Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tails on Tuesday

Well only one tail really, we have been to talk to the local pet rescue people and they do not have any smaller dogs that can be rehomed with another dog but we are on their waiting list.

Ben is loving his time with Junior and Kaitlyn and we will keep on full alert, we are checking the local paper as well.

We are at James's this afternoon and I have left my camera in the bungalow so no photos today.
I am getting on well with the hand quilting, but it is a hot job with the thick wadding that I am using.  I brought Tula  Pinks latest book, 100 modern quilt blocks with me. I am working my way through the book but using Aqua, Orange and Grey, this is my challenge to myself to get outside my comfort zone. I admit that I am still not enamored with the colours but the small blocks are very appealing. I will probably repeat the exercise with my go to colours.

We are enjoying some lovely weather so far, I am walking Ben in the cool early mornings and then again after dinner, I hope that allows for my extra calorie intake, cooked breakfast every day so far. I did resist all the Wild Boar sausages at St Dogs yesterday, and the burgers, pizza, chips, fudge, ice cream etc etc. I am trying to eat sensibly.
 We had jacket potato topped with a concoction  whipped up with left overs for dinner. I had some diced chicken in a lemon and herb dry rub in the fridge so I cut that down finer, sealed it oil with onion, garlic, red and green  pepper all finely diced, I poured over half a bottle of AF Thai Chilli and Lemongrass dressing and let it bubble for a few minutes till the chicken was cooked through. It was delicious, we had a chopped salad with it and were stuffed to the gills.

Tonight we are having Fish and Chips, we always have them for ONE meal when we are here and tonight's the night. Wednesday is Kaitlyns birthday and I am making Meatballs, we all love them and it is an easy meal.

Michael and I are going to a local "foodie" pub on Thursday for Dinner and then on Friday James, Cerys, Francesca and the children will be with us for a smorgasbord feast. Ribs, chicken and sausages in a sticky barbecue sauce, Thai style fish cakes, pizza, and homemade potato wedges. lots of talking, laughing and no doubt pool playing.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. A relaxing time for us all.

2. Lots of time with Junior and Kaitlyn.

3. Really friendly people in the village that we are staying in.

4. Lots and lots of sewing time.

5. Brilliant weather.

That was quick but we have lots of ground to cover                 TTFN      Pam

Monday, 26 August 2013

Hello From Wales

We are settled in for the week, we had a very good journey down after leaving at 03.30 and driving through a magnificent electrical storm. 2 stops en route mainly to let Ben "do the necessary",although we did stop in Aber for a cup of tea.

I managed to squeeze Toya in so I have had a little sew time and only need 2 more rows on the "Tumbling Charms" quilt top.

A 4" border and is cut and the binding is cut and pressed ready to finish the top and  I also have the batting and backing.

I have been hand quilting the pink cheater fabric quilt for Kaitlyn and hope intend to have it finished before we leave.
I do not plan on buying fabric here but I am going to visit a quilt shop in Lampeter tomorrow he he.
It is a lovely little town and we will spend the morning there, then join the family for the afternoon.
We went to St Dogmaels  today, there was a medieval fair in the Abbey and we spent a couple of hours walking and looking at all the stalls, we tried to persuade James to try out the ducking stool, but he would not play. BOO.

There are large chunks of walls still standing and the footings are quite extensive.

I noticed that there has been more works done on the castle, I will post that later in the week.
The cottage is quite large, it is a residential property really and is well equipped although dated.

My favourite feature, it works!

I took over the table, sewing at one end, tea at the other and a book and some chocolate in the middle, hand sewing  next to the tea.


Comfy lounge, coffee and welsh cakes up and running in 5 minutes.

The double bedroom, there is another larger room with twin beds.

Large bathroom, Junior wanted to wash his hands in the bidet, bless him.

There is a pool table in the garage, Junior shows signs of being a Hustler.

And Kaitlyn was just happy to feed her face.

