Sunday 30 March 2008


I've been tagged by angharad about blogging....

1. Why did you start your blog?

I've mentioned before that it was Beth at Fibrespace who got me into blogs, I started to read hers after I went on one of her courses, and after several months of lurking I decided to start a blog so I could comment........

2. How did you come up with your blog name?

Good question. It just sort of was right, but couldn't really tell you why. I do always end up carrying little bits whenever we are by the sea, but then I could also have called my blog sea glass, or broken shell.......... Driftwood was taken at blogger so the actual URL is driftwoodblog - not very imaginative, but then anyone who reads this knows I'm not good at coming up with names....

3. Do your friends and family know about your blog? What do they think of it?

No. Only hubby. I was going to tell my sister in law, but one day as we were discussing The Guardian food blog which my brother reads she said "I just don't understand people who read other peoples blogs, it's like reading someones diary, why would you want to do that" so I guessed she wouldn't really get it..

as for my friends I think the reaction would be what's a blog... except for maybe one who has a facebook account so she can keep in touch with her daughter at University, she might know what they are, but can't think she'd read it.

hubby used to think I was totally mad, and now he thinks I'm totally utterly mad, because he finds me laughing at comments, and photographing scrabble letters.........

4. How do you write posts?

Sometimes there is a plan, sometimes not. At the moment I'm writing in my pj's, E is awake playing with lego, the rest of the family are asleep, and I've got my first cup of tea of the day in my favourite mug. I try not to ramble hopelessly, but often that's what ends up on the screen, bit like today really........

5. Have you ever had a troll or had to delete unkind comments?

No trolls, or unkind comments thank goodness, but then I do have the settings on blogger set so that search engines don't crawl my blog.

6. Do you check your stats? Do you care how many people read your blog? If you care how do you increase traffic?

I set up google analytics about a month after starting my blog, and watched it obsessively for several months, and now I suppose I check occasionally, and I know how many people are subscribed with bloglines. I have no idea how to increase traffic, although I suppose changing the settings as described above might help....... getting more people to see my etsy shop would be nice.

7. What kind of blogs/posts interest you?

I read all sorts, philosophical ones with beautiful photos like Alice writes, ones with recipes, ones with tutorials, ones with pretty holiday photos, ones about quilting, and knitting, and .......
I read blogs by people who comment on my blog, blogs by people who are writing about important things in their lives, and I have to keep reading so I know how they are getting on. like Mary Beth whose little boy is sick and yet she still makes time to stop by and say hello. my bloglines is way too long, every so often I have to unsubscribe to a few or I get overwhelmed and don't read any..

8. What do you like and dislike about blogging?

I like all my new friends, I like the comments you leave, and the emails I get about comments I've made. I like the things I've learnt, the tutorials I've read, the presents I've been sent! I like the confidence this blog has given me, about myself as a person, and a mother, and as a friend. I like that I have more confidence in the things I make, and that someone else likes to look at them - J does a very good "it's lovely" but it's so nice to share things with people who might be interested, and I like being able to help other bloggers, either with tips about photos, or sewing - makes me feel useful I guess...

I don't like it when I go away for a few days, and you've all written 3 billion posts and I feel like I'll never catch up, when blogger refuses to upload my photos, when I spend ages trying to get the spaces between lines right, and then it looks totally different, when I don't get email addresses so I can't reply to your lovely comments, and say thank you for reading this total drivel that I've just written..

gosh that was long and waffly, sorry. the photos are some more from our trip to Hadrian's Wall, boy it was cold. but at least dry, unlike our trip to Scarborough yesterday, which was cold, grey and in the afternoon very WET. but I bought some fabric (not much - end of the month....) which is just about to go in the wash, and then will become some more of the quilt along, and the long overdue wall hanging...

edited to add.
oops forgot to tag anyone, I've just mentioned it to fioleta, and I'll choose Gina and Lisa if you want to have a go.

Wednesday 26 March 2008

rhubarb and orange cake

as requested by Garden Girl

rhubarb and orange cake
serves 6-8, serve warm with cream as pudding, or cold as cake, keeps 2-3 days in airtight container -- from March 2001 Good Food Magazine

12 oz rhubarb cut into 1/2 inch lengths (little bits - don't measure!)
2 oz golden caster sugar
zest of 1/2 orange
mix and marinate for 1 hour

cream together
5 oz butter
6 oz golden caster sugar

add 2 beaten eggs
fold in
3 oz self raising flour
4 oz ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder

stir in juice of 1/2 orange
pour mixture into lined greased 9 inch loose bottomed cake tin
drain the marinated rhubarb and spoon over cake mix
bake at 190 C for 25 minutes

then mix

1 oz melted butter
1 oz muscavado sugar,
zest of 1/2 orange
2 oz flaked almonds

sprinkle this over the part baked cake, reduce the oven temp to 180 C and cook for further 15-20 minutes till firm

cool in tin, dust with icing sugar to serve.

hope this makes sense, email me if it doesn't

sorry no photo, I haven't made one yet this year, but because I don't like posts without photos here are some lovely lambs prancing about on 2000 year old roman ruins.

Saturday 22 March 2008

happy easter

hope you all have a very happy easter,

with lots of fun

and that the easter bunny comes to visit,

and not the easter mouse that is that staying with us....

edited to add, I promised Kitten's lost her mittens I'd give her a mention, as she's got a new blog and she's already doing a giveway, go and say hello, there are some very pretty cards to see.

