Friday 26 June 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Welcome to another Friday Chat Day, a virus free zone!
Hope you are all keeping well - Littlelamb, so sorry to hear 
your crochet is on hold - hope you are pain free now.

Let's start this week's chatter with a recipe,
not so healthy this week!


Choc Chip Cookies
Originally from a Homepride Flour cookbook published in about 1991.
These cookies became a school lunchbox favourite with my boys.
They do take quite a lot of flour so if you are struggling to buy some
right now you may wish to save this recipe to make later.

150g/5oz butter (softened), 125g/4oz sugar,
1 egg (lightly beaten), vanilla essence – 2-3 drops,
225g/8oz self-raising flour, 75g/3oz plain flour,
100g/3½ oz chocolate drops

Preheat oven to 220C, 425F, Gas Mark 7
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Beat in egg gradually with vanilla essence.
Sieve together the two flours and fold into the mixture.
Stir in chocolate drops, it should be a dough consistency.
If too dry you can add a drop of milk.
On a floured surface roll the dough into a sausage shape,
cut into 2cm/¾ inch slices, flatten a little on the baking tray.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on wire rack.
Eat and forget the calories!

Click here for the Choc Chip Cookies printable.
This recipe has also been added to the Recipes page/tab 
at the top of the blog here.


I'm getting through the squares for the Harmony Blanket.
I have a system and thankfully it is working, in fact I've absolutely
enjoyed the organisation of it and already thinking about doing another.
The end result should hopefully look something like this...

Details of this project with link has been added to the yarn tab at the top 
of the blog - trying to keep that up to date.


I actually watched less telly this week as I ventured out -
news on that below.
I did watch Dancing on the Edge available on BritBox.
British drama written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff (I like everything he does).
It's about a black jazz band in London in the early 1930s.
It's slow paced, intriguing, eloquent and a full star cast.

If you subscribe to Netflix then Sinner - Season 3 has just been launched.


Starring an older but still very nice Bill Pullman, he plays 
a detective in a small New York town solving perplexing crimes -
gets a little creepy at times - I just press fast forward! 

This week we celebrated Bella's 9th birthday.
She received a new toy and a trip to the park and ...oh yes, a lot of ham and chicken.
How did our littlest member of the family become 9!
We haven't driven out to the park in months and I admit I felt a little nervous,
my car trips have just been home to my parents house.
Thankfully we parked up easily, found a path and didn't bump into anyone.
She was a bit of a hot dog, once home cooled her down and 
she snored for the entire evening.

And this isn't the park, this glorious garden belongs to my sister.
Fueled by my successful park trip I went to visit. 
Still being cautious, I took my fold up chair, picnic and sat in the shade of 
those trees doing my crochet - it was absolute bliss.

A good week all in all and this weekend full steam ahead 
for July's Charity Kit and yes, a bit of crochet and planning to 
make some cheese scones.

Take care friends, enjoy the sunshine from safe shady spots.

Friday 19 June 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Here we are again, thank you for stopping by.
Kicking off this week's chatter with my latest project 
on my crochet journey.


It's squares. 
When I first discovered crochet just over a year ago I admit to: 
(a) not liking squares very much and (b) finding them very tricky.
The wonderful Lucy at Attic 24 has now converted me.
This is the beginnings of the Hamony Blanket - 126 squares in total,
good job I'm liking them now!

So I began, completed two lots of squares for the pattern but I kept making mistakes
and realised I had to find a system where I do the rounds continuously on all of them.
I came  up with this.  Doing round 1 for all of them, round 2 and so on.
It is satisfying but I think I may need bigger plastic envelopes.

It might not look perfect but it is working and I have this little one
overseeing things.
Don't be fooled by that face, she's evil - brings in mice nearly every night!
(We still love her really).

And many thanks to Hazel who sent me details of this yorkie crochet pattern.
It is now on my list to do. The pattern can be found here.


