Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Hello Friends

Hope you all managed  to have a good Christmas and that you were all safe. Unfortunately there were many that had Christmas cancelled, postponed or just spoiled due to the bad weather and it looks like new year celebrations will also be bad for many others too. Hopefully they'll manage to get cleaned up and back into their homes soon.

I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe new year, not just for the time of celebration but for the whole year too.

Best wishes for 2014 and I will see you all again very soon. Thank you for popping by

Carolx

Friday, 20 December 2013

2013 Challenges and Needles

Hello friends

I've been thinking about next years challenges and what I would like to achieve and as yet I've not decided as there a quite a few going around in my head. My plan is not to set too many so that it's impossible to achieve them. When I have made my decision I will let you know. Back to this years challenges did I succeed or not?

Blog twice a week I started well with this but in the end I couldn't keep it up because sometimes I didn't have anything to say and other times I just didn't have the time and other times I did have something to say but no pictures because I forgot my camera (ah carry my camera all the time challenge).  Will I be able to do this in 2014? probably not. Although we don't have a gala float to build this year my mum is getting worse (has Alzheimer's/dementia) and has entered into the later stages so dad is going to need more help.

Declutter 365 items from our home Yes! I succeeded in this one 555 items have nearly left our home. still have about 10 things to sell. We have bought a few items but not 555. L had a clear out of her room (she did so well. Really proud of her) and made lots of space. We sent a lot of things to charity, passed a few things onto others that was useful to them, binned other stuff that was of no use to anyone and could not be he recycled, recycled and sold some stuff. This challenge I will repeat again next year because we still have way too much stuff.

Set up a shop on Folksy After lots of research I didn't set up a shop on this web site because after deducting the commission and other fees I wouldn't earn much so I decided to set up my own web site, www.l&ccraft.com This has not been successful and luckily I only signed up for one year. I will not renew my membership when it's due. I do get lots of hits but no buyers.

No spend days This was a good one but I forgot to keep a record as most days were a no spend day anyway. Some months I only went to the supermarket to do the weekly shop so it was a whole month of no spending. I won't bother with this one next year as it's normal and not a challenge.

Now for the needle. This morning I went into hospital to have a small procedure done. Since October I have been back and forth to the hospital to have scans done and see the consultant to get a diagnosis then a decision about the treatment. I have fluid around the macular of my left eye and has made the vision very blurred and there is only one treatment. A steroid injection into the eye. Yep into the eye. I was feeling quite sick this morning whilst M was driving me to the hospital. I was worried that it was going to hurt, or would they numb my eye? They did put some numbing drops into my eye just before I went into theatre. I had to lie on the bed and the surgeon put this blue cloth over my face with a window in it so that he could see my eye. I felt the needle and said "ouch" so he had to stop and put some more numbing drops in and then continue. Back in the waiting room I joined the lady who was sat next to me. She was really scared and was quietly tearful. I chatted to her and asked about her children and after my procedure I told her the facts and not what happened to me I didn't want to scare her anymore. She was ok afterwards. All the staff were wonderful they do a great job - Thank you.
Now I have to wear a clear eye patch until tomorrow morning and use some antibiotic drops for a week. and then a check up a week later. My eye feels very uncomfortable at the moment it feels dry and sore. I feel I want to rub it but thankfully I can't with the patch on. M thinks I'm a pirate and I tell him it's the new Christmas accessory.

Nearly time to get L from school, she's on a half day today, so I will say bye for now and thank you for popping by I love to read your comments and if I don't make it before Christmas I hope you all have a great one and an even better New Year.

Carolx

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Christmas Festival and Victorian Market

Hello friends

Last night we went to a Christmas festival and Victorian Market.  We went last year but it was so cold and damp that we didn't enjoy it much so decided that we would go again this year as it was dry and see if it was any different.

The stall holders were meant to dress up in Victorian costume but didn't. However there were a few people dressed in costume but I suspect that they were the committee.
There were many food stalls selling burgers, hotpot, curry, chips. and some were selling drinks like mulled wine, tea, coffee and hot chocolate.  A few other stalls selling other types of food stuff and one or two selling Christmas items. Most of the shops were open for business but nothing we were looking for.

We met these two happy people. I loved their costumes, or were they the real ones? What do you think?

