Saturday, 27 February 2016

Less Baby, More Food

Thank you all for your lovely comments, Leo is drop dead gorgeous and has made James's family complete. Sian, his Gu, is as smitten as I am.

I will spare you a surfeit of baby photos, suffice it to say that I could fill 2 galleries.
I had to rustle up a meaty vegetarian dinner for four yesterday, by meaty I mean filling and nutritious, it had to have a good amount of protein and a kick of spice. My friends are just a tad picky about food, as am I.

Take a look in the fridge and find, a box of posh forestierre mushrooms 15p and 3 posh shallots from Lidl about 10p, slice and dice.

Back to fridge and locate 2 peppers 10p and a sad leek 15p, Slice, de seed and add to the mushrooms and shallots in a few dabs of coconut oil, add your seasonings and herbs. I used dried Basil, garlic granules and smoked paprika, sizzle and sweat for 10 minutes. 

Add some home made tomato sauce with fresh chilli and a dash of chipotle sauce (also home made).
  Bring to simmer and cook for around 10 minutes, pour into an oven proof dish and add a pack of vac packed chestnuts, halved and a tin of chick peas, drained and rinsed. 

While it cools, rootle in freezer for a pack of puff pastry.

Very cheap and very good, not all butter but over a rich filling it is perfect.

Whilst in freezer find a cinnamon and raisin bagel, thaw and warm in microwave tear in bits and drizzle with maple syrup. Enjoy with a cuppa while everything cools and defrosts.

40 minutes before dinner time turn mini oven on to preheat to 210c roll out pastry and plonk on top of filling, brush with a drop of milk and stab with a knife to make steam vents, place in middle of oven. 
Set timer for 30 minutes and put the kitchen to rights.

Looks good.

Looks even better on the plate, this was so tasty and very filling. A platter of fresh fruit was the perfect pudding. No leftovers but I have some flat mushrooms to stuff for today. I stopped in Tesco on the way back from Cardigan and picked up loads, all reduced to 15p. 

The c 2 c blanket is almost finished BUT I have run out of yarn, my calculations were a bit off. I will need another ball of yarn. Not a problem as Wool Warehouse are fantastically fast at getting orders met, 36 hours from order to delivery on my last one. I am not paid to advertise the company, I have used several on line retailers and found W.W. to be the best for me. Plus the lovely bags they sent the yarn out are perfect for special gifts. (mind you I would not sneeze at any freebies)

Time to shower and start my day, another busy one, the shed is going up and I am so looking forward to seeing it up and filled with all the things that belong there.

Enjoy your weekend, and try to have fun.

                         TTFN                                       Pam

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Here he is

Well, I went and had my cuddles and will be back for more, I took a few pics to share.


13 days late, he was worth the wait.

Kaitlyn is fascinated with her baby brother.

Junior showing his soft side, cousin faith is on red alert in case he needs a woman's help.

Everyone had a cuddle, including grandfather.

Ben was almost as excited as the children, he is just visible in the bottom right corner. He made a beeline for the baby and stayed on guard duty till we left.

Now I have to get him off the sofa for a quick walk.

                  TTFN                                           Pam

A New Man in my Life

I have been absent as my mind has been fully occupied with my new man.
He only arrived this morning, just after 3:00 am, much wringing of hands, pacing and worrying happened in the preceding 18 hours.
But I am happy to tell you that Leo James weighing in at 7lb 8oz is a bouncing, healthy new addition to the family.
We knew that he was a boy so I decided at the last minute (as you do) that a crochet blanket was required.
A quick look at Wool Warehouse and a wonderful post by Daisy Jones about C2C crochet made my mind up in record time.

King Cole Multi Chunky yarn in Denims, I have 5  x 100g balls, when I have use just under 2 1/2 I will start decreasing. I love the self patterning effect, and best of all I love the fact that there are hardly any ends to weave in.

While I was in Wool Warehouse I had a look at cardigans, I want 2 for the summer but have not been able to find anything that I would consider buying (unless I want to shell out £**#).
I found the pattern and then looked for yarn, this is so soft I am itching to get it started. Unfortunately I still have not found my knitting pins so while I am out tomorrow I will  buy some more.
I was so impressed by the yarn that I have ordered it in the palest blue as well.

