Saturday, 31 October 2015

Pairs ~ Hallowe'en

I delved back through the archives to find a pair to share, for Helena's meme, today.


or treat?

Friday, 30 October 2015

SIPIDI! ~ Round Up

We've had a very busy week around here, with both children at home. It's been a pleasure to spend time together, between the assignments they've had to complete. The kitchen table has seen a lot of action in the past few days.  It mostly looked like this.....

.....and not a sewing machine in sight. That's OK. I may not have made a great deal of progress on either of my sewing projects, but I do have something to share that made it off my Pinterest boards this month and onto our menu.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew from Deliciously Ella. A lovely hearty dish, which I have served with wholemeal rice on one occasion and quinoa on the other. Just right, now that the nights are drawing in. A welcome addition to my Meat Free Monday repertoire. I did a few things differently. You knew I was going say that, didn't you?

Steaming the sweet potato seemed a bit of a faff to me. Instead, I roasted it while I had something else in the oven. I only put in one aubergine, because that's what I happened to have on hand, and frozen (whole leaf) spinach in place of fresh. The amount of spice seemed a lot. I cut that down slightly and I didn't have any fresh coriander to garnish the dish.

The recipe is supposed to feed four. It filled a very large pan and there is no way I could have eaten a quarter of it. I would say at least six generous portions.

I've spotted one SIPIDI! post around blogland this month. Karen was inspired by some cards on her Pinterest boards and made a lovely selection, using one of my favourite stamp sets: Gorgeous Grunge.

Now over to you. If you joined in this month let me know in the comments and I'll add you to the SIPIDI! board.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #334

I have something super exciting to share with you all today. Well, it is to me!

When I was a little girl, my lovely Gran had a sewing machine just like this one. Sadly, when she passed away, in my mid twenties, my Granddad got rid of it, along with pretty much everything that belonged to her. I would have loved to have her machine, but this is the next best thing.

I've been keeping a look out for a while now. They come up on ebay fairly regularly, but it's a bit of a gamble when you can't try before you buy. I asked questions and not all sellers replied. I took that as a hint to avoid them! This one came from a sewing machine shop and has been fully serviced so I was happy to pay a little more for that peace of mind.

I'm familiarising myself with the instruction manual, before I start experimenting later today. I can't wait!

Linking up with Julia and the deskers and looking forward to seeing some of you, in person, on Saturday. I'll be bringing Lemon Drizzle.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Spin Cycle edition

The weekend began with a 200 mile round trip, to bring my boy home for Reading Week. He worked hard to get his first big assignment finished, ready to submit by noon today, while I worked my way through his washing. It was a weekend of waiting for the spin cycle to finish and watching the rugby, all together in one place.

This afternoon found me kicking through the leaves, fresh from the chiropractor's manipulations. I decided that a monthly maintenance session will be better than waiting until I need a full service. I'm also on the hunt for a local pilates class. I loved the one I went to previously, but our teacher emigrated to Canada. How very inconsiderate of him.

Waving to Sian and wishing you all a great week ahead.

Friday, 23 October 2015

SIPIDI! ~ Update

I realised this morning, that today is not the last Friday of the month at all. That would be next week. I said I'd be back with a progress report though, so here I am.

When I made my first Ginger skirt, I added a contrast waistband facing in a printed cotton. Mainly because I thought a double thickness of denim would feel bulky around my waist, but also.....polkadots. I didn't pay attention to the instructions (which are very comprehensive) because I thought I knew what I was doing.

Once I'd pressed the facing to the inside, I proceeded to catch it down by hand, in the same way I did with my Lonsdale dress. What I should have done is stitched in the ditch with the machine. I turned a 5 minute job into a very much longer one. Ah well, I love the nice neat finish on the inside.

I'm planning to make the pocket version with a soft non-stretch denim. I think the skirt has a 70s vibe to it and I'm hoping the fabric I've ordered will be just the shade of blue I associate with that era. I'll be adding a patterned facing again, but this time I'll follow the instructions and sew it down with the machine. I think having contrast stitching on the outside will be a nice feature on a denim skirt.

As for the cafetiere cosy, I have the fabric cut and ready to sew. I need to source some fusible fleece (although I may just use interfacing instead) then I can get started. I already have the Insul-Bright and didn't realise any other specialist supplies were required. Not paying attention to instructions? I'm sensing a theme.

That's my SIPIDI! How's yours going? Point me in the right direction, if you've blogged already, and I'll add you to the Pinterest board. Next week, when it really is the last Friday of the month, there will be another post with a Linky list and, if things go to plan, a finished project to share.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #333

The kitchen table is cleared, ready for dinner when we get back at 7pm. Nothing to see there, I'm afraid.

