Friday, 27 April 2018

Problem with internet and phone

Having techy issues at moment sometimes connects but then suddenly goes off the phone is not much better.  Will be back as sorted.  Pattypan xx

Monday, 16 April 2018

Busy Busy Busy

Its been a very busy first day back at work.  And my feet have not stopped running around since I got home. I have literally just sat down to have some egg custard and five minutes rest to write this post and then it will be upwards and onwards again.

After having tea I nipped into the garden and started in the area outside the back door and I now have the little section near the back door done.  Mind you I was outside from about 6:40pm until just gone 9:00pm. So that is that little section done I am going to now have to gradually work myself down the pavement until we get to the shed.  OH is going to the tip again and so a lot more rubbish has joined the pile.  I have even managed to wash the area that I have sorted just by the back door down with clean water and as I have said I am going to work my way down the pavement.  Will have another bash tomorrow night on the next small section.  Until I get it done.  I am not putting a time limit on it.  When its done it will be done. I shall keep nibbling away at it.  I have also re-bagged my sack of potatoes as the bottom was starting to go out of the bag. 

After a lovely bright day it turned chilly again this evening.  I could really have done with another top on whilst I was outside but I am in now so there is no need as it is warm in the house. So stage 1 if operation Herb Garden has been started.

Now to prepare tomorrow night's tea before I get myself sorted out for tomorrow. Supposed to be better weather tomorrow which will be nice.

Right upwards and onwards hope you have all had a good day.

Catch you soon.



Sunday, 15 April 2018

Planned for the evenings during the week a little gardening to soothe the soul

Now that the nights are far lighter I am trying to plan ahead again.  I am usually shattered when I get home from work so a little time in the garden should not come amiss and help restore my inner peace and serenity.  Sometimes under the surface it is bubbling to such an extent that I feel I am going to explode and that is what I am trying to do at all costs avoid explosions.

A while back I purchased some oval tubs from B & amp; M the idea being that I would plant some strawberries in two of them and some veggie seeds in the other two.  Because of the weather that has not happened yet but is about to.  I have some of the strawberry plants I have just to get a couple of bags of compost and then that will be another thing ticked off the list and then hopefully some strawberries for tea during the summer.

Yesterday I bought herbs for the herb garden 12 mixed plants including Tarragon, Coriander, Dill, thyme, lemon thyme, parsley, chervil, Rosemary,  and 4 chive., two basil and a thyme  Wild strawberries are ordered and once I can get into the shed will set some seed.  I also have a couple of growing lettuce trays and also intend to set some myself and also some mustard and cress.  Now its getting lighter I can potter a bit in the garden in  the evening after work.

There are also six miniature roses in yellow pink and white to add to tubs.  I bought these from the veg shop as they were reduced to £1 a plant. Need the pansies and the violas now and some more Ivy and trailing plants.

So a small start and am going to do a bit at a time.  Everything in moderation. That way hopefully will accomplish more i.e. doing a bit at a time rather than in one whole rush like I normally do.  Going to start doing the check lists again.  So that I know where I am. It seems to be working well for the needlework so its time to extend it to the rest of the things I have on the list to do and see if it works as well.

I also have the shed to paint and the fences to stain at some point as well.  That might cheer things up a bit.  Well that is the plan.

Now back to reality.  We have been to the tip today but OH has to go it alone tomorrow as there are still more bags to go.  We were circumvented today with how many trips we did as OH wanted to watch the Grand Prix.   There was quite a tailback when we got there as well which did not help matters.

I also aim to have the food menu sorted out a bit more this week.  Tonight we have Moules Marinaire for tea with lots of crunchy bread and butter followed by strawberries and cream.  OH did not want anything heavy so I think this might just be what the Doctor ordered.

Tomorrow evening we are having chicken breasts with peaches and peppers (Hawain chicken) [I have posted the recipe for this further back on the blog] and this is being served with rice and maybe a little side salad if OH would like this.  There will be melon and ginger to follow.

Tuesday night I think it will be spaghetti and meatballs  with some sprouting broccoli as an addition- we have not had this for a while and its quick which means more garden time for me.

Wednesday night I have hot Camembert with crudites, I have carrot, celery, cucumber, and garlic bread with tinned mixed fruit and cream for afters.  Fruit cocktail is one of OH's favourites.

Thursday night it will be a home made chicken stir fry which will use up some of the veggies.

