Friday 29 May 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Here we are again, thanks for stopping by
to see what ramblings I have for you this week.
I have my usual fayre of crochet, cooking, craft
with some added telly and Bella, of course.


Last week, I shared my Seaside Stashbusting Blanket that I had started
in natural colours (still haven't quite finished it),
but I've started another one.
It appears I have no restraint when it comes to my crochet projects,
I dart off in all directions with whatever mood I'm in.
I do have the excuse that this one is for a friend, she sent the yarn to me
so I am keen to get this one done and dusted.
These are a few of  my progress photos.

The colours do look different dependent upon the light, 
it's lots of blues and pale greens, it feels very seaside-ish.
For details of this pattern I've updated my yarn page here.

I'm in my final week of flowers, by Sunday I will have made 31
and I'm hoping by next Friday to show you that they are in
some form of  a garland.

If you like all things crochet and you have Instagram, please 
follow me there as I post crochet pics galore.
I've found Instagram to be a source of massive yarn temptation...


Did you like the printables?
I smiled when I spoke to my Mum as she had got my 
Dad to print them off for her and one of them is her recipe!
This week I have Date Crumble Cake for you.
Again Mum's recipe and a firm favourite for years,
delicious warm or cold.

225g/8oz self-raising flour, 
225g/8oz sugar, 
225g/8oz dates,
150g/5oz butter, 
1 egg – lightly beaten,
1teaspoon cinnamon, 
milk (optional)

Preheat oven to 190C, 375F or Gas Mark 5.
Grease a 20cm/8 inch tin – a loose bottom one is ideal.
Measure and place flour, sugar and butter in bowl.
Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Divide the mixture in half.  
Into one half add the egg and cinnamon,
mix to a fairly stiff dough consistency (add milk if necessary).
Spread into the prepared tin about ½ inch thick.
Mash the dates with a little boiling water and spread over the dough.
Spread the reserved half of the crumb mixture 
over the top of the dates, pat down lightly.
Cook for approximately 30 minutes.
Turn onto cooling rack.  

Click here for the Date Crumble Cake printable.

Tiny Garden:

OK this isn't super impressive but I'm VERY pleased!
The Clematis that I butchered last October  ...

is doing a fine job of regrowing
and twirling around my bench.
The boys remarked 'we can't sit on that then?' - 
Absolutely not!

I am no gardener but I try to learn a little.
I'm attempting to grow ivy plants from cuttings.
I need to create a screen to hide a huge building that neighbours have 
erected during lockdown - oh I could share my angst about that and 
inconsiderate neighbours in general, but this is my happy place 
and no-one wants to hear moaning.
Instead let me share this week's telly viewing/recommendations.
You know I only watch this much telly because I'm crocheting, right?!

Available on BBC iPlayer and BritBox.

I've mentioned this series before and it really deserves mentioning again.
I'm re-watching it all.
Written, starring and directed by Mackenzie Crook.
It is a single camera comedy drama and I think it is absolutely charming.
It ticks along at a gentle pace, the humour is spot on and clever.

My Midsomer Murders marathon has had a bit of a hiatus,
I'm now on the episodes starring Neil Dudgeon who I like immensely,
but I've found instead I'm watching shorter programmes -
timing crochet sessions perhaps.

Available on Amazon Prime   

Season 5 was released and I'm just getting around to watching it.
For those who may not know what it is about - 
historical drama with time travel via magic stones - a poor man's Stonehenge.
We are now in the 18th Century at the dawn of the revolutionary war in America.
It's a little bit silly but highly entertaining and Mr Heughan helps enormously,
a much younger him popped up in Midsomer Murders too.


Lovely response again to the third NHS Mini Card Charity Kit.

If you would like to purchase one of the few remaining kits
 please click here.

Mum news: she's doing better and has got itchy feet to get out,
she's definitely missing trips to garden centres and shops but,
like all of us, knows the safest place is home.
We are all missing our normal get-togethers for meals.
We have a little set up where we can visit and chat through the window,
we also have a little exchange table in the garden where we leave 
bits and bobs for each other.  Surreal how this has changed us all.

And finally the pooch, the pooch with a very dodgy haircut.
I got the clippers out and bless her, she was very well behaved but I chose
not to push it so I just clipped her back for now.
Her tummy and leg fur is still long so when standing she 
looks like she's wearing a tutu! Oh the shame of it.

And that's it for another week.
I do hope you are all doing ok, coping and keeping well.
Keep smiling and take care.

Much love.

Saturday 23 May 2020

Charity Mini Kit 3

Hello friends

As mentioned yesterday I have now designed a third mini card kit.
Keeping with the rainbow theme and supporting our NHS.
I am delighted to say this kit is now available.
Again, each kit creates two cards measuring 4 x 4.
Ideal to send out to your family and friends.

A rainbow design 'Script Love'.