Going a bit healthy this week. 
Overnight Oats.
I recently discovered these and it has made me view breakfast very differently.
It's filling and stops me grabbing a biscuit around 11am.
A great way to use up fruit - fresh, dried or frozen.
I buy the supermarket's cheapest porridge oats so works out economical too.
Adding honey or yoghurt makes this even more delicious.
This was yesterday's topped with frozen raspberries and grated apple.

50g rolled porridge oats,
¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)
Pinch of salt
100ml milk (or water)

The night before pop the oats into a jar (any jar with a sealed lid).
Mix in the cinnamon, salt and milk.
(The salt balances the flavour for when you add toppings).
Place in fridge.
In the morning loosen with a little more milk if needed.
Eat cold but if you prefer warm, pop in microwave
for 30-60 seconds.
Add your favourite toppings: berries, bananas,
tinned/frozen fruit, honey, natural yoghurt, dried fruit –
whatever you have to hand.
Eat and feel righteous!

Click here for the Overnight Oats printable.
This recipe has also been added to the Recipes page/tab 
at the top of the blog here.


Everything is growing thanks to lots of rain this week.
I adore Hostas, this beauty is over 20 years old. It was in the garden
when I bought the house and I transferred it to a pot a few years ago.

I'm not the only one that likes Hostas - pesky snails!
I've got a few snail traps - filled with beer and salt as I prefer not to use chemicals
but nothing truly seems to stop them. 
I've read about copper tape around plant pots to ward them off - 
anyone tried the tape?


I'm pleased to report I managed to watch all episodes of
Elementary before Amazon Prime switched it to purchase only,
I'm certain you were all worried about that :) 
It's actually an admission that I sat on my bum crocheting for hours!

I also managed to watch a few more things this week:

The Salisbury Poisonings on BBC iPlayer

I remember seeing this unfold on the news in 2018 but viewing it 
dramatised truly impacts upon you the severity of the situation.

Also a bit of a 'bonnet viewing':
Cranford on BritBox.

It was lovely to revisit this series based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novels.
A stellar cast and I had forgotten how funny it is (along with some very sad scenes too).

Bits and bobs:

I follow 1bike1world on social media, a man and his cat cycling the world.
The pandemic has thwarted his plans somewhat, he was grounded in Hungary for months.
I'm happy to report that he is back on his bike and 
Dean and Nala now have a website - you can visit it here.

And if you are surfing the net I definitely recommend A Chick Called Albert,
all YouTube videos can be found here.
Alwyn Wils from the Netherlands and his expertise at rescuing animals 
and bird hatching adventures. It started with Albert, 
a quail that hatched from an egg bought in the supermarket.

This weekend with it being Father's Day we are planning a socially distanced
picnic in Mum and Dad's garden.
Still a bit tricky with Mum shielding but we couldn't let Father's Day
go by without celebrating.
With each of us on our designated chairs and blankets it should work out well.
As long as it doesn't rain that is.

And how could I forget...this blog post was brought to you under
typing supervision of Bella!

Wishing you a lovely weekend whatever you may be up to,
take good care.
Much love.

Friday 12 June 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Welcome to Friday Chat Day.
If you are a regular visitor you'll know what you are in for,
if you are new here - thank you for visiting,
Each Friday it is a weekly little round up natter about cooking, 
craft, crochet, telly and a dog called Bella.


A new recipe - Banana Bread
Discovered and tried purely because I couldn't bear to put two 
overripe bananas in the bin!

140g soft butter/margarine, 140g caster sugar
140g self-raising flour, 1tsp baking powder,
2 eggs, beaten, 2 very ripe bananas – mashed

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F or Gas Mark 4. 
Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
Place butter/margarine and sugar in bowl,
cream together until light and fluffy.
Slowly add beaten eggs with a little of the flour.
Fold in the rest of the flour, baking powder and mashed bananas.
 Spoon the mixture into the tin, spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes until skewer comes out clean.
Cool in tin for ten minutes and then place on wire rack.
Eat and enjoy!

If you like bananas you'll definitely like this,
the flavour comes through well.
I think a couple of slices with custard would make a 
rather scrummy pudding too.

