Sunday 30 June 2019

The most wonderful ruin you will ever see (probably)

Witley Court 

The house dates back to the 17th century and was bought by a Thomas Foley in 1655.  The Foley's were Ironmasters and made a fortune in nails during the Civil War. 
 I was taking to one of the guides and apparently one the Foley's invented a nail making machine and that was what made his fortune.

In 1833 the house was sold to to the trustees of  William Humble, Lord Ward,  in order to clear debts.
William Humble later became the 1st Earl of Dudley and the house stayed with the Dudley's  until the 1920 when the estate was sold in lots.  The house along with 800 acres was sold to Sir Herbert Smith, a carpet manufacturer from Kidderminister, he had electricity installed and reduced the number of staff.  Sadly in 1937 a fire broke out in the east wing and although the west wing was untouched Sir Herbert decided to sell up, the house was stripped and left to decay.

Fortunately for us in 1972 the Government rescued it and it is now in the care of  English Heritage and is there for all of us to enjoy.  The grounds are beautiful with woodland walks and plenty of places to picnic and the Perseus and Andromeda Fountain is one of the best fountains I've ever seen.  Every hour a canon like sound goes off and the fountain is fired up, it's wonderful! Imagine when the house was at it's best and looking down the gardens to that fountain, it must have been a sight to see!
Still is a site to see, but you know what I mean.

I spent all afternoon there and still didn't see everything so I will definitely be going back again, It's was only a thirty minutes drive but was a whole world away.

Of course it had a very nice tea garden and It would have been rude not to partake 

If you follow THIS link you can read all about the house and it tells it so much better than I could, I hope you do, it's very interesting.

(I have included a little video of the fountain, but have no idea if it will work once I click publish)


Thursday 27 June 2019

This is not a cooking blog

I had trouble getting to sleep last night, no doubt due to the lie-in on Wednesday morning, so I got up earlier this morning and cracked on with some cooking right away.  

I find it too much bother most nights just to cook for me so while I had the time I thought I would stock the freezer with things I can just get out on the days I don't feel like cooking, or for the days I get in later from having the kids.  
I've been guilty of not eating properly again lately, I tend to eat breakfast late, I can't face eating first thing so have my breakfast at work around 10.30 and I don't usually bother with anything at lunch time, that then means I'm hungry late afternoon and if I eat late afternoon i'm not hungry at tea time!

Clearly I need to change things.

Last weekend I made Lasagna, chilli and spaghetti bolognase, this morning I made two curry dishes.  If you are familiar with Slimming World you will probably recognise these two.

Sweet Potato Curry

I love sweet potato curry and will have it with either boiled rice or cauliflower rice.

Mushy Pea Curry

Yes, I turned my nose up at this too when I first heard about it but honestly, It's really nice. Honestly!!
I can have this with either rice or it's lovely over some salmon or a basa fillet too, so I've got a couple of meal options there.

I also made a batch of tomato and mascarpone sauce to have over pasta, so together with Last weekend's  lasagna, spaghetti bolognese and chilli I made I have a few options for tea time

My favourite breakfast is overnight oats made with either porridge oats or muesli but I've been wanting to make my own granola for a while to have as a change, so I made a small batch of that this morning too.  I think I may have slightly overcooked it, but It smells delicious, just hope it tastes as good as it smells 😃

I've come to the conclusion that I'm fussy about food.

If I were to list here everything I don't like you would wonder what I did like, so in an effort to try and eat better I've started to make a list of the meals I actually like eating and i'm going to try and make a four week meal plan from that list, I'm up to week three at the moment and struggling.

I'd be interested to hear if any of you work to a meal plan and if you do, does it help?

By the way, these are week day meals just for me as Mark is away during the week and would not eat either of the curries I made today anyway.  (Although he will eat quorn Swedish style meat (less) balls because I never told him they were quorn  😁 

I've gotten away with that twice now, lol  If I'd told him they were meat-free he would immediately say he didn't like vegetarian c***p.

Luckily he doesn't read my blog so will never find out 😈

If you would like to know how I made any of the above, let me know and I will add them to my recipe page.

Thank you to those who left comments about the plant names.  I sort of thought that the white flowering one was a Mock Orange Blossom but it does not have a smell at all, which is strange.  I've looked it up and apparently we will be able to cut it back once it's finished flowering.


I bet someone out there will know

This morning was a later start as I took advantage of being able to have a lie-in.  I'm not a morning person, never have been so when I get chance to lie-in I take it :-)  
I had nothing In particular to get up early for, the appointment for my massage was not until lunch time.  I've been suffering with really bad muscle tension in my neck and into my shoulder blade, It got really painful a couple of weeks ago and all the doctor could advise was taking ibuprofen, not something I want to keep taking long term so I booked to have a massage last Friday to see if it would help.  
She could not believe how tense my muscles were, she kept saying 'wow!' and 'oh my goodness!' and I'm thinking, at last, someone who understands how much pain I've been in!

I can actually feel the muscles popping when shes working them, it's a little uncomfortable and a bit painful, but in a nice way, it feels so much better afterwards, and if it works I can stand a bit of that sort of pain.
  Today was my second visit and I feel even better after this one, so something is working.  She has said that these muscles must have been tensed up for a long time, she will be able to soften them up but it will take a few sessions. 

Other than going to my appointment I've had quite a lazy day at home, I was looking around the garden this afternoon and there are some plants that were already in the garden when we moved in and I have no idea what they are, but I know that quite a few of you who read my blog are into your gardens too and you might be able to help me out?

This one is huge and I would like to reduce some of the height after it's finished flowering.  
Last year it only flowered on the lower half, which was a bit strange, this year there are hundreds of flowers all over! It did get a bit wind damaged a few weeks ago and a couple of the boughs are very low over the grass.