The crochet granny blanket is still a WIP, it is now in 3 sections, one has had the ends darned in and the other two are being tackled piecemeal. It is not my favourite part of the job. Once all parts are together I will decide on a border pattern and colours.

More of the spring bulbs are opening up in the sun shine, with many still to come.

The slabs for my new shed base arrived and are in situ, the shed will now be put up on Friday as my hands will be rather occupied for a couple of days. There is nothing like having a new baby to cuddle, plus Junior and Kaitlyn will want their full share.

Now I am off to Cardigan, see you soon.

           TTFN                                                 Pam

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Let's go fly a kite.

Not here you wouldn't, after the banshees shrieking down the valley, turning round and screaming back up the wind died.
It was cold and very bright and sunny, but still. There was the occasional wisp of wind, enough to ruffle my hair and blow a leaf along, but that was all.
Two loads of washing on the line all day and now on the horses to finish off.

A little bit of crochet, some general tidying round and lots of walking has been the order of the day. Ben has had his dinner early and is curled up on his fluffy blanket on the far end of the sofa. Not like he was earlier this morning, he had his first walk, ate his breakfast and threw himself on the cushions that he had carefully pile up.
His blanket lay abandoned and forlorn.

I should be having a new door fitted tomorrow but Mr Fixer rang earlier to say that it will be next Tuesday now, Hmmmmm, This was arranged over two weeks ago. We will see what happens next week.
I am harvesting some very tasty purple sprouting broccoli now, the leading spears were huge and the plants have gone into overdrive. No problem, I will happily eat it every day. It is one veg that I never buy, it is superb when picked and cooked within a couple of hours and limp and tasteless from the shops.
I have seen a few peeps, on the telly, banging on about Asda's Wonky Veg Boxes. I will not be seeing them in the near future as my nearest Asda is more than twice as far as Lidl and Tesco, however I do pass one on my way to Wyevale. Next time I go there I will pop in and have a look.

Lidl have some large beef joints on offer this week at £4.94 per kilo, I had planned to buy one to cook for Ben. When I popped in on my way back from Neath this morning I saw packs of lean steak mince reduced to £4. per kilo. It was a no brainer, 94p a kg saved, no chopping, result. A tidy pile is now nestled in the freezer. I have stock enough for a couple of weeks so any bones and meat trimmings will be frozen for later.

His fish and rice is now cooling down and he will have some tomorrow, the rest will be frozen. I like to give him fish at least once a week.

Ooops, the timer has pinged, dinner is ready.

                 TTFN                                                           Pam

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A Right Dog's Dinner

My word, what a change in the weather, it was hammering down when I woke at 6:00 and carried on for the next 4 hours. The water was bubbling up between the kerb stones and the pavement for most of this time.
Then the rain ceased to a drizzle and that gave up and went home by 1:00. Ben wanted a walk so off we went, on the way we gathered up Archie, Dolly and their owner. It made a nice change to walk with company, although I had to slow down considerably. Ben did not mind, he had more time to sniff around.

I have made a decent start on stitching the granny squares together.

Rows 1 - 4, all ends darned in.

Row 5 and 6, joined but waiting for darning. once done they will be sewn to the other block.

You can buy little packs of numbers and letters to mark rows and columns, I am far too tight fisted for that. Bits of paper, a marker pen and my quilt clips do the same job.

I picked up some Lamb mince half price and cooked a batch for Ben. 8oo gm meat, 2 carrots and 1/3rd cup of uncooked rice.
Dice the carrots, into a pan with the mince and brown gently. Throw in the rice and stir up, add enough stock to cover then bring to boil and simmer 35 minutes. I check a couple of times that there is enough liquid.

The pot goes in a sink of cold water, I stir the contents a few times and change the water. This brings the temperature down fast, then into small tubs and into fridge. Once chilled I put some in the freezer. Tomorrow I will cook a fish batch, I will add the fish 5 minutes before the rice is cooked and then cool as usual.

This means that Ben has a change every 2 or 3 days, he does not get bored and he has a range of nutrients. I plan on keeping him wheat free and will be experimenting with some gram flour to make dog biscuits.

The cost varies, I do pounce on bargains which helps keep it down.
He likes the Lily's tinned food but does eat the home made with more relish and hovers round my feet while I am cooking.

