Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012 Collage

I found this Collage a challenge.  What to include and what to leave out?  I think it is a good representative of the 'Crafty' chaos that surrounds me for much of the year.  This year has been a busy one.  Just as I like em. We have had family adventures and I have learned new skills.  I did not know how to make a 'Space Banana' in 2011. . . then in 2012 I go and take 'a prize' for my handspun Space Banana along with the rest of the 'Solar System'.
           I also tried my hand at basket weaving.  It was a little hazardous and hard work.   It may be a while before I try that again!  I have learned how to use and Inkle Loom and a Peg Loom.  I just have not learned how to make more time!  I could really do with 30 hour days!
          It was a big year for the UK with the Olympics and The Jubilee, next year of course we will have the Royal Baby.  In July I will also hand over the the 'makes' for the 'Rainbows Preemie Project'.  This has already exceeded my expectations and is still going strong.
           I also increased my 'flock'.  I am now the Proud 'Mama' to four Chickens and seriously with all this rain my lawn will never be the same again.  Hello chickens, goodbye green lawn!  The Lovely Lavender came into our lives and I promptly became a 'top shot' with a high velocity 'Water Blaster'.  We love her eggs even if they are the size of an underfed pigeon's egg!
            Both of my boys are growing and changing faster than I can keep up with.  I try to keep it all in perspective by surrounding myself and submerging myself within my own crafty pursuits.  I feel I would have gone totally bonkers by now if it was not for 'Woolly Stuff'.  I really would not have things any other way.  It is my chaos and I rather like it!
            I am sure 2013 will be a 'good one'.  I will try to find time for more 'adventures'.  Hey we all survived the Apocalypse and deserve a pat on the back for that!  I live in hope of winning the Lottery then I could introduce even more chaos into my life. . . there would be goats, pigs, sheep and alpaca, oh and of course more chickens, possibly a few ducks and if I felt really crazy some geese, oh and quail are cute.  If any one knows how I can 'order' this from the Cosmos, please let me know!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Had to Share 'this' from 'Colour Me There'

This is available as a 'Free' Printable from Colour Me There.  I do not have a printer (yet) but I do have use of one.  I am thinking of getting some nice glossy paper and printing this to frame and put up in my hallway.  I love it!  Some of the messages may sink in subliminally if I look at them enough.  XXX