  
We also met this very tall guy. There were two of them, not sure where the other one was. They mingled with the crowd, shaking hands of the adult males and high fiving the children and posed for photos with children and actually managed to crouch down almost to their level. Their costumes were white and silver and quite magnificent. As you can guess these were the highlight of my evening. L's highlight was probably the chips and hot chocolate oh and not forgetting the hot donuts. M's highlight? having the evening off from taxiing. I think we might give it a miss next year.

Does anyone else go to similar festivals at Christmas time?
And what are they like?

Carolx

Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Decoration Swap

Hello friends

Hope everyone is ok after the terrible winds and high seas.  In my little corner of the Northwest coast we did suffer high winds with the sea coming over the wall but, compared to other places around the country, our coast appears to have got off quite lightly. There was damage to some buildings and trees felled and some flooding.

Now back to the title.  I joined Ladybird Diaries in her Christmas decoration swap and was linked with Chrissie from Chrissie Crafts. This is what I received last week

 
 
The little crocheted Christmas tree is just gorgeous. Chrissie felt that the tree wasn't enough (she is very generous) and added a small jar of homemade Quince and Pumpkin chutney to it. I can't wait until Christmas to try it. The Christmas card is lovely. The scene is a print of a painting done by one of her neighbours of their village green. I had fun making my make for the swap. I can't tell you much more because I don't know if it's arrived yet. If you pop over to Chrissie's blog in a few days she might let you have a peep. Chrissie has done a tutorial on how to make the tree if anyone is interested.
 
I've finished my baby niece's Christmas present. Do you want to see? ok, here it is.
 
 
 
I think that is my Christmas knitting finished, Still some shopping to do, lots of wrapping, cleaning and tidying in readiness for putting up the tree and other decorations.
 
 
Have a good week everyone
 
Carolx

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Made More Jam

Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Chrissie from chrissiecrafts.blogspot.co.uk She's a great embroiderer.

A friend of mine has a grape vine in her garden and it has done very well this year and has had more fruit than she could cope with and I was invited round to collect as much as I wanted, which was very kind of her. I took a small bucket with me and filled it twice and there was still loads left on the vine.
I took them all off their stalks and froze the fruit until I was ready to use them.

Yesterday I took the grapes out of the freezer and filled two non-stick pans. I let them defrost over night and this morning, after L left for school, I crushed the grapes (no I didn't take my socks off) with the potato masher and then cooked them. The juice was quite sour as there were quite few green gapes but the black ones were sweet. At this point I'd not added any water as the grapes were very juicy. 
After the grapes were cooked I strained off the juice in to a big pan and cooked up the pulp again in the non-stick pan. Strained it again into the big pan and added the sugar.



The colour is a lovely rich purply red and whilst it was bubbling away the house filled with an amazing aroma. When it was eventually ready I filled 6 and 1/2 jars. 
I gave three jars to my friend with the grape vine.
The jam is very tasty and one I might make again next year.  I have some oranges in the freezer waiting to be made into marmalade but I've no room to store it yet.
Jam butties for tea anyone?

Carolx


Monday, 18 November 2013

Mum's Sunshine Award

Hello friends
 
Nice to see you all. Mum. over at mum's simply living blog was given a Sunshine Award and instead of nominating other bloggers she has left it open for any of her flowers to join in. That's nice.
 

 

'The Sunshine Award is an award given to those who inspire us and bring sunshine into our lives.'

There are a few simple rules:-

1) Include the award logo in your blog post.

2) Link to the person who nominated you.

3) Answer 10 questions about yourself.

4) Nominate other bloggers. 
 
 
 
Mum's 10 questions are as follows:-  
 
 
 
1. What would be your first thought if you saw the first flakes of snow falling from the sky?

Yeah! We don't usually get much snow here so it's quite exciting when it arrives. Saying that I don't like it to hang around too long. Just long enough to build a snowman and have a snowball fight.

2. Let's suppose you had to dress someone's snowman. What hat would you put on its head?

A flat cap
3. Do you celebrate this season? If so, how?

Assuming you mean Christmas - we have an artificial tree with traditional decorations (don't do colour themes) and nearly always buy two new tree decorations each year. L and I always go to a Christingle service and I make a small buffet tea for when we come home. M always goes to the pub on Christmas eve afternoon and usually come to church a bit worse for where.
4. It's cold, wet and blustery and you have to go out. What do you wear on your feet?

