Wednesday 30 January 2008


my tulips

David Hockney's tulips

Miss K's tulips

E's tulips

Sunday 27 January 2008

yet more cake!

we set off for a day out, to expose the kids to some of the industrial heritage of the area, and to broaden their knowledge of art.

which is all well and good, but on this occasion it was not the heritage or the art that made the greatest imprssion, but the cafe.

well when there's a menu like this what do you expect!

that's 6 to choose from, it was hard but the chocoholic in me won....

now where did it go?

there was at least art on the sugar packets, so that must make up for something...

Saturday 26 January 2008

spicy apple cake

my head hurts - no sympathy deserved however, all self inflicted.

brain not quite functioning, so attempting to write a recipe may be a bad idea, if it is a total disaster please forgive me. you might think as I have more than one or two recipe books it would just be a case of copying something, but I made this recipe up, so we'll have to hope for the best...

Spicy apple cake

60z flour (I used doves farm gluten free but use anything.. or even self raising and miss out the baking powder)
6oz sugar - golden granulated is my fave
60z butter (or marg, or dairy free margarine)
3 eggs
2 teaspoon baking powder (maybe less if not using nasty gf flour...)

mix all of these ingredients with a hand held blender, kitchen aid, wooden spoon....
grease and line cake tins - I used 2 7inch sandwich tins, but you could make it one deeper tin, and just cook it for longer.
spoon mixture into tins.
peel and core 2 or 3 eating apples, and slice into segments approx 1cm thick
arrange on top of cake mix in tin in a single layer.
mix 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a couple of teaspoons of muscavado (dark brown) sugar, and sprinkle this liberally all over the apple slices.
bake at 180 C for 25 - 35 minutes, till cake springs back when prodded and a fork/cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.
cool slightly and serve warm with some cream or cold with a cup of tea, or even for breakfast (well it's got fruit in it so I reckon that makes it healthy)

don't think recipe writing is my strong point, I may not take it up as a career...

this is part of a valentines decoration I made after finding the new bead shop, seed beads and red hearts strung on fishing line, and hung in the window. (totally impossible to photograph in the window - believe me I tried)

and my new necklace, a pink and white bead, on pink soft leather.

Miss K thought it might be for her!

Thursday 24 January 2008

beads, cake and tea

it was lovely to have my friend to visit, she wasn't here long, but we managed to fit in lots of tea drinking, a bit of retail therapy, including a new bead shop (more of that tomorrow when I've taken pictures) and lots of cake - spicy apple cake, I'll post a recipe if you want it.

now back to that news;
a long time ago in a galaxy far far away .... someone asked me about making a wallhanging, and they were full of enthusiasm but they never rang back, and I was too chicken to ring so nothing happened, until last week when my sister in law met someone at her book group who was waffling on about having this wallhanging made, and she really needed to ring the person and give her the dimensions. so s-i-l, said that wouldn't be Tess would it, and now I have a very scrappy bit of paper with some numbers scrawled on it, and have to actually make it.... eeek.

and one of J's colleagues wants a baby gift, so I thought a cushion something like this...

thanks for all the kind comments about the kitchen, I'm sure it will be fine eventually, and in a strange way it allows us to delay something I don't want to do, but that can be written tomorrow too, if I write it now we'll be late for school.....

Monday 21 January 2008

moving out of the kitchen

another morning of wellies and brollies on the way to school, I used the ladybird on the way home but don't tell Miss K.
she was wearing her wellies as you can't get into her classroom at the moment without wading through a large flood in the playground so she was ok getting to school, but I had to lift E over several puddles that he probably will jump over on the way home, but on the way there I wasn't prepared to take the risk.....

splash splash splash!

I spent several hours on Saturday carving out a corner of my own for my sewing machine, it usually lives on the kitchen table, which means lots of moving everything all the time, and with this awful weather is actually pretty dark in the kitchen. I have a little space in the corner of the conservatory, which is taken over entirely by children, toys, and cats, but this bit is mine now.

I like the contradiction between the old table, and the new machine, - what do you think?

another good reason for moving out of the kitchen is that it STILL looks like this.....
I had a long "chat" with the insurance this morning, as they have still failed to hurry things up, even after J wrote a very polite but firm letter to the chief executive...
and we're still no further on, and they still don't know what the delay is, and there is still dispute about the money, and pretty soon I'll be heading to the doctors for some valium.

good news is that a good friend is coming to stay tonight for a few days, so I've got out of some meetings I was supposed to go to, and we're going to drink tea, and eat cake, and maybe go in search of retail therapy.

and soon there will be some exciting news (well I'm excited - and nervous actually).

Thursday 17 January 2008

more brain freezes

so monday I microwaved cornflakes, this morning I got halfway to school and realised I had odd shoes on! Great.... continue walking to school, drop off Miss K and E, go to see the teacher whose class I help with on Thursdays, tell her I have to go home and will be back asap. walk home, change shoes, walk back. now VERY wet.... it feels like a lifetime till play when I finally get a cup of tea.

must engage my brain in the mornings from now on!

I tried to do some sewing on Monday, but ended up unpicking more than I sewed (reverse sewing!), so made these felt lovelies instead,

and then with valentines in mind a few hearts.

they've gone off to the local shop, I wonder if anyone will like them? I will make some for etsy, as soon as my brain starts working when I need to look into how to work paypal, how to import images onto etsy, and how to make a banner and..and ... could be some time then!

J turned to me as I was labelling the felt flowers with a driftwood and daisies label

"if you're driftwood does that make me daisy?"

Monday 14 January 2008


you know you haven't had enough sleep when instead of putting a cup of milk in the microwave you put in a bowl of cornflakes.....

think I need to get some fresh air...

