Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

All is calm here at the moment.

We walked on the beach today,
the sun shone, the wind blew, we found a Christmas tree, and wrote in the sand.

back at home Rudolph is watching over us, 

and I have a packing helper. I think he actually wants to be a parcel.......

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

May it be filled with all the things that bring you happiness.

Sunday 14 December 2014

party no. 2. the boy party, as planned by the teenage boy.

party planning by the teenage boy.

menu - junk food essential. the invitation read "eat junk food and get obese"

crisp - potatoes are a vegetable!
chocolate orange - oranges are a fruit!
cheese & onion crisps - onions are a vegetable! and cheese is protein
no mushrooms
sausage rolls
ice cream sundaes


the magazine game - (each team has a pile of old magazines, and a list of silly things to find and tear out, eg. fish, queen, dog, bra, chocolate cake, pink shoes, first team to find all items wins )

competitive paper chains (2 teams, 2 rolls of selotape, strips of paper, 5 minutes, longest chain wins)
ultimate nerd quiz (2 per team, literature, science, entertainment and music rounds)
starburst game (2 teams, each with a packet of sweets, race to unwrap all the sweets, each team member has a go in turn, whilst wearing fluffy winter socks on their hands. eating sweets optional!)
pass the sweet spoon game (teamwork game, pass the sweet in a circle from a plastic spoon held in mouth)
cucumber game (as above but pass a cucumber between the knees)
empire - each person chooses a character they want to be, a list of the characters is passed around and they have to guess who everyone is.
pictionary - draw incomprehensible pictures for people to guess what they are.
cling film pass the parcel- layers of cling film with sweets between the layers, throw one on a dice, put on the gloves and try and unwrap a layer before the next person manages to throw a one.

 party followed by collapsing on sofa with large cup of tea and pretending not to notice the chaos the house is in...........

Sunday 7 December 2014

party no.1

ingredients for sweet sixteen party.

cupcakes with sprinkles

preparation is the key

enthusiastic assembling

happy devouring

pink creativity

with all evidence taken home at the end of the night.

an evening of sugary happiness for all x

Friday 28 November 2014

this week

this week I've

  • put up the fairy lights. I couldn't stand the gloom and grey any longer. by calling them fairy lights and not Christmas lights I can avoid the no decorations till after the birthdays rule. (which I made so I can break)
  • driven a 70 mile round trip for an outpatient appointment which I think lasted 2 minutes and 37 seconds. teenage boy is now cleared to play sports but he hasn't told his teacher yet.....
  • ordered pink striped bags for the sweet making extravaganza, to ensure some of the sweets get taken away.
  • made felt robins for a friends craft stall and wished I'd kept one for myself.
  • been bought chocolate by a very sweet friend
  • bought tickets for the local youth theatre production and driven teenage boy to and from rehearsals.
  • drunk a lot of tea
  • not eaten any cake............... this really needs remedying.........
  • finally put some stock into my woefully neglected folksy shop
  • drunk a lot of tea. oops did I say that already.....

Sunday 23 November 2014

party planned - the girl party.

I ordered this book for Miss K's party. My hope is that this is going to be secret weapon in entertaining the sixteen year old girls.

sweet sixteen!

think peppermint creams, coconut ice, chocolate fudge, honeycomb and caramel popcorn.

I have a few weeks to go through the recipes, and to calculate the ridiculous amounts of icing sugar I need to buy.

In case that won't be enough sugar there's a plan for a DIY ice cream sundae feast.

Think tall glasses, ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, fresh fruit, grated chocolate, and the cutest ever striped straws you ever did see.

and cake. there'll be cake too. and because I'm not completely mad something with vegetables in......

now to plan the boy party.....

thanks for all the sympathy about the conjunctivitis, it's much better now thank you. 
tea is the cure. really it is. you can drink it, and bathe your eyes in it. 

who knew. tea really is magic.

Friday 21 November 2014

friday random

this week.

amount of cake eaten at gluten free food fair/cake hunt - too much....
amount of hours that both children have been well this week - too few....
amount of pain it is possible to be in when you have conjunctivitis - too much....
amount of times someone can say to you "oh my, your eyes are red" - too many...
number of photos I've taken this week that I could put on this post to make it pretty/interesting/less dull - none....
number of times I've tried to think of something to post about and failed - several...
number of children's birthday parties I am trying to organize - two...
number of ideas for birthday parties - one...

I am going in search of inspiration, motivation and energy.

I may be some time.

if you think I am taking too long please send a search party.

and maybe one of those dogs with a barrel of whisky around it's neck.