If I really, really had to go out it will be either walking boots, wellies, or a nice pair of full shoes (not sandals)

5. What game would you recommend for a seasonal party for friends and neighbours?

I have three brother  and when we were young we always played monopoly. Now I like Trivial Pursuits


6. You are going to a seasonal party for friends and neighbours - how would you like to spend the evening?

Chatting, drinking, nibbling and maybe playing a few games.
 7. Do you have a favourite decoration for putting out at this time of year? Please describe.

I like to put out my nativity set because for me that is what Christmas is about.
 8. Have you written your Christmas cards yet?

Not yet

9. Are you making or crafting anything seasonal at the moment?

I have made three gifts so far  and plan to make a further four. I also have four mini Christmas cakes to almond and ice.

10. There's always something to like about each season. What do you particularly associate with this season?

I love Christmas, The decorations, the preparations, the whole atmosphere, oh just everything (except the shopping, I hate shopping).

I'm not passing this on because I'm full of a chesty cold and can't think of any questions. If you do want to join in maybe you would like to use Mum's questions above.

Hope you have a great week. and I will see you soon

Carolx


 
 
 
 
 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Some Christmas Makes

Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Chrissie from http://chrissiecrafts.blogspot.co.uk. I've been a secret follow of Chrissie for a while (sshh don't tell her) She is such an inspiration, she can knit, crochet, embroider and much more, why not take a look?

Ok my Christmas makes. My 11 year old nephew is into Harry Potter and wanted a scarf similar to the character's. Having looked on the internet and checked out the price his mum asked if I would make him one for Christmas and a hat. He wanted Gryffindor colours which is a dark red/maroon and gold. I didn't have those colour so I trotted off to Fleetwood market (I also did some other bits and pieced whilst in town).
The badge I was going to make in cross stitch (I hate doing cross stitch; I find it so boring) however M found one on Amazon. In total this scarf cost me £10 which is less that half of what the original would cost.


For my baby nephew, a toddler of 21/2,  I've made him a jumper. L decides that is should be red and black striped. This yarn I already had as it was left over from the Hero blanket I made earlier. To go with the jumper I have bought a Thomas story book that was half price. That's Three down and a few more to go.

Next on my needles will be something pink for their 8 month old sister. But first I need to make a Christmas decoration because I have join in with a Christmas swap organised by http://ladybirddiaries.blogspot.co.uk another great crafter.

This week I have decorated a picture frame I got for my birthday. I was lovely as it was but a little too stark so it went from this


to this
 
 



I played around with different ideas and ended up with this and it got L's approval. Now I just have to find some photos which could take a while to get them just right.

I need to get on I've to go out, clean some cupboards (yuk) and then I want to do some baking.

Hope you all have a good week end and the weather stays fine.

Carolx

Monday, 11 November 2013

What Have I been Doing This Past Two Weeks?

Hello friends

Welcome to new follower Joy.

What have I been doing this past two weeks?
Well, quite a lot but only one thing that was very exciting.
 During Half term I didn't spend as much time as I would have liked with L because I was sewing, these crafted squares (on the right) onto the backing fabric, on my mum's industrial sewing machine.  Radio Lancashire have been promoting the Up For Arts project all year and this is one of their projects. All the craft groups in Lancashire were asked to make a square, using yarn or material, it could knitted, patchworked, embroidered etc but it had to represent their craft group and then it was sent on to us at Thornton Library to put together. There are some wonderful works of art. Some very simple and some very details and lots of in between but all fabulous.  We did the unveiling last Thursday with radio Lancashire. Please click on the pictures to see them better. In a few weeks the displays will be going on tour all round the libraries in Lancashire. Unfortunately I don't know the tour dates. If I can find out I will pop them into another blog post.

One of the other things I did over half term was to pack mum's case because dad was going on holiday for a much needed rest and mum was going into a home for 9 days. This was not an easy task because I didn't know if she would be warm or cold so I selected a mixture of clothes that could be layered. Then I had to put her name in all of it. Finding space on a label was not as easy as thought it would be. We have name tags now ready for next time. On the Friday dad and I took mum to the home and stayed with her for a little while before returning home. All last week I visited mum every afternoon before getting L from school. One of the sad things about the home is that all the resident did all day was sit and watch TV or sleep and it was quite sad. Although mum has a form of Alzheimer's she is still very active and ended up helping the staff with some of their chores which I thought was a great idea.
Whilst mum and dad were away from home I spring/autumn cleaned their home as it's so much easier when no one is about. Now that is all done and they are both home (mum was so pleased to see dad back) I can relax a bit. I'm glad they are both home because mum is not ready for a nursing home yet and I missed them at home.

