Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making & Baking

Look whats on my new craft table!  I think i might do a regular post on this and it will keep me making things to show you.

I had a sort through my collected materials and found the tartans and tweeds.  I have rarely brought any material, preferring to recycle clothing and bits i find here and there.  In this square is material from a couple of my sis-in-laws skirts, a leftover piece from the cushion making class i went on, a piece i was given by a friend, a square of a pair of my old jeans and other bits fou in charity shops.  This means it hasn't cost me hardly anything either.

I am making a front and back piece and this might become a bag or a cushion ( "not another cushion!"  OH is shouting. )  I don't know what he means, can you ever have enough?  I am leaning towards a bag this time i think.

Its had to be a very frugal week as OH has been working for two weeks on a job but not finished yet, be nice when he does though and i have only had a small amount of work.  I have had to make sure i dont waste anything so this week i made my own pizza base.  We rarely have pizza but i used a recipe that used half plain flour and half strong white bread flour.  This worked really well and i mixed tomato puree and ketchup together for the sauce.  OH and son both said how nice the sauce was but if i had told them what it was, they wouldn't have eaten it!  Anyway i think we will have pizza more often now.


These little lemon tarts were a success and went down well with a cup of tea.  I also made a coffee cake

I have made pork and apple burgers, served with mash, cabbage and runner beans and a shepherds pie so far this week.  Today we have a friend coming for tea so i have made chilli and serving it with rice, jacket potatoes, salad and homemade naan breads.
I'm off tomorrow on our girlie trip to the quilting exhibition in Edinburgh for the weekend so i hope to take some nice photos and write about it soon.
Terri X

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Keep Calm & Craft

It has taken 4 weeks at sewing class but at last my shift top is finished and although it looks nice on the hanger, it doesn't look so nice on me!  Never mind, if i ever lose another stone in weight it might look better on.  I now need to find another project to do next week.

We spent two days down in Inverness on hospital appointments for OH this week.  We were lucky that we could stay overnight with our friends on the Black Isle as it saved us a lot of mileage and diesel.  We had a lovely walk along the beach, so warm we were in short sleeves and i collected a good handful of sea glass to add to my collection.  We were up early next morning to see the results of the referendum and although us and our friends were in opposing camps, we are still friends and although hearts are heavy, hopefully it won't take too long before all the people of Scotland come together again.  
OH has created a little craft area for me in the back bedroom. It needs a bit of prettifying when i get time.  It can be dismantled easily enough if we have guests and it did enable me to have a sort out of my crafting stuff and i was able to spread into the little set of drawers which helped a bit.  When you're knitting, sewing, card making and decorating, equipment and supplies take up so much space!
Proof the shelves are a lot tidier!

I have spent a few hours this week doing some cross stitch, following a chart in one of my books.  I took it with me to work on whilst chatting with friends over coffee.
The bird looks a little scary but i enjoyed doing it and have started some of the other designs.

A while ago i was lucky enough to win a per una skirt on Ebay for £10.  It was cream linen, really nice but just not my colour.  Yesterday i brought an olive green dye from Dunelm.  They sell dye cheaper than most places and it was £5.99.  I am really pleased with how it has turned out, the photo doesn't do it justice as the light  wasn't great.
Notice the crochet flowers on it.  I think i might wear it to church tomorrow.

September is half over already and the last few days have felt very warm after the misty starts to the morning. We went down to the beach again early yesterday morning before going to the hospital and it felt quite eerie as you could not tell where the mist ended and the water began.  It was so quiet and there were no waves either.  Nothing to see except OH had his binoculars and saw a few seals quite far out so we didn't hang around for long.

I changed my mantlepiece again after i spotted these lovely rosehips in the garden.  The little pot i put them in was made by our daughter when she was at school, shes 32 now.  You can just see me reflected in the mirror as i took the photo.

Terri X

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ups and Downs Again

Our mornings have been shrouded in mist on most days this past week, sometimes it has been teatime before the sun has broken through, making a lovely evening but yesterday it had cleared by lunchtime and was lovely and warm and today, although it is a bit cooler, it is a sunny day.

This week has been a costly one for us.  OH had a hospital appointment and we were journeying over the mountain when the front brakes locked on the front wheels.  We do belong to the AA but decided it would be better if we tried to get the car back to the garage we use but it was quite difficult, the smell of burning rubber was awful and we had to keep stopping and starting till we limped onto their forecourt.  The chap came outside to have a look and the wheels were 140 degrees!  When it had cooled a bit they put the car up on the ramp to have a look and we were quoted £585 pounds to fix it.  Luckily i had been putting some money by to help us through the winter months when work becomes scarce but it seems every time i get some, something crops up so we have to use it.  We need the car so we had no choice. It now means tightening our belts a bit harder over the next few months to save up again and luckily OH has a couple of bigger jobs to do, a large decking to build and wardrobes and other joinery to do for someone. We still need to get in more coal and wood for winter and i have resigned myself to the fact that we will only have an open fire and not the stove this year.

Anyway moaning over and yesterday the local Learning Centre was celebrating their 10th Anniversary.  They had free taster sessions of some of their courses

Me and sis-in-law at the back of the class studiously doing needlework.  This is what i was working on

When finished it could be made into a card or framed perhaps.  We also tried the creative writing class and went into the cushion making class.  There was also spinning, computer classes and outdoor art activities but there wasn't time to do everything.  Having refreshments and a chat with people out in the sunshine was nice and i even won two prizes in the raffle, a bottle of wine and a large cross stitch kit.  Very unusual for me to win anything.

