Tuesday 30 October 2012

Number 10

Here's India cot blanket number 10. Crocheting together with doubles doesn't make a totally flat blanket but it is the quickest way of joining the squares.

I think I'll call this the 'Noddy' blanket.


PS A warm welcome to my new followers.

Monday 29 October 2012

Thank you to everyone who came to the Virtual Tea Party yesterday.
Hugs and kisses to all!

Sunday 28 October 2012

Mum's Virtual Tea Party

Welcome everybody to Mum's Virtual Tea Party. What a treat we have in store for you. Your favourite bloggers have been busy baking, assembling and titivating to bring you a Tea Party to remember. Please come in and share our hospitality.

Where shall we have our Tea Party? At the Tea Dance?

This is the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens.

Very posh.

A little bit too large for us, I think. We were rattling round like peas in a jam jar that day. There's another bash at Christmas. I'll have to talk a few more friends into going. I think we'll even get a mince pie!

Or should we host the party here?

Intimate surroundings. Now where would you like to sit?

Lovely mis-matched china.

A new conservatory area just opened.


Can you see the chandelier? I wonder if I should get one for the greenhouse!

And check out this wonderful cake stand. It must have been owned once by a Miss Havisham!

What tea set shall we have today. Here are a couple which were for sale at the CS. This set of 5 cups and saucers was £2.50. They had the word Gainsborough underneath.

This set was £5 and was Royal Vale with cups, saucers, plates and milk jug and sugar bowl.

And this bowl was so pretty.

I hope they go to good homes.

What do you think of the table decoration? No expense spared here. This work of art took all of 30 seconds to make. Don't you think the word 'shuck' is an excellent word?

Here's my offering for the cakes today. The recipes are from the BeRo recipe book. First of all, scones. I've substituted butter for the lard and margarine and you could add cream with your egg instead of milk to make them richer. Looks like the egg landed on the page, not in the bowl!

Doesn't baking make a mess of the kitchen.

Anyone for a scone? There's more cream and jam here somewhere.

Talking of jam - this is one ingredient in this. These are very more-ish so just have one for the moment until you've sampled everyone else's contribution to the tea party.

I've served your jam cake on my favourite plate.

It's Royal Albert Trillium. You can read more about it here and here.

There was another of these Royal Albert tea sets at the CS. It was called Lavender Rose. How could I resist! Can't show it you today though as I thought I ought to have it as a Christmas present.

Enjoy your stay at the Party. If our contributors don't have their Tea Party post up yet do call back later.

Bad Penny from the Hen House has her linen all ironed ready for this big day.

MummyHen - Whatever you bring to the tea party will be a delight.

Crafty in the Med You'll love these unusual delights served on vintage tableware.

Bonsaimum You are very welcome. I adore your cake, it's a shame to cut into it.

Penny Wise If you like chocolate then stop here awhile.

Liz Yeah! Yeah! Year! Let's hear it for the teapots! We'll certainly need them.

Op Shop Mama Hi, Iris, how are you doing? You lay a beautiful table. Save a cake for me!

Lazy Daisy Jones my most recent follower and great crocheter is joining us today. I wonder if she's crocheted us some cakes? I know she's made a Christmas pudding. Here's my attempt. Ah no! Willow go over right now to view her table!

Can you eat a whole one with your cup of tea?

Carole and mum have made a huge cake for us today. Take a look.

Please read the comments as there may be other bloggers joining in today. I'll try to keep this post up to date.

I do hope you have enjoyed your visit today. It was lovely to have the pleasure of your company.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Virtual Tea Party tomorrow. Bring your sandwiches, cakes, scones, pretty table decorations, snazzy outfits, lovely china, scintillating conversation, virtual guests and of course yourselves. See you there.

Friday 26 October 2012

Let's Celebrate

Congratulations to Sft - Mortgage freedom achieved.

Three cheers

Hip hip
Hip hip
Hip hip


Monday 22 October 2012


Final tomatoes, home grown (not very well) red onions, grotty end of onion found in cupboard plus stock cube and water.

A quick boil, a quick whizz and a quick lunch.


Sunday 21 October 2012


Virtual Tea Party

Sunday 28th October

All welcome

Do pop in and say 'hello'.

Visit our guests' blogs and say 'hello'.

Love to see you there.

We'll keep the kettle on the boil for you.

There's still time for you to join in. More info on the Virtual Tea Party label.

Saturday 20 October 2012

Mum's bread

This is the way I make our daily bread - except I don't make it every day - perhaps about every 2 - 3 days. I measure out about 500ml of cold water and blast it in the microwave for 1 minute. While that is doing I put 1 level tsp of dried yeast (pesky Tesky's) and 2 tsp of sugar into the bowl of my mixer. The flour I use mostly is Tesco and Lydl bread flour. I occasionally mix in some granary, rye or wholemeal. Once the water is warm I pour it into the bowl and give it all a stir. Leave for about 15 minutes to froth a bit.

Blast a 'knob' of butter in the microwave until it's just melted - not hot.

Put the oven on to 60 degrees Celsius. Add some flour to the bowl, then a 'pinch' of salt. I only use less than a level tsp. for 2 loaves.

Put the mixer on the lowest speed with the dough hook attached. If you have no mixer, stir it round with a spoon. Keep adding more flour a desert spoon at a time while the mixer is going. Add the melted butter aswell. If doing this by hand you will have to use your hands as the mixture gets stiffer.

The mixture below is too sloppy, more flour needed.

Now the dough is coming away from the sides but still sticking to the bottom. More flour needed.

Now the mixture has come away from the sides and the bottom. The mixer has been running 8 - 10 minutes at low speed.

