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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Poorly peepers!

Just a quick drop in to say I haven't been around as I've had the flu (despite flu jab) and it kept me in bed for a week very poorly, and running alongside conjunctivitis. My poor peepers are very swollen and my sight has been affected so I can't spend time enjoying reading your lovely blogs... and I haven't picked up a crochet hook for a fortnight!

Hopefully back soon, just need to get my vision back and find that Christmas spirit that's run off somewhere... groan...

Keep warm
Take care
xxx

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Christmas countdown and sticky fingers!

Hello, how is everyone? Thank you for all the well wishes, I have my girl back home again. She had a wonderful time dry skiing, canoeing, rock climbing, shelter building, night orienteering and more! Not bad for a primary school trip! Unfortunately she was very poorly when she came home, but is feeling much better now :)

Is everyone busy making preparations for Christmas? I've been busy making some bits and pieces, though unfortunately my to do list is far longer than my actually achieved list (and I have a feeling it may always be that way)!

I bought a gorgeous little owl yesterday, I just wish I could have another one facing the other way as they would make such a lovely pair.


We've put our wreaths up near to Imogen's countdown (27 days, though only a couple until she can have her advent calendars).



Imogen was helping me with another project I'm doing, and Daddy decided that she was missing out an important childhood experience... Do you remember getting sticky fingers at school using glue and peeling it off like a second skin? Well Andy went the whole way and painted Imogen's hand with glue...


I'm afraid I was a bit of a spoilsport and it was washed off before it had a chance to dry properly (because he coated it with so much) because it was teatime!


Maybe another time :)

Take care
xxx

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Leaning Tower of Squares

Hello and thank you for all your lovely comments, I really feel like I'm getting to know and make new friends, thank you :)

It's a funny week as our beautiful daughter has gone away with her school for a week. She left Monday morning and will back at the end of the school day on Friday. It's an adventure week full of exciting activities. She didn't get much sleep on Sunday night as her little tummy was churned up with anticipation, excitement and a bit of nervous anxiety! We did have a lovely cuddle in bed on Monday morning and to make it different for her and a bit special, Andrew brought her breakfast in our bed... oh I miss her, she seems to be growing up so fast.

I think she looks so sweet and can't wait to have her safely home again telling us all about it, it feels odd at night time when we go to bed, not to be checking her and giving her extra kisses :)


Do you remember the green squares I was crocheting? I've finally finished crocheting around them all in cream and I'm about to start crocheting them together... thus the leaning tower of squares...




My bag is full,



so I feel I have to finish them before I can start something else... oh I am good.... OK, I may have actually started something else too... I'm not sure how I feel about it though so will finish it off before I post some pics :)

Take care
xxx


Friday, 16 November 2012

Christmas ribbons and more ribbons!

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post and thank you to everyone kind enough to follow my little blog - you all make me so happy :)

I can feel that tingle of excitement welling up in my tummy... Christmas is coming. I'm even getting excited and warm fuzzy feelings from some of the Christmas ads. I love the John Lewis snowman, so romantic, and the Tesco ad with the hubby fixing the drink, I'm even enjoying the Argos aliens who take everything so literally - I like when the dad knocks the snowman's arm off :)

Imogen has started her countdown. Every morning she rubs out the number and chalks in the new one... eek... 40 days... can you imagine, how will I get to Christmas Eve without bursting!!




I get like this every year, it's all the anticipation. I get so excited at the thought of giving my gifts and watching everyone's face light up. It's the 'familiness' of it all - love it so much!

We don't put our Christmas decorations up ourselves, the Christmas elves come and do it for us (this is where my husband would be saying 'I wish'). When we drive past other houses with Christmas lights Imogen usually comments how she hopes we're next on the list. It's so exciting for her to come downstairs and see the winter wonderland. Imogen's 10 now so we're trying to hold onto the last bit of magic, though our boy's 24 and he knows it's all magic... they just forget for a few years during the teen years :)

So, to the ribbons.

I bought a couple of polystyrene hoops last week, and I have so many ribbons... so... Christmas wreaths.


A bit time consuming, but I think they look effective, use up ribbon odds and ends (fabric too) and are just so simple to make.



Don't be fooled into thinking I'm doing a nice symmetrical design, ha... ! I don't even try after the first few :)




Here's the back, the polystyrene is almost covered



Reds, greens and golds, very traditional



I found some pretty Christmas ribbon with lots of Father Christmas heads.



It doesn't get to stay up there yet, the elves will come and put it up with everything else when they come.

Take care
xxx

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Actifry Chicken

Firstly I'd like to thank everyone for all your lovely comments and well wishes. I get so excited when people leave comments on my little blog and look forward to reading them. I'm feeling much better now (I'm dressed in proper clothes not pjs... yeahhh) and will start catching up with everyone else's blogs again - I've missed reading about all your happenings :)

I thought I'd show you something else cooked in the actifry besides chips today. Last night's tea was some yummy 'fried' chicken drumsticks with some mash, sweetcorn and coleslaw.