She was showing off her new shoes at the same time, multi tasking already!
Her cheater quilt is out in the background, I am determined to leave it behind.

Then suddenly it was lights out and nap time.

That will do for today, we have had a hectic 3 days and are ready to go for a little walk with Ben.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Quality family time.

2. Clean fresh air and soft Welsh water.

3. A comfy home for the week.

4. Sewing time every day, win win.

5. Michael is cooking, double win win.

I hope your week is coming good                              TTFN    Pam

Friday, 23 August 2013

Feeling Good on Friday

Good afternoon one and all, the sun is shining, Ben is snuggled at my feet, Fran is working in her room and Michael is snoring on the sofa, all is well in my world. I hope that you all feel the same.

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go, apologies to the late, great John Denver, I am tone deaf but I am on a roll.

Hug 2 is ready to baste and quilt, all I need to do is find my basting pins, I just know that if I buy some more I will open a cupboard and they will be right in my face. You can just see the border fabric at the top. Once it is done I will post a decent pic.

The piano keys are mounting up, I have not counted them but I am about halfway through the sets that I had cut up. There are still some strips and small pieces and some 1/2 yard cuts to find a home for.

 I did say my bag was packed.

As we are all in the one car I will not be taking Toya, so I am taking this lot along with some single hexies for joining the flowers together. I will start sewing them together and see how far I get. There are enough to make a double bed quilt or a large sofa throw. I have been making these on and off during this summer and now want to see the finished product.

I know that I am always banging on about laundry, how the three of us make so much washing I do not know, all is done, the last few things are just  on the line and all the rest has been ironed. Warm glow. There is a washing machine and a dryer in the holiday cottage so I am determined to do a wash and dry on the last morning so nothing comes home dirty, best laid plans hmmmmm.

I am off to slice onions and cut potato wedges, I have had a request for my "awesome" onion rings. They are simply sliced quite thickly, separated into rings and soaked in buttermilk for at least an hour, then I shake some of the liquid off and toss them in cornmeal before frying. 
Debs loves them and if David is having "chip" butties she feels that it is only fair to have her favourites as well.

reasons to be grateful.

1. A good days work, all chores done.

2. That feeling of excitement that sort of tickles on the inside.

3. The evening ahead with old friends, who may soon be near neighbours.

4. The new little quilt that I have made ready for the new dog.( I dare not show it, tempting fate and all that)

5. The good weather forecast for next week.

I so hope that we find another dog, if not we will be out and about next week, there are some rescue centers near us but I did not want to put a dog through the trauma of a move here then to Wales and then back. it will be quite different to bring one back with us to its new forever home.

Tea is called for and then I must clean Toya and put a new needle in ready for when I get back. Listen to me, I haven't gone yet and I'm running on about coming back.

So that brings us to                             TTFN    Pam

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Confessions Of A Lazy Kind

Good afternoon to one and all and a hello and welcome to another follower, I did not expect to gather followers but it is a little thrill to log on and see the number has gone up. So thank you very much.

My confessions are, first apologies to Donna and Jennie, your thread will be in the post tomorrow, I took some time to empty all the storage boxes in my bedroom to make sure that I did not miss any, there is plenty for both of you. BTW did you realise that you live fairly close to each other? My sister in law lived in Eastleigh and then Havant many years ago and I was down there at least 3 times a year but no where near you two.

I still have not found my Quilting safety pins, I am annoyed to say the least, I have 2 quilts to baste and 500 pins cost me quite a packet and I need them soon,  very soon.

Second confession, we are having "ding curry" tonight, all I will have to cook is some rice, I have naan bread in the freezer RTC 20 p ages ago, the curries cost 25 p each from the staff shop and the rice is a basic range 42 p a kilo, I will cook a small cereal bowl full about 10 p, so dinner will cost the princely sum of £1.05 plus the electricity, not bad. The curries come from one of our group factories and are very good, although I would not pay the retail price, they are a good standby and I can not make them at that price.

