Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Grannies to Australia

First and foremost Happy Australia Day to all my Australian friends. I realise that this year the celebrations may be muted by the recent loss that so many families have experienced, but I hope that the sun shines and that you at least feel hope going forward.



You may have noticed that I have displayed this button on my blog for a few days. It links to Sarah London's site which I know many of you already know of as she is a major crochet designer. Her stuff is contemporary and colourful. Specifically, I have linked to her appeal for granny squares to make blankets for flood victims so that they will at least have colour as they rebuild their homes and lives. I made several while watching a film over the weekend and hope to post them today.


I just wanted to mention this on the off chance that someone else might join in. I think its nice to have the chance to do something practical and not just money (which we can ill afford these days) Yes they have to be posted and that costs but it’ll not be much.


Thank you for listening and if you are in Oz, I am raising a virtual beer in cheers to you.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Thomas cook

I know he's only 13 but School has recently asked the kids to choose their technology subject for GCSE. Sounds ludicrous but it actually a good idea in that this subject and its 60% coursework will be out of the way before year 11. To that end Thomas has chosen Catering. We won’t know for sure if he's been successful for some time yet. However he is adamant. SO, new rule, Thomas makes Sunday dinner. We will do other things in the hols I’m sure but we started last night with a simple but mega cottage pie.


I have his permission to show and tell, so here he is. My hugely proud Son showing off the fruits of his work.


Now considering he was in a mood before we started I think it ended well. Apron helped a little.


The pie was tremendous, it was accompanied by carrot and Swede mash , peas and Yorkshire puddings.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Scrappy dappy doo

I have embarked on a new project. I know, I know. However I do not feel any guilt as this time I am using every tiny scrap that I have left over. This is proving to be a quick, rewarding and utterly addictive process which bodes well for me as the ultimate slacker.
IMG_0799 IMG_0802IMG_0800IMG_0806 IMG_0803 IMG_0805   
Oh dear!
Pattern here, I’ll warn you its addictive. I know several of us that are “at it” right now. Must…… make……. more……. spots………..

Shucks thanks for all the comments. I did have a day at it plus neighbours every day this week. I make 20 spots per hour and the connecting takes half an hour per row, so quick.I am making grannies for Australian flood victims today. Sarah London link at the top if you are interested

Thursday, 20 January 2011

For the love of pie




For a change from the usual roast Sunday dinner I decided to make pie. Primarily because my meat and tatties son will eat AND enjoy it. But its cheap and delish too. I (of course) learned to make it from my Mum as a child.


Careful caramelisation of the meat is essential for a rich brown colour.


Then onions are browned in the meaty pan.


Naturally I can do nothing kitchenwise without my constant friend. On hand in case anything gets loose.


Old speckled hen ale to scrape up the meaty bottom of the pan. I used half a can and topped up with homemade chicken stock. My husband uses all ale. The meat was dusted in flour before I started which acts as a thickening agent.


At this stage it went into the oven for 3 hours at 130 degrees. After that a shop bought puffed pastry lid went on and It cooked for maybe half an hour. I don’t remember exactly. I egg washed the top for a lovely golden colour. We had this with  Swede and carrot mash, roasty taties and Towering Yorkshire puddings, made by a genuine Yorkshire man. Mmmmm bliss. The Yorkshire man washed up too



Monday, 17 January 2011

The most depressing day of the year

Woa, its been a while!!! I have been having a mammoth attack of the starties only this time it was so bad and my brain so scattered, I never got past the thinking about it stage. In the end it all came out in a mad rush. I will now share the first  of my creative meltdown .

Well today has been scientifically and mathematically calculated to be the most depressing day of the year.

\frac{[W + (D-d)] \times T^Q}{M \times N_a}

It varies every year but is always mid to late January. I’ve just got back from Pilates so am feeling quite buoyant. Still I do get it, its grey and we are seemingly a million miles from payday.


With that in mind, and my inability to find any snowdrops yet, I have come up with these.



I made some first from this book which is I feel rather pretty.


I only did the petals. I got the trumpet from here



I love the result and I have a brooch pin on the back so I can wear it. However its a bit big so I set about inventing a smaller one using the different sized stitches technique that I used to make the apple coasters.




I have starched them because they curl up such a lot. I made the trumpet similar to the large one above, made it smaller and modified the frill. Do you do this kind of thing too? I find I get an idea from here, a colour scheme from there put it together and although not totally original, something new.  


They take so little time to make too.


*ch 9 sl st into 2nd ch from hook, dc in next st, tr in each of the next 2 ch, dtr in each of netx 2 ch, trtr in next ch tr in last ch**. repeat from * to ** twice more sl st into last tr of first petal.




Now working from the back of the first round of petals sl st round last tr of Ist petal repeat from * to ** 3 times sl st into last tr of first petal.fasten off




ch9 dc in each ch, continue in a spiral until work is 2cm. for the last round work (dc,tr) in each dc. sl st into 1st dc fasten off

The trumpet can be started with a magic circle. I did swap to this method after a while in order to close the hole that appears in the middle. I only starched the petals , the trumpet is fine. Originally this was made to fit a Sibol square and I will be using it as such but as you can see I went on to make a garland. I hope some of you might be tempted to have a crack at this. They do cheer up a miserable day.


I want to end today by sending a big friendly hello to all the new people that are feeling brave enough to comment. Its so lovely to hear from you. If any of you are reading this from any flooded or post flooded place, my heart genuinely goes out to you, I have shed many a tear this past week for your plight.

Friday, 7 January 2011


At the start of a new year, many of us consider a fresh start. I have never understood this. Not the part about reviewing and reflecting on the status quo as this I believe allows you to move on in life, to grow and to learn. No, the thing that I don’t understand is the why now. The whole new year new start idea feels like preparing to fail. Its so much pressure, a whole year doing a new thing. So, resolutions are not for me. I did think that goal setting sounded good though. Less pressure and no failure, just working towards achievement. I take no credit for this however as the idea was totally sparked by my cousins Facebook post so cheers Dave!!!!!

Anyhoo, the goals…..

To hand write a personal letter every month. (already done one so far!!)

To finish one item per month from the UFO pile (I will share the progress for this one)

To eat more meat free meals.


Behold last nights tea. I did plop some beef suet dumplings in with it. Note I said meat free not vegetarian.

My last goal is simply ‘to look up’. Its amazing how much is missed by not doing so. The stargazing live programme inspired this goal and I have seen meteors,lunar and solar eclipses because of it.

IMG_1351 IMG_0655 IMG_0081 IMG_0567


I will be reviewing my success and setting new goals regularly through the year.

Have you set any goals? I’d love to know.

By the way putting the TV on and crocheting a few squares for SIBOL is a totally achievable goal for a ccccold Friday.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Birthday wishes


I just wanted to start my new bloggy year by sharing with you a proud moment for our family. Our wonderful, amazing, gentle, funny, huge son Thomas was 13 on the 2nd. I can’t believe how fast the years have passed. I remember very well being 13 myself!!!  Would you believe that he was so tiny when born 5 weeks early? Me neither. I made his cake this year and iced it with the more is definitely more philosophy.


Happy birthday lovely lad!!!

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