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.

Brighten up the morning with this fantastic smoothie!!!

Now I have recently started experimenting with my breakfasts to make them more interesting for my little boy and me and also to ensure he is getting enough vitamins and fibre in his diet ( which may also help with the old potty training... so) Here is my recipe for my banana honey bunny smoothie ( the name was inspired by a coffee I once drank whilst living in Poland in my early 20s which was called a 'café honey bunny')

Ingredients

2 bananas
between 250 and 400ml milk depending how much smoothie you want
honey to taste
porridge oats ( optional for an extra boost)
a couple of ice cubes

Method

This is very easy simply add all ingredients to a blender and wallah!
A really lovely smoothie!!!
This recipe is also a really great mix for putting in ice lolly molds to give to tots when you are lucky enough to have an Indian summers day or even for a guilt free treat for a mum in need of 2 minutes break lol


Thursday, 17 October 2013

long time no see

Hi and no I haven't fallen off the edge of the planet lol. I had a few issues with my Internet and have been crazily busy with my list of woolly projects to complete and in fact am in the midst of several at the moment. I am going to post some new tip bits for you this week. A tutorial for a fantastic recycled rag rug to keep your home snugly warm over the cooler months ( although the cold weather has not yet arrived here am getting prepared), A fantastic new baby basket tutorial for new mums so you can hand out little chocolates or favors to well wishers and family visiting ( adorable) and some new recipes for the cooler weather including my own take on puff pastry apple bites ( which are baked so less guilt !). So watch this space....

The baby basket project was inspired by the fact that this last month my own dear sister in law has given birth to the most beautiful baby daughter and I wanted to give her a nice gift for when she had family around. It is already a tradition here in Jordan for families to have decorated baskets fill with beautifully wrapped chocolates to hand round to family and friends as they come to see the new baby and congratulate the happy parents. I have also used this new arrival as an opportunity to get knitting and crocheting and make a few tiny baby accessories.

I also celebrated the day by baking a huge chocolate cake .... I wont put a picture of that as .... as It was one of those cake tins that has a hole in the middle and as I was trying to cut it in half to put the filling in the top kinda collapsed. I managed to get the filling in and the top back on OK but its not what you call the most attractive finish ever lol. It was a huge success because of the filling  which was strawberry jam and cream which went really well with the nice light chocolate cake. It disappeared very quickly which also made me smile as it did to see everyone enjoying it .
 
 
 
Now for an important bit.
 
 

Happy Eid for Everyone!!!!!!!

 

This week has been the second Eid on the Islamic calendar. It is I have recently found out also called the sheep Eid as this is the time of the year when many families here in Jordan have a sheep slaughtered and donate the meat to organisations which provide meals for the poor. Its quite an important act of charity for Muslims here to help those less fortunate than themselves and through that say thanks for all the things they themselves have. The actual Eid was a few days ago but the holiday is about 4 or five days and so prior to the holiday people like to get their homes cleaned and tidied and then during the holiday they can completely relax and do nothing. Rather like I remember Christmas used to be like at home as a child with my parents. From Christmas day till new years eve was all about relaxing. So in that way its quite similar. I hope that we can all use this holiday as a great reason to be just a little kinder to our fellow humans as in my eyes we are all brothers and sisters regardless of denomination and the closer we come to co-operative living and understanding the closer we come to god. As it is through our hearts and our humility that we are able to achieve the greatest good!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Whats new?

I have been a little busy making rag rugs out of some of my huge second hand material stash as it is kinda taking up too much space which could be used for other things. So have been using the method I outlined in my last tutorial and also simply cutting strips and tying them together which gives a raggedy finish which is nice for the winter. I am planning to make the finished rug rather large so its still a work in progress as you can see. But having just finished making two other new balls of material yarn ( think that's what you call it lol) I think I have plenty to be getting on with.

 
Also this week I have been starting to experiment with natural dyes and dying fabric. It all came about when my sister in law saw the rug I was making and asked me to take some old unwanted clothes and make two small mats for in front of my nephew and nieces bedroom doors too keep the drafts at bay in the winter. And some of the material wasn't very practical as it was white. So I got experimenting with natural dyes and did a bit of dip dying with Turmeric, cayenne pepper and cinnamon and got some rather good results. I really recommend it! 
 
