Baking – or not !

December 2, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

Poppy certainly puts a different slant on baking (and everything else too).

Baking Day with a Difference.


Life has been hectic since this little one joined our family. She is so much fun but is totally wild too.
Brandy, our poodle, doesn’t quite know what to make of her – at first we were concerned about her but now we’re more concerned about him.
She sees him as a playmate and he doesn’t quite agree.

As you can imagine with this little whirlwind, stitching is still at a minimum and so is knitting.
I gave up on any gifts I was trying to finish as I feel that putting in lots of time and love when you have a kitten or a puppy is worth it.

Perhaps by my next post I will actually be able to show something creative for a change.
Thanks for visiting today and for your lovely comments about Poppy.
PS Sorry about the poor light in the photo.

Meet Poppy!

November 16, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  13 Comments

Poppy's first appearance.

This little one is the main reason I’ve not been blogging recently.

Full of nonsense.

We debated long and hard whether to have another cat or not.  We’ve had cats at home for over thirty years and if I’m being honest, the house seemed empty without one.

How naughty can I be?

Mind you to go from an elderly cat to a kitten is a bit of a shock to the system as you forget how naughty they are.

We only collected her on Sunday and I’ve already had to buy a wireless keyboard for my Mac as she chewed through the cable yesterday.

How much chaos can I cause?

She’s a Lilac Burmese and she’s around fourteen weeks old.  We went all the way to Nottingham for her and she traveled all the way back (five hours in the car) without a peep.

As you can imagine, I’ve not managed a single stitch either in needlework or knitting.

The only time I get a minute is when she is asleep.  It’s taking time to integrate her with Brandy our poodle.  Even though he is used to living with cats, a kitten is a completely different “kettle of fish”.

We chose the name Poppy since we collected her on Remembrance Sunday.

She’s not at all camera shy (Duski used to run as soon as she heard the camera being switched on) so hopefully you’ll see a bit more of her over the next few weeks.

Till next time – take care and thanks for popping in.

Flowers.

November 2, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  6 Comments

I find flowers very therapeutic so this last week I’ve over indulged in all things flowery.

We were at my nephew’s wedding on Saturday and of course there were lots of lovely flowers to be seen.  The wedding was in Northampton in England so we had to drive six hours to get there but it was worth it as the ceremony was beautiful and so too was the bride.

Matthew, my son, was an usher – he’s the one to the far right of the photo wearing glasses and a black suit.

Although the best man was English, he too wore a kilt which I thought was very such a nice thing for him to do.

I bought lots of flowers and plants last week and a friend at work gave me a beautiful arrangement of roses, thistles and orchids.

A Princettia

My latest orchid.

I’ve managed to make a little progress on Finch Song and also on Matthew’s Doctor Who scarf.

At this point I had hoped to have this piece finished and be making some small Christmas gifts but as they say …… “the best laid plans of mice and men”.

I’d like to share a quote I read this week, quite by chance, and it seemed so apt to the way I’ve felt this last week or so.

“Softly may Peace replace heartache,    And may warmest memories remain.”

I’ll finish with that thought and once again thanks for dropping by and for your kind comments, they are always appreciated.

Snow on the mountains.

October 25, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  10 Comments

Last week when Alan was at the west coast he took this photo which shows the first snow on the mountains.
Since then it’s gone mild again and hopefully it will stay that way for a while.

I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks for two reasons and for both these reasons I have no craft progress to show at all.
Firstly I had my surgery and ended up taking a couple of weeks to recover instead of a couple of days.

On holiday in Yorkshire this year.

The second reason was that we had to say goodbye to our beautiful little puss Duski.
She was the sweetest little cat anyone could hope for and I still can’t believe she’s gone. It’s the first time in over thirty years that we haven’t had a cat at home and we miss her so much.

So as you can imagine, my heart hasn’t been in crafting or anything else if I’m being honest.
Finch Song hasn’t been touched for weeks and of course it needs to be finished for mid November so I’m getting a bit concerned about the time left to meet this deadline.

