Missing Photo

This is what I made Emma. I had to remove it from the earlier post as I didn’t know if she had received her parcel and didn’t want to spoil the surprise…

march-2009-128Apologies for the darkness of the photo, I think my flash has stopped working.

Anyway, no more knitting, I have a plan to get this blog back on to the subject of food…however I need to buy some eggs first…

What a nice way to end a day…

I cam home to discover that our wonderful  post lady had delivered a shoebox full of gorgeousness from the lovely Emma in Aberdeen including some fantastic fudge which is mine all mine as it has nuts in which the boys in this house won’t eat as they are unadventurous – and they were pistachios which are my favourite…I say were as there is no longer any left as I have eaten it all as I fruitlessly search the internet for a Laura Ashley teacup to replace the one belonging to our neighbour that one of our cats managed to break this afternoon – that is not a good way to finish an afternoon…Emma’s parcel is…so back to Emma

Not the best of photographs as my camera is playing up but hopefully you can see this box of happiness that I came home to.

shoebox of happiness

shoebox of happiness

I have, sorry had a lovely bar of chocolate fudge (yes I had forgotten when I decided not to bake that sweets travel very well), Assam Tea, Roobos Chai, red and green icing colouring and some pink and blue lustre powder, which I have been wanting to play with for awhile, especially now I have discovered pre-made icing, some bamboo yarn and a lovely additional surprise of Lush Christmas Cake Soap which Spider has subsequently walked off with, working hard to persuade him not to eat it…

Thank You, thank you thank you Emma…

Finished !

I really struggled to be creative for this tea swap.  Mrs Lacer (Lacer’s Life) came up with 2 great suggestions – one I loved but knew I didn’t have the right skills for (felt/embroidered tea bag) and the other was a possibility (decorating a tea caddy) but I was not confident enough.

My Mum suggested “Teabag” folding” and even had a book I could borrow but again, despite and intermittent addiction to origami I didn’t feel confident enough as the folding here is really small and has to be spot on accurate…may try it later though as I have lots of card blanks.

In the end I stuck with my comfort zone and got the needles out – but not a teacosy… I found a pattern for a “Fiesta Tea Set”. Its made of cotton and knitted on 4 needles and then stiffened slightly (I used hair spray).

Not totally happy with the finished objects as the cotton was really splitty – but at least its not a tea cosy !

What can you use it for ? Well it can sit and gather dust, or you can use it for storing bits and bobs on your dressing table or alternatively if you have kids it makes a change from the ubiquitous ELC teaset !  Anyway I hope Emma likes it, and the tea…

Time for tea swap: What was I thinking ?

Contents of the make and do drawer

Contents of the make and do drawer

I got carried away the other day and signed up for a tea and craft swap. What was I thinking ? I don’t do craft type things, I bake…outside of the kitchen I can’t make anything to save my life.

I know what it is, I was lead astray by the thought of tea…I am a complete tea addict – it wasn’t always this way, I used to be addicted to coffee, so much so that when we went round europe on a train aged 18 I took a jar of nescafe with me just in case…in Yugoslavia I fell off a train and was concussed, my friends were worried as at least 5 times in the 4 hours afterwards I got up and checked my rucksac saying “thank god the coffee survived” – girl with priorities me.

But now I am definitely a tea addict. I have been known when visiting friends to walk into their kitchens and put the kettle on if I think they are being a little slow on the refreshments front…OK its just KT Cupcake and Flapjack Queen where I do this, and they are almost “family” anyway…

So here I am, with 9 days to go. I have the tea bought to swap. I have my  “item to be used by swapee in crafting” ready to send, but I have no “tea related object  made by swappor ” to send…and I can’t send cake as it probably won’t travel well, besides I may have to swap early if we do go away at any stage next week.

I must have been mad. I must have been lead astray by my tea addiction – that’s it, the balance of my mind was disturbed…but Vonnie’s website is so nice. Vonnie’s nice…I could do this, couldn’t I ? Thank god I am on leave for most of the next week…now what can I make that isn’t a tea cosy ?

