Tuesday 26 July 2016

Girly day out

… today to I-key-yah, the first day of our holiday. DD and I took our time walking around studying room sets closely,

stroking cushions, sitting on chairs, lying on beds and mooching around the Market Hall. We both had our shopping lists and had a really enjoyable time picking out our purchases. At the end of our little hike around the store we decided to partake of the food on offer but neither of us enjoyed the veggie or the meat balls. We'll know for next time and perhaps take our own picnic. Now let's see when shall we go again?


Monday 25 July 2016

Last minute

… tidy of the house and last minute shop before our guests arrive tomorrow for a 2 week stay. Beds are made up and corners hoovered, toilets cleaned and towels are at the ready. Just a final hoover tomorrow and a last wash load and we're ready.
The family will arrive and the sun is shining. This is not the last minute but the first minute of our holiday. I hope the weather stays fine.


Sunday 24 July 2016

Car boot booty

It was a sunny morning and we needed a walk so we had a trip to the car boot. DH got many 'bargains' for the garage and I found my 'bargains' for the house.

The picnic basket (£2) matches 2 others that store things on top of our wardrobe and I couldn't walk past the wool (£2), could I? Great car booty for both of us. Now our 'booty' has parked herself in the basket and is fast asleep. It won't be going on top of the wardrobe yet.


Thursday 21 July 2016

Throwaway Thursday

Not quite zero waste yet in our house. I thought I'd monitor what I threw away today so here's the list of items that went in the grey bin.

First * the pouch for the cat's pet food 

and as it was a baking day (for the freezer as we have guests coming next week) 

* 5 egg shells
* cellophane bag that contained the sugar
* part of a butter wrapper
* tin foil (it was used twice - once to line the baking tray and one more time to cover up a cake in the oven
* mixed spice container (It came out as I had an idea to make a crochet cover and use it to put stuff in but then I changed my mind so it went back in again!)
* cotton yarn ends from my crocheting

* teabags
* snipped corner of a custard carton (the weight loss is nearly there so I've treated myself to custard over my strawberries!)
* plastic freezer bag that had the bread in

The recycling list is as follows:-

* flour bag
* sugar bag

* junk mail
* inner cardboard tube from a finished ball of yarn
* paper band from a new ball of yarn

* tin top from some tinned tomatoes

And the compost list:-

* lemon peel
*strawberry husks
* apple cores
* broad bean pods

* mange tout pods - I have saved the seed for next year.

Well at least I've recycled or composted more than I've thrown away but I don't think I'll ever achieve zero-waste.


Saturday 9 July 2016

Little comments

With apologies to Leapy Lee.

I'm a mum, a little mum
Shooting posts out to the blue 
And I'm aiming them at someone
But the question is at who?
Is it for me, is it for you?
If you're reading this you're hit
And I know that you are reading 
When you comment a little bit.

You're there for me
Pouring out of the blue
Little comments for me, all from you.
You're there again and again,
You're there again and again

Little comments full of knowledge,
Little comments full of fun.
When you've a blog you'll find
Those little comments there from some.
Little comments that will give you hope,
Encouraging again.
Little comments that give hugs and kisses
Every now and then.

Oh, oh, oh ...

Thank you so much for visiting and just being there.


PS - I've make some more jam - no stress!

Friday 8 July 2016

Garden Tour

I had on my To Do list in my Filofax to hoe the back garden. The weather is blustery and overcast but quite warm so I've managed to hoe, hoe, hoe all the little weeds that zoom up after rain. More strawberries are ready so it looks like another batch of strawberry jam to be made. (Stress, stress!) I've kept a few back to make a fruit salad. While out I thought I'd take a few a lot of pictures of our Edible Back Garden.

This is spinach, I think. I'm eating it anyway.

The parsnips are turning into trees at the top.

The leeks are struggling a bit in the bed that had the asparagus. We've dug all the asparagus out as it did not produce enough to warrant space in the garden.

We're wading through the potatoes. They'll soon be main crop ones rather than earlies at the rate we're going.

The runner beans are climbing well up their wigwam.

The Basil in the greenhouse is looking lush.

Tomatoes are growing bigger. I'm just waiting for the first red one - hmmm!

Straight cucumbers - I could supply the supermarkets, couldn't I?

Many bunches of grapes no where near ready yet but a promise of deliciousness to come.

I'll be harvesting the mange tout seeds tomorrow and taking this lot down.

Flowers around the big beds provide colour.