Third one, we will have a fridge bottom meal on Friday night and if there is not enough I will put a tray of potato wedges in the oven and serve them with grated cheese sprinkled over and baked beans.
Debs and David are up for it, like us they cook from scratch most of the time and quite enjoy a homemade " junk fest" dinner now and then. to make it worse I have a pack of white bread rolls (RTC 10 p) in the freezer so "chip butties" oozing tomato ketchup could well be on the menu as well.

Fourth one, We had Fish and Chips last Friday from the chippy in Long Sutton, the owner used to work with me and they are second to none. I had had a busy day, Francesca rang to say she would be home early, and I had lost my cooking mojo. It cost £10 which is a huge cost for 1 meal but it was sooooo worth it.

Now comes the crunch, Francesca broke down on her way home last night, well her car did! Cam belt OMG, just hope the valves are OK We have cover and she was sorted and home within 1 1/2 hours, the car is in the garage and I will find out the damage when we are on holiday. we were planning on taking both cars so at least we will make a saving on petrol. Thank goodness for the emergency fund.
 we have just had a quick down pour so the washing will be on the horse later.
Reasons to be grateful.

1. Planning ahead.

2. A shower for my garden.

3. Easy peasy ding dinner.

4. Thoughts of a new dog.

5. One more shift to go. woop woop

That's all for now Toodles         TTFN   Pam

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Waste Not Wednesday

I am on a use it up mission, the freezers are full, the larder is really well stocked and the season of pickles and chutney is just around the corner, Francesca is looking at moving to London in the next few weeks so I need to find room to store food from the garden and  the preserves that I intend to make, I will also need as much money as I can save to put towards the list of needs that will arise from the London move.

I fancied something different  for dinner tonight so I had a rootle through the fridge and larder. This is what I came up with.

I found this from my last Approved Food delivery, I do not make a habit of using mixes but they are handy for holidays, we self cater, I can take a few of these instead of the contents of my spice shelves.

1 1/2 peppers, 1/2 an onion and a lonely carrot from the fridge. These were diced fairly finely and added to the mix.

I pack of  cooking bacon chops from Mr S. cubed and soaked in cold water for an hour, I did not want this salty as I was using a mix with salt.

Here it is, in the cook in bag supplied, I followed the directions but instead of using water I used cider, I always have some in the fridge it goes in nearly every batch of bread that I make. It does go flat but that makes no difference.

Dinner is served, plenty for three, I could have made an extra serving but there is still some of the pack of bacon in the fridge to be used up before Saturday.

I peeled and cut up 3 potatoes that had just started to sprout, tossed them in a little salt, pepper and a teaspoon of olive oil, they roasted on the top self while the bacon simmered away below.

1/4 of a cabbage that cost 20 p, and the same amount of a cauli that cost 30 p.

I have not costed this out but I would not be far out at £2 , the most expensive component was the bacon  for 80 p.

That gives me a nice warm glow in the tummy and the budget.

reasons to be grateful.

1. countdown to Wales has begun.

2. Lovely friends from my home village will be staying in the cottage, a little break away for them and garden care taking for free.

3.We are going to look for another rescue dog while in Wales, a buddy for Ben.

4. My grocery box is packed, I hate having to shop on my holiday.

5. The laundry is done, dried and ironed. woo hoo.

Two more shifts at work, an early night on Friday and off early morning Saturday. Debbie and David are coming on Friday afternoon so we can have a few hours getting in the holiday mood with them. They will stay on for 2 days when we get back so we can have a real catch up session. They are looking to move into the area so will be house hunting for the week, they are in a strong position, their house is sold and they are staying with  Davids Mum. She was a Dinner Lady when I was at primary school and her Mum went to school with my Granny, we all go back a long way.

