Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Saturday, 30 June 2012

June 2012 in Photo Collage

June 2012 in collage!  Not very impressive I will grant ya.  It has been a busy month with not much crafting going on.  July promises to be different.  We have three birthdays in our family and schools break up on the 20th July for 6 weeks, I cannot wait.  We are going on holiday on the 21st of July for a week in Somerset.    Of course I have the 'Tour De Fleece' and crochet to keep me busy too.  We have surely used up the rain quota in June so let's hope we see some Summer weather for July.  :)   I am hoping July 1st kicks off with some Olympic Excitement as we are getting up early tomorrow to go in search of the Olympic Flame that is travelling through our town!  

And We Are Off...Day 1 Tour De Fleece 2012

My little 'Kiwi' wheel and I are off to a flying start as the 'Tour De Fleece 2012' kicks off today.  It is great to be back behind the wheel.  I am full of trepidation but I will attempt to spin for each day of the 'Tour De France'.  This fibre is a complete mystery to me, I have no idea where it came from or what it is, it is in my stash and I have a plan for it.  I am hoping it will crochet into 'Earth', 'The Blue Planet'.  Get ready, (with a bit of luck) my posts should be very spinny and fibre filled for July.  I just hope my poor old knees hold out!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

I Must Be Getting Old...

Where has my little boy gone?  It only seems like yesterday when I held my first Baby Boy!  Now just look at him!  Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana!  Henry is right now at his 'School leaving Prom'  I am home waiting rather anxiously for his return!  He chose his own costume clothes!
I would have liked to have found a white suit like 'John Lennon's.  I love Henry's long hair, he is planning on shaving it all off in the Autumn.  He wants to do it for charity and school have said they would like to get the local press in.  We are hoping he will raise some cash for Birmingham Children's hospital.  When Euan had his 'foot' operations there was a shortage of wheel chairs.  We were not guaranteed one, which stressed me out a great deal.  As Euan could not walk for six weeks plus.   We did get one in the end on loan, but it was too large for Euan, but better than no chair.  We are hoping Henry will raise enough for a wheelchair to donate.  Maybe Mom will get to keep the ponytail.

In his own words he thought he looked 'Well Dapper!'.   Hmmm ok.
He had a good pose in the back garden for the camera!
His 'Prom date' bought his flower and I he bought her flowers for her wrist.  I don't have a photo of his prom date which is a shame...the last I heard late this afternoon she had a 'Fake Tan Disaster'!  I hope the lights were dim!
I did get a photograph of him with his buddy Max.
They look a pair of Cheeky Chappies!  They were being rude about my clothes as I took this photograph!  I have only just noticed Euan getting in shot hanging out of the car window!  He looks like one of those Muppets on the balcony!
Statler and Waldorf

   I can't believe Henry has left school.  He is 16 in three weeks.  He is hoping to go back to school in September to take 'A' levels.  Fingers crossed.  Its tough out there kid!  

Monday, 25 June 2012

Par Ra Par Rappa Par Pahhhhh!

Finally I have some crochet to show.  My Mojo mysteriously dwindled. . . it may be due to calorific deprivation!  I had some weaving projects that did not go to plan and they landed in the bin!  I get sore about such matters. . . but reading blogs I realise it happens to the best of us.  I am in great company in 'Blogland'.  I chose to make some 'dishcloths', 'washcloths'. . . whatever you want to call them I chose a no brainer. . . for what can go wrong with a simple square?   I am so delighted to have finished four of the beauties I felt they were worthy of the 'Collage' treatment!  Look at them!  Fabuloso!  I do not know where the cotton all came from but the lovely purple is from my bestest 'Blog' buddy Teresa, when we had our most exciting swaperoonie earlier in the year.  The Purple 'washcloths' and the 'Granny Square' Washcloth are for me.  I do love them for all their wonky imperfections.  I am putting them in my Vanity case to take on my holibobs (in four weeks).  I will use them with some luxurious hand made soap.  Won't I feel posh?  The bottom right washcloth is for my Aunt who has a Birthday tomorrow.  I have got her some 'Goats Milk and Lavender' Handmade soap and a loofah pad.  She has a nice new bathroom, I think that is worthy of a handmade 'washcloth'.  I really don't believe I am so pleased and proud of em!  I worked on them in the car, on the train, at my parents and in waiting rooms.  I love a nice portable bit of crochet.  I get dafter as I get older.  As soon as I have published this post I am picking up my hook again!  Busy busy busy!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

We Found Real Treasure!

