I haven't posted in a while as life has just got busy and the real world a little more demanding! However there has been much making in the tea and toast household - fabric journals, cakes and cookies and the like so here is a little glimpse. I don't know about you but sometimes I get so involved that I completely forget to take a photograph and before you know it the gift has been wrapped (beautifully of course!) and given away!! Here are some of the ones that didn't get away!
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Stir together until combined:
½ c. granulated sugar
¾ c. sweetened dried cranberries
½ c. white or semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ c. packed brown sugar
1½ c. flour
½ t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
1 c. quick or old-fashioned oats
½ c. chopped pecans (or walnuts... macadamias... whatever)
In a separate bowl, mix together:
¾ c. (1½ sticks) butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
Add contents of cranberry bowl to the butter bowl. Stir until well mixed. Drop well-rounded spoonfuls onto parchment lined (or non-stick) baking sheet. Lightly flatten dough with the back of a spoon. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
(I toast the pecans or walnuts… whatever I have on hand… before mixing them into the batter. Do as you wish. If you plan, as I did, to give this as a gift mix, layer the first list of ingredients (in order listed) into a pretty jar or bowl and include instructions for adding the butter, eggs, and vanilla and baking. Recipe inspiration courtesy of Pampered Chef.)
"You cannot have a sweet and whilesome abode unless you admit the air and sunshine freely into your rooms; so a strong body and a bright, happy, or serene countenance can only result from the free admittance into the mind of thoughts of joy and goodwill and serenity."
They are so obviously in love and it was SUCH a happy day. (These are unofficial photos so not the best quality.)
The dress was a beautiful fit and she looked absolutely gorgeous
Fresh white roses in her pre-raphaelite hair looked amazing together with her posy of different coloured flowers. Her sisters as bridesmaids all wore different colours and carried coloured chinese parasols as well as a small posy to coordinate with the colour of their dress.
And at the end of the reception there were chinese lanterns and the going away outfit was a chinese dress which made for a delightful blend of cultures. So much I could say about the preparation before hand and I had hoped to do a chronicle of events but what was I thinking???? As the bride's mother I was far too busy to even get my camera out of the bag!!! - 160 orders of service put together by hand, posies handmade to affix to the ends of the rows in the church, lots and lots of ivy to adorn the reception venue; candle lanterns, more ivy, place cards, fairy lights. So many lovely people who contributed so much with so much love for the special couple.
And a very very kind friend who allowed us the use of her large house for the day (remember the wedding was 2 hours from where we live!). Daughter's 2 and 3 and myself stayed over the night before and the bride to be was brought breakfast in bed! Then more and more people arrived; the hairdresser, dad, grandma and friend, sisters 1 and 4, friends, friends and more friends until there was quite a housefull all getting ready together. Such fun. Meanwhile dear friend whose house we were invading was ensuring we all had something to eat and drink as we prettied ourselves ready for 2.30pm when the ceremony took place at the church. And I am just loving looking back at these photos and reliving the day (even though I am supposed to be doing some work here in the home office!!!). Hope you enjoy them too.
"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful,
arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I just need to look at this lovely image and get some calm! It's been a crazy weekend. So many comings and goings. Saturday began with a lovely breakfast with daughter no.2 (croissants and homemade fig jam) then daughter no. 4 arriving; daughter no.3 and fiance arriving and then daughter no.1 arriving. This was followed by the dressmaker arriving to fit the bridesmaid dresses - beautiful! Just said goodbye to the dressmaker and the doorbell went and it was the hairdresser who came to do daugther no.2's hair and also daughter no.1. 30 minutes later the doorbell went again and a friend arrived to see daughter no.2 and so it went on. I was busy with coffee, then lunch for 8, admiring new haircuts, finding necessary accessories, talking through plans, putting shopping away, making homemade soup and so on. By 3pm those left in the house were exhausted.!! Time to sit down and catch up with daughter no.4 who was busy working on her Uni assignment for her menswear design course. I picked up my knitting - "oh Mum, you wouldn't make a little swatch for me would you?" "Sure, what do you need?" There followed two little swatches in handspun yarn and variegated yarn and before you know it, it was time for supper. This week is going be a busy one!