Michael has done the washing up and Ben has been walked and fed, so..............TTFN     Pam

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Ben, A Dogs Tale

We have been to the vet again this afternoon, Ben has had an ongoing skin problem for over a year. He has seen several vets and had various courses of antibiotics, potions, lotions and shampoo costing and smelling High.
Two weeks ago we saw a locum vet who diagnosed a zinc deficiency and a wheat intolerance. He also prescribed 2 x 2 weekly injections of a powerful antibiotic, today he had the second one. I changed his food and his skin is so much better, he will go back in 2 weeks for a once over and hopefully we can close the door on it.
If I did not save for possible vet bills I would have struggled to pay for this, because Ben was a rescue dog the insurance premiums were astronomical, I decided to save 1/3 rd the premium and I am still in profit.
I have made a start on the cheater print cot quilt, as it is going to Wales I wanted to make it thick and warm, it gets cold over there! My machines can not handle that thickness so I am hand quilting. Outlining some of the "blocks" and will then tie the rest, I will bury the tails in the wadding rather than leaving them, I do not want to give little fingers something to pull at or even little teeth something to try to chew. This does mean that I will also have to hand stitch the binding, that I do not mind at all, in fact I quite like hand quilting, I can sit and chat or watch a film, slurp cup after cup of tea that I can not make myself as " I am always at a tricky bit that I can not put down"!
I have pulled the last of some fabrics from the stash and cut them into 5" by 2 1/2" strips, I am sewing them into pairs, then the pairs into bigger pairs and so on, these will give me a piano key border for a future quilt, or maybe cut down to 2 1/2" and made into binding.

All the ends that are too small will go into the scrappy paper pieced blocks for a window quilt that I am planning. I will copy Lori Holt's Tulip in flowerpot pattern to put along the quilt bottom to resemble a windowsill.

Some of my ideas take a while to reach fruition but I write them all down in a note book complete with drawing and colour notes.

I have been offered some green tomatoes, I have apples and onions and sultanas, brown sugar and vinegar so will be making chutney on Friday, it will be nice and mellow by Christmas and go in the hampers that I make each year. With a jar of mincemeat, marmalade and a fruit cake, some biscuits and cheeses straws all made by me it makes a good present at  very reasonable cost.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Ben with a clean bill of health.

2. An £85 bill paid with no worry.

3. Only 3 nights to work before 10 days off.

4. Toad in the Hole for dinner tonight, one of our favourites.

5. The flowers in my garden smothered with bees.

On a down note why does spellchecker want me to use American spellings, does my clever computer not know that it lives in England.

The time has come, the walrus said                  TTFN    Pam

PS Thank you to anyone who popped over to see miss Townmouse, and if you decided to follow her a double thank you.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Triangle Buddy, as requested.

Morning all and a very nice one it is, after our busy busy day yesterday we chilled out on the sofa last night and caught up with an episode of Lewis and a had a good giggle over repeats of The Big Bang Theory.
I was up and about quite early and had a quick catch up on blog reading and found a few new ones to follow, BTW I do read Miss Townmouse and thoroughly enjoy it, Sharon is a working Mum, living in Ballarat Australia, who gardens and has a collection of hens, big and small and guinea pigs complete with babies, and cats who all live in harmony. Like most of us she enjoys a good rummage in an "op shop" similar to our charity shops. She has been blogging for a while and would really like a few more followers, pop over and have a look and see if you like her.

Anyhow, I mentioned my quilting buddy yesterday and had a request as to what it is and how it works. I got the idea from Bonnie at Quiltville Quips & Snips, you will find it in the tips and hints under bonus triangles.
The size I use most is with a 5" charm square so I will show that one.

This is one way of marking to make HST, draw a line on the diagonal and sew 1/4" either side and cut on the line.

With the quilt buddy I draw two line along the edge of the buddy and sew on these lines. When I use  5" Squares I get a 4 1/2" HST block that finishes at 4", you lose 1/4" off each piece on every seam. So To make my Buddy I drew a 4 1/2" square onto cardboard and cut it out, I then cut it in half on the diagonal giving me 2 buddies.
When sewn and cut they look like this.