I have been making some Christmas present in the evening and I will share them with you in my next post.

See you all very Soon

Carolx


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Joining in with Mum's Virual Tea Party

Hello friends

Did you remember to turn your clocks back 1 hour this morning?

Nice to see so many visitors. Welcome and come and sit yourselves down. The storm hasn't reach our part of the England yet and the sun is shining, don't suppose it will be long though.
Would you like a cup of tea and how about some cake.

It was my daughters birthday earlier in the month but we waited for half term to have her friends round for a sleep over (last night). I made a chocolate cake. Wow it's amazing and so moist and light. My SIL gave me the recipe which I think she got of the BBC website. Anyway I will post the recipe at the bottom of this post with the link.
After making the cake I sandwiched them together with bought white buttercream and then smeared it all over the outside before putting on the fondant icing. Very sickly and sweet but the girls loved it. Hope you do too. (L is a huge 1 Direction fan)  I forgot to tell you that the crunchy bits in the butter icing are chocolate chips.

Do you like the flowers? M bought them for me because yesterday was also our 7th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going to the local weatherspoons and had a lovely meal. The three girls had their own table next to ours and  unfortunately we had to pick up their tab too.  I'm off now to visit the others. See you all again soon.
Don't forget your recipes below and a big thank you to Mum for organising this tea party.

Carolx


http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/6652/naughty-chocolate-fudge-cake

Ingredients

175g Self raising flour
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Bicarbonate soda
150g Caster sugar
2 Eggs Beaten
150 ml (1/4 pint) Sunflower oil
150 ml (1/4 pint) Semi skimmed milk
2 Tbsp Golden syrup


For the Coating and filling
75g Unsalted butter
175g Icing Sugar
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
Drop of Milk
Method

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 18cm (7 inch) sandwich tins.
Sieve the flour, cocoa and Bicarbonate of Soda into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.
Make a well in the centre and add the syrup, eggs, oil and milk. Beat well with electric whisk until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the two tins and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from oven, leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack.
To make your butter icing, place the butter in a bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sift and beat in the icing sugar and cocoa powder then add enough milk to make the icing fluffy and spreadable.
If the cake has risen a little to high then use a serrated knife to even off the top, now sandwich the two cakes together with the butter icing and cover the sides and the top of the cake with more butter icing.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Twiddle Muff

Hello friends

Hope you are having a lovely day today. The sun is suppose to shine all day today, Yeah can get loads of washing dry outside.

Here's the Twiddle Muff I've been making for my mum for Christmas. You can buy them over the internet but at £38 I thought they were a bit expensive and there's not a lot to twiddle. This has not cost me anything to make because everything came out of my stash.
I got the basic pattern from here and then made up my own twiddles. I wanted to be visually appealing so I used lots of colour and different textures and dangly bits. My idea was that there would be too much to take in all at once so new discoveries would be made each time it was picked up.


I started off embroidering a small piece of fabric with a flower and then another piece with mum on it, stitched them together to form a pocket and then added some polystyrene beads, closed the
 pocket and stitched it in place. I'm not that good at embroidery and I think I should have used long and short stitch. I did try it by it was very untidy so I stuck to satin stitch.  I already had some crocheted flowers made up so added them. I made some felt hearts and embellished them with pretty buttons and bows then attached them to a pale green ribbon so that they would dangle and look pretty. I had more of this ribbon and decided to cut it into four strips and added some clear coloured beads. Now they can be plaited or the beads moved up and down into different positions. I've also added other dangly bits to provide visual interest as well.
Twiddle Muffs are suppose to give the dementia patients something to focus on, keep their fingers mobile and keep them calm. I don't know if it will help mum in anyway as she doesn't sit down long enough. Can only try. I did enjoy making the muff as it was something different.

