Wednesday, 26 November 2008

You can knit a Colinette Throw....

but why is it that cats prefer paper and cardboard???? Buggers!

At least she is washing I s'pose!!
Onto other things...I have been second guessed on a PM sent by Lulu. She has guessed that I have started quilting...but when I say started, that is it...started. I have cut some squares, and put them in a safe place. But here is a photo just for Lulu:

And in the meantime I have been very inspired by both allsorts and Creative Breathing, both beautiful blogs that are most definitely worth a visit.
Look, the beginnings of a garland - I am SO pleased with them, and am hoping to get it finished this afternoon.....

I AM still knitting, I just don't get enough hours in the day, or daylight in the day to photo it all. And why is it that I always decide to Christmas Craft at the end of November when work is hectic, days off become limited between now and Christmas, I work late nights on every Thursday, doing a 13 hour day....DHs b'day is at the begining of December and I haven't started Christmas Shopping yet.....why can I not do this in August, and relieve the pressure!!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

No FOs.....

just a few photos, so please feel free to click away now!

It has gone really very cold, the sky went pink the other night. I tried to get a couple of photos, not fab, but gives an idea:

And just to give you an idea as to how cold it is, look at the old boy. Can anyone smell burning cat??

Oh yes, look at my furry, burny lovelieness.......are you loving me?

He gets so close to it, and is almost too hot to touch, and then he will stretch out and put his paws almost on the grate...silly boy!!

Next up, I have been bidding and winning on Ebay, but can't show you as it is a christmas present for someone who reads this blog. I so want this, it is fab, and photos will follow......I must keep looking to see it another one comes up.

AND a parcel which arrived from mum, a Bolo Rei....bad photo, but as soon as I liberate it from the packaging I will take more photos

To answer a question - what is a fry up? A fry up is a traditional english breakfast, which normally includes:
a fried egg (sunny side up I believe it is called)
sausages (link)
fried tomatoes
fried bread
fried bacon
baked beans (if you are really lucky)
black pudding (yuck!! - this is a sausage made with pigs blood, fried and cut into slices)
then toast and marmalade

and of course a cup of tea!! This is of course why I am so healthy - cough cough!

A pretty good photo of this feast can be found here. Enjoy!

PS I have almost finished the cross stitch I am working on, so photos will follow soon, in the meantime a question. I am going to get it stretched and framed with someone, should I wash it and iron it first??

Must go, Gary and the Boys are on X Factor - swoon!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Can you hear the bells??????

I wouldn't say I was excited must be nearly Christmas....look! The annual washing-up liquid has arrived in the house, the shower gel is ready, the mugs in the cupboard, the tea towels lined up, the cake plate is assembled.......C'mon December the 1st, I want to get my Christmas stuff out......

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Blog Stalker Two-fer

This is week 4 and 5....I seem to have missed 1, 2 and 3, but better late than never..
Two subjects this week: F
First up: Favourite Breakfast..I have given this a lot of I go for museli which I quite like and have nearly every morning, do I go for a good old fashioned fry up which I always have when I am away, porridge which I love love love, fruit on a sunny day on a beach in the sun - has anyone ever told you that I sometimes find it very difficult to make a decision??? Anyway having given it a lot of thought (can you tell), my current favourite breakfast was the one that DH and I had when we went away for a night in June. We stopped in the Hyatt in Birmingham a LOT of stories up on the only hot weekend we had....DH and I had a lovely time, relaxed, chilled, fab and drank TOO MUCH BUBBLY STUFF and we stopped on the Club floor so had access to the Guest Lounge and met a couple of B List Celebs (look we don't get out much - we were excited). The view was stunning, the sky was blue and for breakfast we got silver service room service. We had the full works - cereal, fry up, toast, orange juice and tea and proper linen serviettes....yes this really is my current favourite breakfast....

Second Up: What makes me into a human being in the morning - very simple for me, a cup of hot water, lemon, ginger and honey; a kiss from a cat and walking to town with DD. We get to spend a bit of quality time together; we get aboaut 30 minutes of time before we get into school or work, we walk down the Tramway where we get to see dogs, rabbits and squirrels AND 30 minutes of daylight which is in very short supply at the moment, and I need as much Vitamin D as I can get.

My day in Pictures.....

I started off by feeding the Christmas Cake.

First off it looked like this:

A large 8" fruit cake.......

Then you have to poke it with holes - this is why I am a knitter, just so I have the DPNs in to poke holes in my cake..I debated the Harmonies but couldn't bring myself to use them, so the one that was used is modelling proudly in the middle of the we go:

Next step, pour brandy or whatever else you happen to have handy...the bottle I used has been around about 4 years and is only used to feed the cake. Today was the last of this bottle, next week I move on to Courvoisier. DH has a bottle he was given a long time ago but we don't tend to drink spirits, so it will now be used copiuosly...odd thought, we don't drink it but do enjoy a very tipsy fruit cake - go figure!

