“How absolutely fabulous !”

I have been the happy and lucky recipient of a totally unexpected ever so welcome random act of kindness.

A few weeks ago I did a Pay it Forward/planned act of kindness based round crafty type stuff and sent a bag that I had knitted and felted to wonderful  Mrs Lacer (Lacer’s Life) – she has written it up here, I haven’t cos I’ve been a bit of a slacker of late (there are reasons for this admittedly).

Anyway, completely out of the blue today I received a parcel, was very surprised as I never put my address on parcels, just my postcode, but Mrs L is a very bright cookie and traced me through the post offices address finder…

Don’t you think this is just fabulous ?  It’s made out of similar material to some  I’d previously admired on a cushion she’d madejune 2009 020and the rabbit is a design from Aranzi Aranzo (Let’s make cute stuff) which is doubly fantastic as I have an obsession with all things Japanese  (ok most things Japanese, I can’t stand Hello Kitty)  and a weakness for Miffy, and the rabbit is Miffyesque.

I am still jumping around the room with joy some 30 minutes after getting home, after an uninspiring day.

Thank you thank you Mrs Lacer – and sorry for leading you down the sinful path of Noro !

Trying something new

At some point during this month my Mum will celebrate a rather special birthday. She has asked for a cake that is maple syrupish, butterscotchish, caramelish rather than any sort of fancy cake such as the wonderful whisky bottle the FGM made for Husband or the pirate cake I made for Spider.

She is evasive when the question of presents is raised, aside from the fact she is having a new bathroom – if and when they can track down a plumber.  So in the absence of any other suggestion I have decided to try something new, which I will probably stick up on “Being Frank” as its craft related rather than cooking…but not until after her birthday as she sometimes reads both blogs and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

I have possibly bitten off rather more than I can handle…at least the birthday cake will be straight forward…

Fortunately I have a backlog of things to write up dating back to budget day – haven’t broken it to Husband that he’s on kitchen duty for the next few weeks – until of course he abandons me for motorsport for 5 days whilst he takes Student to Le Mans, and although I will miss him, I’m already planning meals for whilst he’s away involving several fish dishes, mushrooms and possibly a curry.

This probably sounds a bit heartless, but I know that from the moment he gets on the ferry to France until the moment he drops Student off on the return journey that he will have no room in his head for anything other than cars, so I may as well be brutally practical and make the best of his absence !

Paying it Forward – Part II

Made a start this evening on something for the lovely Mrs Lacer, the first and so far only person to comment on the Paying it Forward thread…I have something else lined up that I am just dying to make for someone…although I may end up doing it for Wingnut as a replacement birthday present as I unfortunately, er passed it on. payed it forward with the present I had made for her…oops ! She should have come to visit us, somethings just don’t keep, and don’t freeze well either !

Passing it on – Paying it forward

A couple of years ago I drove from Chester to Cannock and back again simply to ensure that my husbands 80 year old Auntie got to meet her great- niece and the Australian great niece her great-auntie.

On the journey back we got talking, and I was explaining that it was no big deal for me and that it was in keeping with my philosophy of life of “passing it on” and just generally “being nice” – because its great to be  nice to people, do things for people without expecting anything in return – why ? Because in the past I have been a happy recipient of such generosity from complete strangers.

L replied “oh yeah, pass it forward”.

I hadn’t known that there was a “movement” for this, and to be honest I prefer the FGM version of “practicing random acts of kindness”.

Anyway, having myself just been the happy recipient of a random act of kindness from Jane, whose surname and address I don’t know so I can’t thank her, it’s kind of timely to join in with the handmade “Paying it Forward” as described on Padmade and here on Beaky.

The idea is that the first 3 people to comment on this post receive something handmade (it will probably be something knitted unless you request food, as knitting is easier to post) from me, the condition of taking part is that you then do something similar – if you don’t have a blog then I guess you just pass 3 things on to random friends and the line then stops there, unless you explain to your friends what they are doing and they choose to do the same !

The Auntie I mentioned before died a year later, so I am pleased that I was able to play a small part in putting smiles on people’s faces and making something happen that otherwise probably would never have occurred.

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 ?

Flourless Fairycakes

Not really. Am afraid I don’t have a good recipe for flourless fairycakes, unless of course you don’t mind nuts. But even this recipe defeated me as I not only had I, in the run up to pay day run out of flour but I also seemed to have finally used up the packets and packets of cashew nuts that were clogging up my cupboard.

The lovely Mrs Lacer over on Lacer’s Life has been knitting this month which reminded me that I have a set of needles under the bed and am halfway through 2 knitted “things” for Flapjack Queen’s children and having made the egg last week I really should get on and finish the dinosaur puppet to go with it, especially as it was Flapjack Princess’ birthday on Thursday.

Thursday came and went and the dinosaur although knitted was still in pieces (I am allergic to “making up”) and I had no money for a card. Fortunately however there are some card blanks in the office and I then  I found Little Cotton Rabbits had this as a free pattern at this point I’ve tried to inseft a photograph but the system doesn’t seem to want to let me at the moment.

Unfortunately in a misplaced attempt before christmas at being an organised tidy individual I had finally got rid of my stash (wool and material) vis freecycle and all I had in were a few bits of white orange and black wool – however my Stepson mentioned that his Mum knitted so a quick phonecall netted me a ball of pink wool and one of brown.

Anyway, result was one card and one bemused Flapjack Princess…hopefully I’ll get the present finished this weekend.

Note: I promise this isn’t going to become a knitting blog. I realised whilst making the dinosaur the reasons why I gave up knitting – kittens playing with your wool whilst your knitting…

Good enough to eat ?

Good enough to eat ?

Dinosaur Eggs

I am not the creative type. I am a willing assistant at “make and do” when Spider’s in that sort of mood but you don’t usually get me sitting down with scissors and glue and card for fun. This morning however the boys kicked me out of the kitchen as they wanted to get creative with the crepe pan…they’ve also used up the last of my flour so that’s put the mockers on doing any baking until Friday (unless the child benefit payment had been paid).

So I have spent the morning with bits of paper, a balloon and some wallpaper paste making 2 dinosaur eggs for the dinosaur puppet I started knitting just after christmas. I have found it quiet therapeutic actually, just sticking bit after bit of paper to the balloon – had hoped Spider would want to do it too, but he’s too busy creating treasure island with Playmobile figures (the obituary for the inventor of it was in the Guardian the other day) in the living room…Teenager did help with the second one, but he got bored when he discovered I was insisting on 6 layers. “We only had to do 2 layers at school, and it was strong enough”, I pointed out that whatever it was he did at school it wasn’t then played with by his half brother…

The puppet itself is made but needs sewing together – it is at this point that I usually get bored – fortunately I’m on a deadline so it may get finished by thursday (Flapjack Princess’ birthday)…photos to follow another time, I have to go and investigate the strange banging noises coming from upstairs…I think the bedrooms may have become infested with saurapodlets…