I now dive in with a floured hand, to finish off the kneading, by adding a little bit more flour until the mixture is not too sticky. It should feel silky and smooth.

Here it is ready. Now cover the bowl with a towel, turn off the oven and put the bowl in the oven. Forget about it until a few hours later. My dough usually rises to nearly the top of the bowl.

Once the dough has risen (turn on the oven again to 60 degrees) take it out of the bowl using floured hands (messy), cut in half with a bread knife and mould into 2 loaves. Put into 2 loaf tins and put back in the oven to rise again. This time it will take an hour to rise. Take out of the oven and turn oven on to 200 degrees. Once hot bake the loaves for 20 - 25 mins.

Here's the finished result. I normally freeze one so I don't have to make bread everyday. Everyone who makes their own bread eventually settles down into a routine that suits them. I sort the yeast out, take the cats a walk, come in and make the bread, forget about it till mid afternoon, do a second rise and bake in the oven just before tea time, when the oven may be on for making our meal. This way suits me and this is the way I make our daily bread.

Friday 19 October 2012

Kitchen Window - October 2012

I've had the chrysanthemums just over a week and they're still going strong.

The heart shaped leaf dropped off the plant that curls around the shelves and the lemon is for my hot lemon drink. I slice off a piece to add to hot water.

The green grocer sells these blooms in groups of 3 but I always ask for 5. It takes us a while to work out a price between us!

No earwigs in this little lot this year! There was always an earwig or two in the one's my dad used to grow.

Welcome to my new follower and thank you for helping with the tea party.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Number 9

Here's another way of joining squares using doubles and chains.

With wrong sides facing I crocheted a double in the pink square, ch 1. Dc in blue square, ch 2. Continue in this way 1dc, 2ch until you reach the other side of the square.

Join to the pink corner with a dc, then ch1 and dc into the blue corner. Now just repeat with the other squares.

Here it is again. The right side of the striped square is in the pic and the wrong side of the turquoise square. I did a dc on the striped square, ch 1 then a dc on the turquoise square. Ch 2 then dc on the striped, ch 2 then dc on the turquoise until the end of the squares.

Here I did one dc on the striped, ch 1, then one dc on the turquoise.

To get across to the next 2 squares, ch 1 then repeat the process.

Hope this makes sense.

Here's the complete blanket. (Note the new pair of flip flops - I wore the others out!)

All ready for its new home.


Welcome to my new follower. I hope you enjoy your visits.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

I can do the ...

The Lilac Waltz - easy peasy- can do without looking at other people's feet

The Alpine Stroll - get your breath back with this one

The Veleta - knew from school days - CDWLAOPF

St. Bernard's Waltz - knew from school days - CDWLAOPF

Sally Anne Cha Cha - my favourite - CDWLAOPF

Rhumba One - great wiggles in this one - CDWLAOPF

Tango Serida - must learn the arm and head movements to this as well as the feet!

Sindy Swing - mastered - CDWLAOPF

Mayfair Quickstep - mastered - CDWLAOPF

Balmoral Blues - reasonably easy

Pride of Erin Waltz - reasonably easy

Glengarry - ours is more of a two step than a shuffle and is progressive - great fun

I have not quite mastered yet ...

Glenroy Foxtrot - lots of turns

Ennerdale Waltz - as above

Catherine Waltz - ditto

Melody Foxtrot - oh my! It took me ages to learn how to quickly change feet. (hutchy up!*)

Tayside Tango - how's your twinkle and wing?

Waltz - whisk, wing, chasse, turn. Such a lot of different terms to remember. I can do a very basic waltz. My toes are still getting in the way.

Viennese Waltz - this is a great workout. I can go one way but need to master going the other way. (Just tried it in the kitchen and went dizzy. I'll stick to one way round for now.)

Foxtrot - slow and not so slow. Each partner seems to do the foxtrot differently, hence many trodden on toes. I just try and follow a partner who 'knows' what they are doing so my head seems to be always looking down at feet! The slow foxtrot starts off slow and ends up a race - more practice needed. I'm not too keen on the foxtrot at the moment. It feels like I'm treading precariously through hot coals!

Quickstep - still at the basic steps stage. I can turn and swivel.

These will take some time to perfect! ...

Jive - step back, triple, triple so the Youtube video goes.

Rock 'n' Roll - triple, triple, step, step? Sounds like the Jive to me! I need a partner who 'knows' what they are doing. Even then I can't see how those steps fit to the music.

My dance sessions keep me active and are a great workout plus they definitely keep the brain active!!

* my dance term

PS Further research shows another jive which is jiggling hands and arms about, swirling and turning and letting the feet look after themselves - I  like this one.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Make yourself at home

I couldn't go shopping today.


Monday 8 October 2012

Junk Shop, Charity Shop and Hobbies

Quilting uses up an awful lot of thread so in a rummage in a bag at the JS I spotted spools of thread in an old plastic carrier bag. It took me ages to pull out the bobbins so I said I'd take the whole bag of stuff for £3.50. Here are the bobbins, both old and new, with some lovely big spools in there.

And the rest? I don't know whether I will use all of these but some may come in handy - invisible zips, hooks and eyes, darning thread, needles, trouser hooks and bars, eyelets, elastic, Wundaweb no sew hemming tape, cover your own buttons and various quick unpicks and needle threaders.

At the CS on the pound rail was 5m of sheer curtain fabric. Not a brilliant colour or pattern but quite floaty. Hmm - I need floaty dresses for dancing.

Do I feel another hobby coming on?

Maybe I could use this pattern picked up ages ago. I'll keep you posted.