Thursday, May 29, 2014

Recipe Correction and Today's Bargains

First i must apologise for making a mistake on the recipe for SW potato scones that i put on an earlier blog post.  You do not make up the potato mixture but use it dry adding the cottage cheese, three beaten eggs and chives to then shape into scones.  I made these today.

We popped out for a while today to get some compost and a few food bits from Lidl.  It was a bit cloudy but quite mild at 14 degrees.  I was pleased to find that my lettuces are growing well and the chard and spring onion seeds have sprouted whilst i was away.

The french beans are not doing well and before i went away i put a couple of runner beans in the tub.  I think the wind is too strong for them  but we will see if they grow or they won't.  I am going to plant up a few more seeds over the next couple of days.

I also called into the charity shop and picked up three things

A pretty dusky pink and cost £1.50

A nice pair of wedges from Wallis for £1.50

They might do for a wedding we are going to in June, well the service anyway as they are still quite high for me even with the wedge.  I will probably take some others with me to change into.

This tartan top was £3 but it is much too small for me to wear.  I brought it because i can cut it and make something with the material, maybe some placemats but i haven't decided yet.  I am off to have lunch now, homemade veg soup with some scones, yum yum!

Terri X

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Little Knitting & Sewing

I'm back home now I after my trip south and i thought I would just show you my finished case for my tablet that I was working on before I left.

I crocheted a little frill on the opening and a popper fastening.  It proved to be a handy way to protect my tablet whilst it was in the little zipped pocket on the front of my suitcase and i enjoyed reading Rhonda's (from Down to Earth blog) "Simple Life " book and watching a downloaded programme in the airport and during the flight.

The evening before i went was sewing class night and this time i picked this lovely material

It is so lovely and cheerful and i grabbed it quick as soon as i spotted it on the fabric pile.  We had to make a knitting needle roll

I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

At last nights class we watched a demonstration on how to make curtains properly and with linings. Afterwards we just had time to make a corsage.

I have to admit i found this fiddly and can't say that i would ever want to make another!

Terri X

Happy Hectic Days

I travelled down south last Thursday to spend a few precious days with my daughter and Grandchildren.  We drove through some very heavy rain, accompanied by thunder and lightening but by the time we arrived it had calmed down a bit.

The rain had battered down these lovely flowers in her garden.

Unfortunately my first two days were a bit of a struggle as i felt unwell and was very tired but i dosed up and am now getting over whatever little bug it was.  The weather has also brightened up too and although the temperature is 17 degrees, it feels pretty warm to me after being in the Highlands.   There is a breeze and i have been helping my daughter with her housework, washed one of my Grand daughters favourite toys which looked like it was doing acrobatics when pegged on the line.

It came up lovely and clean afterwards so she is happy

I have been making soup with the leftover vegetables and my daughter showed me a simple way to make potato scones that we can eat freely on our SW diets, consisting of a packet of made up Smash potato, tub of low fat cottage cheese, 3 beaten eggs and a few chives

The mixture made six decent sized scones and we ate four before i remembered to take a pic!

We are having a family barbecue for tea today instead of tomorrow as more rain forcast for the next few days but this will not dampen my spirits as i enjoy another couple of days being together before i head back home :-)

Terri X

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bits & Bobs in my week

A sprinkling of bluebells are appearing now.  I remember when I was a child that i used to love walking through the woods where there were so many bluebells that however hard i tried, i could not avoid treading upon them.

Its been a busy week as luckily both OH and i have been working.  After doing our accounts, our income has gone up by £40 a month but unfortunately our essential bills, i.e. rent, council tax & electric have just gone up by £115 a month!  I will have to find other ways to economise somehow but we already live pretty frugally so it won't be easy.  I wasted a whole day worrying myself silly over it and frantically doing figures on paper but it never works out especially when you don't have a regular salary to budget with.  I will aim to get a month ahead on the bills if possible and am using the envelope system to put money aside for these,  keep a well stocked larder and keep making economical meals,  make things for the home and presents, prepare for the winter months by getting in coal and gathering wood and just do the best i can to live as simply as possible.