I used some herbs and spices



Chicken drumsticks. Andrew prefers white meat, but enjoys these as they're so juicy and full of flavour, I prefer dark meat as I find it has more flavour, generally meat on the bone tends to be more flavoursome.




They were given a light coating before popping in the actifry.



Then just straight in, switch on and set the timer for 30 minutes, no other settings to worry about.




Couldn't be any simpler, and very moist, well cooked (so important with chicken) and full of flavour. Fried chicken, but healthily cooked with only a teaspoon of oil!





Take care
xxx

Monday, 5 November 2012

Happy Bonfire Night


I've not been around much lately, not felt like blogging due to lots of family happenings and then each of us going down like flies!

Andy and Imo have gone back to school today, both still a bit sniffly but much better. I'm still a bit out of sorts and feeling tired out now after cooking Mama's Bonfire Banger for tea tonight - it's my sausage chilli pasta bake, causes fireworks in the mouth!!!!!

I've been crocheting while I've been snuggled up under lots of blankets. I found some lovely green wool that I've been making into Granny Squares. I asked Andy to take a photo for me... he took lots :)






I'm now doing a couple of rounds of cream around each square, then I have lots of flowers to make. I've just got some patterns to make some snowflakes so plan to start them soon, lots to do.

Keep safe tonight and keep the pets safe - it can be a scary time for them with all the loud bangs, and have lots of un if you're going to watch the fireworks :)

Take care
xxx

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Fauna

I love pieces of Fauna pottery. I suppose like lots of things that were made in the 60's and 70's, they remind of bits and pieces that my Nan and Granddad had. I wanted to own a Fauna vase for a while so when I found these 3 pieces dotted about, I thought they would love to come home with me :)

I found this one first, made in Hornsea (very close to us) where most Fauna was made. I think it's so cute, but I just love the little Bambi.



Flushed with the excitment of finding the Bambi vase, I then saw a wee rabbit (should I call it a Thumper to keep with the theme!)




Then another larger vase (or is it a jug?) with another little Bambi and her squirrel friend.




The 3 pieces sit together now in my conservatory. There are lots more designs in the Fauna range, but I think these 3 are my favourites... not that I'm promising I wouldn't get anymore of course!



Take care
xxx





Thursday, 18 October 2012

Sewing in the Ends

Phew... why do I always do this? I have spent the last couple of evenings and this morning sewing and weaving in all the loose hanging pieces of yarn from the throw for the back of Andy's chair.



There were 8 big squares, made up of 9 small Granny Squares each. Each small square was either green, cream then green again, or the opposite, cream, green and cream again. So each small square had 6 threads, there were (72 small squares) meaning each large one had 54 threads to be threaded... so 8 larger squares meant there where 432 ends.. arghhhhh...  It did look very overwhelming for quite a while and I had a few piles like this.


Luckily nothing goes to waste and all the ends are stored in my 'ends' jar ready for when it's full and I can use it to make some gorgeous fabric.






My poor thumb was feeling quite sore, but it was worth it and just what Andy wanted - I love my husband :)

Take care
xxx

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Welcome Phoebe

We added to our family a few days ago - an African Grey parrot. Our beautiful new girl is called Phoebe.



She has beautiful grey plumage and striking red tail feathers. Imogen loves to feed Phoebe cucumber and apple, and this morning she nibbled her way through tomato and a grape!



Very friendly, chatting away to us though she does tell anyone off who tries to talk to her when she wants to go to sleep!

I think she's gorgeous!



Take care
xxx

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Cooking up odds and ends

We've had some nice simple meals recently, using up the odds and ends in the fridge before going to waste.

One of Andy's favourites is pie and chips. He says it's all the different flavours that make it so tasty and it's handy to pop a slice in his pack up for work the next day.

I dry fried the bacon pieces in a pan (I always dry fry) then added onion to fry alongside.





 Lots of nice chunky mushrooms to balance the bacon flavours... smells good :)



 I used ready made puff pastry to make a shallow pie and filled it with the above, covering with lots of fresh red tomatoes and just a sprinkling of cheese.


 It was nice and easy to prepare in the afternoon, and then just pop in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes while the chips were cooking.


The chips are handcut - the best sort. As I've mentioned before, we cook our chips in an actifry, so I peeled and cut the potatoes in the afternoon and left them to drain (they taste better when they go into the actifry dry).


They take about 30 to 35 minutes with their one small spoon of oil.



They smell gorgeous, crisping nicely just like fried chips. The timer ticks down by the minute, beeping when they're ready.


Very yummy chips...


Yummy pie, enough for 6 servings. A very tasty and economical meal.


Another favourite here is chili pasta bake. We always have mince in the freezer and pasta in the cupboard, again something quick and easy. And yes... more tomatoes :)


I don't use beans of any type because as much as I wish that I liked them, I really just can't abide them!


Lots of peas and sweetcorn and chili to taste - we like quite a bit :)


A nice, warming dish as well as very filling.



Good with some Parmesan sprinkled over the top.




Take care
xxx