I’ll finish on a happier note with a photo of a Giveaway that I won a few weeks ago on Margaret’s Blog. Margaret from New Zealand very kindly included some extra goodies with the Twelve Days of Christmas charts.
I love sheep so was delighted with the lovely project bag that was in the package – it arrived when I was feeling unwell so it was good timing to cheer me up a bit.

Thanks for your recent comments and for dropping by. Hopefully next time I’ll have some stitching progress to show. Take care.

Smile – it’s Friday.

September 30, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  11 Comments

FROM THIS -

TO THIS.

— in the space of one day this week.  Our weather has been totally upside down and this little rose started to open one day and by the next had all but gone.

These last few days have been amazingly warm for this time of year – temps in the twenties which is unheard of at this time of year.

Progress?

I’ve not been posting these last two weeks or so as I’ve been pre-occupied with a little puss who hasn’t been herself.

My favourite girl.

She’s currently at the vet’s surgery having an IV flush to see if it helps her to pick up a bit. She’s sixteen years old so every time she takes a downturn I worry about her.

I’ve still been trying to stitch and knit and made some more progress on Finch Song.  It’s a lovely piece to work on and I’m enjoying it.

I also bought some magazines and European cross stitch books recently which I still have to find time to sit down and enjoy.  I think I’ll take the magazines with me next week when I have to go into hospital for minor surgery.  I should be in and home the same day but was told to bring reading material with me as my theatre time slot wasn’t confirmed.

READING AND RELAXATION

Thanks for the recent comments and for popping in.  Have a good weekend and take care wherever you are.

Promise of what’s to come.

September 7, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  6 Comments

I always look upon a rosebud as a promise of what’s to come – I think I probably enjoy the rosebud more than the full blown rose and I often find life’s like that.  We look forward to something to such a degree that when it eventually happens it doesn’t live up to our expectation.     I don’t mean that in a sad way, I just think it’s often the case.

Finch Song is moving along okay, I’m very aware that I’m stitching to a time scale.  You’ll see by the words already stitched that I’ve changed the verse.  I took the verse from another SB kit that I have (The Journey) – I feel it’s more suited to the recipient of the finished piece.

Matthew’s scarf is also moving along nicely – not as quickly as he wants it to be but if truth be told, he would have me knitting non stop.

The domino knitting trial didn’t work out – I know why though – it’s because I cast on too tightly.  I suppose that’s what trial swatches are all about – at least I won’t make that mistake again.

I’ve bought some new knitting stash and some stitching stash, I’ll take a photo for my next post.

I took some photos of a bee visiting a lavender bush that  I bought last week.

It’s fascinating to watch a bee closely as it goes round collecting pollen. If you click on the photos you can see the bee in much more detail.

Till next time, take care and thanks for popping in today.

Poem of the week.

August 31, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  4 Comments


I haven’t shared a poem with you for a while so I chose one today that really appealed to me. I like most types of birds and I think the colour of kingfishers is stunning.

“THE KINGFISHER”

When Noah left the Ark, the animals
Capered and gambolled on the squadgy soil,
Enjoying their new found freedom; and the birds
Soared upwards, twittering to the open skies,
But one soared higher than the rest, in utter ecstasy,
Till all his back and wings were drenched

With the vivid blue of heaven itself, and his breast scorched
With the upward-slanting rays of the setting sun.
When he came back to earth, he had lost the Ark;
His friends were all dispersed. So now he soars no more;
A lonely bird, he darts and dives for fish,
By streams and pools – places where water is-
Still searching, but in vain, for the vanished Ark
And rain-washed terraces of Ararat.
by John Heath Stubbs

I have no stitching progress to show today as I have been going backwards.  I had stitched a verse on Finch Song – over one – and I wasn’t happy about it so I unpicked the lot.  Now I know why I hate stitching over one – it’s impossible to unpick!  I’m going to stitch the verse in back stitch instead.

On the knitting front, it’s not much better.  The domino pattern I was working on got set aside as the hand dyed wool wasn’t working out so I’ve started the same piece using a ball of Rowan wool/cotton.  I’ll post a photo of the finished result next week (hopefully).

