Friday, 31 December 2010

Popping in and out again!


Having not managed to get on this laptop to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, I got my finger out and am popping on to wish you all a Happy New Year!

I hope 2011 brings you all joy, creative hearts, fewer hangovers and much cake!!!

With love, cupcakes and biscuits,

 ***** Ali *****


x

Friday, 17 December 2010

Help Me!!!


 I have to go shopping for the second time this week.........with a husband who follows me around....children I cannot see for crowds and all because the Royal Mail suck and have forced me to shop in the High Street.  

If I could send them Ghosts of Late Post and Lost Parcels and a very scary one called the Ghost of Christmases Spoiled, I would.  In my world (where obviously I rule and can be utterly ridiculous if I choose) they should be forced to listen to Vogon poetry and have to endure non-stop soaps and reality TV.  Afternoon tea with Derren Brown with minging tea and dry stale chocolate cake whilst wearing braces, set in a hospital waiting room with awful Jeremy Kyle type shows on in the background and moany faced receptionists. Wet pants and a waiter who prods them repeatedly over and over and over and over and over until they beg for forgiveness, plead for their souls and wake up the next morning ordering me the biggest prize turkey from the butcher from a street urchin who happens to be passing. 

If I could I would.
Until them I shake my fist at them and boo like they're baddies in a panto and off I go.....



X

Monday, 6 December 2010

What to do when...


...Mr Biscuit is wielding power tools in the kitchen, Biscuits are playing PS3 games and snow is falling (again!).

Eat chocolate and sew!





X

Friday, 3 December 2010

"We've gone on holiday by mistake!!!"

Can you guess what happened?

Remember that cottage, our weekend getaway, our country idyll, that cottage that we decided to go in November instead of January in case we got stuck there because of snow.
Will it surprise you then that on Sunday we got snowed in, in that cottage until yesterday [Thursday] when we made our bid for freedom with the help of the local shepherd who indeed 'shepherded' us along the seven miles to civilization and boy did I leap out of the car to hug and kiss him.
I could write long passages telling of the stress, the loss of wages, the feeling of utter isolation, the hunger (I don't think I've ever gone so long without cake - Hubby and Father-in-law had to walk those seven miles into town and those seven miles back to get us food), the lack of radio or television so no idea what was going on in the world, my Biscuits missing the first day of advent and the joy of chocolate that brings, the fear of feeling so helpless and trapped but the worst, by far the worst was seeing snow as an obstacle and prisoner.  I tried to enjoy the bunnies bounding and frolicking about in the snow, the deer over yonder on the hill and the beauty of a snow laden countryside landscape but all of it was tinged with a desperate need to get out and home.  Wishing for rain to wash it all away and the desperation to see the gritter coming up the hill.  I love snow, love snow so it was horrid to feel negative towards it.
We were so lucky the owner of the cottage told us we could stay as long as we needed no charge and to help ourselves to the logs in the shed and the wine in the attic to which I cannot describe our gratitude but boy am I put off going away in the winter again and boy am I never paying attention to weather forecasts.  I don't ever anyways but on this occasion I checked all week, 'light flutterings and sleet' I read.  The locals up there knew it was coming.  How come weather forecasts seem to depend on where you get them?  I looked up the Met Office online for goodness sake!
Luckily the road home was clear all the way and considering how often since Sunday that particular motorway and the forth road bridge was shut, we were blessed with little traffic, sunshine and no snow!
I should be panicking at the time I've lost (homemade Christmas an' all) but I cannot.  What's the point getting stressed over things I can control when I just went through an experience where I had no control except how to react?  Feeling trapped had made me appreciate the freedom to choose I usually have.  It feels like I've been away from my real life for yonks and I'm so glad to be back.  I even spent all day cleaning and didn't complain once [shock!!]

*BIG SIGH*

 The irony is once having 'dug' ourselves out of the snow 'twa hoors awa in th' Glens' we had to dig ourselves into our house.



X

Monday, 22 November 2010

A Neverending Saga - it's a matter of perspective!


