I had a lay-in till nearly 10am, well we didn't get to bed till 1.45am. We spent a lovely evening around a friends house and saw the New Year in around a bonfire in the garden. It was such a mild night, a few stars in the sky and we had the radio on to hear the chimes of Big Ben.
I have got this beautiful 2015 diary and I have been looking forward to putting all my info on its lovely pages
I still prefer to write everything, not typing it all on a computer.
I have decided not to make any resolutions this year, I am just going to focus on doing my best to work towards a few things and not beat myself up if I don't achieve a certain goal.
I want to continue being thrifty regarding food and today I cooked us a lovely roast beef dinner. The joint was on a half price offer and cost £7. We have not had beef in the last year as i would not normally spend that much on meat so it was a treat and I have portioned the remains up so that we have a further two dinners worth in the freezer and some for sandwiches. I am quiet pleased that it has worked out so economical in the end.
Our electricity consumption was successfully down 6 per cent on the previous year so I want to continue on that line. It is not going down without effort and thought on our part though as we are cutting back as much as we can already.
I am going to make a fresh start on weight loss, starting at the weekend. I didn't expect to be in the same old position with my weight as at the start of last year but I have had a tough few months mentally and been very low so have just comfort ate and put it all back on. Stupid but I am going to forgive myself and just try again.
I also want to try and save an emergency fund again as it was used up fixing the car so is at zilch and I need to start a car fund to save for another car.
The good news is that this year we start ahead of ourselves with most bills paid until April. This was due to OH having a few weeks work up to Christmas and making the decision to be sensible and sacrifice our trip south to be with our Grandchildren over Christmas. Our income fluctuates anyway but it is often the case that we hardly get any work Jan/Feb so it feels good not having to worry over bills for a few months. I look forward to seeing my family as soon as we can though. We are luckier than a lot of people who will start this year in debt.
The snow arrived again overnight but not as much as we thought we would get. OH persuaded me to go for a little walk just up the road this morning as I was a little unwell yesterday so I hibernated all day.
The weather looks a bit worse over the West and you can't see the mountains so well today.
I felt better for having a little stroll but my hands were freezing even in my gloves so I didn't take many photos.
Back indoors now with Bonny lazing in front of the stove. She just loves the heat and hates to move when we put another log in. OH is having a snooze on the sofa, he gets up so early even when there is no need to.
We are just going to have a picky day today as I have had enough of cooking and we can just eat up leftovers. I have a few programmes to catch up on I-player and my new books to look through so another quiet day. We have been invited out to friends again for Hogmanay so that will be fun.
Not a very clear photo at 4 o'clock in the morning! We are always up early on the big day, years of getting up with excited children I think but I said to OH last night we would try and last out until 7am but it was not to be!
A very hard frost last night so everywhere looks white and you can see the snow on the mountains out the back.
The frost makes a nice pattern on the car bonnet
but my plants are looking a bit sorry for themselves
I've already had Buck's Fizz and started the chocolate Brazil's
I have cooked the pork with lovely crackling, made a cheesecake and the bubble & squeak for tomorrow, stuffing balls prepared and the veggies so all set for dinner later.
I'm off to play with my pressies
Thank you to family and friends for their lovely gifts, I have been very lucky. I have recycled all the ribbons and some packaging
I have been making lots of Scottie dog brooches, a few more than in this photo, for little Christmas gifts. The one on the bottom left is a bit more of a pup as it is for my Grand daughter and the one, second down on the right, is specially made for the best friend of my sis-in-law who died a couple of years ago. It is made from a piece of her clothing so I thought it would mean more to her and she is a soppy date like me so its a way of feeling close to my sis-in-law as we still miss her so much.
I have also been making these little boxes to put them in, with a bit of help from my son as I couldn't remember how to make them. I am using the lovely vintage wallpaper I picked up for a pound a while ago and have used for various projects and some washi tape and a bit of Christmas tissue paper.
I hope people like their little homemade gift as it hasn't cost a lot but is made with love.
I have made a few other brooches too, some of them have gone onto the bags I have been making which are all nearly completed now.
and this ones for me to wear
I now have some knitting on the go for another present as I saw on a blog that I follow, Eclectic Home and Life, her instructions for felted slippers. I managed to buy some 100 per cent Scottish wool and have a go.
