Monday, 29 March 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

I find Easter to be one of the strangest of today's holidays. Whilst I understand there are a large number of people who celebrate for the right reasons I shamelessly admit that to me Easter is one of the best annual holidays because it involves chocolate, and whilst my family isn't religious we do exchange cards and gifts on this celebration day.

This year I've made one of my cards instead of buying it.

And whilst it does feel wrong that this religious event has been reduced to Hallmark and Cadbury moments, I will admit that I am eyeing my Easter Eggs with delight and counting down till I can break into the wrapping.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Ladybird lovelies

Whilst the tv weatherman is predicting snow over Easter my garden is telling me summer is just around the corner. Hoorahhh!

Just wanted to share this little snap with you think is sums up the great outdoors right now

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Mystery Stitching Update

So you thought 'pooters, you thought chairs...nope sorry they're Russian Dolls....

well they are almost Russian Dolls. My problem is that I've actually run out of the red yarn....You can only imagine how frustrated I'm feeling, especially as I'm normally really organised and I write the dye number on the spool, not this time. Not really sure why I didnt but this is going to make the sourcing somewhat more challenging.

Wish me off on the hunt this week. I dont even want to contemplate the situation that I cant get an exact match

Monday, 22 March 2010

Ode to my black fingers

I buy houseplants with hopes for

bright petals, perfume smells and so much more

Yet once reaching the threshold between the inside and out

my husband and I begin to doubt

Will it last the night? will it last the day?

it simply doesnt matter how much attention I pay

to the instructions, the water, the sunlight or care

it really doesnt matter where I dare

to place my new purchase within my home

I know too soon I'll be home to a groan

I dont know exactly what i do wrong

it doesnt seem to matter as they never last long

My latest plant lasted less than a day

I really dont know what I should say

If I plant outside they at least have a chance

as Mother Nature does her own little dance

but I think my windows must keep her out

as inside there really is no doubt

that I'm running a service which can kill any plant

my black fingers are getting me down, maybe I can get a green finger transplant?

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Stitch and Craft Show

Well I can honestly say that the Stitch and Craft Show was a fabulous way to spend a Saturday. Becki and I had a great time, we arrived at 10am when it opened and were practically ushered out by the stewards at 5pm as it closed, and I have absolutely no idea where the time went in-between.

It was definitely a certain type of lady who attended the event, not entirely sure we fitted into the demographic but definitely made some friends. I love how crafty people can just chit-chat, something we are not used to here in London where we are well trained to have our heads down and not make eye-contact at all costs.

The deomgraphic extended to gender too and It's probably for the best that R did make up an excuse not to join me, I think I counted only a handful of loyal husbands at the event and they didnt exactly look like they were having the time of their life if you know what I'm saying. Bless them, I hope they got to watch the England rugby match yesterdy evening as part of the deal.
Workshops and Classes
In the morning we treated ourselves to a couple of classes. There was alsorts to choose from; crocheted beasties (Becki made a cute caterpillar in this class with crochet and beads), card making, jewellery, embroidery ... something for everyone really.
We both did a quick jewellery workshop and made a braclet with magnetic beads which is really fun to play with
And I had a go at Blackwork or Hardanger embroidery and here is the result. I do need to finish the final 4th daffodill and then I will make this into a pin cushion. Not bad really, but as this is only backstitch I think anyone who had nevery picked up a needle could have done this really easily

The show had a few main themes;
1. Paper crafting and Card making - I haven't tried this and whilst it does look like it would be fun I've got enough trouble fitting in the crafts I'm already passionate about so passed these stands by, maybe next year???
2. Jewellery Making with Beads - oh these are very dangerous stalls. You get drawn in by the thought that these are only small beads and look they are 30p each....hmmm I know all too well how those 30pences add up and all of a sudden you are handing £20 over to the cashier. Well I stayed away this time. I had a small jewellery business as a teenager and made quite a bit of cash selling at craft fairs in Northumberland...I really must tell you all about this at some point.
3. Yarn and Knitting - there were literally mountains of yarn, some very strange multicoloured items and other very expensive rare skeins which were lovely to look through and touch but I think R might give me a cheeky remark if I returned home with yarn, something along the lines of "So, when are we opening the yarn shop?" I would imagine. So no yarn for me
4. Sewing - oh yes this is where I spent the majority of my time (and money). There were peices from across the entire spectrum from sewing machines and rolls of silk to books to cross stitch charts and of course threads.
You've probably noticed that I've moved away from my crochet hook for a little while now, I cant really explain why, I've just been really loving my embroidery so have been focusing on this. I guess my preferences might be changing with the seasons, but this did mean that I focused all my spending in one area....embroidery ...
Sooooo Cute....
I found this wonderful stall with lovely enthusiastic people who were selling really adorable iron on embroidery designs. The company is called Lazy May and I had a really hard job deciding which to buy as I honestly could have come home with all the designs. I bought 3 packs and have found their website so might be indulging a little more

