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Friday, 17 November 2017

Just a chat

The days are dashing by and I don't feel I have anything much to show you this week. Yesterday afternoon I made a bolognese in the multi cooker so we could have it for tea with some pasta (we're having it again tonight with some wedges and there should still be enough left so I can put a portion in the freezer).



While I sat on my perching stool stirring and adding ingredients, I was also able to use a foot to keep rocking this little mister in his chair. I gave him a running commentary so I'm hoping he'll be able to help when his old enough!



A nice strong cup of tea for Andrew with a couple of Tunnocks to boost his afternoon energy levels. I drank my cup before I thought to take a photo.



Tea for us and milk for Zackary. I fed both my babies myself (Adam until he was 18 months and Imogen until she was 2 1/2), but I think I'm becoming an expert at making up and giving bottles.




Imogen's had an interesting week. Last week she went to see a local sixth form college and felt quite excited by the choices, this week she went to an open day at the college in town, not really expecting to want to go there, but just to see what they had to offer. What a turn around, Imogen is now hoping to go to this college, depending on her exam results in August. It's been mock exams this week (and next week too) so Imogen has been working hard... I really wouldn't want to be a teenager again!



I've decided that it's unlikely I'll finish Zachary's cross stitch stocking in time for christmas, so I've put it to the side for now so I can concentrate on Imogen's jumper and anything else that needs doing. I've been so tired recently that when we settle down in the evening, I don't really have the energy to start crafting.



I haven't been reading much either, I don't seem to get past more than a couple of pages before my head begins to nod. I have finished reading this book by Tess Gerritson (I've read and enjoyed a few of her books)


The little bit of spiel on Goodreads says:

'An experiment on micro-organisms conducted in space goes wrong. The cells begin to infect the crew with deadly results. Emma Watson struggles to contain the deadly microbe while her husband and NASA try to retrieve her from space, before it's too late.'

It was very good, quite a page turner at times and I definitely recommend it.

That's about my lot this week, daily jobs and keeping warm... and starting to get a few Christmas presents together.

Take care
xxx

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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Half Term Catching Up

Where did October go? Time is definitely getting away from us at the moment and last weeks half term went by in a finger snap.

It was my mum's birthday on Sunday so we wanted to do something special, even more so after the horrendous year my parents have had. It was half term last week so it seemed a good opportunity for Imogen to go and spend a few days with her grandparents, perhaps help her granny out a bit as well as spending time with them (Imogen adores her granny and wishes so much that they lived closer to us). Adam and his family took Imogen down at the beginning of the holiday, we were supposed to go as well, but I was full of a nasty cold and as my dad is waiting for heart surgery he mustn't get ill. My mum was able to spend some good quality time with her great grandson as they stayed over and had a lovely time with Imogen too. Andrew and I went down at the end of the week to pick her up (I tried to keep my distance from dad so he wouldn't catch any germs from me) and had a lovely afternoon and good catch up.

I need to establish a routine that fits our new little charge in and still gives me some crafting time as well as everything else that needs doing. How easily one forgets how much time little ones gobble up, though worth every minute, just look how sweet Zack is in his little Gruffalo jumper.




I've managed to spend a bit more time on the cross stitching for Zack's stocking. Last timeI showed you



it's starting to take a bit more shape now. Still a long way to go, but you can see the snowman beginning to appear with the little penguin on his hat.



I've also been doing some crochet on a jumper for Imogen. Last time on here I showed you the rib with the marble yarn



I've done the front design now so it's on track for Christmas.



I haven't spent any time in my craft room for a couple of weeks, so I'm hoping I may have an evening there soon. I have so many ideas of things I want to make and do, just in need of more time. It hasn't helped having a nasty cold and wow, hasn't the temperature dropped all of a sudden!

Here's another photo of our beautiful grandson having fun with his nanny and grandpops.




Take care
xxx

Friday, 27 October 2017

Little Piggy Squeak

Thank you for your lovely comments about little Ted and his bunnikins friend, they were so nice to reading I hope those who wanted to find needle felting tutorials were able to, it's a very rewarding hobby watching pieces of wool transform in front of you!


I picked up this polystyrene Father Christmas hat in Hobbycraft the other day. It's a very easy thing to start felting with as you don't have to do any shaping, just felt the wool over the top of it.





I've gone for the traditional red with white trim. It didn't take long to felt, but will look lovely on the tree at Christmas.