Whilst I was doing the embroidery L was sat next to me watching and said the she would like to have a go too. I asked her if she minded waiting until I had finished my pieces and then she could have the small embroidery ring. She agreed and whilst waiting she selected a picture, traced it, enlarged it on the printer/photocopier and then transferred it onto a piece of white cotton I found for her and selected the right colour of thread (it had to be the right red) and this is the result. I used another piece of white cotton on the back to hide the stitching and trimmed off the excess. It's now ready to hang in her room with the rest of her 1Direction collection.
My next project is a Harry Potter scarf for my 11 year old nephew S. Unfortunately I had to buy the yarn because I didn't have the right colours in my stash.

My blanket (from my last post) goes to its new owners next weekend. I do hope they like it.

Best get on now whilst the sun is still shinning. I look forward to reading your comment soon.

Have a good week. Half term for us next week.

Carolx




Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Ta Da Moment

Hello friends

A warm welcome to my new followers, Suzanne from Tales from my craft room, Sarah B from Compostwoman and Rachel Flowers. Hope you enjoy my ramblings.

I have finally finished my comic strip hero blanket. I don't want to sound smug but I feel really proud of this project. It's taken a long time (since August) because I had to do some research on the computer and old Dandy and Beano annuals. Then work out the designs for the squares.  After working out how many stitches and how many rows I was going to do for the squares I could then work out the design on graph paper. 1 square equalled 1 stitch. It worked out when I did stocking stitch but not when I did moss stitch. I crochet round each square in white so that they wouldn't blend when stitched together and to make sure that they were all the same size. Next I placed them in an order where I tried not to get the same two colours together, especially the block ones and then stitched them together. Afterwards I crochet a large boarder around the edge (trebles) only using the colours I'd used for the squares except for the brown, I didn't have enough.  My last round of trebles were completed in black (will understand why further down the page) and the final round was done in treble shells and a slip stitch between each shell. I then made some fringe and attached it to three sides.

I bet you are wondering who the squares represent.
I'll tell you.Going from the top from left to right (top picture).
1 Mini the Minx (Beano)
2 Bully Beef (Dandy)
3 Desperate Dan (Dandy) there are buttons going down the red shirt,
4 Hell Boy (cartoon) there are two crochet circles to represent cut off devil horns,
5 Bash Street Teacher (Beano) there is a tassel on the black square to represent a mortar board, 6 Billy Whizz (Beano)
7 Winker Watson (Dandy)
8 Roger the Dodger (Dandy)
9 Scooby Doo (cartoon) dog collar, my favourite,
10 Spider Man 
11 Dennis the Menace
12 The Riddler from Batman
13 Flash (cartoon I think)
14 Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles - Rafael (cartoon)
15 Iron man (cartoon, I think)
16 Cat Woman
and last Gnasher, Dennis's dog, represented by the fringe and I crotched a bone to keep him quiet. Now you know why I didn't put it round the top, too risky hehehehe

I guess you might be wondering what I'm going to do with it now it's finished. Well, M has a nephew who will be 30 soon along with his girlfriend and nephew has a son who will be 11 soon and they're having a joint party at the beginning of November so we thought we would do a joint birthday present. The weather is getting cooler and they like super heroes so why not snuggle down under a nice warm blanket whilst watching them on the TV. I will include a quiz sheet to see if the can find the heroes and at Christmas if they haven't been able to find them all I will give them the answers. I do hope they'll like it. How much did it cost - about £8 for the materials and man hours - too many but I've enjoyed making it.
L wants me to do a Jacqueline Wilson one to represent all her books. That will take quite a while and will be an after Christmas challenge. My next challenge is to knit a twiddle muff for my mum for Christmas, I will post about that when it's completed.

It's been lovely to see you and I hope you will drop by again.

Carolx




Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Message from Foster Mummy

Hi Friends

I had a message from Foster Mummy, please see below.

"my blog has moved to: www.frugalmummy.blogspot.co.uk something horrid has happened and I can't access any of my old blog or the last four years' worth of blogs - aaargh!! This means I can't find my list of 400+ followers either, unless they have commented"

It must be so annoying.

See you all soon

Carolx








Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Craft Fair

Hel Friends

Nice to see you again.


My Table
Some people went to Yarndale, in Skipton, on Saturday.
I would have loved to have gone but I was at a craft fair instead. I had a stall and L was also given a small table. We were in a very large Scout hall that was filled with beautifully hand crafted items, but it was away from the town/village centre and didn't get as many visitors as we would have liked.  I sold one baby blanket to a dog lover and a card purse.

