Sunday, 11 December 2011

fake christmas


Some friends of mine hosted a fake christmas day at their house yesterday - which was just like the real thing, only with far more Cava.

I made some crackers for the dinner table, filled with jokes from Dan, fake trivia from Mark and some treats from me. A good group effort, and a great Christmas meal. We also had an evening cheeseboard and I sampled some Smoking Bishop for the first time. I think that's what did me in!

It's been a slow day today - I just about managed a walk along the beach amongst the huge foamy waves. A refresher for the brain.

ps. I found the following joke in one of the pound shop crackers I dismantled for the bangers and thought it too good not to share:

Q. What do you call a chicken in a shellsuit?
A. An egg.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

flower ring

crochet finished

I made this hanging ornament to send to Yumi.
It was based on this flower ring tutorial from Lola Nova.
It's quite satisfying crocheting round a solid frame.

Friday, 25 November 2011

festive snacks

mince pies chutney

I made some mince pies last night for our knitting meet-up. Yum yum!

I also made some chutney this week, which should be ready just in time for christmas. I'm hoping for a nice taste. The process of making it left my flat smelling quite strongly of vinegar which doesn't fill me with high hopes.

I used this recipe but left out the coriander seeds (yuck!) and one of the red peppers, as when I cut it open I found a moth living inside it (a MOTH!!). Horrible.

I'll let you know the results come Christmas time! I'm looking forward to a nice cheese board.

this is just the beginning...


I counted today and there are now 6 shoots in total. It's nice to observe the change in growth each day.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

a little chili

plant a chilli

After a knitting evening a few weeks ago Emily kindly let me take home a couple of mini chili peppers from her flourishing plant to add to my supper. They heated my sausage casserole up a treat - good for winter warmth.

Whilst I was preparing my dinner I decided to try and keep the seeds from inside the tiny chilis and see if I could encourage them to grow. I put them on some damp tissue, sealed them in a sandwich bag and hid them under a blanket (which is the closest it gets to a warm, dark place around these parts).

When I checked back a few days later there were beginning to sprout. What luck!

I've now potted them up, and noticed at the weekend that some shoots are beginning to show above the soil. Let's hope it continues to flourish - enchiladas next year maybe?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011




Yumi sent me this tiny little bicycle stamp from Japan - so sweet! What a treat!

I've been having some bike troubles lately - some rotter stole my basket! - but today I got back behind the handlebars and cycled to work for the first time in an age. I had to keep stopping on the way to oil my chain but I got there in the end (semi-smooth riding).

 Here's to getting a new basket in the post soon!

Monday, 14 November 2011



 My mum and dad donated me their old laundry basket at the weekend to help with my interior space issues. It was given a quick bit of a re-upholstery job first though.

Now it just needs a lick of paint...

Monday, 7 November 2011


Yesterday felt a lot like wintertime to me. This may have been because I only managed to stir myself from my slumber at almost two in the afternoon (hibernation?), but it was also a nice crisp cold day.

There's also something about going to the shops while it is getting dark that makes things feel very festive. I think I am ready now. Bring on the chocolate coins!

While I was in the mood to embrace the Christmas spirit I bought an advent candle for our mantlepiece, and a little potted Cyclamen to bring some red and green to our coffee table. Sweet flowers!

Ho ho ho!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

lady in red

lady in red

Last week I finished this nice red jumper - just in time for the festive season!

The pattern was from this book (very 80s) and was called 'White Lady', but I opted for a colour change as my last knitting project was this off-white number. This one only took a few weeks to make - thank god for short sleeves - and is nice and soft to wear, although maybe a bit shorter than desired.

I splashed out a bit on the wool for this project as I'm trying to move away from the cheap acrylic stuff that I'm so often tempted by (I'm now confident in my abilities to knit something without going drastically awry). The wool I chose was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK and it is very soft to the touch. Although while I was knitting I did notice that the colour kept rubbing off onto my hands (I have pink fingerprints on my macbook now!) which I wasn't so keen on. I made sure to give it a wash before wearing it for the first time though and I think that's sorted it out.

And now I am without a knitting project - most unusual. I am trying to spend less time with the needles so am not going to embark on any big projects for a while. At our knitting meet-up this week I made these crochet flowers for my mum's friend...


Small and simple - and instantly gratifying. Maybe I'll make some mini Christmas knits to get me in the festive spirit next.

In other news, I've been very inspired by Emily's posts on indoor gardening so am now attempting to propagate one of our houseplants from a stem cutting. I took a new shoot off the existing plant and have been keeping it in a jug of water for about a week to see if anything would happen.


Today I moved the cutting into a plant pot so fingers crossed it takes root.

I am really quite a useless gardener so if anyone has any better tips on propagation then please do pass them on!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

wool filling


My Woolfiller kit arrived this week. I just had a small practise on a tension square I had knocking around.

I like the effect. I'm going to try and see if I can prick the wool into different shaped patches.

