Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Picture This!

The conversation went something like this:

Me to OH: 'I have a little job for you. Could you please hang that picture in the bathroom'.

OH to me:  What picture?

Me: The one that's been propped on the back of the bench in the kitchen since we bought it in Malta about 5 years ago!

OH: 'I thought it was meant for the kitchen.'

Me: 'It's a picture of a bathroom. Why would it go in the kitchen?'

OH: 'OK'.

Job done!!
Why wasn't it that easy 5 years ago?

 That gave me the idea to show you some more of what adorns our walls. 

 This lady is in our sitting room, near a corner, with a window to the right across the corner, so it gives the impression she's gazing out of our window too. I love this picture and often wonder, when dusting it, what she's waiting for, or looking at (dusting???..... Well, maybe not THAT often!).

 This is the sight that faces me as I step out of our bedroom!!  It's DS's bedroom door, with the upstairs toilet door to the right. In the middle of the night, in the eerie light from the window, while half asleep, it could give one a bit of a jolt!!

And because this is supposed to be a stitching blog, here's my effort for the Tag Square Bee for July.  It's for Jo from Bearpaw who has a lovely blog here.  She wanted an aqua/red/pink colour scheme so I hope she's happy with this.  When I first laid the pieces out I didn't like it at all, but the next morning it had grown on me and then I loved it after it was all sewn together.  The red fabric with black/white flowers is left over from a dress I made for DD nearly 20 years ago.

OH and I are off for a long weekend in Dorset tomorrow so I'm very much looking forward to 2 days off work! 

Oh... and my friend loved her 'shoe' bag!!

Bye for now
Teresa x

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Knitting, Jam and Sewing Shoes!

I'm loving all the bunting and beach-hut beauty that's popping up all around blogland at the moment.  There's a particularly clever tutorial by Quilt Routes that I love (part 2) for a beach hut picture.  The method could be adapted to any type of landscape.  I wish I had the time to give it a whirl.  And Rags to Bags has combined bunting and beach huts in this cheerful cushion.

I'm not so satisfied with my own efforts recently though.  This is one of my long-term UFOs.  I've decided to knit a simpler pattern from the same pattern book. Although I'm not sure about the neck shape or the wide rib, I will stick to the pattern because trying to modify it will only end in tears!  I haven't un-run what I started the first time (can't face the defeat!) and probably won't until I run out of yarn and there's no choice.

I was given some cherries last week and needed to use them quickly, before they went too soft, so I boiled up a pan of jam.  It was acutally two saucepans of jam (because my mother was away and I couldn't borrow her skillet). The result was too runny, which I wouldn't normally have minded, but as I agreed to give some to the donator of the cherries, decided to give it another boil when I got the correct pan.

As you've probably twigged by now, the resulting jam is now too thick.  I will send a jar to the donator but with apologies for ruining a perfectly lovely box of cherries.
A friend of mine had a birthday at the beginning of this month and although I'd started this, I only finished a couple of days ago (and I didn't even make the bag - I had it in my stash!).  It would have been quicker if I had made the bag because I'd have sewn on the shoes by machine before making it up, but had to do it by hand since it wouldn't go under the machine.  She has a big love of shoes so I combined that with my effort to be eco-friendly and came up with the idea for this tote bag covered in shoes.  I hope she won't be embarrassed to use it when out shopping and that it helps indirectly in the reduction of plastic bag use.  It 's going to contain a scrummy choccie bar too.  I'd love to get this for a present myself so I hope she likes it!!

The other side!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Country Style!

I was going to get all serious today and write about how I can't believe anyone could be unconcerned about climate change these days (especially people with children/grandchildren) and the speed at which we are using up the earth's resources.  So, I started to think about what to say and realised that once I started, it would be difficult to know where to stop!  I'm also not very good at expressing myself, even though I'm clear in my own mind what my views and purpose are, and don't want to nag or preach to anyone.  I've decided, therefore, that the thing to do is to continue as I am, following my conscience, doing what I can, and hope it rubs off a little on those I come into contact with.  Most people would rather not be reminded of the global environmental situation because they then feel guilty about what they could be doing and would rather continue as they are and push it to the back of their minds!!

(It's surprising how much you can write, just to say what you're not going to write about :-)

Now back to what you'd normally expect from me - A weekend round-up!

I didn't realise the carrots in the garden were ready to eat until OH brought in this huge bowl of produce on Sunday!  Shame I bought some from the supermarket on Friday!!  Carrots with dinner for the rest of the week then?  That's the last of the lettuce though for a little while (OH is going to plant some more).  Every year I plan to pickle lots of beetroot but I like them so much they don't make it into a jar! I used  to microwave them but try not to use the microwave too much and now boil them on the hob (they take the same amount of time and I also find it less messy).

 On Saturday I went with DD and her 2 dogs to a village fete where her OH was manning a stand from the Community Farm where he works.  We were too late to enter the dogs in the dog show but they had plenty of attention from other fete goers, particularly one little girl who pestered played with them for what seemed like a couple of hours.  Dogs had to be kept on leads so the first time she threw a twig for them I nearly had my arm yanked out of its socket! DD and her OH were laughing as they envisaged me being dragged through the wet grass by the lead.  Despite the frequent showers, there were many visitors and we managed to enjoy tea and cake in the refreshment tent and take a stroll around the stalls. 

No, I didn't make a scrumptious batch of Welsh Cakes and leave them near the open window to cool!  I bought the cakes and this book at the fete.  When I picked the book up, I thought it looked familiar but, on flicking through it, I didn't recognise any of the pictures.  However, I should have because I found a copy of the exact same book on the shelf at home!!  If anyone would like a copy of this book (UK only, sorry) let me know in the comments and I'll mail it to you.   Book taken, thanks Ali.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

It's Blooming Marvellous!

What do you think of this cheerful chappy that greeted me as I stepped out of the front door on a perfect sunny Sunday morning this weekend? In case you're worried, his petal isn't broken, just folded back on itself.  I did try to straighten it up for the photograph but he wasn't co-operating and I didn't want to break him.. ha ha!!

Pretty purple pansy

 And these beauties surprised me by bursting open recently. I only get into the top garden on the weekend and when I caught a glimpse of yellow while pulling into the drive on Saturday, I had to investigate further.

Lovely lilies
The veg garden is filling out nicely and we have lettuces galore at the moment!

 Our reliable knarled old apple tree is nurturing plenty of 'cookers' that will be ready later in the year along with the 'eaters' on the newer trees (there's a branch of one in the foreground above).

Old faithful's knarled and scabby trunk!
 I used to  make these almond slices quite often at one time because they are a lot easier than they look and everyone likes them.  I  thought I needed ground almonds but kept forgetting to buy some.  I remembered this week but then discovered the recipe didn't call for them anyway!  What I didn't have though was sugar.  They don't look too bad and tasted ok, according to DS, but I don't recommend using preserving sugar and two and a half years out-of-date almond essence!

 This may not look a very interesting photo but it's quite significant to me since it shows my first ever successful poached egg!!  I've always shied away from making them because my few efforts have resulted in a stringy, watery mess.  My secret this time is that I managed to catch DS in the kitchen cooking scrambled eggs and I remembered to ask him what to do.  He showed me that day and this is my effort a few days later of which I am quite proud!

News next time of a crafty project/present that I'm working on. 

Bye for now
Teresa x