Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Caramel or Brulee?

DS has recently finished a 2 week stint covering a holiday for the chef of a local pub/restaurant.  It was a one-person kitchen so, apart from a washer-up and a couple of waitresses, he was on his own. It was the first time he'd been in charge and quite enjoyed being called 'Chef' rather than being the one doing the calling.  It's a small establishement but has a good reputation locally for its food so the owner was putting a lot of trust in DS!  By all accounts, he did himself proud!! 

OH and I went there for a meal in a group of 7 and we were all thoroughly impressed!  The Creme Brulees he made were to-die-for!!  It reminded me of the time we went on holiday to Malta when the kids were about 8 (DS) and 10 (DD) yrs old.  DS was always quite adventurous about trying different foods (although he'd not shown much inclination towards cooking himself).  He ordered Creme Caramel for dessert at a restaurant after I'd explained what it was.  When it arrived, however, he didn't like it and failed to eat much.  It turned out, he'd thought it was Creme Brulee. Now, here he is, making Creme Brulee himself - and quite perfectly, I should add.  Not sure if he's made Creme Caramel yet but I have to say, I much prefer Creme Brulee too!!

These 2 desserts are quite similar but the end result tastes very different.  Which do you prefer?  Is there anyone who prefers Creme Caramel?

I got out all my Tag Square Bee blocks last weekend and layed them out on the floor of my shed.  So, here they are!!  On reflection (and looking at them layed out together), I think I should have been more specific in my requested colour preference. "Autumn colours" was a bit too general and I'm now a bit flummoxed as to how to put them together.  From looking at many quilts online over the last few years, I'm aware that I probably need to choose an accent colour to bring them all together somehow.  The questions are - "What colour?" and "How do I use it?"  I'm thinking sashing and borders in the mystery colour, but will it take more than that to bring this lot together?? 

My Life Coach friend (who, incidentally, has just launched a website for her business - see my testimonial on the Sunflower Club page) came round yesterday for a 'tour' of my shed.  She saw it at the Shed Opening Party, but not since I've filled it with furniture and fabric, books and buttons.  Showing her my ongoing projects in one go opened my eyes to exactly how much I have to do.  It's time to buckle down and concentrate on one long-term project at a time (with little ones in between!).

Talking of "little ones in between", I was feeling in need of a quick-fix fabric fiddle so pulled out a few scraps and - well - fiddled!  There's a little heart- felt creation that will hang up once I've added a ribbon (inspired by Betz White (sorry couldn't find exact post), but nowhere near as neat and pretty as hers);  then there's a completely random piece of crazy patchwork that I have to decide what to do with.  Maybe a pincushion?

Stitching progress since last time:

Knitted cardigan - a couple of hours on the second sleeve.
Bee Quilt - Laying out blocks and umming and ahhhing.
Felt and fabric fiddling.

Writing down here, for the last few weeks, what progress I've made has been a useful exercise.  I knew I wasn't getting much done but didn't realise that some weeks it was practically nothing!  I wonder if the next step should be to write down what I want to do (or am going to do) before the next post.  Mmmm, I'll have to think about that a bit more because I've only just thought of it.  It might motivate me, or it might make me leave a longer time before posting until I get it done (which would be a bad thing).

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 21 October 2011


OH hurt his back last weekend and wanted to go somewhere he could walk around to prevent stiffing up.  He decided on Porthcawl; a seaside town close to where he grew up.  We picked up DD on the way, as she was at a loose end, and as we travelled and chatted OH took a scenic route that took us past where he lived as a child, went to school and played.

The beach at Porthcawl where the tide goes way out.
  It got us thinking and talking about family; who was related to whom etc. and we explained to DD the tenuous connection OH and I have to each other, by marriages in the family, through my aunt and his mother, which is so convoluted even I have trouble explaining it!  In order to explain, we each started at our own family and somehow met in the middle!

An interesting new addition since last time we were there - not sure if we like it or not!
  OH and I also have a connection relating to his work on a private country estate.  He and his father both worked on this estate and I have a great-great-somebody-or-other who was an ostler on this same estate generations ago.

Looking along the promenade one way
 It's surprising the connections you can find with people if you get chatting (even complete strangers). Our ladies group recently had a speaker who'd been to Africa with a charity operating on children with cleft palates. When his trip was over, he took an extended break in Egypt (I think) and got talking to some people there.  It turned out they were neighbours of one of the people he'd just been in Africa with!! 
Looking along the promenade the other way
There must be thousands of stories like this because we're not as disparate as we might think.  And the further back in history you go, the more likely you are to be descended from a prominent figure, since there were fewer people around then. 

Out of season for the fair (not sorry though)!
I tried to think of more examples of connections but having a terrible memory they'll probably come to me next week when I'm thinking about something else! 