Letting it all slide

I gave up on housework 3 weeks ago. I just couldn’t see the point any more and I think I was proved right as no one seems to have noticed. Let me explain.

At the end of February I was just about on top of things, finally. It had only taken a year after moving back in, but I finally had a place for everything and I had a routine that worked. Cleaning was not a chore, it was about 10 minutes per day and an hours worth of ironing on Thursday…then Husband decided he needed to put the car in the garage so that he could fix it.

Result ? Several boxes came into the house, some were easily incorporated into empty spaces but several boxes of photos came in and then sat in the kitchen en route to the loft because they needed sorting through…and that’s where they stayed, untouched.

Then we had an influx of playmobil when KTcupcake emptied her garage (note, must remember to pay for it) followed by several bags of balloons left over from Spider’s birthday (I have sneakily been sticking pins into them over the last week)…

I cracked this morning though. Its sad how happy I feel now that the bathroom is clean…I am weeping for my “single years” when I stayed in bed on a Sunday drinking coffee, reading the (delivered) Sunday paper…but at least the shower is shiny…

Cooking and not cooking

Not a lot of cooking has been happening in this house this week – at least not by me at any rate.  I think I made a carbonara at the beginning of last week, which then meant I couldn’t do any baking until I had a moment to pop to the local shop as I’d used the last of the eggs…I was feeling slug like and far too lazy to go shopping, so no cake.

Not that I needed to make cakes as we were working our way through leftovers from the party.

Husband has been cooking – a lot. So far this week, he’s done steak, a shepherds pie and there is bolgnaise gently blipping away on the stove for tomorrow…

I did find a spare moment to make a cake for Spider’s actual birthday party. Despite the fact it was a small family only party he was angling for another pirate related cake – I went for an easy option and did the usual 6:6:6 sponge decorated to make it vaguely look like a ships compass – ran out of icing sugar though before I’d finished icing the top. Fortunately I had a yoghurt cream desert half way through construction in the fridge so I just smoothed it over the top instead of icing as the background of the compass.

The yoghurt desert is based on a Tessa Kiros: Apples for Jam recipe – can’t remember what its called but basically all you do is add a little orange juice and some condensed milk to some greek yoghurt, whip it up, leave it to set in the fridge and then serve it as a base for orange slices – we didn’t have any greek yoghurt so I’d left a carton of normal yoghurt (almost passed its sell by date) being strained through a sieve and a muslin square to remove some of the liquid.

Anyway this is the end result. Birthday Cake no 2, year 4:march-2009-003

Oh and I finally finished those dinosaurs in time for Spider’s birthday, Flapjack Princess is getting hers a month late as “I didn’t know quite how long it would take for them to hatch…!”march-2009-002

The Oscar speech

I have not been very well of late. I have had cold after cold and instead of taking a reasonable time off work to recover I’ve just tried to push on with things.  As a result I have been feeling very run down and tired and not achieving much outside of work hours.

Originally, when we first decided to have a party for Spider and Flapjack Princess I was going to work my way through various bits of Frostbite: Susan Austin, cook in advance and freeze until needed. But as a result partly of my lack of energy and partly due to a severe lack of cash this didn’t happen. With a week to go until the party my freezer was empty and I was down with yet another cold.

However a quick rewrite of the intended menu and some furious baking by my Mum meant that catering by me was cut down to an evenings cake making and a morning cake decorating (see previous post) and bulk sandwich making.

So for the record, because I know that from time to time they do drift into this small corner of the internet some times I would just like to say, “Thanks Mum ! You’re Fab…” and Spider thinks so too… I would also like to say thank you thank you thank you to my sister in law Islay and also to my brother who not only came up for the party but when it was over just pitched right in with the tidying up…so thank you to my family, to Husband, to Flapjack Queen and of course to Spider for being, just wonderful…thank you to all of you who made it just a really enjoyable day.