Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Baking Day

Sunday was my type of day.  I had nothing planned so was able to sit in bed browsing the Internet.  Catching up with unread emails and blogs and discovering new crafts on You Tube.  More on that later if things work out.
I sat on the sofa in my PJs eating toast and Marmite watching TV.  It was heaven.
Suddenly I received a text from Heather and was kicked into action.  Blossom Art Silicon Moulds £5.99 at TK Max. ' OMG I'm on to it' was my reply.
Dashing upstairs I bathed and made myself presentable before screeching down the road in my C1.
What might you ask are BASMs? (see above).   Wonder no further.  If you are a regular reader of this blog you will remember that I went to the NEC trade fair earlier this year and these moulds were demonstrated there.  Also Heather at Miss Cakeaholic uses them all the time to create beautiful cupcakes.  I have been after these for a long time but felt that the normal retail price of just short of £10.00 was abit steep.  Now you realise what all the fuss was about and why I had to get to the shops immediately.  The downside was that I had to buy my least favourite.  It was the only one left.  I would have liked Petunia or the blossom one, but beggars can't be choosers.
It did however turn out to be rather an expensive outing as of course no one stops at just one purchase do they?
Cupcake cookie cutters are always handy and there is a recipe with this.  Irresistible!
I couldn't not buy edible dusting colour could I?
Oh yes, eye makeup by Elf.  This is a company that is popular in America and recommended by a couple of ladies I watch on You Tube who kindly show me how to put my make-up on so I don't look like Coco the Clown.
There was one more thing but that's a present for my son so I can't show it. (No it's not a Star Wars T-shirt).

Finally it was off to Tesco to stock up on supplies and back home to do a spot of baking.
I know what you're thinking.  Unfortunately I need a little more time and practise to do the pretty flowers so that will be for another day.  I did however use giant chocolate buttons for the butterfly wings on the top buns and microwave fondant icing for the bottom ones (both are new products) so these little morsels aren't that ordinary and the ladies at my Knit and Natter group enjoyed them immensely.

Friday, 22 June 2012

All for a good cause

It's been a funny old day.
Stuart  (pictured here) bravely volunteered to have his head shaved in aid of Cancer Research.
His lovely wife Wendy was diagnosed with skin cancer a little while ago and after undergoing a couple of operations has recovered, thankfully.  She and her friends will be doing the Run for Life shortly and at some point of the proceedings Stuart quite stupidly said he would have his head shaved to raise even more money.
At the time lots of his friends also agreed but for one reason or another they all welshed on the deal and left Stuart to it.  Being the last he couldn't very well drop out.
Anyhow, today was the moment of truth and to cut a long story short (sorry no pun intended) I was persuaded to do the cropping.  I think the fact that I am a qualified hairdresser had something to do with it.
Still Smiling?

That smile is a little bit strained
 Not a good look
We can stop now if you want to
Ok you asked for it
Mm perhaps not my best work but the most fun I've had in ages.
If you would like to donate to this very good cause please click here.
So far on the site they have raised £150.00 plus over £200 where we work so they are well on their way to their target of £500.  I believe the video of Stuarts ordeal will also be on the link shortly.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Diagonal Dish Cloth

Hi there. I thought I'd just drop by to show you my latest project which I started and finished yesterday.
Margaret at Solstitches sent me the link to this pattern which is so quick to make.  I made mine slightly bigger than specified (54 stitches) but you can either stick to the pattern or add more stitches until you are happy with the size.
I used James Brett double knit craft cotton and I guess it used about 50 grams with 4.5 mm needles (thats an old number 7). The US equivalants are already on the original pattern which is here by the way.
Thanks to Margaret I might start to enjoy washing up!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

My Garden

After returning home from my stall yesterday I needed a few moments peace and decided to wander around my garden.  As you know my stall is right next door to a flower stall and I stand looking at all the beautiful bouquets and plants and it makes me think of gardening and other domestic arts which often get pushed aside because I'm too busy working.
On my stroll I picked a lovely bunch of yellow and pink roses together with a branch of bay leaves and a piece of a willowy yellow flowered plant.  I don't know what it is called unfortunately.