Anyway, here it is minus DHs mug of tea (he was working from home today)...

6 or so more weeks of feeding and then it will be ready to cover in apricot jam, a layer of marzipan and then icing....we are eyeing up plastic robins this year by way of decoration, but this could change depending on DDs mood - watch this space.

What else did I do today.....well I decided as per previous post to make hearts for Christmas I got to 2pm and was hunched over my sewing machine with my back and shoulders sore and tight, I was questioning who had the bloody silly idea of making hearts for the house...Why do I read blogs where the houses look beautiful, they write lovely books and then I think I can translate it into my life......bla!!

I am NOT giving up, here is my sewing day in photos:

First off, my beautiful fabric

Next my beautiful fabric AND the book of inspiration...a gorgeous book called Crafting Christmas Gifts by Tilda. I love the projects in this book and hope can I do the most simple thing justice....once again watch this space, I will photo the tree for a little admiration. I also have another of her books: Sew Pretty Homestyle, one day my house will look like this.

By 2pm I stopped for a break. ANOTHER cup of tea, a mince pie, and some High School Musical kitchen towel (which we are NOT allowed to use, DD won't let us - she was at school!!)

Then about 5pm I had a pile of these...little hearts that need stuffing, a ribbon on the back and a neatly sewn seam...28 of them!! And this is only one fabric, I have 2 more to go - yikes!

Have I ever shared with you my light fitting sticker in the dining room? Thought not, so here it is.....I am and always was a Starsky


I think I might have it...after finding instructions for my machine on t'internet (my hard copy is in a safe place!) I have figured that if I decrease the pressure on the foot then I have more control over the fabric and the direction it takes....I did contemplate hand sewing but figured I wanted them this year ha ha!
They seem to be ok, not wildly fab, but good enough at the moment...I was also getting to the stage of contemplating hanging stuffed squares, triangles and rectangles on the tree...did I tell you I am good at straight lines

photos to follow if I can dig the camera out from under a pile of fabric and threads


Seemed like a good idea to make hearts for the Christmas Tree today - I bought the fabric last January and figured that they are not going to make themselves!!
When was the last time I used my sewing machine properly? Sometime ago!
Who used it last??? DD!
Can I get the tension right??
The machines?? Not really.
Mine? on the point of running from the room screaming! But I know that won't get the hearts made.....

AND now I realise how difficult it is to do the tops of the hearts...should it really be as difficult as I am making it...probably not!


Photos to follow

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Snoring Cats and the GOD who is NIGEL SLATER - all hail!!!

Topsey is curled up on a cushion on the settee next to me, she is so happy and relaxed that she is snoring. She went into the garden this morning and came back in covered in lots of little seeds that clung to her fur, the challenge was to get them all out of her fur without getting my hand torn off - I didn't......get them all out, my hands have been torn to pieces - sigh! They are the type of seeds that will work their way to her skin, get underneath it and then infect her skin...having already had an "unknown how it got there" puncture on her a few months ago, I am concerned to make sure one of these doesn't slip past me and we end up at the vets again. When she is snoring without one eye open I may just tackle her belly, the tail is clear!

Seeing the Malluh covered in these seeds got me out into the garden today to clear the end of the year plants out - so much to do. The grapes had to be tackled and cut back, the blackbirds weren't too impressed, but I kept them a few back. The monbretia had to be torn out, and in the Spring I must remember it needs to be dug up and divided so it flowers again - this year we had no flowers as it was too congested. The honeysuckle was trimmed, the holly cut back a little, the dahlias tidied up and the aquilgeiga was pulled out (leaving the roots). So, busy all round. My green bin is now full but won't be emptied til April, by then it will either be a putrid mass of compost OR wind, because of the amount of grapes I put in there.

Whilst I was in the garden today I came across a lizardy/newty thing.....I don't know who was more or him! DD had just gone out with her friend, and DH had just gone out on The Bitch, I HAD NO-ONE TO SHOW......then DH came back as he had forgotten his spare inner tubes. I excitedly said for him to come and see what I had found, we went.....Newty had gone :-(
Oh well, maybe tomorrow........

Today I cooked THE Christmas Cake, courtesy of that wonderful man Nigel Slater from his book The Kitchen Diaries . The man is a GOD. I cannot recommend him and his recipes highly enough. Please check out his website, his books and his recipes...........The cake has been made early, but all the better for feeding with alcohol, ready for DD and DH to decorate it (photos will follow just before Christmas Eve). The plastic robins are awaiting...

DH went out and bought me a pressie today.....Country Living. THE CHRISTMAS EDITION. I haven't looked at it yet, I am going to savour it with a glass of red wine and a mince pie. It is nearly Christmas.

DH and I are off for our annual shopping trip soon, off to the beautiful city of Birmingham to go to the German Markets. Hot chocolate with Baileys and german sausage! Can't wait.....

The Yankee Candle is burning (cinnamon at the moment), the red wine is calling, and I really must try a mince pie.....