Now that Holly has returned to work, we're looking after Zack for 3 days a week to help out, it saves Adam and Holly the cost of a nursery, means Zack is being cared for by people who love and adore him and also means we get to spend lots of quality time with our beautiful grandson, so win, win all round! Holly was picking Zackary up the other day and casually mentioned that she'd been shopping with Izzy (her gorgeous daughter) looking for pink clothes as Izzy wanted to dress up as a pig for a farm dress up day at school. They couldn't find a costume and poor Holly was feeling bit stressed about it... I suggested I make Izzy a curly tail, snout and ears.

I twisted 3 pipe cleaners around each other then crocheted around them to make the pink, curly tail.




For the snout, I cut the bottom off a paper cup then proceeded to burn off my fingerprints as I used the hot glue gun to glue a piece of pink felt around it,



with a couple of little brown circles as nostrils.




I sewed the tail to Izzy's pink leggings, she was so happy with it.





Some ears cut from card with some pink felt in the middle of them and attached to an old hairband. I threaded some elastic through the snout and we were sorted. I've told Holly next time Izzy drops a dress up day at short notice on her, to let us know... I rather enjoyed making the bits and pieces.

Doesn't Izzy make a very cute little piggy! Holly sent me a couple of photos before Izzy went to school in the morning.





Just before I pop off (Zack is asleep and I'm trying to write this before he wakes again), I thought I'd share a picture of Honey. I took it last night, this is Honey watching TV, Paul O Grady for the love of dogs was on and she barely took her eyes off the screen!





Take care
xxx


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Felted Ted and Little Friend

 I haven't done any felting for what feels like ages, most of this years crafting has been baby orientated... knitting and crochet for sweet baby Zack. I've thoroughly enjoyed doing it (and still have baby projects underway), but really fancied getting my needles out and felting.

Introducing little Ted





 I made him yesterday and found the process very therapeutic.




Little Ted has an even smaller friend, he has tiny grey bunnikins.




Bunnikins was a bit fiddlier to make and I did stab one of my fingers, but just the once so I'm improving!





Not sure where to put them now, I wouldn't want a child to have them as they're small and the eyes are glued and set in rather than embroidered. I think they can sit in my doll cabinet for now.



 Looking forward to doing some more felting now, perhaps some Christmas decorations.


Take care
xxx


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Saturday, 14 October 2017

A Little Bit of Everything

 It feels like this past week has zipped past in a flash. We had a very successful parents evening at Imogen's school at the beginning of the week, it's a big year for her this school year as her GCSEs are at the end of it.

I had my first mammogram on Wednesday and will hopefully get the results in a couple of weeks. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the 2 mamographers (I believe that's what they call them) were lovely ladies and made me feel completely at ease (there really is no dignity in being a woman is there, but worth it to have regular check ups to keep you safe) and as an added bonus we didn't really have to wait long so the whole thing was over with in around 20 minutes.


I didn't really get anything done the week before so I really wanted to make some cakes this week. I've made these a couple of times and we all really love them, lemon cupcakes. I use equal amounts of self raising flour, caster sugar and butter (4oz of each), a pinch of baking powder and about a teaspoon of lemon essence and a couple of eggs. The whole lot goes in one bowl and is whisked until lovely and smooth



Distribute the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and I have the oven on Gas 5 for about 20 minutes (our oven isn't the best in the world, so you may not need as long).




The scrummy buttercream topping is made with butter and icing sugar with a tablespoon of lemon essence this time. They really don't last long once they've been made.




I've also done some knitting this week. Little Zack has already outgrown the cardigans I made him and Holly said she needed some the next size up. I found this pattern in a local charity shop and quite liked the diamond pattern on the blue cardigan.



 I found some lovely, soft white yarn in my stash and knitted it up for my gorgeous grandson.




The tricky part was finding some cute buttons. I have loads of buttons, but many of the sweet little wooden ones are more 'girly' in nature. I thought these little bunnies were quite unisex for him.



A bit more progress on the cross stitching. The top picture is from last time, the bottom half is now. It was good to use a bit of colour though I'm still just working on the snowman's hat, I am enjoying doing it even though progress appears slow.



Holly wanted to have a day back at work on Friday so asked if we'd have Zackary for the day. Obviously I didn't even hesitate and was all ready when she dropped my little firecracker off at 8am. He came in his little Ninja Turtle babygrow and was oh so gorgeous.


I'd bought a cheap baby bouncer chair second hand during the week so Zack would have somewhere to sit. He loved the rocking motion.