Ladies, I have managed to pick up another cold.   As I write I am sniffing and blowing and coughing and sighing.  Hubby Biscuit says it's because I got lots of my hair [as in never had my hair this short, ever!] chopped off on Friday and the cold has found it's way in via an exposed neck.  So having never quite making it to 100% well I've taken a wee baby step back again.  I say a baby step as it is all a matter of perspectiveYes I feel god awful again but so what, Christmas is on it's way and that means I can justify sitting down sewing and knitting all those gifts I have in mind.  
The washing machine has been showing signs of dying the last few weeks and this morning it would not switch on.  It has obviously lost it's battle.  Ah well, I have a large kitchen sink, a bath and arms with which to scrub.  It'll either get mended or be replaced and in the big scheme of things it's no real biggy.  As I say the approach of the ching-ching of jingle bells can ward off pretty much anything even kitchen appliances dying [my gas oven went on the blink a couple of weeks ago too, luckily I have a second electric one].  

So I say Que Sera Sera!

I admit I am finding it easy to be philosophical as this Friday we are off here...

 (click for more of a looksee, even a virtual tour if you are curious)

...set in a simply beautiful landscape...

this image and above from cottages4you
...for a couple of nights and it will do me the world of good.  A bit of relaxation before December brings it's usual full steam ahead activity.  A break way from home to take some deep breaths [I hope my nose will allow this] and to look at the stars without the pollution of street lights.  We have holidayed there once before a couple of January's ago and I was stunned by the night sky.  
It'll be difficult not to arrive home feeling rejuvenated and refreshed on Sunday.

It's either the thought of this cottage or there being something to that old adage -  'get a haircut, take a load of your mind'.  Either way I am glad I'm taking it all on the chin.


X

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Nearly Headless Nick...sorry I mean Nearly Wordless Wednesday!




Thank goodness my dining table is a big fella!



Sure I would love to take part in the actual Wordless Wednesday but who am I kidding, not gonna happen, no way, no how!



X

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Weeks 13 to 16!


I think I [finally] am feeling better now, my head seems to have cleared  a lot and am sleeping better so [again, finally] got my finger out with catching up posting about my t52mmmc challenge.


First up Week 13 - bumble bee scarf! 


 A Christmas gift for a friend to honour his much treasured sweater of the same stripes which was worn all the time, two decades ago.  Wear and age caused it's death as can happen with well loved clothes made of wool.  This was also the bugger that caused the wrist incident, I used acrylic wool on bamboo needles and it was hell.  Punishment for not using pure wool and the opposite of the scarf I knitted at the same time for myself with Rowan Big Wool made of 100% merino which was a dream to knit.  Last year I knitted one similar to this in black/white stripes and didn't have any trouble, different yarn brand, different experience.  Acrylic does have it's place and is great for crocheting blankets for my Biscuits to wrap themselves up in playing caterpillars and the like.


Week 14 - a week of birthdays!


Coffee and Walnut Cake* (which I've always detested until I tried this one!) for Mr Biscuit.  Birthday biscuits* which I have made every year of my Biscuits' lives (they say they expect them till I'm too old or too incapacitated to make them and I am NOT allowed to try anything fancy like filled in icing, it has to be messy and covered in sweets, glitter etc or else.  Suited me fine this year as my sprained wrist meant I struggled and this too is the reason for Youngest Biscuit's birthday cake* not being made in the shape of anything needing rolled icing but in the shape of a child's mud pie, worms and all.
I also baked pretty pink cupcakes for a dear friend but with organizing her birthday meal, I forgot to take photos before they were taken away or indeed scoffed for pudding.  
A very busy week indeed especially in a bandage and always during school holidays.

* from Cupcakes from a Primrose Bakery.
* from Nigella's Domestic Goddess.
* easy chocolate cake (x2) from Nigella's Feast.



Week 15 - granny square cushion front!


Making new cushions for the sofa.  This is the cover that I needed to fix the mistake in if you remember.  Wishing I had pressed it for the photo, ever the perfectionist!



Week 16 - empire biscuits! 


I think some would call these german biscuits but they've always been empire to us.  I always make plenty of dough when I am making birthday biscuits so I can freeze batches and these biscuits are the main reason why.  I got away with love hearts in a house of males as we all agreed they were the best shape out of the haribo box, almost went for the fried egg.  Scrummy!!