Click here for the Banana Bread printable.
This recipe has also been added to the Recipes page/tab 
at the top of the blog here.


A busy week of hooking!
The two Seaside Stashbusting Blankets at one point were neck and neck.

I have now finished the blue one.  Here it is before it was 
packaged and sent to my friend up in Bristol.
She opted for the fluffy border which represents the sea foam.

Bella doesn't understand why I take the photos! 

And for those who asked about how I crochet differently,
here's a few pictures.

Instead of having the yarn in my left hand, the traditional
way of crocheting, I keep it in my right and wrap over the hook,
a lot more like knitting.

Wrapping it over.

Pulling it through, keeping my left thumb on the stitches.

I was concerned at first that my tension would not be right,
patterns would come out differently but so far so good.
Bit cross with myself as I gave up numerous times trying to learn to
crochet the traditional way - imagine how many blankets I could have 
accumulated for my fort if I started years ago! 

So, if you have struggled with crochet perhaps this may work for you?
Let me know.
(Admission: still haven't made the crocheted flowers into a garland!)


I've been rushing through as many episodes as possible of Elementary.
A modern take on Sherlock Holmes.
Amazon Prime sent a notification that it will no longer be 
inclusive of their package (you can purchase it ...of course!)
So not to be defeated, I'm attempting 25 episodes in 2 days -
that's a lot of crochet! 

And because I had to have a little break from all that 
deduction and murder I opted to watch ....

Killing Eve - a little more murder!

All episodes available on BBCiPlayer.
It's more of a spy thriller with some murder thrown in.
It also has moments of absolute comedy.
Not sure I've seen anything else like it on telly, very compelling.


Just a little roundup of kits that are still available.
This month's charity kit supporting the hedgehogs,
just one kit left and available here.

And when rummaging in my cabin discovered there is still
two of the Mini Card Kits available - please click here

And big thanks to those who support me on Ko-fi,
(not a coffee but vital items for the kits).
I've been able to order the next batch of envelopes and bags for the July charity kits.
I update the gallery over on my Ko-fi page so it is a good place to 
keep track of kits if you wish to. 

Right, I think that wraps up this week again,
time is flying but also feels very Groundhog Day.
I do hope you are all keeping well and getting through this.
I am still limiting how much news I watch,
it is the best solution to avoid throwing a brick through the telly!

Take care friends, much love.

Sunday 7 June 2020

Charity Kit - June 2020

Hello friends

Happy Sunday and Happy Charity Kit Day.
Hoping these will bring a smile during these still very tricky times.
Please feel free to share details with everyone.

Each month a donation is made to a different charity,
and this month we are supporting the hedgehogs.
Founded in 1982 they help sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs.

To keep track of charities there's a tab at the top of my blog 
here with lots more kit info.

Without further ado here's this month's kit:

A 5 x 7 white card with double mats, layered die cuts,
foliage, flowers and 'Thank You' sentiment.

What's included in your kit:

White card base with matching envelope
White card mats x 2 (one pre-stamped)
Die cuts - Decorative Flower Box - window, box and ivy
Classic Scallops - gingham blind
Polka dot flowers x 6 (Swallow and Heart die set)
Full instructions

(Items you will need: adhesive, pearls/gems).

It is possible to create this card without dimension should 
you wish to post it by cutting and using just the front 
section of the window box to lay flat.

The kits are packed in recyclable paper bags and sent in a 'do not bend' 
envelope  so they arrive in pristine condition. 
To make up the kits you just need a basic craft kit, everything is pre-cut.

The kit cost is £5.85, that's the total payment,
it is inclusive of postage and packing.

Payment is via the PayPal link below.
If you wish to purchase but would prefer not to use PayPal, 
please email me:  
I'm happy to help with alternative payment arrangements.

Here's the link and it is possible to purchase multiple kits,
there's an option for that too.

If you would like to support the kits but do not need one right now,
there is a 'Ko-fi' button', at the top of the blog,
I don't actually buy coffee - never have, very pricey!
All donations enable me to purchase card, envelopes, the paper bags,
sticky labels and more.