Friday 14 November 2014

seeing stars part 2

this week I have stolen a few moments to play with stars.

the more there are, the happier they make me.

other things coming up this weekend to make me happy; taking the stars to show a friend and going on a cake hunt.  I like cake hunts. They're less dangerous than bear hunts.

hope your weekend is lovely, and that you find cake too. x

Sunday 9 November 2014

lest we forget

To remember the past is to commit ourselves to the future.
To remember war is to commit ourselves to peace.
To remember violence and tyranny is to commit ourselves to love.
Let us promise to strive for peace in our world starting in our hearts and in our homes.
Let us promise to build peace into our community, our neighbourhoods, our county and our world.

Friday 7 November 2014

an unexpected absence.

I took E to the doctors as he was complaining of stomach pain. Not long later we were at the Great North Children's Hospital 35 miles away. The doctor suggested that they'd probably keep him for observation for a few hours, so we went home to collect his dad, I grabbed him a bag with a teddy, book and pj's, told Miss K that hopefully we wouldn't be long, and off we went. 

and came home 4 days later.

E came home without his appendix.

I learnt a lot in this time. I learnt that if you say you are in pain then you get poked a lot which makes the pain worse. I have a new found respect for the kindness and patience of nurses. I learnt that you can cheer up a teenager quite a lot by taking ridiculous pictures of floppy playing with all the hospital equipment. This is the teenager that didn't fit in the bed on the children's ward, and the nurses extended the end and stuffed the gap with pillows so his feet didn't trail over the edge. I learnt  that if you have a room with an internal window it NEVER gets dark, so at 2.30am when you can't sleep you have enough light to read without turning on any lights.......I learnt which beeping machines you can ignore, and which you can't - morphine pump alarm when patient frantically tries to get more doses than he's allowed. I learnt that anti sickness drugs are essential after a general anaesthetic and morphine, and that the ward had a never ending supply of clean bedding, which we needed, several times.... Also that the combination of morphine and anti sickness drugs can cause hallucinations.

J came back and forth to the hospital in between going to work and looking after Miss K, and I slept on a fold out bed in the corner of the room. We watched a Lot of superhero films, and all of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, sometimes in the middle of the night with the sound turned down very very low. Also some truly dreadful daytime quiz shows. I may never turn the tv on in the day again. We watched people coming in and out of the lifts and if you looked down out of the window you could watch the people in the queue at the coffee shop. I spent a long time looking out at the people, the extremely frail old lady pushing her handbag in a wheelchair was the highlight I think.

I was extremely grateful for messages and support, and the kindness we were shown. E is recovering slowly and very happy to be back home. He is not at all sad that he missed going back to school after half term. He is also very happy that he still can't have a bath or shower and doesn't have to do games at school for weeks and weeks and weeks. Oh and he got bought lego as a treat. and sweets.

I am appreciating being and at home, drinking tea made in a teapot, and pondering why on earth when I realised that E would need overnight things did I never at any point think that I might need anything....

I hope you all have very quiet and uneventful weekends. That is definitely what I am hoping for.

Friday 24 October 2014

friday random things

  • I've nearly finished making all the blocks for the star quilt, I'm just putting on a border now which will mean there are no incomplete stars disappearing off the edge. Only 256 squares left to sew on, unless I change my mind about the design again - which is in all truth quite likely
  • The children have a training day, before next weeks half term. I made good use of them and took them with me to help clean two holiday cottages that a friend usually cleans but she has broken her foot............ If only they were as enthusiastic about hoovering and mopping at home, I suppose the fact that I bribed them with wages helped.......
  • I've been taking E to reflexology to help with his migraines.  The therapist is used to treating children, she must be bemused by E's huge size 10 feet.
  • My niece will be 9 this weekend, we're going to go and eat birthday cake. I do like cake. Have I mentioned that before?
  • I made the most enormous pan of carrot soup last night. Carrot soup is my favourite, but I am slightly concerned everyone in the family will go orange if I feed them it them too often.
  • Have you got any nice plans for half term? - we have to finish building a paper mache volcano, as you do...... oh and we have some leftover soup to eat.

Sunday 19 October 2014

cosy crochet

these are the crochet squares I started during the Olympics.

slowly slowly they joined together, growing some more during the winter olympics and then during the commonwealth games. it's definitely been a sports watching blanket.

getting bigger and bigger, with a few rows of granny edging

to make a border

and finally a scalloped edging to finish it off.

just in time for snuggling up, apparently there's a storm coming, and I do love to watch the wind and  rain lash down when I'm all warm and cosy inside x

thank you for all the kind comments on my last post, baking updates to follow xxx

Wednesday 15 October 2014

a gluten free accomplice.

There will be a lot more baking around here from now on. After several months of doctors visits for what the medical profession likes to call "fatigue" Miss K has been diagnosed with coeliac disease. (see below) I was diagnosed 17 years ago, almost on the same day.

We shall call ourselves the gluten free girls.

There will be lots of gluten free cake.