In lieu of a desk shot, here's one of the cards we made in class this morning. The rest were Christmas cards. I'm saving those to share once Hallowe'en has passed and I'm feeling a little more festive.

It's so dark here today, as you can probably tell from the photo. I should have taken some pictures yesterday when the sun was shining. How do you get sharply focussed shots on dull days? Any tips gratefully received.

I'll be back on Friday with my SIPIDI project progress. If all goes to plan, there will be a Linky List to share what you've been inspired by on Pinterest (or elsewhere) this month. Care to join me?

For today, I'm linking up with Julia and the deskers of the world.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Stay at Home edition

It was a weekend mostly notable for what didn't happen. No home nation victories in the rugby and more importantly no 200 mile round trip to see our boy. He managed beautifully without us.

Friday saw the return of The Returned and a chance to catch our breath, after a busy few days of commuting. On Saturday there was a bit of card making, for a new arrival. Well, she's 10 days old now. You know how it is. Rugby of course, but we won't talk about that.

Sunday was a slow start with coffee and croissants, followed by washing, grass cutting (for the last time this year, I hope) and a lovely roast. My girl decided to try my way of eating the Yorkshire pudding and declared it delicious. The Mechanic remains unmoved.

More rugby. My boy watched the Ireland game in the city centre and rang me afterwards, hugely disappointed with the result. He had written the Scots off and didn't go back out for that match. I think that was the more exciting game. Those last few minutes were excruciating.

Today finds me quietly reflective. You may recall we lost my Father-in-law earlier this year and it would have been his birthday today. We'll be raising a glass to him this evening.

Joining with Sian and the growing band of Mondayers.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Pairs ~ Road to Nowhere

I've talked quite a bit lately about my boy away at university. It's not the only change that's taken place around here. My girl started her Illustration course at college and that means she's swapped her ten minute walk for a forty minute bus ride. To catch that bus I have to drive her to another town, 17 miles away.

This is what a typical Wednesday looks like.....



I'm clocking up 70 miles a day and it really does feel like the road to nowhere sometimes. And yes, I have that song in my head now. Do you? You're welcome.

Linking up with Helena, before I get in my car again. It's a shorter college day and we should be home by 5.30. Thank goodness it's Friday. Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #332

The answer to that is nothing crafty, at the moment. My kitchen table task, for this afternoon, is filling a shoe box to wrap and send to my boy.

On the sewing front, I've started to gather supplies for this month's SIPIDI project. I need to find a contrast fabric to go with this one. I'm sure I have something suitable in my stash.

How cute is the selvedge on this Japanese print?

That's it from me. It's my girl's long day at college (I don't collect her until 6.30pm) which means I need to have dinner ready to go when I get back home. Better make a start then.

Linking up with Julia and the Deskers, this glorious Autumn afternoon.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Me on Monday ~ The Same Old, Same Old edition

It was a weekend not unlike the two that went before. This time we visited our boy for the day on Saturday, rather than bringing him home, though. Hoping he'll manage without us next weekend. We'll see.

Getting back, tired and hungry, to a closed road (carnival night) we abandoned the car and walked home via the fish and chip shop. Thinking of our boy watching the rugby here, while we sat on the sofa to see England play.

On Sunday there was a roast to be cooked and a "New Baby" card to be made, for the newest arrival in our extended family. An episode of Beck to be watched, while The Mechanic and my girl were out. He hates subtitles but I like them. They make me stop completely and focus on the programme, rather than trying to get something else done at the same time!

Today found me and my girl on a coat buying expedition, to replace the one she left on the bus a couple of weeks ago. We've waited hopefully until now, but sadly whoever discovered it chose not to hand it in and the colder weather is on its way. It's a bonus to have days out together during the week now that she is at college.

Waving to Sian and that lovely bunch of Mondayers.

Friday, 9 October 2015


I've been meaning to resurrect my SIPIDI! meme for the longest time. When the last week of the month approaches I think about it and then, without warning, we arrive in the next month while I wasn't looking! What to do about that?

I thought about it a bit more and decided to make SIPIDI! a two part affair. I'll post on the second Friday of the month with one or two (or more) things from my Pinterest boards that have inspired me. Then on the last Friday of the month, I'll post what (if anything) I've actually done about it.

Today's offerings are a Cafetiere Cosy from Very Berry Handmade, which I have in mind for a coffee loving friend, and a Ginger skirt hack from Colette. You might remember I made myself a denim Ginger earlier this year and I love the A line style. I've been planning to make another and pockets can only make it even better.