It was just soooooooooo exciting on Friday. Daughter no.2 was making her way back from Uganda for the wedding and all day I was preparing and thinking about her. We set off for Heathrow around 2.30pm to pick her up just after 4pm. I just love waiting at the arrivals barrier. I always get there far too early and strain my eyes to see who is coming through the door. You know the scene, I am sure. You stand at the barrier, having first made certain that you are in the best place to be seen by the person arriving through the door. You keep looking earnestly, not daring to turn away for fear you will miss that important moment when you spot them and they spot you. The excitement mounts as you watch loved ones great each other after time apart. Your eyes are straining, shouldn't they be through by now? Must be patient. Then, suddenly you see them, you wave frantically and run to meet them, throwing your arms around them. It's been a while you see, ten months actually since we have seen daughter no.2 although we have talked often on the computer but without video as where she is in Uganda doesn't have access to the internet except intermittently. At last we are together again and talk all the way home in the car, catching up on news, stories of what's been going on and thinking of the big day ahead in a week's time. Oh, it's so lovely to see her again. Each daughter is so precious in their individual way. These will be treasured moments, these next two weeks while she is here. I feel very privileged to be a wife and mother and to know these moments of joy.
It's been a while since I told you about my craft endeavours so here we go:
A nice woolly hat for daughter no.4's boyfriend's birthday, knitted from hand dyed and hand spun yarn given to me by a kind friend of the family! My first time knitting with this type of yarn.
A crochet scarf in a new pattern I am trying (Queen Anne's lace I believe) and crocheted using a Noro yarn which I bought last year - only problem is I didn't buy enough so am waiting on another ball coming in the post. So while I am waiting I got on with another one, this time in yarn from a giveaway from the lovely Tracy.
Fancy a closer look?
A variety of papercrafting using rubber stamping, alcohol inks and the like.
Then we have the wonderful quilting project for daughter no.3. I have chosen to handquilt it so lots of tiny stitches everywhere and it will take quite a while....
The back of this quilt is in a delightful blue with tiny white dots - I absolutely love it but unfortunately the photos don't do either side justice.
Then there is some knitting with more of the hand spun wool given to me and this time I am knitting some handwarmers
And a lovely crochet project that is unplanned - let's just see how it goes, what might happen, go with the flow...
There are other things but I will stop here - that's enough for today!! I love having so many projects on the go and doing what I choose at any one time; a little bit of quilting and a little bit of crochet or a little bit of knitting. I think (actually I know!) I am an options girl! I just love to have options - what about you?
Yes, things are getting busy round here wedding-wise! Lots of shopping for ribbon, centre pieces for the tables, paper and card for orders of service and place cards. Lots of playing around with ivy, candle lanterns and somethingto contain coffee beans for the tables - a novel idea don't you think?!!. Lots of making of place cards (rubber stamping by me) and designing orders of service (hubby's role). Lots of talking about logistics - who will take the bridesmaids to the church, who will take me and mother in law to the church?!! How many tables are there? Who is going to do the table plan? Numbers or names for the tables? And I know you won't believe it but what shall I wear?!!!!! But it's fun and I love my family very much and this really is just SO exciting.
The madness continues here - another day course had been booked back in June, this time for Log Cabin in a day!! I have to say that it was great fun. We made 16 blocks altogether using quick piecing methods and just sewing, sewing and sewing. Here is a close up of one of the blocks
And see here for two of the lovely samples in the shop
It is a really great technique and I am so glad I went. Take a look at some of the other lovely quilt samples in the shop:
Whew! We seemed to pack a lot into the weekend with some crazy planning from some of the family. It started with overnight guests on Thursday x 1 and then x 5 on Friday in preparation for daughter no.3's hen party (I do hate that title, bridal shower sounds so much nicer!!). Meanwhile I (way back in June I think) had booked myself on an introduction to free machine quilting for the whole day on Saturday - yes, just 4 weeks to the wedding and here I am trotting off for a day on something totally unrelated. To add to this, I discovered I couldn't take my own machine (very basic and no dropping of feed-dogs!!) so had to take my mother in law's which I had never used before. I'll save you the rest of the story but it was a great deal of fun and this was the result:
We did a trial piece first of all and then tackled several different stitches in a nine patch effect. I didn't finish all of mine so there are some gaps but of course just after I took this photo someone thought it was just for him!
as this is usual morning nap space!
So I came home from the course and mowed the lawn (as you do!), did all the laundry from the guest beds and made a card for hubby's birthday the next day - yes a birthday as well!
There was smoked salmon crostini
Asian style chicken salad from Jamie Oliver see recipe here. I make it as a main course usually and it is one of hubby's favourites. This was all followed by a coffee and walnut cake which was not coffee tasting enough at all. Does anyone have a good recipe to follow for one of these?
Needless to say, I fell into bed on Sunday evening and went straight to sleep!