Friday, 31 January 2014

Rainy days

Yet another miserable day or maybe that's just me!
I started a project last friday full of good intentions-I'd probably be able to get it all done and finished over the weekend, it was only granny squares, how hard would that be!
Well, a week later it's still not done! On Saturday D offered me the chance to go out for the day, a drive out. I asked to go to the sea! so, off we set, then the rain came, it was truly torrential, the motorway was packed, flashing lights everywhere slowing us down. In the end we came off and ended up going for lunch instead, still a nice day, just not the one we had expected. Sunday, I dont even know where Sunday, or even Monday went. So I only had the chance to do a little of the project. Anyway, I plodded on, needing to do 30 squares, not a huge amount. I got about 26 done and decided now was the time to block them and sew the ends in to give myself a change. And here, some of them are:
When I was choosing the yarn, I had D help me and the brief was that I wanted shades of purple (we added a kind of washed out pink as well) but looking at them on this blue and white plate it looks much more blue. I do like it...but...I'm not sure and to add to that I have started joining them using a slip stitch and now I have got 8 joined I realise i prefer it with the seam showing if that makes sense-I have sewn it so it ends up with a flat face and i prefer the back...hmm there's very little chance of me being able to undo the joins, I could just make another 8 squares and start joining again, but that will mean I need to order more of the main colour....aaargh! I'll have to think it over, maybe have a chat with D-that often helps because he sits and nods and I talk it through and work out whats the best thing to do without any real input from him although without him listening its just not the same!

Anyway, today was so miserable I resorted to taking pictures of inside flowers. The rain was really coming down at the time, ignore the pot outside the window, that's what I'm trying to do!
Aren't they beautiful-the best 90p I've spent in a while! I got them just over a week ago and all the buds were tightly closed, now they're shouting out to be looked at! I got two tubs of these little daffodils and also a bigger pot of these:

I LOVE purple so these are just fantastic, again only a few pennies but so beautiful. I'll leave you with an even closer-up!
Be well

Sunday, 26 January 2014

New blanket

A few weeks ago I decided that I quite fancied making an 'Elmer' blanket. They are quite different to the ones I've made before which have tended to be either multi coloured granny squares-both large & small or stripey-horizontal or rippley. I got the pattern from the one listed on  It was extremely easy to follow and very straightforward. I even picked up a really useful hint: this will probably take me longer to type than do, but here goes.. When you are joining a corner of a square and you have for example a chain of 6 & you need to find the stitch to slip stitch into (usually 3rd of 6 chains), instead of counting up from 1st stitch, count down from the 6th, it really is MUCH easier! I apologise if everyone in the world knows this apart from me but maybe if it helps one person it's a good thing.
Anyway, back to the Elmer blanket, I was happily plodding on, loving the way there were blocks all of one colour and then I remembered a blog I'd looked at over a year ago-we had a trip to New York and I was looking for a shop to visit while we were there. During a break I looked up this blog- purlbee (and some others) and here I found this beautiful image:

And that was that! I had a little experiment and added two white outer rows to the rainbow rows of red then orange and yellow, then green, then blue and finally purples of shades such as indigo, violet and lilac. I was very happy, so my Elmer blanket became a Mondrian blanket-until I realised that actually Mondrian's pictures don't look anything like that, but the name has stuck for me! 
So, here is my Mondrian blanket, it's only small-big enough for in a buggy or a car seat:
That's Ted sat on the blanket -dont worry he always looks like that-his head always has a severe wobble-so sever in fact that he has a rather large needle stuck from the back of his head to the top of his back...think it was coming a little loose there! The pictures at the minute are very dark-I was desperate to take some pictures and even with 4 very bright bulbs shining down and another lamp shining directly at the blanket it still looks quite dull-it was actually still light when these were taken!
Here's another shot..the dolls aren't hiding anything, I was experimenting with the pictures-it seems i have temporarily lost my camera so these were taken on an I-pad which doesn't work very well i don't think...ahh well...

The only other thing to say is, the chickens....well we have two and one of them suddenly moulted. If you have chickens you will understand what I mean by 'suddenly moulted'!...she went to bed normal one night the next morning she had probably lost half her body weight in feathers on Christmas eve-eve, anoyingly I didnt get any pictures of her, but she was something like this

She gradually got worse until she was much worse than that photo. But by Friday just gone, she'd pretty much fully feathered again, so well done Mrs P!! Now we're just waiting for her to start laying again-hers is the bigger of the two eggs so you can see why we are hoping she will start laying soon as managing with just the little eggs from Flossie isnt easy!

