Handmade Monday (not)

Starring out of the window from the Snug this morning I watched a single plump pink breasted pigeon try to nestle into the branches of the bare Cherry Blossom tree, to protect himself from the constant battle of howling winds and torrid rain, his little clawed feet must have been gripping for all he was worth, for he seemed to be quiet fixed.

Against the dull greyness of the outside world my purple orchid tried it’s hardest to add a tiny bit of colour and brightness.  Beauty of that one flower in the darkness of the winter months really does sparkle – the glimmer of hope that spring will soon be on its way.  Even the little crocuses are determined to push their heads above ground level, however, for the moment I am only too happy to stay snuggled up in doors, while winter gets on with its attack.

Having not managed to finish a project for Homemade Monday this week I felt the only thing for me to do was to jump on the band wagon of 10 Random things, so grabbing my beloved mobile I started flicking through the weeks photos’ to see what we had been up to.

Valentine’s Day, Hubby and I didn’t have the most romantic evening known to mankind, but we did snuggle up on the couch, devoured a large box of Malteasers and watched the Adjustment Bureau – Emily Blunt and Matt Damon – Not the most romantic movie nevertheless if you haven’t seen it I can highly recommend it.

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Kid’s pocket money day came and went and my middle child decided to get creative with his!

Hubby and I had one of those rare moments of time to ourselves and we took full advantage by meeting up with the in-laws in town for coffee, something we don’t get to do very often which was a really pleasant change.

We managed two moments this week where we weren’t trying to hold back the tides of the flood and the sun came out to shine on the righteous.  I just had enough time to grab my phone and snap a couple of shots of the oncoming spring before the down pour began again.

We have a small apple tree in our back garden and in August and September it produces the crispest, sweetest, and juiciest of pale green and red apples. The tree gives us such a full bounty that as a family we are unable to consume all of them ourselves, so I hand them out to family and friends, but my little tree keeps giving.  My mother-in-law shakes her head in fake horror as winter comes, instead of running around and picking the bounty before the last leaf reaches the ground, I leave all the apples to cling to their storks to rock back and forth in the winter storms.  Not because I’m lazy or just can’t be bothered, more of a case that it’s a source of food to the local wildlife during the winter months and the wildlife certainly seem to enjoy it.

As well as continuing with mystery blanket from the Inside Crochet magazine, I’ve rummaged through my yarn stash to have a go at the heart wreath that Lucy made for the Simply Crochet Magazine.

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Boo and I had a lovely evening on Saturday, we had a girl’s sleepover at one of my friend’s houses, Boo and her best friend and me with one of mine.  There was lovely food, putting the world to right’s and really great company, plus a little one to play with.

Introducing Bernie! Isn’t she just adorable?

Writing this blog was a very long and difficult process this week, I had a very unhelpful helper, but I just find it so hard to be cross with her.

My tenth photo is Sunday lunch; the reason behind this picture is not because I want to show off what a wonderful meal we had, it’s more to ask a question.

The dark wrinkled green stuff on the plate is Kale.  I steamed it as per the instructions (12 mins), but for me it really lacked taste, so my question is this – how should I have cooked it?

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Hope this Monday is a good one for you.

 

Lots of love

Sam :)

WIP

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Hello!

Come on in, grab a seat,

Would you like a drink – Tea or Coffee?

Do you have sugar?

Help yourself to scones, freshly made this morning!

So! What you been up to since we last spoke?

Me?

Well, I’ve started following the ‘Mystery Blanket’ have you seen it, it’s running inside the “Inside Crochet” Magazine.  Unfortunately I missed the first issue which was a bit of a pain, but I managed to create my own version from the picture supplied and if I say so myself I’m rather pleased

The magazine suggested using 50g balls of Aran weight wool and 12 different colours, nevertheless, Mr DC and I went to the wool shop in Bicester, the one on Sheep Street (that always makes me laugh).  I love the shop, they have such a vast collection of yarns, I really could spend hours in there. We spent a long time playing around with a large selection of different wools trying to find a large enough selection but couldn’t settle.  Right at the back of the shop on the left I found 400g balls of Aran from Stylecraft and Hayfield, not as much selection but because of the size of the balls it didn’t really matter. I decided on 4 colours and oh how I love them, I get a great thrill run through me each time I lay the crochet out and giggle of excitement escapes.