And the corn is nearly as high as an elephant's eye.

Courgettes have started producing.

I couldn't resist this plant from Liddle-iddle.

Climbers are climbing.

And this ornamental grass from the front garden looks like the top of someone's head.

All is growing well.


Wednesday 6 July 2016

There's a lot ...

… of strawberries in the garden at the moment. Time for jam. Jam making still gives me stress - is the pan large enough? How long shall I let it boil? Will I ever get the hang of 'setting point'?

I have a friend to help me in this thermometer (thank you DD) which will tell me whether the temperature for the setting point has been reached. The instructions for using this thermometer are crystal clear - well maybe not but I can manage 'off 'and 'on'. So, jars duly sterilised (more stress), thermometer at the ready, off I went ...

.. and produced a whole two and a half jars of jam. It's set as well. Go me! Well that's the lot for this year.

There's also a lot of flowers in the front garden so I cut a few for the table. Now that's relieved my stress.

I've just been out in the back garden again and ...

there's an awful lot of strawberries ready again!


Monday 4 July 2016

It's what you make of it plus Guest Post

This isn't our cat, it's known to Angelika, one of the readers of this blog. We've had quite a few emails back and forth about the crocheted triangular granny. My 3 rounds made quite an acceptable triangle for my odd shapes blanket but once extended became less and less like the isosceles triangle it was supposed to be. Angelika wanted more than 3 rounds on her triangle as she was making a hammock for her friend's cats out of a T-shirt strip. Here's one of the cats on her crocheted Cat Cave ) - what a wonderfully cosy creation. The hammocks are to be used somewhere else.

Angelika gave me permission to reproduce some of her email which may be of help to others who wish to make a Cat Hammock.

"Hi Mum,

… here are 2 cat hammocks (as well as a sleepy cat, two mice).  As a bonus, there is also a cat cave : one of the 3 cat recipients has already taken possession of it.  Note that the roof also acts as a hammock... with holes in it so that they can bug each other inside&out.

I still had to pull the sides to maintain the right angle.  I also increased as I went along: when ever it would get too tight, I would increase, either from 3 to 4 clusters, or from 1&3 to 2&4 in between.  Changes are about every 3 rows.  Keep in mind that I am working with t-shirts which are very bulky and unyielding, compared to yarn.  When changing row, I would always go to the corner hole before adding the new color, so a few scs.  Then 3 scs up (=1st dc) and the rest.  for the last corners, I used 3 plastic rings to reinforce and just sc'd around it till I got back to the beginning.

The one to the right is made with all the leftover yarn, so colors and rows do not exactly match!  To finish it off, I made a finger crochet cord and attached an empty film canister: great for a cat to bat around!  After the picture was taken, I unraveled the white on the hypotenuse and redid it with 2stog in the holes, instead of 3sc.  That pulls it back together and created a hammock rather than the 3rd side hanging out like a pouting lip.

Well, that is it for my experiment with t-shirt yarn.  I had fun. but it will be a while - if ever - that I'll use that again.  Ah, the bliss of real yarn!  Thank you so much for your instructions.  That first row is crucial!  It might look funny, but it sure does the trick as nothing else does!


PS: ...The instructions for the other things also come from the internet.  I just adapted them (reinforcing the sides of the cat cave is my creation but I am not giving my secret away!)"

Thank you Angelika, I've had great fun chatting with you and now I'm going to look up - crocheted cat caves. I feel a new project coming on!

PS from me - did you spot the 2 mice?

PPS - just received another email from my virtual bloggy friend - 

No, the cat cave is separate.  It is meant for the cat to be cozy inside, but cats have a mind of their own...
The hammocks will be hanging in the corner of a room, hence the requirement that they be a right angle.  My friend will put a hook in the corner and 2 hooks on the adjoining wall - for each.  ... The end product is 18"x18" or maybe slightly more, in 7 rows.  The t-shirt yarn was cut at 3/4" and is a mix: mainly cotton but with a bit of other stuffs.  With an 8mm = L hook. 

PS from me - Live Bloggy Action here! Great stuff.


Friday 1 July 2016

Cosy down and cut out the draught

Remember this? It's grown a bit …

… and sprouted a tail.

The other end has grown some ears, eyes and a nose.

This draught excluder is dual-purpose and also serves as ...

… a puss-cat included! No draughts around her now!

It reminds me of another family cat member.

No pattern here, I just made it up as I went along.


PS A very warm welcome to my new followers. I hope you enjoy popping by.