Sunday, 29 January 2012

Friday afternoon

Every Friday afternoon I take a little trip along the coast to the little seaside village of Aberlady to take my daughter to her ballet class. Normally, I sit with her little brother and wait inside the church hall and have a chat with all the other Mums who are also dutifully waiting on their off spring. We always make ourselves very comfortable during our wait ~ we take heaters to keep cozy and flasks of hot water to make tea, coffee and hot chocolate ~ more often than not there is also home baking to be had too!

However, last Friday afternoon my very bestest friend had come up to visit, so instead of waiting indoors we decided to go for a walk along the coast as the weather was lovely. It was also an ideal opportunity to let a certain small boy run off some of his excessive boy energy too! We headed on out of the village and along to Aberlady Bay ~ which is a local nature reserve and is very popular with walkers and bird watchers.

It was a beautiful afternoon ~ a mixture of sunny, crisp, cold weather just right for walking.

The sun was low and we had great fun playing about with our shadows.

We were only out walking for just over an hour, but the change from daylight to sunset was absolutely wonderful to watch.

I hope that you all had a very lovely Friday afternoon too ~ and I look forward to catching up with you all next week :O)xx

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Gruffalo Cookies

My two small people LOVE the Gruffalo ~ in fact, to be honest with you all, I rather like the Gruffalo too!

A Gruffalo? What's a Gruffalo? For those of you who might not know ~

He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.
He has knobbly knees, and turned out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose.
His eyes are orange, his tougue is black, and he has purple prickles all over his back.
(As described by Julia Donaldson in her book The Gruffalo).

But here in our house we think he is lovely!

At Christmas time my small people got a Gruffalo cookie kit ~ which came with a ready made cookie mix and a fabby little Gruffalo cookie cutter. They loved the whole experience of making the cookies and decorating them, and of course eating them! As they enjoyed them so much I thought that I would surprise them when they came out of school yesterday afternoon with another plate of Gruffalo cookies. It had absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that I wanted a go at making these cookies all by myself!

This time I just made a basic shortbread biscuit ~ 250g plain flour, 175g butter and 75g caster sugar ~ then you just::

Mix the plain flour and the sugar together in a bowl and rub in the butter ~

Knead until it forms a paste ~

Roll out on a floured surface to about 1cm thick and then cut into Gruffalo shapes ~

Bake at 160 degrees/Gas mark 3 for about 20 minutes ~

Leave to cool and either leave them as they are or decorate with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles ~ which looks exactly like Gruffalo fur!

And then ENJOY!! :O)xx

Friday, 13 January 2012

Happy feet

I mentioned a little while ago that this was the year that I was going to try and make myself a pair of socks. Well..........the sock journey has well and truly started!

Quite ironically, the yarn that I am using is called Happy by Wendy, in a lovely Lavender colour. However, I was anything but happy when I cast on the stitches a few days ago. This knitting with more that two needles malarkey is just not as easy as it looks and I got myself into a right old state!

Now, this is not the first time that I have knitted with Double Pointed Needles ~ I made myself a pair of mittens a few years ago, but this time it certainly seemed like it was my very first try. For some reason I just could not get to grips with it at all. I still felt like I was an octopus trying to knit, the DPN's kept trying to disappear up my sleeves at every given opportunity and they kept slipping out of my hands, resulting in dropped stitches and much shouting at said knitting! I have now cast on and ripped up the beginning of the first sock six times. I kid you not! What you see now is my seventh attempt and so far so good!

Apparently that was the easy part, because now the pattern is mentioning heel turns, gussets and toes. I'm starting to have palpitations just thinking about it! Wish me luck as I embark on the next part of my sock journey and I'll hopefully have something that resembles a sock the next time I see you.

I hope that you all have a very lovely weekend too :O)xxx

Monday, 9 January 2012

Rogues Gallery

My two small people were very quiet on Saturday afternoon, which, believe me does not really happen that often. Normally, they are charging about the house at top speed ~ having a right old carry on and making all sorts of loud noises! We decided that we were going to make the most of the rare peace and quiet and left them to it ~ you know, let sleeping dogs lie and all that!

After a while we were eventually allowed up the stairs to see what they had been up to and this was the result ~

An absolutely fantastic art gallery!

They had taken it upon themselves to sort out all their paintings and drawings and then they had decided to use nearly a whole packet of Blue-Tak to display them in the style of an art gallery. Isn't it fantastic? I absolutely love when children use their imagination like this. In my mind it certainly beats all the computer games and electronic gadgets hands down. There honestly is no contest!

To give you all a better look at some of the pictures, I thought I would take some close up photos of a few of my favourites.

A Big Red Bus ~ complete with Edinburgh destination of Princes Street.

A portait of Winston the dog ~ I love how he is going to be having "stake" for his tea!

A beautifully coloured shiny new red car.

A rather wonderful portrait of the Gruffalo ~ I think that this one is my very favourite!

I really hope that you enjoy looking at them as much as I did :O)xx

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A New Year ~ 2012

Well, here we are, already four days in to a brand New Year. I hope that you all had a very lovely time at Christmas ~ although, I must say that Christmas seems like it was absolutely ages ago! We took all our decorations down yesterday before my lovely husband went back to work and now the house looks very bare indeed.

It was our very first Christmas in our new house and we all had a really wonderful time, despite being loudly awakened at half past two in the morning by a very bouncy and excited small boy, shouting "He's been!". Once he had opened his stocking he was more than happy enough to go back to sleep until a more reasonable hour! Thank Goodness! As usual my two Small People were well and truly spoilt! The day itself was fairly quiet ~ we had some family over for Christmas lunch and I'm pleased to report that I all my panicking over cooking Christmas lunch was a bit silly as everyone said nice things about the food and it all got eaten ~ so it can't have been that bad!!

I've enjoyed lots of very lazy days during these holidays ~ days sitting around in my pyjamas with my feet up, drinking lots of tea and consuming vast amounts of chocolate. I have also been lucky enough to have been able to spend quite a bit of time indulging in some Hooky Stuff and there has also been the sound of clicking knitting needles too.

Due to numerous factors, (but mainly because we were in the middle of moving house and everything was packed away) last year was a very unproductive year for me crochet wise so I am planning to make amends for it this year. I'd love to be able to find the time to finish all my WIP's, and maybe even produce twelve finished woolly things by the end of the year! I'd also love to have a go at knitting myself a pair of socks ~ surely it can't be that hard, can it?

I'm off now to hook a couple more rows of my blue Granny Stripe ~ there may even be a cup of tea to be had too ~ but this time there's definitely no chocolate allowed! :O)xx