That's all for now.  Still loving this challenge!
I shall leave you with a couple of caterpillars I managed to photograph one day...




X


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Seeing black and feeling blue!



I'm fed up!

I'm fed up with feeling fed up!


Week three and I'm still poorly and it's starting to eat into me now.  Really starting to get me down, not sleeping well, no energy and so, so tired.  As Hubby Biscuit always says "I'm keeping it till it gets better" and I am looking after myself but impatience, hormones and a general lack of understanding as to why this b*****d cold will not go away are draining me.  
I'm feeling blue, finding it hard to see the positive thus seeing black and feeling affected by the rain and the lack of sun.
One of the reasons, if not the reason I started this blog was the idea of pulling my thoughts out of me and feeling the catharsis that brings.  I wrote a journal for years.  Books and books filled with ink;  my thoughts, feelings, ideas, my history and yet it stopped, stopped when the weight of motherhood caused such repetition I didn't want to listen to myself anymore.  
It was no longer cathartic discussing my life, life simply was what it was.  
After staring reading blogs I started to see blogging could open that door again so I tentatively began. I felt more freedom in my life and found a platform so here I am using that platform, putting it out there that I feel pants and saying (writing) that out loud and pulling it out of me helps just a little. Helps enough to motivate me enough to keep going and do the things I need to do today.  
Helps enough to know putting The Smiths on my ipod will put me over the edge so I won't be doing that then!

Ooh and my Doctor Who DVD may come today!  See, a positive thought! 



X

Saturday, 6 November 2010

You know you are a geek when...


...you spend your money (very excitedly and with baited breath) pre-ordering this...

 image from amazon
(out on Monday - yikes!!!)

...instead of visiting your lovely friend and hairdresser (gorgeous bride in the photo of the wedding cake I made - remember her?) for a full head of highlights.  Bugger it I'll maybe go red instead, I can do that with a shop dye, much cheaper!

I am more of a geek than a lady, what can I say?


X

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Bats in the belfry!


Not really! 
Workmen insulating the loft!

Why am I drawn to phrases on madness?  I suspect for the same reason my first reaction to having workmen in the house is going through Criminal Minds type scenarios of rape and gruesome murder.  I cannot help myself.  No wood is innocent and no stranger in my house has not concocted a well thought out ploy to get in and torture and/or kill me.
Actually (workies have just left the building) they drank tea and coffee and insulated the whole loft in forty five minutes for free.  Yes!!   FOR FREE!!!!!  A knock on the door (why do some people ignore both the letterbox and bell?) less than twenty four hours ago from a rep from a well known energy company offering free loft insulation from the local council for all houses in the area whether council or privately owned like ours.  A grant that would eventually run out of funds so grab the chance of FREE FREE FREE while you can, so we did!  
I don't know about you but it has been on our list of things to do for a few years now and usually gets usurped by some other plan (this year redecorating the kitchen which is taking forever due to birthdays, wrists and colds) and now *sigh*, didn't even have to empty the loft, didn't have to watch Hubby Biscuit take forever with the prep, it's done and dusted.
It's a great thing to have something so readily at hand to be positive about to counterbalance the negatives of a cough laden, sleep depriving night in bed and a morning of having to unpick sewn up granny squares to reach the one I noticed had a mistake just as I was finishing off.  Love Actually helped with the hour plus fixing that mistake.  The ying and yang, the balance of doing something as I spent last week strewn on the sofa poorly and being poorly masking my ability to catch mistakes as they happen.  
Where the inability to leave the mistake well alone comes in, I do not know!  Well I do but after thirty seven years, I have grown to accept the perfectionist in me!


X

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

No longer a clown....that's a matter of opinion!