Please leave me a comment if you can help with names for any of the plants above.

Thank you for all the lovely comments on yesterday's post.  It's a pity I can't leave my machine out all the time so I could practice more but the small bedroom where I keep all my crafty supplies is not big enough to fit a table in as well as the single bed.  Perhaps one day I could just have it as a craft room but for now I'm not ready to tackle that job.

I haven't got anything planned for tomorrow except for some freezer cooking.
Living the high life here, lol


Tuesday 25 June 2019

It's not like we needed any more pillows!

I said yesterday how watching podcasts had got me wanting to start knitting my own mitred square blanket, well I've recently been watching  a new-to-me podcast, sewrayme.  
Rachael lives in Scotland and makes project bags and sells other knitting related things in her shop and has been doing June vlogs, just little snippets of her day and her garden and some cooking.
  The videos are not very long but are usually quite interesting.  

On one video she showed how to quilt as you go, a method by where you sew the fabric straight on to the wadding, she made up a log cabin effect with little scraps of fabric and when the piece was large enough she made it into a project bag.

I've spoken before about the love/hate relationship I have with my sewing machine, but I would like to get better, so yesterday I collected all my things together and set about making two cushion covers for some cheep pillows I'd bought from Ikea.

This is the first one I made using the quilt as you go method

 And the second one where I sewed the pieces together first then put it on the wadding.

I used an old Ikea sofa cover for the backing of both and did an envelope style opening.

I think my favourite is the first one, the one with the vertical strips of fabric and I did prefer doing the quilt as you go method.  Neither is perfect but I did enjoy making them, and you know what?  me and my machine got on fine, there were no arguments or tantrums during the making :-)

The new cushions will be living in the small bedroom, cheering up the single bed.

- X -

Monday 24 June 2019

Pretty minis on a Monday

When I first started watching podcasts everyone seemed to be knitting scrappy blankets, some people called them memory blankets as they used up the little left overs of yarn, usually from socks they had knitted.  I thought they were all so beautiful and really wanted to make one but as I have yet to finish my first pair of socks (hangs head in shame) I was never in a MILLION years going to accumulate enough left over yarn to ever knit a memory blanket!

And then I discovered mini skeins :-) 

I've been collecting these minis since the beginning of the year and have now got quite a nice collection.

Below is a new collection of the 10g mini sets that Kelly of Lay Family Yarn has just started selling, you get five 10g minis for £8.50, bargain! She has done two boxes so far and these are both of them

(mmmmm, there are only nine little minis there, one must have been camera shy)

They are so lovely and colourful I can hardly bear to use them! 
I have test knit a couple of mitred squares to see how they work up but I don't think I will make a proper start until after the summer.  It's going to be a long term project anyway once I get going, so for now I just going to go on collecting :-)

I had a nice relaxing start to my week off, my breakfast was eaten with a lovely view of the garden instead of eaten in between taking phone calls

Late morning I went out with Stevie for couple of hours as she wanted to get some plants form the garden centre.  We both had a bargain hanging basket, I wasn't going to get one for by the front door this year because the front of our house always seems to take the brunt of any wind or heavy rain, but for only £8 I couldn't pass it up.
We had some lunch at another garden centre and then I played with my sewing machine for the rest of the afternoon, the results of which I will show you tomorrow.

I was able to get in the garden on Sunday morning and have a good tidy up, it rained later in the afternoon so I'm glad I went out when I did.

I've got more roses this year, I remembered to feed :-)

And my fairy glen is looking rather cute now its surrounded by flowers.

(I know, I know, rather childish, but hey ho, I like it)

That's it for now, see you soon

Monday 17 June 2019

Every cloud has a Silver (cardigan) lining

Hello, I hope you are well, it's been a few weeks hasn't it, mainly because there is not much going on, just the usual day to day stuff, work and Nanny duties, nothing very interesting to tell you and no finished crafting either, until this weekend, but more about that later.

Another reason I've been absent is because I've been feeling really down in the dumps, (I hesitate to say depressed) but I suppose that's what it amounts too, I feel like a hamster on a wheel, constantly on the go but getting nowhere and nothing accomplished.
I've have one more week at work and then a week off, we're not going away, we may have days out, but to be honest I'm not even interested in doing that at the moment so we'll see.

Anyway, there are people out there with harder lives than mine and in the great scheme of things I have nothing to complain about so I'll say no more.

On to crafty things.
 Silver Cardigan by Kristina Temin

I've had this little cardigan pattern in my Ravelry favourites for a while.
The pattern says it's for a 1 year old but after looking at others who have made it it does seem to be one of those that comes up bigger so I thought I'd chance it.

I used some Stylecraft Classique cotton DK in this lovely sky blue colour which I've had in my stash for a while, and It came out pretty cute :-)

I've no idea how it will stand up to washing, I've given instructions to Joanne that It may be better to hand wash rather than machine wash otherwise I've got a feeling it may grow.

I will be putting all my knitting notes on Ravelry, I've decided that I'm going to (try) to be better at making notes on my Ravelry pages after I found myself looking at patterns recently and searching finished projects for hints and tips.
It's surprising how little there are when you start looking, but I imagine it's a time thing with most people.
I would like to knit another one of these for Bonnie, so my notes will be helpful to me, if not anyone else.

Ok, that's it for now, no garden photos to show this time, we are in flaming June but not in the sunshine sense, it's been rather wet and soggy here which makes for a very green looking garden but not much of any other colour, we need the sun to make an appearance and then maybe the flowers will bloom and I can get out and tidy up all the bits of sticks and twigs

See you soon


PS forgot to say the pattern is a free one on Ravelry if you are interested, just search Silver Cardigan