Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Brooches and Beans!

Sunday afternoon was lovely and sunny, although still cold.  It put a smile on people's faces and allowed us bloggers to take some reasonable pictures.  My OH had come home Saturday evening from a week of skiing in France (just in time to refill the screen-wash in my car :-) and took over fire stoking duties once again.  Though I had managed to keep it going since he left.  It was good to have him back!

While he was away I was able to get on with my projects and not worry too much about having meals ready at certain times or even cooking at all!  I finished these 4 brooches, which I showed the makings of last time.  They're not quite how I pictured but I'm reasonably pleased with them.  I now have an idea to improve the design and have picked out the fabrics ready.
As you can see from the top pic, I made 2 small and 2 large (The small ones are a bit too small really).  All the fabrics/buttons etc are recycled or thrifted except the felt at the back which is wool felt that I bought a while ago.
I tried out the blanket stitch on my machine for the edge of this one.  It doesn't have quite the same rustic look of hand stitching that I like. 
All in all, the weekend was quite busy.  My Saturday Singing group met for the first time since December and started on some new material.  We haven't any events lined up after missing out on singing the Welsh songs we learned when the Welsh Evening was cancelled due to the snow! 

On Friday evening I remembered to put these haricot beans to soak.  I should have used a bigger bowl.  My DS told me I needed to add more water so, when I did, it was almost running over (that's why it's on the draining board!)
Saturday lunchtime I drained the beans, boiled them for 10-15 mins, drained again, then threw them in my slow cooker with a little of this and a little of that (see above).  I also added a large chopped onion, a large tin of tomatoes, some vegetable stock and some brown sugar (sorry, no measurement - I just threw it in).
Following the guidelines in my slow cooker book, I put it on low and then left it for about 7 hours (stirring once or twice, just out of curiosity).  I'm very satisfied with how they turned out.  Eminently recognisable, in both appearance and taste to the tinned sort, but better! Not sure if they work out cheaper though.  I'll have to check the prices.  I got about 8 portions out of this, some of which is in the freezer, but probably should have stretched to 10. I will definitely make them again!!

Sunday evening I popped up the road to my aunt's to cadge some red thread for the cushion cover I'm working on and to see if she has any fabric I could use as a border for my half-square-triangle quilt.  My aunt used to make a lot of curtains and soft furnishing for people but doesn't do it much now.  Consequently, she has lots of fabric remnants and bits and pieces which she keeps telling me to use.  I'm waiting impatiently to see what she digs out.  Come to mention it, I'm still waiting for my January block for the Tag Square Bee too. Nanabanana send it over 2 weeks ago and it still hasn't arrived yet.

It's my DDs 25th birthday today - Happy B'day Bessie!!! - and she reminded me I realised the other day that, although I've got her a couple of 'sensible' gifts, I don't have any nice little pressies that are fun.  I hastily ordered a couple of things online yesterday, in the hope that they will be delivered before we go out for a meal on Wednesday, (latest is they have been dispatched so fingers crossed) and yesterday evening stitched up another little something which I can't say any more about because she will quite possibly read this before then.  Besides which, it needs a bit of tweaking and finishing off tonight. I never make 2 things exactly the same, but have to make some kind of modification which is not always successful!! 

With all this expectation and things in progress there should be plenty to show next week, including my second Recycled Ripple Scarf.  That's the first time I've ever said that with any confidence.

Bye for now
Teresa x


MelMel said...

Pretty brooches!xx

Vintage Girl/Marivel said...

Oh my gosh!! I love your brooches !!Wonderful,lovely fabrics,colors.Good pics.
Best wishes

wayside wanderer said...

Another busy weekend! Happy birthday to your daughter! I like your brooches and the beans look yummy. I wish I would make beans more often, they are so easy, but the planning ahead for the soaking is what I forget to do. I made some black eyed peas not too long ago with jalapenos which were yummy! I watched the first episode of Pillars. I like the casting! Tom is a cutie. =)

Joanne said...

You have been productive!
The brooches are adorable!
Hey, I recognize your Heinz ketchup...a product of America:)
We call what you have in your slow cooker: chili
Is that what you would call it also?
Looks yummy!
Happy Crafting and stay warm!

Lis and Al said...

Wow you've been busy! Happy Birthday to Bessie. I know just what you mean about the fire. I've had to light ours today!!!! I was struck down with D&V on Sunday but have been out of bed today, DH is suffering today so I had to do the fire and the fetching of soothing mugs of hot water! I don't usually have anything to do with the fire but I've been quite successful I have to say. I'm glad DH chopped plenty of logs before he succumbed to the bug!

Anonymous said...

Sweet brooches! And delicious-looking baked beans - we make them too (we put bacon in - yummy!).

Thanks for signing up for my fabric swap - looking forward to seeing what you do with your swappings...

Little Green Doll said...

Love the brooches, beautiful colours! and these beans look so tasty!! have a nice week! :)