Monthly Archives: February 2014

Twin lambs

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Spring has sprung! Walking around the lanes today on a glorious Spring-like day I spied two new born lambs. What made me smile was the attire of the smallest lamb, a designer plastic jacket. Obviously designed to keep the tiny lamb warm it was a plastic bag with leg holes. Extreme up cycling?

Earrings continue to be sorted. I honestly can’t believe how many pairs I have! I’m a little worried as to when I will wear the Christmas ones as the promise was to wear a different pair every day. I am currently up to pair number 27 So will certainly continue through March.

I am delighted to report that I have completed the Goldwork practice piece that I started in the Workshop last Friday..Not only that but I have made it into a needle case. I don’t like the idea of not turning the hard work into something useful.

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Crafting earrings

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I wanted to show you these earrings as they are quite unusual and special. I bought them many years ago from a stall,under a tree,on a beach on the Amazon! Now how’s that for name dropping?

They are made of copper coloured wire, a tiny piece of mirror and variagated cotton thread. The cotton appears to be wound around the wire to create a woven pattern. There is a tiny mirror in the centre which really works with the design. There is a matching necklace which,typically ethnic, is a length of black thread. Love them!

The trawl through my extensive earring collection continues. It is proving a delight to re discover forgotten treasures.

Beer Bread (no, not Beer and bread but Beer Bread)

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I’m going to give this a go.

Mama makes and bakes

Beer Bread (no, not Beer and bread but Beer Bread)

Courtesy of Gordon Ramsay

I just happened to turn the tv on yesterday afternoon and caught 5 minutes of Gordon Ramsay making Beer Bread to go with a Ploughmans Salad. I have to say that I wasn’t convinced it would be that easy. My abiding memory of bread making stems from when I was at school and the bread rolls that I made weren’t even fit for the birds!!!!!

So, I thought I’d give it a try. Well it gave me an excuse to pop to Lakeland in my lunch break as well…….

BEER BREAD (courtesy of Gordon Ramsay)

MAKES 8 MINI LOAVES

butter, for greasing
175g (6oz) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
75g (3oz) wholemeal self-raising flour. (Struggled to find this so used Tesco Strong Brown Flour)
1⁄2 tbsp flaked sea salt, eg Maldon
250ml (9fl oz) beer or lager
1–2 tbsp milk

❶ Preheat the oven to…

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Walkies

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Walkies

One of our favourite places for a walk is around the Great Orme in Llandudno North Wales. The round round is 4.5 miles long and gently undulating. There is little traffic and a cafe halfway round which is always a good plan. The cafe is aptly named The Rest and be Thankful-and I always am.
On many days walking around the Orme you could be anywhere in the World. Well come on use your imagination! It may be blowing a hooley, pouring with rain or the sun beating down on the back of your anorak,but it’s gorgeous. Benji always enjoys the air and walking along the sea wall. I always enjoy my cup of tea at the end
By the way Llandudno is an old fashioned AKA Traditional Victorian sea side town. It is complete with a pier and a lovely crescent of Victorian hotels along the sea front. It also sells candy floss, rock and ice creams what a lovely day out for the child in us all.

Button Box

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I always thought every adult women owned a Button Box AKA Button stash! I am amazed to learn that even my own sister does/did not own a button stash! How amazing is that? I did a straw poll of some of the carers in Mums home and quickly realised that I am in the minority treasuring a large collection of odd buttons and stuff. I am totally disillusioned but have quickly rectified the situation with the previously mentioned sister. I have shared my stash with her! How good am I! Our stashes consist of a lifetime collection of buttons and odd notions. There are buttons our Mum sewed on my childrens knitted jumpers that I cut off before giving away! There are buttons I removed from old cardigans and coats before sending to jumble sales ( you never hear of jumble sales now do you?) There are buttons that I purchased from craft shops just because I could and there are buttons that previously belonged to our Mum. In fact I used to remove zips to re use before junking skirts etc. how cool is that? I must say that I now feel very kind and holy to have ensured that my sister will have a button stash for the rest of her life. Sibling love!!

