Sunday 26 April 2020

A post of many things

 Another busy day spent in the garden making the most of the lovely weather.  All is nice and tidy now so tomorrow I plan on having a day off.

While I've been off work like many people I've taken the opportunity to have a good sort out.  I do have a clear out on a regular basis but the small bedroom where I keep all my crafting things had become a bit of a dumping ground.  I have a tall cupboard behind the door which holds mostly stitching related things, and a chest of drawers which is home to all my knitting/ crochet, yarn, needles and what not.  Those weren't too bad but my threads and charts were in a bit of a muddle.  I had two baskets of threads from finished projects that hadn't been put away and charts I'd stitched mixed in with new charts.  

I spent a whole day the first week I was off and sorted it all out, now I can find things and I'm forcing myself to put away threads when I've done with them!

All my threads, those in boxes are in floss bags and on a ring.

I don't have a big stash of stitching fabric so that fits in quite neatly.
The bottom two boxes have ribbon and trims and a mixture of different craft items

Buttons and needles, the tartan tin is full of buttons too 

These two boxes are charts, one for the ones I've stitched and the other is mainly free charts

The little suitcases are ribbon and trim

I have a small shelf above the chest of drawers, the two file boxes are charts to stitch

I sorted all my mini skeins into baskets.
I worked on my mitred square blanket quite a lot the first couple of weeks I was at home, these first two baskets are what i'm choosing from

Once I've knitted one square I'm putting the remaining yarn into this basket.

Some of the skeins were larger so I will probably use those colours more than once.

I love this blanket SO MUCH!  It's so addictive too, once you have knitted one square it's so hard to put it away.

So that was all a few weeks ago now, this week we had another birthday.  My daughter, Stevie-Leigh turned 26.  I have no idea how that came to be, in my mind she is still 16  :-)

Of course, you still have to have a cake made, even when you're 26 and can't have people round to share it with. 
I made my usual plain sponge and made the icing with biscoff spread.

Baking has been another lock down pastime for a lot of people, me included.  I found a recipe card this weekend for a marmalade and fruit loaf.  I had everything I needed so made one of those too.

It's more like a light fruit cake than what I would call a fruit loaf, but it's nice.  If anyone would like the recipe you will find it on the 'recipe tab' on the top of the page.  If you try it let me know what you think.

I received a lovely card in the post yesterday from Jo.  Thank you Jo.  
I haven't had a letter though the post for a long time, so yes, it was lovely to receive a hand written note and a cute card saying hello.  It made my day :-)

Well, that's another week done, I wonder how much longer we will have to wait until more shops are allowed to open?  I don't know about you but I hope that the first places to open are hairdressers.  I think if you have long hair it wouldn't matter so much but when you have short hair things can change pretty quickly, especially if you have hair like mine which grows out as well as down!  And we won't mention the root problem, (and no, i'm not ready to go grey yet thank you very much, lol)

I hope you are all staying safe and well and trying to find the positives of staying at home, it's for a good reason, we have to beat this horrible virus so that we can eventually lead our normal lives again.

Take care


Sunday 19 April 2020

In the garden

 I'd only got a couple of jobs to do in the garden this morning, funny how times runs away when you are outside isn't it?  An hour or two turned into all afternoon, I didn't mind, it was mostly pottering as I had cut the grass on Friday.

The birds kept me company, I could hear lots of Goldfinch up in our oak tree, although none have come to feed yet, I have spotted them on the roof.  Jo has told me what food to put out to encourage them, I didn't think I had what she recommended but then, when I looked, I had bought some special finch food.  I'll put some out in the morning and see what happens.  
We have had them in the garden other years so perhaps we'll be lucky again.

The girls bought me this wooden bird table for Mothers Day a couple of year ago, it was in need of freshening up so that was one of my jobs today.  

I love the faded look of the Pieris now

 We still have some late tulips flowering on one side of the path

Our Azalea has opened up over the last few days and the bluebells are out too

We have more flowers on our Rhododendron this year

So pretty

 My favourite hosta's are doing well again.  Mark really doesn't like these, I love them :-)

And my lilies have come back. I planted these last year and wasn't sure they would come again.  They have grown so much in the last week

I have little pots of seeds lining the conservatory window, some salad, and some which will hopefully bring lots of summer colour in the garden.  I'll show you the progress of those in another post.

We are very lucky to have such a good outdoor space to enjoy, especially now.  When i'm out there pottering, I can forget for a while what is going on, It calms me, keeps me sane and gives me hope.

Keep safe and well all


Thursday 16 April 2020

You Warm My Heart

Putini Putini is a designer I'd never come across until I found this chart when we met up at the Nimble Thimble last October.  I wanted a change from my usual Sunday stitching on my Calendar Girls last week and I had everything needed for this cute snowman.

You Warm my Heart by PutiniPutini

 I had him stitched and finished into a little pillow by Wednesday :-) I forgot to take a photo of the backing but I used some black gingham, which I already had.

 I think he's the cutest thing ever!

Even Mark said oh that's lovely, the most he ever says about anything I do is, very good, lol

Arthur was two on Tuesday, no birthday parties of course, but he didn't seem at all bothered.

We went to Jenny's and stood apart in their garden for a little while so we could see him.  I did manage to get a couple of photos of him but he never keeps still.  He was quite happy making his own entertainment with the watering can and collecting bits of grass to feed the guinea pig 

 Marks gone up to Stevie's today to do some pointing up on the brickwork on their house, he won't have to be in contact with them so it's ok.

I've been entertaining myself by making banana bread. 

