Sunday 24 November 2019

Naked cake, and anyone fancy doing Blogmas?

We organised a little afternoon tea baby shower for Joanne at a local cafe, just some family and a couple of Joanne's close friends.  I wanted to make a cake for her, but something simple, so I watched lots of you tube videos about how to decorate a naked cake, I'm a bit heavy handed when it comes to working with icing so I thought this would be perfect for me.

I used the cake recipe that I always use and which turns out perfect every time, it's absolutely fool proof, everything goes in the bowl and is mixed with the hand mixer, you just add flavouring if you want to, I made a lemon flavoured one this time.  
The icing is mascarpone which I would definitely use again, it's so creamy and not at all sweet and sickly like buttercream icing.  
I used full fat mascarpone, double cream and icing sugar, whisked all together until it was thick and creamy, perfect!
It does not set in the same way that buttercream icing sets, but it does hold it's shape perfectly well and personally I thought it was much better to work with when icing the cake.

The afternoon tea was at a local place called Mad Hatters, which is all decked out with an Alice in Wonderland theme

Stevie had a Gentleman's afternoon tea, we were all drooling over it when they bought it out, wishing that we had gone for that option too!

We did enjoy our tea though, sandwiches and cake were all lovely and freshly made.

 When I got up this morning I wasn't sure I would be able to make it, I've been in such pain with my back for the last two days, this morning was even worse than yesterday.  I can only think that I've pulled something, I did clean the windows this week, so perhaps I've over stretched.  I had trouble getting in and out of Stevie's car so have already called to let someone know I won't be in work tomorrow, I just don't think I would be able to drive.  Hopefully it won't be as bad in the morning.
Can you believe that It will be advent next Sunday?  I've got my advent calendars all ready and waiting, I'm so excited to open them!  This is the first time I've treated myself to advent calendars, I loved seeing everyone open their yarn advents last year so have treated myself to three :-)

If you are a podcast watcher like me you will know that quite a lot of them do Vlogmas starting on December 1st, I do love to watch the little daily Christmas vlogs and thought wouldn't it be nice if I  could do the same here and have Blogmas :-)

So If you would like to join me in a little daily blogging during advent please let me know and perhaps we could all link up and share a little bit of what we do in those days leading up to Christmas, we might even discover new blogs to read and follow :-)

See you in December :-)


Friday 15 November 2019

Wet and wild

Yesterday was just awful, I don't think it stopped raining all day and the temperature only reach 3° all day.  There are flood warnings in many places throughout the UK, thank goodness we are not in one of those areas, it must be just terrible for the people who are though, my thoughts go out to them.

I took this photo through the kitchen door yesterday, the grass is just covered in leaves but with it being so wet we haven't had chance to get out there to clean them up.  Mark swept all the path last weekend but it was just too soggy to attempt to clear them off the grass. 

Marlene, when I see the grass covered in leaves like this I think of you saying that you don't like to see leaves on your garden, I think my garden would drive you nuts at the moment, lol

You can't see from the photos but the boarders are full of water up to and at some points, extending onto the grass.  It's going to take a while for that to dry out!

There are still plenty of leaves still to fall, I just hope that by the time we can get out we won't be knee deep in them, lol

I do love both Autumn and Winter, I don't even mind cold mornings, but rain, ugh! hate it.

There were a couple of days last week when it didn't rain so when I finished work at lunch time I went for a walk around the local park.

When I think of Autumn, this is what I want to see, beautiful colours :-)

Beautiful gates to Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge

I've been taking along some bread to feed the ducks and geese on the pond while i'm there, they swim alongside as you walk, I felt like the Pied Piper, lol.  You can help yourself to food (for a very small donation) to feed them but I recently saw a post on FB that said that ducks were starving because people were no longer feeding them bread because they had been told it was bad for them.  I suppose it's better for them to have bread than nothing at all, especially in the Winter.

It's felt like a very long week this week, three afternoons looking after Oliver and Bonnie after work and not getting home until after 6.30, make for very long days when i'm out of the house at 8am.  Joanne will be on maternity leave in a couple of weeks so at least I will only have Oliver to collect from school then.  
Not sure what's going to happen when this new baby comes.  

Don't get me wrong, I do love having them and I'm glad I'm able to help out, and I know I'm lucky that they all live close by and I can see them regularly, but I'm not going to lie, it's hard work, especially all the toing and frowing and In and out the car with two of them. 

There is a reason why Mother nature stops you having children when you are older, they tire you out, lol

Tonight I'm going to the cinema with my girls to see 'Last Christmas'  and on Sunday we are going to the Christmas Gift Fair at the NEC in Birmingham.   I've persuaded Mark to come with us this year, he is the original Bah Humbug when it comes to Christmas, so that should be interesting,  but I've told him there is free cheese and wine so he might just survive it :-)

I'll be back soon with a couple of stitching finishes, once I can get enough daylight to take photos.

See you soon

Sunday 3 November 2019


That's a misleading post title as it's not really a secret, and I haven't intentionally avoided saying it in a blog post, but as time is marching along so quickly I should tell you that I am soon to become a Nanna again :-)

Grandchild number 4 (I know, 4!!!) is due to arrive very early in January.

Bonnie will have a baby brother to fuss over, she is a proper little girl and loves anything to do with babies so I'm sure Joanne will have plenty of "help"

Joanne posted this on Instagram a while ago now to announce the happy news, Bonnie looks in shock, lol but she is already talking about her baby brother and I know she will be a wonderfully kind big sister.

So next years stitching will be much the same as the last few years, lol.  Another 'baby's first Christmas' ornament, another birth sampler and another Shepherd's Bush stocking, (did you wonder why I bought another shepherd's Bush stocking chart last weekend?? :-)

I haven't done a lot of knitting this time round because Joanne still has lots of little cardigans that I made for Bonnie, and Jenny has passed on the ones I knit for Arthur. 
I have made a new  crochet blanket though.

The first photo is probably more true to the colours

I wanted to use up some Stylecraft Special DK from my stash so came up with this rather than a granny square.

I think it came out ok, and it's different to the other blankets I made for her last time.

I also made a little cowl this week.  This was a kit I bought from The Cotton Pod at Yarndale last year

I'm not sure I will get much use out of it though, I don't really like the way cowls sit, but it might be ok under a coat.  It worked up really quickly after sitting there waiting to be done for over a year, lol.

Can you believe we are in November?  This year has really flown by, they do say that the older you get the faster time goes, and I think that's so true.  Christmas is just around the corner, again, I have already made a good start on present buying, I would like to have it all done by the end of the month so that I can enjoy a stress free December.
I always aim for this every year but it hardly ever happens, but we'll see.

Hope you all have a good crafty week

See you soon