  Plus after I did the materials for making the rug I decided to do the same dying process with a few old white clothes which I wanted to revitalise. Loved the results and will defiantly be wearing my new turmeric dyed homestead style top for the autumn.
 
Made a lovely chocolate cake and poured melted galaxy chocolate over it . It was a real hit with my family in law. The only issue now with having food so nice is that I have to remember I am trying to stay slim and fit and not have a slice every day lol.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Today's blessing


OK today's blessing is trees. We take them for granted and forget how much work they do for us environmentally but aren't they amazing. Their beauty is unparalleled and the way  they create more oxygen for us to breathe incredible . They give us shelter from the rain or in my current case ( weather wise) the heat of the midday sun. They produce the most delicious fruits and they live many times longer than the average human. When I think of trees I think of the woodlands near to my parents home and the wonderful smell of the leaves if you got for a walk in the rain. I have always loved how when you are inside the woods you are sheltered by a huge umbrella of leaves but you can still hear the falling raindrops and smell the cool fragrance of the earth mixed in with the water. Its as much a wonderful sight to see it in winter when the snows have fallen and the whole scene is white and crisp flecked with the imprints of animals who have passed by the wayside.
Even after living here is Jordan for three years I still see the exotic trees and feel as though I am on a holiday as they are as different from my birth land as chalk and cheese. But I also love the landscape here as it has a wonder of its own and the trees here all have a story to tell of their own. The olive trees here produce the most wonderful olives which our family press into a deep pungent green olive oil and preserve the olives to with chili to eat with hummus and flat bread ( one of my and my son's favorite breakfasts). I love their waxy leaves and elegant form that reminds me of my trip to Italy many moons ago whilst on my travels. Trees are one of our most underrated resources in terms of the un surpass able job they do for our air, our food and our environment . One little idea for loving trees would be to plant one in your garden. When I was born my parents planted a cherry tree in their garden to celebrate and I think that's a really great thing to do. So plant a tree today - you could plant it as a celebration of a birthday or in memory of someone dear and at the same time you can play your part in improving the environment you live in . ( plus if you plant a fruit tree you get free fruit to make fantastic fruit pies and crumbles with , yummy!!!)

Pot holder/ mat tutorial

What you need

Old t-shirts ( the more elastin content the more flexible your t-shirt yarn)
an 8mm crochet hook


First things first


Making the t-shirt yarn. Firstly cut a line from just under the arms and also across the bottom of the t-shirt cutting off the bottom hem which can be a little to thick. 

You should at this point have a tube of fabric. Fold it in half with the seams together and cut strips from the inside towards the seams leaving about an inch before the seam.

 Do this down to the bottom of the tube then open. What you should have at this stage is a tube with cuts down.
 
I was not sure how to put the next part. You open the tube and at one of the top sides you make a diagonal cut on one side from the start of the edge to the very edge of the material and this side will then be repeatedly cut diagonally from one line of material to the next. The other side can then be cut across rather than diagonally. I hope you get the idea. When you have a long piece of material this is when the elastin in the material really helps. You hold the material by the side seams and pull gently and it will hopefully curl to form a yarn like string. Continue and don't worry if the seams cut you can tie them together and later when you crochet them they can add some texture to your piece if your making a rug for example. But if your wanting to make something neat you can tuck the ends in after you finish crocheting anyway so its not a problem.

Pot holder pattern

  1. Chain 20  and 2 extra for turning .
     2.Then triple crochet in the second chain from your hook. Triple crochet to the end.
    
     3.chain two and then triple again in the second from the hook and until the end.
Continue repeating step two until the desired size is acquired then fasten off.

The edging

Now the edging I made is quite easy and can be used for both pot holders and mats.
simply chain 3 then make a slip stitch in the first chain and then slip stitch in the base of the chain. then slip stitch in the next stitch you are making the edging in. And to make a loop just chain about 20 and then slip stitch back in the first chain and tie off.


  

  So when making a mat alternately you can make it any size as long as you add two chains at the end for turning and then when starting the next line make your first stitch in the second chain or stitch from your crochet hook.
 