I have included a picture of earrings days 13,14,15,16,17and 18. The red rectangles are made from paper. The purple tear drops are made from coconut wood from Australia and the black and silver baubles are Cloisonné from China.

Gold Work Workshop

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Today I had arranged a Gold Work workshop in our village hall. Gold Work is a form of specialised embroidery using gold threads,wires and beads. It is a beautiful craft requiring patience, imagination,dexterity and lots of tuition!  Our terrific tutors were Sue and Sarah from http://www.golden-hinde.co.uk. Fifteen keen, but certainly not experienced ladies, enjoyed the fun whilst trying to create a potential heirloom!

We all ate lots of cake and drank endless tea (thanks to my sister) and ended the day with a part finished small project. Mine was a heart in three types of gold work stitches proving to be a really pretty practice piece. This will NOT join my heap of unfinished objects I promise. I will put it on my blog when complete!ImageOur tutors Sue and Sarah showing our group how to do Goldwork with endless patience and humour.ImageImageImageTwo beautiful Goldwork pieces completed and framed. These are just a little more advanced than my practice piece!

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Days 9,10,11,and 12 of my personal earring challenge! They are slowly getting sorted. It’s great to know where they are in pairs! I am finding some broken jewellery, beads and earring and brooches. I have a grand plan to repair what I can and use some stuff to make brooches. I’ve seen some good ideas on Pinterest where they have incorporated brooches/vintage lace/beads etc. I might give it a go at some point.

 

I’m also organising a Goldwork Workshop next Friday. It is to be held in our Village Hall and 16 ladies have said that they would like to come. It should be a good day with unlimited coffee and cake and exciting projects to have a go at. I will report back next week.Goldwork in Action

Earrings and workshop

Victorian Ballroom and afternoon tea.

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On our recent trip to Blackpool we suffered 100 mile an hour winds, torrential winds,sub zero temperature and afternoon tea in the Tower Ballroom. So all in all we had a really good time. We really enjoyed our afternoon tea In the Tower. Blackpool Tower Ballroom was opened in 1898 complete with a perfect dancing floor, opulent decor, and “The Mighty Worlitzer”. This Worlitzer is a specially designed organ that rises from the floor of the stage and is played to dance to. There were quite a few couples tripping around the floor. I didn’t dance as it’s something that I’ve never accomplished – wish I had! The decor is amazing gold embellished angels ( that I thought were cherubs until I realised they all had generous bosoms!!) The ceiling is painted in scenic beauty like embellishments on speed! In all a breathtImageImageImageImageaking, Victorian extravigansor, which is well worth the visit.The afternoon tea was very tasty and good value. I adore cream scones which surprisingly seem to adore my waistline.

We didn’t trawl any charity shops as the purpose of the trip was to take our Mum on holiday. We stayed in a Luxury hotel and Mum shopped till my sister and I dropped! Mum has the shopping stamina as we push her in her wheel chair! Happy days. Craft wise I knit a couple of the hexipuffs, introduced myself to Pinterest which could become a new addiction but more about that at a later date.

Nails and Puffs

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Nails and Puffs

For a few days my sister and I have taken our Mum for a short holiday to Blackpool. Mum loves to shop till we drop! We are staying on a lovely hotel with good food and bad weather! The weather is awful but we can seek sanctuary from the storms in shops and coffee houses. Today we have had a pampering day. We all had our nails manicured and had a Shellac varnish. This was a first for all of us as we were all nail bar virgins! I adore this photograph as for me it symbolises the love and connection between Mother and Daughters.

I have spent some time perfecting the art of knitting these hexigan puffs. They are knit using sock yarn which is a three ply quality. Once you know how, they are simple to make and I am now taking forty minutes to complete each one. They will eventually be made into a cosy quilt. The pattern is from Tiny Owl Knits on Ravelry and is known as “The Beekeepers Quilt”