Friday night egg and bacon or bacon sarnies or even a toastie or two.  Followed by fruit of some kind.

I always tend to keep fruit in as its one way of getting vitamins into OH and stops to some extent his craving for chocolate.

The meals planned for this week are not as heavy I want to get on in the evenings with doing various stuff as well so are not as substantial as they would normally be.  As I have said I have fruit in as well grapes, melons (water, honeydew and Ogen), kiwi fruit, bananas, plums, apples, pears.  There are also lots of veggies in the fridge so one of the meals may get swapped around depending on the shelf life of the veggies.  Don't want to waste anything.

Right I need to sort the fridge out.  Catch you later.



Precious Photographs and Personal Items

I have a lot of them especially from the home of my parents and others that have been given to me over the years,  Precious photographs, photographs of people who were family members who I never had the chance to meet but have heard so much about, photographs of loved ones who I knew and have now passed and photos of my birth family and special times.  No end of photographs and then there are the photos that my dad took as well.  I want to sort out in due course some "official albums" but I also want to put them online for my family to have access to if they want to as well.  I think this will be a job for the winter months more than anything else.  A lot of photographs I am not sure who they are and some of them its as though I am instinctively knowing who these people are and being able to place them successfully and receiving outside confirmation of this as well.  I am hoping once I have got the photos sorted a bit more to have a word with my cousin (she is a little older than I) and might be able to give me much needed information.  My cousin also passed on family photos from my Uncle as he thought I was best placed to store these and pass them on in due course.  Some of these I had not seen before.

I have started to collect together some "vintage style" proper photograph albums in which to place the important photographs into and had thought that I would initially concentrate the photos by family name rather than just general albums.  We have family names of Ellingford, Christie, Ashcroft, Coxon, Bagley, Wheatman, Grayson, Green, Barton, Kirk, Edwards...  There are a whole lot more names out there but these are the most recent.  I would however appreciate your ideas on how you have dealt with your family photos to preserve them for the future and whether you have any tips to a newbie like myself.  I really want to do a good job of this and also leave notes of family stories etc. like a time capsule.

I am also keen to reproduce some of the photographs so that they can be framed and displayed however I do not want to ruin the originals and so am going to look into how to do this.  I had thought to make some embroidered frames or surround frames for the pictures as well as I think it finishes photos off a lot better

One of the things I have also thought of doing is that because ours is a blended family that there are a lot of items that belonged to my mum and dad. I have two nephews that they should by right have those items that belonged to close family passed back to them with certain provisos for generations to come.  That is what I am thinking of at the moment in any event.  The sorts of things I am talking about are jewellery and smaller items and although not necessarily expensive have a lot of memories and history.  Every piece of jewellery my Dad bought for my mum he wrote a little note to her.  Bless her she had kept every single one with the relevant piece of jewellery.  So touching so loving and its that love that I want to pass on to the generations to come.

I have a particular piece of jewellery that belonged to my Great Grandmother on my Nan's side which is her silver engraved fob watch with illuminated dial. It also has a graduated chain which is solid rose gold 22 carat. My Grandmother had inherited this and traditionally it is passed on to one of the girls in the family.  There was no girl to pass it to in my Nan's family and so it was passed to my Dad.  He in turn left it to me. That is a piece of history and really belongs to no one individual but we are mere custodians of it, and it is that piece of jewellery and other jewellery like it that I want to protect.  It is not to be sold under any circumstances.  It is not the wealth of the item that is important its the life and celebration of that life through photos and stories that carries on the love and ethos of those that came before.  This is what I am trying to protect.  Then of course there is my mum's jewellery and of course my own.  I intend to photograph the individual pieces as well so that there is in effect an active catalogue of those personal items.  

These projects will take a little time and effort but they all need sorting out so that nothing is left messy and complicated and that those left behind have a clear idea of what to look for and what belonged to who etc.  It will be worth it in the long run.

Right catch you soon.



Saturday, 14 April 2018

Saturday Part Two

We have been fortunate in the weather today no rain, the sun has been out and it has been a lot warmer and the sap feels as though it has risen on the barometer - Spring Fever.  When I get Spring Fever which I do every year I end up craving fresher lighter food especially after the substantial meals of the winter months.