Before last week I had only ever made one of these before and I didn't really like it, but I didn't want to throw away the bananas that had gone well past eating, so had another go.

I found this simple recipe .

I also added some chopped walnuts and a couple of teaspoons of caramel flavouring and it tastes delicious.

Last time i also added some chocolate chips too, but i didn't have any of those left today

Well, best go and make a cuppa and taste test this cake and have a little afternoon stitching :-)

See you soon
Stay Safe

PS. just in case you are wondering, we are social distancing, those photos were taken much further away than it appears, I cropped them once I 'd uploaded them onto the computer, as I did with the Easter photos on my previous post.

Sunday 12 April 2020

Easter Parade Finished

I did get my Blackbird Designs Easter Parade stitched piece back from the framers in time for Easter.   I have a fantastic local stitching and framing shop locally, Sharon and Mark are really lovely, they have had to close the shop during this pandemic but drove round to bring my framed piece back to me.  How good is that.

Once again Mark did a great job with the framing, I just told him I didn't want glass and wanted a shadow box and left the color choice up to him, I knew his choices would be good.

I had planned an Easter egg hunt for the grand-kids today, but of course, that could not happen, instead they have each got an Easter goody bag.  Such a difference to our Easter last year

I'm sure they didn't mind too much though, the Easter Bunny still left chocolate at Nanny's.

The kids came round to collect their Easter bags, at a safe distance of course.

Bonnie and Jacob came this morning

Arty and Oliver came this afternoon

They have all made Easter Bonnets, although Bonnie forgot to bring hers to show me and Arty won't stand still long enough for me to get a photo

I hope you all managed to have a good day too.

See you soon
Stay safe

Wednesday 8 April 2020


I've had the Sprindrift shawl pattern in my Ravelry Library for quite some time and when I was having a sort out a couple of weeks ago I found this yarn by Dandelion and Dogwood, (now re-branded I think), It was part of their Literary & Hand Dyed Yarn Society club from February 2019 and was dyed to represent the cover of the book, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Pretty good job eh

It took me three days to knit the shawl, I think that is the quickest I've ever knitted anything!

Although, I have had quite a lot of stitching and knitting time over the last couple of weeks :-)

The yarn was an absolute dream to knit with and, the finished shawl is wearable 😃

We've been making the most of the lovely weather and doing things in the garden.  
Yesterday I painted two of our wooden planters and Mark painted the side gate.  He has also cleaned the patio this week too

We have found a rhythm to our days, and If we can forget for a little while what is happening in the world we are enjoying the free time at home.

I hope you are making the most of the sunshine and worldly goings on is not getting you down to much.

Stay Safe, Stay Home


Saturday 4 April 2020

Knitting for Arthur

 I bought the Arthur Rabbit kit by Sardines For Tea when we went to Yarndale last September, my intention was to get it done ready to put into Arthur's Christmas stocking. 

Well, clearly that didn't happen, I had all his body parts knitted up and then we had all the drama of Jacob's birth so it got stuffed back into the bag.

It's my Grandson, Arthur's 2nd birthday in a couple of weeks and with more time on my hands I set about sewing all the bits together.

Does anyone else think there should be more instructions on knitting patterns?  I don't like sewing up at the best of times, but a little more guidance other than 'attach the head' and stitch the eyes and nose as the picture' would be a helpful.

But I managed it, even though it took me all of an afternoon.:-)

The coat was the worst bit to sew together, I found it very fiddly and the face took me about four attempts, but i'm happy with him now :-)

When it came to the collar on his coat there wasn't enough green yarn to finish it, by two rows!!
So the last two rows I knitted in the orange used for the scarf.  I don't think I was wasteful with the yarn, so it must have been my tension.  And I'm sure Arthur,(the boy, not the rabbit), won't even notice.

I have Albert, the big rabbit, also by Sardine's For Tea, he's been tucked away for almost twelve months, I bought him for myself when I went to Wool@j13 last year, but I don't think I can face another teddy just yet :-)

Stay Safe, Stay Home

Wednesday 1 April 2020

April is a cutie

 The Start of another month and another Calendar Girl to display.
  I think this one is my favourite so far :-)

I found a cute little wooden flower button in my button box which I think goes really well :-)

Well, we've managed to get through the first week of lock-down without doing each other any harm, lol.
To be honest It's been ok, we get jobs out of the way when we get up, Mark will help around the house, (although to be honest, I would rather do things myself) but he has been helping, neither of us are untidy people so there is not a lot to do anyway.  Later we just sit together, he will read the paper and I have been either knitting or stitching.  I've been going for a walk late afternoon, Mark isn't one for walking just for the sake of it, so I've been striding out on my own and listening to my audio book.

Talking of books, I've read quite a few this month.  I decided that I would pick 'real' books from my shelves for a while, I just got a bit fed-up with reading on my Kindle.

I've also listened to two audio books, The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney and The Giver of Stars by Jo Jo Moyes.  Both of which I really enjoyed.

On Monday, I made us a quiche with butternut squash, peppers, and caramelised onions and used some cottage cheese, cheddar and feta in there too.  It was lovely, if I do say so myself, lol

I had mine with salad but there some mash and veg left over from the day before so I made Mark some potato cakes to go with his, he was sceptical when I said what I was going to do, but he said they were lovely :-)

I made myself a Weetabix cake for snacking on too - sounds weird but is really nice, a bit like bread pudding, but without the stodge.

Being at home has given me the time to get another couple of finishes, which I will save for another post, one of them is so cute and is for a little boy who will be two in a couple of weeks :-)

Stay safe, see you soon