Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Ladies Privilege

Since I am already happily wed, I wont be taking advantage of the leap year day today, but good luck to anyone out there hoping to get engaged. Apparently the gentleman will need to pay a fine if he says no, but only on the proviso that his lady wears red petticoats. He is also off the hook should he be able to prove betrothal to another woman.


Anyway, goodbye February you have been a cold wet month


 


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Let us hope March gives us more glimpses of sunshine


 


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Valerie


xxx


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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

My First Ever Attempt

At Felting.


First I chose 2 yearns (the brown is sock yarn and the green is 100% wool 3ply), and cast on 45 sts on circular needles.


 


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It was basically like knitting a small hat


 


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The instructions online said to knit to 7 or 8 inches in length then start decreases. Apparently it would shrink more in length than in width during the felting process.


 


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First I tried the hand felting method, which consisted of washing in very hot soapy water, then washing in very cold clear water.


 


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Maybe I wasn't doing it right, or maybe I didn't try it long enough, but I soon got bored of nothing happening, so I decided to try the washing machine method. I put it into the washing mashing on a hot wash with cottons only.


 


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And it worked. It was much taller than I had wanted, so I turned the top down, (meaning the length didn't shrink as much as I had anticipated), so 5 or 6 inches would have been long enough.


I stretched it over the underside of one of Oscars desert bowls and left it to dry.


Meanwhile, we made some flour, salt and water 'eggs' and baked then in a cool/medium oven. Then we painted them blue.


 


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When everything was dry, we put it all together on the season table. Oscar and I agree it looks good, perfect for spring.


 


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Valerie


xxx


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Monday, 27 February 2012

52 Week Challenge wks 6-7-8 - Mostly about Food

Week 6 was the Recycling week, and we actually did that. I forgot to mention it partly due to Valentines and birthday crafts taking over, but also because I don't have any photo's. Take my word for it though, I forced Duncan out to the garage on the Sunday to sort out the boxes, and we now have our various collection dates pinned up in the kitchen.


Week 7 was 'Coupons', no offence to you crazy American folks (I have seen the programmes), but we opted out of this one.


So, this week we are up to


Week 8: Meal planning / grocery shopping


I wrote a post a while back about my menu and meal planning so most of the details can be found HERE. Things haven't changed much really, but I thought I would show you this weeks menu plan and grocery list. The book I am using is


The essential vegetarian cookbook By Murdoch Books - AMAZON LINK


 


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We have given up meat (beef/pork/poultry) for lent so that's why we are using a Vegi book, although we could include fish.


In my notebook I have made a note of recipes for 7 nights (I normally only do 6, but I have included pizza which we often make on the free night).I have then gone through the recipes and noted all of the ingredients as they are listed.


 


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After that's done, I then make out a grocery list (totting up the totals, of onions and eggs etc). I haven't included oil, seasoning or flour on the list because they are bulk bought.


 


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Just for information's sake, here is what the list looks like from Asda home shopping


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Your trolley
Full trolley view
Total: £37.70
 
Quantity     Product     Price     Remove
          
1     
           ASDA Mature cheddar    £2.48          
          
1      
           ASDA Fresh parmesan    £2.43          
          
1      
           ASDA Pistachios    £1.00          
          
1      
           ASDA Spinach leaves    £1.25          
          
1      
           ASDA Sweetcorn    £0.48          
          
1      
           ASDA Pepper - Green    £0.80          
          
1      
           ASDA Double Cream    £1.08          
          
1      
           ASDA Flat leaf parsl    £0.65          
          
1      
           ASDA Coriander     £0.65          
          
0.3
kg      
           ASDA Ginger 0.66 lbs     £0.63          
          
3      
           ASDA Garlic    £0.90          
          
1      
           ASDA Chickpeas    £0.70          
          
1      
           Whitworths Great Scott len    £0.98          
          
1    
           ASDA Lemon juice    £0.41          
          
1      
           ASDA Aubergine    £1.00          
          
1      
           ASDA Pitted olives    £0.54          
          
1      
           Napolina Napolina Pasta     £1.12          
          
1      
           ASDA Black olives    £0.55          
          
3      
           ASDA Organic Tomatoes    £1.68          
          
1      
           ASDA Gruyere    £2.17          
          
1      
           ASDA Free range eggs    £2.88          
          
2      
           ASDA Soured Cream    £2.00          
          
2      
           ASDA Puff Pastry    £2.00          
          
1      
           ASDA Garden peas    £1.50          
          
1      
           Marigold Veg bullion    £1.98          
          
1.0
kg      
           ASDA Red onions 2.2 lbs     £0.86                 
1.5
kg      
           ASDA Onions loose 3.3 lbs     £1.14          
          
0.5
kg      
           ASDA Mixed squash 1.1 lbs     £0.94          
          
0.5
kg      
           ASDA Parsnips loose 1.1 lbs     £0.75          
          
1      
           ASDA White Potatoes     £1.35          
          
1.0
kg      
           ASDA Carrots loose 2.2 lbs     £0.80


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Sorry if this is all a bit dull lol Anyway, when I removed the ingredients I already have and took out the veg covered in the veg box, the total came to £26 and pence.


You need to remember to add in accompaniments, food for lunches (if you are at home) and food for snacks. I kept forgetting the side salad/veg/rice etc to begin with. So that's us sorted out for next week. I wont decide what I want to make each night until the actual day (chosen by how much time and energy I have and what I am in the mood for).