After going to the Pasta shop OH and I did a detour and went to a new Lidl store that had been built at Werrington which is a lot bigger than our normal store off of Westfield Road.  It was new, bigger, and not as squashed but the store had no soul no identity.  Everything was set out in pristine fashion but the feeling was clinical and dead and this computerised advertising tannoy kept speaking out.  They had not got half the bays filled.  The staff were trying to load up and blocking the gangways to get by with shoppers and their trolleys which was causing congestion.  For the size of the store there was not enough staff and to tell you the truth I was not impressed with some of the produce they had finding it much better quality at my original store.  It was an experience but I do not think I shall be gracing their shop again.  I will return to my usual store as despite being a lot smaller it has an identity.

I was looking for fresh herbs  - I was not impressed with the quality of the ones that they had in stock and so did not buy any. I adore fresh thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram as they give extra flavour to a meal.   I use thyme an awful lot anyway.  I did buy chestnut mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms and some miniature mushrooms so that I can make garlic mushrooms, and do a hot salad dressing with some of the other mushrooms

I got a good bargain with Persil soap powder and some fresh asparagus and one or two other bits of veg that I cannot get locally like Asparagus, Rocket, and Kale but for the best part I did not get much although I did stock up on nuts I have bought Brazil Nuts, Pecan Nuts and some Salted Pistachios.

Well I did make it to the veg shop and I stocked up with plenty of good stuff so that we can have fresher type meals during the week to come.  I have red and yellow peppers, courgettes, cauliflowers for cauliflower cheese, a tray of eggs, so plenty of options here, plums red and yellow plums for OH, bananas, apples, tomatoes, celery, lettuce mixed salad leaves, apples, two types, grapes mangoes and lemons, water melon, Ogen melon (we already have a Sundew).  I also bought new garlic (I use a lot of garlic in cooking. 

I have also been up to Waitrose specifically on the herb front and I have found what I needed plus some herb plants for the back garden.  I have already ordered some wild strawberry plants for the garden too.  Needless to say one or two other things found their way into my basket but that is par for the course.  I also bought some fresh mussels to be cooked in wine, butter and garlic and then served up with wedges of thick bread and butter.  Yum.  A Big favourite here.

So I am all stocked up again for a little while and lots of good eating to be had in the next week or so.

Catch you soon.



My Saturday Part 1 A visit to The Pasta Shop in Peterborough

For many years I have been trying to get to this well established community shop and for one reason or another it just has not happened.  It has happened by chance now in a very unusual way.  OH is a fan of Provolone and has been unable to get a decent version anywhere.  He was speaking to one of his female colleagues at work (who happens to be Italian) and she was amazed he had not been to the Pasta shop.  He went during the week on his way home from work (whilst I was on my sick bed) and came back with all sorts of goodies.

Today is the first day I have been out all week although I am still absolutely full of cold and after our breakfast at "Ferraris" which again was very good (On Mayors Walk near the Record and Veg shop).  It seems to be becoming a regular thing and a regular routine with us on a Saturday morning.  They also do bulk orders or deliveries to local businesses and are a great couple Laura and Johnny and despite being new to our neck of the woods in Peterborough are certainly starting to grow the business and lots of regulars and newbies are taking advantage of their hospitality.  They are not big but they are certainly part of the community.

Anyway back to the Pasta Shop.  This is on Queens Walk just off London Road in Peterborough.  It is an institution and part of Little Italy in Peterborough and for a foodie (like myself it has absolutely no end of stuff).  What struck me was that the owners it is run by a family, mother and father and their daughter are so friendly and so willing to share their knowledge of the food they sell and about which they are so passionate and so welcoming.  I have only visited the once but I shall be going back many more times.  They are so friendly and welcoming.  Loads of different pastas, the like of some which I have not seen before, Arborio rice for risotto, the sizes of the jars usually small, ,medium and large depending on the size of family you are catering for.  All the Italian drinks like Grappa, Marsala, Lemoncello, etc. etc.  Proper fresh Italian tomatoes, the tins of specialist tomatoes that add a bit  more piquancy.  The bottles of passata, tinned cherry tomatoes, capers, Olive oils both light and virgin, balsamic, anchovies, nougat, different sweeties, different cakes.  At the moment if you spend £25 you get a free cake (Pannetone) this time round I have a chestnut one (the time when OH went he came back with a pistachio filled one.

The delicatessen counter stuffed to the gunnels with proper salamis, different variations, porchetta, which I absolutely adore, Braesola etc. etc.  Italian sausages with fennel seed, and with pepper. We came back with porchetta, Milano salami, Braesola, Napoli salami, and an Italian version of Brie which looks very interesting. Sweet crispy pastries filled with different flavourings (these are longer keeping pastries) but apparently they also have fresh ones on a Friday so I may send OH off for some of those next Friday.