Not any real difference from the look of them, on the traditional one I cut on the drawn line, on the buddy one I cut between the lines

This is the buddy HST block under my 4 1/2" square up ruler, nothing to trim yippee I hate trimming.

This is the traditional HST block there is trimming to do on the right side and along the top.

This is what I had to trim off, it doesn't look much does it? Try making a double bed size quilt using these blocks that's "How Many Blocks To Trim" Try trimming well over 300 squares and see both how long it takes and how much your back aches!

Yes it does mean that I draw 2 lines instead of 1 but I park my bum on the sofa get the coffee table set up and draw in front of the telly, or I have music playing or radio 3, sometimes Francesca and Michael join me on the sofa and we just chat along for however long it takes me. Quality time together and the bonus that if my hands are drawing lines they are not shoveling putting chocolate into my mouth.

Time to 'fess up. Ages ago I bought some "thangles" these are paper strips to make 4" finished HST blocks, I bought them for a quilt and then changed my mind and made a rail fence block instead. I found them yesterday when I did my tidy up. These are used with 4 1/2" strips of fabric and I must give them a try out, I think that it will be even faster than the buddy method BUT only if I want several blocks the same colours. As soon as I do have a go I will post it. It is 10 50 and to my shame I am yet to shower and dress, I have had a self indulgent morning but will be sewing like mad later, I have cut the borders for another hug quilt, when I made the first one I made far too many blocks, I wanted to use all those fabrics from my stash, and a border made from 5" strips around the already pieced top will make the quilt the correct size.
I also have started to sew a jelly roll into strip sets for another rail fence quilt, it is a good job that i am taking Toya to Wales, she will earn her keep in the evenings for sure.
We will be spending the days with James, Cerys and the children but like to lower the portcullis and raise the drawbridge in the evenings. Michael will watch TV, read or listen to music and I will sew, we will chatter on and rehash the day, make plans for the next day and sometimes just enjoy the comfortable silence for a while without any talking at all.

Reasons to be grateful

1. Michael is in the kitchen washing up.

2. The sun is shining and the birds are singing.

3. I have a cup of coffee at my elbow, made by Michael.

4. I have today and tomorrow to sew as I please. work tomorrow night.

5. I am happy and content both in and with my life.

I will drink my coffee, shower and dress and take Ben out, he has had a tear round the garden and the door has been open since around 7.30 so he is not desperate. In truth I need the walk as much as he does.

I nearly forgot to tell you, I was serving up dinner last night and had planned to fill the steamer base with boiling water and white vinegar, I do this every other week to prevent limescale forming. Our water is very hard and my first steamer died young because I neglected it. I grabbed the steamer and went to the sink only to be pulled up short and have the hot water splash over my left hand, I had forgotten to pull the plug from the socket. So I ate my dinner standing at the kitchen window with my left hand in a bowl of cold water and sea salt. No blisters no red marks just quite tender skin especially between my fingers 
More Haste Less Speed, I was in too much of a hurry, nuff said.

So another reason to be grateful, I knew how to treat that scald.
That brings me to                         TTFN    Pam

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sunday Morning and Other Tales

First of all I see two more peeps have joined the gang, Hello, Good Morning and Welcome.
Misquote intended.

I have been sewing and shopping like an automaton over the past few days so to make a change I decided to catch up with my dreadfully neglected house work.
It was infectious, thank you deity, Francesca was throwing laundry into the machine, washing up and chief tea maker. Michael blitzed the living room/front room/parlour, including vacuuming the sofa and putting a new throw on. Then he took the car off to check tyre pressure, oil level and do a quick petrol top up.  When he returned he cleaned it ready for our imminent trip to Wales.

An action shot.
All this energy comes from the TWO bars of chocolate that were his breakfast.

