Friday, 28 July 2017

Five on Friday - Wooden gifts for hooks and needles.

I've not blogged for a while and found myself missing being in touch with you all in blog land. It was my birthday on Monday, Yay! 38 again (she lied). I've lost count of the years that I've celebrated my 38th birthday. It's a good sounding age and I'm sticking with it until I forget how old I really am.

I'm joining with Five on Friday again with some wooden craft items that were gifts once a while ago.






First up is a wool tree given to me by my husband for my birthday this week. It's been put to good use already.




Next is a needle case and pin cushion from my in-laws. I think they were both bought from Bosham craft centre some years ago. My Mother-in-law used to sell her hand made pottery lamps and planters - fired at home, in the craft shop upstairs. If ever you're visiting West Sussex do have a look in the little shops there. They are frequently changing vendors as different ones leave and new ideas take their place. Bosham harbour itself is a lovely place to visit, a bit muddy in places if you try wading out. Langstone harour nearby in Hampshire which is also well worth a visit if you like strolling along picturesque harbours.




Bobbin lace, wow this takes me right back. My first Christmas present from hubby, 29 years ago. I bought him a sea-grass wooden stool kit that year, which we still have in the lounge. When we lived in Kent, we'd visited a craft place and saw a lady sitting with her bobbin lace pillow working away. After chatting with her about my bobbin lace, I think she had designs on me taking over from her in demonstrating how bobbin lace was done. It was a voluntary thing with most visitors over the weekends and holidays.

Whilst in Birchington, Isle of Thanet, Kent, I ran a small group called 'Needles and Lace'. It started once a month at the local church, a bit like a knit and natter group, but for any crafts using needles or lace work. I took my bobbin lace cushion in one evening so that everyone could have a go. It's quite relaxing, whilst working in 2 x pairs of bobbins - sticks with beads attached.

Mine has become all a bit disheveled in it's box in the wardrobe. Generally speaking when you make up and align your bobbins, each pair should look identical. All the bobbins line up, the first end pair on the left 1, 2, is the working pair, working with 4 bobbins numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 you cross the bobbins in sequence taking the first working pair along to the end of the line, like this. The basic stitch 'cloth stitch' is the simplest to start with. After the first pair on the left reaches the other side, you insert a pin in the pre-marked card to hold the thread and continue back again. There are many videos on youtube if you're interested in seeing some lace being made.



My late Father-in-law made me this wooden table as a gift one year. It is well made and something that I'll treasure for ever. It sits alongside my arm chair and as it's a table too is often laden with all-sorts, such as a cup of tea, hand cream, box of tissues etc.

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Book reading


Front Cover


Apart from continuing with crochet work, recently I've been spending time reading. It's probably because it's summer and not wanting to be buried under the woolly blanket that I'm crocheting.

First off was the June book club read. I thought it'd be wise to read this one first before turning to my other books. Below are some questions for the book based on a generic set I found on-line. This book is part of a set called 'The Four Seasons Collection' the series is found here.


A Spring Affair  Questions

1. Your experience - what are your thoughts about the title? How would you describe the book eg how did it make you feel? Were you engaged with it immediately or did you take a while to get into it?


2. Describe the main characters, their motivations, inner qualities. Are they justified, do you admire or approve of them?

3. Are the main characters dynamic - changing or maturing by the end of the book? Do they learn about themselves, how the world works and their role in it?

4. Discuss the plot - is it interesting, a fast pace page turner or does the plot unfold slowly. Were you surprised by anything, or was the story predictable?

5. The books structure - Is there a single viewpoint or shifting viewpoints?


6. Did you enjoy this book and would you read anymore of Milly Johnson's books.



                                                  book cover of 

Summer in Orchard Valley

Last week I read 'Summer in Orchard Valley' details here. It's a typical Debbie Macomber romance novel. An easy quick read that I've read before but wanted to re-read as it's a summer title. The book is split into 3 parts with each of the sisters featuring in a separate book. I love Debbie's books so will often fall back on her many many titles. They are not by any stretch described as deep, strenuous or meaty, instead they are comfortable and familiar.

book cover of 

Summer Wedding Bells

Next I read Summer Wedding bells which continues with two of the characters from 'Summer in Orchard Valley' for details see  here. For now I'm working my way through my own bookshelves and TBR pile. Apart from the book club read which is Anne Tyler's A Spool of Blue Thread, I'm continuing with some more Debbie Macomber books for the summer. Then I'm hoping to read some of the books below.


I've been watching the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency film and series. There are some available on You tube and the DVD's are available to buy through Amazon. I've read the first four books and want to read more in the series. For more titles and details in the series see here. It's such a shame that it's sadly no longer produced on TV. If you've seen them on TV you'll have met Precious Ramotswe the detective, Grace Makutsi her secretary sporting her 97% pass mark at the secretarial college and Mr J L B Matekoni the wannabe husband of Precious and local car mechanic / manager.

Thank you for reading, do let me know if you've read any of the books I've spoken about. Or leave a book recommendation that you've read. It's raining at the moment so having prepared tonight's dinner of lasagne, baked chocolate brownies and made pastry ready for the pasties for tomorrows dinner, I'm off to catch up on more reading.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Cooking



M bought me some Chrysanthemums, these ones had been dyed some interesting colours. It reminds me of the kids science experiment, where you stand some celery with the leaves left on, in a jug of dyed water. Slowly they 'drink' up the dye and the leaves change colour. Something pretty and cheerful as I've been absent for a while.

Thank you and welcome if you've recently starting reading my blog. It's mainly about my craft work, in particular crochet but you'll also find some knitting occasionally, cooking, books I'm reading and my beautiful 16 year old Maine Coon cat QT who is moulting lots at the moment.


Today QT is hanging round the kitchen, after a roast chicken at the weekend I wanted to use up the leftovers. As soon as the carcass is out the fridge he appears. This is no surprise really, but he'll be disappointed, as he'll not be getting any chicken. I find if he has any chicken, he'll be fussy and refuse his own cat food. 


This recipe for chicken pie is simple to make however you like really. You could buy ready made shortcrust or puff pastry. I made some shortcrust pastry whilst M cut up the vegetables and striped the chicken carcass.



The recipe calls for some asparagus cup of soup but any vegetable one will do. One thing I always forget is to only use half a cup of boiled water. The mushrooms etc produce plenty of liquid too.





QT's waiting again by the dining room table, for 'our' pie to come out the oven. This is his subtle, not really interested look. 



So onto my crochet and a quick blanket update, a bit more has been done since I was last on here. Sorry I've been absent from my blog lately, progress is slow on my blanket too. I don't tend to take it with me anymore when I go to knit and natter as it's just too big and bulky on your lap, especially in the heat. Everyone wants to keep taking a look each time, or ask questions and look at the attic 24 blog pictures too. Instead I've taken smaller projects that take up less space in the bag and aren't generally too much of a distraction.

It reminds me of when I used to take my cross stitch to work at Boots many years ago. After my lunch I'd sit and do some cross stitch before going back to work and then someone wanted to look through the pattern book or magazine you're working from. Promptly ending the sewing session!

It's looking very blue at the moment, time to reach for the sky! The turn of the blue yarns, a welcome change from the many greens. I really must get this finished, it's my birthday soon and I want to do another crocheted blanket. When we were away recently in our caravan I took my coastal cushion and it looked very much at home. I'm planning on taking the blanket away in the caravan the next time too.

I've been reading a lot lately but will talk about books next time.
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