Going for a paddle.

For those of you who wondered how the bread maker worked out, I’m glad to say that initial results have been good.

My first attempt at treacle bread was much better than I expected it to be – in fact, it was very similar to the loaf we buy.   Yesterday I made a gingerbread using it and it came out nicely too.  I think I expected my first attempts to be inedible so I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

I bought this orchid last week in Marks and Spencer when I was choosing one for a friend.  I couldn’t resist buying this one for myself as the flowers on it are probably the biggest I’ve ever seen.  It currently has five blooms open and it looks very pretty.

Thanks for visiting today and for the lovely comments you leave.  Each and every one is appreciated.  Take care till next time.

Busy baking.

August 24, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments


I took the above photo on Saturday whilst in Edinburgh. The city is alive with the International Festival at the moment and it’s good to visit.


Stitching and knitting progress have been slow this week as I was stitching a mini gift which needed to be done quickly.
So quickly in fact, that I forgot to take a photo of it and the gift has been given. The chart was very kindly loaned to me by Beth over at Garden Grumbles and was a little BOAF from the AS… range.

I started to knit a little pot holder using the domino knitting method – I’ve never used it before and would like to teach myself the various aspects of it.

Finally the title of my post is a result of baking this afternoon and baking to come from the new bread maker that I’ve bought but haven’t used yet.


I’ve thought about having one for a while but decided to take the plunge. What inspired me is the desire to bake a bread called Treacle Bread.

When we visit the Lake District we always go to a baker shop which sells a lovely treacle bread that we love. It eats just like normal sandwich bread and I can’t find it anywhere up our way at all.
I’ve found an online recipe for it so will give it a try when I’ve made a few trial loaves.
If anyone has any tips that a beginner like me might find helpful then I’d be glad to hear them.

I was going to post a photo of a chart I had ordered which arrived today but I’ll save it for another day. I may just give in and start on it – it’s the new Rosewood Manor “Bargello Sampler”. There is something about it that just calls for me to stitch it.

Thanks for popping in today. Take care till next time.

New stitch.

August 17, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  9 Comments

Pretty in pink.


I took the above photo a few weeks ago as I loved the colour of pink, it’s so strong.

I managed to get started on a new piece. I wanted to move onto a Plum Street Samplers design but instead chose another SB piece which I would like to stitch for an upcoming 50th birthday gift.


The design is Finch Song which I’m going to modify slightly to suit the recipient. It’s a relaxing stitch so far which is good but I still have the hankering to get going on something different. Until I make some serious progress, I’ll have to resist the urge.


The Dr Who scarf is also coming along – not quickly enough for Matthew but I think it’s doing okay given that I’m working more hours these days.

I’d like to share a little quote from a postcard titled “Homestead” which I received from a lovely friend who lives in Montana.
The card she sent me is hand drawn and has the following quotation printed on it. I feel it’s very apt.

“As early day pioneers we looked to the Future for a better life……..
In the twenty first century, perhaps we should look back for the same
reason.”

Take care.

Visit to St Andrews.

August 12, 2011  |  Featured Posts  |  10 Comments


Well it’s the end of our week’s holiday and the weather has been awful. We had one day of sunshine so we headed off to St Andrews. It’s just over an hour in the car and it’s a pleasant town to visit.
It was extremely busy the day we went, there was a fair in town and it was full of tourists.
I took quite a few photos of the gulls and my favourite was the one above. It was really hard trying to get the birds in flight and out of more than a dozen, I only got one that was worthwhile.

The Brave or the Foolish?


Dipping one's toe in the water!




Finding food.


Tourists on the putting green.


This afternoon we drove to Falkirk ( a town less than twenty miles from us) to collect my finished SB piece. I’m pleased with the end result and hope the recipients will be too.



Finally to answer a question – yes Melissa the rose is real. Your question made me smile as the bud it opened from was not pretty at all and was a dark, dark shade of red. It’s in our front garden and now has no flowers left.
Thanks for popping in today, take care and have a good weekend.