I started my day with a 'Run' hobble, stagger. . .whatever you want to call it. . . at 6.45am.  I was still having new running shoe issues so chose to run on meadows.  The dog thought this was a most excellent idea.  Off she trotted with her tail wagging in the air.  I managed to follow the Podcast for WK2 run 1 'Couch 2 5k' and did all of the run.  My breathing is much better but I was still hobbling like an unshod horse!  That was it!  Mind made up!  The running shop can have these shoes back. . . once I had hosed the meadow off them.  Euan and I caught the train into Birmingham.  Quite a jaunt for us home bodies.  The Running shop were actually brill and I have some new, new trainers to try on Monday.  Fingers crossed they will be good.  To make our trip worthwhile we decided to go into the beautiful building above 'Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery'.  This is my kinda trip, nice and thrifty, free entry.
               Euan is always quite difficult to focus in these places he flits around like a butterfly with the attention span of a goldfish!  I look forward to the day he slows down a bit and I can take more in, but I am used to trotting around behind him by now.  We looked at artifacts from Ancient Egypt, a mummy, a mummified cat, a mummified bird and a mummified crocodile.  Very cool.  We tried on masks of Egyptian Gods and admires ourselves in mirrors.  We looked at samples of ancient Greek Pots and Pottery.  We saw a fantastic African Textiles Exhibition 'Style Africa'.  Beautiful bright cloths and woven fabrics.  I was smitten by two really bold fabrics with 'Chicken' designs on.  We looked at art of all shapes and sizes.  This was my favourite painting, you can read more about it by clicking this link.  The colour is just beautiful, absolutely stunning.  The landscape with the backdrop of a double rainbow, in contrast to the girl's blindness, really strikes a chord.

                      The Blind Girl by John Everett Millais

It is amazing to see these works in real life.  I am not an art boff, but I would have loved to spend more time soaking in some of the beautiful works of art.  Euan had other ideas and was positively disgusted by the 'Modern Art'.  Loudly declaring 'What!  I don't get it!  Somebody in Nursery could do better than that!'  This was in response to this piece by Patrick Heron.  It is one of Patrick Heron's 'Wobbly Hard Edge' paintings.  ???!!!??? I don't get it either. . . 'Wobbly Hard Edge' beats me, what they teach in art schools.

Now no offence to Mr Patrick Heron, but I gotta admit I agree with Euan a bit here, and feel confident even I could do that surely!  Splodge, splodge, splodge. . . Bob's yer Uncle!  A work of art!

I also liked this piece of 'Linear Construction' by Noam Gabo 1957.  It is clear perspex and fine white thread.  It reminds me of 'Parabolic Curve Stitching' we do at school, making curves from straight lines.  Fascinating.  The Galleries are packed with many many fine works of art.  I must go again and again and get educated.  Now for the 'Treasure' part. . . are you sitting comfortably?. . . then I will begin. . . 
                In 2009 55 year old Terry Herbert was searching a field in Staffordshire with his £2 . 50 metal detector.

The field had been searched many times by others, but on this particular day Terry uncovered what is now known as 'The Staffordshire Hoard'.  The largest haul of Anglo Saxon treasure ever to be discovered.  It is worth Millions of pounds.  Anyone finding treasure has to report it within 14 days and the money is split equally between the land owner and the finder. (We have got an old metal detector in the shed)!  The treasure dates from 675 AD to 725 AD around the same time as the the Great Anglo Saxon Poem 'Beowulf'.  There were over 3,500 pieces unearthed with over 5kg of gold, 1.5kg of silver and over  3, 500 garnets.  Some of the pieces are the finest examples of gold filigree that have been seen, intricate gold work with fine thread made of gold.  It is amazing that such pieces were created to such beauty and precision without modern technology.  A small sample of the Hoard is on display in Birmingham.  It will take thousands of man hours to clean each piece.  We may never know who the hoard belonged to or how it got there, historians can only speculate, they think it may have been treasure taken from defeated Christian Warriors by a Pagan King, as the Christian pieces, crosses and pieces that have been inscribed with scriptures have been deliberately damaged.  None of the pieces relate to women.  There are amulets, weapons and decorative pieces.  Things that would have been worn by warriors and leaders to show their status.
This is a small selection that is typical of the 3, 500 piece find.  The clean artifacts on display are unbelievable and so beautiful.  What a story!  