Now for a complete change, has anyone seen The Real Marigold Hotel. I watched it and apart from wanting to shake Jan Leeming and slap Rosemary Shrager I enjoyed it. I thought that Patti Boulaye should have scaffolding to support her false eyelashes.

I can see the attraction, low rent, low cost of living and glorious heat. But, no garden to speak of, the traffic smell and unceasing noise would get to me.

I hope that they do a follow up series, but would have preferred to see it without celebrities.
I am also watching The Great British Benefits Handout program, I am not holding my breath that they will all succeed. One couple in particular have gone into shock over the actual cost of Council Tax. Mind you they had no qualms about buying a PlayStation 4 for their unemployed son.

I am also watching Michael Portillo on his train journey in the US, it is just as interesting as his UK journey.

Now I am off to drink my tea before I pick my crochet up.

               TTFN                                               Pam

Monday, 15 February 2016

Ouchhhhh, that hurts

Two glorious days, in the garden, walking hard, cleaning, ironing and......aches and pains. Perhaps removing a shed and laying 3 courses of bricks was not such a good way to spend a Sunday morning, even with lots of muscle to help. Mind you a bargainicious trip to Mr T softened the pain, and picking up a tenner as it blew past my feet was as good as a massage.
Result, a fridge full of veg, fruit and meat for Ben, some essentials stocked up and a spend of £4:32 .
Ben now has a weeks worth of cooked meat, veg and rice mix tucked away in fridge and freezer for about the price of a tin of Lily's premium dog food. 
I started him on that to help with his skin condition but at £2.20 a tin it was a big outlay. I used to cook all the food for my Spaniels so decided a week or so ago to start for Ben. His coat and skin are showing a good improvement and his energy is amazing ( perhaps I should eat it ) He walks 3 miles with no effort and is still bouncing when we get home.
Not a lot on the craft front to report, I have dug out my small solid granny squares. I laid them out and although I had enough I wanted a few lighter colours. I chose 5 balls of yarn and have made 6 squares from each, I will rearrange later today and start joining them this evening. Photos will follow.
I have a new garden shed coming today or tomorrow and this weeks priority is to get it assembled and sited. I want to move a large plastic storage box this morning and then finish levelling the site.
My seed potatoes need chitting and the seed propagators are dotted round various windowsills.
I must give the greenhouse a wash and a quick spray to kill any nasties.
A sprinkle of slug pellets on the raised beds, before they are covered with fleece to warm the soil, just to give my new plants the best possible chance.
I love the prospect of pottering about outside and as it seems that the Goddess of Spring has decided to wake up after all I want to be prepared. I was that Brownie and Guide.

Ben is making "time for a walk" noises so,

          TTFN                                                           Pam

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Frosty flowers and wintry showers.

Ooh My Word, it was a chilly start to the day, the sharpest frost so far this winter.
My little spring bulbs are holding up well though.

I have most of them in pots and troughs, once the last ones have flowered they will be tucked behind the greenhouse. It is sheltered and they can just sit and build up ready for next year when I hope to have a glorious display. These Irises have been flowering away for a couple of weeks now, such delicate looking blooms for such a tough little cookie. They do not like being disturbed which is good enough reason for container growing.

Another tough little flower, I have dozens of these in pots and in the garden, they are providing a little bit of colour while the Hyacinths grow.

This is redder in real life and is the only one to flower, so far, in this trough. There are more buds waiting to unfurl.

Here is my experiment, the deep pink and white are glitter yarn, I am quite pleased with it.
It should be like a posy and I am almost there. The next one will have a double ring of leaves in a few different colours, and other flowers besides the roses.
I am going to back this with fabric and add a hanging loop, it will go on a wall somewhere to add a little splash of colour.

The wreath destined for the charity shop is still here, I asked if they would sell it as the form is polystyrene and nobody was able to tell me.
The craft stall in the covered market sells wire wreath forms so I plan on trying one out. I will probably cover it with fabric rather than crochet, I think that the wire will show through crochet.

The dentist was relatively painless, both physically and financially, cue a big sigh of relief.
I popped into Tesco on the way home and picked up some grapes, peaches and bananas that had been reduced to pennies, and 2 kilos of mushrooms for just over £1.