The owner also gives you recipe advice and gives an indication of what to do with some of the goodies once you have bought them.  OH came back with the Italian sausage the other day and they are a thick meaty sausage with the addition of fennel (very different to our sausages) but she told him to chop up a couple of potatoes an onion, some red peppers, some garlic cloves and add the sausage and roast (after adding a little oil) I added some fresh Rosemary as well and it made a meal in itself we had a bowlful each for our supper last night and it was very filling and tasty.  We shall be having that again.  I did not have the red pepper last night but even so it was still very tasty.

Whilst in there we turned round and ran head on into my step-son and his wife.  They did not know we would be there and they did not know we would be there. What are the chances of that happening! His first visit was the other day with his Dad and he was particularly taken with the Porchetta although not a fan of the Piquante Provolone which we are.  I love Porchetta in any event and even have a recipe to do my own in the longer term if he is keen on it, it may be that I will have a go and do my own and share some of it with him.

Oh and I forgot to mention they also sell bags of pre-prepared pizza dough for about 50p a bag so that you can go home and just get on and make your own pizza; now that was a good idea.
So for this evening we are going to have some of the fresh Italian bread and some of the cold meats that we bought from the deli counter which will give me a break from cooking.

Right I need to get a wriggle on I need to nip to the veg shop.

Catch you soon.



Friday, 13 April 2018

Needlepoint update

Whilst general day to day living and dreadful weather have been going on I have kept to my promise and have been working on my needlepoint panel to the exclusion of anything else. Beavering away where I can, I have continued  to nibble away bit by bit at the part worked needlepoint panel.  So far there are about 24 man hours gone into this small panel alone and it is still not finished.  I do  not think it will be long before it is finished though.

There is still quite a bit of colour-work to be done on this panel but at least working the cream background first is showing up the differences between the greens a lot better than working it the other way round.  Near enough one side has been completely worked.  I am well chuffed with how it is turning out.  I have enlarged the last photo so that you can literally see where I have been.  It is finer work than usual needlepoint which when you are tired and go one further over than you should have done is not good and results in me pulling out the wrong bit.  It is a pretty little panel (Briar Rose) in any event and I think is going to look lovely made up into a cushion panel in due course along with those that have already been worked up beforehand.

Once and only once this project is put to bed as the saying goes.  What will I do then. Well.....  

On the to do list to do first is to work the two small Berlin Needlepoint squares up - it is only the background to do on each and get them out of the way with. Then I shall have a look at what I have to hand.  I think by working three UFOs that I should be allowed next to do a new kit and then once that is worked up. Back on to a couple of UFOs.  That way round I am being disciplined and then getting a treat for being good.  Well that is the plan anyway.  If I keep dangling a carrot whilst I am working the UFOs it will give me something to look forward to at the end of the day as well.

I am also going to keep my eye out for some small footstools and the like that can be recycled and which I can re-cover with a needlepoint top and recycle something that is tired and battered into something smart and practical.  That is the plan in any event.  We shall have to see what turns up.  I already have my Dad's old piano stool which really needs the cover replacing.  I have in mind a needlepoint top - probably a Rose design and then the woodwork needs a little attention and polishing up also.  I also thought that if I work all the components for the dream house a bit at a time it is a way of making sure in a roundabout way that the dream starts to live a little and grow legs and slowly come into reality through hard work and effort.

At some point I would also like to learn to do basic upholstery.  I have a Victorian looped back chair that is covered with velvet but I think a piece of wood has degenerated or come out of its socket so the chair does not hold as firm as it could be.  At some point I would like to have a go at that and bring that back into living again too.

Right upwards and onwards.

Catch you soon.



This year I really want to get in hand all things craftwise. I need to do more and I need also to try out new to me types of crafting.

Monthly Draw Win

I never win anything as a rule although I am very lucky in other ways for which I am very grateful.

I have recently been buying some beginner and intermediate embroidery kits from Maggie Gee and I must say her kits are lovely and have been a great introduction for me back into the world of embroidery after having so many years where I have not actually done any finer needlework. I still have a long way to go.  Anyway Maggie has a monthly prize draw.  It is not something I normally do either i.e. take part in prize draws but I decided to have a go and this month I am the lucky beneficiary of this draw.  Its daft but I am ever so excited and it has really cheered me up. I have been suffering with a bad cold all week and have been in bed since then trying to shake the wretched thing so this little win really has perked me up.