It's week two of this awful cold I am experiencing and yes my face has sooked itself back up (as much as a 37 year old face can), my nose is no longer as red as a clown's nose or Rudolph's for that matter.  My house is no longer covered in ickle mounds of used tissues and I am no longer sneezing and spitting (that includes food, I know MINGING!!) all over myself.  
I am however facing the truth that I do not sound sexy and husky and all Mariella Frostrup but like I am crying all the time which is embarrassing when phoning school offices and hospitals to cancel orthodontic appointments.  I am blessed, for the first time in nine years, in being able to be ill and in my jim-jams for days on end as my lovely Biscuits have been taking themselves off to school in the morning.  I have been able, for the most part, to stop dead in it's tracks the dreaded 'Mum' law that seems to state we must keep going no matter what or how ill we get.  I was poorly this time last year and 'kept going' and was still not right at Christmas time so this year, thanks to my Biscuits, I have been resting lots, watched lots of films and thankfully (after only one week of wearing a bandage although I'm not going to get into how bad that week was..ooh the pain!!) have been able to knit and crochet again.  
So I am not dwelling on how little I have been getting done or how sick I am being poorly or how I am going ever so slightly mad cooped up in the house but grateful I am getting to have sick days and blessing the invention of Jakemans Soothing Menthol Sweets 
I have missed some posts I was planning, namely celebrating this...



...the first birthday of my blog.  My lovely wee blog that has enabled me, for the first time in years, to feel more like me.  Not just Mum and Wife and Housekeeper but silly old clown-like meI have 'met' a hopeful, 'restores your faith in mankind', large mixing bowl amount of fantastic people and can not get enough of being reminded how similar we all are and I am not alone in my existential thoughts (forever the Philosophy student).  If I am being honest I thought, in my usual way, I'd get bored with it after a bit but no, a year on I'm still really enjoying it.  So thanks peeps for reading!

Here's to another year!



X

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Looking for sympathy!

Here's me...


I am an awful patient so Hubby is having nothing to do with feeling sorry for me so I am looking for sympathy from my blogging friends who will, I am sure, let me milk my sore wrist for all its worth.  Who knew too much knitting could cause this?  Actually I suspect too much knitting caused a weakness that somehow enabled a sprain sometime on Saturday afternoon.  That's the version I am sticking to as I cannot accept knitting could cause me pain.  I never learn though hence why I am typing even though it hurts.  I have rubbish wrists due to numerous strains as a child roller skating, skate boarding and of course falling off my bike.  I am ridiculously clumsy and stupid, on one occasion going straight back out on my skates after arriving home from the nurse bandaged up, only to fall again on, you guessed it, my sprained wrist.
I am cross if I'm honest, offended I cannot do what I like ( I am that childish!).  Hubby Biscuit has banned me (for my own good) from knitting and picking up a crochet hook and it's way hard.  Much harder than I thought so I am moving on to sewing instead which probably isn't sensible but I cannot not make something. I may 'grow up' enough to rest it after over using it shopping earlier, but I figured if I have to be injured and I am (milky milky!!) I at least deserved this whilst out and about...

image from amazon
Don't you agree?
I'll try to be sensible as I  have mucho baking later in the week due to three birthdays, well starting tomorrow actually.  Better go and sit I suppose...



X

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Weeks 11 and 12!


Bear with me people, I'm playing catch up!

Week 11's make isn't quite complete but I have been waiting to post about them for so long I gave up and will finish them off [attach to twine] in time to hang on the hall banisters for Santa to see.   
Here are the crucial components of my Felt Christmas Tree Garland...


I chose to sew on multi-coloured beads inspired by the fairy lights of my youth and of course there shall be bells, always bells!

Week 12 brought a housewarming gift for a lovely lady who was very complimentary even though my stitches were very like a spiders trail having stepped in ink.  She also was kind enough to send me this photo of it adorning her wall because, well...duh!!! I completely forgot to take one of it myself.

(image used with the permission of the lovely kirstyfish - check out some of her photos here)
The fabric is a gorgeous dark pink from a Tilda range, Rose 6.  I may have to make one for myself for my wee craft corner.  Here is another photo Kirsty sent me and I wanted to share this gorgeous angel with you (hope you don't mind Fishy)...


 ...isn't it, sorry she delightfulCheck out Snowfish at Etsy but be quick, I may beat you to it!


Can I say a warm thank you to all of your lovely comments on my lemon cake, I'd gladly send a slice to you all.  Tanya, you Temptress!  Buttons for cake.......ah!  Can you send cake in the post?

