided that it looked like the kind of place I would love.  I wasn't disappointed.
The shops are small and quaint with old-fashioned frontages.  There were lovely gift shops, clothes shops, cafes and even (wait for it) a little wool shop.  Unfortunately this was closed.
We were advised to visit Gossips Coffee House for lunch by the lady in the handmade chocolate shop.  We obliged as we thought it would have been rude not to.  We ordered homemade carrot and parsnip soup and it was delicious.  The waitress who served us was absolutely amazing.  Nothing was too much trouble. 
I would say if you don't go anywhere else this side of Christmas please take a trip to Southwell but avoid Mondays if you want to buy wool.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Worksop Christmas Market

Hello and welcome.
Well this week has been a busy one with 2 visits to my market stall.
Tuesday was the official Christmas lights switch on at Worksop.  It was very well attended with swathes of people and of course there was a visit from Mickey and Minnie Mouse.  No expense spared there then!
Minnie Mouse
The kids loved it and the atmosphere was great.
My stall was decked out complete with a Christmas tree, tinsel and fairy lights.
Needlecraft Corner
The street lights looked lovely too.
Worksop Christmas Lights
It was a long day though.  We arrived at nine in the morning and left at nine in the evening, but it was totally worth it.
I met lots of lovely people who kindly visited me at my stall yesterday too.  Who could ask for more, I am very lucky.
A lady who introduced herself to me was Eunice English.  She took a photograph of me and said she would put it on her blog.  She also gave me her blog address but when I tried to visit it I got a warning message.  If you read this Eunice could you leave a comment and let me know if your blog has a virus issue and give me your blog address again.

Gents Mobile Phone Cover

Just to let you know that it hasn't all been work and no play this week, I did manage to make this little phone cover for a friend at work.  He liked mine and asked if I could make him a manly version.  He wanted it plain and simple and I think I managed to fit the brief.  He was pleased so that was nice.

Well it's time to go.  I'm having a nice chill day today with lots of crafting I hope.

I've got a couple of days off too so that's exciting and on Diane at Heart Shaped blogs recommendation I am taking my Mum to Southwell tomorrow.  It sounded lovely and I can't wait to sample the pretty shops.  Who knows I might remember my camera and take a few pictures to show you next time we chat.
Bye Paula x

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Christmas Craft Fair at Walkers Nursery

I seem to be settling in to a once a week visit to my blog and although I think about blogging more often and would love to do so time restrictions mean that Sunday mornings are the best time for me to sit down and have a chat with you all. 
On Wednesday evening I visited the craft fayre at Walkers Nurseries which is just outside Bawtry, Near Doncaster.  It was extremely well attended.  The car-park was chocker block and the stalls were mostly excellent.  Unfortunately I am not yet a hardened blogger who takes her camera absolutely every where with her and therefore I have no photographs.  Sorry and I will try harder in future.
I did however buy one or two little goodies and will show you these instead:
Lolly Pop Socks

Wooden Angel Heart

Lovely Yarn
I didn't really buy a lot, did I?  The socks are a great idea for a little stocking filler, the wooden heart is for me.  I love angels and couldn't resist this. Ah and the yarn.  I can hear you shouting hang on a minute, don't you sell yarn.  Well yes I do and I can actually buy this brand which is even more insane, but I wanted the pattern and didn't want to have to buy a full pack of yarn to try it out.  I paid four times as much as I could have bought it for but I can make two scarfs one of which I can sell.  This will get some of my money back and then if I want to I can buy more yarn myself and sell it with the free pattern.  There was method in my madness, honest.
Moving on rapidly.  I am progressing nicely with my To Do List.  Items completed are:
2 hooded jackets
1 pair of pink/green bootees
1 pair of lemon bootees
Head band
1 pair of childrens socks
1 dog jacket
1 Christmas Santa hat (red)

Not bad for starters.  I also have a dolls blanket which was ordered a couple of weeks ago and have promised to sew up a baby grow too.  Me and my big mouth!