Mummy came to pick him up at 5.30 and he was tucked up fast asleep and exhausted after a day of playing and nanny singing lots of nursery rhymes. I'm pleased to report that he didn't wake up at all last night until it was time to get up this morning, so we did well tiring the little dot out. We're doing a babysitting stint this afternoon so mummy and daddy can go to Ikea, he may not be as tired out after todays visit as Imogen has him tucked up in his pram walking around the park, lots of fresh air, but also sleeping.





What's everyone else up to, I can't help but feel Christmas is slowly creeping up on us now...


Take care
xxx



Monday, 9 October 2017

Another Busy Week

Thank you so much for all your lovely positive messages for Imogen, she's doing much better now, walking around as normal and exercising hard at her physio. I think the fact that Hull Fair is around this week has helped with the motivation to work hard at her exercises!

Hull fair arrives every year for a week in October, it's the largest travelling fair in Europe and has been coming to Hull for over 700 years! Here’s a snippet about its history

This carnival of merriment is the largest travelling fair in Europe and one of the oldest. The fair celebrated its seven hundredth anniversary in 1993. The first charter granting permission for a fair to be held, from 9 to 23 March, was granted in 1278. The anniversary celebrated by Hull City Council dates from 1293, when Edward I allocated six weeks in May and June for the festivities. By the 16th century the festivities had become a 16 day fair, with 20 September as the start of the annual feast after an additional Charter was granted by Charles II.

It's an interesting piece of local history and you can read more about it here.




I don't feel I've done much craft wise the last week. We've had a friend from America staying with us much of last week, only leaving yesterday and there was lots to catch up with. I have finished decorating my 'C' with a lick of paint and some pretty flowers for my craft room.




A soft, fleecy blanket for my gorgeous grandson that he used for the first time when he stayed late one evening. It was a lovely piece of fleece that I bought when Holly was pregnant and was just sitting waiting for me to hem it. As we'll be looking after Zack 2 1/2 days a week as well another babysitting duties, I'm keeping his fleece here to use when he comes to our house.




Not much progress on my cross stitching from the last time I showed you, may end up being for next Christmas rather than this one if I don't get a move on.


It's been a tiring week and weekend so today has been quite restful before this weeks schedule starts tomorrow with Imogen's parents evening, my first mammogram on Wednesday physio appointments and the telephone engineer coming to finally upgrade us to fibre.





Take care
xxx


Monday, 2 October 2017

Gnocchi and Cauliflower and my Poor Little Princess

What a week my poor girl had last week. It started at the beginning of the week when Imogen complained of a bite on her foot, by the time we picked her up from school on Monday evening (she doesn't finish until 6 on a Monday as there's a drama after school group) she'd had to take her shoe off and it had become really painful. The picture doesn't do justice to the amount of swelling there was.



Antibiotics and foot elevation were prescribed at the drs as well as a couple of days off school. Feeling much better and able to get her shoe back on, Imogen returned to school. Friday evening, after an evening spent with friends, Imogen went upstairs to get ready for bed... after a while my phone pinged. I nearly didn't look straight away as I was knitting and not expecting to hear from anyone, I had a peek and it was Imogen asking for someone to come upstairs because her knee has dislocated!

It was horrendous, this time it was her right leg and her knee had slipped out as she went to sit on her bed. Unable to reach her phone and knowing we wouldn't hear her scream from downstairs (it's not a big house, just a solid one. When the doors are closed and the TVs on you can't hear upstairs), my extremely brave girl had reset her own knee. I used to dislocate my knees when I was younger and it is the most excruciating pain, I have never reset my own knee, I am in awe of her.

So off to hospital on a Friday night, not ideal, but needs must. Unbelievably we were in and out in a couple of hours (don't think that's ever happened before). All strapped up and resting, waiting for it to settle down so she can start physio again.



So that's the latest news about my poor, brave daughter.



I'm not the most adventurous person when it comes to food, my palette is a bit limited, but I do like to try something different now and then.

I've heard gnocchi talked about a lot on cooking programmes, but have never tried it. Potato dumplings, sounds nice enough, so when we were in the supermarket and I saw some, I threw them in the basket. We had them with a seasoned cheese sauce and cauliflower


gnocchi cooking










I thought it would make a lovely accompaniment to roasted gammon




Not sure how I feel about gnocchi, perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I'd made it myself rather than bought it? What do you think, does the premade gnocchi taste very different from the homemade? Don't think I'll be having it again.

Take care
xxx