Friday, 28 December 2012

Water Water Everywhere

This was Whittlesey Wash on Boxing Day, the road  has been closed since before Xmas and is clearly not opening any time soon especially since we have had more rain and there is more forecast.

You can just make out the white lines under the water.



This view is looking back towards Whittlesey.
I hope you all had a great Xmas and managed to spend time with your nearest and dearest. We had a wonderful day and the lunch was cooked to perfection. Although I did forget to cook the red cabbage and make the bread sauce, but hey you can't have everything and how close to perfection can one person be?

Ellie enjoyed her lunch, she managed to eat five roast parsnips along with everything else. 

She also enjoyed opening her presents and everyone else's. I was incredibly lucky on the present front this year. The most fabulous present was from Neil, a jacket that heats up. It really is something special it's a gorgeous pink colour- unusual for me to like a jacket that colour but it is lovely and oh so warm. 

This was Eva after an afternoon and evening with Ellie, I know how she feels! I'm convinced that Eva is going to be the dainty feminine granddaughter where as Ellie will be a one woman demolition team. She is incredibly stubborn, she must get that from her mother's side!

Monday, 24 December 2012

One More

One more sleep till the big day. Tomorrow the house will be in chaos, the fridge will be locked and hopefully we will be able to smell the chicken and beef roasting not burning.

The kids came round yesterday and put the tree up which was nice. Ellie ate all the grapes and cherries from the fridge so she will get a shock tomorrow.

The last present was finished this afternoon so they have now all been wrapped and delivered or are under the tree. I am now snuggled up on the sofa with a large glass waiting for Mrs Browns Boys.

All that remains is to wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Two Dozen

The first of the mince pies and I have to say they look and smell lovely. The pastry is nice and crisp as well, I may have excelled myself this time. What's the chance of that happening again in the kitchen?

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cake Anyone?

I may soon need to change the title of this blog - there has been a lot of cooking going on and a bit of baking. Yesterday I made a lovely lasagne and this evening we had pork with a cider and apple sauce. That's not all though I've also made some sticky toffee cupcakes for the Tuesday Strippers and they come recommended by Ellie who managed a whole one. The recipe was recommended by Gina.

Monday is my day off and every week I hope for a quiet day doing not a lot, maybe even going for a walk. I should be so lucky. This morning I looked after Freddie whilst his mum took Ellie to an Xmas party at playgroup. I did take him to the office to see grandad, he loves his grandad more than nana, he doesn't settle very well for me but grandad has the magic touch with him. Then after lunch I had to do the usual shopping, housework stuff you know what I mean, and that's the day gone.

I am one step further with my Xmas tree. I'm still hopeful it will be finished in time.

Saturday was a quiet day at the shop so Pam, Dawn and I arranged to do a jelly roll race which was fun to do but it means I now have another quilt top to finish. Somehow I don't think I will ever have a lazy day.

Friday, 14 December 2012

One Down

Well I've managed it, one football-covered folder Xmas pressie for a friend. He has recently taken an interest in baking after watching too much TV. I consulted with his wife and we decided that a cupcake covered folder would be to sissy for him so I went with the football fabric as it's also the colours of Manchester United who he supports. I'm not counting how many other presents I've got to finish. Looking at that picture my sewing room still looks quite tidy.
I'm also making good progress with my Xmas tree and hopefully that will be finished very soon.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Fingers Crossed

My fingers are crossed in the hope that this post actually works. It's the fourth attempt and I am now so fed up with blogger that I'm thinking of giving up and starting a facebook page. Just to annoy me even more while I typed those few sentences a picture has dissappeared. Does it only happen to me?
I have finally had to admit this week that christmas is definitely on it's way, in fact it's just around the corner. On Monday I went into town to do the dreaded  christmas shopping, oh it was horrible! I was there waiting for the shops to open and I was home by 12.00pm and I'm not going back. I'm so pleased Neil has booked an Ocado delivery for next week.
The picture above is one side of Freddie's stocking, the picture that has vanished was the other side. Below is the stocking I made for Eva.

As part of my christmas preperations I've started yet another project, it is an Xmas tree hanging and I'm hoping to have it finished in time for this year.

Here's Ellie having her first sewing lesson. Doesn't she look thoughtful, she sat there for quite a while just watching.

I have also started playing around with hexagons. I'm not a huge fan of hand sewing but there are times when it's not possible to be sat at the machine so I thought I'd start working with hexagons and it would be a long term project so no pressure to get it finished. 

