Thursday, 31 May 2012

May Projects

I got to thinking about blogging and the fact that my blog has evolved quite nicely over the last year or so.  I didn't think that I would be able to keep up the momentum and envied the people with such busy lives that they could manage to talk to blog land every day and find things to say that were both informative and interesting.
I myself try very hard to vary things but it is a difficult process.
I looked over the photos featured here and realised that Needlecraft Corner is turning in to a bit of a 'This is where I went this weekend' thing so I want to put things straight and show you my on the go knitting projects just to reassure you that I'm not just sat in the garden sunbathing all day.  Ooh the chance would be a fine thing.
This is a jumper for me.  I love the colour which is called Bluebell.
One of the two mobile phone covers almost finished, and yet another pair of crocodile shoes half way there too.
One candy striped baby cardigan crying out to be completed.
Completed bunting to hang on my stall this coming Saturday to kick off the Jubilee celebrations.
And last but by no means least my soon to be, felted shoulder bag.  The colours are pretty awful but this is more of an experiment than anything else.  My friend Elaine who comes to the knit and natter group on a Monday evening is knitting handbags like they are going out of fashion.  She got in to felting by accident but is now addicted and is producing the most beautiful bags you can imagine.  As a result yours truly can't resist having a go but as I only had a couple of balls of felting yarn in my stash I decided to try with those rather than buy something more tasteful.  It's now just about ready to go in the washing machine and I will let you see the finished result shortly, good or bad.
Well there you have it.  I must now get down to finishing all of these.  The phone covers and bootees are orders so they must be done soon. The other stuff is pick up and put down things which will get done eventually.
Last night I made a Union Jack cloth to lay on my stall and have got about six pairs of red, white and blue ear-rings curing in the oven.  I have to take a trip to the craft shop in my lunch hour to pick up the metal backs for them.  Hopefully these will sell on Saturday.  Otherwise they will be back as Team GB ear-rings nearer to the Olympics. I'll post the photos when they're finished.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

Hi folks, isn't this weather great? I hope you are all being careful and applying the factor 30!
I feel very cheerful at the moment.  My eBay sales are beginning to take off.  It has been slow but I have sold a few patterns and wool and my feedback is all positive.
The Knit and Natter group is growing like crazy.
Knitting is definitely on the up and it is so wonderful to see how much everyone is enjoying themselves.  The noise is unbelievable with more nattering than knitting going on a lot of the time.
Oh and finally my bad back is on the mend.  I have been visiting a Chiropractor for about 3 weeks now.  He is amazing.  I was scared stiff about going as you hear such horrible stories of crunching bones and pain.  I can honestly say that he hasn't hurt me once.  There have been clicks and crunches but I find that more funny than anything.  He has manipulated my lower back where I have several dodgy fascit joints and clicked all down the centre of my spine.  My neck has been stretched in both directions and goodness knows what he'll do to me next week when I go again.  All that said I feel better than I have done for years and hubby says he's getting his old wife back refurbed.
Have a great day and thank you as always for dropping by.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Birthday Outting - Marple Bridge

It was Steve's Birthday yesterday and as a special treat we decided to have the day off work.
We set off in search of a place called Marple which is in Cheshire.  Unfortunately there was no connection between the place and Miss Marple but never mind.
Marple Bridge is a small town just down the road from Marple itself with a couple of nice little shops.  The main reason we went there though was to walk a little bit of the Macclesfield Canal.  We started at lock number 9.
Macclesfield Canal - Marple

The water was a bit murky due to all the boats.  It must have been the best day for weather we've had this year.  I even have a couple of pink bits to prove it.
The scenery was beautiful with the hills in the back ground.
We had a good walk before dropping in at the Navigation pub for a well earned beer and lunch.  The food was excellent.  I didn't take a photo as I'm sure you know what bangers and mash and chicken in barbecue sauce looks like.
We then walked back down by the canal and up the other side finishing at Bottom Lock.  There were lots of locks which indicates that the incline was steep.  I'm definitely feeling my legs today.
Stone Bridge - Macclesfield Canal

Monday, 21 May 2012

Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum

Yesterday Steve and I set off to visit Burnby Hall which is situated in Pocklington, East Yorkshire.
We spotted the brown sign when we were out last time and noted it for the next time we were out and about.
What an absolute gem it is.  The gardens are beautiful with hidden nooks and lovely woodland areas. The tulips were still in flower.
There is a big lake in the middle with quite a few fish.  Well that's abit of an understatement actually.
As soon as you walked to the edge they appeared.  It was unbelievable.
There was a cafe serving scones to die for.  We also had homemade soup with half a warm bagette.  It was delicious and not expensive either.
Inside the cafe was the Stewart Museum.  Major Stewart made eight round the world voyages bringing back a collection of very interesting artefacts which are displayed together with a stuffed lion and other animal heads.  They did a lot of hunting in those days!
The budgies were amazing.  I could have stood and watched them all day.  Their colours were so pretty.
The Secret Garden
It wouldn't be complete without a picture of the ducks.
This part of the garden looked just like the Monet painting with a bridge and all the water lilies.  It will be spectacular when they are all in flower.  The garden boasts the National Collection of water lilies.
And to cap it all off we were treated to an hour or so of  music from the Elland Brass Band.  They were excellent.
I have to say that this has to be one of my favourite gardens so far and I can't recommend it enough.  There is music every Sunday with a different band featured.  Go along and have a look for yourself.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Burton Agnes