X

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 10!

Another week, another make although I use that term liberally as this a a few weeks ago make but nevermind. 
Now as you know I love cake and you may also know already I love lemon so this is the ultimate cake for me...


Now Hubby Biscuit on the other hand is not a fan of lemon and declared that this was "not one of my best" to which he was promptly requested to "not eat any more of it then!".  My boys liked it even with flowers, glitter and it's bottom enthroned on a pink flower-shaped cake stand.
It was actually worth putting off my daily cappuccino till a more appropriate cake eating time in order to have a slice on my favourite pretty plate...



*sigh* cake!!



X

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Certain Motherly duties.....am I a Muppet?


Now, obviously I try very hard to be a *good* Mother but c'mon is researching all about this game...


image from google
...on the intersweb in order to find my farmer sons a 'wife', maybe going a little far?

I am, I fear a Muppet, a big sooky sap of a Mum because well...they asked and it will please them so and well... (this is the secret bit, shoosh now) I get to have a wee play of it too all under the guise of performing my Motherly duites. 

'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good farm, must be in want of a wife.'

And surely any good Mum worth her salt will aid in any way she can.....


X

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 9!


Another week and another make.  We went for a lovely walk along a local canal and took tubs with us, just in case, and luckily we found lots of these...


and with a thrifty, home made Christmas in mind and an offer of five half bottles of vodka I decided to get these together...


and make some of this...


I also plan to make a cranberry version too as I still have two bottles of vodka left.  I've made the cranberry one before a few Christmases ago and it went down (excuse the pun) very well.  They are such easy things to make, fruit, sugar, vodka and a couple of months of shaking the jars daily at first, then weekly later, a decant through a sieve into bottles and that's it.  You can use the drunken fruits up if you like, my father-in-law puts his raspberries which have been steeping for months in gin, in his Christmas trifle.  It sure adds a kick!
Here is what it looks like


...the vodka has already taken on the vibrant colour of the brambles and they have plumped up drunkenly with the vodka.  I may even try a wee taste of it myself.  I have only drunk vodka properly, twice, the first time at uni and my flatmates claimed I became very argumentative and aggressive so I tried it a second time as and experiment and I felt argumentative and aggressive so I haven't partaken in it since but I wonder if I've mellowed with age (it has been fifteen years) and should give it a try again.  I did try some scrummy shots in a vodka bar in Edinburgh before uni and I was fine then and I have lovely memories of cola cube, soor plume and chilli flavour shots, ice cold and head clearing.
I got the quantities etc from Nigella's Kitchen book and have a recipe for a cranberry and a lemoncello vodka from old Good Food magazines.  If anyone would like them get in touch.


Of course I have assumed you all know brambles are blackberries and you didn't need me to clarify!
X

Monday, 27 September 2010

On a wet, dark and dreary Monday...


...all I need to do to feel content is put this on.


(You can just spot the tiniest green dot in the bottom left corner that reveals this is my television and not the real thing.)


And dive into this.


 and make the all important choice of which to while away some time with.  
The ironing can wait I say!!




X

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 8!

Another make finished (isn't sewing up always the worst part?) and I'm pleased to say blogged about in my 100th post.  Mad to believe that almost a year ago I started this malarkey and as of yet have not bored myself into stopping and more importantly seem not to be boring you lot (I hope!?!?).  

May I introduce Penny Pig...


Knitted up for a Christmas gift for a dear friends baby, from a pattern from fluff&fuzz (see here for links to all of Amanda shops) and because I love pigsI mean look at this...

...adorable no?
I also stuffed my Christmas wreath and completed all the sewing, had lots of fun at Picnik editing the photo and here it is...



Any excuse to indulge in Christmas glee 
I loves, loves, loves Christmas and feel that something so magnificent, so special requires a decent build up, a lot of planning (who doesn't love to plan?) and even more savouringThere will be no end of Christmas cheer, be warned!


X


Thursday, 16 September 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 7 and not so much a rant as a monologue.