 
Here is a dressing table mat I made from a recycled piece of lace I cut into strips and attached together, an old stretchy t shirt and an old vest. I really like the mixed textures of the materials all mixed together and It has freshened up the appearance of my dressing table . Not to mention I have gotten rid of some old clothes which were taking up much needed wardrobe space. It's a win win situation with recycling !!!!
 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Today's blessing


Today's blessing is our hearts and our ability to love others unconditionally. This type of love is the greatest ever. This type of love is what we all aspire to have in our lives. To have our parents love us without condition and despite our blunders and for them that we love them without judgment. That Our romantic loves realize that the greatest most passionate of loves comes from having no preconceptions about what we want them to be like. That we love them for being simply and that we no longer seek to persuade them to change their tastes so that we are ourselves more comfortable. I think our hearts ability to love those dear to us without condition is one of the most miraculous gifts of life. It can literally heal disease and physical pain and even if it doesn't cure us it gives us a peace which is incomparable. Its not always an easy thing to do but it is achievable with the most incredible results!!!!

Autumnal colours for projects new!

I am getting into re-salvaging wool from old jumpers and second hand knitwear more and more these days. Especially as my stash of wool is getting ever smaller and the opportunity to get out and buy anything is new is few and far being. So , given that predicament I have resolved to get on and unravel as many unwanted garments as I can physically get my hands on and create some fantastic new clothes for the cooler seasons to come and also my trip to the UK in December. I fell in love with a small jumper which was rather easy to de-tangle and am now making a fantastic beanie hat. I love the colour kind of reminds me of an Indian summer.

 
 
Another long term recycling project is a table mat I am making out of a machine knitted next jumper which I have been painstakingly pulling apart. So far its going well but I think I will need to finish pulling the whole garment apart before I finish this mammoth of a piece as my dining room table is rather large. I do love the style of the mat so far though - it has a kind of rustic feel and makes me think of all those lovely Laura Ashley interior pieces which I have admired before and then almost given myself a heart attack when glancing at the price tag. This feels so much better and has none of the guilt of buying it especially as If I now see cushion covers or table mats now a days I always wonder how easy it would be to make that myself and how much cheaper to boot.
 
 
 
Will be posting a tutorial for a truly recycled project for your kitchen - the recycled T-shirt potholder. Which is really easy and quick to make. As well as being green and reusing all those t-shirts you no longer like or want. Yay!!!! go green !!!!!!


 
 


Friday, 30 August 2013

More projects this week

I am trying to get an organised list of projects to get ready for going to the UK in December. I have started making a few gifts for my parents and a few essentials for the British winter time including a lovely pair of mittens which are my first. And this is to everyone who has seen something they would love to make but have not tried for fear of failure. Seriously I thought gloves and mittens were something for those who are professional knitters and crocheters and I have just made my first pair so If I can do it , you can . And that applies to all those crafts and things we think I can't . Today's the day we should say "I Can!!!". I can mend that door ( If I do  little research), I can make that dinner ( when I have a go), I can sing Karaoke (Because its fun / forget how good I am that bits not the point lol), I can learn a new language ( Its never too late - remember my grandfather in his final years learnt French !!!!)
OK will get off my soap box lol Back to projects bellow are the gloves for me .
 
 
Finished my dad's new winter hat finally Yay!!!!!
 
 
 
I made a pretty nice beanie hat for little Zak out of a recycled jumper which I unraveled. It kinda looks a little bit more ethnic than I was aiming for but when I finished it the result is really nice.
 

 
And a few decorative doilies for the TV table .... not bad.
 
Now the next scary project to try is socks. Socks ....... bet they r easy :)



 

Today's blessing

 
Today's blessing is probably the most taken for granted aspect of our lives. The air we breathe. We would not survive without it and yet its so part of our lives we don't even think about it for a moment. The way we breathe the air and how we take such a great part of our life from such an amazing gas. And yet so many of us ( myself included) don't take time to sit and really breathe and so truly relax. I can vouch for those days when my son is nagging me for things and I can't seem to find anything I need and the time is speeding by and my family in law misunderstand me and my husband is in a mood and I am ready to pull my hair out lol but just a few moments of deep breathing with my eyes closed brings everything into perspective. So here is an extremely effective breathing technique which I was given by my lovely mum which really helps when my stress boiling pot is about to blow.
 