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Aftermath

'Aftermath' is not really the right word.  The living room does look like an 'Aftermath' though.  This has to be the best part of the Christmas Holiday.  The 'hard work' is over.   The meals have been cooked and eaten and the gifts unwrapped.  The 'usual' routine has been postponed for another week at least and everyone is happy playing with their 'new' toys.
      Our Christmas Meal was rather good, even if I do say so myself.  I did not photograph it, as my lot grow a little tired of me photographing 'spurious' things for my Blog.  Each year I am getting better at streamlining the Christmas Celebration as it can be over the top to the point of stifling.  We ate our 'Starters' on boxing day and had a light lunch of 'Seafood Cocktail'.  Euan had 'Prawn Sandwiches' as he insists he does not like 'Cock Tails' even though we have reassured him no 'Cocks' or 'Tails' are involved he is not risking it.
Our Christmas Lunch was:
Turkey Crown...much easier than a whole bird.  Quick to cook, well quicker than an enormous Turkey and there seemed to be less guess work...'Will it be dry'?  'Will it be raw'?  'Will it fit in the oven'?  It cooked well and we had lovely moist Turkey.
We have to have 'Pigs in Blankets' - Sausages wrapped in Bacon.  Lovely.
I also made Sausage, Chestnut and Cranberry Stuffing.  Lovely.
I made homemade 'Bread Sauce' for the first time instead of a packet mix.  Easy Peasy.
I also made homemade 'Cranberry Sauce' this year for the first time.  Lovely.
We had Roast Potatoes and Roast Parsnips, roasted in Goose fat - we only do this at Christmas.
Mashed Potatoes.
and lots of Brussel Sprouts.  Euans job on Christmas Eve is to pick all the sprouts off the 'Sprout Trees'.  He likes that job.
We now have the fridge full of leftovers, cold meats, pickles and cheese.  I also have the 'slow pot' full of 'Turkey and Vegetable Soup'.  This easy catering for a day or two makes for reading or crafting time.
          I have finished two books.  Both by Annie Murray.  Both books are Historic novels based around Birmingham.  I like these books as I can relate to the locality and I have family from Birmingham.  My Grandparents settled in Birmingham and bought a house but they were 'bombed out' in the War and came back to our 'home town' to live with family.  They never bought a house again.  'The Chocolate Girls' is about a group of girls working at Cadbury Chocolate Factory during the war.  This Factory is still going strong although I believe it is not British owned any more.  The Cadbury Factory was built by Quakers and it was a great place to work in it's day as the Quakers looked after their workers with trips, classes, sports, arts and all manner of activities.   You can still go to Bournville, it is is a Village within Birmingham that is built around a green, there are no Pubs in keeping of the Quaker religion.  The Spinning Guild I go to is held in a Quaker 'Friends Meeting House'.  I will add these two books to my Fifty Book Challenge List.
   'Birmingham Rose' talks more about life in the slums of Birmingham.  I am very familiar with Birmingham Centre and it is all based around places I would know.  It talks about 'The Bull Ring' and Birmingham Markets.  My Grandmothers used to go to the Birmingham Markets for an outing and come back with delights like fresh whole crabs or prawns.  I used to go with my Aunt on the train and travel back eating 'Sea Food', cockles or whelks drenched in vinegar and salt and pepper, from a paper bag. Sometimes Euan and I go to the markets and now they cater for a variety of ethnic cultures.  We walk around the meat stores and look at goat heads, cows feet, squirrels, Salt Fish and other alien foods to us.  Euan is partial to Crab and prawns too but we both hate whelks now.
        I feel like in the 'Aftermath' this post is all over the place.  I am sorry if you are struggling to keep up.  I am hoping today will be about crafty pursuits.  I have three things in mind.  I have some crochet to be getting on with.  Some fleece to finish spinning and then ply and my brother bought me a new toy.  A Mayan Spinner, or Rakestraw Spinner.  I am hoping to teach myself how that works and tell you more about it. . . I hope you are all enjoying 'The Aftermath' too.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Ready as I will ever be!

Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas
Best Wishes For The New Year.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Nearly There...Eeeeeek!

This is my mess!  I quite like it this way.  Well those are Euan's socks in shot, I never noticed them.  Today I have spent the Whole day cleaning and tidying.  I could still carry on but my back is telling me 'nah' not a good idea.  I called in 'The Cavalry' this afternoon.  I gave a 'distress' call to my Mom.  She came and whizzed around with me and wrapped all of the boy's presents.  I really really dislike wrapping.  I feel like I am on track now.  I can almost relax and enjoy the holiday if I try hard enough.  How I get myself in such a clutter and a fluster I will never know!  The kitchen was dreadful.  I spent about six hours in there alone trying to clean and tidy.
            Euan and I made some Mince Pies.  We have been threatening to make mince pies for a week.  I enjoyed making the pastry in a large bowl with both of our pairs of hands rubbing all the butter in with the flour.  I used a jar of 'bought' Minced Meat but I added to it.  I addend a few good slugs of Brandy, some grated apples, some grated lemon rind and the juice of a lemon.  I added more dried fruit, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg and some dark marmalade.  The result is rather morish.  Both Euan and I have been disappointed with shop bought Mince Pies this year.  I have had to stop him from eating all these homemade ones.  He says they are better than shop bought because he can taste the booze, the lemon and sugar.  He also said the shop ones are not 'golden' and Mince Pies should be golden.  I think I could have a chef or food critic in the making.
This plate of pies is for my parents.   I have also made some stuffing today and will give half to my parents.  It does not look great to photograph as it is uncooked.  I have made Sausage, Chestnut and Cranberry stuffing.  This year I made 'Homemade Cranberry Sauce' for the first time.  It was really easy.  I just made it as I would a 'high fruit' jam.  It is very tasty.
You know it is Christmas when you bring out the Cranberry Sauce.  Now Euan is in bed I might just have to treat myself to one of these:

A 'Baby Guinness'.  This is a tiny liqueur glass, honest!  I use 'Tia Maria' and then pour Baileys Irish Cream over the back of a spoon so it floats on top of the Tia Maria.  Last night I could not sleep, tonight I think I may sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.
          I find Christmas is a 'strange' time of year.  I can get very 'reflective' during Christmas and the New Year.  We have unexpected things happen at this time of year in our family.  One year we found two very underweight German Shepherds and we phoned the dog warden to come and collect them, that was a bit sad.  At this time of year 'pets' and animals can become an expense too far or a chore too many. . . many animals get abandoned at this time of year.  Another year we had a little 'Zebra Finch' fly into the kitchen on Christmas Eve Evening.  It arrived with a 'Beep beep'!  That is what Zebra Finches 'say'.  Zebra finches are 'African' birds I think, this one must have escaped an aviary and would not have survived the wild.  We were not kitted out for a bird.  We used a box and made a perch.  All the shops were shut for Christmas, so we fed 'Beep' on crumbs.  We had that little bird for years in the end.  His name was Beep and he was very cute.  He would come out and run around like 'Road Runner' 'Beep beep'.  He would also fly around and sit on your shoulder.  (actually 'he' was a 'she' because one year he laid an egg!  Another year my Dad and I were walking our dogs on Boxing Day and we saw a beautiful Siamese Cat at the base of tree, in a damp ditch.  We thought it was dead and were going to see if it had a collar so we could let the owners know.  When we got to the cat it 'moved'.  I quickly ran about half a mile to get a box from a large store.  We put the cat in the box and took it home.  It had a bad case of cat flu and looked very old.  We took it to the vets and the vet prescribed antibiotics, eye drops and gave it a couple of injections.  The cat 'peed' all over my bed!  At which point my Dad said it had to go!  I cried all the way to the 'Cat Rescue'.  In the end through the local paper we traced the owners who were looking for their lost cat.  He was quite old and they had just moved house so he must have got lost.  They got reunited, which is a happy ending.  Now at this time of year I half expect a 'Festive Animal in Distress' to appear over the holidays.  Before you ask 'no' it won't be a little Sausage dog.  I have lay low on that one!
        I did have a 'Festive dilemma' last night though.  It was not of the animal variety but of the human variety.  I rarely walk the dog in the dark.  Last night she kept pestering me, so I gave in and took her for a walk at about 9pm.  I have to be careful where I walk at that time of night as this is not a 'trouble free' town.  I was walking along the road when I saw a pair of feet in the air!  Obviously you have to do a double check at such occurrences.  Yep it was definitely a pair of feet in the air.  I came across a 'drunk' rolling around on the ground with all of his money spilled over the ground.  Thank goodness for big dogs!  I am sure 'Lacey' would protect me.  I asked the geezer if he was ok.  He clearly wasn't.  I picked up all of his coins and gave them to him.  Then I offered him a hand up.  He does not live far from my house.  He was not far from 'home'.  He was on his feet for about thirty seconds when he fell again, face first, whacking his head on the curb of the road as he fell!  He cut his head and was bleeding at this point.  I sat him by a tree and told him I would  help him.  I knew I needed to phone an ambulance.  Luckily a car stopped with a young couple in it and three children, they helped me and the young man phoned the ambulance.  We also managed to flag down a police car.  The 'drunk' was bewildered and really incoherent.   He kept putting his had out for me to hold it.  I left him in the care of the police waiting for an ambulance.  This has really made me think about 'needy' people living in our communities.  I had a lengthy conversation with Henry about helping the 'geezer' and what you can do to 'help' people like that.  If I had not have stood him he would not have fell and bumped his head in the first place!
          The Police told me there was not much 'Festive Spirit' in our town last night they had already dealt with two 'stabbings'.  This sickens me.  I know I could not have left the drunk alone and vulnerable.  I have wondered about 'Clive' the drunk all day.  I have wondered about putting him a small 'Care Package together.  A small box of basic supplies and dropping it around to his flat.   Henry said 'it would be a drop in the ocean' but I said the act would give Clive as message stronger than words or written words.  Maybe our society is so harsh because we are afraid to care?  A stray birdie or cat is one thing but a stray person is an entirely different matter.  I am yet undecided about the 'Care Package' I will reflect on.  I really do not need a new 'friend' without sounding harsh.   I think in the 'New Year' I may phone the Salvation Army and ask their advice as I know they regularly deliver 'care packages' to the 'needy'.  Clive was not just drunk, he was disheveled and unkempt.  I have seen him around for years as a 'local figure' he clearly has a long standing alcohol problem.  I guess we can only conclude, this time of year is not 'happy' for many people and many creatures.  I will be sparing a thought and a prayer for the vulnerable living within our communities this Christmas.
      I really hope all your festive plans are on track and going smoothly.  