I am weeks behind with this business with lots ( I really, truly mean lots!) of WIPs.  I have a bad, bad, self inflicted stress inducing, habit of doing too many things at once.  Was I a fool to think that a weekly make challenge would somehow change this?   Yes, I think I was!!  I tend to flit between projects depending on my mood.  Sometimes I feel like sewing, other times knitting or picking up my crochet hook, or baking.  I know I cannot be alone in this.  I call it multi-tasking, Hubby Biscuit calls it never finishing anything.  I've said it before, he may have a point!!  

Week seven's make faltered at the last hurdle due to the excessive amount of stuffing required and I was not willing to use my whole stash in case I had a creative emergency, an urgent need to make 'something'.  I have since bought a child size, equivalent amount so can complete my make.  But I have moved on since then.  As I write I am in the middle of knitting four (one of which is made up of three) things, crocheting two blankets, sewing more christmas decorations, revamping old curtains and replacing cushion covers.  Say it cannot only be me that does this or has such a huge list! 
I also do not want to get into shame spiral about repeating myself AGAIN about pain.  Yes I had another visit to my Orthodontist and yes my mouth hurts in an annoyingly all encompassing way.  I tried popping pills this time which is helping a little and have even tried copious amounts of cleaning to distract me because for some reason the pain makes me sew like clumsy lump and unable to read knitting patterns properly.  Therefore I cannot create and one full day of cleaning is quite enough thank you very much!  Pants to it all!!!  I am finding myself utterly dull now about it and please, please let my next wee bit of surgery work so I only have braces for another 10 months, pretty please universe!!  I'll give you cake, lots of cake...

It gets worse, can it get worse?

It is a crime indeed when I cannot even bear the thought of baking or eating a cupcake!  I had quite forgotten the appointment when I went on about baking this week in honour of National Cupcake week!  I may just have to be a voyeur of those of you who whipped up a few!

So...
...to week seven's make.


a felt holly wreath!


As I was making this I kept thinking, have I seen this before?  I have seen something similar somewhere?  Have I?  Am I totally stealing someone's design without realizing it?  Tell me if you think I have and I will give credit for inspiration where it's due. 
I felt in need of a Christmas wreath.  I am lucky enough to own one of Mrs B's gorgeous woolly wreaths (buy one here - they really are the most delightful things!) and would really love another but Hubby is having none of it and I've already played the 'Christmas gift' card for new merino wool for a scarf so I'm scunnered!!  The result being I had to come up with one of my own.  I just have to make the important decision of where to put a jingle bell as it must, must, must, must have a jingle bell.  I must be forced to imagine Santa on his sleigh or it's just not Christmassy enough!!  It's a rule that must be enforced!  
Another restraint of my own making!  And another...

...I have the next few weeks makes sitting awaiting completion - eek!!

***

A bit of a rant?  
Me thinks more of a  monologue but that, in essence, is blogging!


X

Thursday, 9 September 2010

An invitation!




Sponge + buttercream icing = happiness


Next week is National Cupcake Week!  
Can you think of anything more worthy of celebration?  Well of course you can but still I invite you all to join me in praising this humble little sponge by baking up a batch or two or three for that matter. If you are not a baker then buy some and enjoy! I for one, need little encouragement but will use this celebratory opportunity to maybe try something new or that recipe Hubby Biscuit has been requesting or just to stare at the little beauties before I devour them.  
I love cake.  
It's really as simple as that.  I love the alchemy of it.  I love the word.  I love the smell of it wafting through my home as that smell is home.  The varieties are endless as is the choice to suit yourself and bake the cake that does it for you.  Aah, the disappointment of bad cake, of horridly hard chocolate cake, of a bland powdery muffin!  The heartache...
Now cupcakes...oh those itty bitty cupcakes...I love how the sponge looks like a really comfortable bed with it's buttercream duvetI want to crawl into one and nap!  Yes, I know, I sound like a loon but I am confident there are some of you out there who feel the same (not you Heather, I know, not you!).  I have a bad case of the smittens!
Please join me next week in celebrating by baking some cupcakes and blogging about it.  I'd love to see which flavours you choose and photos of your finished masterpieces because that's what each and everyone is, an ickle masterpiece!  And always, most importantly, made with love!




