Another Mile On The Clock!

Well folks, I’m a year older and it was a lovely couple of days transition!
On Saturday Hubby took me out shopping. That may not sound very exciting, but believe me, to get him and Josh anywhere near the shops is an achievement, let alone traipse and after me for three hours!
We went to Lewes which isn’t too far from us but I had never been there before. It was lovely. It’s an old town with a very steep hill (I whizzed around on my scooter) and I could easily spend a day there just absorbing all the history. I found this plaque particularly interesting.

It was on the wall above this plate of glass set in the pavement where the steps lead down to the prison. You would have to lay down to fit through the opening halfway down the steps.


As well as the history there were a couple of street stalls, one selling ethically made clothing which was all on sale so I grabbed a couple of bargains ūüôā

Then Hubby actually pointed out a craft shop to me and patiently waited while I browsed! 


It had a little of everything from art supplies to yarn and buttons. And I spent less than ten pounds!! 

Then it was lunch time but the town was heaving and everywhere was packed so we headed off to another town to find a bakery. When we got there the bakers were just closing so we opted for fish and chips. 

It was one of those times when there is a purpose to our plans going wrong. In the chip ago we bumped into’Aunty’ Helen. She isn’t a real Aunty but she was Howard’s neighbor for the first seventeen years of his life. They are the most amazing and kind couple and did so much for Hubby and his sister when their Mum died leaving his Dad with two preschoolers.  They looked after them for hours  at a time and were always there for the family throughout the years.

It was great to see her and she invited us to eat at their house and to visit her husband, Derek, who had fallen and fractured his scull out in Australia over Christmas! He had to spend six weeks in hospital and rehab. At one point they were told that if he didn’t come round in 24 hours, he wouldn’t make it. Thankfully he did and is doing amazingly well, although there are some lasting effects he is struggling with! 


Derek is the sort of person who cannot waste anything and Josh is fascinated with his garden! 


He used to have disabled children come for the afternoon to explore and play in his garden and see the animals but sadly that has had to stop because of health and safety! 

But he still has one sheep left which according to Josh is more like a donkey! 


So that was our adventure at the weekend. 

On Monday, my actual birthday, Abz treated me out to a coffee. We tried out an adorable little cafe in a little old fashioned village store.


I pigged with pancakes, maple syrup and fried banana! 

Then we rounded up  day with Abz cooking me dinner and a lovely creme egg brownie birthday cake! 


It’s so beautiful when everyone makes you feel so special and loved. It is certainly in the little things that love really is! 

Have a great and creative day and weekend friends! 

Sharon xx

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A Birthday and my Favorite Tools atm.

Guess what we’ve been eating?….

Hubby had a birthday last week so there have been rather a lot of calories consumed here in Sussex! 

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you’ll probably know what’s coming next. Yep, monkey bread and birthday gateau.



One of my favorite yarns was inspired by this chocolate version of our birthday gateau and if you’re on Instagram you can see it knit up into a sock @grosifrick. She had also bought some of my yarns for a ‘find your fade’ shawl so I’m looking forward to seeing that when it’s all knit up.  I love seeing what people make with my yarns.

You can find the gateau recipe here and the monkey bread recipe is by Barbara bakes which you can find here. I add a twist to the recipe and I also put half a square of dark chocolate in the centre of each ball of dough to make it extra special.

I also treated Hubby to a venison roast on his birthday.

I think all that is going to mean I need to be rather strict with myself this week. And save up the treats for the end of the month when it’s my birthdayūüėā. 

On the creative front, there’s been a tiny bit of ‘me’ creativity. I’ve managed six rows of knitting on my shawl since I last blogged, which I don’t think I even told you about. I started it a few weeks ago.

 I’m using my bfl with nylon yarn in the Valley Hues colourway. Purple Is not a me color but I fell in love with this one so I couldn’t resist using it!  I’m using the Karise pattern from Ravelry and I was inspired by the beautiful shawls that my lovely friend Ericka Eckles has made. And as you can see I’ve finally worked out how to add links on my phone ūüėÄ

In shop creativity I’ve been having a big dpn needle holder sew up, So hopefully there should be more of them in my shop soon. 

