Monday, 29 June 2015

Bad Blogger!

Not all bad though!
I'll get back to that soon.
Meanwhile, I have another finish for you. A second pretty blanket for my colleagues baby.
These baby blankets are soooooo quick to finish. Love them.
I've made a start on a third one, for another colleague.
It literally is only a start though, so more about that another time.
Getting back to the bad blogger bit....
Janice mentioned in a comment that she wouldn't mind if I shared some of my cooking and baking experiences here on my blog.
So yesterday I thought I'd give that a go.
I was making aranchini. I've eaten them many times and enjoy them very much. But this was only the second time I have made them.
There is kind of a recipe, 
Aranchini is an Italian dish. They are made using rice.
You can use any rice, white, brown, arborio, freshly cooked or left overs!
It has to be sticky though, lovely fluffy dry rice won't work.
I made up a pan of vegetable risotto using arborio rice. Then I added tinned tuna, chopped parsley, sweetcorn and some chopped chillies. Mix it all together.
I got Tony to taste it.
He declared it perfect and said I need not adjust the seasoning.
With wet hands I made cute little balls of my mixture, which I rolled in a little egg and some seasoned breadcrumbs, before baking them in a hot over for 25 - 30 mins.
Traditionally aranchini are fried, but I went with the healthier option.
and this is why I'm a bad blogger!
I had planned to get a photo of them on a pretty plate.
I had this vision of little golden balls all piled up on my pretty plate, sprig of parsley, all that.
But by the time I remembered they were all gone and the plate was washed and on it's way back into the cupboard!
If I'm going to be a foody blogger, I need to remember to get photos of the finished item!
They were declared very good, by everyone who tried them.
We followed them up with roast beef, Yorkshire puddings, roasted veges and lovely home made gravy.
Thats all gone too!
Debbie had brought along two desserts.
A lovely apple pie and a very pink cake.
Note once again the lack of photo!

Monday, 22 June 2015

A finish!

I finished making the pink blanket.
Baby blankets are so quick.
Love it.
You can't really see it in this image, but Belle the inspector was right, a pretty edge finishes it off beautifully.
 Of course a finish means a start!
A second baby blanket for the same colleague.
I found the pattern here, via pintrest.
Once I'm done with this one, I'll be switching to blue.
For another colleague.
Of course Debs and I spent time together over the weekend.
She came here and I went there, we chatted about our crafts and inspired one another.
Debs loved my table cover and had a few great ideas of her own, and her ideas led to more from me!!
You know how it is when like minds get together.
So I predict more table covers in our futures.
Possibly with a hint of crochet.
Of course seeing my pretty squares for the current project got Debbie all inspired there too.
She has been making lovely bright and colourful granny squares, rather like my chop suey, but said that she would like to try something else. Although, like most of us after a very busy day, she loves to be able to hook away mindlessly without having to think about a pattern or colour choices.
When I arrived at her place yesterday she was working on her Christmas Story quilt top and hopefully she will be all caught up very soon and we can get on with the next part. 
Today I have ironing to do, then I get to play all day, until it's time to cook dinner.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Blankets and birdies!

The first baby blanket for my colleague is almost complete.
 The variegated yarn works well for this simple triple crochet pattern.
 Belle thinks it could do with a nice picot edge though, so I'll get on with that later today.
I have a second wee blanket planned for the same baby and hope to get that started over the weekend too.
Maybe while Belle is bird watching!
The weather turned very cold and I started to put bird feeders out again.
 These wee fat balls are a great draw for the little wax eyes. They arrive by the dozen!
Maybe Belle would prefer to stay in her blanket on my chair.
She stayed there, all wrapped up like that for quite some time.
Right, I finally decided how to finish the fruit n veg quilt, so I'm off to play with that.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Thank goodness it's Monday!

I love it when Monday comes around. For me it's a quiet day. A day on which I can do pretty much as I please. A welcome respite from work and a busy weekend.
Today I have already had the washing machine on, so aside from dealing with that, and cooking dinner later, I have nothing that must be done. My time is my own.
Before I set too with what ever it is, I didn't decide to do yet....
Here is a look at what I have already achieved!
Two weeks of evening stitchings on Sleeping Beauty.
 I don't get to her every day, but it's nice to relax and work on this one in the afternoons and evenings.
It's also nice for me to see before and after shots as it really does show how much progress I'm making.
 Of course we spent time with Debbie and her family over the weekend.
We went to their place yesterday, so Tony could do some work on their PC and ended up being invited for dinner. (I guess I'll roast my huge lump of beef today then). We had a lovely roast pork dinner with roasted veggies and a super vanilla slice for dessert. 
And Debbie had been having a sort out in her craft cupboard. She had gathered together a few bits that she felt she no longer wanted. I was invited to have a look.
It was mostly cross stitch items, some afghan fabric a piece of even-weave,
 And I found this beauty. Debbie has already started to stitch it, but that's ok, I can finish it.
 Thank you Debbie.
As I know that PC things can sometimes take a while I had taken along a portable project.
While Debbie sat at her sewing machine and later on her sofa and put the binding onto a pretty Kiwiana table runner, very similar to this one, I was sitting nearby with my crochet.
A big super chunky granny ripple. 
 I may have to put it away for a while though, until I get done with these pretty girly colours.
One of my colleagues is having a baby girl soon.
Best get busy.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Wednesday was a hit too.