If you're new around here and have no idea what I'm talking about, then check out my original SIPIDI! post here. Both my pins for this month happen to be sewing related, but yours don't need to be. It might be a new recipe you've been meaning to try, a card design or scrap book page that's inspired you, or anything else at all. If you took the trouble to pin it, it must be worth a second look. Right?

Who's ready to See It, Pin It, Do It? Let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to follow your efforts. There'll be a new Pinterest board and I'll do my best to figure out adding a Linky List for the second blog post of the month. I'm looking forward to seeing what's inspired you this October.

PS Please don't feel you can't comment, if you don't want to take part. You might not be a Pinner, I realise that not everyone is. I'd still love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #331

Last week I was playing around with a set of stamps and matching embossing folder. Trying to come up with a plan to please those who can't wait for Christmas and those (like me) who want to put it off a while longer.

You're all dying to know if I managed to pull it off, right? See what you think.

One in autumnal shades and the other with a more festive colour scheme. It wasn't that difficult in the end, the stamp set did the work for me. I wasn't keen on the "Autumn Wishes & tasty dishes" sentiment. It's intended for Thanksgiving I imagine. I got over it by only partially stamping the image. I can see the woodland embossing folder getting a lot of use.

Linking up with Julia and the Deskers this blustery afternoon. If you're coming to the Hallowe'en Crop, and would like to order any Stampin' Up goodies to collect there, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'll be happy to help.

That's it from me, but I'll be back on Friday with the return of SIPIDI! Yes, finally.

PS I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who left me supportive comments on Monday. I've replied to most of you now, but there are a few "no-reply" bloggers in there and I wasn't able to email back.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Me on Monday ~ The "It's Not Me, It's You" Edition

Friday found me on top of a very high hill, surveying the wonderful landscape below. Counting my blessings and blowing away the cobwebs, after a long night/early morning, calming an extremely distressed young man. I've never tried talking anyone down from a panic attack over the phone before. The good news is, it can be done, even at a distance of 100 plus miles away. However, I don't recommend it!

We decided it best to drive down and bring him home, after lectures on Friday, to defuse the difficult situation with his flatmates. He has told them about his Asperger's, which seemed to help at first, but they don't really understand what it means in terms of his every day struggles. Why should they? They are eighteen years old and just want to have a good time.

They don't get that he doesn't want to drink to excess and feel out of control. They don't get that he can't cope in large crowds or with a lot of noise. That pretty much ruled out him getting involved with anything that was going on during Fresher's Week. They now think he is boring. He's not.

They don't get that he likes to put his things away, in his kitchen cupboard, clean and tidy and for them to still be there when he next needs them. Not find them on the kitchen top dirty or worse disappeared altogether. They don't get that he likes to know his food will be on the shelf, in the fridge, when he wants something to eat and not out on the top, with vodka jelly shots in its place. They think that makes him OCD. It doesn't. Well not much.

They don't get that walking down to the kitchen, to be confronted by a stranger an overnight visitor coming out of the room next door is very unsettling for him. This being the girl's fourth different "sleepover guest" in less than a fortnight he also found somewhat perplexing. They think that makes him a prude and/or sexist. Does it? For the record, he would feel the same if it was a boy doing the entertaining.

On Thursday their amorous activities led to him putting on his headphones and gaming/Skypeing, with a friend from home, to drown them out. His own volume control is poor at the best of times and with headphones it's non existent. This led another flat mate to call in the Resident Assistant to ask him to quieten down. He has a very strong sense of fair play and felt that this was not it. He tried to tell the flat mates how he felt. It did not go well. Ending in the late night phone call.

Goodness, this is not the post I sat down to write. That one involved.....

.....smoked mackerel pate, lemon drizzle cake, roast chicken.....

.....Autumnal crafting and a large amount of laundry!

On a more positive note, my boy is loving the academic side of university life. His enthusiasm for History was shining through in our lunch time chat, about this morning's lecture on the Industrial Revolution. He has joined the Tabletop Gaming society and enjoyed playing Settlers of Catan and King of Tokyo with a bunch of much more like minded people. It's unfortunate he wasn't assigned a flat with some of them. It's going to be a week of toughing it out, for both of us.

Waving to Sian and hoping that she, and all the other Mondayers, will forgive my heart on sleeve post today. Normal service will be resumed on Wednesday.

PS Still definitely not mentioning the rugby.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Pairs ~ Hardy Country

This morning I was looking left.....

.....and right.....

.....from the top of a five bar gate on Fontmell Down.

I'm so very lucky to live in the heart of Thomas Hardy's landscape.

Linking up with Helena today.