I love this sea horse.  It is gold and patterned all over with gold filigree circles that have tiny dots circled inside them. . . it is sooo pretty.  To give you an idea of scale and how fine and intricate the gold work is, if you had a grain of rice it would be bigger than three of the circles on the patterns.  Now that is some seriously ancient and skilled workmanship.  The whole concept and reality of the Hoard just leaves you with a sense of awe and wonder.  These ancient dudes were by no means primitive.  They had immense skills, knowledge and wisdom.
             All this awe and wonder = 2 hungry bods!  We headed for our favourite Chinese Restaurant.  So did hundreds of other people.  It is a huge 'all you can eat' chinese buffet restaurant 'The Big Wok'.  It is not to everyone's cup of tea but it sure is to ours!  We queued for over half an hour to get seated.  Please don't tell the Weight Watchers lady!  I went with good intention to get running shoes didn't I?  I chose chicken, and Tofu and vegetables to sit alongside my prawn toast and noodles!  I ended my meal with a delicious desert of cold Tapioca, Coconut and melon soup.  Corrr it was lovely.  We were somewhat subdued on the train journey home.  
              I will definitely have to go more often to the Museum and Art Gallery.  The Birmingham Guild of Knitting and Crochet hold their monthly meetings in the Museum Coffee shop.  What a building to meet in.  Rather grandiose I think you will agree.  All that culture and history, mixed with yarn, needles and hooks can't be bad!  
Hope you are having a great weekend too.  :) xxx

Thursday, 21 June 2012

I have lost a LARGE fish!!!

I don't know who is more surprised me or the Geezer in the picture!  I 'Googled' 23lb, which is my total weight loss for the last 11 weeks.  This is a 23lb fish!  Blimey I wonder where I have been hiding that?  I suspect in my bra!  I have about four or five more large fish to lose!  I was spurred on to get my 'running' shoes on again today and trot off doing my thang!  The dog came with me and she thought it was jolly good fun in the rain.  Hopefully we will be swimming again tomorrow and I may even pick up my crochet hook in a short while!  Just a quick post tonight to share my 'Fishy profundity'!

Edit:  My Maths is rubbish I have about 2 1/2 large fish to lose three at the most!  I wondered where all them fish would come from...there would not be much of me left!!!  LOL

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Inspector Calls

The inspection at work is over!  Phew.  The Inspector inspected and was inspected in return.  The kids in my class paid absolutely no attention and were their darling little selves!  We have had some feedback but it was not official and needs to be kept under our hats until the official report comes could have been better and it could have been worse!  I had a lesson about Rainforests observed and a lesson about 'Data Handling' observed and the inspector joined us for a 'Minibeast Hunt' outside.  He arrived just as I had tipped over the compost bin and was getting the Heebie Jeebies about woodlice in my shoes!
(Alright, I exaggerate...they were not this big and these would not have fit into my shoes anyway)!
I was cool. . . I kept it together!  I am so glad the inspection is over as I really did suffer with stress and anxiety. . . I got myself in a tizzy!
            I have been absolutely exhausted this week.  I was desperate to sleep last night but kids/teenagers/young adults. . . chose to race their moped around the block several times at half past midnight!  Jeeesh!   Then at 3am  I was woken again by someone wolf whistling outside repeatedly!
Then the wolf whistling got louder. . .the he started banging and repeatedly calling 'Podge...Podgie!'  No before you ask it was not a weird dream. . . it was real.  I looked out of my window and there was a man knocking on the door of the house over the road. . . he had one of those wrinkly dogs not on a lead. . . my best buddy (who is a dog groomer) tells me it is a Shar Pei. 

I thought the dog was called Podgie!  It turns out the dog wasn't called Podgie but the person he was trying to raise from slumber was!  I had enough and turned on my bedroom light and stuck my head out of the window 'Nora Batty' style!

The Geezer got the message and left 'Podgie' and I to our slumber.  He wandered off followed by his wrinkly dog.
                Strike a light!  What is it with some people?  Did this fella not know I had an inspection at work?  If I knew where he lived I think I would pop round tonight at about 4am and sing 'If You're Happy and You Know It' through his letter box!
For now I am happy to be back in the 'Land of Blog'.  I will be even happier when I get my crafting Mojo back!  XXX

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Truly Inspirational - How a Nine Year Old's Blog is Making a Huge Difference.