I have only made one foot so far! This is before the felting part too so watch this space!
Hello everyone, the weather has been really misty and damp this last week, I find it a bit depressing really and would much rather the cold crisp winter days. Everything is dying back now but the photo above shows that even at this time of year the colour and moistness of this bracken looks kind of beautiful doesn't it.
I have been busy sewing this last week and am steaming well ahead with my present making for Christmas and not feeling the pressure of time running out this year. Most years I tend to make a few gifts, partly because I enjoy making things but also as it is a lot more frugal as I recycle a lot of my materials. I am having to do Christmas on a tight budget again this year. I would love to be able to save money throughout the year towards the costs, indeed I did start to buy a few supermarket savings stamps but we never seem to have enough extra to save. I cannot post any photo's of my makes yet as certain people will see this blog but all the girlies, family and friends will be getting something homemade. Men are so much more difficult to get presents for though and only one of my Grandsons is getting a homemade item, his Batman cushion that I showed on a previous post. I have had two lovely days though sewing in my friends craft room with lots of coffee and nattering and the bonus is she makes me lunch as well!
I haven't started on my food preparations as only confirmed this week that there will be four of us at home this year. I will be writing a list of what I need and aim to get bits over the next few weeks.
I have ordered some wood to be delivered but still need to get a couple more bags of coal in. Frugal Queen mentioned in one of her posts this week about buying coal in bulk and although this might be the cheapest way to stock up we are unable to do it this way so buy a couple of sacks at a time. I stocked up on four packets of firelighters at Home Bargains this week as although only 45p each, they do a good job. We managed to pick up a few newspapers from the recycling bank too.
Otherwise life has been plodding along as normal, working, cooking, cleaning etc. Nothing exciting to report. I still have two walls unpainted in the kitchen and hope they will get done before the festivities (hint to OH) and I have tried to keep up with the decluttering and have two more bags of bits and pieces to donate to the charity shop. I have failed miserably with my diet lately, been eating far too much chocolate and bread with butter eek!! and can feel that I have put on weight again. Well tomorrow I am going to face getting on the scales and seeing what the damage is and try to get it together again as time to get off half a stone before the Christmas period as I am bound to put on some more then.
I hope to have a few more interesting photo's for you next time but hope you have liked these few showing the colours at this time of year on a woodland walk.
This morning we woke to a hard frost and freezing fog. I was so cosy in bed it was hard to get up but we had to get moving as both of us are working today.
I took this pic whilst walking to work. It was lovely as there was the promise of some sunshine coming through. All was quiet except for a lone sheep baaring (is that a word?) perhaps it had lost the others in the mist. We need a few frosts to kill of the germs I think and I would much rather have a few days like this than the grey wet days we have had lately.
I awoke out of sorts this morning. It was another dull, wet start to the day and I watched out of the window as the mist rolled up the hill to engulf us. Instead of going out to sewing class I decided to save the money this week and use it for next time and stay home.
I had lots i could be getting on with but first i decided to get the slow cooker out and make a stew for OH. I had two bits of meat given to me frozen when my friend emptied her freezer out as she was going away for a month. I gratefully accepted everything she gave me but I still couldn't tell exactly what meat it was when defrosted! I put the bits in with lots of veg, lentils potatoes and stock and left it to cook.
I felt like having some soup so I chopped up 3 sticks of celery, 1 leek and 1 potato adding 1 1/2 pints of vegetable stock . After 20 mins simmering I blitzed it with the hand blender and it made a tasty soup.
I had a few loads of washing to do and I had to tumble dry it all as I couldn't get it outside and as we have no heat in the house it would just take days to dry on the clothes horse. I did a bit of sewing, finishing the phone case and sewing some of the cut out squares for a bag together then decided to catch up with last Friday's "Lewis" on the STV player.
OH arrived home and asked what kind of stew it was and I just said beef!
I made Jamie Oliver's quick rice pudding recipe and I finally started to feel better. Perhaps I just needed a potter day and some comfort food!
I am spending the evening here
In front of the fire, feet up
A Christmas magazine to browse through and a few chocolates to eat. Just need OH to put the kettle on now!