A rainbow design: Daisy Florals

Cards are blank inside for your own message.

There's everything you need included in the kit:

White 4 x 4 card base x 2
Envelope x 2
Grey card mat x 2
White card mat x 2
Die cuts - Love script sentiment x 5, mini hearts x 5
daisy florals x 6
Full instructions

You just need to use your own adhesive, foam squares, gemstones/pearls.

The cost is £6  and that includes postage and packing.
The PayPal button is below, if you require more kits it is possible
to alter the quantity. I have made a limited quantity.
As before, with the sale of the kits a donation will be going to the 
NHS Charities Together.

Thank you so much, we are all helping in our own way 
and that makes a world of difference.

Have a lovely Saturday.
Take care, stay safe and much love,

Friday 22 May 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Welcome to another Friday Chat Day.
Hope you are all well in your world.
I had a little look back through my blog and discovered
my first Friday Chat Day was end of June 2019,
nearly a year ago - goodness I've done a lot of waffling
and here's some more...


So the Last Minute Christmas Cake got its marzipan and icing,
well the top and the good ol' snow scene for ease. 
I resisted decorating it with holly and reindeer, I mean it is May.  
I then cut off a chunk and delivered it to my parents,
it appears they too enjoy cakes out of season.

I shared the Last Minute Christmas Cake recipe last week and
a few of you mentioned the Canadian Malt Loaf recipe.
I went searching and found it.

I cannot take any credit for this recipe, it is my friend and work colleague
Terry's recipe and it is delicious.
It is similar in process to the Last Minute Christmas Cake,
so speedy and easy.

This will make two loaves. They freeze well.

375g/13oz sultanas
50g/2oz butter 
350ml/12 fluid oz hot water
375g/13oz self-raising flour 
½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
9oz sugar
2 eggs – beaten.

Preheat oven to 190 C, 375F or Gas Mark 5 (180 C for fan assisted).  
Grease and line two 2lb loaf tins. 
Place butter, sultanas and hot water into a saucepan. 
Bring to the boil, simmer for 4 minutes and allow to cool a little.  
In a large mixing bowl mix together flour, bicarb and sugar.  
Transfer the warm fruit from the saucepan into the flour mixture.  
Mix in the beaten eggs.  
Pour the mixture into your two loaf tins. 
Bake for 50 minutes.
Allow to cool before cutting.  Delicious spread with butter.  

Whilst rummaging for recipes I thought how about I make it 
possible for you to print them off?
So I've done some tippy tapping on the keyboard and
I've designed them.
It is two on an A4 landscape page, so one for you and one for a friend.

Once you click on the links below, click download.
They are PDF documents for you to save and print.

Click here for the Canadian Malt Loaf printable.
Click here for the Last Minute Christmas Cake printable.
Click here for the Lemon and Coconut Cake printable.

I'll make sure you get a printable each time I share a recipe.
(Getting that organised kept me out of trouble for a few hours!)


Thankfully right now always time for crochet.
I've been speeding ahead with this project,
the Seaside Stashbusting Blanket by Coastal Crochet.

This has been a lot of fun, the different stitches represent waves,
pebbles, shells, fishing nets and more.

I've been spurred on to finish it as I'm starting another one for a friend.
She has sent me her yarn and it is a mix of blues, greens and whites,
I think it will look wonderful in this pattern.

And I haven't stopped my flower a day - here's the collection
so far being overlooked by our dearly departed Imogen cat.
The plan is to make these into a garland, attaching each one to a
crocheted chain.

And whilst I'm doing all this crocheting...


I've gone back and re-watched Ripper Street - Amazon Prime.
Worrying that I had forgotten so much of it.
Thoroughly enjoying it again, looking away at some of the gruesome scenes.

And still my Midsomer Murders marathon continues - 
now about to start Season 14!
DCI Barnaby now looking a little more grey.

Crafty stuff:

I've been back to my cabin and put together set 3 of the
Rainbow Mini Card Kits - donating to the NHS.
Here's a sneak peek of one of the designs in the duo of cards...

Please stop by tomorrow for the kit announcement,
I'll also publish on Facebook etc.

Yesterday marked the 7 year anniversary of Elliott's surgery.
I still get so choked when I see that first photo of him in 
King's College Hospital all marked up but still smiling.
It has been a rollercoaster.  
I am still amazed by him.

And yes I made him don the t-shirt, he's a good sport! 

And that brings me to the close of this week's chatter.
Wishing you a lovely weekend, enjoy the sunshine 
(if you like sunshine that is, I'm definitely a shade dweller).

Take care friends, keep safe,
keep well and much love.

Friday 15 May 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Whoosh and it is Friday again.
I hope you are all safe and well.
I confess the easing of lockdown has worried me,
I appreciate why it has to happen, economy etc but
we as a family are still not taking any risks.
We are adhering to the 'stay home' for the moment.