Cake is good.

so far we've baked jam tarts, ginger cookies, lemon drizzle cake and banana bread.

what's your favourite cake?

the following information is taken from Coeliac UK

Coeliac disease(spelled celiac in other countries) is an auto immune disease in which the immune system reacts by damaging the lining of the small intestine. Coeliac disease is common and affects 1 in 100 people. However only 24% who have the condition have been diagnosed. If a first degree family member has the condition then the chances of having it increase to 1 in 10. 

Treatment consists of a lifelong gluten free diet.

The symptoms of coeliac disease vary from person to person and can range from very mild to severe. Coeliac disease is known as a 'multi system' disorder – symptoms can affect any area of the body. Symptoms differ between individuals in terms of type and severity.

Possible symptoms may include:
  • severe or occasional diarrhoea, excessive wind and/or constipation
  • persistent or unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting
  • recurrent stomach pain, cramping or bloating
  • any combination of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency
  • anaemia
  • tiredness and/or headaches
  • sudden or unexpected weight loss (but not in all cases)
  • mouth ulcers
  • hair loss (alopecia)
  • skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • tooth enamel problems
  • depression
  • infertility
  • liver abnormalities
  • repeated miscarriages
  • joint and/or bone pain
  • neurological (nerve) problems such as ataxia (poor muscle coordination) and neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet)
  • amenorrhoea (lack of periods in women)

ask your GP for a blood test if any of this sounds familiar.

Monday 13 October 2014

dales walk

I ate too much cake at the weekend, more on that another day, but for now perhaps I should get some exercise. Before I do come perhaps you'd like to come with me on a walk I went on before my weekend retreating.

Driving through the dales I follow the route of the tour de Yorkshire. I remember cycling this road many years ago, in that wonderful long summer time between O'levels (yes Miss K I can call them O'levels not GCSE's because that's what they were!) and A'levels.

Oh how it winds up hill and down dale, with twisty corners and sudden narrowing, and views to make you stop and catch your breath (as if the hills weren't enough....)

From Kettlewell I chose a 5 mile circular walk of two halves, a bridleway high on the valley sides, and then returning via the Dales way following the meandering of the river Wharfe.

The walk is described as challenging, beginning with a steep incline. It doesn't lie.  Leaving the village of Kettlewell (looking backwards you see where we started) I walk up the steep and rocky limestone studded path, and it leaves me breathless.

Looking onwards towards Starbotton, the spectacular glacial u-shaped valley lies below.

After a couple of miles it is time to come down the valleys sides, steeply, steeply, careful of your steps, finally the safety of the river bed is reached. Now we can return, following the flat route of the meandering river Wharfe. The name Wharfe, derives from the Old English "weorf" or the Old Norse "hverf" and means winding river. It is very apt.

Walking back to Kettlewell this easy path is busy, filled with walkers on the Dales way. It's nice to be by the river, and it's certainly less strenous, but I feel like all these walkers are missing out.
 Even though it's hard work to get up there, the views from above are spectacular.

Thursday 9 October 2014

misty morning on retreat

when you wake up early and you've already had two mugs of tea and it's too early to start sewing or eat breakfast, and you look out the windows to find you are in a magical world of mist then you must explore.

the hills that surround the house have vanished, there is total silence, the thick dense mist dulls all sounds and it is impossibly eerie.

soon though the real magic begins, the warmth of sun starts to gently and slowly melt away the mists,

and ever so softly it lifts and the hills start to appear

the sky turns from a soft grey to a gentle blue 

the limestone features of the hills appear

and suddenly you are no longer in a magical world of mist but back in the real one.

It is no less beautiful though.

Monday 6 October 2014


I missed my blog birthday. 
I always thought I started blogging in October, but I just checked and it was 26th September 2007. 
That makes me seven.
and a week or so. 
but let's not worry about that. 
better late than never.

so how to mark the occasion? how about a stroll through the photo archives. 
Seven mosaics, of seven things, with seven links.


sewing things


Seven years of feasting, creating, appreciating, and making memories. and friends.

memories and friends. 

thank you for being part of it.

Saturday 4 October 2014

oh September where did you go?

I think I blinked and September passed me by. 

School started, the sun shone, I sewed, and enjoyed the blue skies. 

Now October is here and the rain is falling. Big heavy raindrops.  Mesmerizing.

Thursday 2 October 2014

the story of the magic scrap bag

Once upon a time some scraps of liberty were liberated from a friend, and I started a star quilt.

In exchange for the scraps I made a few of them into a fabric bucket bag, which I gave as a gift to become a new scrap bag.

What I didn't realise what that this is a magic scrap bag, every so often it refills itself.

The contents are glorious scraps of colour and pattern,

I select the blues and greens and try to create order from chaos.

and square by tiny square

it is slowly evolving.

I took the scraps on my running away weekend.

the net result of which was approximately 47 cups of tea, the occasional glass of wine, and 270 triangle corner squares.

I think I almost have enough now.