Monday, 31 December 2012

This and That

I had a list in my head, and in my notebook, of things I should get done over this holiday. But somehow they are not getting done and I am having a lovely time because of it! I can do the back room later, much better to read and make whatever I fancy making. I have finished two books and am halfway through a third since the holiday started. I have not been reading at all this term, apart from magazines and craft books, so it is good to get back into a novel again. I spent my birthday gift vouchers (finally) on some lovely beads at Hobbycraft, and also some magnetic fasteners. These are amazing things that I was not aware of until my sister in law gave me a lovely bracelet for Christmas, containing one. I am not too good at the finishing neatly part of bead jewellery but have made a good enough job for personal use. I also bought a larger set of inktense pencils which I have been playing with in my journal and then on a piece of fabric. The necklace and fabric picture looked so pretty together in the sun-the only sun of the last few days-back to wet, grey and windy again now.
 The fastener is at the bottom-they actually look good as well as being practical. 
 I bought some cheap but pretty yarn a while ago called 'Crofter Dk' by Sirdar-with a claim to have a fairisle effect. I wanted to try crocheting a hat and this was the result. It is a bit too big but will be alright for work. It gave me an idea of how many circles to do before making the tube part-about 19 or 20, and it gave me an excuse to make a bobble. It exactly used up one ball of yarn including bobble so that was useful to know too.
 Here it is modelled on plastic girl, then below on me-I have vintiqued the photo so I look slightly less weird!
I hope that the holiday brings you some time to rest and do fun things too. Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful 2013! x

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fox

This little fox is the other crochet present I made for my brother. His parts were all made but he was stuffed and assembled on Christmas day so maybe his name should be Noel.

 Posing with my glittery Christmas flowers (well more like buds-not sure what they are really but I liked them because they were glittery)
This picture shows the real colour a little better. He is more rusty red than pink. Next I plan to make a crocheted Sadie. We visited today and she was as cute as ever! She got a soft toy duck for Christmas, that makes a convincing quacking noise. If you throw it for her she will, after only a couple of seconds delay, run after it and give it a chew! Unfortunately I didn't capture any of this on my phone as I was too busy eating chocolates.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Orange and Green

After a lovely two days of food, family and more food and family, I was good today and got up early to do my school work. I wrote a list with estimated times last night and set it all out in neat piles, so was ready to go at eight. I got a lot done and was finished by about two. I now feel organised for next term which is always a good thing! I cleared the table and then started to clear up, wash up and do washing. I sorted through the many clementines and only found a couple on the turn. I am trying to eat at least four a day as they are delicious and we have so many! (Two for one offers and both Andy and I panic buying them at the last minute) Instead of trying to fit them all into the too small bowl I tried the idea I read about somewhere yesterday and made a fruit heart instead. They looked very jolly on the green table.
 After a very late bath, I remembered I had meant to cook bubble and squeak from the leftover Christmas dinner vegetables. I mashed some up, seasoned, and made this vegetable shape. There were boiled potatoes, sprouts and carrots. When it was nearly done I added an egg to the pan to fry. I also had some slices of cold ham. A tasty combination.
 The only person who has ever made me bubble and squeak is my Nan. This is my Mum's Mum Lena, and we called her Nana. My Dad's Mum Margery, we called Granmum. I have no idea why these names developed, whether they chose them themselves or my parents did. I will have to ask. So as I cooked it I thought of Nana. It seems so long since she died but I have such a lot of memories of her. She looked after us every summer and we spent a lot of time then with my cousins and Aunt Vera too. Nana was from a big family and all the Aunts and Uncles were fun like she was, and full of interesting tales.
 I am not sure which baby she is holding here. It could be my Mum.
 The other food that always makes me think of her is Christmas pudding, as she always made ours. Making two for us each year. They were the best puddings and no shop bought one is ever as good. I did make my own for a few years after she died but have since stopped due to lack of time I think. Maybe I will make one again for next year.
I am the only person in my family who likes Christmas pudding much, and usually can fit some in on the day itself. This year I couldn't! I had some tonight though, with brandy butter. Cream is ok but somehow brandy butter is best. Another thing I always used to make and now don't. For shop bought things they were pretty good though. The pudding was really nutty and the brandy butter just brandyish enough. A little bit each day should finish it off by new year!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Happy Christmas from Cassie!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve Sights

video
We got up early today, as Andy had to work and I had to do the things I couldn't do on Saturday. It was blustery and mild with rain on and off. I went to Sainsbury's and Hobbycraft first, after dropping Andy off at the station. I got there about 8 and Sainsbury's looked as it does in the middle of any normal Saturday. Everyone goes mad at Christmas. Hobbycraft however was empty, apart from me, the cleaner and the manager. Crafters maybe have more sense. On the way back home I was approaching a junction near where I live and a horse trotted past really quickly. It was followed by about thirty more, some with riders and some being led, with one horse and trap at the back. They were a joyous sight. I drove to a road nearby where I could cut through to where I thought they were going so I could watch them and maybe get a photo. I love seeing horses and it was a treat to see so many together. I also discovered a track behind some of the grand houses around the edge of Blackheath that I had never walked down before. Another world of little garages, some in good repair and some not, windows into huge sitting rooms and some little tiny sweet houses like something from a fairy story. As was the tiny gate below.