Bye for now, Paula x

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Ashby Canal - Act 2

Snarestone Tunnel

A Family of Geese
I thought I'd show you a few more photographs taken whilst we were on the Ashby Canal.
The Snarestone Tunnel is almost at the end of the Ashby and does take a bit of nerve when you enter it for the first time.  You have to check that there isn't anyone coming in the opposite direction before you begin the long journey as only one boat can go through at any time.  I have taken the boat through myself just the once and it takes a while to get used to it but it was fine.  Steve on the other hand has done it loads of times.
There's a little hut just before the brand new bit of the canal where a man and his four dogs man a tiny shop.  The proceeds go towards the Ashby Canal Restoration Fund and so far they have been able to continue the canal by about another one hundred yards.  It looks great and once it grows into it's surroundings it will be even better.
Whilst on the boat I had lots of time to reflect and do lots of the things I like doing the most.  In particular knitting, sewing and things that I don't always have the time to do when I'm at home like trying brand new crafts.  Here are a couple things I did whilst away:

Napkin Decoupage Box

Napkin decoupage is one of my favourite pastimes but it is a bit fiddly and time consuming but really worth while as it produces such pretty results and no one would guess that the effect comes from a paper serviette.  Kirstie Allsop did something similar on her latest series but she made a paper seagull which she covered with Decopatch.  I use their glue sometimes or actual napkin glue which is better but not as glossy.  I will need to varnish the box to seal it and make it waterproof.
Bye Paula x

Friday, 4 November 2011

Ashby Canal

Hello again.
Phew I've just had quite a scare.  I decided to try the new templates which are now on offer through Blogger and got my knickers in a twist.  It looked great but I couldn't get my head around how I could show which blogs I was following and all the other rinky dinks I have on here so after a slight panic attack I have reverted back to what I know.  So much for trying new things. If anyone else has a go I'd love to know what you think

This week we have been holidaying on the the Ashby Canal. We picked up our narrow boat which was called Ashby and set off on a winter break taking in the sites from on deck.
We love this style of holiday as it suites us to slow things right down and take it steady.
On the first day we moored up at the Bosworth Battlefield site which is so quiet, particularly at this time of year.  There are still lots of boats about but they are more or less bedded down for the winter.  We only passed a handful of cruising boats all week.
Ashby is quite an old boat and I suspect that it was one of the originals in the fleet.  We have been on several now with the Ashby Boat Company and this one definately felt a little tired.
The scenery is wonderful and although we are now familiar with the surroundings we still love every nook and cranny.
The weather was great too, with lots of sunshine and mild temperatures for the time of year.  It rained heavily during the night but yesterday was the only rain we experienced during the day and that lasted only a few minutes.
Well I'd better get off now. 
Tomorrow is market day and we're moving down on to Bridge Street.  I will be opposite Burtons on a stall by myself which means I will be able to walk all round it without having to walk a mile so that will be great.  I am ever so nervous though as it feels like I'm starting all over again.  I won't have the people round me that I know and that is rather daunting as I'm not a hardened market trader yet and it was nice to have people around me that were.
I'm going to print off some new price labels so that it all looks more professional and Steve says he'll stay with me tomorrow to give me a bit of moral support.  I'm sure it will be fine.  Wish me luck.  Best wishes Paula x

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Two Down Lots More To Go

Hi there
I am pleased to say that my to do list is gradually getting smaller, however I have had to add a couple of things to the end of it that I'd forgotten to mention.
This is Rupert modelling the latest in doggy attire.  He loves his new jacket and can't wait to put it on and get out in the fresh air.  My friend Carron who is the very proud owner of this little puppy has now ordered two more.
Second to be struck off the list is this baby hoodie made in the ever popular Vesper double knit wool I sell on my stall.  The lady who ordered this called yesterday to pick it up and was very pleased.  She has now asked me to make a pair of matching socks.  I did pass on the knitted blanket she also wanted me to make as I now have enough things to do to take me up to Christmas.
The blankie and Pudsey Bear are nearly finished together with the headband so photographs will be appearing soon.
It was Mums 88th Birthday yesterday so the whole family will be descending on the local pub for a meal later today.  That's eighteen adults and three children.  I'm not keen on family gatherings and usually manage to get wound up by something or someone but I'll keep my fingers crossed that today will be different. It's always nice to see everything and catch up with the news.
Anyway that's all folks.  Have a great day x