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I’ve completed part two (square the circle)

and have started part three (Bursts of Colour) This month’s pattern is only 5 stripes but each stripe has at least 3 to 4 rows. As long as I crochet 1 row a day I’ll be ready for next month and it allows me to have time to have a go at other projects as well, which leads to a happy me :)

So what projects have you got on the go at the moment?

Have you seen the heart wreath in “Simply Crochet” designed by Lucy? I’m thinking of giving that a whirl next.

Well it was lovely to see you, thanks for stopping by, hopefully see you next week

Lots of Love

Sam :) x

Handmade Monday

The weather was really foul outside the Snug window on Saturday, howling winds and torrential rains gave me no desire to venture outside.  The only thing for it was for me to make a start on the unloved and long forgotten projects, but before opening the under stair box, sitting upstairs on my daughter’s window sill was my first project to tackle.

I’d bought a circular box over a year ago to house all of Boo’s hair accessories.  I’d got as far as painting the lid and two-thirds of the body in an undercoat white and then for some reason I had simply stopped.  The box had been left on the window sill and been forgotten.

My original thought was to give the box an oversized cupcake feel to it, this being an appropriate theme as she adores anything to do with cooking or baking.  However, studying it now back on the window sill, I’m beginning to see it more as a small hat box rather than the oversized cupcake.  Whichever way you think it Boo’s over the moon with the finished article.

How are our homemades’ coming along?

Hope you enjoy the photos

Lots of love

Sam :) x

Handmade Monday

Through reading other people’s blogs I’ve been inspired and encouraged to take that extra step, go that little bit further.  During this journey I’ve come across like-minded people.  If I hadn’t read NanaCathy’s blog, I would never have known about the ‘Jan Eaton’ C.A.L that “Little Room of Rachell” had set up last year.  Through joining and taking part in the CAL I was introduced to ‘Made by Patch’ and so on.

Imagine my delight back in mid-January when reading Nanacathy’s posting on decopatch (decoupage) boxes to find right at the bottom a brown highlighted link to

Handmade Monday

A weekly linky party for crafters is how “Handmade Harbour” describes it and she’s not wrong.  The page is full of awe inspiring blogs, not just on crochet, but much, much, more.  This got me thinking about the unfinished projects that I’ve got housed in a colossal clear container in the recess of my under stairs cupboard.

Each Monday I am now aiming to join in with the handmade crafters by finishing off my unloved projects.  However, this week as it’s not Monday, I’m sharing the hexagon blanket I tried my hand at.

Back in December I got it into my head that I fancied making a hexagon blanket.  I’d been drooling over pictures that I’d seen on Pinterest and as luck would have it I had 6 complete coordinating balls of wool in my not so secret yarn stash that would be just right for the job.

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Work began and the hook worked 19 to the dozen

When it came to putting the smaller hexagons together, I became uncertain of the colouring and I wasn’t that keen on carrying on, be that as it may I put a call out to my Facebook group and the consensus of opinion was to carry on and complete the project.

Once all the hexagons had been attached, I still felt that something wasn’t right.

For me adding the pale green border made all the difference and at last I was happy. What do you think?

Hopefully see you back here on Monday.

Lots of love

Sam :) x

Mrs White in the Kitchen with…….. a Cook Book

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Phase 3 of the 47 challenge

Not just any old cook book either, oh no, Mrs White is the master of her own fate; I know I’ve mentioned her before, but we saw our Mrs White over the Christmas period.   Every time we see her I marvel at how brilliantly she is.  A couple of years ago she took that step to lose weight and totally transformed herself – I fancy a bit of that for myself :)

I find that diets don’t work that well for me, so I’m trying a new angle.  I’ve done some research and the top suggestions are;

1)      Keep a food diary *check*

2)      Work out a meal plan for each week (that way not so easy to go for the take away) – stuck to the fridge :)

3)      Have at least 8 drinks a day (can include tea and coffee, remember no sugar, but sweeteners are okay!)

