Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A difficult Week

I have probably experienced the worst week ever with a very good friend of mine losing her baby three months in to her pregnancy and my son breaking up from his long term partner.
These you understand are traumas that aren't mine but I have shared in their sadness.
I hope them well and give them my love and sympathy at this trying time x

Monday, 29 April 2013

Messing about in boats (Ashby Canal)

We were both becoming a little stir crazy last weekend so as a way of getting out in the fresh air we decided to hire a day boat on the Ashby Canal.

As usual we used the Ashby Boat Company and set out bright and early.
The weather was rather unsettled and very cold.
As usual the scenery was beautiful.
Unfortunately for us though the silt in the canal had built up and during the day we managed to run aground on more than one occasion.  I hate it when that happens as it can be quite scary.
I thought I had better take a picture of the blue sky before it disappeared.
And the first blossom of Spring.

It was a great day and we hope to get out there a bit more this year.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Crochet Handbags

Oh it is so good to have resolved my camera issues.  The camera isn't mended though, I have just learnt how to transfer pictures by using my SD card rather than the cable.  Oh happy days.
I have been frantically crocheting children's shoulder bags this week. 

My friend Sharon has opened a new children's clothing stall next to my wool stall at Worksop and asked if I could make a few bags (twelve to be exact) to hang on the outfits she has.  She hopes they will attract more customers.

I only got to see the clothes last Saturday and until then had no idea what colours I was going to use.
Anyway I have now completed six but have suggested that she see how they go before I do anymore.  At least that gives me a bit of a break. 

They do look rather cute I must say.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee

It was the final of The Great British Sewing Bee last night.
Has anyone else been watching this programme?  I have absolutely loved it although I believe many people haven't been that keen.

I must admit they have used a similar format to the British Bake Off but hey why not.  It works!
Each contestant had three challenges to perform each week.  One was to make an item of standard clothing, one was to alter/embelish an existing piece and the final challenge was to make a more difficult item such as an evening dress or a tailored jacket.  Each week one person was knocked out. 
The contestants were all lovely and so when it got down to the final three it was hard to pick a favourite.  I did however agree with the outcome as I felt that Anne with her seventy years of experience was a true sewer in every aspect.  Her handmade garments were to die for and I couldn't help but notice that she was wearing one or two beautifully knitted cardigans and scarves which have inspired me tremendously.
Needless to say I got out my fabric at the weekend and have already got a pencil skirt half made.  I really hope that the programme has inspired more people to have a go.
It was lovely at the end to find out what the contestants had been up to since the programme had ended.
It had obviously given them the confidence to get out there and do what they truly had a passion for.
Surely that in it's self is something to celebrate.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Camera Problems

My camera has decided not to work anymore.  I can take photos but I can't load them on to my computer.
I have replaced the connection wire thingy but still no go I'm afraid.
I have lots of pictures already on my computer but remembering which ones I have already used when I have written almost 200 posts is proving difficult.
Normal service will resume shortly!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Pin Stripe Phone Sock

I recently visited Heath's Country Store at Ollerton and whilst there noticed a scarf which was hung up.  The pattern for the scarf was pinned to it and although I tried to memorise it I failed miserably.
Since then I have been thinking of how to duplicate the pattern having the idea but not the means stuck in my head.
I mentioned this to my lovely friend Nicky who is one of my most regular stall customers and loyal member of my knit and natter, and bless her, she brought me two wonderful books full of knitting stitch instructions.  I couldn't believe how many patterns you can create with two stitches, Knit and Purl.

Anyway after a little bit of trawling I came across exactly what I was looking for.
As a practice I made this phone sock which Steve very much appreciated.

The pattern will follow shortly.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Bempton Cliffs Nr Flamborough/Bridlington

Last weekend in a final attempt to make the last day of our break count we took ourselves off the Bempton Cliffs.
This is a RSPB site and is known for it's Kittywaites, Puffins and Gannets.

It was absolutely freezing and very noisy but we had a lovely time.

No Puffins I'm afraid.  Maybe next time.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Bedroom Colour Scheme

You might remember me asking if anyone could suggest a suitable colour scheme for my newly decorated bedroom.
Well, thanks to Sally I eventually added a pale mint green to my existing beige and cream ensemble.
I'm really pleased with the result and the atmosphere of the room has completely changed. It is so peaceful. The louvre blinds arrive on Friday if all goes to plan and then it will just be the finishing touches which I don't want to rush.
I already had the patchwork quilt which was a £5.00 star buy from a local Mothers Union fayre and I was thrilled when it toned in perfectly with the new bedding spotted by chance a week ago in Doncaster.
The tissue box is a recent handmade addition.
Steve made the radiator cover.  He's very clever when it comes to carpentry and I fell in love with the storm jar/candle holder which is the same tone of bluey green, only darker.
I made this little chap quite a long time ago and now he fits in perfectly wearing his pretty little jacket.
Isn't it great when a plan finally comes together.  Thanks Sally x

Monday, 8 April 2013


Aren't Hellebores gorgeous?  They are I think, one of the most stunning flowers in the garden, and I have to rate them in my top 10 of favourites along with Sweet peas, Daisies and Roses.  They are so easy to grow too.  I planted mine over ten years ago and haven't touched them since.  Like clockwork they appear in March and seem to last months. 
I keep meaning to buy some more but I never seem to get a round to it. 
The only problem with them is that they keep their heads down and the only way to take a photograph is to point the camera up and underneath and hope for the best.  Hence why they are framed against the lovely blue skies we had mid week.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Rufford Park near Retford

As you know we've been off this week and although we haven't been away we have managed a couple of little excursions.  We didn't venture far from home as the purpose of our break was to do a few jobs around the house.
I must admit I haven't managed to do many but that is beside the point.
We did go to Rufford Park though.  It was absolutely freezing but the sun did come out and we had a lovely stroll around the lake.