This Blog Neverseconds has gone Viral.  It is a fascinating little blog written by a inspirational and intelligent 'Young' lady.  Martha Payne is 9yrs old and has been described as 'The unsquashable school meal crusader'.
                My Grandmother was a Manager of school kitchens in the sixties and seventies.  She had a no nonsense approach to cooking and like many from that era could make an tasty, healthy meal from not much at all.  Quite frankly in the UK school meals need an awful lot of work on them.  Euan enjoys a school lunch once a week.  He goes for 'Roast Dinner Day'.  This was his own idea and he only wants to go once a week, for the rest of the week he takes 'Jam' Sandwiches.
                 Martha had the idea of photographing and blogging her school lunch daily and it has caused quite a stir.  It was really enlightening for me to see the photographs of the typical school meals.  Martha is not rude about her school meals but as you flick through the blog you can see there was much room for improvement and over a few months Martha's school have made considerable positive changes to the school meal provision.  Martha has 'stuck her neck out' and gently challenged the grown ups to make these changes.  Another aspect to her blog is linking globally with other children and students who have photographed their lunch to be featured on the blog.  It is fascinating to compare culturally and nutritionally the differences in content, nutritional value and cultural attitude for each lunch.
                 Martha also has a 'Just Giving Page' where she wanted to fund raise for less fortunate children abroad who do not get school meals or meals at all.  Martha had the goal at aged nine, to raise £7000 to build a kitchen to feed other children.  She has now raised £60 000 and it is rising fast.  Watching the Visitor Counter on her blog is fascinating it changes faster than a digital timer.  An amazing young lady, with and amazing blog, making an amazing difference!  Go and take a look it is truly inspirational.  

Friday, 15 June 2012

Newsy Post!

Helllooooo!  Are you all sitting comfortably?  Then I'll begin.  Look at they new trainers!  This morning I caught the train into 'The Big City' to go to a Running Shop.  They have experts (allegedly) that can advise you on the best damage limitation trainers!  Lord how I need them.  So I have posh new trainers.  The Lady in the shop also gave me a pair of running socks!  Fancy that!  Go faster socks too.   I also have a new boulder holder!  It is rather a snug fit and feels like it is about to 'blow' at any minute.  I went to Starbucks for the first time and took on enough caffeine in a medium Coffee to jog the 16 miles back home.  I didn't say I did jog home. I could have had unlimited refills and not slept for a week!  On my way to the train station this morning my work mate called to say we have had the 'notice' phone call for the 'big' Ofsted inspection.  OFSTED is the Office for Standards in Education and they instill fear into the large majority of teachers in the land!  Even worse HMI are coming too, to inspect the inspectors inspecting us!  So I am flapping, officially flapping until the inspection is over on Wednesday.
I met the Mom of an ex pupil on the train on the way back and we sat together for the whole journey, yapping all the way back to town.  I am good with the kids and their families but not so good at dealing with authority and never have been!  I will survive the inspection somehow but my first and over riding reaction is to eat copious amounts of chocolate to dull down the panic!  I have not touched a morsel yet though.
         I came home and went for a 'Run' stagger, wobble, waddle....and I am not sure if it is my new shoes but I had a totally dead right leg!  I had flash new socks and trainers and pins and needles from my hip to my toes!  I have an MP3 that plays a podcast while you run of hideous music and a patronising lady giving you encouragement,  I suppose she is only being helpful but phew when she tells you that you are doing a great job as you are beet red, huffing and hobbling round the park it is a good job she is virtual and not in person else I would biff her one!  I had to do my warm down 5 minute brisk walk bare foot around the park as the pretty, new, flash, fancy running shoes were crippling me!
        I don't work on Thursdays or Fridays but I went to work today to share in the collective panic.  Then when I came home both boys wanted to go swimming!  Wave machines and water slides later...I am afraid I had to indulge in 'Take Away Chips'.  Henry takes the opportunity to rough house me at swimming, I don't know who he thinks I am!  last week he Rugby tackled me in the water, causing me to snort about a litre, painfully up my nose, this week he chose to carry me across the length of the pool, inspite of my loud protests and cackling laughter, I would not mind but for the last half of the way he had me awkwardly by one leg!  Twas not very dignified for a woman of my age!  This weeks upcoming events at work are going to seriously challenge my diet resolve.  Weight loss so far 18.5lbs and counting!
         Yesterday Euan had a hospital check up for his foot so he was off school.  His foot is looking great a the moment.  I have mentioned before he was born with a 'club foot' and he was in the 4% of children casting and boots and bars don't work for.  He has had several operations on his bones, tendons and muscles and he is likely to need further surgery in the future.  For now though his foot looks fantastic and his mobility is brilliant, there is nothing he can't do.  It is amazing really.  I took some crochet for the waiting room and a lady came and sat by me to chat about crochet.  She has just had two crochet lessons and she was asking me about treble stitch and Granny Squares.  I gave her a little demo.  Shame we didn't have longer.  I really hope to get these silly stressful times behind me and be left in peace to crochet my little heart out again and have some quality time with my spinning wheel.  Five more weeks and then I am on holiday for six whole blissful weeks.  I can't wait!
Hope you are set for a lovely weekend filled with whatever it is that makes you happy :)  