Friday 11 January 2008

2 treats

two lovely things have happened in the last 2 days, I got a wonderful surprise parcel in the post from Linaloo, and my first blogger award from Isobel at Cosy Corner. thank you Isobel!!!

the blogger award came with a request for 7 wierd facts.

I feel I've done something very similar already, so I'll try to keep it short.

  1. I have 112 cookbooks - I just counted, oh my god, I knew I had a lot but....

  2. of those 112, 17 of them are gluten free cook books, which means 95 have recipes in I can't eat unless I mess about with the ingredients, which sometimes works, and sometimes is a disaster....

  3. I had planned this year to try and cook something out of one of these books once a week, but now I've calculated it will take 2 years and 1 1/2 months maybe I'll eat tinned soup all year instead, less daunting.

  4. one of the great culinary achievements over Christmas was introducing curry to Miss K and E. friday night curry tradition we here come!

  5. when Miss K was little she was the fussiest eater in the entire world, she drove me to tears with it. now she eats huge amounts of almost everything, especially roast potatoes.

  6. considering all of the above it's amazing I don't look more like this;

  7. which would be unfortunate as my J's sister has asked Miss K and I to be bridesmaids in the summer.......
now the fun part I choose to pass on this award to (not sure how many I'm allowed to choose)

my parcel from Lina was a real treat, I'd sent her something as part of a pay it forward, and as a thankyou she sent me these, which I love, she'd posted about them here and it was such a delight when they sailed through my letter box - thankyou Lina, you are so generous!!

aren't they lovely!

Wednesday 9 January 2008

floppy's adventures

meet floppy

floppy is E's favourite cuddly thing, he goes everywhere, and is the first call of comfort after a bump or a tumble.

on Sunday floppy was found on our bedroom floor, even E seemed bemused but I guessed he'd left there after playing in our bed.

on Monday floppy was found on the bathroom floor, I figured he'd been abandoned when cleaning teeth before school.

on Tuesday he was halfway down the stairs, by this time I'm about to have words with E about leaving his stuff all over the house, and maybe floppy could stay in bed..

this morning when I went out floppy was tucked up snug in bed,
when we got home from school floppy is on the floor by the front door.

hhhmmmmmmm, either floppy is getting upto lots of mischief or there are other culprits involved.

the evidence so far;

the chief suspects have been seen in the vicinity of the crime scene.....

Monday 7 January 2008

what's in a name? part 2




after reading and rereading all your lovely comments on the post what's in a name, and spending lots of wasted hours on google, and with dictionaries and a thesaurus this is what I've come up with.

Opinion was divided, which made it harder, but there was advice to stick with driftwood, or at least with what feels right, and it did, but on its own it didn't work, and whilst I really liked both driftwood dreams and driftwood designs thanks Lesley and Gina they both had links. and then last night in bed whilst reading Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros (yes I often read recipe books in bed...) she was writing about childhood, and special times, and linking experiences like a daisy chain.... so driftwood and daisies..

I've set up an etsy shop to ensure I get to choose the name after taking so long to pick it, but no doubt it will be months before I ever work out how to open/design/stock it, let alone make any thing for it... but it's a start right.

so thank you, thank you for all your help, I couldn't do this without you!

Sunday 6 January 2008

some sewing at last!

I won these two lovely things in a giveaway from Sew Christine, and have only just photographed them, thanks Christine they're great. And everyone should pop over to visit her because she's having another giveaway right now!!

this is a satisfying pile of sewing that is the accomplishment of the weekend,
little gingham bags as requested by the one of the mums in the shop I mentioned, she wants to make up some gingerbread kits.

each bag has a cookie cutter, and a picture to match.

and here's a peak of some gorgeous fat quarters that came in a Christmas parcel from the states that arrived yesterday, now what shall I make?

it's remarkably peaceful here, the calm before the storm I guess, Miss K is at the pantomime with Brownies, E is battling lego stormtroopers, J is getting the bbq out becuase Grandma and Grandpa are coming for dinner, and the only part of the oven that works is too small to cook the roast beast and the roast potatoes, so the beast is going on the bbq. I know its January, and it's also dark, but it's that or just potatoes becuase Miss K won't allow them to be off the menu. ..

how long do I leave it before I remind them it's school tomorrow?

Friday 4 January 2008

let it snow...

well there wasn't much snow, and not much of a hill but good fun was had by all, this used to be my sledge when I was little!

and this is the lid of the sand pit, no it's not that steep, just a crazy camera angle!

and this is the responsible adult showing the children how to play safely!

Thursday 3 January 2008

mad dogs and englishmen?

we had a lovely new year with friends, with some amazing culinary experiences;

I know some of you from the other side of the world may be used to picnicing on the beach in January, but it's not something we'd expect in Yorkshire!
A long walk up a steep hill, followed by a very muddy slither down again, a very competitive game of beach football, some beach combing, and some fossiling was followed by sandwiches, christmas cake and coffee on the beach, and then hot baths and a dvd in front of the fire for tired and dirty children.

when all were clean and warm we wished in the new year with

hibiscus flowers in champagne! (or lemonade if you are too small for champagne..)

and some very delicious fruit,

some very pretty marshmallows,

a christmas present of our hosts,

and more dirty children again!

can it still count as part of your five a day if it's smothered in chocolate?

this morning, we've all been out to participate in my Christmas present from J, a family photo session at a studio, we haven't had a decent family photo with all of us in it for about 3 years, I usally hold the camera to avoid being photographed!

and soon we're going out to try and find a hill to sledge down because there's snow! not much by Lina's standards, but enough to excite the little ones, (well me too actually!)
photos tomorrow, hopefully not of us sitting in A&E in plaster casts....

thanks for all the Christmas and New Year wishes, hope 2008 is great for everyone!