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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

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

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

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Pulling the Threads Together

Thank you for the lovely comments about my craft room, I'm so lucky to have a small space of my own.

In the spirit of tidying up my crafty bits and pieces, I've been trying to sort out and tidy my embroidery threads. I used these little bobbin cards that came with the storage boxes, I also had some plastic ones I'd found on Amazon that are pennies to buy.

I have this little bobbin winding gizmo to wind the threads onto the cards with, it couldn't be any easier to use.

It slides easily onto the sides of the storage box, it keeps it stable while you're using it.

I have to be honest though, I found it much easier to just wind the thread on by hand, quicker too.

My latest cross stitch project is a Christmas stocking for my gorgeous new grandson, Zackary. I think it's so cute, obviously it'll be saying Zackary at the top.

I've made a start, but have a long way to go, I do wish cross stitching could be a bit faster. I only really like to do it in the daylight otherwise my poor eyes struggle a bit. I do most of my crafty things in an evening so have to try and find some time in the day for stitching.

I think it's time to sit down with a coffee and do a bit of stitching. Here's a photo of our beautiful grandson from when we were babysitting Saturday afternoon, how I adore that little face.

Take care

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Small Craft Room Makeover

I have the small box room in our house as my craft room. Unfortunately it has also been used as a place for items that have had no home of their own or are in transition from one room to another. I do give it a good sort through now and again, but space is so tight as it's only just over 5' by 7', I did a post about it last year here.

I decided the time had come to give it a proper makeover, I've seen other tiny rooms on pinterest made over and looking quite gorgeous as well as functional. I'm so thrilled with it that I have to show it off to you... I have a very wonderful husband who put everything together for me.

This is where my chair is, I have a desk in front of me and at the side too.

This is the desk at the side

Pegboard is so useful and if I had the wall space I'd have more pegboard!

The shelf we bought has hooks underneath, making the most of every piece of storage.

These little cubby holes are full of ink pads.

My little Ikea trolley is so useful and great for attaching my magnetic tins to.

These Ikea drawers are fab for storing all my bits and pieces in and make great supports for the desks instead of legs. The trio of baskets are just the thing for storing ribbons, it means I can see them easily too.

I used to have my cutting dies stored in a dvd tower, but I've streamlined them and arranged them on a shelf. On the shelf below I have jars with flowers and buttons, the one above has things that I don't need as often, such as scrapbooks.

I tried to be really ruthless when I was sorting through everything and put quite a few stamps and cutting dies on eBay and gave others to charity. Checked through supplies that i've had for a long while and threw away items that were no longer of any use or past their best. I'm not always good at throwing things out or moving them on, but I was ruthless (much to Andy's delight).

I still have some bits and pieces to do, I need a blind for the window as it's south facing and I don't want my lovely bits and pieces to fade in the sun. I have to say though, I'm very thrilled with how everything looks and how accessible it all seems to be (I have a lovely chair with wheels on it so it's easy to turn from one desk to another).

Now I just need to find the time to create lots of things and make sure no one uses it to store anything other than my crafting supplies...

 Take care

Friday, 15 September 2017

Our Sassy

This post is going to be all about our beautiful cat Sassy.

After my last post on Tuesday, when we were settled down for the evening, we had a phone call from one of our neighbours, they were ringing to let us know that Sassy was asleep in their conservatory. This isn't unusual as our other cat, Mitzi, is often to be found one but next-door and I think she sees it as her second home. Sassy isn't as affectionate as Mitzi and prefers to stay at home with us, wary of people she doesn't know.

Our neighbour was concerned because Sassy didn't appear to be responding to offers of treats or anything else. Andrew went round to pick her up, bring her home and check she was generally okay.

As soon as he brought her home, I knew it was serious. Poor Sassy, she was floppy, loose is how I would describe her and her breathing appeared laboured. I held her in my arms as Andrew searched for and rang the emergency vet. It seemed to take forever to get through, explain her symptoms and insist we needed her to be looked at straight away.

I wrapped Sassy in one of her blankets, we raced to the car and to the vets. We had no idea what was wrong, there were no apparent injuries though that still didn't mean she hadn't perhaps been hit by a car, we just didn't know. In the car Sassy rested her head on my arm, she was salivating and smelt bad, I thought she'd messed herself, but she hadn't, she just smelt bad.

We were taken straight into the examining room, Sass was laid on the table and the vet listened to her heart. She would never have normally let someone else take her from my arms, she would just jump away, but she had no energy left. The very gentle, kind vet said her tiny body was shutting down and said he could perhaps try to bring her back, but that she would probably be brain damaged. He was quite sure that she'd been poisoned.

Andrew and I were in tears, our lovely, loyal Sass, only 10 years old. The vet didn't need to put her to sleep, poor Sassy died within a couple of minutes of us going in the room. She was still wrapped up in her blanket and they assured us that they would keep her in it.

As soon as we walked in the door at home, Imogen could see that Sass hadn't come home with us, all 3 of us were devastated.

Goodbye Sassy, we love you very much and will never forget you.

Take care