Did I, or did I not?
In the last week make a great long post about having changed my content and not posting often, worrying that I might be about to give up blogging???
What was I thinking?
After getting two tops to the point where they are awaiting border treatments, What I asked myself, am I going to do today?
I know, I'll make a table cloth.
So I sliced fruit and veg.
 Three whole 
 photographs worth.
Which I stitched together side by side.
 Then I pinned them onto a re-purposed cotton bed sheet which I had cut down to size.
Before sewing them down.
 No layers, no quilting, just a quick edge treatment.
 And voilà, the table is set for dinner.
I rather like it.
Especially getting the whole thing done in a day!
Back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Monday was a good day!

In fact it was a great day. As I puddled about prepping the fifth and final block for my Christmas story quilt, my back loosened up beautifully. In fact, it felt so good I did all of the blanket stitch and even put the pieces together.
Still feeling good after that I got on and joined all of the blocks together.
All of Junes Christmas Story Quilt sewing achieved in one morning!
That felt really good.
 There were one or two moments when I regretted my colour choices.
 There isn't much of that blue on blue dot left!
 There is a narrow plain border, then a wider appliqué border to go. I'll wait for Debbie to catch up with me, then consult with her about how to break those down into monthly slices.
I spent the rest of the day with Sleepy, I'm racing through the current page.
It feels good to see progress again.
On another good note...
 I had moaned to himself on more than one occasion that the overhead light in this room of mine isn't very bright. Well it was a childs bedroom, so that was expected.
Up he climbed one day and took the cover off.
We and the previous owners are so lucky there hasn't been a fire.
It was a mess of melted plastic and exposed cables!
With old style bulbs pulling far too much power through modern fixtures.
Tony arranged a whole new light for me.
He even chose it himself.
Apparently it matches all the thready bits on the carpet.
I think I need to get the vacuum in here.
Oh, yes. It's much brighter.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The 'fruits' of my labour?

Thank you to everyone who read and commented on my last post. It's great to have such feedback.
I must admit, like many of you, I'm guilty of reading, but not making time to comment on others blogs. Something I will endeavour to do more of in the future.
I struggle with certain formats too, I find them frustrating, in those circumstances I don't book mark or return to such blogs. Which I'm sure means that I miss out on loads of inspiration and friendship, but there is the other side of that, as it leaves me more time for the other things in my life!
Like todays picture.
Eye spy in the kitchen has a completed centre.
Now I'm planning borders.
But I won't be sewing them today, my back is very sore today, so I'm off to find a more comfortable seat.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


It's inevitable isn't it.
For a while now I've been feeling guilty that I don't post as often as I used to, and that the content has changed.  I felt that I was letting people down, especially as I got fewer comments, although my stats showed that the number of people actually reading my blog has grown and I have gained new followers and commenters.
Over the last few months I've thought about giving up on my blog, then I realised that it isn't for you the readers, it's for me. This is my record, my diary of not only my crafty endeavours, but also those snippets of my life that I chose to share.
Well my life has changed and so has the content of my blog.
I now have a wonderful and exciting new life, in a new country.
Not many people get that opportunity. I only have to look at the news of refugee ships sinking or being turned away from dreamt of shores to realise how lucky I am.
I'm still surrounded by friends and family at least for one evening each weekend, but even that is different, no easy peasy low maintenance Sundays roasts, now I chose to challenge myself by creating different dishes, using new and exciting recipes, new to me and our friends.
Never before have I had a garden to tend and make my own. Nor did I realise how time consuming it could be.
Gone are the wonderful 3pm shift starts which allowed me to spend so many hours with my machine and fabrics, now I have the 5.15am shift starts.
So the rhythm of my life has changed and so has the rhythm of my crafting.
Over the last two years I've eased back and enjoyed the slower pace of cross stitch, especially now as I eventually settle into the rhythm of those very early starts.
I find the urge to play with pretty fabrics is still there, but not so strong.
I have enjoyed the slower pace of the block a month Christmas story project taken on with Debs and dabbling with one or two smaller quilts, pottering slowly when time and my mood allows.
My quilting frame and long awaited dream sits here beside me, looking like a spare table, a holding space for partially completed projects. I will make time to get back to it, to play and practice more, but for now it slumbers, waiting.
I believe that I have now come to terms with the huge changes I have made in my life and hope that you can too. I enjoy my blog and reading comments from you.
Phew! I'm not sure where that came from, but I guess I needed to say it.
After all that I better share something crafty!
Sleepy has changed too. I last showed progress back here on 24th May.
She has changed.
And I can report that I have made it onto page 3 of my working copy of the chart.