Be well!!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

New year getaway

Instead of giving each other presents at Christmas myself and D decided we would have a few days away. We had a lovely relaxed time here:

and we really can't recommend it enough if you want complete relaxation. We spent a couple of days just in the cottage and went for the occasional walk to either look at the extremely unsociable sheep-who just seemed to want to wee in our general direction as we passed, or further down the lane to see these beauties:

At this point I did wonder why on earth hadn't I brought my clippers! Although I'm guessing that although they looked friendly me being able to trim them for my own wooly purposes was probably never going to happen!!
While were away relaxing I obviously had taken some wool and my hooks with me and in those few minutes between making stuff i was also looking online for ideas of new projects and some nice reading-I love reading peoples blogs and being nosey! During this time I found this blog:
I had a really good look around and found a page with something that looked so beautiful and simple and very different to anything Ive made before:
I finally got round to having a go yesterday, however, I was on my own-it says on the blog that you really need a second pair of hands (or finger) but I decided I'd give it go anyway-I didn't think a very furry Persian cat would be any help..she tries but even so..and she seemed to be in a very bad mood yesterday...

anyway, I did it, this is my tea-light (Pictures not great, the light is terrible here now...that's my excuse anyway!!)

I couldn't take a picture of it lit because that did terrible things to the picture. However, it does look very pretty and I will be making more! (I've just noticed its a bit lop-sided...adds to the homemade I'm on the lookout for unusual shaped jars now-this was a Bonne Maman jam jar, and i have a similar honey one that is being saved for the same purpose..

Off to shut the chickens away and check for eggs..see you soon!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Easy breakfast

I would like to begin by saying I AM NOT A GOOD COOK! I find it quite boring and I hate the clearing up afterwards. However, I also like to eat nice what do you do?

Well, I try to make easy things that dont make much mess, that's what! Over December I was getting into watching some of the cookery programmes on TV and this recipe came from one of the Jamie Oliver ones from quite a few years ago. The recipe was for breakfast pancakes and on the programme his young daughters were making the pancakes and of course we thought "yeah right", but then they looked so tasty that we decided to try them one day over the holidays...then another day and see where this is heading dont you..?

Here's a picture of the finished product-the picture itself is not so great but the items in it were lovely...and easy!
Yummy Blueberry, yogurt and honey breakfast pancakes, for tea!

This is the recipe here if you would like to give them a go:
1 cup of self raising flour
1 cup of milk
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Toppings of choice

Firstly-decide what cup you are going to use-as long as you use the same cup to measure the milk and the flour it will be fine, this is as much measuring as you need to do.

Add a cup of SR flour and a cup of milk-i usually use semi skimmed to a large bowl.

Add an egg-if using a very large cup for your measures then use a large egg, if using a small cup use a smaller egg. (this is where it helps what we have 2 chickens with one that lays eggs like ping pong balls and the other that lays emu eggs!!)

Add small pinch of salt.

Put knob of butter in frying pan and heat, this needs to be sizzling before you start to add the batter.

I usually add around half a ladle of batter for each pancake, the butter should be really sizzling before you do this. 
If you want to add fruit to you pancakes do it before you turn them-we have tried blueberries and also have defrosted frozen red berries and used them, we did try chocolate chunks but i think chips would be better. Press the back of a spatula down on the fruit when you have added them. 
When there are bubbles popping in top of the pancakes they are probably ready to turn. Flip them with a spatula and brown the other side, when theyre a nice golden colour they are ready. 

We serve them with a dollop of fat free natural yogurt and some squirty honey. The only washing up is a bowl, a frying pan and your plate!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

All about me..

This is the first blog here and i thought it might help to say a little bit about me. 
I am a 40 something mum of two adult kids. 
My partner and I are engaged to be married but this is not imminent-possibly in the next 12 months or so. 
We have a small selection of pets including two Persian cats who are truly amazing in both good and bad ways. I never thought I would be one of those people who talked to their pets and who believed that their pets understand every word. However, i am now! The only problem being that they take no notice whatsoever! Here are the terrible two...
I would like to make one thing clear, we only have these mad pedigree animals because they needed a home, we did not buy them and to be honest we would be as delightfully happy with two grumpy old moggies, but they came into our family and there they will stay. We are their third home (maybe more) and have possibly lived here for the longest stretch of their lives. We do not know if they are related as their papers do not make it clear...they tolerate each other tho..and us.

We also have some chickens-only two at the moment. We started off in 2012 with four ex battery chickens who came to us (or we collected them more precisely) on the day they were released from a battery farm. Within a few minutes they had settled themselves in even if they were in a very sorry state. 
The girl at the front was probably in the worst condition of the lot, she had very few feathers at all, and just like the others her 'glove' (think Feathers McGraw in 'The wrong trousers') was very floppy and pale. However that night we put them to bed-they didnt know where to go and the next morning one of them had laid! They settled in well and lasted between 1 and 2 years. 
As I said, we only have two girls at the minute but when we move we may well get another two or three.

And finally, my other passion is this:
Crochet, not knitting!! Anyone who does one and not the other will understand the need to get it right!! I am (maybe) a little bit obsessive about my wooly stuff and mainly enjoy doing blankets and the like...thought I would finish now with a bit of a crossover picture...its the first blanket I made and if you look carefully there's more than one cat getting in on the act!

See you soon xx