Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge - Weeks 41-44!

The sun is out today and with a hint of shock I am ignoring all inside jobs and forcing myself to sit in the garden, it may only last a day and it's still a bit on the chilly side but I'm determined to act like it's summer. My Biscuits' finish up school on Friday so I will enjoy the quiet whilst I can and a wee bit of sun on my toes. 
I heard last night, to my dismay, there had been a heatwave, must have occurred elsewhere....


More marvellous madness folks, hope you like...

Week 41

 Mummy bear

Made with a pattern from this amazing book...

 (image from amazon.  Click here to take you for a looksee)

which I borrowed from the library and after renewing and renewing I realized I needed to have a copy of my own.  It contains many things I want to knit and is old fashioned in a very nice way.  I love this teddy and want one for me too.  It was knitted for a first birthday and hopefully will be loved for many many years.  I couldn't resist adding a wee something of my own to the design...

Too cute, if I do say so myself.  I also added a bell inside it's tummy in homage to my own 37 year old panda who has one in his.  He jingle jangles every time I pick him up and I wanted to share the joy of that.  Made with very luxurious (and expensive!?) baby alpaca and the reason I am making noises about the price is the pattern only calls for one ball so seven pound a ball seemed reasonable for a whole teddy but a whole teddy it did NOT make.  I had to buy another just to finish off the arms and was not happy as the pattern said tension didn't matter etc, very frustrating but made a beautifully tactile and soft ted.

Week 42

Eldest Biscuits 10th birthday cake.

I've used this giant cupcake tin a few times and have of yet to be satisfied with the end result.  Tis very tricky to get the inside done without the outside being overdone and being the perfectionist I am, this winds me up. I've tweaked and tweaked and will keep on tweaking until I get it perfect.  Also tricky to make this requested cake as non girly as I could and I think I pulled it off.  I have to add this image as the birthday boy's face fills my heart...

watching his daddy singing 'happy birthday' and his wee brothers face is so happy to be joining in.  Family joy!  I am usually on cake carrying duty and Mr Biscuit on the camera but on this occasion, with my clumsy ways, was not to be trusted.  Fair play!   Now this cake was no where near as complicated as other ones I have made but it can never be underestimated how long they can take to create and at what late hour you tend to have to be creative.  That, my friend, goes hand in hand with birthdays in our house.  Me being exhausted just comes with the territory but as the above photo shows, it's worth it.

Week 43

Birthday biscuits.

It is a real shame I forgot to take photos of these biscuits as they were the best I've ever made.  I really went for it with piped then filled in icing, polka dots, hand made sugar daisies and blossoms and lots of pink.  Very frustrating that I have no image to look on my handy work.  They were greatly appreciated (along with Mummy bear) though and scoffed and that is the most important thing.

Week 44

Poppy Treffry Egg Cosy.

I had a discount code for Poppy's shop and thought I'd get a kit for the above cosy and have to be honest the sewing instructions were far easier to follow than in her book.  I am flat out rubbish at following written instructions ( I may have said it before but I even struggle with Kinder eggs.  I am that bad!) but managed to sew one up.  I am thinking tea cosies will feature highly this Christmas so this was really a good way to have a go to see if I am up to it.  I am (even after many years) not as comfortable with a sewing machine as I am by hand.  I'd like to be, think in many ways I should be by now but alas, I am not.
I love the style of Poppy's work and by that I mean I love that it looks a wee bitty untidy and suits the fact that in machine sewing, I am not neat and therefore cannot be perfect. I can easily lift of my own wee hat of pressure for perfection and enjoy the flow of sewing.  Click here for Poppy's shop.  It's pricey as hell but nice to look at and be inspired to get her book and make your own versions.

Back to enjoying outside, if only I could block out the sound of my neighbour boaking with his morning smokers cough.  Is it a man thing to make that much noise?.  The previous tenants were the same, although they liked to go in the garden and spit, MINGING!!!!


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Let it pour and pour.....

The rain is never ending today.