 

Making these has been made so much easier by a couple of sewing tools I have so I did a short video to show you and share….. Aghh. It’s the first time I’ve done this and I don’t look very smiley but I’m sharing it anyway so have fun watching it, I’ll never be a t.v. Presenter that’s for sure! ūüėā

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Do have any great gadgets or things favorite things to share? I’d love to know. I may even add a ‘what I’m loving this week’ to my posts just for fun. Probs not a video though!! ! 

Have a very happy and creative week friends

Sharon xx

Cheese and Bacon Puffs

I have just made some cheese and Bacon puffs and I thought I’d share the recipe quickly with you for the weekend!

This a family favourite, something I have been doing for years and a must at Christmas. They can be frozen uncooked, just get them out when you need them and pop them straight in the oven giving them an extra 2 to 4 minutes in the oven.  They can also be frozen cooked, just defrost and eat cold or warm them for a few minutes in a hot oven.

Cheese and Bacon Puffs

Ingredients

1lb (500g) pack of puff pastry

8oz (250g) Bacon

300g strong Cheddar cheese – grated

A little milk

Method

Pre-heat oven to Gas mark 7 (200c fan, 220c conventional, 425F)

Roll out the pastry to a rectangle about 1/16th” (3mm) thick and cut in half.

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cover one half with strips of bacon and cover the bacon with just over half of the grated cheese,

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lay the other half of the pastry on top of the bacon and cheese and press down firmly with your hands or a rolling pin,

Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese,

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press the cheese down firmly and cutting through all layers cut into squares.

I wanted bite size this time so mine were only about 1 1/2″ (3cm) square.

Place onto a baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is a deep golden colour.

Remove from the oven.  If any of them topple over just lift the top and replace it while they are still hot.

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Transfer to a baking tray to cool.

Keep in the refrigerator.

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Enjoy!!

Happy Baking!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

Cookies, Fudge and Mince Pies.

I wanted to share these recipes that¬†are a must have in our house over Christmas. ¬† I have tried many different recipes for all three ¬†but for the past few years I have only used these recipes, you¬†just can’t beat them in my opinion!

Sharon’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – adapted from a handed down recipe

Ingredients

6oz Plain Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

3oz White Granulated sugar

30z Hard Margarine or Butter

3 slightly rounded Tblsp Golden Syrup

80z Your favourite Chocolate chopped into chunks (or chocolate chips)

Variations

At Christmas I use about 7oz white chocolate and 2oz of  dried cranberries.

For double chocolate chip cookies replace 1oz of the flour with 10z of cocoa powder.  These are also great with white chocolate.

Method

Heat the oven to 190c (180 fan oven, gas mk 5, 375F)

Sift the flour, baking powder and Bicarbonate of soda into a bowl

Add the sugar

Rub in the fat until it resembles breadcrumbs

Stir in the syrup to form a sticky dough

Mix in the chocolate chunks

Pull off lumps of the mixture about the size of a large walnut, don’t roll and space well apart on greased baking trays or silicone baking sheets and bake for 8 – 10 minutes until lightly golden.

After about 5 minutes transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Mince Pies

Here is the link to my absolute favourite mince pie recipe. ¬†I always use either softened butter or spreadable butter because if you use hard butter it just won’t bind together, ¬†with soft butter you can then roll it out also. ¬†The pastry is delicious, closer to shortbread really.

White Chocolate Fudge

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I’m not sure where this recipe originated but this soft delicious indulgence is addictive and makes great gifts…. if there is any left to give away! ¬†We have made two¬†batches this morning, it is so quick and easy.

Ingredients 

25 oz Golden Caster Sugar

250 ml evaporated milk

pinch of salt

2 1/2 oz butter

2 tsps Vanilla Extract

1 lb 5 oz (600g) White Chocolate

Method

Line two¬†7″ x 11″ baking tins with magic liner or greaseproof paper, alternatively just grease them.

Break the chocolate into a bowl and microwave for about 3 minutes, stirring every 1 minute until melted, set aside.

