Sunday, 31 January 2010

Thank You!

Em would like to say "thank you everyone for your birthday wishes, I had a lovely day at school with my friends filled with hugs and birthday wishes. My friends and I also had a cool day out in our local town, we visited our favourite shops and had lunch out to celebrate my birthday."

Em has been busy in her food tech lessons recently, she made a macaroni cheese - dairy free with gluten free pasta. This week she made a Quiche Loraine also dairy free, she used soya milk and soya cheese in the filling and pure spread in the pastry. Much to our surprise it was a tasty success with not much discernable difference to the normal Quiche.
Following on from my knitted cabled wristys, I started knitting a scarf to match. I struggled to find a pattern that looked right, so I used the cables from the wristy twisting in opposite directions for the scarf. I have used one and a quarter balls of the four ply yarn doubled up, and I'm really pleased with the result, I still need to keep knitting though as its not long enough yet. I hope you have a good week, Happy crafting Jane x

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Em's Birthday

Hello dear friends, thank you for your very much appreciated good wishes for my back. they worked a treat and I am back to normal - thank goodness! This week I was hit by a chest infection which I have mostly recovered from, it has though caught Tony (no it shouldn't be the other way around) and he is suffering much more with it than I did, temperature, wracking cough, streaming nose struggling to breathe, etc. Moving swiftly on to much nicer things it is Em's birthday this week and I cannot believe how fast the years have flown by. Em was only a few days old when this first photo was taken -she was so tiny. My next photo is of Em four years old on a rocker with her favourite bear Eddy Teddy at Pecorama, Beer, Devon during an Easter break. Em at 9 years of age dressed up as an evacuee for a history lesson on WW2 at Primary school. She loves all sorts of animals but she's always had a love/fascination of snakes so when we found a fountain with a most enormous snake in Copenhagen she was determined to have her photo taken with it. A year later we visited Malmo and she spotted some bronze cats for a photo opportunity although the real cats are even better for a cuddle. She loves sheep and has her very own flock of cuddly sheep in her room! She draws beautiful accurate detailed pictures and loves manga stories. She has been a Brownie and a Guide and had lots of fun during her meetings and camps. Happy 14th Birthday Em, love from Mum, Dad, Ali, Granny & Grandad.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

A Little Bit Of Sun And A Little Bit Of Green

This week has seen more snow which lead to more wintry photos, finally on Friday morning the thaw began. The daytime temperature climbed to a tropical 4 Celsius and everthing dripped steadily. School still had huge amounts of snow piled up from the pathways being cleared. Yesterday we had lots of rain and many of the local roads flooded. Now the snow's all gone and the garden has returned to green, even the bamboos have recovered from being bent in half. I hope the bay tree will recover as well as it is still leaning over. The fat balls I put out earlier in the week are being visited regularly by a Robin and a couple of Bluetits. This time last year we had to stop bird feeding because our garden was invaded by a huge rat (shiver) the council pest control officer said we and the neighbours had to stop feeding the birds because the food contained vitamin K which helps rats to combat any poison they eat. Finally it was run over on the main road and so for the rest of the year we haven't dared put any food out and gardening gloves have been worn for even the smallest jobs in the garden. I am hoping that this year the problem will not return and that we can enjoy the garden again. Last week whilst clearing the huge amount of snow off the car and from around it (with Tony's help) I managed to hurt my back. All week it has been painful and at times things like getting out of the chair, or picking something up that I have dropped, have reduced me to tears. But perseverance in moving have paid off and today my back feels a marked improvement. Thank goodness. On the crafting front I started knitting a pair of wristys from a pattern on Sometime ago I bought three balls of Stylecraft 4ply because I liked the colour,
I intended to use it for wristys, scarf and hat but it kept splitting. I finally decided to use the yarn double as the tension swatch was close to Aran yarn. I changed pattern and chose this one, also from Knitty. The initial wristy was too long for my liking and I found that the cables came too far up the arm to be seen, this may have been because of the different tension/yarn. So I made the second wristy with a shorter row count between the last cable and the base of the thumb, this resulted in a much better finish as you can see the cables on my wrist. My next project is the scarf and I have promised to show my friend at work how to cable. I'm off to buy some tickets to a knit and stitch show coming our way soon. I hope you have a good week, happy crafting. Jane x

Saturday, 9 January 2010


The snow arrived Tuesday night / Wednesday morning as it did right across the lower half of the British Isles, so we woke up to 8-10 inches of the white stuff. School was shut and has remained so for the rest of the week due to the inability to run buses and get along the local roads. We are, it seems, one of those rural communities which is almost cut off. We've no post, the buses aren't running throught the village, the bin collections haven't happened and of course we haven't, and won't see, a snow plough or gritter because we are not an A road or Motorway. Until yesterday morning no deliveries of milk or bread had made it into the village either. But in true british style we've been helping each other out, checking on the elderly neighbours then slithering off to the shop to find out what supplies there are available. We haven't been able to get out of our driveway or road as you can see from the photos. The only people who have suceeded are two neighbours with 4x4's. Meanwhile school have kept Em busy with so much work on the VLE that she hasn't had chance to build a snowman or play in the snow! Then yesterday afternoon, she had to build a sculpture in the snow for art, she had to research Andrew Goldsworthy and then sculpt something using his work as inspiration. She decided to mimic his stone balancing in snow, now she has to photograph it as it melts! Thats not happening much at the moment, although there are some spectacular icicles appearing on our guttering. We have enjoyed our time at home altogether, but the novelty has worn off now. Tony says "It is so frustating that we are stuck at home unable to get to work or anywhere else". The enforced time at home has meant that I have been supporting Em with her school work and trying to get a little crafting fitted in around it all. So far I have managed to finish my socks - Yipee! I hope we might get out to the village centre this morning on foot. See you all soon. Jane x

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Happy New Year!

The Christmas tree and decorations have gone away into the loft, the house looks bare and lacks light and sparkle. We are back to school and work tomorrow the holidays are over. We did visit London last week on Tuesday with Ali and had lunch in the World Food Cafe, Neals Yard. The food was vegetarian with dairyfree options for Em which she loved and enjoyed, we all found something on the menu we liked too. We wandered around the shops in the Seven Dials area. Ali spotted a shop selling some fantastic cupcakes, so we bought a pack of 5 - They tasted as good as they looked and were on a special offer. In the afternoon we walked along Regent Street. It felt as though the whole world was out with us as well. The pavements were packed and it was impossible to stop! Quite scary really. Ali was delighted when we came across the Marmite shop which was due to close on New Years Day then it will apear somewhere else around the country. We bought the girls marmite t-shirts at greatly reduced prices. We admired the lights along the streets and window displays in the stores, and fought our way into Hamleys so I could look at all the beautiful bears before heading home. Ali goes back to Uni soon and is in the midst of writing her thesis. Happy New Year! back soon. Jane x