For those of you not familiar with Maggie her web site is here

and Facebook here

and etsy shop here.

For my prize I have chosen a kit called Tranquility "Brights" which is a lovely cheerful kit full of lovely vibrant colours.

(the photo is not mine and is one of Maggie's off her website)

I don't do advertising on here and speak very much as I find but I think her kits are good value  and based on beginner, intermediate and more advanced.  Maggie is also easily contactable if you are having any hassles with the kits or are not quite sure what to do and is an avid and beautiful needlewoman who has turned her passion into her business.

So despite being a poorly bunny am a "happy one".

Take care



Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Monday night catch up

I had intentions of starting to deep clean the kitchen this evening after a busy day at work.  However it was not to be.  OH could not make up his mind what he wanted to eat and in the end I went to the shop to see if there was anything nourishing that could be had.  Not much choice and I ended up bringing back a small joint of brisket and we have had that with mashed potatoes, shredded cabbage, mixed veg, (cauliflower, broccoli and carrot)and peas with Yorkshire pudding and lashings of gravy.  Despite taking a little while to cook and it being a late supper it was tasty if I do say so myself and OH certainly tucked in.  Not the sort of thing you really want to be doing after a long day at work.  So my plans were scuppered for this evening.  However OH has instructions to cook a  chilli for tomorrow evening's tea I have already given him due warning what I am intending to do and it is not to cook a roast dinner for tomorrow night.  I believe someone is thoroughly spoilt.

It has been a busy day at work as usual and I met my friend for lunch like we usually do but for the best part today has been a dully miserable and wet day the sort of wet day that really gets into your bones. I don't think it has helped as I have a bad cold and a horrendous sore  throat and am having to drink an awful lot.  I think a glass of Cassis with a little hot water in it might help soothe the old throat before I go to bed.  Ihate these sorts of days I hated them as a child too. Then I used to press my nose up close to the window and just stare out willing it to stop raining as it was keeping me housebound.  

All the clean clothes are sorted for tomorrow and I am soon going off to bed to do a little more needlepoint before I turn in.  I also have to feed the furry felines all five of them and it becomes a bit of a screaming match come tea time as they all want to be first in line.  OH has beef sarnies to take with him to work so I think that is all the bases covered.

Hope you have a good day and I hope that the weather is better than it was on Monday.

Catch you soon.



Monday, 9 April 2018

Trip Down Memory Lane and an unfinished project

I have been beavering away at my needlepoint and it is a little slow going but it is starting to grow very slowly notwithstanding that so far I have put about 18 hours worth of work on it - many more to come yet but it will be worth it in the long run.  I will show photos once the project is finished.  I have been managing to do an hour or so before going to bed.

I have also been rootling through ebay again to see if I can find any bargains.  I was particularly looking at Samplers this evening and I came across one quite by chance which I started nearly 40 years ago when I was first married.  I have somewhere along the line managed to put the colour instructions and the thread somewhere safe and have not been able to locate them.  It made me feel very guilty and all the more determined to locate the threads and the instructions so that I can finish it.  I loved the sampler when I first saw it I think that the only decent thing would be to get her finished.  This is my oldest outstanding kit.

The kit itself was a reproduction of an original American Sampler if I can remember rightly reproduced on linen with the crosses and shapes stamped on for even the most novice of needle-workers to have  a go at - way back then I was very much a novice.  The idea was that you washed the panel once completed, and there was room for personalising it as well.  All the blue ink washed out and washing the linen gave it a slubbier appearance.

Here are some photos of the part of the sampler I am still working. There is a frame all the way round the design which I have worked  - its the bottom bit that is waiting completion.  It is a very pretty sampler and more colourful (or it will be when it is finished).

Here is the link to the ebay site

And this is what it is supposed to look like when it is finished

So I think operation find the thread and chart is about to start.  It will be bagged up somewhere as that is what I do it is just locating it.

This however is the sampler on which this kit was based.  Apparently it is a very rare kit/chart to find these days well worth over $200.  Apparently it is a Mary Batcheldor Sampler.

Have you any unfinished UFOs and if so are yours as old as mine.

Catch you soon.



Sunday, 8 April 2018

Saturday and Sunday Sunday

Hope your day has been a good one thus far.

