Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Afternoon thoughts


Having almost finished the huge job of getting packed and cleaning my home for when I go away next Sunday to England I have plonked myself with a cup of something nice and sparkling to write a few words. Firstly I truly believe we are all coming up to a really enjoyable part of the year. Its a time to reflect upon all the evens of the past year . The happy moments and the sadness, the unexpected surprises and the new things we learn about ourselves and those we love. It can also be a great time to look to the future and start to imagine what the next year will hold. What are we capable of if we just put aside the restricting 'I can't ' voices we all , at times have in our heads. I call upon YOU to write yourself a bucket list like in  the movie. I myself will be doing this whilst in the UK at Christmas and have a moment. Make a list of all the things you would love to do- no matter how silly ( bungee jumping, sky diving), places you would love to see, skills you would like to acquire and people you would love to meet. And make it your personal business to do as many of those things as you can within the next 4-5 years. And by the time you have done them your dreams will have developed so you will have a new list. The beauty of this list is in that  you can change it. Its not rigid so if you decide what you wanted to do 3 years ago has changed you can simply rip up the list and start a fresh. But it means you always have a powerful goal to work towards. So go for it and remember the only restrictions in life are the ones you have mentally made for yourself !!!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A warming lentle soup

Morning mist viewed from my parents garden in Derbyshire.
 

 
Now this is a soup for those days when you want something quick and nourishing and also filling to eat whilst snuggling up on the sofa in the evening in your Pj's watching TV. Plus this recipe has no guilt factor yay as its really healthy.
 
 

Ingredients

2 mugs of red lentils
 
a white onion ( chopped small)
 
about 4 lemons
 
water
 
2 chicken stock cubes
 
 

Method

First pace the lentils in a bowl and rinse them about 6-7 times. Each time adding water to the bowl stirring the lentils round and draining the water. Then fill your pan of choice about half full with water and add the lentils and some salt. Bring to the boil and use a large spoon to remove the frothy white foam which develops as the lentils cook. After about 20 minutes or when the lentils are cooked check the water level. If the water has evaporated too much add some more until it becomes more soupy. At this stage add the onion and  chicken stock cubes and continue cooking until the onion is soft. Then put in your trusty blender and mix into a lovely smooth consistency. Squeeze your lemons and when serving add to taste. Some people love a lot of lemon and some just a little. And there you have it a lovely soup you can have with chunky bread and cheese or even flat bread and olives. See where your mood takes you!
 
 


Long time no speak

The truth is I am going to the UK over Christmas and have been running about like a headless chicken trying to prepare for going. As well as finishing some long over due projects and doing a great clean out of our family home. I am somewhat of a hoarder of material and notions. Much of which I never make anything out of . So I decided to get my new years resolutions started to 2014 early and do a thorough de-junking of my space.


I am trying to finish a rectangle recycled clothing rug for my sister in law, which is proving to be taking longer and more material than I first anticipated lol but it is really soft and cosy underfoot. Its for the doorway of her sons bedroom. My sister in law like many families here have stone floors with a couple of well placed rugs. However the cool stone which is so refreshing during the hot summer months can seem unbearable to walk on during the winter. So I thought I'd make her a couple of rugs to make her nest more snugly. :)

 
I am incredibly proud at the moment to have finished my first Knitted lace pattern and so have added a photo. Now this is to prove a point to you guys really and listen! I have spent most of my life not having a go at some of the things I would have loved to try simply because I thought I would not be able to do it. A wise person once told me that in every new project we try 90% of the whole 100 % is our attitude. That if we approach the unknown with the attitude of 'however this goes I am going to handle it and learn from it' you can never go wrong. Because even if I had tried the pattern and made huge holes in it or dropped stitches I could still unpick it and try again but try a different way and so succeed and learn from it how not to just as much as how to.
 
A last minute present for my sister in law for helping me out with packing my bags and generally being there when I was short of Nescafé 3 in 1s and the odd vegetable or painkiller or a friendly ear.
 
I am hoping to post some new recipes and project ideas during December while I am in the UK and defiantly will be posting some breathtaking pictures of the countryside where my home is so keep posted.
 

Just time for a cup of tea and and cake with Zak's lovely gang of friends lol. I have a small tin tea pot and some espresso cups and saucers which he loves to play with making sure everyone has their own cup of tea and plate and providing them with some music to listen to from his music box, singing to them or telling them a story. What a magical time it is now !