So I tackled the tall bookcase that holds all my rubbish   essential sewing things that I need to hand, plus my sewing books and patterns, small rulers, threads, why don't I just show you.

The top shelf has pens and pencils and 3 sharpeners that I found!, a small Kilner jar waiting to be turned into a pin cushion and some wooden thingies from Australia.
The next has a few books , the phone book, lost at least twice weekly,Staple gun and metal ruler, a little box of note paper and a few leaflets.
Then it gets serious, at the back are my long rulers, I use these with a rotary cutter for most of my projects. On the left is my collection of templates and small square up rulers, and my homemade quilt buddy. I love half square triangles and my way of making them is to draw line on the back of one square as a sewing guide, I do not like sliver trimming so my little buddy enables me to draw a sewing line which will give more than a 1/4" seam but a perfect finished square without spending precious sewing time bent over a cutting mat.
There is a pot holding scissors, stitch rippers and a long gadget that looks like a huge needle, it has a ball on one end and a rounded off point on the other, I use this to push out corners on bags and cushion covers and so on.
There are some embroidery hoops, a plastic box holding bobbins and a tube of fabric glue.

The top shelf here has thread, my battery charger, tins of buttons, ribbons, large spools of thread, sewing machine attachments and my hand sewing project. Under that is a stack of sewing and cooking magazines, a folder with printouts from the web, and more tins now labelled and dejunked.
At floor level are the cookery books that I am supposed to be working my way through and my sewing and crafting books.
A penny to a pound that it will not look like this by next weekend!!

Now to the other tales.
Last night we had Pasties for dinner made by Michael.

He made 3 pasties these are the smallest two, I put my ruler next to the tin to give you a idea of how huge they were, the tin is 12" square. Francesca and I shared one between us.

Michael managed to eat this by himself, albeit in two goes, we had a tin of baked beans shared between the three of us and I was sofa bound for a good hour afterwards.

There was some pastry left so I prepared some windfall apples with a sprinkle of sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves added a handful of sultanas and made two single crust pies.

I put a dollop of plum jelly into each one and was a bit heavy handed, some ran over, a brush with milk and a sprinkle of sugar finished them off, One is in my fridge the other is probably in my neighbour Neville. I gave him one earlier in the day.

Reasons to be grateful

1. Another glorious day.

2. Order achieved out of the chaos that was my bookshelf.

3. Ben snuggled up on the sofa being fussed by Michael.

4. Lots of quilty sewing line up.

5. My bargains from the Charity shop, all washed and blowing on the line.

I am off to prepare Beef Olives for dinner.    TTFN    Pam

Added in cos I forgot.

This is a collection of threads that I found scattered around the house, they are colours that I do not use, they came free with a storage box that I wanted. If anyone would like them I will gladly send them off, just the complete reels or all of them as you wish. Pam

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Super Saturday Shopping

Before I show you what I bought, a question for you. Does anyone else collect Swag bucks?

I loaded it onto the laptop yonks ago and have accumulated enough for a couple of Amazon vouchers. I read the odd blog post where someone has acquired squillions of them, how? I can not sit and fill out inane surveys or surf the net hoping to trawl up extras. I do get bursts of 8 or so when looking for something specific but that is it.
On to the good stuff.

I finally made it into Wisbech today and made a beeline for Button Up & Stitch, a slight detour to buy super duper thick socks for Michael ( his feet are like dead fish on a marble slab) and then lots of quilty loveliness.
I was quite restrained really, I got the wadding that I needed and ordered a bolt of it. I could not get the exact thread but got a good substitute and ordered a box of what I want, what I really really want., Sorry I couldn't help myself.

Then on to the fabric, I have 2 quilt tops pieced so bought backing for both.

The fabric on the right is a pale aqua with a small white polka dot and very pretty.

This cheater print will be a cot quilt, I saw one ready made in the shop  and decided that one will be in my very near future, you can just see the lilac polka dot backing behind it.