So with my stay home time what have I been doing?
A few flowers...


One a day - my mission for May.
These are the Polyanthus flowers - a pattern by Attic 24.
They are not perfect, it depends on what time of day I'm making them -
before or after a glass of wine!
But I am keeping up and for now they are making quite a colourful display.

Also in progress is this one...
The Seaside Stash Busing Blanket.

I am learning so many new stitches with this and it is using up all 
my leftover neutral yarns.  I may need to do a few more to use
up all my other yarn!

Papercraft -

Big thanks to those who purchased a Window Rainbow Kit,
these are now sold out.  I must admit the prep for those was lengthy
so the numbers were limited.

There is just one charity kit left at the moment and that is
Mini Cards 2.  If you would like it, please click here.

I had intended to do another duo of mini cards as a few ideas sprung
 into my head one night when sleep was evading me.
What do you think?  
Would we still like cards on this theme?

Accompanying my crochet is of course watching telly
and this week I've revisited two gems.
Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes.


Available on BBCiPlayer, Netflix and Britbox.
Each series focuses on a police officer that goes back in time,
first to the 70's and then the 80's.
I love it - possibly because it makes me feel nostalgic,
the attention to props and detail is excellent.
If you haven't seen them, you're in for a treat.

Also this week as we are in the mist of Spring and most days 
feeling the warmth of sunshine, I felt it was perfect to make a...
Christmas cake! 
I know - a little odd, but serious cravings for fruit cake
with marzipan and icing.
And justified it by saying we are living in surreal times,
we can treat ourselves.

Back in December 2013 I included this recipe 
in a charity kit - we had made a recipe book and each month 
we was adding a recipe, tags etc.
Anyway, it is a last minute Christmas Cake as it is super speedy.


1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
8oz butter
1 lb mixed fruit
10oz self raising flour
2 beaten eggs

In a saucepan place the water, sugar, butter and mixed fruit,
heat and bring to the boil - allow to bubble for 5 minutes then 
allow to cool completely.

Whilst cooling, line an 8" cake tin.

Once mixture is cool, mix in the flour and beaten eggs.
I just use a wooden spoon.
Place in a pre-heated oven, 160 degrees.
Cook for 1.45 - 2 hours.
(My oven cooks fast so mine was ready just under the 1.45).

You can of course add nuts, cherries if you have them.
It makes a nice everyday cake, it need not have the marzipan
and icing - unless you're having the same hankerings as me!
(I appreciate getting flour is tricky right now, I'm down to my last 
little bit so recipes could be different next week).

Pleased to report my Mum is doing ok, she's eating a little better.
She had to go for a scan this week, always worrying when
she is so vulnerable but the hospital insisted and looked after her.
I am lucky in that I get to see both my parents often when I visit my cabin,
still obviously adhering to distancing and talking through a window.

And this one gets a trip out each time I visit my cabin, so 
she's very happy and tired, this is her 'first thing in the morning look'.
She desperately needs a haircut, her salon is 
not reopening until July so me thinks I need to get the scissors out.

Another week wrapped up.
No big plans for this weekend as usual - 
a bit more cooking and crochet.

Keep safe, keep well and keep smiling.

Much love,

Saturday 9 May 2020

Window Rainbow Charity Kit

Hello friends

Back again today as promised with a Window Rainbow Charity Kit,
with proceeds going to the NHS.
I wanted to make something obviously rainbow but slightly different.
My love for flying butterflies appears to have come out.

I've put together a limited amount as each one has 93 pre-cut pieces,
consisting of butterflies, hearts and flowers.

I've ensured there is a rainbow template so it is easy to 
position all the pieces (actually Elliott designed it so I cannot take credit).
The rainbow is also mounted onto two pieces of A4 card
to give it rigidity in your window. 

Included in your kit:

A4 black card mount.
A4 coloured card mount (colour may vary from picture).
A4 white smooth card with printed rainbow template.
93 die cut/punch shapes: purple hearts x 3, blue flowers x 10,
green hearts x 11, yellow flowers x 26, orange butterflies x 19,
red butterflies x 7, tiny butterflies x 17.
Full printed instructions.

The only item you will need is adhesive.
This a fun and project to make so ideal to do with family or 
send out as a gift if you wish.

Your kit will be sent out in an A4 do not bend envelope so 
will arrive in pristine condition.
Shapes will be bagged so easier to find/sort.
The postage is a little higher for this kit as it weighs more than 100g.

Kit price inclusive of UK postage and packing is £7.50.
I've placed a PayPal button below,
it is possible to alter quantities should you wish to purchase more.

Tip - if you want to keep dimension, raised butterfly wings etc when
placing in your window, pop a foam square in each corner on the front
so it doesn't sit flat to your window - hope that makes sense.

Thank you so much for your support.
Enjoy your weekend.

Much love and stay safe.

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