Thursday, 24 October 2013

Good evening all !
Just thought I'd add an extra recipe for the evening for all those people who love a nice hot chocolate before sleep. I usually warm a little milk in a pan and add a couple of dessert spoons of Nutella. Sometimes Its nice to also add a cinnamon stick for something a little more wintry. Then served with a couple of mini marshmallows or a Viennese twirl, the last TV viewing of the day and my most recent project. After all it is that time of the year when we are all staring to air out our warmer clothes and nice cosy slouch home wears. I love the cooler months when I have an excuse to don over sized jumpers and snuggle into fleece pyjamas and duvet like slippers, mmmmmm wonderful. Keep posted for my tutorial on a lovely warming mulled apple juice which is great for the designated driver, children and as well as those who do not partake of the ale. ( which I don't as am a t-totaller) 

Today's blessing

 
 
Today's blessing is our imaginations. I recently was invited to a wonderful tea party care of my little boy Zak. I watched as he poured all his furry guests small cups of tea and gave them cakes whilst all the time giving my a running commentary on everything he was doing. And I was reminded of how easily adults forget to let their creative spirits run wild and of how many wonderful things we can invent and make when we tap into this wondrous resource.
 
I myself, having been inspired by my son have started to design my own crochet patterns for our home and also am looking into some exciting new projects to reinvent my living space. So get creative today. get out your notepad and start jotting down your ideas. You could be someone who , like me likes to change your home every season to keep everything fresh. Or you could have a theme you would like to try. Go for it!, and like a child let your creative spirit run free :)
 
P.s I have used this blessing as an excuse to create a new tutorial for a wall hanging which I am going to post as soon as I get my photos sorted out. Yay!!!!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Whats new this week?



This week I have an endless list of projects in the middle of being made so It was nice to have a little break and try something new. You have probably seen the absolutely beautiful bird house wall hangings on the Internet at the moment. The pattern of which you have to pay $6-$7 for. Not that I am against it as the people who made the patterns are amazing. But I wanted to make my own version of it so I had a bit of an experiment and ended up with this, which isn't a bird house ( so no copyright infringements ... phew) Its a lovely country cottage with a flower garden. I may well add the pattern for this when I get a moment to make another and write down a pattern for it as it was completely through trial and error I ended up with this. Believe me when I say I am not an expert with wool so when I add this in future I will make it easy to copy. I have also posted this today to show you that once you can make basic shapes with crochet you can start to invent your own designs. I found with knitting you need a lot more experience before you can start creating your own unique patterns. But with crochet you can let out the inner artist a little more quickly once you can make squares, circles and triangles. The woolly world can be your oyster !!!!!! Give it a try!!!!!!



Monday, 21 October 2013

Add a little grafiti art to your home!!!!!!!


I made this skyline a while ago and thought I'd add a tutorial for it to my blog to show how easy it is to make and how quick. Now you will need an open space to do the spray painting in because they can get everywhere. Make sure you put plenty of old news papers on the floor if you don't want to redecorate the floor too.

Equipment

Spray paints - now Because I painted a city scape at sunset I chose blue and orange but you can choose any colors your heart fancies.
Cardboard- Here I did  bit of recycling and used an old cereal box  which I had flattened out.
A pair of scissors
an exacto knife
a wooden chopping board or special cutting mat.
Piece of furniture you wish to paint- I painted a small white coffee table.
Tipex

Method

Firstly draw out your template onto the card. Now this stage is important as you are deciding which parts are going to be painted and which with remain in the base colour. Now I first painted the whole table blue. And made my template to be the shape of a city scape which I attached to the table with tacks. I then got out my orange spray paint and sprayed the sky. I held the spray can a little further away from the table than usual to create a slightly more sparse coverage and so give the effect of a sunset across a blue horizon.  I then made the suns template by simply drawing round a saucer on a piece of scrap card, cutting it out and ( after tacking it) spraying it in. After the paint has almost completely dried I carefully removed the card and then left it until completely dry. I then got out my tipex and added some lighted windows in my skyscrapers and hey presto a great new piece of furniture which shouts original as well as being totally unique to YOU!!!! I might add as an extra tip if you have some clear varnish to hand add a few coats for a more durable finish.  I unfortunately was not that lucky but I found that in the case that you can't get your hands on the right kind of varnish use the sticky plastic paper many schools use to cover books. I covered the top of my table with it and found that it provided a good wipe clean cover for my art.