Gently heat the sugar, milk, butter and salt until the sugar has dissolved, stirring continuously.

Increase the heat and bring to the boil, as soon as there are the first bubbles of boiling reduce the heat and set a timer for five minutes, still stirring continuously.

Immediately the timer goes off remove from the heat and stir in the 2 tsp of vanilla extract, followed by the melted chocolate, stirring as you add it.

Pour straight into the pans and leave to set.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Preparations and Ouch!!

Warning, if you are in the kitchen preparing for Christmas don’t¬†unblock the blender with your finger!

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I know, I mean how can anyone be so stupid? ¬†….Obviously I can.

I had been pushing myself too far, the Lupus had fogged my brain and I¬†just didn’t even think about unplugging the blender before unblocking it.

Thankfully I am right handed and it was a finger on my left hand that I cut. ¬†I have 3/4″ cut on my knuckle just below the nail and another that went right across¬†my nail cutting right through it and some way into the skin below. ¬†(I could bend my finger where a bend shouldn’t be!)

This all happened on Friday, I was in the middle of cooking a mini Christmas dinner with Abi as Abi and boyfriend won’t be with us for lunch Christmas day. The plan was to have a lovely dinner and then all put the tree up together. ¬†Well even with a nasty cut there was no way I was going to leave the dinner so I just held kitchen roll really tight around it while Abi and Josh carried on with getting the dinner.

After about 3/4 hour it was still bleeding a lot and I knew I needed to get it sorted but the thought of Accident and Emergency on a Friday night was not appealing.  Then a friend called by whose son works in the local A and E, she said he was at home that day and whisked me off to his home where he fixed it for me, yay! I was so grateful to them and we did get our dinner eventually.

Then it was time to decorate the tree.  We started by putting the lights on and then add all of the ornaments (tinsel is banned from the tree!).

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We started a new family tradition with our children and that is that each year I get them a new ornament for the tree.  The idea being that one day when they have their own home all being well they will all their childhood ornaments to take with them.  Do you have any Christmas traditions?

A lot of Abi’s ornaments are owl themed

With a couple of Willow Tree ornaments recently added.

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I love the Willow Tree range and I have several of the larger ornaments myself. ¬†They are very simple and although they don’t have facial features they seem to express so much.

Josh’s are a little more boyish.

This year I gave him a Ferrari key ring to hang on the tree as he so keen on super-cars at the moment but apparently it was too special to go on the tree and he has put it safe in his bedroom ready for when he gets his Ferrari!!  He has high ambitions that boy!

and of course I couldn’t leave Abi’s boyfriend out…

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There are also other ornaments, among them some that I or the children made.

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a few robins

and a bauble that was Hubby’s as a boy.

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and some other favourites collected over the years.

including a few with photos.

I just love this time of year so much.  Christmas is just such a special time, both with my faith and also the time it gives you to spend with family.

Have fun preparing for your Christmas and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

 

Winter Wips – Feeling Relaxed!

I’m feeling very relaxed about my wips and with less than three weeks to go until Christmas I am not too sure if that is a good thing or not!

Life has been going on much as normal here, Josh is in full creative swing, whether it’s fiddling with and trying to make his scooter go faster, taking apart his remote control car or making fireworks! ¬†Yes, the days of¬†cereal box models are long gone!

The fireworks experiment was rather amusing.  Josh asked for a sparkler as he wanted to make a firework. (what is it with men and boys and the love of fire?) He then proceeded to make a rocket with a cardboard tube very nicely decorated and then taped cap reels from a broken cap gun to it and also the sparkler.  I made him wait until Hubby came home and they then went outside to light the firework.

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Josh couldn’t get it to light so Hubby had a turn, not knowing that the caps were there. ¬†Hubby is a very jumpy person at the best of times so it was just hilarious when every time he tried to light it a cap went off! ¬†Not quite the rocket launch Josh had planned but a great laugh for us ūüôā

Abi is loving her work in the dementia care home, challenging, incredibly busy but very rewarding. I knew that Dementia was a very sad disease as my Grandma suffered with it but how it affects some is just dreadful.  Little old ladies once very dignified stripping off in the lounge, others, once delightful gentle people turning very abusive and violent. Then there are those who get no visitors because the relative just cannot bear to see the change in them.  She loves being able to brighten their day a little in a spare moment, being quite happy to dance round the lounge with them (they respond so well to music) or even dance with the zimmer frame, having them all in stitches, She is so bubbly and full of life and it is lovely to think of her bringing some love and cheer into their lives.