This is to become binding, the small black pattern on white will be a perfect foil for the bright palette that I tend to use.

The background fabric was a half price remnant which will add some low volume to my scrappy patchwork. The fat quarter on the left is a new colour choice for me, I am trying to widen my horizons, and the two orange prints are for my Aqua, Orange and Grey Project, I have quite a bit of Aqua and grey now.

I had a new magazine issue drop through the letterbox on Wednesday,

This is the second issue and is just as good as the first. I have taken out the 3 monthly copies for £5.00 offer and if it is still as good will take a years subscription out.

A bit too busy even for me but I will use the window pane effect on my scrappy blocks.
Having looked back through I feel that it is the blue that is putting me off, it features in the blocks and the sashing. I must keep an open mind, see what I mean about being in a rut. Bad bad bad.

Some blocks from Tula Pinks latest book, it is on my bookshelf woo hoo.

This too is a little busy for me, but I am going to make it as part of  my getting out of a rut project.
It is also by one of my favourite quilty peeps, Katy Jones from I'm a Ginger Monkey blog.
I hope to attend one of her classes one day.

On the subject of classes, Button Up & Stitch are holding a class on Cathedral Windows in October. I am so going to take this, it is on my bucket list I just love it and the sample that is on their wall is in my go to colours.

Reasons to be grateful

1. A lovely gathering of fabrics.

2. Washing blowing on the line.

3. Francesca is doing the ironing.

4. Michael is making Pasties for dinner.

5. I have a weekend of sewing stretching before me.

Not such a frugal day you maybe thinking. I get immense pleasure from my sewing, price that up for me. 
I tend to gift what I make so I do buy all my materials at the best possible price, most of it is half price at least.
Not a scrap gets wasted, even the slivers that get trimmed off go into a bag and are used for stuffing small things.
I had a wonderful haul from the Local Charity Shop on Friday, 2 single duvet covers, 1 double sheet, 4 pillow cases and a single sheet, all 100% cotton for £4.00. This brings the overall cost of my fabrics to a level that is frugal enough for me.

So if anyone wishes to differ with me fill your boots and comment, I will not bite, I will answer I promise.       TTFN    Pam

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Thursday through and through

After starting the week on the wrong day, he he, I am being a titchy bit pedantic about pointing out that I do know what day it is, really I do, I did not have to put the TV on to check, well maybe I did have a little sneaky peek. Just to make sure, you understand.

Last night at work was quite hectic and my joints all know that I did a lot of lifting. I am having an easy peasy day to coddle myself along.

I have made my bread dough in the stand mixer and it is kneading away, my wrists are not up to that job today.

Dinner is early as Michael has to start at 5.00 and we are having a simple omelette, filed with finely diced peppers, onions, celery and a little hot chili cheese. A pile of salad leaves will be served with it.

The weather is humid and sticky, I would not mind but Ben is in  full on "play with me" mode, he doesn't care about the weather, just whether he can persuade us to run around with him.

I have not even got the energy to play with the new Singer, once Michael leaves for work I will uncover her and have a little while putting her through her paces, and I must find a name for her.

My Toyota is Toya, no imagination that day for sure. The little Janome is Lulu, she is tiny but a real little dynamo! The 1960's Singer is Barbra one of my favourite singers of all time. I have a sneaky feeling that this one may be named Shirley, La Bassey's voice is still amazing.

I have failed miserably in my intentions, I have started reading my Library books and I have started the Falling Charms Quilt blocks. Truthfully all the blocks are made and I have started to assemble the top, I will show it tomorrow, I am so enervated that I can not call up the energy to take a photo, how bad is that.

