Tuesday, 29 June 2010

GPPS Street Challenge No. 41!

When I first popped in to Michelle's to see what this month's challenge was, I was really excited by this grid idea.  My immediate thought was to use small tags in some way (I love tags) but how could I push my own boundaries a little and do something different which I haven't done before?  I decided to dye the tags using herbal/fruit teas.

I had green tea, blackcurrent and raspberry and elderflower in the cupboard and let the tags soak overnight then dry on a tray.  The colours were muted and there wasn't a great difference between the blackcurrent and the raspberry but it was fun to see what would happen.
I then drew my grid using some of my favourite tape from pretty tapes and then followed the colourway for the background using my distress ink pads and a blending tool.  The tags needed a little something so I got out all my small rubber stamps and did a different stamping design on each one.  Quite a fun result which I like a lot.

Time to 'play' has been a bit scarce again this month but I did just want to do another one!!

This time a simple design using some lovely scrapbook papers I had on hand and some of my even more favourite script tape to bring out the grid design.
Thanks again Michelle for organising this.  I am really loving these challenges.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Thoughtful Friday No. 97

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. 
But there is no real security 
in what is no longer meaningful. 
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, 
for in movement there is life, 
and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Perfecting the art of relaxation

Someone here knows just how to do it. I wish I could join him actually.  This afternoon I found myself asleep at the computer!!! I know - what am I like!  Only for a few minutes of course but enough to make me realise that I had actually missed the last few minutes well and good.  I guess this might be because I had a wakeful night, the night before last.  Must try to get to bed early tonight!  But there is much to be thankful for here in the tea and toast household.  Last week at this time we (daughter no. 2 and I) were here:

where lovely daughter no.2 was having another operation on her poor foot.  We now have three weeks of bandage (no looking or changing dressing!!) until the stitches come out which means three weeks of hobbling about on crutches and not going very far.  So we are enjoying our time together, eating lunch in the garden and pondering what delights we might conjure up for supper.  And in between times I am up on the computer doing some work (and snoozing by all accounts!), and on the telephone etc etc.  But in the evening there are creative endeavours going on - daughter no. 2 is knitting a blanket for a friend's baby and I have just finished (absolutely amazing after a number of years - yes, years I tell you!) my 12 inch patchwork squares for the joint quilt I am making with my Canadian friend.  More on that another time, complete with photos.  In the meantime I leave you with a shot to the right of the entrance to the hospital which is just by the Thames and looks out on to the House of Parliament.  The ward she was on had this very view!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Baking fest!

First up it was a coffee and walnut cake using this recipe from Nigel Slater.  I've tried a number of C & W recipes but this was the best yet and got 10 out of 10 from some visitors as well as those 'in house'.  It's hubby's favourite so appropriate for Father's day I think.

Then there was this little number

which looks slightly sad in the photo but was delicious.  It is a 'Damp lemon and almond cake' by Nigella, recipe here and in her book "How to be a Domestic Goddess".  I think I would probably add some kind of icing or creme fraiche and raspberries if I were to do it again as it needed just a little something to set off the sharpness of the lemon and the density of the ground almonds.

Then there had to be more of this

'Cinnamon Bun popcorn" only this time I used real butter and not a butter blend and halved the time in the oven as my fan oven seems to be very quick indeed and it was much better than before!  Recipe here in case you didn't get it last time.  And if you are in the UK and like me haven't a clue where to get almond bark from then just use milky bars which work out really fine for the topping.

So I guess this side of the weekend as the cakes are now eaten (last piece of the C & W  for hubby with a cup of tea any moment now) we are all several pounds heavier - well maybe not!!!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Thoughtful Friday No. 96

"Art washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life"

Monday, 14 June 2010

You must try this!

This is cinnamon bun popcorn and is absolutely wonderful!  It got big raves here at home so much so that I made it twice over the weekend!  You can find the recipe here where those wonderful ladies at Our Best Bites have come up trumps again.

And in a baking mood with lemons and blueberries on hand I tried this little number
Lemon and Blueberry Loaf

which was also absolutely delicious.  You can find the recipe here from Two Peas and Their Pod - what a fun name.  Enjoy!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Thoughtful Friday No. 95

"I dwell in possibility"
Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

More crochet!

A while ago I posted about Jenny Doh (host of Cresendoh and former editor of the wonderful Stampington magazines).  Jenny has launched her website and her shop this year and there was a very cute little necklace (crocheted circle necklace) on the site with the option of just buying and downloading the instructional video.  So that is what I did and ended up with this made with handspun yarn from Dorset sheep and vintage buttons.

Simple to make, yet effective and fun.  And I've just finished another one in purple!!!


I love fragrance and seem to have an acute sense of smell so when a lovely person bought me these scented stocks I was overjoyed.  They have lasted almost two full weeks and have filled the house with their delicate scent.

There's another fragrance that I have been enjoying recently too and that is the delicious smell of oven ready cinnamon rolls.  Check these lovelies out:

There are not so hard to make from this great recipe from Our Best Bites and a new one they have just posted which is even quicker to make! Everyday cinnamon rolls  I might just have to make another batch today!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Thoughtful Friday No. 94

"LIFE is not about
waiting for the storm to pass
but learning to
DANCE in the rain"

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Racing and walking...

Yes, it was the Race for Life here in London a couple of weekends ago now but I had signed up to do it together with two friends.  We opted for the Regents Park Race and it was a glorious day with bright sunshine but also a cool breeze.  There was a fantastic atmosphere and around 5,000 women took part.  I  did it in memory of my lovely soul friend Margaret who died last year.  It was quite emotional seeing everyone with either pictures or names on their backs showing the people they were running/walking in memory of.  In the end we did a brisk walk around the 5km as one of my friends cannot run at the moment.  It was a great time and we are signing up for next year too.  If you haven't already tried it you may want to look into it.  5km is not at all far and many people do twice that amount walking their dogs twice a day but it is good to start off small and work up to more!  I'm already looking at the 10k run in central London all around the historic places  but it will be 2011 as this year is already booked up.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Checking in....

Just popping in to say hello and to update on other crafty endeavours of late.  Yes, I have been travelling to different places with my work/voluntary activities and busy on the home front as daughter no. 2 is still recovering and will, in fact, have to have more surgery so we learnt yesterday!

But I do enjoy having the chance to sit in a chair or sofa and crochet or knit or sew or embroider.  Of late it has just been crochet as I have been finishing off another prayer shawl, this one is for my 84 year old mother in law.  The yarn is again James C Brett chunky yarn which I bought from PurpleLindaCrafts and comes up sooooooo soft.  In fact you might even think it was something more expensive!  I used a large hook for this one - size 8 and it came up quite quickly.  Here is a close up photo:

And here you can see three rows of edging done in a different stitch.  I really love doing these and thinking about the one I am going to give to while I am quietly crocheting.

Then there was the one which I finished just a few weeks ago now for a friend who has cancer:

This one was knitted (in the same type of yarn) in her favourite colour.  She has lost a lot of weight recently and has been feeling chilly in this rather unseasonal weather we have had so hopefully it will come in useful.  That's it for now but hopefully some more tomorrow!