Who is liable to win I'm a Celebrity this year????? Hhhhmmmmm, motley crew!

Friday, 7 November 2008

1 word meme....

Where is your mobile phone? Upstairs
Where is your significant other? Sitting
Your hair colour? Seasoned
Your mother? Pass
Your father? same
Your favourite thing? Dreaming
Your dream last night? hhmmmmm.....
Your dream goal? aspirational...
The room you're in? Living
Your hobby? work
Your fear? fear!
Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
Where were you last night? here
What you're not? Complacent
One of your wish-list items? sunshine
Where you grew up? childhood
The last thing you did? wine
What are you wearing? Trackies
Your TV? His!!
Your pets? Cats
Your computer? yes
Your mood? chilled
Missing someone? no
Your car? feet
Something you're not wearing? bikini
Favourite shop? browsable
Your summer? please
Love someone? course
Your favourite colour? autumnals
When is the last time you laughed? now
When is the last time you cried? October

I will admit that this was borrowed from a one word meme.....pass it on

Sunday, 2 November 2008

The evening before you go back to school...

it is that time of the year...a week off work and back to work tomorrow, so tonight is that evening of not wanting to go to bed..the longer I can stop up, the later I will have to go back to work.....

Anyway, whilst I could whine about this for pages and pages, I will move onto yarny things....knittingozfan went to Norway for work for a few days, and managed to find a yarn shop and brought back a few goodies....some sock yarn, which I will start on tonight....hhmmmm which pattern to do?? I may have to spend a little time on Ravelry to find out what I fancy knitting, and no I don't have to account for very fat ankles, as my ankles really aren't as fat as they photographed yesterday - really, they are not...
She got me 2 balls of this:

I love the colours...

She also got me some of this stuff - crappy piccie I'm afraid - it is milk yarn...made from milk!! yes, milk!! Odd! It is so soft. I am really not sure what to do with it, but it is perhaps talking to me to become an edging. Have I told you how soft it is?? Thank you...the norwegian chocolate was very tasty too...when are you going back ;-)

Also, here is a current photo of DD, she went to her friends mums 40th birthday party last night, looking very "Audrey" in her LBD, but as I managed to take such a bad photo of her in it, I am only allowed to post this one...note the lack of glasses, she now has contacts.

Whilst knittingozfan and I were having our stitch n bitch, DD and DH went to the local Rugby Club bonfire night as it is November the 5th soon. We enjoyed the fireworks from the window in the dining room, in the warmth, with tea and yarn - so much more civilised.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Happy Halloween

I love this time of year..the colours, the smells, the crispy leaves, and this week we even had snow, a lot of snow....and it SETTLED!!! It never settles in Stratford!
We were over at Touchwood in Solihull, and at about 3pm DH said to look was real cinema snow, you know the stuff that looks completely unreal, it was like the last scene in Bridget Jones Diary. I am just so glad that I was off work to see it properly, there is nothing worse than being caged in when it is snowing outside......we called into the Yew Tree Farm Shops but it was too cold to look properly, we got out of the car long enough to decide it was too cold, grab the keys and run back to the car. DH managed to score some hot mince pies though straight out of the oven, so we sat and ate them in the car, in the snow....SNOW!!

Onto Halloweeny things:

this is DDs pumpkin.....

And again from another angle.....showing off my Halloween tea towels to perfection.....

Here it is in the dark - fab design and very happy.....

And here it is with the flash on showing off the sign we got in Florida in 2000....

Then we have DHs pumpkin....

This took a lot of research on t'internet, sketches were done, ideas sought...he spent ages getting his design just right, and it looked really good. I did show him the lace ones on Martha Stewarts website, but he felt they were a little too elaborate......worth a click to see them....

Onto all things knitterly..I have just turned out a pair of socks in 6 days...A WHOLE PAIR.....IN 6 DAYS
The pattern is Monos Locos on Knitting Sutras blog
The yarn is Lornas Laces Shepherd Fandango. I didn't get a photo of the yarn before I knitted it, it was very pretty, but I am slightly disappointed with the finished effect.....I think it is because the striping is so rapid (I know, it I had thought about it I would have realised) anyway, they are nice socks - a great pattern which I will definitely knit again.
I love the pattern, it is toe up and best of all it taught me a heel flap with "no pick-up gusset", so no finishing up, no sewing together, no picking up of stitches..... a nice easy pattern that was also a very quick knit.
I knitted them one at a time on my harmony time I might just try 2 at a time.

Finishing off, we popped over to Web of Wool in Leamington today, and I got me some of this to crochet a blanket/throw thing. No I don't crochet, but I was browsing this book (which is on my Christmas List) and am inspired to have a go...

this really hasn't photo'd well at all, we have just switched to some enery saving light bulbs and everything has gone yellow - ew!

Oh, and a few bits for the trick or treaters...we had over 20 so did really well, only a couple of older ones, age 12 max, and they were dressed up too.