Friday, 30 December 2011

Goodbye 2011

And hello 2012.

2011 has been a great year, but it has now been and gone so on to new things. I'm not a huge one for new years resolutions, I normally make them at random points through out the year, but this year I have one.

I have heard several people talking about doing random acts of kindness for people. I think it is a lovely thing to do, but random isn't for me. I have also been reading and feeling quite a bit that we are blessed so we can bless others. I guess what that means to me is that if I have something I should use it to be a blessing to someone else. So that might be my time, my car, my skills, my money, my house, anything really. So my resolution in 2012 and beyond, an outlook for life, is to try and use whatever I have to bless someone else, whether that means make them a cake, give them a lift, or something bigger and more demanding. And I have a feeling that something unknown like that may be just around the corner.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Let it snow!

The wonder of snow the first time he is old enough to appreciate it.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

1 tomorrow!

Where did that time go? I can't believe that my littlest man will be one tomorrow. This time last year the snow was falling and I was at home having contractions.

So today we had a little party for my not so little man. Unfortunately the husband couldn't be there due to the french deciding to strike on Friday leaving him stranded at an airport, but he should at least be home for his birthday tomorrow. We had a lovely family time with his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. It is times like this I am very grateful for them all.

I haven't got any pictures on the computer yet, but here is just one, stolen from my sister in laws facebook.
Happy birthday little man!

Thursday, 8 December 2011


I don't know how to put videos up properly but I just wanted to share this song. It is a bit cheesy with the Candy thing, but the sentiment is spot on and feels just right for this week.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A new crafty lease of life.

My littlest man is now 11months and is walking across the room, climbing the stairs and saying several words all quite competently. He is no longer a tiny baby. He is also now sleeping in his cot in the evening which gives me free time to craft that I haven't had for ages. I'm glad we never tried to force the sleep issue as it has been much easier leaving it to his time. He still comes in bed when he wakes for feeds, but it is nice to start to get my evenings back rather then always having a sleeping baby on my knee until I go to bed.

Anyway my crafty progress. There is so little I can actually show you with Christmas presents and secret santa, but here are a couple of bits.

6 months ago I started learning to play the cello, which is something I love, so that has become the focus of my first painting in a couple of years. I haven't got past the sketch stage, but here is my inspiration and idea.

I have also been working o my long term knitting project. The back is done and I have nearly done both front sides, I just need to do the sleeves and then the making up, the bit I never like.
So that leaves me with mad crafting for Christmas. I will try and take pictures for after they are sent. It is so lovely to be able to do more knitting again.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The most beautiful place

We have just had a lovely week in one of my favourite places. Who would believe you could paddle in the sea in North Yorkshire in November?

Not forgetting the fact that North Yorkshire is also the home to lots of my biggest boys favourite things, steam trains! I think it is in the genes as father son and grandfather all adore steam engines.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Whitby elf hat

I called this a whitby elf hat as it has been made for my littlest man's first ever Whitby goth weekend, and November on the north yorkshire coast can be pretty nippy!I guess this would fit about a 1 to 4 year old, it fits my ten month old perfectly but he is rather chunky. (eta it turns out this hat is very stretchy so will fit a much larger child too)

I used 2 balls of dk wool at once, one black and one variagated, I used escape but I guess you could use a flat colour. Or if you wanted I guess you could just use one strand of chunky, but I like the effect from 2 balls.

I used 6mm needles and started by casting on 68 stiches, using the two yarns as one. Then I worked 8 rows in 2x2 rib. Staying on the same needles I knit a row and evenly decreased by 5 stitches across the length of the row, leaving me with 63 stitches. Purled next row, then worked in stocking stitch(knit row, purl row) until piece measured 10cm. On the next row I then knit 7, then knitted 2 together, and repeated until the end of the row. 56 stitches. I continued in stocking stitch for another 5 cm, then worked the next row by knitting 6, the knitting 2 together (k2tog) and repeating across the row. This kind of gives the basic pattern for the shape.