There's plenty of wild life too that do get a little too close on occasion, especially the Geese.
This one was getting ready to have a go at an unsuspecting dog.
I couldn't believe how long this Robin sat allowing me to take pictures of him.
This is the hall and behind it another building which is more of a ruin which you can go in. I didn't look around that area and I've forgotten what it is exactly.  I'm sure we'll be visiting again soon so no doubt I'll learn more then.
Everything had had a good Spring clean and looked very sparse.  It will look a lot prettier in Summer when the leaves and flowers are out.
There are a couple of shops including a beautiful selection of hand crafted jewellery and pottery and lots of books.  It is well worth a trip out and the cafe serves good food. It was free to get in too which was an added bonus.  This isn't always the case though, it can cost around £3.00 to park at weekends and when there are events on, but I think that is very reasonable.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

One step closer to Self Sufficiency

We nipped out for lunch to our local garden centre yesterday.
We needed a few things including some Spring plants for the front border and whilst there spotted a walk in green house at a very reasonable price.
We had discussed buying a proper one and having a base built etc. but the expense out weighed the benefits.  This one ticks all the boxes and will last a few years if I look after it.
I couldn't wait to get started.  These are my Sweet peas and normal peas.
I pricked out some Chili plants.
I also took Monty Don's advice and bought a pot of tiny Petunia plugs.  These should have been £3.99 but a couple had died back so they had been reduced to £1.50.  Hopefully they will grow in to large strong plants ready to put in the garden in June.
I spent several hours in the garden yesterday.  The sun was quite warm and it was just perfect.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Butterfly Cupcakes

One thing about being off work for Easter is that it gives me ample opportunity to practice my baking.
I had lots of fondant icing left over which was rapidly drying up so I rolled some out and cut circles with a cookie cutter.
I then squeezed all the left over coloured icing together and then re-rolled it and cut out the butterflies.  This gave them an interesting marbled look. I dusted them with shimmer and added icing dots round the edge.
Simple yet effective.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter Lemon Pavlova

I watched the Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood Easter baking programme the other evening and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I love the way they interact and the great respect they hold for each other without being too formal.  Paul is so cheeky and she always remains such a lady.
One of the recipes that caught my eye was the Easter Lemon Pavlova
It was fairly easy to make although it did take a long time to prepare.  The meringue base was in the oven for an hour and a half and then had to stay there to cool.  There were several stages to the recipe too which included making the lemon curd.  This then had to cool before it could be stirred in to the fresh cream and the lemon rind which had to be boiled in syrup to crystallise then had to be left to dry for two hours.  Hence why the photos were taken with artificial light late last night making them a little yellow. 
None of the stages/steps were difficult though and I would definitely make this again.
What I liked about the recipe was that nothing went to waste.  The egg whites went in to the meringue.  The egg yolks went in to the lemon curd and the lemon zest went in to the decoration on top.
The finished Pavlova was a real show stopper and tasted amazing. It actually looked like Mary's too which was an added bonus. The meringue was soft in the middle and lovely and chewy  I halved all the ingredients and made a five inch circle instead of ten and as you can see it turned out plenty big enough to feed six greedy people. There were only two of us so plenty left over for an afternoon blow out later.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Happy Easter

I hope you are all enjoying your Easter holiday.  I certainly am.

I don't know about you but Easter doesn't seem to be made all that much of nowadays.  I can remember when I was little, looking forward to Easter almost as much as Christmas.  All my Easter eggs were lined up on top of the piano in the front room and I couldn't wait to eat them.  Family used to come and spend the day with us and we had a lovely time.
I noticed whilst stood on my stall on Saturday that no one seemed to be at all bothered.  They all seem happy to take the holiday but no one remembers what Easter is all about.  I don't go to church very often but I still believe that we should think why we celebrate Easter.

Isn't it great to get the light nights back again.  It was lovely last night to be looking out at nearly eight o'clock and still be able to see the garden.
We had a such a nice day yesterday. 
Painted polystyrene eggs covered with flowers cut from paper napkins
I got up early once Steve had gone to work and collected branches to make my Easter egg tree.  I also decorated some spring bulbs with ribbon and shredded paper.

It took a couple of hours but it was a sheer pleasure to spend time totally immersed in creating something beautiful.

There was an Antique and Collectors Fair at the Doncaster Race Course and me and Mum spent a few hours down there buying little bits and bobs. We then came home and had a cake decorating master class.  It was funny for me to teach my Mum rather than the other way round.
Our old car was leaking coolant by the time Steve got to work yesterday so we had to pick him up later.  That meant that my big Easter tea didn't get eaten until after eight but it was worth the wait. Mum didn't go home until very late but she had really enjoyed herself.
Thank you for dropping by and enjoy the rest of your day.