Monday 29 February 2016

Come on Sun

It's cold here but we're hoping the sun will come out soon. DD has set out her patio chairs and settee with her Christmas present covers.

Here's my first post on this make. I can't seem to find any more. I wonder whether I posted anymore pictures or not! Oh gosh, my memory is fading. Here are some detail close ups.

One large ...

… and two small.

We're all set for the warm weather now.


Friday 26 February 2016


How is it that the cat's always there when I make a bed?
Why does the cat have to muscle in somewhere when I sit down?
Is there a cat food out there that doesn't make the cat turn up her nose?
Why do I reach round the cat in order to reach the keyboard?
Should the cat always come first?
Why do I always choose either red or green when I want a change of colour? (Ahaa!)



Wednesday 24 February 2016

Plotting the next move

The plot is finally rotated and ready to plant although nothing much is going in yet. The weather does not feel right and we only ventured out because it was not raining, cold or windy.

Some seeds needed to be planted though - a row of parsnips and a nursery bed of leeks. Puss cat is helping but she does not stay out for very long. Being an indoor cat she would rather be in the warm. Each day she goes for a supervised sniff around but then she scuttles in quickly.

The edges still need weeding. The small patch of grass I leave because Puss cat enjoys a chew. It's best to leave her outside for at least another 5 minutes, just in case she throws up - as cats do when they've eaten grass. We seem to be making a collection of compost bins. The Daleks are secretly going to take over.

March will see a lot more planting and soon this edible garden will turn green again.


Tuesday 23 February 2016

Menu Planning

I've struggled long and hard with menu planning (not really). I normally just go to the fridge and see what's in there that needs using up. Or I'll take something out of the freezer the night before.


being a Filofax aficionado and would be organising guru, I thought I'd have a go.

My planner post is here, which I posted yesterday. The same day, I read this post and thought it quite a chatty way to menu plan, so, with apologies to Jackie here's my take on it.


Roast chicken, I think, which I've taken out of the freezer. I must make a note to pick up another one when I'm next at the shops. I'll serve this with roast potatoes, carrots and possibly peas from the freezer. I'm trying to run down the veg that I've got stored in there. I'll make some stuffing from a packet.


We won't have eaten all the chicken so we'll have some with chips tonight, tinned tomatoes and mushrooms. There'll be some stuffing left too.


Having smaller portions (It's a diet thing!) will mean there will be some chicken left to put in a curry. I'll use up the peppers that have been in the fridge from 'I don't know when' and add in some frozen home grown veg from the freezer. There may be some mushrooms left in the box too. I'll serve it with rice.


I doubt if there'll be any chicken bits left to make a pie but I know there'll be some rice and curry left over for me and DH can have a chop from the freezer with a baked potato.


If I've been to town yesterday I'll call into the market for some fish. We've tried haddock, hake and halibut. It's about time I moved on to another letter. (Any suggestions?)


Easy peasy day so I'll use up a couple of ready prepared meals from bulk cooking. Let's hunt the liver and onions for DH and the bacon, leek and potato bake that I made the other week for me.


I've probably succeeded in not going out for a big shop this week. I'll raid the freezer for some mince and probably make spag bol. 

Lunches as usual will be some sort of egg concoction or soup made from one of the meals and breakfasts will be toast as usual. DH has butter and marmalade on his while I just have Marmite.


PS This post was written on Monday, the planning was done on Sunday.

Monday 22 February 2016

Crochet Granny Square Cat Coat

My 2 versions for this coat were based on finished granny squares I had in my stash that hadn't quite made a completed item. The Brown squares were just too depressing to carry on with. Mind you, Puss Cat seems rather depressed with all this modelling.

I just crocheted 4 large squares together, added one for the under belly and one for the under neck.

It does the job but is rather loose.

My second attempt was with my Granny Rose squares, the pattern of which can be obtained from Apple Blossom Dreams blog. I crocheted them together in the following pattern but did not crochet where I've placed the ribbon.

That loose square tucked under and linked with the other side to form a neck band.

The two outer edges were joined together underneath. My joining was a crocheted line of doubles,

with a jump over of one chain at each crossing point.