I felt in need of comfort, nursery food for dinner so went through the cupboard.
A tin of corned beef, fat removed (hardly a teaspoon full) and diced. 
An onion, a green pepper and 2 small sticks of celery diced fine and softened in a little oil and a dab of butter.
Add the corned beef and stir gently till it starts to break down.
Tip in a tin of baked beans , stir and heat gently till it bubbles.
Serve with mashed potatoes and griddled halved tomatoes.
Serve three greedy/hungry peeps, lean back and sigh gently. realise that a few grapes are just the thing for pudding and get somebody else to make a brew.
The most expensive ingredient was the tin of meat and that was £1.25 in Poundstretcher ages ago, the potatoes came from a £5 for 25Kg bag, the onion from a £1 for 5 Kg bag, the pepper and celery were RTC and cost around 10p. The tomatoes cost me 35p RTC and the beans were 25p. A little oil, butter and milk plus the gas for cooking bring me up to an approximate cost of £2.50 for 3 good meals, and some left overs for lunch today.
I could have made this feed 4 easily  by cooking more potatoes, we were all really full even though I did not pile the plates up.
I do have another tin of corned beef in the cupboard, and a repeat performance has been requested.
Oops, I just remembered that I did whisk a chilli from the freezer (10 seconds in the microwave), chopped finely, it went in with the onion. That was from my windowsill and cost less than 1p.

Now I am off to Wyevale, I am taking a friend and I hope to get my seed potatoes. I read on the website that they have Nadine in stock and I intend to grow some in half barrels this year.

Wrap up warm, the forecast is wintry showers, brrrr.

                            TTFN                                  Pam

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Hailstones on noses and cold frozen toeses

Yep, along with sunshine and wind frosts the last 48 hours have been a very mixed bag.
But I wrapped up warm, thank goodness for my shawl, and turned my mind to all things hooky.
I was thinking along the lines of a Mandala, but covered with flowers. It had to be soft enough to attach the flowers and rigid enough to hang on the wall.
Thanks to Lucy of Attic24 I know how to make a flat circle, and with a little bit of thought I dug out a hoop.

Flat circle, made. Insert into hoop Ha ha, think again.
I stretched it over the inner hoop and could not persuade the outer to go on. I used yarn and a needle to stitch from side to side on the back, then tried the outer hoop Ha Ha, did not look good.
Then the light bulb clicked on and I slip stitched the edge around the inner hoop and left it at that.
Thought about it, hummed and hahhed , thought some more and put a few leaves on the edge YES yes yes, I like it.

Now to the middle, light, bright and a bit of glitter.

I started making flowers, roses, at least they will be roses when I sew them up. I have pulled yarn and am happy with my colours, I will be using 2 sparkly balls, a deep pink and white. I do have a purple but it is too dark for this project.

I will make a few in each colour and then see how I want them arranged, and if I want anything different, a butterfly?

Off to Neath now to the torture chamber dentist.

             TTFN                                                         Pam

Monday, 8 February 2016

A Spring Posy, make that six.

The new wreath is now finished and I am loving it so much that I really want to keep it.
It will be going to Ty Hafan though, probably tomorrow, if not it will be Wednesday.

The posies, all very similar but no two are identical.

I was so pleased that the colour repeat was exactly three  times  to the last row. I enjoyed using these pastel shades rather than my usual bold and bright palette.

Here it is, finished and ready to go. 

I have a mind to make a large flat round base and fill it with flowers, it would have to go in a hoop for stability though. I have a small one or two around so it is experiment time tonight.
I will keep you posted.

That blasted girl Imogen arrived during the night, I woke once and the curtains were almost horizontal, the banshees were having a party in the street and someone had a dozen power showers directed at the house. Well that was my impression anyway. I just turned over and went back to sleep. 
Growing up under the flight path of a Royal Air Force base, 
complete with Harrier Jets has made me immune to traffic noise, and any other noise come to that.

We have had enough dry spells for Ben to get out and back dry, it is raining now though.

Dinner tonight will be my bargain beef strips and stir fry packs, enough for 3 people for £1. I will be slightly tweaking Ken Hom's recipe for beef in a ginger, chilli and orange sauce. He was on Saturday Kitchen and I was lucky enough to spot it so it is recorded on the sky box. I am substituting a few things, no way would I go out for rice wine, a splash of cider vinegar will do the same job. Fresh orange zest and juice will replace the dried orange. he served it with classic egg fried rice but I am using the stir fry mix.