The lupins have done really well this year which makes me think that I had better collect and cultivate the seed this year just in case I lose it.  I had a lovely blue one a couple of years ago which suddenly disappeared.  I didn't even see it start to die it just wasn't there the following year.
These Red Hot Pokers have suddenly appeared.  I think I must have bought them as a baby plant from a local garden open day we go to every July.  If not they are from some seeds I grew a few years ago.  My husband calls me the Forgetful Gardener because I am always surprised when a plant decides to show itself by which time I have forgotten all about it and where it came from.
Steve made the fence in the background.
None of these shrubs were planted by me.  They started life in the garden next door and over time toppled over a flimsy fence and overwhelmed it.  The beech tree self seeded from the other side of the fence where our neighbours try in vain to keep a row of them under control.  Ours is getting quite big now even though Steve takes a hack saw to it quite regularly.  I don't know what the blossom is.  It looks like apple or orange but isn't.  The flowers actually grow upside down so are difficult to keep in a vase.  Very strange.  If anyone has any ideas I would love to know what it's called.  I should have took a close up.
My sweet peas are doing amazingly well.  I planted them in two pots, one at each end of the garden.  The ones that get the most sun are doing a lot better as you can imagine. You can see them in the lupin photo.  I always pick the flowers as soon as they come out and keep them on my window sill. That way by picking them they will produce more flowers and keep going longer.

Well I hope you enjoyed the tour.  At least the garden is enjoying the rain even if we're not.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Say Hello to Zingy

This is Zingy.  You will hopefully recognise him from the EDF advert.
Joe told me that there were knitted EDF flames on Ebay and that I could buy the pattern.  However after a bit of detective work we were able to find a free pattern which was great.  It was a bit tricky using four needles on something so small but I think it looks great.  Unfortunately I am now finding it difficult finding any more of the wool in the right colour. I found a small ball in my stash but used it for Zingy the first.  I have four orders so far so I have to keep searching.  I have a note on the pattern of the make and shade number but until I researh it further I can't tell if it is close to the original. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Diagonal Scarf

I just can't stop stopping by at the moment.  I feel on top of the world again following a series of migraines starting on Saturday and finally settling down yesterday.  I had the same problem last week too. They are sign of getting old apparently!
I bought this book at the weekend whilst scurrying around The Works book shop.  We only had about an hour to route out books and have a coffee before they closed for the day.
I noticed this book several weeks ago and didn't really take much notice.  Knitting books usually use such specific wools that they are useless.  Having a wool stall means that I tend to begrudge buying wool from other sources so therefore if I can't substitute what they recommend with something I sell I don't bother.
That aside I did buy this one because I liked the pattern for the beardy man's jumper.  However on closer inspection I actually fell in love with the scarf in the middle.
Oh I know.  You are probably thinking why is she starting yet another project when she still has at least a hundred other things on the go, and you would be right.  Why? Well because I can.  The other things will get done.  They always do, just in my own time.  There's no rush and the enjoyment is in trying something new.  It's what keeps me going.
This pattern starts with two stitches and on each row you increase one stitch by knitting into the front and back of the first stitch on each row.  Once you have fifty stitches on your needle you continue as follows:
Increase in first stitch, knit to last two stitches, knit two together. Knit next row.
Repeat the last two rows a total of 140 times or more if you want a longer scarf.
To finish the point of the scarf - Knit next row to last 2 stitches, knit these stitches together. Repeat the last row until you have two stitches and cast off.
How easy is that?  They recommend a double knit, variegated wool and if you use different colour combinations to separate them with a couple of rows of a lighter colour.
I am using a Sirdar baby wool for mine.  I picked up three odd balls in a charity shop a year ago for a pound (this wool is usually about £3 a ball) thinking I would make a baby cardigan but I think it will look lovely for this scarf and is so soft it shouldn't tickle.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Tickhill Flower Festival

Unfortunately my Mum has not been well lately and has recently had a quick spell in hospital.  Since getting back home she hasn't been out and although she is 89 years old she is usually pretty active and staying at home drives her crazy.  That being the case I decided to take her out for a short run to the next village to where we live where the Methodist Church were holding their 175th Anniversary Flower Show celebration.
My son made a surprise visit on Sunday so he joined us too.  Like a fool I had forgotten to charge my camera so I was thrilled that he was able to take plenty of shots with his camera phone.  I think he was glad to have something to do, bless him.