Monday, 24 October 2011

Longing For Peace

I was considering what to talk about this morning as it has been a pretty hectic weekend, and then whilst scanning through my pictures I found this lovely picture of my husband disappearing towards the horizon. It was taken at Holkham when we were in Norfolk on our holidays.
Don't you just long for the lazy, hazy days of summer when the weather is bleak and cold outside?  I know I do.
My list of things to make gets longer and I am becoming more and more frazzled.
2 Hooded baby jackets
1 Pair of pink/green bootees
1 Pair of lemon frilly bootees
1 Pudsey Bear
3 Dog jackets
1 Baby blankie (Comforter)
1 Christmas pudding hat
1 Red Christmas hat
Head band
1 Tidy bag
1 Silk necklace
1 Make-up holdall
1 Table runner
1940's Snood
1 pair of childrens socks

One or two things are well on the way to being completed.  I like to have more than one thing on the go at the same time so that I don't get bored.  It's strange because one minute I feel as if I'm not getting anywhere and then suddenly I have several things all finished at the same time.I envy these people who start a project and refuse to do anything else until that thing is finished.  I'm not that focused I'm afraid.
Right I'm off to do a couple of rows of knitting before I go to work.  Have a lovely day and try to find time to relax.  Goodness knows we need it.  Paula x

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Courgette Walnut Bread

Good morning and how are you all? It seems to be getting longer between blogs at the moment and no one is more sorry than me for that. I am trying to get all my stock on to a spread sheet in order to do a stock take.  I should have my tax forms in by the 31st October so it's all systems go.  If I miss the deadline I then have to do the form on-line and as my computer skills are extremely limited, that is a risk I would rather not take.
I have also decided to take my insurance exams which means that I will be able to put Cert CII after my name.  I work for an Insurance Brokers full time in addition to my wool stall and thought it was about time I got a qualification.  I have worked in insurance for thirty two years so maybe I should have something to show for all my efforts.  Anyway enough about me.  Here is the long awaited recipe for Courgette Walnut Bread.  The recipe was collected on a trip to Clumber Park which is near Retford.  We went to a tasting day in the walled garden and they had made this cake for us to try.  It is very moist and so tasty.

8oz whole wheat flour (I use white self raising)
2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp salt
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp all spice
half tsp of baking powder
12 oz sugar
half a pint of vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tblsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 courgettes coarsely grated (no need to peel)
large handful of toasted chopped walnuts or similar nuts

Preheat the oven to 165cc gas mark 3
Butter and flour 2 loaf tins.
Stir the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, all spice and soda in bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract and lemon peel.  Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Add the courgettes and nuts and stir gently.  Pour the mixture in to the two tins and bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cooked.  The cake can brown quite easily so have a piece of baking parchment ready to place over the top of the cake if it starts to look as if it might burn.
Let it stand for 10 minutes before turning it out on to a rack to cool completely.
The loaf can be iced, buttered or just eaten as it is.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  Bye for now Paula x