I have a small pile of ironing, it should have been done this morning but I bottomed the utility room instead. I felt better for doing it and it looks better. I went through all the junk and now there is more space. The half empty containers were tipped into one another ( I was careful not to mix volatile liquids together) and the empty ones washed and put into recycling bags.

The next big one will be the sewing room, again, I walk through it twice and you would be forgiven in thinking that a teenager lived there.
It will have to wait until my Bike storage arrives, the shed is too far at the other end of the garden. At the moment my bike is in the middle of the room looking very pretty and pretty useless.
I am crocheting some big blowsy flowers for the basket and will make a seat cover as well.
BTW I now have two pumps as I found one in the utility room. Hey Ho, that's the way the cookie crumbles. That reminds me, the biscuit tin is very light. Better think about a spot of baking.

I tried a bar of the very posh chocolate from Fortnum's, Dark chocolate with unpronounceable coffee. YEUK!!
It smelled and tasted like stewed cheap coffee that had been reheated at least 5 times. It is in the food waste bin, I would not put it in a cake as it was so foul.

I have several more to try and am a bit wary, I am not really fancying chocolate at the moment, so they will have to wait.

Yikes , look at the time, Ben's tummy  must think that his throat has been cut.

                              TTFN                                             Pam

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Bleh, Bleh and more Bleh

Like most of the western side of the country I am sick of the rain.
I want to get out into the garden.

I want to walk Ben without wearing waterproofs.

I want to hang my washing out every load.

I want to have the windows wide open to smell the fresh air.

I want to hear silence, not the percussion of water on glass.

On the other hand,
 I opened the door this morning to see a buzzard flying low over the garden, amazing. 
I see Red Kites nearly every day, flying quite low.
Ben does not want to stop and inspect every corner, post, bush because there are no smells left.
I do not have to was the car.
Ditto the windows and doors.

I still long for  DRY DAY, I really really want o get my new bike out.

In the meantime I have started another wreath, photos tomorrow, this one will be going to the Ty Hafan charity shop in Neath along with some other things that I have made.

I also have 3 bags full of clothing and bed linen that I have not worn or used since I moved.

There were 3 hours of dry sunny weather this morning, Ben and I made the most of it, then we had rain, hail and thunder, lovely.

             TTFN                                                  Pam

PS. popped to Tesco this afternoon and licked up a few amazing bargains. Sweet Potato and Butternut squash 10p a pack, soup anyone? Bean casserole 15p a pack. Stir fry beef strips 45p for 500 gm. Mature Cheddar £3. from £15. I spent £6 and got over £40 of food.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Colour me happy.

Another greyish, drizzly morning. Do I care, not a jot.

I have colour in my life, I make sure of that.

The wreath for me is done, all the flowers and leaves are pinned in place. I want to have a little look through my sparkly box and add some little beads or buttons to some of the flowers. A job for this afternoon.

This is my stock of started greens. I do have a very light and a very dark tucked away, but will use these up before getting them out.
I want to make a little stack of leaves, just in case I need some for another wreath.

My pot of small balls and scraps, it makes me happy to delve in here and see what is hiding at the bottom.

The started balls, hardly used, are together. I only want to use these when I need a colour that is not in the small pot.

Some of the unwrapped balls, all of these are DK, the Aran and speciality yarns are under the sofa along with the darker colours. The little mark in the middle of the cream is a shadow, I went into full panic when I spotted it in the photo.

These are the leaves and flowers left over, I started to pack them tightly but changed my mind from "more is best" to "less is more".

And my late Christmas pressy, isn't she cute?

I have a pump and bell as well. I just need to dig a lock and chain out of the glory hole, oh and some decent weather. There are a few cycle tracks and several roads that hardly see a car from one day to the next close by. I do not envisage cycling to Pontardawe as the road is not good, but the road to Ammanford is fine. So is the road to Brynamman but it is uphill most of the way. Worth it though as then the Black Mountain opens up to be enjoyed.
I will have to take it steady as it is over 2 years since I was last on 2 wheels.

These are my bargains from a pop in to Tesco on Wednesday afternoon. I bought more than one of each but did not empty the shelves. The soft cheese is destined to become a stir in pasta sauce with some spinach, and maybe some purple sprouting broccoli both from the garden.
The baby corn is open frozen and then packed into a box, great for stir fries and soup.