This week at sewing class i made a make-up bag

I found it very fiddly putting in a zip for the first time

I propped in up against my pepper pot to show you.  Its not perfect but i got there in the end.
After finishing my knitted bird as seen in my last post, i have started knitting a cover for my tablet.

Enjoying doing some simple garter stitch stripes but will have lots of ends to sew in.

We haven't had the warm sunny weather like they have had down south but it was dry and fairly bright yesterday morning so we took a trip over to Lidl to stock up my tins of beans and tomatoes etc. and get some diesel at Tesco garage.  It got quite warm nearer the coast, well 13 degrees anyway and we stopped the car to look at the grey seals lazing on the sandbank as the tide was out.  There must have been about 60 seals there, never seen so many before.  I watched them for a while through OH's binoculars that he keeps in the car. I enjoyed our trip out and i also popped into a charity shop and got a lovely lime green string bag ( just because it matched the jumper i had on!) always useful though and this lovely circular tablecloth

Thought i would just show you what else i have done with some of the vintage wallpaper i brought a while ago.
I found an old gold framed picture which i took apart.  The little pottery vase was made by my daughter at school.

I have also dyed my hair back to purple, had enough of my red phase now. When i first moved up here my hair was a bit of a novelty and i was easily recognised, now its more common.

Next week i am going to spend five days with my Grandchildren so really looking forward to that :-)  My son was planning to go down south anyway so i am hitching a lift with him and then flying back from Luton airport.  Hoping their sunny weather continues too as its yet another wet day here.  At least my water barrel will be full again, every cloud ......and all that.

I am making a shepherds pie for dinner today, all prepared before my friend picks me up to go to church.  We haven't seen each other this past week as she has been busy with guests in her B&B and has her mum up to stay so will be a good chance to catch up over coffee afterwards.

Terri X

Look what flew in!

What's nestling amongst the flowers?

Better not let the cats see you!

Bravely looking at me through those beady eyes

Ahh...who's a pretty bird then!
Time to find it a home indoors i think
You'll be safe on top of the bookshelf i think.

Terri X

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cushion love

I have a thing about cushions. OH moans when I bring yet another into the house but I carry on and look at this lovely old hexie cushion I found in a charity shop for £2.  It was very unloved, filthy and ripped in places with a horrible musty smelling cushion pad inside but I could see its potential! 

I carefully unpicked a seam and threw away the old pad and handwashed the cover.  Then i set about repairing the hexies, carefully patching new ones in place and put in a new pad that i already had just waiting for a cover. Now it has a new home on my armchair.

This week was also cushion making week at my sewing class. We had a choice of tartan or tweed material and i had a job to decide but picked this lovely soft grey tweed with a touch of lime.

We learnt how to secure the seams by zig zagging the edges and i was quite pleased with how it turned out.

I also tidied our spare bedroom and took this photo of a cushion i crocheted

The light is not great for photo taking but the room is now ready for visitors

On the armchair is a blue tweed cushion that i brought at a craft fair, made by the lady who is holding the sewing classes and i have to say that my own cushion looks as professionally made as her one :-)

Terri X

Home Alone

I  love my bed!  I Couldn't wait to lay down in it last night as after a particularly busy working week my back was hurting.  We put the electric blanket on and had an early night and i was looking forward to today as its a rare occurrence that i have the house to myself on a Saturday.

The photo's are a little dark as the cottage has small windows on the front but as i lay in bed i can see out.
This is my view today

Its very overcast and it has been every morning this past week but we haven't had as much rain as forcast.