It started off yesterday really if truth be known when we started off with a leisurely breakfast and a bit of banter round at our local café which was all well and good no problems there.

OH had seen a van for his fishing he wanted to take a look at.  There is never such a thing as take a look at with men as he ended up buying it.  Needless to say it suits his requirements, drives well and should stop him mithering on about one.  So that should be ready for him later in the week ready for him to go fishing for the weekend.

First thing this morning therefore I have been trying to get connected on the Internet to arrange insurance what a palaver.  If they reckon they are simple come again I work on a computer all day long and that was not simple.  We have however got sorted after going on the Meerkat website to find out our options and that is now all sorted as well and with a local company.  Not everyone insures vans.  Phew.

I have had a little bit of the cake - it really is too much - they look opulent and the thought was kind but I think when they make things bigger something is lost in flavour and translation.  I was not too impressed and do not think I will be finishing it off.  OH has been muttering about tea and I just cannot face the thought of it at the moment.  Will sort something out.

Me I am engaged in scrubbing out the little room from top to bottom and I have just stopped for a moment as I am getting a little hot under the collar.  One little room is scrubbed out within an inch of its life I shall set to on the washing - just for clothes for work this week and they don't take much doing and somewhere along the  line as I have said previously I will have to feed his lordship.

Its been raining on and off all day and is muggy but miserable.

Earlier today I packed away some of my Easter decorations which I don't think I have shown before.  In recent years I have bought the odd little egg ornament to put on the dressers.  I never thought to take the photos of the decorations in situ but here are a few of them.

Two china eggs with sweet violets on them.  I love violets.

An Aynsley Wild Tudor dish ideal for putting sweeties in or pot-pourri. I absolutely love this design.

And two Easter China Eggs one with a hare and one with a rabbit.

Right am off to carry on with operation little room.  Catch you later on.



Saturday, 7 April 2018

Out for another meal

this evening.  We went back to the pub we went to the other day.  Today though we both had the carvery.  He had a large plate - I had a standard.  The large was too big for him the standard was a little too large for me but the meal was delicious.

For pudding I just asked for ice cream. I had blue bubblegum which did not taste like bubblegum at all white chocolate and then mint and chocolate chip.  Nice ice cream.  What I did not know was that OH had gone and got other things as well.  At this particular pub you can take the desserts or cake home with you.  He came back from paying pleased as punch with himself and just handed me a carrier bag.  When  I looked inside there was a piece of carrot cake and an éclair.  Not standard size at all but humungous.

The Carrot cake  - I think it is going to take me three attempts to eat this - not tonight as I am stuffed.

The éclair which is the size of a baguette.

His Highness holding both!  I have heard of holding your own but that is ridiculous.  At least he has a smile on his face (or is that a grimace)!

Catch you soon.



Friday, 6 April 2018

"Lace" and recent finds

I have been fascinated by Lace since I was a little girl when I first saw Bruges lace on my first foreign holiday with my best friend's family when I was in Belgium for about seven weeks. 

Aunty Iggy (Aunty Marguerite) (my friend's mum) was Belgian.  She had met her husband just after the war and had moved to England when she had eventually married him.  Equally they had a big family seven again all of them girls. Her brother an Architect had built his own home in a village called Maclen outside of Brussels. He had about seven children of all different ages and the house was a four storey one including the basement but quite large.  I was only seven years of age at the time.  Aunt Iggy's and her brother Raymond's mother was in her nineties at the time and was called Mimi.  She frightened the pants off of me as she used to glide into a room without you realising it and then make you jump.  Mimi could not speak English but it did not stop her jabbering on at us.  

Whilst in Belgium with the family I was taken to a lot of places on days out and it is the days out and the family that I remember more than anything else.  Whilst out for the day in Brussels I was taken to museum which had a lot of handmade lace in it and that was where I fell in love with lace.

There are different kinds of lace.  The most expensive being that made by hand by use of bobbins.  I have a lace mat a beginners set which I have not really had a play with yet.  I have had it for many years but I am going to have a play with it - its on my bucket list but that will be a little way off yet and I have also ordered some personalised bobbins as well. Here is the link:

Here is a picture of said bobbins.

I am keen to get some vintage bobbins if I can along the way as well.  I thought I would buy one every so often.

There is crochet lace often in the form of what is called filet, there is mass produced lace, nylon lace, cotton lace etc. and even knitted lace.