I love never ending rain.  No indecision, no dithering over a bit of rain or a bit of cloud or a bit of sun.  The decision is made, the answer clear; it will rain and rain and rain. ' Dreich' it is and I love 'dreich'.  'Dreich' is meant to be cold and miserable and yes some days 'dreich' certainly captures the feeling the weather induces, but today it feels right.  I even walked with my Biscuits to school just to be out in it.  Colours are popping, particularly green and I do love our garden in the rain.  
It is small and no matter that I sometimes yearn for more space I feel cocooned in it, comforted and at peace whether in it or looking at it and today it is a pleasure to see it out there.  There is enough space for a table and chairs and for the fun and frolicking of trampolining and it is ours, all ours.

I am not, however, a natural gardener.  I very much like a garden that looks untouched and left to grow however it pleases; walls of ivy or clematis, alive, grasping to hold on to what ever it touches. I find it utterly romantic and am happily lead into thoughts of fairy tales and magic.  Of woodlands and homes in hollowed-out trees of hidden lives behind hidden walls, lonely princesses and curious strangers.  I just cannot bring myself to constrain and control.  I am absolutely sure there are sound gardening reasons why you should but, for me, it feels wrong.  I surrender to their need to climb, to cling and take comfort in the wall of green, vivid life.  
I also love the stones we have; weed suppressors but, for me, they take me to wild Scottish beaches.  They are battered and bruised by the North sea and for their trouble give forth their intense colour and patterns.  Something they barely give up in the dry.  Hidden treasure.  I imagine being at a Scottish beach today.  Of  being soul cleansed by the severe wind and the certainty I am alive because I feel so much.  
I spend a lot of time in solitude; in my head.  I am by nature a brooder and often I marinade in things I shouldn't but I am also a romantic, an optimist and see things in a skew-wiffy way always enrobed in my imagination.  Always reminded of songs or things I have read or feelings I have had, of love and of living, of the nature of beginnings and of endings.
Today I am content and fit to burst, all because of the never ending rain and the view of it's power over our garden and, in oh so many ways, over me.


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Almost as good as tea and cake?

Is it?  Could it possibly be?

Only a smidge behind I say and is a flavour combination that I, for one, cannot get enough of...

Mini pretzels smothered in chocolate.

My wonderful friend sends such delights over from the U.S.  Peanut butter cups are a must in my birthday and Christmas celebrations.  How lucky I am that my friend indulges me so?  She takes a jaunt to Trader Joe's, fills a box with edible treasures and posts them off to Scotland for me and mine to enjoy at our leisure. 
When Sophie Dahl described her peanut butter fudge recipe in nostalgia laden memories of salty seas and sweet ice cream cones I knew I had to make it and have many times since (see here).  Salty sweet or sweetly salty has to be one of the best combinations out there.  It accounts for my general love of peanut butter, snickers and star bars.  One year my friend sent over chocolate and peanut butter covered pretzels.  I quite happily could have died an exquisite sickly sweet death and floated to heaven.  In light of this hankering I regularly thank my anal thoroughness in tooth cleaning and regular check ups at the dentist.  
Unfortunately [for me] my Biscuits seem to have inherited the same taste buds so I have to share but right now they are at school and I am here alone able to enjoy a few with a cuppa.  I am one lucky lady yet I confess I have to use a little plate or would scoff the whole packet and would be rightly persecuted as an awful Mummy.  A cruel, selfish, greedy Mummy and I would, dear friends, deserve it.

Want one?


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

I love lemons....

 ...what can I say?

My laptop adapter went to heaven and being forced on to the family pc for a few days showed up that on a bigger brighter screen, well the background was minging.  Perish the thought that this is the version of my blog any of you may have seen! 
It matters......
Aesthetics do matter.  
What it says about me matters.
I do not want to be minging.
I want to be like lemons; not the screwy face pulling and sour but bright and yellow and sunshiney and good with cake.
Like well hung wallpaper; something interesting to look at behind the photo frames and furniture.
Maybe a bit overpowering and loud?  It wouldn't be the first time I'd be called that...

I may well tire of it soon enough but for now....who's for a squeeze of ma lemon?  

Excuse me now while I ponder the Rock God of all Rock Gods that is the young Robert Plant for whose request,as I have said before here, to squeeze his lemon has me all but on the floor begging for a time machine to do just that.    
I wonder....a post about the could be erotic adventures if I had a time machine.  There would be a list.  Who's curious???



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