I got up very lazily at 9.30 am.  OH is an early riser so i got tea in bed and then a perfectly boiled egg and soldiers and whilst i caught up on a programme about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, he then brought me a coffee before going off to work.
I decided to put some washing on to hopefully get it outside to dry, then i needed to pop into the village to the Post Office to post a Birthday card and pay in a cheque.  I took three bags of old clothes to the clothes bank as i'm still decluttering and also remembered to pay this months tv licence.  On the way home i called at a friends to pick up some fresh eggs and stayed for a catchup and more coffee. 
They looked so nice i decided to have a cheese omelette for lunch.  OH popped home for lunch but he wanted cheese on toast.  This afternoon i cleaned the house and found a recipe online from Jack Monroe to make smoked mackerel, lemon and chilli fishcakes.  This will fit in with my slimming world diet too so i prepared them in advance and along with chips and beans will make a nice dinner.  Here is the recipe

I actually made 6 large fishcakes from these ingredients

Really tasty and the chilli gives them a little kick.

Two for the freezer.  Jack costed them at 69p each so a frugal feast indeed.

Terri X

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bank holiday weekend

This is the view from my kitchen window this Sunday morning.  The cloud is low over the hills and we are forcast rain which by the looks of it, will be coming soon.  
Yesterday was a cold but sunny day and OH got the grass cut.  I say grass but its mostly moss and very spongy to step on but i like it.  We  headed to Tesco's in the morning just to get a couple of items and a pudding thing as OH wanted to cook a special meal for me in the evening.  He makes these romantic gestures now and then.  We came away with a finest raspberry pavlova and single cream but he was cooking the main dish from scratch, a slimming world chicken curry recipe.  He didn't want to do a slimming pudding too and i wasn't going to argue!
Whilst he prepared i hung some washing out to dry and watered some plants then came in to light the fire as i could see my breath indoors.  I caught up with a bit of blog reading and watched the final episode of Homeland (which was such a gripping series, i hope theres another) before going to shower and dress up for my meal  and we had a lovely evening.
Today i was up quite early and watched an old black and white film on tv with Cary Grant, it ended at 9am.  I finished off a few cards that i'd started at one of our craft nights

These are just general ones but i have made all the cards i need to last till middle of June occasions.
The Grandchildren phoned to tell us all about their trip to the football, Everton v Manchester City.  Unfortunately their team lost this time but they still enjoyed their day out and got home extremely late last night.  Then i dashed out to go to church with my friend.  The talk today was by a lovely elderly gentleman, he had such a sparkle about him and runs a healing ministry.  He told us a few funny tales to make his point today but it was all about loving and trusting the Lord and everyone was smiling.  After a social catchup over coffee i headed home to put on a quick dinner of chicken, chips and peas followed by the last of the delicious pavlova and cream for pudding.  Tomorrow i will be working which is good as i am saving for another visit to see my Grandchildren later this month.  Looking forward to that.

Terri X

Learning to sew

This is my sewing machine brought about 10 years ago and it wasn't expensive then, well below £100.  It has had some use over the years but i haven't treated it very well, can you see at the top where i cut away some of the casing to help me thread it better!   I have never changed a setting on it or changed its needle but i have merrily sown curtains, cushions and hems on it.  Well from now on i am going to treat it a bit better, why? Because this week i joined a basic sewing class.

I have signed up for a beginners 8 week course and i was very lucky as my mother gifted me the money to pay for it.  Two hours on a Wednesday evening and already i have cleaned inside the bobbin area, which after 10 years there was quite a lot of dust and fluff, learnt how to change the needle, found two things on the machine i never realised, a thread cutter and an automatic needle threader.  It is taking a little practise to use the threader, probably takes less time to do it myself and we are practising different stitches.  Every week we are going to make something and this weeks make was a pin cushion.

It was a very plain blue pincushion with a pink ribbon by the end of the class and i just had to prettify it a little at home by sewing on a pink heart and button and adding a bit of blue lace.  Now i am proud for it to hang on my machine ready for use.

I am looking forward to the next classes as the plan is...
Week 2. Make an envelope style cushion with overlocked seams
Week 3. Make a lined zipper purse
Week 4. Make a brush roll with concealed seams
Week 5. How to make a lined curtain/sewing machine cover
Week 6. Start to make a handbag
Week 7. Finish handbag
Week 8. Help with home projects

I have done a handbag day course before and i have blogged about it so i might have a go at a different style one.  At the end of this course there is an opportunity to do an intermediate one so if all goes okay i plan to do that too.

Terri X