On of the things I am doing at the moment is buying a few things here and there for next to nothing, noticeably crochet mats of all different sizes  but I have also been buying proper vintage crochet lace to go on my vintage bedding to make it a bit prettier and more shabby chic.

Here are some of the pieces I have acquired so far and there is some more to come.

This is a lovely filet crochet cream panel which is destined for a top sheet of one of my linen vintage sheets.  

When buying crochet piece on ebay be very careful.  Some people are advertising machine made pieces as hand created crochet when in fact it is not and they try and charge an enhanced price for this.  I believe some of this is down to ignorance on their part though.  So I always carefully study the photos blowing them as much as I can.  Proper hand crochet has its own depth and texture.
There have also been some pretty mats turn up in job lots which I am going to recycle in various guises in due course.  These pieces in particular I am very pleased with.

A Hand crocheted table runner the work is lovely on this.  This will look super down the centre of my pine dining table.  There is certainly a lot of work that has gone into it.

A pretty vintage dressing table set which will go wonderfully with the spare bedroom theme of yellow and green and cream.  The green on these photos looks a lot more turquoise than it actually is, but it should go well with the scheme of things and indeed the vintage feather satin bedspread.

A beautiful cut work dresser set.  Funnily enough I have jelly rolls in this colourway to make a quilt. So the basis of another room make over.

Another little dressing table set

A lovely embroidered table centre which is quite pretty.

Some crochet mats.

All of these are lace variants and really look pretty in person.

So there is going to be lots to play with in the long run and I have all sorts of ideas buzzing round in my head.  However I think I am going to have to have a go at making my own filet lace as well as I have the thread and the patterns (I used to collect a monthly crochet magazine on a regular basis and I have a stack of them lurking somewhere.  I think that they are down in the unit right at the back though!  Always the way.

Right had better get a wriggle on am absolutely shattered. I went to bed early last night but did not sleep and I think it was gone three am before I actually nodded off.

Right I had better get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



Thursday, 5 April 2018

Creative Juices

Are flowing again and I am itching to get playing and I have to behave myself.  I am getting all sorts of ideas  and have been gathering things together to have a play for when OH goes fishing again.  In the interim I am beavering away at the background to the small briar rose needlepoint that is going to be used as a cushion centre panel however it is slow going but I shall persevere and will get there in the end.  I have done a little more than I had the other day.

I am actually itching to get on with an embroidery kit which is a Glorafilia Kit Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady and is a panel surrounded by the months of the year and then relevant flowers or plants for each month and then a quote in the middle.  However at the moment for me I am being remarkably restrained.  Needlepoint first and if I can get the current cushion panel out of the way and the two little ones then I might allow myself to work the embroidery kit in between everything else.  It was a fleabay find at a very good price even with the postage.  Regular followers will know that I have quite a few bits and bobs on the Edwardian Lady theme/collection already and my bedroom is destined to be decorated out in the honeysuckle and roses design.  I even have vintage wallpaper to use as well and I have my eye on working a couple of rugs as well.

This is a photo of the kit I am itching to start.

I particularly like hand crochet lace and I have some in my stash which is destined for trimming one of my cotton top sheets and also some pillowcases.  I have some of my mum's vintage cotton pillowcases that are plain so that lace is destined for them and I also have a vintage cotton sheet.  It is a shabby chic look as the lace maybe will do one sheet or a pillowslip here or there and apart from the same colourway perhaps the patterns do not match but the pretty feminine touches often make all the difference and soften things down.

I have been trying to work the needlepoint I am currently working on about an hour or so before I go to bed so even though I only do a little at least it is slowly getting done.  I was not able to do any last night because of the migraine but the early night seems to have done me the world of good in the longer run and the weather here today has been glorious.  A little edge to the wind but still a lovely sunny day which has long been overdue.  I even took  my jumper off at work today.  My original choice of top this morning underneath my jumper was okay for under my jumper but I took another top in with me as I had not realised until the last moment that you could see my undies through the top and got changed into the more suitable one after I got too hot.

Its been a very busy day again at work and I had a nice surprise waiting for me as OH had decided to take us out for a meal which was a lovely surprise.  We went to a pub called The Mulberry Tree which we had not been to before and the food was extremely good.  However I think I am getting very long in the tooth.