So from there I worked in ss for 5cm, then k5,k2tog for row, ss for 5cm, then k4, k2tog for row, ss for 5cm, then k3, k2tog for row, ss for 5m, then k2, k2tog for row, ss for 5cm, the k1, k2tofg for row. At this point I changed a little, Ithink I worked about 3cm then I k1, k2tog for row, then I did another 2cm and then k2tog across row, finishing by 2m of ss then cast off. Stitched up the seam, and that was it. I'm considering adding a little pompom but not decided yet.

The end of mine is all black because I ran out of the variagated wool, so added a second strand of black, but if I make this again I will make sure I have enough! Hopefully that makes sense if you want to have a go.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

How on earth?

I have just received an email from the headmistress of the school I will want to send my children to. This is someone I have never met at a school I have not yet applied to. It is about therapy, counselling and additional support for adoptive families within the school. The email said she thought it may be of interest to me.

How on earth?!?!!!

I think it is the right school for us, but my brain is now wurring!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

10 months

The time really is flying. My little newborn is now 10 months old. He really is a wonderful little boy. He loves playing with his big brother, although we have given him the nickname destuctorbaby as poor N never gets to build anything without it being pulled apart by his little brother. N is getting so big and is really very patient. We went through a really hard patch the moment he turned 2, I couldn't leave them alone together even for a second, but we have got through the other side lovelier then ever. He has a real mischeivious side but a really gentle side too.

As for me and my constant search to find time to be crafty, this week I have been dyeing. I had my first go at grad dyeing a wrap, and although it isn't perfect it isn't bad either.

Knitting is still going slowly but surely, and one day I will paint again, but it is all tiny bits which I enjoy and bring a bit of colour to my week. And when all else fails there is always my family friendly craft of baking.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Why have I not tried this before?

Have you tried beetroot and chocolate cake? It is one of those things that has been floating around for a few years but I have only just got round to having a go. Oh my it is good, so moist and yummy! I used this recipe but there are lots about. This one only uses cocoa as opposed to actual chocolate and that is part of the reason I chose this recipe. I used slightly less sugar then it suggests, and I used sunflower oil instead of corn oil but it still turned out great. I then topped them with a cream cheese frosting and a bit of grated chocolate.

I may not have much time for other crafty things, but baking is an art that has a special place in my heart and stomach.

Monday, 26 September 2011

I'm not ready for this!

At the grand old age of 9months and 6 days my little boy took a step by himself. Twice. Walking may be a bit further off yet, but the time really is flying!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Yum Yum Yum

I'm sure lots of you have come across white chocolate fudge recipes before, but for those who haven't, let me share.

My friend shared this recipe with me, he makes his with marshmellows, but I went for the healthy option of dried apricots, as surely fruit cancels out all that sugary goodness?

Anyway start of by melting 400g of white chocolate, I did this in a pyrex bowl over a pan of hot water. Then start slowly adding condensed milk. As you start adding the chocolate will go all kind of grainy. Keep adding the condensed milk until the mixture becomes smooth again, this was just less then a tin for me. Then stop and add any extras. A friend has recommended adding Baileys but I haven't tried that yet.

Pour into a tin(I lined mine with clingfilm) then leave to cool. Slice up and enjoy!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A pat on the back with a tinge of sadness.

One of the things I have enjoyed about breastfeeding is being a milk donor. However the rules have changed so now ds has hit 9 months old i can no longer donate to the milk bank. Sad as I am to not be a donor any more, I feel very pleased to say that in total over both babies I have donated approximately 28 litres of milk to help the tiniest and sickest babies. It may not change the world, but it may have changed someones world.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Baby legs

Autumn is definitely here So I thought it time to start knitting some cold weather accessories for the boys. So here are my first pair of baby legwarmers for under jeans as it gets cooler. The pattern is from here although I worked them flat, and the yarn is a gorgeous collinette yarn

Friday, 2 September 2011

Two dangerous words.

Yarn sale.

I may have increased my stash a little.

I especially love how the silver and purple one feels, it is a silk mix and so soft. Now just to find the time to use them. The pictures don't do the colours justice, but they are beautiful hand dyed merino. How could I resist?

