Saturday, 31 August 2013

Another hat and scarf

Nearly, but not quite, this one turned out bigger and would fit a large adult head or someone with really curly hair!

Back to that crochet hook and don't forget the notepad Jo!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Hooray! Hat and Scarf

Today is a double hooray because not only have I made this hat and scarf, I designed it as I went along because I am trying my hand at designing a pattern or two.

The problem is I am not very good at writing patterns down. I think I am all set with my pencil and special notebook for the occasion (because everyone loves a bit of stationery) and I get hooking and realise I am on row 6 and I haven't written a thing! Then I think I will do another one tomorrow and the pattern/shape changes. So I need to hone my skills a bit. I love the hat even though I can't make another one exactly the same, it is a one off, by me for my friends daughter Amelia because she has big blue eyes. Jo xx

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Liebster Blog Award

I was thrilled to go over to Joy's blog Joyjinks Creations to find that she had nominated me for the Liebster Blog award, such a kind lady who makes such supportive comments here. You may have seen this award mentioned on various blogs but you may not, like me, really understand what it was about? Well, it is a sort of blog chain letter that nominates blogs from one reader to another. 'Liebster' is German for dearest. To nominate someone you have to choose someone with fewer than 200 followers, and recipients are asked to list some random facts about themselves, as well as answer some questions posed by the person giving the award. So here goes...lots to read:

1. The only two foods I don't like are marzipan and tinned pears.
2. I love belly dancing and have been doing it for 9 years.
3. I hate waste.
4. I met my man at Young Farmers Club but didn't get together with him until 8 years later
5. I am not fashionable
6. I learnt all my sewing and knitting skills from my mum but I taught her to crochet!
7. I wear Dr Martens sandals in the summer and DM boots in the winter.

Here are my questions from Joy.

1.Who has influenced you most in your life?
My dads mum. She has passed away some time now but she was a real make-do-and-mend farmer. She did not do much craft, she didn't have the time running a house with four farm lads, but she was really thrifty, kind and resourceful.
2  If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
Hard, because I have been all over the world and I always want to come back to Shropshire but I really liked the feel of Vancouver in Canada when we went there.
3  If you went back to school what would you choose to study?
I enjoyed French in secondary school and wished I had done an A-level to improve my skills but I thought it would be too hard so I didn't do it - lazy!
4 Are you impulsive when making decisions or do you ponder things first!
Impulsive (and I answered that question pretty quickly!)
5  What is your food preference when you eat out?
We don't eat out much with two little ones but I would rather have a fantastic restaurant meal out once a year and not go out otherwise. I am quite good at cooking so sometimes I get really disappointed if we eat out so we only eat out for our birthdays and we tend to throw some money at it and go somewhere really nice.
6  Looking at your average day, what do you enjoy best?
The evening, children snug in bed, crochet or my favourite project out on my lap chatting to bloke about our plans.
7  What gives you the least pleasure in your daily routine?
The endless picking things up from everybody, we live on three stories and everything seems to migrate southwards until I can no longer walk on the kitchen floor!
8  Is there a famous person that you would love to meet, and why?
Not really, I have had to really think hard about this but I really can't think of anyone. I have never really gone in for fame.
9  Tell us about a favourite place in your locality that you like to visit.
OOh lots! My favourite place is at my dad's farm in Shropshire picking blackberries, camping out in our trailer tent, pond dipping or just remembering my childhood.
10 If you were marooned on an island what would you choose to have with you?
Scissors. You can do a lot with just a pair of scissors.
A hook of course with yarn and some paper and pencil to write or draw.
11 What is your favourite type of film?
Comedy, I love comedy. I don't watch films, I end up in some sort of emotional roller coaster but I love comedy, British comedians and seeing live stand up. I can't get enough of laughing my socks off.
So there we are - that's me. Bit of a Shropshire farm girl who makes the most of what she has while laughing out loud.