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Gratuitous Chicken Post

I got up nice and early today, to attempt a bike ride with the dog.  I got dressed and ready and then went to get my bike out of the shed and only then noticed it was pouring with rain!  What a fool, I coulda, shoulda, woulda stayed in bed with my book!  Make note to self:  Checka da Wevver before getting dressed!
       It has been a while since I have mentioned these girls.  All is well in the coop.  I appear to have four healthy hens.  In spite of the weather they are still happy and bursting to come out to play rain or shine or frost or fog.  Their half of the garden in looking far from pretty.  It is wet and muddy with not much grass and plenty of puddles.  I am beginning to worry that it won't come back in the Spring.  These girls positively 'bowl' out of their coop in the mornings.  They were hungry girls this morning.
Poppy, Daisy and Rose were all tucking in and poor old Lavender could not squeeze her dismay.  She had a right little panic.
That is better, I don't have to worry about Lavender, she somehow sorts things out and end up at the front or in the middle of everything.  This girl is certainly not backward in coming forward.  I am getting three lovely eggs a day again for the moment.  I do have to work for the 3rd though as someone has taken to laying in a very awkward spot of the garden right behind a large tree.  I nearly fall over each time I crawl for this egg.  There is a hidden little nest.  Somebody prefers peace and quiet.  I am trying to get the fourth egg by addressing the diet of these girls.  Less Kitchen scraps and top quality 'Organic' layers pellets.  Even their corn in take has been reduced.  They also have Oyster shell available at all times for Calcium.  Calcium is needed for egg production and to produce eggs the calcium is leeched from the Chicken's bones rather than obtained directly from their food.  It is important to make sure they have calcium.  I also save all the eggs shell and bake them to kill bugs then grind them and scatter them as a food supplement.  Chickens need shell and grit to break down food in their gizzard.  As we know Hens to not have teeth!
    I am very tempted to make a Christmas Treat for them, especially after I saw this:  Scratch and Nut Edible Wreath.
Isn't it beautiful.  I am sure it would not last long.  I could almost be tempted to have a little pick at it myself!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Fantastic Day in Victorian England