L's small table before the move to a larger one
L and her friend also L did very well. They make new jewellery from old and unwanted jewellery that has been donated or picked up from car boots.
 The girls started of on a small table and because a bigger stall holder hadn't turn up they moved over and spread out their stock. During the day they made named keyrings whilst the customer waited.  I feel so very proud of them. The girls have decided that they will do another stall at their school Christmas Fair later in the year. I'll won't be doing one; my stock just wouldn't be appropriate.

Today M and I would like to wish L a very happy 14th Birthday. I asked her what she would like for tea today. Small pizza and curly fries and a cupcake/muffin. So that's what we are having. At half term we are planning a sleepover with a couple of friends where she is planning to do a makeover for each other, then a meal out at Weatherspoons followed by dvd films in her room with snacks.

I'm off the River Wyre to see if I can collect some damsons. I'll let you know how I get on.

See you soon.

Carolx




Thursday, 26 September 2013

1st Birthday

Hello friends

Today is my 1st Birthday, exactly one year ago today I wrote my first blog. I was unsure of what I was doing as this was all new to me and I think I still have a lot to learn about blogging.
Here are a few things I enjoy about blogging in no particular order, just as they come into my head.


I have made new friends here in the UK and around the globe.
 
I love reading your comments.
 
I love reading your blogs too, although I should leave comments more.
 
I have learned so much from you all from crafting to frugaling, gardening and decluttering and much more.
 
I have leant that I should take my camera out more because there is so much beauty around us.
 
I've enjoyed going on your outings an seeing places that I may never visit or revisiting places I've  been to in the past.
 
I want to keep blogging and reading for the time being because I enjoy your company.
 
I've had fun.

 

 
I'm afraid I haven't made a cake but I will be making one for L's birthday celebrations in a couple of weeks and I will share that with you, I'm sure she won't mind.

Enjoy the rest of the week  and the weekend.

Carolx


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Sweet and Sour plus catch up

 

Hello friends
 
Looks like we're having a nice weekend, weather wise. What about yourselves?
I like Autumn with the leaves changing colour. I still love to kick through the crunch leaves but you have to be careful as you could be kicking something unpleasant as well.
This month is going so fast and soon it will be October and L's 14th birthday (more about that another day)
 
Last week we had one of L's friends over for tea and I only had one chicken breast so I cut it up into fine strips and made the following recipe (from Asda). I also used what veg I had plus extra.  Carrots, courgette, French beans, peppers and fresh pineapple from the freezer. I didn't do enough rice so we had a pudding. Apple and Strawberry (from the freezer) crumble and custard (sorry no picture).
Since getting this recipe Asda have updated it and use sweet chilli sauce instead of the ketchup and orange juice instead of the pineapple juice. Might give this version a try but I'm not too keen on chillies.
 
My S & S  Chicken

Sweet and sour Chicken 

·2 tbsp. light Soy Sauce

· 2 tbsp. tomato ketchup

· 2 tbsp cider vinegar

· 1 tbsp clear honey

·  75ml pineapple juice

· 4 level tsp of cornflour

· 2 tbsp sunflower oil

·  4 chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-size pieces

· 200g carrots, cut into short sticks

·  1 pepper, quartered, deseeded and cut into strips

·  2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced

· 155g pack mangetout, sliced lengthways

· 300g fresh pineapple (weighed without skin and core), cut into bite-size pieces (or tinned)

· Rice, to serve

1. To make the sweet and sour sauce, mix the soy sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar, honey, pineapple juice and cornflour until smooth. Add 50ml of water and set aside.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry the chicken for 4 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. Wipe out the wok with kitchen paper. Add the rest of the oil to the wok and stir-fry the prepared carrots, red pepper, spring onions and mangetout for about 3-4 minutes.

4. Return the chicken to the wok and add the pineapple. Stir-fry until hot.

5. Stir the sweet and sour sauce, add to the wok and cook, stirring, until it boils and thickens. Serve with rice.

 Sorry about the extra text in the recipe but I don't know how to get rid of it.


The answers to the knitted squares, from my last post are.
No1 = Scooby Do (his collar),
No2 = Dennis the Menace (from the Beano),
No3 =  Billy Whizz (again from the Beano) 
No4 = Flash (some superhero).
I have stitch all the squares together and I'm in the process of crocheting around it. When I've finished I will post a picture.