There were plenty of ends to sew in.

Here's the finished coat on a real cat model.


Sunday 21 February 2016

Organised Home

I've cracked it - I now know how to be totally organised. There's just one thing to remember and that is:-

Everything should have a place. Dead easy isn't it? All the towels in the cupboard together, folded up beautifully of course; all the books on the shelves, either colour coded or in subject order; all the bedlinen neatly bagged together, duvet cover and fitted sheet nestled snuggly in the pillow case; the toilet rolls lined up like soldiers in the cupboard or on the shelf. Easy peasy. But there must consequently be a place for - 

wet towels, books in the course of being read, the odd sheet or duvet cover, the toilet roll inner tube that's nearly finished but not quite (I've put the new one on!), the work in progress, the bits of paper that will eventually end up in the recycling bag, the fruit and veg peelings that will eventually end up in the compost (I'm not going out in the pouring rain.), the half read magazine or newspaper, the cat toys that are being played with, the mail that's come through the door, the keys during the day, the glasses (oh the glasses, now where did I leave them?), the items destined for Ebay, the items destined for the Charity Shop, the paper ready to be recycled (I'm not going out in the rain.), bits from sewing and crocheting (ever heard of Orts?), the clothes that have been worn which will do for another day ...

and, of course, the dishcloth of the day.

I think I've got a way to go yet.


Saturday 20 February 2016


I love rooting through button boxes and I've tipped the contents of mine onto the floor in order to find 2 medium sized brown buttons which are the same.

Have I succeeded? No, but I have found some French coins. I don't know how we've acquired those as we've never set foot in France. I need the buttons to decorate one of my cat coat creations but I fear I shall have to have a design rethink on the Crocheted Granny Square Pet Coat front!

Here's another in my Mum's Cat Couture Feline Fashion line - the 'anyone for cricket?' jumper.

She's still sulking.

But putting on a brave face.

This one's a bum coverer ...

and thankfully for our cat - easily removed. I started the crochet at the tail end, added on stitches for the under tum, left off stitches for the shoulders and added a few more for the neck. It's done in UK trebles (US dcs). The edges are one row UK double, one row treble, one row double, one row treble and finishing off with a row of doubles. On the treble rows I over crocheted with slip stitches in cream.

I'm on a roll! :))


Friday 19 February 2016

Height of fashion

DD requested a cat coat for one of her cats as the weather is cold and when they go 'walkies' in the garden she needs to be wrapped up warm as her fur is only thin. Something to get my hooks into so off searching the internet I went. This coat is the second one I've made and is loosely based on this pattern. I made it a little longer with a frilly bottom and a frilly neckline. 

Our cat is not used to coats and goes all stiff when attired. Her legs give way beneath her and she remains in a comatose state until the coat is removed.

She's a cracker though - a Christmas cracker in this coat!

Good job it's easily removed.


Tuesday 16 February 2016


There's plenty going on in Blackpool this week with fun and entertainment from Showzam. The Winter Gardens* housed much of the activity with mime artists,

musical hens,

fantastical decoration

and sideshow entertainment.

Around the streets were various spectacles. Here's a friendly werewolf.

Great fun for families. Unfortunately it started raining mid afternoon which put a dampener on some proceedings. I tend to agree with Nine to Five about the crowds of people making getting anywhere an assault course of pushchairs, stationary groups and street furniture. I was glad to get home.


* Type Winter Gardens in the search box at the side to see pics of this beautiful building.

Sunday 14 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

Let's do some loving.

Family and friends naturally but what else?

I'll start a list and if you wish to add to it please do.

Live music
Genuine people
New life
Picking scabs!
Fluffy clouds

This sounds like a Photo Scavenger Hunt.


Saturday 13 February 2016

Now listen to me

* Don't eat chocolate every day.

Oh but I like a bit of chocolate now and again. It's so very more-ish.

* Drink more water.

I try but there's an awful lot of going to the loo involved if I try to drink 8 glasses a day.

* Have fruit rather than crumble and custard for your afters.

I've plenty more crumbles in the freezer to eat up. It was a good year for rhubarb, apples and plums last year.

* Don't have fried food.