Today I have had the most fascinating day.  We went on a 'Trip' with school.  We took a small group of four boys to Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge.  I did not know what to expect but it was absolutely fantastic.  Blists Hill is a museum.  Once you had journeyed through the high tech 2012 entrance you stepped out into a different world.  A 'real' Victorian town.  Now I can't show you any photographs with the children in it, which is a real shame.  Our first stop was to the 'Bank' to get our money exchanged into Victorian currency.  The bank manager was very helpful and explained, schillings, farthings, florins, pennies, sixpences, etc.  I am totally confused by it all.  The children got to grips with it though.  We changed the money on the promise of a trip to the Victorian Sweet Shop for the well behaved.  Everyone got to the Sweet Shop'.  The bank manager explained that in Victorian England Sharks Teeth were sometimes used as currency.  Well I did not know that!
          I was completely enchanted by the 'Town' and the buildings.  The streets were so quaint.  It was a very quiet day at the museum and it is 'out of season' that suited me as I am not fond of crowds.  There were no cars and there was 'real' horse muck in the roads.  There are resident horses that the children loved.
  There were many different shops and businesses.  The grocers had pheasant and rabbit hung in the window.  We did not have time to explore everything.  We had a 'Candle Making' workshop booked that the children really enjoyed and a 'Victorian School Experience' booked.  I have never seen these boys so well behaved as the school master swished his cane and put them through their paces.  Victorian school was all about preparing children for 'work'.  You were ready for work at the age of twelve.  There would be up to sixty pupils in one small classroom and discipline was a priority.  The boys used slates to practice their handwriting.  They practiced their multiplication tables and reading.
I loved the reading book and this is the passage we read:
The boys all ran away when we first saw the School Master arriving but once inside they were model pupils. That made me chuckle.  If only they were so good every day.
I loved the streets and houses.  This was the 'Doctors'.  I found my dream house.  The 'Squatters Cottage'.
This cottage was lived in until the 1970s and a couple of years ago it was moved from two miles away...brick by brick to the museum.  It was built illegally and the land owner let the family finish building it and then when it was completed he charged them extortionate rent.  Hence the name 'Squatter's Cottage'.
It was decked out with 'Holly' for the festivities.  I think this is beautiful in it's simplicity.  Thank goodness there was a roaring fire inside.  We all got warm.
This bed looks inviting.  The house brick would have been warmed on the fire then wrapped and placed in the bed to warm it up.
I went on a 'Textile' hunt and was not disappointed.  There was lots of crochet, patchwork and rag rugs to admire in the various 'homes'.  The Victorians were a crafty and resourceful bunch.
               I have got a trip to the dentist this Friday.  Eeeek!
I do not care how carefully your teeth would have been extracted, the Victorian Dentists looked scary!
A few hours was not long enough for this 'Town'.  I could lodge in the 'Squatter's Cottage' for a week and cheerfully mooch about chatting to the 'residents'.
Here we met a pleasantly uncomplicated woman.  What a great job, to be a 'Victorian Person' surely nobody would mind if you crocheted on the job!

The Candle Makers was a very important place as candles were the main source of light.  It was very smoky in here.  I bought 'Four Candles' which 'tickled me' after the 'Two Ronnies' 'Fork Handles' sketch.
I did not know that some candles were made from 'Tallow', rendered animal fat.  Yuk.  Hungry families would often melt a 'Tallow Candle' and spread it on bread to eat.  I think you can't beat a bit o butter!
              I feel like I have been to another world today.  I loved it.  As usual I am disappointed with my photography efforts.  There was so much I missed.  The simple 'Holly and Ivy' Christmas decorations.  Newspaper paper chains and Christmas decorations.  I am going to have a go!  I would like to be a 'Victorian' but not too poor, thank you very much and not too rich.  I would like to be somewhere in the middle.  I even spotted chickens in the garden of a house.  They looked all wet and bedraggled. . . as did my four when I got back home.  I will definitely be finding my way back to this museum one day.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

The Fifty Book Challenge Blog - Up up and away...

The Fifty Book Challenge  Blog is up and away.  Do check it out.  If you would like to join in at any time just get in touch with 'Steph' you can contact her via the blog.  I have just reviewed Book Number One on my list.

I was a bit sad when I finished it as it was such a great read.  Bob and his Dad are an amazing duo.  