Wednesday 19 March 2008

catching up and eggs

Miss K's class had an Easter egg decorating competition yesterday.

this egglephant was my entry. sadly he didn't win, but I think he is very cute, and he is sitting next to me as I am typing.

Katie scooped a prize (a big chocolate egg) with her Rapunzeg. isn't she gorgeous. I'm thinking we'll have to substitute the real egg for a plastic one, so that we can keep her forever.

and now for some catching up. months ago I joined a quilt along, run by crazy mom quilts, and then I got VERY left behind, so far behind that all the other quilts are finished, quilted, bound, and probably on beds by now......... whereas I cut out the first few blocks, and then nothing, for weeks and weeks, but today I decided enough was enough, and got started. still a long way to go, but at least I've started, the first step is the hardest and all that jazz.

so here is one complete block,

and another,

some half square triangles ready to be sewn together,

some 4 patches,

and some 9 patches

don't look too closely at the joins of the seams please......

and now I've started I realise I need some more nice cream neutral background, so a trip to my favourite (well the one I can afford) quilt shop is required, Saturday maybe.......

Tuesday 18 March 2008


flowers for Sheila because she's not been feeling well. please go and say "Hi" and cheer her up.

flowers for Stephanie because she made my day yesterday, by noticing my etsy shop logo!

flowers for all of you, because you are here

flowers for Beth, for meeting me for coffee on Friday, and giving me the confidence to finally open my etsy shop, and not be scared of paypal and for bringing me some gorgeous wool to play with. go and see her lovely monsters.........

I love flowers .........

Monday 17 March 2008


Periwinkle tagged me ages ago for an archive post, sorry it's taken so long....

I'm supposed to link to posts about family, friends, me, things I love, and anything else I like. I'm really not very good at this kind of thing........ It was hard to choose what to include, and strange to re-read all my ramblings, it brought back some funny memories, and a few I might have like to have forgotten, like when J electrocuted himself while trying to fix the oven - no lasting damage thankfully....

so first we have family and more family. a cake theme here.

then we have friends and a food theme here.

and something about me, well this was a day out I loved, oh and there's a food theme here

something I love - I love comments, and the fact that you all read my ramblings, this was the first post I got comments on. to say thanks here's a lovely cappucino for you, all the way from Rome. Thanks too for all my blog friendships, it's been great "meeting" you all, and I feel really special to be part of this blog community.

and a post about anything else well this was a great weekend away, friends, oh and food.

there seems to be a food thread running through all these posts, oh well, it's probably because I'm hungry....

I know I'm supposed to tag 5 people, but I've seen lots of people get tagged already, so how about if you haven't done this one yet then help yourself. I'm off in search of some dinner....

Thursday 13 March 2008

not ironing.......

it amazes me how much fun you can have on flickr when you should be doing the ironing.

I have two rather feeble excuses - first that there's some nasty sticky gue on the iron (from bondaweb - any ideas how to get it off?), and second that there's some sport relief thing at school tomorrow so K and E don't need uniforms ironed......... I wonder if J will get any funny looks if he goes to work in a tracksuit too.........

Wednesday 12 March 2008

5 a day

fruit anyone?

so far no-one else is ill, and E is much better (thanks for all the well wishes)

maybe the enormous fruit bowl challenge is working.

every week we try to fill it with lots of delicious things, and by the end of the week it has to be empty.

Monday 10 March 2008

how do you spell...?

E - the youngest one in the family has been suffering from

as well as a


which makes him

and a little bit

but on a positive note we have learnt a new game this weekend .........

now I'm just hoping that no-one else gets ill.

Friday 7 March 2008


I got this lovely award from Gina of Gingerbread and to say thankyou for all the lovely comments on my last rather self pitying post I'm passing it on to everyone who commented. Thanks to all of you - this is for you.

pass it on to someone who makes your day. Thanks Gina - it made my day!

I took your advice and had fun with my new fabric, and here's a little peek at a work in progress,
(soon to be available in my etsy shop) (well soonish - I've get to understand how to "put" things in my shop!) and I'm feeling much less sorry for myself, the restorative powers of chocolate and fabric have provided comfort and a bit of perspective.

it's a tea cosy by the way......

hope you all have a lovely weekend, we'll be watching the Calcutta cup.

Wednesday 5 March 2008

retail therapy

It's been a challenging week.
I applied for a teaching assistants job at the school where I volunteer one day a week.
I thought that as I am suitably qualified for the position, and have 18 months experience with that class I stood a reasonable chance.

shows how much I know - didn't even get an interview..

so instead I went shopping...........

for fabric.

and chocolate - I've eaten that so no photo.

Sunday 2 March 2008

mother's day

breakfast in bed of strawberry and banana smoothie and a gluten free croissant,
lots of cards drawn by the lovely E and Miss K and some lovely bulbs...

followed by
Roast sunday lunch
followed by
lemon meringue - so can anyone tell me why the lemon bit didn't set and oozed out of the pie - still tasted good though.

followed by a trip to the park
followed by a visit to a new store that's opened where there were going to be cooking demonstrations by James Martin
well we were too late for the demo's, but James was doing a book signing, so it seemed churlish not to buy one, (J said I could have it for mother's day)

I know I know, I already have too many cook books, but this one's signed....