Thursday, 13 October 2011

So Much Fabric So Little Time

Just in case you were worrying about how I manage to spend my hard earned cash I thought I'd let you see.  Aren't these the most wonderful fabrics? I know, the photo leaves a lot to be desired and if I get some lovely sunshiny light sometime soon I will try again, but beggars can't be choosers and you sometimes just have to make the most of what God gives you.  Anyway I bought these at Heath's Country Store in Ollerton, Nr Retford and I love them all dearly.  Three are Christmas designs chosen for their small patterns and they are poised to become little foundation pieced Christmas hangings.  The tiny house print will perhaps become the back or lining of something (you guessed it I just liked it, no plans as yet) and the pure one I liked because I like gentle, authentic themes, if you know what I mean.
My week has been a mixed bag with the funeral of my Uncle kicking the week off.  As you can imagine this was a very sad affair especially for my Mum who has took his passing particularly hard.  Walt was actually my Mums cousin but we always called him Uncle.  My Mum is very 'old school' and anyone who we didn't call Mr or Mrs seemed to be Auntie or Uncle.  Uncle Walt will be sadly missed.
Since the funeral I have been under the weather what with a touch of tummy trouble (I won't expand on that) and then a migraine (I can now officially call my bad heads Migraine after being diagnosed by my Doctor) I haven't done half of what I had planned for this week.
I opted out of going to the Mothers Union last night and my quilting class tonight.  I just don't feel like doing anything that involves any effort right now.
I'm having my hair cut tomorrow night.  Doesn't it come round quick? I am changing hairdressers yet again in the quest of a good one.  Wish me luck.  Then on Monday I am going to Specsavers for an eye test.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have a brand new image and perhaps a new lease of life.  Here's hoping.
Bye for now Paula x

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Cup Cakes

Hello and thank you for dropping by.  Not much to report today so I decided to have a browse through my photographs and came a cross this one.  These little beauties were the cupcakes made by my son's partner Heather who owns Miss Cakeaholic.  You can visit her blog by clicking on my favourite sites link. They were my birthdays buns and were chocolate and orange flavour sponge with Matchmakers and Terrys Chocolate segments placed on top. We took them away to Norfolk with us and they went down very nicely with a steaming cup of coffee.  Very civilized.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Cutie Bootees

Good morning.  From where I'm sat I can't see what the weather is like but hopefully it will be glorious again.  Isn't our weather freaky at the moment?  Believe it or not, yesterday was the hottest day I have experienced whilst working my stall and as you know I started in April.
Anyway back to business.

I decided to make a pair of strawberry bootees the other day and my friend Jeanne claimed them for her friend who is having a baby girl next year.  They were going to go on my stall but I can always do some more.
The frilly ones above are for another friend, who having seen the first set asked me to make a pink and white pair.  They are so cute.  They seem to bring out the soft side of everyone who sees them.  It's a lovely feeling when you make something from a strand of wool which evokes emotion in people.  I will definitely be making more and who know perhaps a few pairs will find their way on to the stall after all. Cheers Paula x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Babworth Needlework Exhibition

Good Evening.
Before I tell you about today's excursion here is yet another cardigan which I have just finished and sold to a lady called Claire.  It was actually ordered four weeks ago and after a very dedicated effort I finally got it done in time for the deadline.
I must apologise for the back ground which happens to be my stall.  I totally forgot to photograph it and so in a bit of a panic I laid it down and hoped for the best.
Now on with the details of our little trip to Babworth today.

This is Babworth church where a marvellous array of needlework crafts were displayed.  There were so many special pieces some of which were obviously antiques and treasured things which had been kept for many years.
My friend Lyz who's father is the church warden there had brought a collection of embroidered cloths which had been worked by her mother and had been left to her when her mother died.  Her mum is buried in the church grave yard.

After a good look round we bought some home grown carrots, parsnips and apples together with a great armful of Harris Tweed skirt lengths and large pieces of lovely cotton fabrics.  To top it all off we had a steaming cup of tea with homemade cheese scones and cakes.  The refreshments were £2.50 for the lot.  How unbelievable is that.  What a fantastic afternoon.
Must go now as Downton Abbey has just started.  Bye for now. Paula x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Seeing Double

Hi there.
Since I started trading at the market I have been asked to knit for some of my customers and above is my latest commission.  A lady called Beverley who is expecting a baby boy in January 2012 ordered two cardigans to be knitted in Vesper velvety yarn.  This is the result and they were gratefully received.  Beverley was so pleased she has now ordered another one in cream.
This particular wool is flying off the stall and all on the strength of this one pattern.
My Mums friend Anne volunteered to make a sample for my stall and I asked her to make a yellow cardigan in the same pattern as these and since then everyone has wanted to make one.  I have now sold all but a bit of the blue and will be ordering another lot next week.
Anyway, that's it for tonight.  Sunday tomorrow.  Ahhhh ...