Have fun!


X

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Plasma ball fun!

It was, it really was.  
I was secretly thrilled when my Biscuits declared they would like to spend their save pocket money on a plasma ball but who knew the potential for photographing in the dark.  Please indulge me, these images, to my mind, are very, very cool.



Close ups!

 
 When the menfolk thought it would be fun to place their foreheads on the ball!

 Hope you liked them!

Can I leave you with the wonderful new Nigella cookbook, I think my favourite of all her books already.  I confess to wandering around my house hugging it, with a huge grin on my face for a good five minutes when it arrived (I hate dour, soor-faced delivery men!!) before I even considered opening it.  Unfortunately my mum was coming so I barely got a look at it until Friday night but when I did....there's a problem though, what to make first?




X

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

I've just received an e-mail to say........


...that this most anticipated item...

image from amazon
...has been dispatched and is on it's way!!


YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!


It's a bit much! 


Breathe Ali, 
BREATHE!!!!


X

Monday, 30 August 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 6!


What a glorious day we are having up here in my wee piece of Scotland.  I hope all you lovely folks down south are blessed with such good weather on your bank holiday, fingers crossed.  I never look at forecasts so am oblivious...

Last weeks make was these...

 yummy, scrummy, in my tummy [lots] brownies!

Not to be too decadent, they have bananas in them, so healthy really if  we discount the butter, sugar, chocolate and walnuts.  I love brownies, especially the edge pieces that are slightly over done.  I had forgotten all about this recipe from a long ago Good Food magazine and my Biscuits find them less rich than the ones we usually bake from Nigella's Domestic Goddess or Jamie 'O's Cook with JamieI love the ease of making, of stirring lazily and the soothing smell of chocolate warming in the pan.  I want one now so am thrilled I had enough sense to freeze some.
I am stuck a little on this weeks make as I am reaching into the realms of Christmas making - I know it's early but if I don't start now I'll be a 'baldy, crazy lady' Ali, like the scary cat lady from the Simpsons, ready to crumble in a heap in the corner, wanting  never to see Christmas again and I can't have that!  No way No how!!  I give myself a huge list you see and this year, I'll capitalize that again for effect,   THIS YEAR  I am determined to get ahead, hence the problem.  I don't want to be showing them all in detail on here in case the cat gets out of the bag but it's what I'll be mainly making.  I'll maybe have to play that game with the photos, of really close up parts of the makes, making it hard to tell what the full thing is.  But that would defeat the purpose really as of course I want to show them...aaah!!
Ach we'll see.....


X

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

This weather is making me......(a lament to summer)


...indulge in an awful lot of temporary melancholic listening of  The Smiths and Morrissey.
Rain clouds pouring with 'Everyday is like Sunday' interspersed with sunny intervals of gladioli thrashing  'Ask'.
I may have to indulge in some kind of lament to summer...ceremonial burning of flip flops...already thinking about Christmas a lot...deary me!!!   
Thank goodness I am not single or I'd be going right over the edge, gratefully........or be sick over your frankly vulgar, red pullover! 

"won't somebody stop me from thinking, from thinking all the time about everything, so deeply, so bleakly?"
"come armageddon, come armageddon, come!"
 X

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Week 5!


Feeling quite back to normal today!  As the lovely Heather predicted no matter how much I pottered about yesterday I achieved nothing.  Should have sat on my bottom watching DVD's after all.  My Biscuits had a wonderful first day and came home very excited and full of news.  I always feel sorry for their Daddy at this point as they tell me about their day when they arrive home but by the time Hubby Biscuit comes in from work they cannae be bothered repeating themselves.  Shame!  Eldest Biscuit got all moody and teenager like by tea time, it seems you cannot be that 'up' without the come down.
So before I get back to cleaning I thought I would share with you my make for Week 5 of the 52MMM Challenge.  Youngest Biscuit is just entering his third year of Primary School and his teacher this year has never had a class of her own yet as she has just finished her probation year.  She was very excited yesterday photographing the kiddies as they lined up and during the holiday YB received a post card from her welcoming him to her class.  He was so chuffed to get a note from his new teacher as well as receiving post full stop.  She really made his day so I thought she deserved this as a wee thank you being so thoughtful...