Stocking up on the basics...
I also bought a couple of cross stitch charts for a sampler and for a Christmas cushion, some funky coloured cross-stich material and a large handful of threads

Oh and a few bits I'm not telling you about .... you will have to wait and see how they turn out...will show you the finished article

Friday, 19 March 2010

Stitch and Craft Show

Well I'm buzzing like a child on Christmas tomorrow I'm off to the Stitch and Craft Show at London Olympia.

suitable walking shoes - CHECK
list of the things I need - CHECK (my attempt to stop panic buying)
bag big enough to carry all my goodies - CHECK
tickets - CHECK
registration to embroidery class - CHECK

Will tell you all about it over the weekend

It's very very strange but R had a mystery prior appointment in his diary which meant he was obviously upset but wouldn't be able to come to the show with me....ha I'm looking forward to some lovely girlie time with my great craftie friend Becki....

Hope you have a great weekend too

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A stitch in time...

As I've mentioned I've been feeling a little under the weather of late and lacking the inspiration or motivation to pick up any type of needle or hook and create something which only a short time ago gave me so much pleasure. So to give me the little push I needed a dear friend treated me to this book of lovey embroidery patterns

There are such wonderful ideas in this book I've made a start on one of the patterns but, being me, I've already got plans to customise the design...

dont worry, it isnt finished yet.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Boeuf bourguignon critique

I would have taken a quick photo but by the time the BB came out of the oven I was so hungry there was no chance of getting out the camera before a fork.

But I'm pleased to say the BB was a success, whilst I'm still a little dubious at the 3 hour oven time + browning + simmering (surely there is a quicker method?) it certainly passed the taste test and there is another generous meal for two in the freezer, oh happy days. Thank you Julia Child for sharing your knowledge.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Julie, Julia and Becca

If you haven't seen Julie and Julia the film about Julie Powell a 20-something New Yorker who sets her self a challenge to cook her way through the Julia Child cook book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", pop down to the DVD store or rental and get it, it's great. I saw this at the cinema at some point last year and pre-ordered it on DVD so when it arrived last weekend I was thrilled. Such a lovely film, I can really identify with Julie, and Julia's story is inspiring, all this with the occasionally belly laugh and it just goes to prove nudity and violence aren't needed to create a great film.

I was a very lucky lady (after a little hinting) Father Christmas brought me Julia's cook book but I havent had a chance to open it and having re-watched the film this week it was all the inspiration I needed to get out my Le Creuset casserole dish and apron and get cooking.

So with the ingredients arranged I set off on my Julie and Julia journey to cook the ever so famous Boeuf Bourguignon.

I've chopped veg...Oh I was so tempted to do my onion at speed a la Julia in the film but chicken'd out...

...browned bacon and enough beef to feed a small army even though I cut down the recipe significantly...

...and sloshed in the red wine.....

now my little creation is in the oven for an eternity cooking to perfection (oh I can dream). The smell is permeating through the house and even though it is only 6pm (and let's be honest I did pinch a few of the ingredients whilst cooking) I'm starving, and literally counting down till I can dive in....yum yum yum.

And as it would appear there is enough for about 20 people we better hope its tasting as this is all we are eating this week....

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Spring has sprung

There's a potential this is my favourite time of year (is that a cliche?? Sorry)

I can't keep anything alive inside my house, R and I seem to run a euthanasia clinic for house plants, however I have a little more luck in the garden and my pots are bursting into life

And as the sum has decided to make an appearance it's feasible (although still a little on the chilly side) to spend Sunday's walking in the country and happening upon a pub for a big roast lunch.

Long may it last