Friday, 14 December 2012

21st December 2012 'Beware'

I feel a bit badly drawing over the photograph of this lovely creature.  I think it was February when I went to the Alpaca Convention.  It must be nearly time to go again.  That is if the world does not end next Friday.  I am ready for it I think.  I just need some more Chicken Feed and Hay, the budgie could do with some more seed and the dog could do with another sack of food.  Other than that I will be ready.  I have stockpiled 'Spam' and Corned Beef, I have teabags...I should be fine come the apocalypse.  My Dad assures me there have been four or five 'End of the world' predictions in his lifetime and he is still here.  I am not worrying too much I may quit Weight Watchers for the week though just in case!   I might also sort out all my yarn and I can craft until the bitter end!
            Nothing more has been said about the 'Little Something' so I am not pushing. . . what will be will be. It does tug at my heart strings to think of a Wee Sausage out there somewhere not getting the love it deserves.  'Glutton for punishment' is my middle name though!
             Back in November Steph started The Fifty Book Challenge she has invited anyone to join in and there is a 'Fifty Book Challenge Blog' in the making too.  This is a just for fun challenge, where you have no time limit to read fifty books.  I thought I would join in as I read more in the Winter and probably should read more all year round.  I read some strange books!  Today I have been addicted to A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen.
 It is a true story about a recovering addict and his remarkable 'friendship/love' with an injured cat he found that he named Bob!  It is a heartwarming story.  I first found out about this book on the recommendation of Kath over at Hillside.  I am so glad Kath shared this book as it is too good to miss.
           I hope with the pending Alpaca Lips you are all set to have a fantastic weekend, doing all sorts of things that you enjoy the most.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

A Little Something On My Mind...

I have share a photograph of 'My Smelly Old Sausage Dog' before.  Josh was my soul mate.  I had him from a tiny pup and he lived until he was 14 and a half years old.  He was my first dog when I left home.  At home we had two Sausage dogs that were great fun and great companionship for me going through turbulent teen years.  I lost Josh three or four years ago.  I have lost count.  I genuinely think of him everyday and his photograph sits on my fireplace.  I loved this silly old sausage so much and he really loved me.  It was hard work looking after him in his Golden Oldie years but he was such a happy little fella that I tried not to complain.  I used to get up at 5am each morning to carry out his routine.  He was blind, deaf and diabetic for the last couple of years.  He also had a pet stroller for the last few months so he could still get to his favourite haunts and come on holiday.  He had a waggy tail every day.  Lacey arrived in Josh's last year.  He loved her but she really did not like him.
Lacey was not planned...I got home from work one day and she was in the garden.  She is a much bigger dog than I was used to.  My partner knew her owner who knew Lacey needed a new home.  She was a boisterous 7 month old dog with issues and she needed a new home and some security.  Oh yeah, I like a challenge!  I can't believe Lacey is such a good girl these days.  She thinks she is little and she likes me to pick her up and hold her ( I am like an Olympic weight lifter), she also likes to sit on my lap!
             I am very 'doggy'.  I have always loved all sorts of dogs.  Today I have had a cuddle with my Aunts dog, Daisy.  Daisy is little even for a Westie.  She is very sweet and is always very happy to see visitors.  She likes a lot of fuss and is very spoiled.  She has more toys than I have ever seen and she is very discerning in selecting what she like to play with.  I more often than not prefer the company of dogs or chickens to most people!
              My 'oldest' bestest buddy from my school days just so happens to be a dog groomer.  I chose teaching as a career but it was a close call between Kennel Maid or teaching.  For all the red tape in teaching these days I often wish I had gone down the 'Kennel Maid' rout.  Today my friend messaged me.  This is why I now have 'a little something on my mind'!  She has come across a 16wk old Sausage dog, that is in need of a new home and she thought of me!  Eeeek!  I really miss my Sausage Dogs.  I am also rather impulsive where animals are concerned!  Once I have an animal though I have never given one up.  I think I already know the answer. . . but I can't help having the 'Little Something' on my mind.  My partner would despair!  The fourth chicken was nearly 'the straw that broke the camels back'!  A puppy would 'rock our world'!  This 'Little Something' is not yet house trained and is causing chaos in it's current home and has spent a lot of time in a stable.  Both of my boys are 'doggy' too.  They both love dogs and could bark before they could talk.  Henry is soppy with dogs but Euan could put Lacey through her obedience paces when he was about three and half.  He is very good with dogs and they listen to him.  I have a space next to me on the sofa. . . I just need to work out how I can sneak a puppy in unnoticed.  I managed to conceal a chicken for a week!  A puppy may be more of a challenge.  My life has been rather calm of late and lacking it's usual chaos. . . I am already having visions of knitting cute little coats!  It might have to go along the lines of 'Darling. . . you know the new car you wanted. . . well. . .I feel it would only be fair if. . . '