Yesterday morning Dad and I started on a six course about Dementia. It's run by the Community Intervention Team from Lancashire County Council and although yesterday was really a getting to know you and an introduction to dementia session I found it very useful. Dad's no so sure yet but has decided to continue. I feel that the more I know the better I can help dad with the caring of mum so that she can, hopefully, stay at home as long as possible. That's the theory anyway.

Next week I am preparing my baby knitting stall for a craft fair next Saturday. L and her friend also have a stall selling their jewellery.

Hope you are all having a nice weekend doing whatever you are doing.

Carolx

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Back to School and Catch up

Hello friends

L went back to school last Friday. She is now in year nine and I haven't had to buy her any new uniform yet. I bought her a new skirt last year (same size as the year before) and they still fit her. I bought her a new jumper last year (same size as the year before) Still fits. I will however buy her a new one at half term as it will be warmer for winter along with a new track suit. Still wearing the same shirts from year seven (not yet gone grey). Had to get new shoes, L is very heavy on her feet which results in new school shoes three or four times a year. L's hair is back to a normal colour but quite dark to cover the pink. It two goes to cover it up and still it has a pink ting to it but it's more acceptable. We did get a colour stripper but can't use it if the colour has henna in it, which the pink did. My suggestion to L is to leave colouring her hair now until she is at collage when she will be allowed to keep her colours.

This lot should keep us going for a year
During August Bank holiday we went to stay with some friends in Alston and whilst there I went wild raspberry picking. They are so delicious and this year there was plenty for me and the birds. Last week I mad Raspberry and Cranberry jelly (jam). The cranberries were out of the freezer, I'd bought them earlier in the year when  they'd been reduced.

Last week my dad said the there were a lot of blackberries near his allotment so one evening L and I went to pick some. We got about half a bucket, I didn't weigh them, and not a bug in sight. I have made some Bramble Jelly.

And Next I have made some low sugar Lemon and Lime Cheese/Curd, very refreshing. I should have made more to fill the bottom jar.

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No 2
No 3
We have been invited to M's nephews 30th birthday party and joining him in the celebrations are his girlfriend, also 30, and his son who will be 11.  The invitation came covered with superheroes as a clue of what to buy. So after racking my brain I came up with the idea of a joint gift. A blanket, but not any old blanket but a comic strip hero blanket. Something that they could snuggle up under whilst watching a film. First I looked in a few comics and trawled the internet for ideas. Then I got a squared lined book to work out my patterns and sizes. I have completed 16 knitted squares with

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 crochet edges. The squares represent a comic strip hero and not a look-a-like so I will include a quiz sheet (without answers) for them to find the heroes. I've put up four pictures for now and see if you can guess who they represent. I will tell you the answer in my next post. I have enjoyed designing and knitting this blanket. I have still to stitch it together and do a few rows of edging and fringing, The fringe is also representative of a comic character, can you guess which one?

I have also been making some gift tags to sell at a craft fair L and I are doing later this month. These will go with the ones I made earlier in the year and we plan to make some more this week end.

I am still decluttering but I will do an update at the end of the year.

Time for a brew no, I feel exhausted after all that, Would you like one?

Carolx






Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Lancashire Tart

Hello friends

I wanted to share with you my version of Lancashire Tart.  When I looked up the recipe for the tart it said layer the black pudding, bacon sausage and leeks. I thought it was too much meat and far too expensive. so this is what I did.


1/2 packet of  ready made short crust pastry
1/4 - 1/2 of black pudding skinned and cut into small pieces.
2 - 3 left over sausages cooked and cut into small pieces.
3 - 4 slices of bacon cooked and cut into small pieces (could use bacon bits/scraps)
Leeks, sautéed or onion (any variety and as much or little as you like)
Lancashire cheese, grated (or any cheese of your choice - I used Lacto free cheese)
Milk  (any - I used soya)
3 - 4 eggs depending on the size
Sliced tomatoes - optional

Pre heat the oven 140c for an electric fan oven or 160c for a non fan electric oven (sorry don't know the other temperatures for gas)

Roll out the pastry and line a Victoria sandwich tin (tip from Frugal Queen, don't need to bake blind first, also deeper). My tins are not loose bottom so I mad some strips of foil to go in the tin and over the sides so that I could lift out the quiche after cooking so that I didn't scratch them.