It is a pub that welcomes children as well as adults but what I could not get over was that no one was supervising the children they were left by the adults and I am talking at 7 to 8 years at the most if not younger.  Perhaps I am being too judgmental but there are couples out there who cannot have children and would make very good parents and yet don't get a chance and others who fall at the drop of the hat and are no always geared up to be parents.  However these children were being very much left to their own devices in the pub and getting into mischief notably in the ladies loos where they had been shredding the toilet paper!  I don't think that it is a suitable environment to leave them unsupervised in as you never know who or what is on the premises.  I really do despair.  Its as though the "adults" turn into children as soon as they get in the pub!

Oh well less of my grumbling I think I am gradually turning into the old p.... in the corner!

Catch you all later.



Wednesday, 4 April 2018

This and That

Its been a very busy day at work and I am absolutely shattered and to boot also have a migraine so by the time you read this post I will probably have been in bed for a good couple of hours.  I was meant to be out this evening but because of the migraine I have cancelled that preferring to chill and sleep.  Which is a pity as I had planned on doing a little more needlepoint but that will have to give way until probably tomorrow now.

I have been working the needlepoint an hour or so before I go to sleep.  It is slow going but I am slowly getting there.  The canvas is a very fine one and so every so often I am having to rest my eyes so that I do not strain them but at least it is coming up reasonably well.  I love needlepoint it is soothing and you can pick it up and put it down and just literally pick up where you left off.  On the little bit I have already shown  you I have spent approximately five hours, stabbed my finger a couple of times and ended up taking a couple of rows down as I got into a bit of a mess on the reverse side, but these things happen.  Right I had better get a wriggle on I am finding it difficult to stay awake.

Hopefully catch up again tomorrow.



Working the Needlepoint update

I am beavering away with the needlepoint the top left hand corner is what I have managed to work on the cream so far.  I still have more colour to work but sometimes you need to work some of the background to show up where you actually need to work  - well that is my experience.  It is slow work but I am trying to work it neatly and accurately and in fairness it is not every night I get to play.  Take last night for instance could not get anywhere near as by the time I had finished what I was doing it was too late and despite OH not having to get up at 6:00am he always is and walks the dog and I am usually awake anyway although don't get out of bed before 7:00am.  I think this Briar Rose Design is one that was originally sold by John Lewis - the Coleshill collection.  I have already worked two panels of this already and there is a brand new kit in my stash yet to work but this one makes the numbers even on the cushion panel front.

I bought in 20 skeins of the Anchor cream tapisserie wool for the background of the panels. The kit had a pale green and I wanted the flowers to stand out a little more than they do with the green.  Besides I have a specific green shade that I want to use with my cushions and I do not want to mix it too much.

Once this panel is done I will then set about the  two Berlin type needlepoints to finish which have been given a Burgundy red background.  I have enough wool to finish one of the panels but I will need to source some more to complete the other. At least I have made a start which is something at the moment although I am itching to do some embroidery but that is going to have to wait a little while.  I have two Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady kits that are talking to me.  A freestyle embroidery panel for every month of the year and a cross stitch of a spray of poppies.

Right upwards and onwards I have a busy day ahead.

Catch you soon.



Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Lots of water around

After a lot of rain during the weekend and overnight needless to say that there has been a lot of water laying around.

I went with OH to walk Missy this evening straight from work and as usual we ended up walking down by the river.  The river is very high nearly to the top of the banks and nearly to the top of the walkover bridge where the water is usually quite a lot lower.  I suspect that they have opened the locks further up country in an effort to get rid of all the water (probably Northampton Way to stop any potential flooding) as the river finally flows out into tidal waters and then to the sea in the wash.  I just feel sorry for all the wild creatures that have been flooded out of their homes. 

In the last photo above you can see what is known as the Electric Cut which was the outflow to the local power station.  Many large carp were caught there over the years and it was a frequent spot for OH as a youngster to go fishing. The carp used to grow very large because the water was warmer than in the river. Part of the cut has been filled in this part is the only part left over after the power station was moved over to the Wash side of town.  The cut runs parallel to the river and as you can see there is only a thin strip of land between the two and it would not take much for them to completely join up if we have too much more water.

So fingers crossed no more rain as otherwise it will be over the banks.

Fortunately it has been a nice evening tonight so fingers crossed its going to be the same tomorrow.

The nettles are starting to come through on the undergrowth so leave it a week or so and maybe if its a little finer will be able to collect nettles to make nettle wine. You only need the young tops - needs to be closer to May as the plants become sweeter then but it is a fine line between managing to pick them young and them going over.

Right had better get a wriggle on.

Catch you soon.



Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)