Monday, 10 December 2012

'Rainbows' Preemie Knitting and Crochet Project - A Sad Story To Share

I am very grateful to my parents friend 'Joan' for her beautiful knitted creations that she has donated to the 'Rainbows' project this month.
I really value all of Joan's creations, they are beautifully made but this month I particularly love this pretty little hat that is sprouting flowers.  Somebody will look a real cutie wearing this.
               I do not have much to shout about this month in terms of my own creations.  I have two cardigans in need of completion.  I have been using the yarn that was donated to the 'Rainbows Project' by the Loveknitting Team.  If you need any last minute knitting or yarn supplies before the festivities do pay them a visit.
I have made two simple little cardigans, they need edging and completing.
They have not quite turned out how I would have liked!  I hope they will be some use to someone.  I will attempt to improve the look with the 'finishing off'.  I think I may convert to 'knitting' for Rainbows in future and see if that improves my end product.   This does not appear to look as bad in 'real' life as it does in the photograph!  Honest Gov!  I still have six/seven months to work on Rainbow Projects before I will collate all donations and hand them over.  Please feel free to join me at any time with any donation.
             A couple of weeks ago, I had some very sad news from an online friend of mine.  I asked her if she would mind me sharing her story.  She gave me permission to share her very sad story.  I think by sharing stories and information we can help others, educate each other and people may not feel so alone.  Annette was looking forward to the birth of her grandson.  She lives in the Midlands and her daughter lives in Ireland.  Annette received a call from her daughter asking her Mom to be by her side as the baby she was carrying had died at 30 weeks.  Annette made the journey to Ireland to be with her daughter as she gave birth to 'a perfect baby boy'.  His name was Cory Peter and he weighed 3lb 6.5 oz.  The family spent a few precious hours together before preparing for the Cory Peter's funeral.  Sometimes it seems there are no reasons or no answers to explain a tragedy like this.  It is a very sad fact of life.  My words of comfort seemed inadequate. What can you say at such a time?  I told Annette about the 'Rainbows Project' and I have also 'promised' to make ten Angel Pockets in memory of Cory Peter to help give some comfort to other families experiencing the tragic loss of tiny babies who sadly do not make it.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick Maker.

Brrrrrrr!  It is very chilly.  I have just read the weather forecasters are predicting a White Christmas.  Ooooh, I hope so.  Next week we are set for Arctic conditions that are predicted to last until the New Year.  We will see.  It will make a change from the terrible floods we have seen again in the UK over the last few weeks.  There were floods in Worcestershire, the county I live in, but personally I have not been affected by floods.  A work mate could not make the journey to work and the village my brother lives in regularly has it's bridge closed due to floods.  The only problem I have had is a very soggy back garden.  It has been like a sponge.  Each morning I have had to squelch squirch my way up to the chicken coop.  Out they run.  These chickens are happy to be alive whatever the weather.
              'Lavender' is over her broody month and I am very happy to report she is back to her usual self.  She is singing her pretty song again and bossing everyone around in the garden, chasing off the pigeons, magpies and blackbirds.  She seems to be good pals with 'Rosie' which is nice.  The two of them seem to be spending increasing amounts of time together.  Rosie was lowest in the pecking order and the most attention needy where I was concerned.  She is the one that likes to jump on me and climb onto my shoulder.  I am only getting two eggs a day as Lavender has not resumed laying and somebody is laying an egg a day but the shell is so thin it is always broken.  I have tried supplements and additions to the water but it has not helped.  The egg itself is fine, but I cannot get them to the house without breaking them.  I think it is indicating all is not as it should be with 'someone' I do not know who and as they all run around happily hoppitty skipping I am trying not to worry to much.
               I gave Henry and his friend a lift to work this morning.  Well, what is left of Henry:
This is Henry's hair 'Donation' for The Little Princess Trust.  He has raised in the region of £400 now for the charity which is really fantastic.  I am sad to see this hair go and would have liked to have done a weaving project with it.  Four days after having his first haircut in years Henry went for another haircut!  This made me chuckle.  He appears to be constantly preening and fussing over his hair now!  He likes it 'just so'.  This haircut has been quite a shock and the poor lad does not quite feel like 'himself' at the moment.  I am sure he will get used to it soon.
              Euan has been nagging me for months to use our 'Candle Making Kits'.  Today was the day.  He took all of the following 'Candle Making' photographs apart from the one of himself.
My Aunt gave me this kit for my birthday this year.
I bought this kit from a charity shop for £1.