I find the same problem with flower shows.  The displays are always set on the window sills and as a result the light behind the flowers spoils the photographs.
The arrangements were lovely and each one had a theme.  The scarecrow was part of the Harvest display.  Tickhill are known for their Scarecrow Festivals where the whole village make scarecrows and sit them outside their homes and shops.  It's quite a display.
This photo is for Joe.  Even at twenty five he can't resist taking silly pictures.  He had to capture Scary Mary.
Refreshments were provided.  We had a selection of sandwiches, a piece of homemade cake and a coffee for £3.00 per person.  Brilliant value.
By the time we left there was a brass band playing in the car park.  The organisers had watched us park up earlier but they forgot to tell us this was going to happen. When we went out to leave the band were in full swing.  I had to reverse using a five point turn, disrupting both the spectaters and the band at the same time.  It was painfully embarrassing and annoying at the time but was hysterical afterwards. Good times!
Before I go, can I say a big thank you to everyone for taking the time to visit this blog.  It's also great to see new followers appearing and any comments, as always are gratefully received.  Regards Paula x

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Wine and Magazines

I have always admired people who know about wine.  The way they sniff it and swish around their mouths.  I on the other hand tend to look for the cheapest with the highest percentage of alcohol punch and just hope that it tastes alright.  Classy!
Anyhow I decided the other day to ditch that and have a good look at the Tesco wine department and was amazed at the variety and price range.
There are wines from every country imaginable and I settled for a very reasonably priced bottle from Italy.
Memoro Italia (Latin for Remember Italy).  I read the label first which gave a description which quite frankly confused me.  It said that the wine had hints of black cherry with coffee (yes that sounds delicious) and tobacco (oh hang on a minute) with hints of figs and prunes.  Now I don't know about you but I don't want my wine to smell of tab ends.  I pressed on though and had a good long sniff and was able to get black berries which I thought was quite good for a novice.
Down to actually drinking it.  The label said that it was reminiscent of port but with a dry, complex palate.  Yes I must agree.  It was a very nice drop of splosh.
Cost - £9.99 down to £4.99 - 14% Alcohol.
Just to let you know.  Glamour magazine is out and this month and has a Benefit makeup giveaway.  There are three different items to choose from.  The Pore Professional which basically claims to smooth the skin filling in unsightly pores etc.  I bought this a few months ago and although it makes your skin feel silky smooth it doesn't particularly do anything.  The second is a mascara which I suspect will be exactly the same as any other mascara ( I wear their mascara and it is good but I have yet to find one that is fabulous) and the third which is the one I went for is "that gal" brightening face primer.  I thought that I would have a go simply because I need all the face brightening I can get my hands on nowadays.  I have now tried it and I think it actually works.  You can wear it on its own or under your normal makeup.  I did see a difference when I wore it under my usual foundation.  My skin just looked that bit more 'cheered up'.
Whether I would actually buy this product is another matter as I imagine it will be around the £20.00 mark.
Thanks to Heather at Miss Cakeaholic for letting me know about the free gift.  She knows I'm a sucker for Benefit products.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Jubilee Bank Holiday

Isn't it great to have a few days off work? I love being able to take it easy.
I made these ear-rings to sell on my stall.  They look a bit like Union Jacks I thought but Steve said they reminded him of rock at the seaside.  Either way they proved popular with my customers.
And how about this for an amazing creation.  The ladies at the Crossing Knitting Group in Worksop did this using wool that they had bought from my stall.  Doesn't it look great?
Yesterday we decided to go to the Crick Boat Show. Now this cute little boat is the type we will be buying in the future.  As it says on the side this one was ten years old and was delightful.  It is only about 30 feet long and is designed for two people which is ideal for us.  It is built from aluminium which saves on having to lift the boat out of the water to paint her but the down side is that they don't drop in price.  This one was about £30,000.  Not to worry, if I stop buying off Amazon and cut down on make-up purchases we might save enough in about three years!
We didn't stay at the show too long but it was excellent with lots of boats to look at and loads of exhibitors.
We stopped off at Calke Abbey which is in Warwickshire I believe.  We were too late to go inside the house.  I was disappointed about this but Steve isn't keen on looking around dreary interiors so was happy to saunter around the grounds soaking up the lovely fresh air.
The Walled Garden
A display of Geraniums
Wild Flower Meadow

The perfume of this rose was over powering.
What a lovely day we had.
I hope you all enjoyed yourselves too.