 I would like to nominate Plain Jane I love the variety of her blog cooking, crafting, life etc. Go and take a peek she has a lovely blog header.
I would also like to choose Nicole and the Bee because she seems to be creating the same sort of thrifty stuff as me and I get lots of ideas from her blog. Have a look.
So ladies if you could list some random facts about yourself and answer the questions in one of your next posts that would be fabulous. It takes a bit of time but it is really enjoyable.
Thanks Joy for choosing me, I felt really touched. xx

PS. Had to throw in a few photos there as it looked like an autobiography. Jo xx

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Just say 'Yes'

Question: How do we get one hour at the allotment altogether?
Answer: Just say 'Yes'

Bloke and I hardly ever get to the allotment together, we sort of do tag gardening. One of us goes up and gets lots done(usually Bloke in the evening) and I go up with the children in the day thinking I am going to experience some sort of utopian learning experience with my children and normally end up getting exasperated because I am not doing anything except assisting with outdoor toileting or sorting out arguments about who got the little spade first. Annnyhooo!
Today we all went and I decided to just say yes...

Can we take our bucket and spades and pretend we are at the seaside? YES

Can I take my shorts off because I am hot? YES

Can I take my t-shirt off then if she has taken her shorts off? YES
Can I take this snail home? YES

Can I get my hands this muddy? YES
We are hot, can we just watch dad now? YES
Are we allowed to get water from the hose in our buckets? YES
We lasted 64 minutes and I didn't even need to tuck into my emergency chocolate biscuit stash in my bag - Result!

Ah! Happy families... Jo xx

PS. I have had a little swap around on my blog list, please don't be offended if you have been 'swapped' I change them around every few months to give new people a bit of air time. I like to help bloggers find new bloggers so you will be back on soon. I still follow all of the blogs on my huge list avidly but only have a short list on the page to save space and I swap them round frequently. xx


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tea Party Tuesday

Hello to anyone following Tea party Tuesday. This weekend we have devoured an entire coffee cake, a rhubarb crumble and mixed fruit Eton Mess.

We had family visitors to stay and my Uncle loves this cake so we made it specially for him. We didn't have any walnuts but actually the toasted almonds tasted better, not so bitter with the coffee.
Bloke is 40 today. Happy Birthday! He has opened his presents. A big Thank you to Tales from Swallow barn for recommending a cookbook to me. I bought it straight away and he loved it. Every recipe has a vegetable or fruit ingredient which is great for our allotment production and he makes a mean cake.
He was quite taken with Lemon and Lavender drizzle cake which contained a swede so we will have to wait and see what happens there!
Hope you are enjoying cake today! Jo x


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Crafty threading

My girls have enjoyed making something everyday as much as me I think this holiday. They have found craft kits from Christmas and many birthdays as we have de-cluttered the house this holiday. Today they had a go with the FAB FELT machine. I didn't have high hopes. These sort of things usually give great promise on the box but never quite deliver without massive adult intervention but this little machine is truly FAB.(at the top of the picture there)

We had a little jewellery making session today. Big Sis made felt balls and Little M threaded coloured beads.
She made the felt balls with the said FAB FELT machine and they looked really professional.
Might have to have a little play with that when she has gone
to bed later! Jo x


Today we are going to a family wedding but sadly the fascinators don't go with my dress, so with weddings on my mind I made this scrapbook page with the gift tags I mentioned earlier in the week. It was difficult to know how to present them without getting glue on them so I went for a pocket.

The pocket had a sweet message and little pearls along with some journaling about the wedding event and of course a wedding photo.

"How do I love thee, let me count the ways"
I am glad I have recorded this because my little girls would not have known what those little tags were for if they found them in an old envelope in 20 years time. Now they tell the whole story.
Jo x

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Fantastic Fascinators

You are gonna love this...Bloke had a wardrobe clear out and gave me lots of stuff to recycle. I made T-shirt yarn in various colours and the denim bags from his old jeans. So what do you think this is?

He gave me a few silk ties that he said didn't go with his shirts anymore. So I got sewing and curling and creating and made this fascinator. I don't know who for or when for but it was a really enjoyable little project so I made another.