The weekend before last me and hubby popped out to Burton Agnes.  We were on our way to the coast but like all the best laid plans we didn't make it.  We were absolutely starving so the plan was to stop for a quick bite to eat and then to carry on to the seaside, but once at Burton Agnes Hall we didn't feel the need to carry on any further.

We had a lovely bowl of homemade tomato soup with a hot breadroll and a mouch around the shops before taking a stroll through the church yard and then down to the duck pond.
It was lovely to venture outside the confines of the hall's grounds for once as usually we walk around the gardens admiring the flowers, which is all very nice but sometimes it's good to do something different.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Blogger Awards

I have been nominated for two awards! How cool is that? Thank you very much to Heather at Miss Cakeaholic for nominating me. Miss Cakeaholic Blog
Rules for both the awards are
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award and link back to them.
2. Share five random facts about yourself
3. Spread the joy by nominating other bloggers
4. Convey the blogger about the nomination.
So here are the five facts about me
1. I have been knitting since I was five years old, that's a total of forty five years.
2. I love Angels and collect anything to do with them.
3. I have a wool stall on Worksop market.
4. My favourite programmes are The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie.
5. I'm learning to play the violin.
The people I'm passing the awards onto are
I hope people reading this check out the above bloggers.  Hopefully everyone will enjoy reading them as much as I do.

Poppy Seed Cake

I was wondering what to blog about today and got to thinking about why I blog.
I really just found the whole concept of being able to connect with people all over the world mind blowing.  I also wanted to share my recipes and talk about my passion for making things, in particular knitting.
Over the last year or so I think I have pretty much kept to that mission, throwing in a few outside excursions for good measure.
I must admit that I have struggled sometimes to keep things interesting but I hope that you have enjoyed popping in.  Any how today I thought I'd give you a treat and let you in to my secret recipe vault.

This little offering is an absolutely delicious super easy loaf tin cake.  Everything is thrown in to a bowl, mixed until smooth and popped in to the oven at 160 to 165 degrees C, gas mark 3 for about 45 minutes.  The following ingredients will fill two loaf tins but you can always half them. I don't bother lining the tin as mine is still non stick however please feel free to do so if you think you might leave the bottom of your cake behind when it is turned out.  Do check the cake after about 35 minutes and pop a bit of baking parchment or greaseproof paper over the top if you think it is browning too quickly.

14oz Self Raising Flour
16oz Sugar
1 & a half teaspoons of Salt
3 teaspoons of Poppy Seeds
1 & a half teaspoons of Baking Powder
Half a pint of Milk
Half a pint of Sunflower Oil
1 & a half teaspoons of Vanilla Essence
1 & a half teaspoons of Almond Essence
3 Eggs

The icing is made by mixing a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar with a little bit of lemon juice or water.

P.S. The wool in the background is Cotton On by James C Brett and can be found in my new eBay shop called Needlecraft Corner.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Just Dropping By

I thought I'd just very quickly say hello before I scoot off to work.  I hope you all enjoyed the extended weekend.  The weather wasn't too bad I suppose considering that it was a Bank Holiday.
Forget me nots
I have to go now but promise to be back in touch in the next day or so. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Walled Garden Open Day - St Catherine's Hospital

Hasn't the weather been awful these last couple of weeks? Yesterday was a bit better but the rain is back again today.  It makes you wonder where is all comes from.
I promised to take my Mum out on Sunday and even though it was chucking it down we were not put off.
We had heard that the local hospital at St Catherine's in Balby, Doncaster were holding an open day to show off their walled garden and plant centre so off we splashed.
It was a bit of a wash out unfortunately but we were able to have a look around the greenhouses and bought a few plants.  There we also a couple of craft stalls where we were able to buy handmade jewellery made out of recycled paper and these absolutely gorgeous sweet treats made by adults with learning difficulties.

These came in a bag of two and only cost £1.50.  Can you believe it?  The work that has gone in to making them and the attention to detail is amazing.  We haven't had the heart to eat them yet.
The ladybird and hedgehog are sat on a sandwich biscuit and their bodies start off as those chocolate marshmallow teacakes.  So clever!
Look at the expression on that caterpillar.  It is so cute.
The plant centre is open between 10.00am and 4.00pm and is well worth a visit.  The grounds of the hospital are lovely and there is a cafe selling cakes, sandwiches and hot snacks at very reasonable prices.
Unfortunately the battery on my camera expired so I was unable to take any photos of our outing.