We got out aprons on and got a serious look on our faces, ready to set about this important business.  I think my son could get a job in security or as a door man!  Would you cross this fella?. . . I know I try not to!
We dutifully followed the instructions and covered everywhere with newspaper and then we set about identifying the contents of the boxes.  I had to nag Euan a bit to read the instructions for himself.
We were both a little amused by this rubber mould. . . well I am the mother of two sons after all.  Say no more.
Euan manages to get Messy shots of the kitchen.  I bought the smaller of these two saucepans from a Car Boot Sale a couple of weeks ago.  It cost £1.50 and I got it specifically as the 'Candle Making Pan'.  It worked well as you heat the wax over a pan of boiling water.  We decided to go 'Advanced Candle Making' and add essential oils.  We made purple 'Lavender Candles' and Red 'Ylang Ylang and Cedarwood Candles'.
We liked the adding colours part.
We prepared the moulds with the candle wicks and poured in the molten wax.  Then we left the candles in the garden for hours to set.  Euan has decided a 'Lucky' recipient for each candle.  He will give them as Christmas gifts.
I am itching to have another try now.
           While we tried to wait patiently for our candles to set we did some baking.  I made some bread rolls to eat with Homemade Pea and Ham Soup for dinner.  We are determined to keep out the cold.  Euan made our favourite 'Cookie Recipe' of the moment.  He did a great job making 'Smartie Cookies'.  We used this 'Nigella Lawson' recipe Here.  They are a bit too quick and easy to make.  Euan managed it by himself.  I did the oven part.  They made the house smell lovely and were a welcome tea break.  Euan prefers 'warm cookies' with his cup of tea.  I however am not fussy. . . a cookie is a cookie is a cookie.  Eeeek cookies, Christmas and Weight Watchers do not mix very well do they?
 You would have to have a will of iron to resist one of these little beauties.  We have some wrapped and ready for Henry and his friend when we collect them from work.  He works hard and struggles to get a 20 minute break during the whole day.  So I am sure these cookies made with brotherly love will go down well. I feel like we have had a productive day at home.  The kitchen looks like a bomb has hit it!  I hope you are having a great weekend.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Could this be your Dream Job? I wish I lived in London!

One day I really hope to get a Woolly or Crafty related way of earning an income.  I do love the job I have now...but...
My Friends at the Loveknitting Team are looking for a 'Team Member' a 'Customer Support Person'..

Follow this link to find out more  If you live in or near London and would like to talk knitting and yarn and get paid for it, this could be the job for you.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Before and After

I am a very proud Mom and Henry is very proud of himself!  Today he had all of his hair cut off.  We have saved the ponytails to donate the hair to be made into 'real hair' wigs for boys and girls who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments or other illness.  Henry has almost reached his target of £250.  Thank you very much to those of you that have supported this cause.  XXX