I have got so many things I want to do during the christmas break but knowing my luck I will be finishing christmas presents. One thing I really must do is work on my Spectrum project.
You never know, next time I blog there might have even been some christmas baking. I love homemade mince pies - shop bought ones just don't do it for me.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

What Happened To November?

Time has yet again flown by ( I didn't do a single post in November) but it only seems like 5 minutes since my last post. Life has been very busy we have been enjoying getting to know Freddie who is definately a grandad's boy. He settles much better with Neil than with me. He doesn't sleep anywhere near as much as Ellie did so that has been a bit of a shock for Nicki and Anthony. I have to say though that Nicki is coping extremly well with having two babies and she is managing to breast feed, she really is a star.

Neil and I have had a week in Wales but I can't show you any pictures because I've lost my camera. I'm quite upset about it, I had a brilliant photo of a rainbow over the sea and it's reflection in the sea and now it would appear it's gone forever.

I've also done a few more shows on Create and Craft TV, which takes up a lot of time and preparation.

I have almost got enough squares for my blanket, I'm just making a few more for a bit more colour variation.

Monday evening I made a Victoria Sponge for the Tuesday Strippers. I think they enjoyed it.

A few photo's of the little man. He is almost half of Ellie's body weight now and there is 13 months between them. Hopefully now the health visitor will see sense and stop giving Nicki a hard time about Ellie's weight. Although I'm quite sure that Ellie isn't in the health visitors good books. When Nicki took them to be weighed last week, she had Ellie weighed first and that was fine. But whilst she was getting Freddie undressed and weighed Ellie sneaked off into a corner with the health visitor's handbag and emptied the contents all over the floor. The first Nicki knew of it was when she looked up to see Ellie waving the health visitor's sanitary towels in the air and chuckling like mad. The chuckling soon changed to screaming when the health visitor tried to retrieve them. Poor Nicki she said she had never been so embarresed before and wanted the ground to open up and swallow her. I think she may have a lot more of that to come.



I have at last finished Freddies quilt. It really doesn't photograph very well it looks so much better in the flesh, so to speak.

Ellie's first painting, it has pride of place on the wall at work.

Monday, 29 October 2012

He's Here

Baby Freddie arrived at 7.26pm on Friday 26th October and he weighed 7lb 11oz. Nicki had a midwife appointment on Friday morning and she told Nicki that he was only measuring at 36 weeks and was going to be small, just goes to show how wrong they can be.  All the way through the pregnancy the midwife has done nothing but cause undue stress and the health visitor isn't much better.
This is Freddie and Eva.

All three of them. Two beautiful little girls and one cute little boy, we are so lucky.

Steph has asked me to teach her how to make granny squares so I've made a few just to remind myself how to make them. Now I haven't got enough to do anything with so I'm just going to have to keep going until I have got enough for a blanket. It'll be a long term project.

Bread pudding for afternoon tea tomorrow at the shop.

In case you want to make it for yourself here's the recipe.

12oz stale bread
2 tbsp flour
4oz melted margarine
2oz caster sugar
6oz sultanas
6oz currants
2 tbsp mixed spice
2 eggs

Oven temperature 150 c

1, Soak bread in warm water for 1/2 an hour
2, Drain bread to remove excess water and mash well
3, Add all the other ingredients and thoroughly mix
4, Place mixture in a 9"x9" tin and cook for 1-1 1/4 hours
5, When cooked sprinkle with caster sugar

I only use sultanas, I can't be bothered with those hard little currants and I sprinkle plenty of caster sugar on top because it seems to disappear. It's very very nice warmed up and served with cream.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Keeping Busy

Since my post last week I have managed to finish the cushion cover that I started for the show on Create and Craft. I like the pink one but I prefer this one .

I have been busy making the quilt for the new baby who is due on Thursday, but not in a hurry to make an appearance. Typical male.

This mess on the floor is where I cut all the ears off the flying geese blocks, I just swept all the bits onto the floor .It's much easier to let the hoover do the hard work.

For those who don't know the flying geese blocks are the ones on the left.

This is how the blocks look when they are put together. The blue isn't quite that bright but the computer obviously likes it that way.

