Sunday, 27 April 2014

Frivolous world of hot chocolates


You probably think this is a bit strange (I think my family do) but some time ago my elder son ordered a hot chocolate while we were out and as it looked quite spectacular I decided to capture it on my phone. Since then it has become a bit of a tradition for me to take more photos of his hot chocolates and now I also find myself taking photos of our food in general while we are out. Strangely it captures the moment quite nicely and we look back at the photos on my phone and can say "oh yes, that one was taken at that little cafe we found by chance because our usual cafe was full" etc.

Work is fairly stressful at the moment and thus I've found it hard to concentrate on reading or crafting this week, and we haven't ventured far during the Easter holidays as the young people in our house are revising so as I was at a bit of a loss about what to post about, I decided a frivolous post was in order, showcasing a small selection of hot chocolates taken on my phone!! 

The photo above was taken in a motorway service station (a little disappointing as it was squirty cream) and the one below was in a cafe in Matlock (a stick of chocolate that gradually melts in the hot milk) . 

 I love how this hot chocolate spills over the sides of the mug!

 But the piece de resistance has to be this colourful hot chocolate, also from a cafe in Matlock. 

And finally, these last photos were taken this week when we did manage to venture out to visit our local organic farm for a family lunch - we persuaded younger family members that a break from revision is good! 

 Scrambled organic eggs on homemade bread followed by scones, cream and jam - delicious!

 If you are still reading this, thank you for bearing with me on my frivolous journey through the world of hot chocolates!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend and wishing you a good week.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Craft books

I treated myself to THREE craft books recently - how extravagant is that! But in truth, they cost £21 in total and given that one is hardback I thought that wasn't a bad price - especially when you consider that magazines are often £5 each and I haven't bought a craft magazine for several months now. Have I justified my purchases enough now? Maybe just about.

So what did I buy? Well, as I have now ventured into the world of  patchworking and jelly rolls I thought I liked the look of the two jelly roll books, and the knitting book I've borrowed from the library for months so I thought maybe it is time I buy my own copy. 

So, what do I think of these books? Well, probably my favourite of the three is "The Knitted Home" by Ruth Cross.

As knitting books go, this is rather different. While the book does include patterns, it also explains how the patterns can be adjusted to suit your own needs and wishes. And the patterns are just so ...... organic? Just look at the throw below. Ruth suggests that this is a major project and not for the faint hearted but wouldn't it look fantastic when finished?

I love all the colours Ruth uses in her projects and the styling of her projects is simple but very effective. The photo below shows the throw above, a second throw and a foot stool.

The table runners below look relatively straightforward to knit but look stunning as a simple table setting. 

And this is a wall hanging! I love it and although I'm not sure how it would look in our house, Ruth gives you the confidence to feel you could adjust the pattern to suit your own style.

And just look at the ripples in the sea inspired wall hanging below. What a statement that makes!

Umm, I admit I don't make many projects from my craft books but I do enjoy browsing through them for inspiration and I am so glad I now have my own copy of this book.

Hope you are enjoying a lovely Easter Sunday. 

(PS. This is my own personal review of the book, no commission received)

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Three lazy days

Yes, I feel I have had three very lazy days but they have been a lovely three lazy days. Why? Well, here are just a few of the reasons why.

Firstly, a pile of washing means by eldest son is home from University - yay!

Secondly, a belated Mother's Day lunch with the same son at our local organic farm - the chickens were huge and the lambs skinny!

Thirdly, a trip to a local fabric store with my friend  - my choice of purchases prompted by a recent patchwork day we attended - I posted about it here . I LOVE the material I bought - one with a picture of allotments, the other three pieces show beans and pumpkins - so cute.I just need to decide what to do with it - but that requires a bit of thinking time!!

Fourthly, further progress on my cross stitch Tatty Ted.

Finally, key lime pie made by returning eldest son - DELICIOUS!

Hope you have had a lovely weekend.

Monday, 7 April 2014

tracking progress....

Ok, this will probably seem really obvious to many of you and you will no doubt read this and think "What? Has she only just worked that one out?" Some things take a while to seep into my brain - there are too many other thoughts taking up space in there, thoughts such as "how many days have I left to meet that deadline at work?" to more  mundane ones such "what shall we eat for dinner tonight?"

But my little eureka moment dawned on me yesterday, while I was sat cross stitching, and this was it - isn't blogging a great way of tracking progress? And tracking progress of almost anything you care to consider from your crafting projects, book reading, gardening, changes round the house, to your growing children!

For me I guess I am mostly interested in tracking progress of my crafting projects as I have way too many unfinished projects as well as a stack full of projects and ideas yet to be started. But with pretty busy weekends of sports I don't get much time to craft (as I have said before).

Yesterday (Sunday) was an exception. I took my daughter to football and when I got home I sat down on the settee, took out my cross stitching and barely moved for the rest of the day (my husband cooks dinner on Sundays!). It was extremely self indulgent but I actually didn't have the energy to move, it was almost as though my body was saying "ok, that's it for now, let's sit and have a bit of a rest today". And the bonus of this was that firstly I read quite a bit of my book which I am enjoying and introduced here but also I managed to crack on with my cross stitching which I also blogged about here.

So here is the photo I blogged last week...

and here was a photo I took this morning after my lazy day yesterday.....

... quite a bit more red jumper has appeared. It isn't a large project, so I'm hoping to finish it within the next few weeks.

And I was inspired by a post I read recently, but I'm sorry I've forgotten whose it was, to pick a few spring flowers from the garden.

All quite small flowers individually but they give a big impact en masse.

So pretty....

I hope you had en enjoyable weekend - were you very lazy this weekend? It's fine for a change isn't it?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

this week...

...hasn't seen much activity by me in terms of crafting or reading so first of all I thought I would show you a few photos of our little Easter decorations.

It's tricky to get a decent photo of them and I've had to move them to the kitchen to get enough light. On the right you can see one of the little hanging items I first showed you in this post.

I have managed to do a little bit more of my cross stitching this week. I started this kit some time ago - my daughter chose it once when we had a trip to Hobbycraft.

It's quite a cute kit and fairly easy to do. The kit came with aida but I prefer to use evenweave. 

This is a photo of what it should look like once complete.

And here is a similar kit I completed for my daughter a few years ago. In truth, the frame is actually silver, and so the blue mount and silver frame really complement the colours in the kit - I'm not always so successful in my choice of mount and frame!

In this close up you can see in the bottom right hand corner that I finished this kit in 2012  - I'm not sure why I always date my work in roman numerals.

Tomorrow night I have book club and guess what - according to my kindle I've read 4% of the book! So I've got a lot of reading to do tonight!! We are reading 'The Cuckoo's Calling' by Robert Galbraith (better known as JK Rowling - the worst kept secret in the literary field!)

Front Cover

My excuse for not completing 'The Cuckoo's Calling' was that I re-read 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak which I really enjoyed. I read it a few years ago for book club and I'd forgotten the story and as a few work colleagues were reading it I decided to read it again., Now my daughter is reading it too - and enjoying it. I'm hoping to see the film.

I also finished this book  'Bad science' by Ben Goldacre which was very entertaining. You will never listen again to another piece of media spiel based on one published study (such as this week's "eat 10 portions of vegetable a day") without a very critical eye.

So what have you been doing this week? Have you been reading? Or have you been heading towards the finishing line with one of your long unfinished craft projects?

Enjoy your day