4)      Try at least one new recipe each week *check*

5)      Take body measurements as well as weighing in.

6)      Keep a chart of your progress *check*

7)      Have a dieting buddy (thank god for twitter :) )

So I’ve weighed myself in (oh dear) taken the measurement, written up the weekly meal plan, made a few contacts on Twitter to compare and encourage with.  The new recipe for me this week is in honour of our Mrs White.  We had this at her place once and the whole family loved it :) and it appeared in this month’s Slimming World magazine.

Diet Coke Chicken

 

Has anyone got a low-fat and tasty recipe that I can try the next week?

Lots of love

Sam  :) x

PS next week becoming a detective

The Snuggly Snug……. Almost!

Phase 1 & 2 of the 47 things to complete challenge

1)      Repaint the house

2)      Convert back end of Kitchen into the Snug

Things never seem to go as easy as you may wish, you always get that unsuspecting hick up to throw the spanner in the works and the Snug challenge was to be no different.

Painting the walls white was the easiest thing, the roller glided over the walls, the transformation was instant against the 12 year old magnolia walls’ the room had such a wonderful brightness to it, just as if someone had flicked on the light.

Once the walls and the ceiling were dry I was only too eager to rehang the wall unit with its contents, push the settee back into place, for they had been temporarily housed in our lounge and space was in short supply.

The only alterations I required was for the wall unit to be lowered 10cm down and 5cm to the right, easy enough! So Friday night after work Mr DC and I got to hanging it.   We stood back to admire our handy work, only to gasp in horror as for some inexplicable reason we had managed to hang the unit at a non-level angel , you certainly couldn’t of rested a cup of tea on it and expected it to stay there.  Unfortunately I was forbidden to take photographic evidence of our new masterpiece, so I’m afraid on this occasion you’ll need to take my word for it.

I should have known then that things were not going to go to plan that weekend.

Saturday Morning the team get together

Well there is where we need to hang it

Well there is where we need to hang it

Discussing what is needed to be done.

Now, shall we get on?

Now, shall we get on?

Measurements taken and drinks were made

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The first hole was made and ……….. We hit water :(

Emergency measures were taken all water turned off in the house, no central heating water, no boiler water and no utilities water a very big hole and a small amount of blue tack and then Stuffed with cloth.

A dash into town for a repair kit

When we moved the cloth to survey the damage things had gone from bad to worst

Trying to clamp the pipe before putting the attachment on

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Attachment in place

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Please note that the pipe is not going horizontal but in a diagonal direction (Bad house builders) :@

Needed to make something pretty to recover from the all the un-prettyness

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Sunday – Wall filled, repainted and able to start again :)

 

Pretty colours added to unit

Every Snug needs a Cat

The only problem now with the Snug, is being able to use it, for it is now very rarely unoccupied, between the No 1 Son & Girlfriend, Boo Skping her friends and the Favourite Son escaping to spend time gaming on his laptop, Mr DC and I only manage to squeeze a quick half hour before bedtime, cup of tea and a chat to catch up on the day’s events.

But at least it looks pretty.

Challenge No 3 – the Diet starts here

Lots of Love

Sam x :) 

New Beginnings !

You'll Never Change your life

 

The other day a friend on Facebook tagged me on the above post.  I did wonder why they chose me, and then I remember the conversation we had about my New Year’s resolution.

With the Christmas decorations cleared away and the house feeling so empty ready for new beginning, fresh hopes and dreams I began to think about my New Year’s resolution, I’d only made one, however, this one resolution comes with many added extra’s and sub texts, which in turn should bring lots of fun along the way.

“To complete 47 things before my 47 birthday”

(16 December)

That should work out to be nearly something new each week with a couple of weeks off for good behaviour.

I think that little lot should keep me busy for a while and of course there is a lot of crochet to be done as well, one of which I started New Year’s Day, a hexagon blanket for the snug, but more on that another day.

So have you made any New Year resolutions? Do tell I’d love to hear.

 

Lots of love

Sam :) x