Stitching progress since last time:

Knittted cardigan - First sleeve finished, second sleeve half knitted.
Other projects - thought about them every day!!
New projects - thought about them every day!!!!!!
(this is getting embarrassing  - showing my progress every post was supposed to motivate me!)

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 14 October 2011


Do you remember when I got stung by a wasp a couple of weeks ago?  At the time we couldn't understand where the wasp came from.  There's no nest nearby that we know of, no windows were open and the only open door was the back door which is in quite a sheltered spot.  Since then we've had wasps in the house on a few more occasions - sometimes 2 or 3 at a time - and they are HUGE!!  The mystery was solved when OH went outside to bring in some blocks for the fire and a wasp flew out of the wood pile!! They were coming in with the wood he brought in - so I blamed him for the sting I had from a wasp that must have been (at least) 2cm long!!

Now to blocks of a different kind. (I don't know why the colours in these photos look so dull.  They really are much  more vibrant than they look here!)  The block above is one of my QAYG blocks that I finished quilting this week.

 This is my last block to send away for the Tag Square Bee.  It goes to Jo of Bellsjo who is the very patient blogger who organised the Bee. She wants to make a 'girly' pink and white quilt for herself so requested these colours.  While I was pressing this, OH commented that there was a lot of white.  He didn't realise it was for someone else and was trying to subtly say that they weren't my sort of colours (I'm not really a 'girly' girl you see).

Earlier in the week I received this colourful block from Jo of Bearpaw for October. The colours and fabrics are amazing and the appliqued circles add a nice touch - the little house and the teapot are great.

 Due to the fact that 2 members of the Bee dropped out, I had 2 fewer blocks than I should have.  What a surpise it was, then, to get these 2 beauties in the mail from Bellsjo so soon after receiving the October block! (I said she was patient didn't I?) The tiny squares in the centre of the one above are amazing - lovely colours and so neat.  And the fabrics in the one below are wonderful.  Jo must have a fabulous stash to choose from!

Now, all I need to to is to get these blocks together in a quilt.  Did I say ALL!!  I think I'll lay them out and photograph them together help me decide how to do it.  I may even ask your advise!

 Stitchy progress since last time:

QAYG Quilt - Finished quilting one block (approx 6 to go I think)
Knitted cardigan - A couple of dozen rows added to first sleeve
Bee Blocks - Last one completed
Read one Quilting Magazine
Visited one Craft Fair - I think this counts as research!! even though it was disappointing and we (DD and I) only stayed about 10 minutes.

Bye for now
Teresa x

Friday, 7 October 2011

Wacky Weekend Weather!

Normal autumn weather conditions have resumed after the blazing blip of glory we enjoyed last weekend. I've probably mentioned the weather before (once or twice!) but it seems to be getting more and more erratic so this, undoubtedly, won't be the last time.

This year, the rose bush in our small front flower-bed has bloomed beautifully -  twice.  Once when we had summer weather in spring and again more recently.

October is traditionally chilly and wet and even when it's sunny it's still wooly jumper weather.  But just look at what we enjoyed last weekend.  Our sunny street above and crowds at a car boot sale on Sunday below.  Everyone in short sleeves (and some a lot less than that!!)
I went along to help DD take advantage of the good weather to get rid of a few more things.  I picked up a few cushions to recover the pads, a M&S hand bag and a book (none of which is pictured!).
This little lot I got elsewhere.  The pile of fabric is from my Saturday quilting group (someone had a clear-out so I got this lot for £2).  The bag and books are from the Church fete. I was surprised no one else had snapped up the bag with it being the day that charges were introduced for carrier bags. I've taken my own bags for grocery shopping for years but this week I left them in the supermarket cafe after having lunch there!! Luckily, when I realised and went back they were left at Customer Services - I'd have been annoyed with myself if I'd have had to pay for bags after all this time!
What's this? At last some evidence of stitching!  Actually the block above is one I received from Karen as part of the Tag Square Bee on flickr.  Look how the autumn colours perfectly match the postcard she included.  There was also a very useful book of postcards in the parcel.  The set of wooden nesting dolls is another bargain from the church fete - they've taken up residence in my shed for the moment.
Ta da!  Here IS something I made at last.  It's my bee block for September and will be winging its way to Julianna as soon as I get the little signature block made to go with it. I struggled to find aqua, white and brown fabrics for this one.  I hope my interpretation of 'aqua' is the same as hers!

Stitching progress since last time:

Knitted cardigan:       Left front finished, one sleeve half done (1 1/2 sleeves and finishing remaining)
Bee block:                   September block made, fabrics chosen and cut for October block
QAYG Quilt:               3/4 of a block quilted.
This may seem a lot (for me) but I've been a bad blogger and this is a couple of weeks worth.

Bye for now
Teresa x