Hubby has been busy building a ‘dresser’. ¬†He managed to get hold of some kitchen units free, it is looking good so far but we are just buying the doors as we can afford it so I will show you a photo once it is complete.

Well I really have waffled on but it has been a while since I have done a ‘chatty’ post so I hope you don’t mind, now down to my creative bit!

The gifts to make list is getting shorter, hmm, I’ve just counted, ‘only’ ten more to go! ¬†I decided back in October that I¬†would enjoy each make, create it with love and not worry about what else needs to be done and I am determined to keep it that way, (hopefully)!

So, what is now finished? ¬†My mice, ooh, I am going to admit that I love these so much, even if it does make me sound boastful, I am really tempted to make myself one ūüôā

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I have used my scrabble tiles to make framed family name ‘crosswords’. (Surnames blanked out)

I have finished the ‘feeling dotty’ shawls two,three and four

and made another for Mum using the same pattern but as a long scarf.

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I have made a little sock doll as an extra and just need to make a little sleeping bag for her and then I will show you.

My cousin had a little baby so out came Edward’s Menagerie and I made another Emma Bunny, these patterns are just adorable.

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For Abi and Josh’s stockings I made a scarf for Josh¬†and a ‘frilly’apron as requested for Abi.

There were¬†a couple of¬†extra makes for Josh’s birthday, a stitched ferrari and a ‘steam punk’ style ferrari made using bits from his Grandad’s watch parts

and of course a cake and gateaux.

Oh yes, there was my Christmas card too!  If you missed the post, I needle felted a winter woodland scene and then photographed it to have it made into a card.

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I also made project bags for my Stitching Santa’s and another for myself and a friend.

 

A pretty peg bag for Mum’s birthday

and a wheat sack for a niece.

 

I think that’s about it for this month, so I’m off to do some patchwork now! ¬†Have a great week and Happy Crafting!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

 

Birthday Gateau

Here is the family gateau recipe that we often have for desert on birthdays. ¬†I sometimes adapt the plain recipe to make a chocolate as I did here for Josh’s birthday.

Birthday Gateau

Ingredients

4 eggs

2oz Plain (all purpose) Flour and 2oz Cornflour (cornstarch)

(For the chocolate version use just 1 1/2 oz of plain flour, 1 1/2 oz of cornflour and 1 oz of cocoa powder.)

1 tsp Baking Powder

4 oz Caster Sugar

Fruit of your choice

Jam or icing sugar (optional)

1 pint Whipping Cream

Method

Important РFirst prepare all ingredients so that there is no waiting between stages, eg; separate eggs and whisk egg yolks with a fork to break up, put sugar in a bowl ready, sift flours, baking powder and cocoa together  if using.

Prepare 2 x 8″ round sandwich tins and heat oven to Gas Mk 6 (200C or 400F, moderately hot)

  1. Whisk egg whites until peaks can be made and remain.
  2. Whisk in the sugar.
  3. Add yolks quickly but gently,folding them in with a metal spoon.
  4. Immediately fold in the flours, baking powder and cocoa if using,still using a metal spoon.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake on the middle shelf for approx 15 minutes. ¬†Do not¬†open the oven door before 10 minutes of cooking time, then you need to keep an eye that it doesn’t catch. ¬†The cake is cooked when you press and release a finger¬†gently in the centre of the sponge and the cake springs back.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 2 mins before turning out to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Cut each cake in half horizontally and fill each layer with cream and fruit.  I either add a little jam or else whizz up some of the fruit with some icing (confectioners) sugar to add to each layer too.
  8. Enjoy!!

It really is an easy recipe and¬†there is no fat in it and it has fruit so it must be good for you ūüėČ

Enjoy,

Sharon xx