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Silk Painting - Clive Garner

Today I went with my Mom to the Birmingham and District Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.  We were due to have a talk about silk worms.  Sadly the ladies husband was taken poorly and she could not make it, but a Gentleman called Clive Garner kindly stepped in at the last minute and he gave a demonstration and talk about 'Silk Painting'.  Now I can't pretend I can tell you much about it but the results are stunning.  If you click on Clive's name you can see more of his art work.  It is a treat to see.  The above piece is called 'Killarney'.  Isn't it beautiful?  Clive had sample swatches of many different types of silk which was really interesting to 'explore'.   When they are all together in one place you can really compare the weight and lustre of each silk.  The 'paints' Clive used were Acid Dyes.  The colours travel on the silk and merge, you can use Gutta for outlines that fix the cloth to prevent the dye from spreading.  I am definitely not an artist but my Mom likes to dabble a bit with paint.  I like the idea that when 'Silk Painting' you can have a general idea of the effects you would like to achieve but it is not precision art and you can never be too sure of what you will end up with.  I think my Mom would like to try 'Silk Painting' where I suggested I would like to splodge about and make random patterns and exploring colours on a scarf or something.
Clive used wax resist on this silk painting, 'The Wave'.  They are very bold, vibrant works of art.  I was most impressed and learned a great deal about the silk industry, silk and the techniques for painting on silk.  Of course I would like to rush out now and buy lots of silk painting supplies so I could play!  I am so divergent.  I spent my morning spinning some bright blue wool rather like this wave.  While I listened to Clive speak and watched him paint I was busy crocheting another dishcloth!  It felt good to be 'Crafty' again and chat to lots of other 'crafty folk'.  The room is always a hive of activity with people absorbed in their own fascinating projects.
            There isn't another meeting now until September.  One of the more senior members is going to demonstrate how to sort/skirt a fleece.  Watching somebody skilled and experienced is the best way to learn.  As a Guild we have a project to prepare for a gathering of six Guilds in 2013.  We are preparing a display using only 'Shetland Fleece'.  The fleece will get sorted and distributed in September then in needs to get turned into all sorts of niceties.  I need to finish decluttering and get my crafting Mojo back on track!

Friday, 8 June 2012

What a Joker!

Yow yow yow yow YOUCH!  Why didn't somebody tell me?  I waxed my top lip for the first time today!  Jeepers!  That is painful. . . much like childbirth!  I am going to bed with 'Nappy Rash' cream on my face to temper the redness and sooth the soreness!  Gawd!  I don't think I will be doing that again in a hurry.  I am sharing because if it was anyone else but me I would find it hilarious!  Yep that is my sense of humour.
         I am due to go to Weaving Spinning and Dyeing Guild tomorrow. . . face allowing!  I think it may scab!!!  We are having a talk about 'silk worms'. . . they would make interesting pets wouldn't they?  I have always wanted stick insects but silk worms would be cool.
I am long overdue a crafty post I know!  I bet y'all are desperate for me to show you my dish cloths. . .  I was very creative and crafty today and I crocheted a slug. . . I have not quite finished him yet, nor have I photographed him.  He is brown and sluggy and his eyes are on stalks!
        I went for a swim tonight with my boys...they wrestled each other and played Ninjas in the water while I swam for 80 minutes.  The wave machine was broken, which was a bit sad because it reminds me of swimming in the ocean.  I do like the wave machine.
         I hope you are set for a fantabulous weekend.  :) xxx

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Billy Bonkers! I Have Lost My Marbles!