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Hello and thank you for visiting my blog.  I do usually write more often but at the moment things seem to be a bit more hectic than usual.
I had a fantastic day yesterday.  Takings on my stall were the highest yet, which is very encouraging.  Lots of people now know where I am and are sending their friends to see me, so that's wonderful.
Last night Steve and I went to see Miles Hunt and Erica Nockells.  Miles is the lead singer of Wonderstuff who were quite big in the Eighties and Erica who is an extremely pretty and talented violin player joined him around 2006 when the group needed a new violinist.
Erica just happens to be the daughter of my friend Louise who works where I work.
There aren't many girls that could pull off a hair cut like this one but she did it beautifully and don't be deceived by the pretty dress as she was wearing a pair of what looked like hob nailed boots with this outfit. 
Just so that Miles doesn't feel left out here's one of him.
There is a lot of their stuff on You Tube.  You'll have probably heard of Size of a Cow.  That was their most popular song.
Speak to you all again soon, Paula x

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Our New Arrival

Hello again. Is it that long since I last spoke to you all?  Crikey where does the time go?
Baby Mya was born at 13.19 on Saturday the 10th September 2011 weighing 6lb 2oz.
Congratulations to my niece Elizabeth and her partner Ali.  They are back home now and are hopefully resting peacefully.
Mya will look beautiful in my latest creation.
Joe and Heather are now back home having had a week away in Turkey.  They had a lovely time and got in to Doncaster at 1.15am yesterday morning.  Steve and I picked them up.  Steve was sensible enough to go back to bed but we stopped up until 4.30am chatting.  Needless to say, we all felt a little under the weather yesterday.  I fortunately had the day off and ran them back to Sheffield where they live.
When I got back I busied myself making a Courgette Cake which is much nicer than it sounds. (Recipe to follow).  I also got chance to smarten my nails up.  I qualified as a nail technician last year and although I don't very often use my skills it is handy to be able to do my own nails once in a while.
I actually had them done by my mobile beautician as part of my birthday make-over but yesterday I did the infills as they had grown quite a lot.
OK that's it for today and I will definitely be back in touch shortly.
Paula x

Monday, 5 September 2011

Pensthorpe Medieval Festival

King Arthur
Hi and welcome to the next instalment of my Norfolk holiday.  Please don't think for one minute that I am boasting about my week away.  I just would like to show you what Norfolk has to offer.  I was totally blown away by how much there is to see and do in and around the area.
On bank holiday Monday we went to the Pensthorpe Medieval Festival.

In the tents above there were lots of exhibitors showing their own particular talents, be it making beer and wine the medieval way, making dipped wax candles and my particular favourite was the Mulberry Dyer who gave a demonstration on making paper and also how to spin wool with a drop spindle.  I of course had to have a go and it was inevitable that I had to buy the spindle, the unspun wool, a hank of ready spun undyed wool and a dying kit.  Oh yes, as you can imagine I was in my element.  This was definitely the best day of the whole holiday as far as I was concerned.
The farewell battle at the end was very funny with this lady (or rather man) really playing to the audience.
There were a few pretty impressive sword fights and at one time we actually thought someone had been hurt but it was all play acting.
As you can see the costumes looked authentic too.  The attention to detail was amazing.
Finally though I had better show you a couple of photographs of the birds to reassure you that we were at the Pensthorpe Nature Reserve.  You may remember that this was where they filmed Spring Watch.  I'm not sure if it was this year of last though.
Stork stood on one leg
Well that's all for tonight. I have had a new book delivered called Low Cost Living by John Harrison and I want to read a couple of pages before bedding down.  All the best. Paula x