Don't you just love chips and they're so easy.

* Steam your vegetables.

The steamer takes up quite a lot of room on the work surface and if I only want small portions of veg it seems silly to get it out, with all that washing up afterwards.

* Get yourself walking.

It's cold outside.

* Stop slobbing about in your old stretchy clothes.

My, they are comfortable and it's weekend.

Consider myself told off!


Friday 12 February 2016

Today ...

… I :-

* prepared beef stew to cook in the slow oven.
* prepared the veg and potatoes.
* made bread.
* hoovered hall stairs, bedrooms, landing and bathroom.
* made some pages for my little planner. (It's much cheaper than buying them and I can make them to my own requirements.)
* made lunch (salad sandwich).
* did my voluntary stint at the CS.
* read the paper.
* cooked the veg and potatoes.
* ate beef stew, broccoli and mashed potato.
* baked the bread.
* put the left-overs in the fridge to make a pie filling for tomorrow.
* had a bath.
* started writing this post.

In a minute I aim to :-

* upload this post.
* read my favourite blogs.
* crochet.
* watch YT.
* play with my Filofax.
* read.
* watch a little bit of TV.
* go to bed.

The best bit of the day was finding a green velvet dress at the CS and buying it. It fit perfectly and I've always wanted a green velvet dress.

Tea was good too.

So was receiving a parcel in the post.

Pretty great day really.


Not everyone can find a 'best bit' in their day. I'm very lucky.

Wednesday 10 February 2016

What next?

My January blanket turned into a bag and is finished so what next? I've decided to start a 2016 blanket (good intentions) which may, or may not, end up as a blanket depending upon - 
1. how long these cones of yarn will last.
2. any whims I may have.

These cones have been hanging around way too long and so I've decided to use them up in a thick wool blanket.

Six strands and one 9mm hook are what I will work with. The start looks a pleasing colour combination so I will continue.

Let the length of the yarn on the cones dictate the size. Off we go.


PS My crocheted fan cover was snapped up by a friend at the ballroom today. She took a real fancy to it!

PPS She wanted to know where to put the batteries!!!!!


Tuesday 9 February 2016

Is it me?

I can't seem to log on to Frugal Queen's blog from the link on my side bar or from Google. I just get a blank screen. Is it just me or is anyone else having trouble?

Is it?

Is it a Christmas decoration?

Is it a mitten?

Is it a sock?

No!!! It's a crocheted fan holder.

Here's the fan inside.

I decided against pink wool to complement the pink in the fan and I only added the fuzzy wool as a bit of glitz for the ballroom and the fact that I'd run out of turquoise. :)

I couldn't find a pattern anywhere on the net so perhaps I should go into business. Crocheted fan covers for sale. I'm sure there's a market for these!


PS - Note to self: Perhaps I shouldn't have used the fuzzy wool to finish it off. Hmmm! Hope I''ve satisfied the curious commenters.

Monday 8 February 2016


Shrove Monday
Collop Monday
Merry Monday
Hall Monday
Nickaman Night
Happy Birthday to my DIL

What a lot of celebrating today!


Edited to add:

Chinese New Year too

Sunday 7 February 2016

Going where the fancy takes me

It started out as my January blanket and ended up as this,

… looking nothing like a blanket at all. No, it's not a blanket folded up.

It's a dance bag to hold my dance shoes, fan and other bits of paraphanalia. I was inspired part way through the blanket by this post by Tangled Happy and the fact that my other dance bag had given up the ghost.

The buttons were cut off a garment that went in the rag bag and all the wool is from the stash.

I didn't follow any pattern but just edged the part blanket in single crochet (UK double) making some button holes at one edge. The gusset is just single crochet and is attached with a contrasting wool.

I've not lined it and I don't think I will unless I find it difficult to find things in the bag. I want it to hold my dance shoe bag, fan, phone and purse. I may look as though I'm turning up with a crocheted cushion on my person but hey ho, I'm a big girl,  I'll put up with it. I've seen some ladies at dances turning up with a crocheted fan holder. I'm not going that far though as they look like ...

--- willy warmers!

(Please note that I have not supplied you with a picture.)