 
Relaxation technique
 
OK. If you can put some calming music but also listening to birds outside the window or the wind also helps. Sit on a chair and have the soles of your feet planted on the ground. Close your eyes and breathe deeply concentrating on your breathes. Fell yourself becoming more and more heavy and imagine you are sitting under a wonderful shower of light and that there is a wonderful cleansing light pouring over you. See the light washing away all the stresses of your day. At this point I usually see that the worries and stress looks like mud washing away. After a minute or so I then imagine myself glowing with light and am feeling more focused to continue the day. And to conclude my relaxation I end with a visualization of strong roots growing from my feet deep into the ground to pull me back to reality and keep me focused so that when I open my eyes I can get on with the rest of the day without being sleepy. I always found the grounding helped me to return to an active day as usually relaxation and deep breathing tends to make me want to go for a sleep. So this does help wake you up after.
 
 


Friday, 23 August 2013

Projects for the end of August


I am now trying as hard as I can to finish the hat I started what seems like a millennium ago for my dad for Christmas. Note to self - stop getting distracted by all the quickie crochet patterns which would be oh so charming presents for family and do the larger jobs first lol.

 
 
Talking about distractions I found a lovely pattern online for a wintry bobble hat and scarf novelty topper for a bottle of wine and thought my parents would love it so am making a couple for them as presents for when I visit in December.
Waking during the night with a terrible headache I grabbed a cup of tea and two paracetamol and decided to make one to see how easy they were. Was pleasantly surprised by the result and will be making a couple. After watching the movie dramatization of Willkie Colin's 'The Woman in White' I went rather happily back to bed for a few more hours sleep . :)))))))
 
 


Today's blessing

 
 
Today's blessing is being able to find inspiration for my crochet, knitting and crafting in the world around me. Its amazing how the most mundane of objects can be transformed into the most beautiful addition to your home. For example this picture above and below are simply images from an ironing board cover I have at home. And yet this could be made into the most amazing embroidery piece. An embroidered pillow for the living room just with a little tracing paper and a bit of imagination. I am always looking for inspiration for my décor in and around my home and love to play with ideas and keep changing the general appearance every season and so keep everything fresh. Which reminds me will have to start thinking about next spring's cushion covers soon. I was thinking to have a set of embroidered covers for a change. But I think I might have to wait till my visit to the UK to get the white or cream material on which to embroider as I am rather low on material. Especially at the moment as I have been focusing on all things wooly lol.
 
 

 
 
 




Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Clearing out my space today!!!!

 
Its amazing how much better you feel after clearing out a space in your home and reorganizing things a little. Today I finally got round to reshuffling the furniture in my son's bedroom and so making it a more play friendly area. Before I had two single beds in in which took up too much space and meant his room was not really a place for playing. So I moved the second bed next door and made my spare room into a guest bedroom so not bad. I will have to organize my crafty stuff better though as its in a bit of a muddle.
 
My blessing of the day is having a clear and clean home in which to live. I am blessed to have such a lovely home as I do and be able to move things around as I have to optimize the space available. I think its also a blessing to be able to put your personality into your home too. I love changing things all the time - such as the wall art and the cushion covers and carpets. It keeps my home environment fresh and vibrant.
 
I will be writing some exciting posts this week . Some tutorials and recipes and be sharing more photos with you so keep posted.

Monday, 19 August 2013

An easy meal for a busy day


 
Now this is an especially easy and quick meal which is also vegetarian and filling and my son loves it. I actually cooked it today for his lunch and he guzzled a whole bowl and then he asked me for more so defiantly a thumbs up. The first time I saw this recipe was many years ago when I was at university and on holiday in France. The only difference I have made to the recipe is to not add sugar and to use an alternative kind of cheese to the parmesan used in the original.
 