...an apple brooch.  She loved it I am pleased to say! See below for my makes up to now and for a looksee at some other lovely peeps makes at Flickr.
I wonder what this weeks make will be?


X

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

It's a funny kind of day....


My Biscuits have gone back to school today and it's always a funny kind of day.  
This year, due to holidaying so late, the weeks haven't dragged so much.  I haven't wanted to lock my Biscuits in the shed at all really which is a rarity in itself, so I wasn't really wishing for the first day at all.  Yet it has come today and my Biscuits were so excited to get back, again a rarity.  Even receiving a letter yesterday to say Eldest Biscuit's expected teacher would not be returning and he would be getting a new one, didn't dampen their spirits too much (well once EB had taken himself to his duvet for a bit to deal with the disappointment!)  But I always find the first day back emotional.  Suddenly we are up, dressed, fed and out by 8.30 which is just so strange and then I am back home by 9am to a very quiet house and it feels all weird and wrong.  Don't get me wrong that 'very quiet house' will become 'peaceful' soon enough but today, today it feels...and I feel...it all feels......y'know. 
I had lots of house work planned but the quiet is freaking me out and making me want to sit and stare.  No, I do not like the first day of school.  Maybe if the sun was shining and it wasn't trying to rain my spirits would be lifted somewhat but it's not and it is, so.....
Maybe a DVD and lots of hot drinks and some crochet are called for or I'll just get a grip and get the hoover out!  A Valentine Warner DVD though.........??!!


X

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Weeks 3 and 4!


This challenge is such a good idea.  I'm really enjoying 'having' to make something every week.  My Week 3 make was something I bake often but it deserves a place for the sheer pleasure it brings in the making/eating/devouring of them.  They are from the delicious Hummingbird Bakery Book and are moistly moreish!  I get to use my KitchenAid too, *sigh*.




Week 4 brought these and...



... it's what I made whist holidaying on the canals of England and Wales therefore my make of that week.  I've still got lots to do!  I am using  Rico Creative Cotton; colours inspired by the Gustav Klimt canvas we have in our bedroom.  I love the Pistachio green!  
Picture me sat at the front of the narrow boat hooking away in between locks and long gazes at firey coloured butterflies and the dazzling blues of dragonflies.  
In the evenings, awaiting a delicious dinner courtesy of my Mother-in-law, my hook was replaced by this for more gazing...


...bliss!!  I could spend a lot of time on a narrow boat.  My gypsy soul yearns for it now I've had a taste of it.  Shame it's so expensive...!

More makes...
Week 1 - the wedding cake
Week 2 - crochet hook pouch
The 52MMMC Flickr group!


X

Thursday, 12 August 2010

A quick hello!

Howdy folkaroonies!
I've just managed to get my laptop on for the first time in just under two weeks which just seems mental. Seventy eight e-mails I may add and not one from a real person.  
I wanted to say a quick hello to you all, to say I'm back and hope to be blogging properly soon, why this doesn't count as a proper post I do not know?!?  Our canal boat holiday was wonderful, unbelievably relaxing and gypsy-soul embracing.  I loved it.  This week, this week....Hubby Biscuit and I decided to (stupidly)  have a clear out and sort out cupboards.  Not teeny cupboards either but walk in ones!!!  Aah!!!  You know those jobs that get worse before they get better.  Glad when it's done jobs. Can see/can't see why we put them off jobs.  All consuming.....
Hubby has had an allergic reaction to the hoover, used it more in the last few days than in his whole life.  His body was not happy and made him ill.  I've told him in no uncertain terms I'm not falling for it.  It's akin to making crappy tea to get out of making any at all.  I've tried that one on him and it didn't work.  That's Electricians for you, drink any ol' dishwater/tar tea!  To be fair it was me that brought up the hoover reaction thing, he's just ill but I've got to have a little domestic dig!!
I don't think I've ever posted so late but I had to get my sluttish red toes wet before I got serious withdrawal and I confess I have missed my ickle blog and my bloggy friends! 


X

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