I should have got photographs for evidence.  If you are slightly bonkers and it is pouring with rain and the kids are on half term holiday...what do you suggest?   I think my weigh in today went to my head.  I don't get this dieting lark.  I lost 3.5lbs!  Whooo hoooo!  It was totally unexpected and I am convinced Weight Watchers have got their scales on the blink.  Spurred on by my weight loss I suggested me and the kids go for a run!  A bloomin run!  They both looked at me aghast!  They both declined, then I saw my sons exchange glances with each other and they both had a look that said 'Come on, let's go along for the 'crack'!'  Off we went.  It was pouring, I thought this would limit our chances of seeing anyone!  Or more to the point anyone seeing me.  I explained that back in 1981 I ran for my school in a 'District' Cross Country Race, I can run!  I came first that day back then, ok it was 101st but still first!
Well what was I thinking?  The kids both went bonkers sprinting through deep puddles and getting soaked, while I did a mixture of trotting, jogging, waddling, staggering, puffing, panting and lots of walking.  Henry went full on topless and they were both shouting a mixture of encouragement and insults at me!  They thought it was hilarious.  It can only get easier right?  I have looked at a program 'From Couch to 5K'.  I am not sure if it is quite me...I am not even sure if I will do it again.  I am wondering how much I will ache tomorrow.  I came home and had the most delicious 'Cup Cake'!  It was a Cup Cake Bath Bomb in a nice warm bath.  Aaaah that tricked ya didn't it!  I am not a bath bomb kinda girl but it was jolly decadent and it was a cup cake.  I think I am losing my marbles due to calorific deprivation. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Orrible Mother! Who Me?

Well well well!  What an Orrible Mother I am!  Today was D Day!  I said 'If you don't keep it tidy, it's gonna go!' and I meant it!  Henry said 'but Mom you know he doesn't think you mean it!'  I said 'I know but now he will know that I did!'  Henry was my right hand man!  He felt really bad chucking his brothers stuff away. I predicted a tantrum.  This is a child that is emotionally attached and has a photographic memory for each rock, Lego brick, itty bitty piece of paper he has ever collected. . .We had just unearthed his 'Chocolate Stash'  I don't know where it came from.  Easter I think and I don't think they were all his!   We heard the front door open as Euan came in from playing outside, Henry and I literally froze, sensing the pending outrage. . .   Sure enough ( I know my children so well)  there was a meltdown.  It was not the three large sacks of toys for the charity shop that did it, it was not the two large bags for the bin that did it. . .it was one tiny Lego brick, that he found in the Wheelie bin that I had carelessly not hidden!  One Brick!  He has about 10 000 others.  Howl, yep, he howled like a wolf at full moon.  He was very very cross with me.  I apologised profusely.  We retrieved the brick and then all was calm again (eventually).  It is such a relief to have the 'Den' under his bed clean and tidy again.  After the meltdown he sat and played Lego nicely in his clean and tidy 'Den'.  He has since thanked me and says it is great.
I have been continuing with my mission to try and get organised. . .  Jeepers Creepers. . .how long is it going to take?  The people at the charity shop are starting to look incredulous at me now when I stagger in with more sacks!  All day today I have been on a mission. . .all day!!!  Let me tell you, the house still looks a tip!  Gah!  I have the car loaded ready for the Charity shop again tomorrow.  I even, get this, to alleviate my guilt at throwing my son's belongings out . . .I got brutal with my own, I took three cones of yarn to the charity shop.  My stash is out of hand.  The trouble is those cones are playing on my mind now. . . I might have to go and buy them back in the morning!
I have vacuumed and mopped and cleaned and tidied.  I have even cleaned a window!  The dog got banished outside for making the place look untidy.  She is very happy tonight though as I found her Christmas Present that vanished in December.  It had fallen behind a cupboard so she never got it at Christmas.  She is very happy with her Cuddly Turkey that squeaks, even if it is a bit out of season.
I am hoping when all the clutter has gone to be able to craft in peace again.  To be able to craft, guilt free without thinking 'I should be doing this or that'!  I am also hoping it will help me to be organised and possibly get some projects finished.  I still can not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Surely if I keep going in the right direction I will get there.  How much stuff can one small house contain?   Tomorrow I live to fight another day.  xxx 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Royal Visitation

Honoured I was when this Royal Pair stopped by, truly honoured.   I have to get this photograph made into a Diamond Jubilee commemorative plate or mugs for the kids, it is so funny!   You  gotta love the Great British Family at it's best.

There was a Royal it is in the making and this is Euan's photography!  My apologies if anyone suffers with vertigo.  Her Majesty liked the Hard Boiled Eggs, whilst the Duke gave the pickled Gherkins a bashing.  I would be proud to say I stuck with the healthy salad options but I didn't.  I am likely to actually blub on the scales this week due to all this Jubilee excess.  By my standards I have not been too bad but by Weight Watchers standards I have been hideously naughty!
After the party her Majesty let her hair down a little. . . before she slipped into something more casual to travel on to her next engagements!   In all I think she has had a fantastic weekend and so have we.
Long may she reign over us!