Ben is fully recovered and is making "Walk time noises" at me.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you may be.

                 TTFN                                                    Pam

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Dave Needs You.

Well he and more like him need your money. What for now? I hear you ask/mutter/mumble/sneer.
This group are looking for donors, cash donors, to raise squillions of pounds to provide education, jobs and homes for Syria.
Dig Deep Folks.

The only digging I will be doing is my garden.

Once there are no such needs in this country then we should look outwards. Not Politics. Common Sense.........................But that is as rare as rocking horse manure.

Okay you can look again, rant over.

Ben was very not well last night, goodness know what delicacy he had found to shovel down his neck, it all left the building in the small hours of the night.

Chicken and rice for a couple of days, but not today, oh no. Water, water and water is today's menu.

The chap in question has had a walk, a short visit with my friend Angela and is now on his blanket on the sofa, snoozing.

As for me, I am going to deal with the washing, ironing and then my new toy, a late Christmas present. More on that tomorrow.

                TTFN                                                        Pam

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Austerity, not in this home.

I make no secret of the fact that I am as tight as a ducks bum when it comes to parting with my cash. Most of the people that I come in contact with understand, and many of them ask for tips and recipes.
However (there is always one) someone said to me yesterday "Oh I could not live in austerity, I will not go cold or hungry" I asked them to dinner, any day they wanted.

Yes I look for RTC bargains, it whiles away an hour on Friday evenings and saves me quite a lot of money. My slow cooker is on now with a sausage casserole, the best Cumberland Sausages from Tesco, 2 packs of bean and veg casserole mix Tesco, 2 tins of tomatoes Poundstretcher, half an onion, a small green pepper and some smoked paprika, stock from the freezer. I will be feeding 4 greedy guts adults for £3.20, not shabby and certainly not austere. 

No one will leave the table hungry, unless of course they wish to.
I had some bread flour that needed using so made 2 spiced fruit loaves a few days ago. Half of one will be made into bread and butter pudding, I have 3 eggs and some milk that needs using. If that lot is eaten and there are no left overs I will be very surprised.

I think that the secret of frugal cooking is in the seasoning, I use herbs, both fresh and dried and spices liberally. I can often pick lemons up for 2p each, the zest goes into the freezer, as does the juice, a little of each lifts a fish pie or a pork dish.

I am  not scared to experiment, if it does not work as well as I wanted then my home made chilli or curry sauce will help it down.

Yesterdays dinner, cheap, cheerful and very very tasty.

My soup, with some shredded black kale and savoy cabbage.
The chilli and a dash of lemon juice made this zingy.

Sponge pudding with Blackberry and Apple, from the garden and hedgerows, topping and custard. Deeply delicious, comforting nursery food. A little taste from my childhood that I enjoy on a regular basis. I make it in a ceramic dish with a 3 egg mix and share with my friends. I vary the fruit to what I have, Blueberry and Raspberry is lovely, specially when I get the fruit for 20p.

On a completely different subject, do you remember the post about tights? the difficulty in finding some that really fit.
Well at the beginning of winter I bought some from Magic and Sparkle, not cheap but not finger burning pricey either.
I bought 40 and 60 denier in red, blue, brown and black, they are purrfect. And the very best thing about them is the little label in the back.
I could not begin to count the times that I have put tights on, finished dressing and put my shoes on only to see 2 little "heel bumps" on the front. GRRRRR Never No More now.

All I need to find now are shoes that fit well that can go to be soled and heeled. My size 9 platters are the bane of my life.

                    TTFN                                                    Pam

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Ring a ring of roses.

I remembered to take the photos, I have changed my mind about this wreath a few (mm) times.

 The ring is covered with pastel stripes of random widths and I love it.
The large pink flower is already sewn in place but may be changed yet. The other flowers and leaves will be shuffled and a few more added to cover the bottom half or so.