Next sprinkle the black pudding evenly in the bottom of the pastry case. Then do the same with the bacon, leeks, sausages and lastly sprinkle the cheese all over.

whisk the eggs with a fork then add the milk to make up to 1pint. (If you have used more filling you may need less milk. Likewise if you have used less filling you may need more milk)

Arrange the sliced tomatoes as you wish, either around the edge or maybe around the middle.

I carefully lifted it onto a baking tray and put in the over, middle shelf, for approximately 30-45 minutes or until cooked (no longer wobbles when gently shaken)

Can be served hot or cold. I preferred it hot with salad, but you can have it any way you like. How about with baked beans, it would be like having an alternative breakfast.

This quiche is a great way of using leftovers when there's not enough individual bits to go around. Could even add mushrooms.

Carolx

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Flower show

Hello friends

Did you all have a good Bank Holiday Weekend? We did. We went to stay with some friends at Alston, in Cumbria. We did some shopping in Carlisle and L came away with 3 new dresses and a pair of funk jeans. Me? a lighter purse. M went down a lead mine with J to do some photography; something they have been doing for a long time. We all went for a walk to the biggest waterfall in England, High Force. pictures are not downloaded yet.

I also wanted to tell you about last weeks Flower and Arts and Crafts show. It was a great success with lots of visitors which included the Mayor of Wyre and the Gala Queen and Prince Charming.
L had twenty four entries I had only two. I got 1st prize for my crochet blanket
 
 
L got quite a few prizes and came away with two trophies. Some pictures of her entries




 
 
 
 
The dignitaries with the Chairman of the Horticultural Society, on the right. 

The hall looking calm with the exhibits being judged before the public arrive. The hall smell wonderful with all the different blooms and foliage.                                                                  It wasn't long before I was very busy sorting out the winnings and handing them out. A very busy day for me. Now the next big job for me is to get the accounts ready for our next meeting in October.
It has taken me all day to write this post in between washing, unpacking, pegging out, more washing. Time for a home made slushy. Left over party ice crushed in the blender and poured over some orange cordial. Refreshing but watch out for brain freeze.  
Thank you for dropping by it was lovely to see you. Now for some catch up reading of your blogs. See you soon.
 
Carolx


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Party Night

Hello Friends

On Saturday we had a party. It was a late celebrations for my birthday back in June. I was 50.
We all had a great time with family and friends.  I decorated the fairy, part of the, garden with some painted bottle flowers as I was too late for any bedding plants and the seeds I planted didn't grow.

 
Made a fairy village with L's painted pebbles.

 
I got some hanging lantern tea light holders, cheap, and made some fairies to go inside (sorry there're a bit small to see I will see if I can up load an individual picture at the end) The flower garland I made for the gala float. This will have to come down and be stored for next years two galas we have to do.

 
 and then I hung up the bunting  that I knitted earlier in the year. We got the chimnea going early as there was a cool breeze.

 
 
On the other side of the garden we put up the gazebo that I made for the gala float. Again though it will have to be dismantled and stored for next year. This was put up before we had tided up this part of the garden.
 
 
 
The opening you can see in the hedge M made. It's like a secret entry to the park (no equipment, just grass) at the back of our house and we set up a couple of games for the visiting children to play with and there was space for them to run around. Later this gap will be made bigger and made into a wood store for our fire wood.
 
There are no pictures of food, sorry. However I made a beef hotpot (reduced mince) beef curry (reduced beef chunks like shin beef) with reduced sachets of curry cook in type sauce mix (spicy) they were also padded out with vegetables, sweet and sour vegetables for the vegetarians, homemade garlic bread, rice and nann bread and I'm pleased to say that there were no left overs and everyone had plenty to eat. I bought the meat over a period of time and then cooked it up and put it in the freezer to be assembled on Saturday along with the garlic bread. It made things so much easier on the day.
 
I got some lovely gifts although I did say I didn't want any because I just wanted to celebrate and spend time in their company 
 
 
The fairy in a lantern
 
 
 
 
Next Saturday is the Thornton Cleveleys Horticultural Societies annual flower and craft show where I will busy all day (I'm the treasurer) I am also entering two baby blankets and L has many entries. I will let you know how we get on next week.
 
It was lovely to see you, drop by again soon
 
Carolx

 




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