Jubilee Confession Time!

You can't have a Diamond Jubilee without cake can you?  A once in a lifetime celebration. . .
Euan agrees with me.  A Diamond Jubilee without cake is a no no!  (Euan has placed an order for a cake, exactly like this one, for his birthday in a few weeks).  I will just have to stammer my excuses to the Weight Watchers Leader again!!!  I also made some Lemonade Scones they are too easy to make and too easy to eat but wow...there is a lot of Weight Watchers points in a little Itty Bitty pot of cream!  The Lemonade was Sugar Free though!  Today I believe is the last official day of the Jubilee Celebrations.
My Bunting does not look as Splendiferous as it should for this time of year.  It has got welded to the fence in the drizzle!  Not to worry it adds to the typical UK feel of it all.  You can't have a Bank Holiday Celebration in this country without Cakes and rain.  In honour of the Jubilee it is a special extended Bank Holiday, so you aff to have special extended cake baking!  Today's cake is going to be;
Herman the German.  Tah dah!  Fresh out of the oven this morning.  Poor Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has been taken poorly.  He is hospital for the rest of his Missis's Party!  In honour of The Duke's German Heritage, I will have a large 
slice  small slice of Herman the German Friendship Cake and send out my 'Get Well Soon' wishes.
Sarah left me a lovely comment regarding my 'Elderflower Cordial', she is quite right, as always. Gin and Elderflower Cordial are a perfect quaffing match for a Summer Celebration.  Don't ya just love the education you get via blogging.
So I am confessing Jubilicious over indulgence!  There it is out!  You heard it hear first.  The Chickens loved 'Lemonade Scones' too.  Today I am expecting very special 'Visitors' and I hope to share the photographs tomorrow (fingers Crossed).
I feel I must also confess on the crafty front, but really that could be a whole new post or five!  I have been decluttering again and bags and bags have headed to clothing banks and shoe banks and the Charity Shop.  It is a good job I have a weeks holiday, but I have at least a months decluttering to do.  I have had some crafting disasters of late.  Nothing to proudly 'Tah Dah' about.  I have had disasters that have been binned and disasters that are awaiting their fate.  Over the Jubilee I have been crocheting 'dish cloths'.  They are a kind of punishment to myself!  I will stick to the humble dishcloth for a while as I can actually complete those and can't go too far wrong!  Why in the 'Land of Blog' do I not see people sharing 'Crafting Disasters'?  Am I the only one having them?  I am sorry to be morbid but I would simply love to see your 'disasters' or at least hear about them. . . .
Well I better go and muster up some energy for the final day of this most 'Jubilicious of Occasions'.  I am glad these 'Jubilees' don't come round too often, I just can't keep the pace.  Her Majesty must be absolutely exhausted!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

You are Cordially invited. . .

Do not adjust your sets!  Apologies for the photograph.  The Elderflower Cordial tastes better than it photographs!  I used the tray as a backdrop to hide the rest of the kitchen, that looked like a bomb had hit it.  I found a non Citric Acid suggestion for Elderflower Cordial and that was to use extra lemon.  This was easy peasy to make and it is rather easy peasy to drink too when it is diluted with carbonated water.  I also think it would be delicious drizzled over a Lemon Drizzle Cake or ice cream.  I wish I had Gooseberries...but caterpillars devoured my Gooseberry Bush, elderflower and gooseberries are a match made in heaven.

Recipe For Elderflower Cordial
10 - 20 Heads of Elderflowers ( Do not gather elderflowers that grow near to roads as they will be nasty)!
3 Lemons
1.5 litres of water
1kg of Sugar

Heat the sugar and water together until the sugar has dissolved and the water is boiling.
Wash the Elderflowers well.
Use a sharp knife to cut strips of Lemon zest away from the lemons, then slice the lemons.
Put the elderflowers and lemon in a large bowl, I used my 'Crock Pot'.
Pour over the syrup and stir well.
Cover and leave for 24 hours.
Strain through Muslin or a clean tea towel and bottle.

Quaff with Fizzy Water and Pretend it is Champagne.  Chin chin!  Cheers your Majesty.  Oooh that reminds me, I would like to try making Elderflower Champagne one day.