I have to do a project update some time soon, and then hopefully finish some of them off!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Plums, Plums, Damsons, Apples and Plums

Firstly following on from my last blog the holiday was great. The weather did improve and camping was a definite success. One we were hoping to repeat next month but it looks like hubby will have to be away with work. Next summer will definitely involve lots of camping though

However on to these

Hundreds of the things. So many I have broken the tree, I should have thinned more, a lot more. Plus we have loads of damsons, cooking apples and blackberries. So far I have made lots of jams and puddings, including this damson pudding which was lovely. Then we have made Damson gin, plum vodka, and Damson chutney, fruit compote for on pancakes and ice cream and donation to friends, family and neighbours.

If you have any yummy recipes please let me know. The plums won't last much longer and we have loads of damsons and apples left too. It is this time of year that I love my garden!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The best way to start your holiday

Generally holidays are not best started by putting up your new tent for the first time in a thunderstorm with torential rain and hail. Hopefully the weather will improve from here!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Pretty things

I am possibly getting a tiny bit of a wrap habit, but isn't this gorgeous! It was dyed for me by Alex at Turquoise fields, she does some beautiful dyeing. The action pic is a bit washed out as it was so sunny, but it really is a pretty wrap.

And I'm going to add this, it's just weeds and wildflowers, but I thought they were pretty. We have been enjoying lots of lovely walks recently. The sun has been shining and we have actually had some summery weather, which anyone who lives in England will tell you has been scarce these past few summers. So these are just a few snaps on my phone from along the way.

There are so many pretty things, just growing wild. They may not be the kind of thing I would grow in my garden, but they all make the countryside a beautiful place to be.

Monday, 25 July 2011

A couple of fundraisers

Neither of these are my pages, but I wanted to share them with you as the more money that can be raised to help the people of East Africa the better.

Give here to win a lovely hand crocheted blanket

Give here to win a lovely vatanai shorty wrap

Monday, 11 July 2011

A busy knitting bee.

I have not one but two small knitting finishes this week.

I have two friends who are sisters who I wanted to send a little gift to. They live in Argentina so along with a box of cocoa powder, some dairy milk and some angel delight I have made and sent these.

You can't see the lovely blue and purple stripes very well, but these were wrapped up and sent off with this

This was made with some gorgeous Collinette yarn. You can see the colours a bit better here but it still doesn't show you how lovely this yarn is.

The problem with knitting is there are just so many different yarns, and so many patterns. I keep thinging of things I want to do, but I must first finish some of the things I have on the go!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A little Yay me.

A couple of weeks ago I took part in one of many Race for life events. We ran (well partly jogged, mainly walked) 10k though the grounds of Tatton Park and I'm really pleased to say I raised over £125 for cancer research.

I took the little man with me in the sling, so we weren't the quickest, but it's the taking part that counts

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Strawberries, broadbeans, currants and caterpillars

The weather outside has taken a turn and the rain is falling, but this week has been gorgeous. I love this time of year in the garden, there is so much lovely fresh produce in the garden.

The home grown broadbeans taste so much nicer then shop bought ones, they are lovely just raw in salads. We have red currants and blackcurrants and soon the white currants will be ripe. Yesterday I turned some of the strawberries into yogurty smoothie ice lollies, just in time for the hot weather to disappear, but they are tasty never the less. We have other bits coming up too, however like with lots of things, with the good also comes the bad
Hundreds and literally thousands and thousands of sawfly caterpillars, and just when I think I have got on top of them there is an infestation of greenfly, encrusting my plum tree.

I love having the opportunity to grow my own fruit and veg, sometimes it's down right annoying, when your seedlings are replaced with cat poo or slug trails, but when you eat your own food fresh from the garden, there is no food like it.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

A clear out.

Sometimes a good throwing out session can be good for the soul.

To say we had a tidy out is a bit of an over exageration, but I sorted through some things in the box room we never go in. I think a lot of things in there hadn't moved since the day we moved in. There was poems my friends wrote at my 16th birthday party, postcards from when I was about 7 upwards, coursework from school, photos from gigs I went to in my teens, all sorts. I found these that I had on my wall from being a tween

The one about singing encouraged me for years as I am decidedly average when it comes to singing. I would love to be a fantastic singer, but I'm not . I think they are good things to remember whatever age I may be.

Throwing some of the things away seemed like a good step forward. I was reminded I'm not the person now that I was when I was a teenager, and that the people I knew aren't the same any more either.

Now just got to have a good clear out of every other room in the house.