Ingredients

 
Rice wise I use a coffee mug for myself my son and my husband ( so a mug for every 3 people)
salt
Tinned chopped tomatoes
dried or fresh basil
dried or fresh oregano
dried or fresh thyme
cheese of your choice
short spaghetti ( I have no idea of the name but its like thin spaghetti chopped into tiny lengths)
corn oil
tomato paste

Method

  1. Wash your rice 5 or 6 times using warm and then cool water.
  2. Put a small amount of corn oil in a pan and add a handful of the short spaghetti and fry till golden.
  3. Add one and a half mugs of hot water for every mug you wish to cook.
  4. Add salt and bring to the boil and then simmer until the water has been soaked into the rice. And the rice is cooked.
  5. Meanwhile put tomatoes and herbs into a pan and heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Also add a little tomato paste at this stage.
  6. Simmer gently until the rice has cooked.
  7. Then put a portion of rice into your plates and mix in the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the cheese on top. And there you have it!!!!
 
 
  1.  
 


August projects so far

 
This month despite the crazy hot temperatures I have still given a thought to knitting and crocheting some bits and bobs for when the colder weather comes to visit Jordan. Above is a shawl I have made this month ( yup pink again). It is an adapted version of a wavy scarf pattern I got from Ravelry.com. it was intended as an Eid present for my mother in law but as she mentioned she would rather have black or gray than pink this found a new home with my sister in law who saw it and asked me if she could have it .
 
 
A warm wooly hat for my dear husband for the winter time. He was very happy with result and the fit and so I was inspired to make another for my own dad and will maybe make another for little zak- if I have time along side the huge list that seems to be growing every day. Not enough hours in the day lol!!!
 

 
Trying to re-organize my stash of wool. I actually don't have much wool at the moment and am waiting for the opportunity to replenish it when I get a chance. So meanwhile I have reverted to taking unwanted old jumpers apart for their wool again. Its quite therapeutic unwinding a knitted piece and gives me  a warm feeling inside as I am being very eco friendly re-using my resources so yay to me!!!!
 
 



I also started making a grandma style banner for my parents with a Christmassy theme for when I go to the UK in December. I got so into my research for appliques for the project that I ended up going to bed after 2 am. Drinking lots of coffee today ( ZZZZZZZZZ) lol.

Today's blessing

 
They say a picture says a thousand words. So my blessing today is photographs and the world of photography. I have always had a great love for photographs and the messages they tell. This one above is a little obvious but I loved this stair case I saw in Palestine just after I got married and took a photo. I love the pealing paint behind the image which makes you think about the passage of time and life long love.
 

The most Moorish chocolate dessert I devoured at Charingworth manner hotel a couple of years ago on returning from my wedding in Jordan to the UK mmmmmm! I think that photos are my version of the wish most people have of being able to bottle their most cherished memories . I love to look at old photos and remember the happy times gone by. My memory is really quite sensory and so when I see a picture I can sometimes almost smell the smells and remember the sounds around me in the moment the picture was taken. Its my special way of being able to re-open those memory bottle I have stored away and re-live them again. Not bad eh!!!

 
The pungent heady scents which laced the air when I visited a wondrous open gardens near to my family home in Derbyshire, famous for its beautiful blooms. I can still remember that day as it had been lightly raining which brought out the perfume of the flowers even more and  it caressed me like a warm blanket as I walked around taking in the sights. Bliss !
 
 
 
And of course the winter wonderland I experienced in my first winter of married life. This was taken in the woodland which lies behind my parents home. I love the shadows left by the trees and the crisp sound the snow made that year under the boots I borrowed from my  dear mum. 


Friday, 16 August 2013

Todays blessing


Todays blessing for me is quite current and important because of the terrible heat we are experiencing here in Jordan at the moment. So Todays blessing for me is the wind. I have been sweltering all day helping my mother in law clean her home and the lack of an air conditioner makes things really quite hard at times but simply opening the window on this blustery day for a moment and you feel soo much better. I love the wind and the whistling noise it makes as it whips around our home. I love the winds here in Jordan as they seems to freshen the air which otherwise would be extremely stuffy. I love the winds in Europe and their cool rainy feel which always seemed to wake me up when I had an early rise.

One of my favourite movies of all time  ( The English Patient) has a scene in which the hero describes the many winds across North Africa. And the way he retells his tale about their effects upon the inhabitants of the lands in which they appear transforms me back into a small child full of awe at the power and spectacle of the natural world in all its splendor.