I love this quilt, I like the pattern and the fabrics are gorgeous. At the moment it's laid out on the table and I have started to baste it, I'm hoping to be able to start the quilting this week. I must finish Ellie's quilt as well. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

15 Minutes

I had my 15 minutes of fame on Sunday morning when I appeared as a guest on Create and Craft TV with the lovely Debbie Shore. I was standing in for Jenny Rayment. Jennie recommended me  for the guest spot which was not only very kind of her but a huge pat on the back for me.
I had a lot of help from Barbara, Pam, Dawn and Sam to make it all possible. I took two cushions with me to demonstrate the heart template and the crazy tool template. Barbara helped me to make these. We had two and half days to get these made and other working samples prepared, we put in some long hours and were very pleased with our results.

Whilst I was busy preparing for the show It meant I didn't really help out much in the shop so Pam, Dawn and Sam worked incredibly hard last week.

This was some samples that I took onto the show to demonstrate using the easy rule. They have now been made up into a cushion cover. I forgot to take a picture of the cushion.

The show was an experience I won't forget. The show went out live - there was no practice apart from a screen test in a small room I had never been in a TV studio before and there is no script. As you can imagine I was incredibly nervous but Debbie was lovely and worked very hard at putting me at my ease.
Whilst I was away from blogger I received this pendant. I had asked Dottycookie if she could possibly work her beading magic on a stone I found in Jersey and turn it into a pendant for me. She did a wonderful job and it's very tactile. Thank you Dottycookie.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Grandad's Complaint

Grandad (Neil) wasn't happy with the pictures of Ellie in my last post. He thought she looked a bit boyish, I think he's being a bit picky but just to keep him happy here are some more. The one above was taken in June and doesn't she look angelic, not at all like the little monkey that she is. The one below was taken yesterday afternoon. She is cuddling one of her favourite dogs and you can see mischief in her face. Ellie is a little girl full of expressions and is very capable of making her feelings and thoughts known. 

This happy little girl is Eva, she is almost four months old now. They paid us a vist a couple of weeks ago, we don't see Eva and mummy and daddy any where near as much as we would like.

She has changed a lot over a few months. Eva is a beautiful little girl and we consider ourselves very lucky to have two of them and very soon a grandson.

I have been doing a little bit of sewing - not a lot. I've made some progress with my cathedral window cushion, I'm doing the hand sewing bit and have got half the cushion done, there is a reason for this sudden burst. Barbara made one of these cushions last week so I'm trying to get mine finished before she does. Childish I know but it's fun.

This is what my sewing room looks like at the moment. Not pretty is it, life is still very hectic around here, but I'm going to have to do something about it soon or I won't be able to get in the door.

This is a pile of rows waiting to be made into a quilt for Ellie. There are eight rows in the pile and I've got another four to make, there are ten blocks per row so that means another forty blocks. I've made three blocks in the last week, so progress is slow.
I was hoping to get at least one row done this week but some how I don't think it's going to happen.

Friday, 28 September 2012

One Year On

My how time flies, I can't believe how quickly time has passed since my last post. Life has been very busy and at times stressful in our household lately. We have been very busy at work, my tummy has been poorly of and on making me extremely tired and my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He didn't respond very well to the treatment at first so they changed way it was administered and so far he's doing very well. His PSA level has dropped dramatically and at the moment he is in Cyprus.

But a whole year seems to have flown by and on Wednesday this little girl turned one. She now has two teeth and is happily walking around furniture so it won't be long before she is fully mobile. Ellie is a beautiful happy little girl and has bought a lot of joy into our lives. Anthony and Nicki are doing a brilliant job of bringing her up.

This was Ellie on her birthday eating chocolate cake.

She really enjoyed it.

Her brother is due the 25th of next month something we are all looking forward to but I think it's going to take a bit of getting used to for Ellie, she is starting to get a little clingy. So things aren't going to get quieter around here for a while but I promise not to leave it so long before my next post.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Oh No!

I've been walking past this plant for over two years now and haven't really taken much notice of it until now. As part of our summer project Gina said we should look, observe, draw and paint.

Well I have been looking and observing. I started to notice the subtle change in colours - the veining on the leaves the fact that it takes four petals to make a flower. Then I started thinking that maybe I actually could draw it and then as quick as a flash another project popped into my head. 'No I don't need another project ' was my cry! It's all Gina's fault if she hadn't said look and observe I would probably still not be taking much notice of the hydrangea but it's too late it's there stuck in my head and won't go away. 

Anyway I thought about it some more and realised I could make it fit in with my circles theme. So you will be seeing more of this.