I did finish the batman cushion for one of my Grandsons when I had a sewing day with my friend but it didn't turn out to be as straightforward to do as I expected
but I think he will like it. I got a free gift on a magazine whilst I was away, and I started on this at the Monday sewing class
It took me two hours to do the paper piecing as they were such small triangles. I hope to finish it this coming Monday.
I also brought a pile of Christmas card toppers and a pack of paper chains which I am going to use to start making my Christmas cards. I got this little lot from Home Bargains as their prices are so cheap I.e. 59p for 8 toppers and 99p for the papers. I had a card making evening Friday but only made a couple of Birthday cards just sat chatting!
Also on my table are some squares cut out ready to make another bag as a present for a family member.
I asked my son for an old pair of his jeans to cut up for the handles. He's lost a lot of weight so I thought he would have a spare pair that are too big now.
I am toying with the idea of putting this cross stitch as decoration on the centre panel.
I still have brooches to put together so I do have plenty to keep me busy and hopefully I will have completed some of them in time for my next update.
This lovely sampler was a gift from a friend this week and I am thinking of framing it and hanging it in my craft room. I have been organising my bits and pieces and I got OH to hang these shelves up for me
They were moved off the wall in the kitchen as I decided it would be nice for OH to have a display area for all the fantastic photo's he takes. He has painted one wall and put up two picture ledges and i will show it when finished but we are in the process of collecting any old picture frames we come across and painting them different colours.
I still love the colour on my own shelves so just showing another photo of them.
This lovely little brooch belonged to an aunt of mine who recently died. I was able to choose a memento from a few things but I loved the purple colours and knew I would wear this. I have put it on the collar of my new to me corded coat
The coat is actually a midnight blue colour, hard to get a decent photo in our cottage, and was £9.50 in a charity shop.
I wouldn't normally pay this much but this shop was in an upmarket village in Gloucestershire, lots of decent labels and it was a perfect fit so my mum decided I could have it as part of my Christmas present. She also brought me these lovely green swede boots
So comfy and as now protected with lots of spray, pretty practical for where I live. I do have a nightmare getting footwear wide feet, high arch and a permanently swollen ankle do not make it easy and luckily they were the first pair I tried on that morning after hours the day before with no luck.
I also got these pumps in Asda for a bargain £10 and unlike a lot of flatties, these do have a bit of grip on the sole.
I am now kitted out for footwear and coats for this winter except perhaps for a pair of wellies as my old boots have started to leak.
I have also been given a lovely vintage suitcase which now lives on top of my wardrobe and this pale pink blanket which looks nice covering my old armchair.
Another friend is doing up her kitchen and gave me eight of these lovely cupboard handles
OH has now fitted them onto a chest of drawers in the bedroom.
I think I have been very lucky lately with all the things I have been given, thank you to my family and friends.
to say that I am back home after my trip south. I had a lovely time catching up with family and a couple of friends too, one I hadn't seen for approx 12 years so there was a lot to catch up on!
I have neglected my blog a little but when the light is good enough I will take a few photos. I have a few things to show you and will update whats on my craft table. I am at last getting in the mood and thinking its about time to get on with making a few Christmas presents so tomorrow I am getting together with a friend for a sewing day, that's the plan anyway.
This little sewn patch above is going on a little Christmas pressie so I can't show you the whole thing but I bet you can guess what it's on though shhhh.. no telling!
Well it was lovely to get a few comments on my last post, thank you to Gill and I hope you give us a peek of your finished bag on your blog. Thanks also to Jean, Kim and Woo who all liked my new placemats and wanted a bit of info regarding them.
It was a bit of a chilly damp morning but we decided to pop to Dornoch this morning and have tea and cake in OH's favourite cafe. We also called in to the gift shop called Gordon House to find out where the placemats are from. They gave me a card with email www.mikerossarts.co.uk.
The shop has quite a big range of coasters and placemats in these designs, all lovely and my mats were priced at £7.50 each.
I also had some luck in the charity shop today and for £5 I brought a lovely brown cardigan from Debenhams, two photo frames and this lovely cushion cover.
I have given it a good hand wash to freshen it up
I think it will fit in very well on my pew in the kitchen, well with a bit of a squeeze!