Saturday, 23 February 2013

A project in progress

I've rediscovered my crochet hook now with all of the babies arriving over the past couple of years, and have begun a project for our home too. My hubby has asked for a king sized granny-square blanket for the bed. I have been working on the project since last winter and now have 250 granny squares. Phew.

That's taken a lot of scraps and a lot of time. I like multi coloured grannies so switching in lots of different colours takes a while.

There are two shoeboxes full of squares in the loft and another in progress.

The granny itself is straightforward and there are loads of tutorials online.

This is part of my work in progress....

and a selection of my favourite squares...

I'll eventually join them all together using a plain colour. I haven't decided whether to use white, like this example, which looks fresh and modern, or go for the traditional black.

I've calculated that I need a few more squares yet so it may well be next year (at least) before this gets finished!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Birthday party

A birthday party in this post, one of our friends was....

this week. I painted the card using some lovely new paints from Reeves I got for Christmas. Great clarity and very smooth.

The party was held near Birmingham, and I got to have a bit of a boogie. Indeed, there ain't no party like an S Club party! Love it. 

The cake was fabulous, the birthday boy having made a trip to Antarctica and being taken by the lovely penguins there.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Sunshine and a baby hat

Continuing along with baby season this week saw another selection of offerings off to a new home. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the blanket before it went, but I did add another little gift in the package last minute.

I fell in love with this really cute little turban hat from this mama makes stuff, Carrie has come up with a great pattern. Here's my version (please excuse the terrible lighting):

Once on the baby it looked lovely, to the extent that her Grandma has asked for the pattern to make some up in her craft group for the local Church (where they sell gifts for Church funds or make gifts for local charities). Carrie has very graciously given her permission for her pattern to be used in this way, so that was really lovely.

We also went on a shopping trip to nearby Melton Mowbray, after some yummy pork pies (no horse in these local specialities). 

The church in Melton looked beautiful, so here's a snap.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Lakes and Coniston

We had a lovely weekend away this weekend in the Lake District.

The journey up was a bit hairy, with snow sweeping in gusts on a busy M6, but we got up to junction 36 safely. I can say my nerves were a bit jangled though when we got off the motorway!

After travelling for a little while it became obvious that the main road to Windermere was going nowhere fast, so we diverted off to Kendal.

We stayed (last-minute!) at the Shakespeare Inn in Kendal. MLH (my lovely husband) did a fantastic job of squeezing the car through the arch of the coaching inn, there were inches to spare and it was quite slippy getting the car lined up. You can see the tyre tracks through the arch here:

The locals were very friendly, within minutes of arriving I'd been asked for a hug by a tipsy lady!

Not fancying a long walk for tea, we ate at the nearby Thai restaurant. My pad thai was exactly what I needed, filling, hot and flavourful.

Back to the Inn - we had a lovely room, with a cosy bed and hot shower. Breakfast was great - full English with plenty of tea and toast. It was a very good decision. The next morning started beautifully, with sun against the snow:

We were back on our way to Coniston, and the decision to stop in Kendal was reinforced by the number of abandoned cars on the main road. It's not a long road (maybe 8 miles the whole length) so I can quite understand choosing to walk, rather than spend a cold and uncomfortable night in the car.

Our ultimate destination was the Crown Inn, Coniston which was no problem taking the roads slowly. We were doing well with nice rooms, and our one here had a lovely bath.

We managed to walk round a bit of the lake, and back over the lower hills in the remaining part of the day. 

I even managed to get a paddle, in one of the streams leading down to the lake. It's one of my favourite things when we go walking. The snow melt was cold, but not the coldest ever paddle (that was from glacier melt in Switzerland!). I really enjoy having cold feet and warm everything else when you out your walking boots back on.

It got a bit drizzly later, but we didn't get too cold. It was great to sink into that bath, though!

Another full English later (MLH had kippers) we set off back home, and managed a speedy journey thanks to the overnight rain. There was a lot of water coming off the hills, though...

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Playing with photo editing

I've been playing wit my 'snapseed' app on the computer. I am quite pleased with the results. 

This rather dull industrial junk turned into a mad max style shelter.

What do you think?

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Winter cooking

Cold weather deserves some comfort cooking, and I made these biscotti as a gift for a friend when I went round to visit their lovely new house.

I used a recipe from All Recipes to make them and they turned out really well, lighter in texture and softer than the rock-hard commercial versions you find in coffee shops.

I lightly spiced the biscuits with allspice and cinnamon, and as they were a gift wrapped them in some of my special Lakeland presentation bags. I really feel it makes the difference, and at £3 a package for 50 bags they aren't too costly.

I also used the All Recipes site for the Christmas biscuits I made for my family - they had the gingerbread biscotti version!