Lunches for us are a fairly simple affair, either soup or sandwiches or dips and chips and veg sticks. Today we had Tomato, Lentil and cream soup


 


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Nearly everything tastes better with a bit of grated cheddar


 


Ingredients were


:: 1 tin chopped tomatoes,


:: 1 cup lentils


:: 1 onion sliced


:: 2 garlic cloves crushed


:: 2 tbs tomato puree


:: water & salt


:: splash of cream


:: Tsp basil


It wasn't a recipe, its just a quickie soup made in half an hour.


 


And just because I took a photo....... Last nights dinner 'Veg and Lentil Stew with Dumplings'


 


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This weeks challenge is


Week 9 Organized Home Challenge - Create A Simple Address Book And Organize Contact Information


link to the challenge site


Which is a good thing because my tatty address book and various scraps of paper need a serious sort out.


And finally, apologies again for such a dry post, but by way of compensation, take a look at these.................my boys.


 


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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Some Weekend Pics

Looking For Fish


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Finding An Enchanted Cottage In The Wood


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Trip Trap Trip Trapping Over The Bridge


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Looking For Trolls Under The Bridge


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Climbing A Mountain


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Eating The Witches Cake And Sweetie House


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Having Hot Chocolate And Cake


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Carrying Invisible Hot Chocolate All The Way Home


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Making Teddy Muffins


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Finding A New Addition


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Introducing Mrs Potiphar To Joseph


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Eating Chocolate Mousse


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And since its not quite 8.30am on Sunday morning, we still have plenty of time for more adventures. (and nose blowing)


Valerie


xxx


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Friday, 24 February 2012

Bible Figures And Fever

We are all still ill here, and I mean all, since Duncan staggered home from work mid afternoon yesterday ill, and Aimee has a sore throat this morning. I have been running a temp and so has Oscar. Quite clearly it is having a bad effect on moral, although I was obviously too sick to be worried that I was having a conversation with my deceased Grandparents during the night. Oscar is mostly just grumpy by day and restless and moaning in his sleep at night. I have to say though, I am SO glad I sorted out his toys on Tuesday because he spent most of the morning doing this yesterday...


 


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Cool isn't it?


 


Meanwhile I threw the ingredients for quorn and butter bean stew in the slow cooker (we have given up meat for Lent so expect some Vegi recipes over the next few weeks), and took up some knitting. 


I have been admiring Emily's   saint project, although I wonder if its wrong to think Thomas Aquinas is cute lol. The dolls and the idea are cute anyway. Emily told me the dolls were available from Myriad and not very expensive either, so I had intended on ordering some. Noah and Joseph seem to be the stories holding Oscar's interest just now (post Christmas and pre Easter anyway), and I have been mildly obsessed with making him a Joseph doll. Anyway, another sick day meant not doing much beyond the sofa, and since I haven't ordered any rope dolls I decided to knit a little Joseph instead.


 


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What do you think? I think he turned out pretty cute. I was wondering if I should make Jacob or Pharaoh next but Oscar asked right away where Mrs Potiphar was. I think he thinks she was a witch (a bad lady who was responsible for Joseph going to jail). You know that child of mine is still obsessed with witches, I wonder if it will ever change.


Valerie


xxx


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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Lurgy And Kippers

Yesterday I had the grand idea of re-arranging the furniture (again). I wanted to try and give Oscar a play area for all our sakes. Every nook and cranny seemed to have some sort of toy or play item in it and it was driving me mad, and he did not play with half of the toys because they were scattered. By the time I had dragged the 8 seater dining table from one end of the room to the other (and it's a big room), I was sweating quite a bit. By the time I had dragged 2 coffee (now play) tables in the opposite direction I was feeling dizzy, and by the time we got the shelves sorted and the toys laid out nicely, my head was pounding and my throat was 'killing' me. We have the lurgy once again.


 


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The snow flakes are still up in lieu of any real snow


Oscar climbed into bed with us during the night after several hours of moaning in his sleep, and I knew even before I touched his hot little body that he had it too. A funny thing happened though. A little while later I was lying with my eyes closed listening to him snuffle when the strangest flute like music popped into my head, something very silly (cartoon soundtrack-esq), and Oscar burst out laughing in his sleep at the same time. I actually jumped, then laughed (at) myself.


Duncan has taken the day off (which means working at home whilst being the voices of half the scooby gang simultaneously). I am in bed in a cotton nightgown sipping on grapefruit juice and sweating up a storm. It has meant though that these North Sea Kipper Hand-warmers have been started last night


 


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and finished today.


 


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This yarn is Freedom Spirit 100% Wool (so so soft)


I LOVE Kat's Blog, and since I am always mooning over her patterns I thought I should actually try one. If only I could crochet, I would have bought every single crochet pattern she sells, look at SPARTACUS. I may have to get out the Christmas Present Duncan gave me and get on with learning. One Of These


Anyway, it has not been a total loss today, as well as the hand-warmers being finished I have done the grocery shop, picked out a new hat pattern (for Oscar, the PINK & BLACK one is getting too small already), and bought the wool on Ebay to make it.


Time to sip some juice and rest again I think. Hopefully I will be up on my feet again tomorrow.


Valerie


xxx


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Monday, 20 February 2012