It remains for me to say many, many thanks for your support
and I hope you like this month's kit.

Take care friends, enjoy your Sunday,
continue to keep safe.

Friday 5 June 2020

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends.

Welcome to another Friday Chat Day, they roll around 
pretty quickly don't they.
Hope you are all keeping well and still be vigilant. 
So in my little world a lot of the usual things going on.


I'm still loving all this extra time I have to crochet and delighted
at the progress of this Seaside Stashbusting Blanket which is for a friend.
It's folded in half here so much wider in real life.
I'm just over half way through and hoping I get this finished by next Friday.

I did not get around to making up all the flowers into a garland this week,
I think I'm procrastinating because I like seeing them all piled on this tray.
Bit of a dust trap though.

I've had a few people contact me to say how they would like
to crochet but have struggled to learn.
I definitely struggled, back in 2013 when I had my shop, I even enlisted a tutor 
to come and teach crochet classes but I couldn't grasp it.
My issue was holding the hook and yarn,
it felt clumsy and tension was all over the place.

Then last year I picked up a crochet hook and held it differently,
keeping both yarn and hook in my right hand, more like knitting and it worked.
My reason for sharing this is to ask you if any would-be
crocheters would benefit from some tutorials on a different way to crochet?
As mentioned, I'm still on furlough leave from my city job so 
I may have some time to dedicate to some tutorials.

I get time to think up this stuff when I'm in my 'crochet corner'
and this is it.  Nothing glamorous and yes, this is after a tidy up.
It is upstairs (away from my noisy neighbours!)
Out of photo shot is my full yarn stash - a little embarrassed to photo that!
Also out of shot, my TV, 
news of what I've been watching this week ...
please scroll down.


A great idea from Jean that I have a tab at the top of my 
Thank you Jean.

Chocolatey Chocolate Cake this week. 
It is lovely as an afternoon tea cake or as a dessert served 
with raspberries/strawberries.

175g/6oz self-raising flour, 
175g/6oz sugar, 
175g/6oz soft margarine or butter (room temperature), 
1½ teaspoons of baking powder,
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder,
3 eggs – beaten, 
1½ tablespoon of milk (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C, 350F or Gas Mark 4.
 Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.
Sift flour and baking powder together.  
Add cocoa powder, butter or margarine, sugar and eggs and
 beat with an electric hand whisk or food processor until well mixed.  
If the mixture is too thick add a little milk and mix again.  
Divide mixture evenly between sandwich tins.  
Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen. 
Remove from tin and cool on wire rack.

Buttercream: mix 50g/2oz of softened butter with 
100g/4oz sifted icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk.  
For the flavouring add 25g of melted chocolate (I tend to use more!) 
or as an alternative, 2 teaspoons of instant coffee 
mixed with 2 teaspoons of boiling water.  

Click here for the Chocolate Cake printable.


This week whilst camped in my Crochet Corner
I've been having a bit of a Netflix fest.
First one...

Drama about a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers just after World War II,
all trying to make their dreams come true.
It's cliche, a little bit saucy(!) but very entertaining.
I also love seeing the hair and outfits, they have the reddest of 
lipsticks and nail varnish. 

Second one...
 The English Game

Developed by Julian Fellows it is a six part drama series.
Imagine Downton Abbey crossed with Catherine Cookson
with a dash of footie thrown in! 
I am no football fan but actually there isn't a huge amount of football
in it, it focuses more on the relationships of the characters.
And I am a sucker for period dramas.


Charity Kit Day this Sunday and this month we are supporting
Adorable and curious creatures.

Here's a sneak peek of Sunday's kit.

If it takes your fancy, please stop by.

And that wraps up another week, oh I nearly forgot the pooch.
Photo purely to show that she has a nice trimmed tummy -
hair wise not weight! She too is tempted by the biscuit barrel. 


Take care friends, wishing you a lovely weekend
whatever you may be doing - keep safe.

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