Reasons to be grateful

1. Fresh baked bread is on it's way.

2. A really easy tasty dinner likewise.

3. Ben has finally settled down on his quilt.

4. The sun is shining, and I am here to see it.

5. A Four Day Weekend is just around the corner.

On a down note I am almost out of white cotton thread so must go and buy some tomorrow, unfortunately the A1101 to Wisbech is closed at Leverington so I will have to go via the back roads. But while I am visiting Button Up & Stitch I need to buy the wadding for two quilts and I may have a little look see through the fat quarters and pull some new colours into my stash.
I usually buy yardage but a fat quarter is enough of a new colour, if I can not live with it I can chop it up and incorporate it into my scrappy patchwork.

My bread dough needs me so it is      TTFN    Pam

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

No Cream Ice Cream, and Quilty Pleasures

Do you read "our new life in the country" blog? No, well you ought to have a look. Yesterday Sue was making Banana Ice cream. It looked and sounded yummy, apart from the toffee sauce, but that's just me.
Even after making Banana cake I had three forlorn spotty bananas in the kitchen and i decided that ice cream they would be. Instead of toffee sauce I made a puree of some cherry plums and windfall apples.

I cut the plums in half , don't want anything wriggly going in the pot!, cut the apples in 1/4,s and took the core out, there were no bruises as they landed on my miniature roses.
Into a pot lidded on a gentle heat with a tsp of sugar to draw the juice out.
Once soft I pushed them through a sieve and collected the pulp.

This was all the waste from nearly a kilo of fruit.
I did not need all the pulp so some is in the freezer for when I next make Apple sauce cake.

The  pulp was a little sour so I added some maple syrup and then stirred it into some frozen squashed banana.
Once it was a smooth I put it into a plastic tub and swirled some more sauce through, then popped it back into the freezer.

I was tempted to scoff into it but  contented myself by scraping round the bowl with a spatula and eating the remnants, YUM YUM

We were stuffed after the pasta so it will feature as pudding at a later date.

I have unashamedly reproduced this recipe, with my own variation and I see more of this happening.
How about dark chocolate grated in with little nuggets of stem ginger and the syrup. Or poached blackberries with concentrated  juice from the berries. I make granola and chunks of that would be good.
I also make rose hip syrup and that would be sublime swirled through and poured over.
I better stop now before I start dribbling.
One last idea, ice cream sandwiches with home made cookies.

Remember this little pretty?

While I was looking through my cupboard I found a ziploc bag with 39 of these little blocks, I only need 90 to make a double bed quilt and I had found my shape cut ruler, and I did have a lot of white yardage waiting to be cut into strips, and I do have a BIG stash of Charm Squares. 1 hour and 2 cups of tea later I have this little lot ready to be chain pieced. I have also cut the 1 1/2" strips that I want so I am all set for a weekend sewing. I do have another 4 day weekend coming so I need to have lots to do all ready for me.

Lots of  sashing strips cut by my own fair hands.

Stacks of 5" Charm Squares, some bought in, some cut by me.

The quilt blocks that I found, how could I have forgotten them?

Then to add more hot water to the boiling pot I had a little time to fill yesterday so I watched one of Bonnie Hunters quilt cam sessions and fell in love with the block that she was making. I am going to make just 1 block as an experiment. As I told you a few days ago I have a problem with big pieces of fabric in my quilting, however 5" charms are no issue to me. sooooo my thinking is if I use 5" where Bonnie was using
2 1,2" I will get a huge block  and if I use some of my favourite fabrics it may break me out of this rut. I will keep you posted.

I have my new machine but I am keeping her to myself today, this post is big enough.

Reasons to be grateful

1. Meeting new people who gave me the machine, future friends?

2. A reasonably easy night at work last night.

3. A gloriously sunny day.

4. Only one load of washing, and that is done and dry.

5. Lots and lots of lovely sewing lined up for me.

An extra, 6. I found a piece of Lamb Fillet RTC in the Co op and for around £4 we will have Kebabs tonight in flat bread wraps. The lamb is cubed and sitting in a marinade, the veg will join it for 20 minutes or so before I assemble them. That really does make me grateful.

My word I do sound greedy, but then I am.

And now the time has come                    TTFN     Pam