Friday, 1 June 2012


Euan and I both seem to be getting back to 'normal' health, thank goodness and thank you for your get well wishes.  They were much appreciated.  Today was 'The Jubilee Party' at Euan's school.  His T shirt says 'Keep Calm and Go For Gold'.  He looks a bit glum in this picture, but it was taken in a hurry this morning!  It was lovely to see the children all dressed in their Red, white and blue finery.  We are not allowed to take photographs in schools which is a real shame.  My Mom remembers 'The Coronation Party' at school where her Mother made her a 'Royal Crown' lined with Velvet.  She says she can remember parading from school to the local church in her 'Royal Crown' and black plimpsolls.  I can remember 'The Silver Jubilee' when I was six.  I had a crepe paper crown and had a picnic on the school field.  Henry can remember celebrating the Golden Jubilee when he was six at school and having a crown.  Henry and I went to collect Euan and the children were having a fantastic time outside with music blaring and lots of food to eat.  Euan took Union Jack plates with 'Mini Sausage Rolls' and 'Cheese and Grapes on Sticks', he said the little kids in Year 1 went crazy for them and ate them all up!  They were having the time of their lives.  One of the School Staff stopped me to tell me Euan had been a Superstar and had been helping to clear away.  He offered rather than was asked and he collected rubbish, stacked chairs and generally made himself helpful.  Bless him.  Henry was very reluctant when I enlisted him in helping to put all the tables away!  He was also very helpful though.  Euan had a few issues with his hand made crown, he made it at school and wore it with pride but all the partying made him sweat, the sweat made the dye run in the crepe paper and his forehead went a lovely shade of green.
Henry is very part time at school now and it is lovely to see more of him, when his brother isn't around.  He has a few more exams to do and then a nice long Summer before he goes back to school to take 'A' Levels.  I am glad he is staying at school because he needs the structure and discipline.  I am trying to get him to do a little more around the house but it is like shoving an elephant up the stairs.  It worries me to think that lad will ever be independent.  He can't even make himself a bacon sandwich.  He can manage 'Cheese and Crackers' and occasionally makes very interesting sandwiches with 'Pickled Eggs, Jalepenos, Reggae Reggae Sauce, Olives, cheese and whatever else he can find that is not a vegetable!   Most of Henry's friends are 16 but Henry is not 16 until the middle of July, so he is too young to find a part time job yet!  Not that anyone would want him!  (I jest he is a lovely lad really)!
I manged to walk the dog today, which was my first walk in a week.  I went to Bloomin Weight Watchers yesterday and despite counting, weighing and measuring all my food I put on 1.5lbs!  Miffed I am! Extremely miffed!  Now my back is 98% better I can exercise again.  The dog transformed from Eeyore to All Terrain Dog!  She has a blast, charging through meadows and woods.  She really has a 'Joie de vivre' when she is out she comes alive.  Back home she flops on the sofa and turns back into Eeyore.  I picked some lovely Elderflowers.
The sight of their frothy lovliness brought out my 'inner forager' again.  I was sniffing them all the way home.  They went in a pot with syrup and lemons and I am hoping by morning they will have turned in to delicious Elderflower Cordial.  How posh will I be sipping 'Summery Elderflower Cordial' for the Jubilee weekend?  If it works out well I will post the recipe and method I used.  I have not made Elderflower Cordial before but have wanted to for years.
Henry really wanted to go swimming tonight.  I am pleased about that because the average British Teenager gets up to all sorts on the average Friday Night.  I have tried the kicking his butt approach to parenting with no great success.  So making an effort to take him out is a small price to pay for an evening without having to worry about what he is up to.  Saturday is his day of freedom and I wait at home 'having kittens' until he is home safe again!  I would rather have noisy teenagers in my house then at least I know where they are and what they are up to.  It is a shame kids have to grow up!  If my parents are reading this they will feel it is justice and pay back for the trouble and worry I caused them!  I really would not want to be a teenager again!  I am happy being a grumpy, frumpy, forty something!  After swimming the kids voted for take away burgers!  I was very good and resisted and made Chicken and Vegetable Skewers for myself when we got home.  This diet healthy eating plan lark aint easy!  How can I celebrate the Jubilee on a diet Healthy Eating Plan?
I hope you are all set for a relaxing weekend.  I am hoping to get some more Jubilicious photographs to share over the weekend.  Have a great one!  xxx
I can't believe May is out!  Here is May's Photo Collage.  :)