 Canada geese, pigeons, starlings and gulls all happily eating together on the heath.

 One of two beautiful swans who looked as if they hoped I had some food, but sadly not.


Later I joined more queues to collect the turkey and other necessary items for tomorrow. We are having my family over instead of going to them, for the first time can you believe, so it has been busy preparing-just like everyone else I suppose! In the carpark there is a fig tree behind where I parked my car. When I came back this cat and a magpie were having an argument that I think the magpie was winning. I helped by putting the cat off its chase by taking photos of it, which it seemed to find disturbing.
Thanks for the good wishes on the previous post. I am much better now I am pleased to say.
I hope everyone has a happy and peaceful Christmas. xx

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Bah Hum...

bug.
 A pre-Christmas moan as my weekend has been impaired by this snow-like looking thing-Noro-Virus. Pretty isn't it? There were some other pictures that made it look more like the monster it is. Spiky, orange and green, like a wild space mine, but I preferred these snow like images. I have read all about it, and realize that it was fairly inevitable that I get it, considering how much of it there has been at school recently, and how many parents think it is ok to send their children back into school without the 48 hours recommended since the last time they were sick. Ah well, all better now, more or less. Enough to wrap presents and clean anyway!
Some real snow would be nice...

Friday, 21 December 2012

Tough Stuff

A view of the school being flattened.
Tools. The silly one is for my brother for Christmas. He doesn't think he needs anything but who doesn't need a crocheted hammer? It made me laugh anyway. After I thought of it I googled crochet tools , and as usual I am not the first person to have had this idea. My favourite tool was a saw. Possibly even more useless than a hammer!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Santas

We became workers in the Santa factory yesterday and made these. I love the way they turned out.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Such a tragic event is hard to comprehend, well impossible to comprehend really. My heart goes out to those poor children and teachers and their families, friends and community.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Joyless Signs

This may become a series, but hopefully not as I don't want my day to be marred by too many of them. This is the table outside the office, which suddenly got into festive mode this week when the poinsettia appeared. The ambience has since been ruined by the appearance of the sign. Ways to improve the sign might be the magic word we bang on about all the time, or the use of the 'plant's' lovely name, or even the reason why we shouldn't water it. Or maybe the use of a pretty cursive font. But no. No learning there then. Just joylessness.
I see that please was used. Still joyless.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Only Picture

There was freezing fog this morning and a strange ice layer on everything-not like normal frost, very thin and hard to remove. The trees looked beautiful but I was late and couldn't stop. I parked next to a car with this frozen spider's web attached. Not pretty at all, more like something from 'Alien'!

Monday, 10 December 2012

I Love Lights!

In between all the cleaning, sorting and de-cluttering, I have found time to put as many lights as possible around the place. I decided not to have a real tree this year due to the fact that I am trying to clear rather than create more mess. I don't want a tree pretending to be real, so went for this bright pink one from Asda. It is battery operated and so far they have lasted ages. I also got the pink feather lights, and then later two more sets-mirror reindeers and crystals-all battery ones too so very easy. I already had the flower lights which sit in a big pink thermos flask which has a mirrored glass inside and is just beautiful. I can't remember where I found that-a charity shop on a day trip somewhere.
Andy booked a plumber to come and fix the gas fire on Saturday, so this involved me in cleaning the area he would be working in, which involved moving the settee out and cleaning underneath it-which led to me finding the Christmas lights I bought after Christmas last year in the Habitat in Canterbury (in the sale)
I was surprised to find them as I had totally forgotten about buying them. There is a great wire tree with red and white lights, a set of red and white ones and some very bright and cold looking blue ones. The cold and warm lights cause some arrangement problems, as do the plug positions and the huge adaptor plugs these lights have, which do not play ball with multiple plugs. So a bit of problem solving was involved in the arrangements. I love the result though. Our flat now looks like an Aladdin's cave or a fairy grotto.  

 As December has advanced I have found myself wavering towards a real tree, perhaps a small one, as I love them so much. Then, when out on Saturday for breakfast at the cafe, we walked past the florists and I noticed they were selling large fir tree branches. Perfect! I bought one which is now acting as a miniature tree in a vase on the computer table. It smells good and fits in perfectly. It is decorated simply with white lights, glass robots, and felty things from Linda Sue. A snowman, an elf, a mushroom and some strawberries. One of my angels is on the top. (Thanks for making my 'tree' look pretty Linda Sue!)  It is standing in a clay cooking pot rescued from the school skip in the summer, with a little water in the bottom to keep it fresh. Perfect!
 The blue lights on my changing picture frame.
 Tiger enjoying the return of the warmth.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Pets and Stuff

Literally stuff-not stuff as in other stuff. A little picture from my journal which is slowly getting back to some pictures and not just designs and obsessive list making.
A picture of Sadie my Dad's dog. I arrived at his on Sunday morning while she was out for her walk. I have never seen her so excited as when she arrived home and saw me sitting on the sofa! She is such a lovely dog and does my Dad and his wife such a lot of good.
The other pet today is lovely Lily, having some lap time last night. Love her!

Thursday, 6 December 2012