Friday, 14 October 2011

off white

togglesoff white

I finished this cardigan a week or two ago. I was a bit worried when I started knitting it that the wool looked a bit like a dirty white colour but it looks a lot better now the whole thing is finished.

My first raglan knit and I'm very pleased with how it fits!

I even sewed some toggles on. Un hommage à Jonathan Creek.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


I went to the Power of Making exhibition at the V&A on Saturday. It's worth a visit!

My favourite things were the giant Aran knitted rug, the giant crocheted bear and the fingerprint gloves. I also liked the craft table where people were experimenting with using Woolfiller.


I like the idea of this very much, both for mending holes and for adding decoration to knitwear. I've ordered myself a sample pack so that I can try it out. Possibly on my new Aran wool cardigan.

Sunday, 2 October 2011



Our last stained glass class was dedicated to mosaics. I was dubious about this at first but it turned out to be a lovely lesson. I managed to finish off the last of my stained glass projects, and then we all sat around the table with some wine and snacks using up the left over pieces of glass.

Most people were creating their mosaics on glass so that they could use them as candle holders (the theme of the course it seems...) but I went for the kids option and stuck mine onto a painted wooden block.

A coaster for my desk I think.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

living the dream


I'm really making the most of this lovely later summer weather. I've been paddling in the sea in my lunch breaks and have had a swim most evenings this week. I even had a quick dip this morning as I am off to London in a short while. An October swim!

My tomato plants have also been having a final flourish. I've been collecting handfuls of cherry tomatoes for my lunchbox each day this week.

I'm conscious that the weather is going to turn very autumnal and blustery soon so am soaking up every bit of sun.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

low tide


This evening I cycled home from work in the sea mist, and then made my way along the sand and paddled in the sea while the sun went down.

Days like this make me feel very happy that I live and work by the coast.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Das ist gut!


I spent my August bank holiday in Berlin this year. A lovely city to visit.

My favourite day was Sunday when Yumi & I went drawing in the Museum für Naturkunde, and then we went to the Flohmarkt am Mauerpark and watched the Bearpit karaoke. It made me smile in a big way.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

further adventures in stained glass


I've now finished my stained glass evening class. For the last few lessons I dedicated my time to making smaller pieces using copper foil and the soldering iron. I find this method far simpler, and less worrying, than using the lead and it was nice to make some bright and colourful little pieces using the leftover scraps of glass.

I'm currently trying to decide whether to hang these birds and leaves in a row across my window, or to create more of a hanging mobile...maybe the window option.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

stained glass

peas in a pod

I'm currently taking an evening glass in stained glass which is nice and hands on (although almost too hands on as I manage to come home every week with my fingers covered in plasters from the glass splinters).

My first project was this circular window hanging of some peas in a pod. Surprisingly it came out quite close to my initial drawings, even though my glass cutting was far less than accurate.

glass sketches

I'm pleased with it!

Thursday, 11 August 2011



I'm all moved in and mostly unpacked. Hello to Hove!

I'm trying to get used to sleeping on a platform up high - is it bad feng shui to have my whole room under my bed? We'll see...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

all change


I'm moving house and office AND going on holiday this week.
I'm looking forward to not having 1001 things to do - I think I've forgotten how to relax.

Friday, 1 July 2011


tomato plants (pre-tomato)

My tomato plants are growing rapidly, well, apart from the little one in the middle, but this one has just been re-housed to a bigger pot so it should catch up soon.

I am also re-housing myself this month so soon these plants will have a balcony with a sea view. That should help them grow!

Friday, 24 June 2011

south west coast path

porlock ridgegoat - valley of the rocks

This week I walked the first two legs of the South West Coast Path with Derek and Yumi.

We stayed in a lovely youth hostel in the woods above Minehead, which we walked from to Porlock Ridge on the first day.

Then on the second day we took the mammoth journey up and down cliffs to Lynton. Very tiring. But from the looks of it even the experts find it to be a tricky route. We were lucky enough to stay in the best bed and breakfast I've even been to on that night though so we were well looked after once we arrived, soggy and windswept.

I now feel motivated to do the whole of the coast path so I'm going to try and do a bit each year. At this rate I'll have it finished by the time I'm 50...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

blueberry and apple

finished tarts

Continuing with my domestic weekend, I decided to bake some puff pastry tarts for a barbecue I attended last night.

I based them on this recipe but added more blueberries and cinnamon to suit my taste buds.


They were especially tasty when eaten with some thick vanilla cream, and I even have a few left over to accompany a sunday evening Grand prix roast dinner. With custard tonight I think.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

cornflower blue, tomato red


Hannah gave me some of her tomato plants a couple of weeks ago and today I spent my morning re-potting them and introducing them to the outside world.

I hope they flourish, not perish (like most of my other plants).

I've also recently decided that cornflowers are one of my favourite flowers. I bought a bunch 2 weeks ago and they are still going strong. Although I think the pollen is making me cough...

everyone likes a llama


I met these two on sunday at Hollycombe.