I had some inspiration from my little book '50 fashion looks that changed the 1950's' which was a Christmas present from my best mate. I had seen a lady making something similar at a craft group and thought that looks good but I never thought I would remember to do it. They do look a bit strange modelled without hair but they look great on. I am just a bit short of a photographer today! (ahem)
Do you like them? Jo x

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Hooray! upcycled hottie cover

If I look at an old item of clothing for long enough something pops into my head. This poor Boden dress made from wool with 25% angora would have been so lovely for Little M but the person who gave it to me in a hand-me-down bag had already sort of shrunk it a bit so it had a strange texture. I boil washed it and it made the most comfy felt.

So handbag, pyjama bag ... still thinking... Hot water bottle cover! It is so soft.

The casing and the tie were already in the dress, I hand sewed the top and did a neat blanket stich around the bottom.
It is a one hit wonder.

I think I will put this in my 'Christmas box' for one of my family or friends. Just need to get a bottle to fit it now and Hey presto! Today I made a hot water bottle cover (with useless pockets!)
Jo x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Tea Party Tuesday

This is a Rhubarb crumble cake. I know, cake and crumble together! Amazing...

We will have it for tea tonight warm with thick cream. Mmmmm. The recipe is from the National trust but I can't find it on the website now (I did collect it years ago).

We always make a hefty batch of crumble and split it into bags and freeze them to make crumbles when the autumn fruit gluts kick in. I reckon plums and apples are going to be prolific this year.

I kept one portion back to top the cake.
Big Sis made the cake mixture in her new apron from France, very apt as we used eggs from our chickens.
Topped the cake mixture with cooked rhubarb, sprinkled crumble on the top and there we have it - Rhubarb Crumble Cake. Can't wait to see what you are having for your tea party today. Jo x
Rhubarb Crumble Cake
3oz soft margarine
3oz sugar
3oz SR flour
2 eggs
3oz Flour
2oz butter
1 tbsp. oats
1 oz sugar
Rhubarb layer
3oz Rhubarb chopped and softened in 1 tbsp. sugar
 Cream butter and sugar until pale, add eggs and flour, beat into a batter. Spoon into a lined tin. Gently spread over the Rhubarb and then top with the crumble. Bake for 40 mins on Gas 5. Serve warm or cold with either yoghurt, cream, custard or ice cream.
Hearty and heavenly.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Little bit of Vintage

I am currently scrapbooking my family photos. I have some great black and white images of farming at the turn of the century and some older portraits from the late 1800'S - well dressed fellows and frilly ladies with stiff upper lips, all of whom are my family ancestors.

Today I found a little envelope...

It contained all the gift cards from my Nan and Grandad's wedding and there was such a huge mixture. Some were pretty bought ones and others were recycled postcards that had been cut up into shapes.
Such beautiful joined up handwriting.

And messages from families and farms I know of and can place today. Now all I have to do is decide how to display them in my scrapbook. That is what I am making today. Jo xx

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Hooray! Car Cushion

Big Sis loves to sleep in the car but since she has gone into the big seat, she finds it really hurts her neck as there are not sides to lean her head on. I can be quite traumatic (for all of us) when she wakes up really crotchety with a sore neck from a car induced deep sleep. So..... I went on my pinterest board for children and found one of these. (Use the pinterest button on the right to find a link)
I had loads of this spotty material given to me from one of my crochet students. I have used it to make an apron, line the PE bags and for this quick-fix-need item.

I can't tell you how I made it because it is just a sort of sausage with some Velcro on to hold it to the seat belt but boy does it work. We went out for the day yesterday and after the girls had camped out in the garden with their dad the night before, I knew there would be some tired children on the way home.

We went to the Butterfly farm at Stratford-Upon-Avon and had a lovely time, then we visited Coughton Court for a picnic, run around the garden and a look at the garden sculptures. What a packed day!


I love that Little M did all she could to get a butterfly to land on her; she wore yellow, put a flower in her hair and stood very, very still. She was rewarded lots of times and really loved the experience.
Are you having a lovely weekend? Jo xx