My indecision is all the fault of Lucy, attic24, I made a few of these little roses to dot in and fell in love with them. I have made several different versions and sizes of these, but the dinky little ones have won my heart.( for the moment anyway)

They do look like shed snake skins before being sewn up though.
A very simple pattern from The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon "bookazine" that Fran bought for me.
Row 1. Ch 20 then dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across (19 sts)
Row 2. Ch 1(5dc in 2nd ch from hook,sl st in next ch) 9 times. ( 9 petals made)
Fasten off leaving a long tail. 
Curl petals around in a loose spiral and use tail end sew along the foundation chain to shape and secure the petals into the spiral.
I did change this and instead of 5 dc to make the petals I did 5 htr to give taller petals. 
I also intend to make a few with 1 dc, 1 htr, 1 tr, 1 htr, 1 dc into the stitch to give a taller petal again. I have tried it out and it works well.
I am now wondering whether to just use roses in the 3 different petal sizes with perhaps some slightly bigger ones dotted through. I would start with a 36 and 42 chain, and of course make the petals to an appropriate size.
What do you think?

I have not abandoned my sewing, it is just that I have hot hands and can not knit or crochet once we get warm weather. I have caught the yarn bug quite badly so am just going with the flow.  I do have some quilty ideas forming nicely though, they are a bit like sourdough bread, they will not be hurried.

Telly was a bit grim last night, I watched Closer a new US police drama. Not too bad, time will tell.
I watched Bones, I was well into this but think that it has just about run its course.
When I say watch I really mean that I listen and glance at the screen every now and then. If I have no crafting in my hands i turn the telly off and read. Sometimes I put the radio on or stick a cd  in to play.
When I get to a certain point I select a dvd to watch, I have some that were gifts still sealed up to watch. I find it difficult to sit still long enough so usually spread one over a complete evening.

I was given a copy of Hannah Hauxwells biography this morning, my friend Mary is having a turn out of mammoth proportions,
 I may still have the VHS tapes somewhere, she was a remarkable woman who lived a very simple and very hard life.
I will have a look at it tonight and the telly can stay off. Anything that I want to watch is on to record, tonight it is Back in time for the weekend, BBC2 at 8.00. I will save that for another evening, or when insomnia gets me out of bed at stupid o'clock in the night.

Dinner tonight is a spicy vegetable soup, the spice comes from a chilli that I dug out of the freezer. The rest is carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, green pepper, sweet potato and butternut squash, just a small amount of each, diced quite small, with a tin of tomatoes and some stock. I made it yesterday and when I heat it up I will throw in a good handful of shredded Black Kale.

I have managed to walk 3 miles again today and will do a bit more later. It is dry and bright, very nippy as well, today so an after dinner walk is planned. I did one last night and was happy to get back into the warmth and my corner of the sofa.

 Ben was the same, he loved the extra walk but was through the door like a racing greyhound out of the trap.

That,s all for now. The kettle requires me.

                             TTFN                                           Pam

Monday, 1 February 2016

Goodbye to them and Hello to this.

Firstly it is so sad to say goodbye to the gentleman known as Tel AKA Sir Terry Wogan, he has kept me company through many years and his dulcet tones have seen me through many a crisis and even more euphoric times. I am sure that all of his  Old Gals and Geezers will be as sad as I am.

I have been steadily winnowing the chaff from the corn in my home. I know that I have said several times that I have taken a load to the Charity shop, but there is always more to go, at least I manage to keep finding more redundant items.

Then, back to home, I am saying goodbye to these few things.

My Magimix, it has done me proud for many years but I no longer use it very much. I no longer need to chop pounds of vegetables up for chutney, the amounts that I make now are small enough to use a knife. Goodbye.
I never did use the box of extras that came with it, they went to a good home years ago.

This little dutch oven has been gathering dust for longer than I care to think about. I can not remember where it came from, I do know that it was given to me and that I have never used it. Goodbye.

Likewise the bread bin, I like a wooden bin and one where the front rolls up and there is room on the top to stand marmite and peanut butter, close to hand.

These books, and a few more, have been read and enjoyed, my space is at a premium so they too have gone. Goodbye.

My car has also gone, it was reaching an age where it would start costing me money so had to go. Goodbye.
I had been looking around for something comfortable and reasonably powerful but not too thirsty. And of course at a good price.

Hello Baby.

Meet the new wheels, a nice chunky Zafira with a 2.0 diesel engine.
I expect her to last me a good while. 

I have now got the cover on the next wreath and started to add the flowers, no photos yet, I will try to do better soon.

Now I am off to drink my tea and play catch up with blog reading.

                                         TTFN                      Pam