I went to my Wednesday night sewing classes and at last my top is coming together, not ready to reveal yet but maybe next week.  I also met up with the patchwork ladies i am going with on the trip to Edinburgh and they loved the bags i made for them all so that was a relief.  I have no work on Monday so i am going to meet up with them again at the morning sewing group.  

When i went food shopping this weekend Lidl had an offer on pulled pork, £1.79 a pack.  We haven't had it before so i decided i would make coleslaw and potato salad for dinner plus a pasta quiche as son doesn't eat meat. It was a bit of a rush before going to church but i have to say it was delicious.  I would buy it again.

I still feel the days are flying by at the moment but everyone i have spoken to have said the same so its not just me but i am not ready to think about the C word just yet.....shhhh don't say it!

Terri X

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Relaxed Day

Lots of blue sky and a nice morning for a trip out to a pottery shop.  We drove up winding roads, past lots of green fields and stopped in a layby to look at this view across the water.  The white blobs in the picture are birds, hundreds of them and there was a bird hide open for anyone to go into.  We did pop in but I preferred to be outside.  
Further over the water i spotted this

I had to put my camera on full magnification to take this photo of one of the largest cruise liners i have seen.  I am guessing that this one might be full of Americans which is good news for everyone in business up here as they seem to spend their hard earned cash more freely than some others. When I worked at a tourist attraction we always had a list of the cruise ships, when they were docking and nationality of passengers and as we are an area that relies heavily on tourism, we looked forward to them coming.  I guess at this time of day most passengers would be disembarked onto coaches and be ferried about to various places.
I have never fancied going on a cruise holiday, too much like a holiday camp at sea for me and far too many people but my BF loves cruising and goes as often as she and her husband can.  This October she is off to Portugal and Lanzarote etc.  She told me about a ship that has a park and trees growing in the centre of it, amazing really but it still wouldn't tempt me although it must be nice to go to sleep at sea and wake up in another country.  
No, I am quite happy to be in places like this
sitting in a little teashop watching the world go by for a while.  Look at the lovely geraniums behind me but I have to admit there was a silver snail trail under the table.  This place does all homemade food and at a good price, nice cup of tea too.
I am going to head off to the pottery shop down on the front.  You have to bend your head to go through the front door.  You enter a room full of pottery but i was so busy looking i forgot to take a picture, so many lovely things.  We chatted to the lady serving, her sis-in-law made the pottery out the back and then we were joined by a lovely big friendly tomcat, think it was a British Blue but actually had gorgeous grey fur so we spend a time fussing him.
I did come home with something, OH treated me to this
It had chickens on it so I couldn't resist this little cutlery holder and it is quite at home with my other chicken bits and pieces.

Terri X

Monday, September 8, 2014

More Cushion Love and back to Crafting

I picked up this fab cushion from Asda and only £7, bit of a bargain i thought and you can never have enough cushions right!

I have finally been able to start making things again and this weekend i picked up my crochet hook and hooked up a little jar cover

It has found a home on the kitchen window sill, waiting for a few flowers to be popped inside.
I also picked up my knitting needles and have started making a washcloth using this lovely organic wool.

Simple stitching and i am a bit slower but its nice to be making again.
I have now put my favourite inspiration books beside my armchair, ready to cosy up and look at by the fire.  I felt alot colder this weekend, it was so wet and windy but have resisted lighting it so far and it is supposed to warm up a bit in the week.

This morning i went to the patchwork club and as i haven't been for ages it was lovely to catch up with everyone and see what they are making.  I do have the weekend away in Edinburgh for the quilting exhibition coming up in a few weeks but i took everyone who's going a little present of a rucksack with a motif of a pink chicken on i designed.

The photo colours didn't come out properly but it is pink.  I have always been known for them since i made this in the classes.
We should certainly be noticable with our lime green bags and easy to spot if we lose each other!

(Re published as for some reason my cushion photo disappeared but here it is!)
Terri X

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Courgette and some Plums

Yesterday a kind friend gave me a courgette and some plums from her garden.  Its lovely to receive homegrown vegetables and the courgette was pretty big, more like a marrow but i knew i would be able to use it.
I didn't have to go to work until lunchtime so as soon as OH was fed his fried breakfast and went off to work I set about some preparation.  First i made a chunky vegetable pasta sauce and 2 generous pots were put in the freezer.  I decided to make "a girl called Jack's" courgette, tomato and brie gratin for my tea and have it with a tray of roasted veg.  Definately looking forward to eating that later. Son wouldn't eat it as he doesn't like tomatoes or courgettes so i decided to make my usual carrot and lentil veg pie for him.  I still have half the courgette left so tomorrow i will make a vegetable chilli to freeze and put more in a cheesy rice dish.

I stoned the plums, couldn't resist popping some into my mouth as they were so ripe and sweet.  Then i made a plum upside down cake which is so easy as its just a sponge mix layered on top of the fruit and i used golden syrup to make the glaze but as i put it into a loose bottomed cake tin, thinking it would be easier to get it out once cooked, it leaked out into the cooker and i now have a large burnt sticky patch to clean out in the oven!

I added a couple of apples that had been sitting for a while in the fruit bowl to the rest of the plums, along with a teaspoon of ground ginger and made a crumble topping.
Now i haven't forgotten that i'm now dieting so these puds are just for OH, lucky man, as son doesn't eat these either.
Time just to do a quick wash-,up and there seems to be lots of it before i go off to work. Not bad for a mornings work but i just realised that i haven't stopped for a coffee or any lunch so i will be starving later, looking forward to my tea!

Terri X