Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bookmarks and Hobbits ~ Sophie

This is a busy week!  We have made a start on redecorating Gaby's bedroom in the daytime and during the evenings I'm trying to make a few more bits for the Harriet Davis Trust fundraiser.
I've been doing a few of these bookmarks.  I really like the pattern and I can get them done quickly.  They need their tassels adding but here is a finished one I did last year.....
As far as reading goes, I made a start on 'The Hobbit'.  I can't believe I've never read this.  It's been sat on my bookshelf for over 20 years!! I just never got around to reading it.  There's nothing quite like a film coming out to motivate me to read the book before I go! Actually, I downloaded the audio as I knew I wouldn't have time otherwise!  I also realised recently that I have never actually read 'The Lord of the Rings' despite loving the story.  It's because I have the radio dramatisation on cassette - remember those?! 
Here are 'my precious' tapes :) 
Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Star Decoration ~ Sophie

I new I had to try making one of these as soon as I saw the pattern which can be found at
I'm really pleased with how it turned out and may do some others.  I have A LOT of the little bells which I'm reusing from a broken jiggly heart decoration.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Lavender Sachets ~ Sophie

Today I've been hiding from the rain. It's been constant and there are floods everywhere so I thought I'd stay home and start to make a few things for the fund raising event that my mum is organising for the Harriet Davis Trust.  We holiday in their house in Pembrokeshire with our boys and it's great :)
So in between allowing a lot of time for the school runs today, I've made lavender sachets and a scrappy bookmark.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A Little Different ~ Sophie

I'm knitting and reading things that are not my usual choices this week.
The knitting is a mesh triangular scarf which I'm doing with a yarn which my mum bought back from one of her crafty outings.  The colours in it range from browns, yellows and greens into turquoise and lavender.  I like it but I would have never picked it up myself as it's not a combination I would usually be drawn to.  This is excellent as my collection of greeny/purple scarfs is probably in danger of getting out of hand!  When I am knitting it up against my turquoise cardigan it looks great. 
I am also reading books which are a little away from my usual choices.  I tried a Terry Pratchett book years ago and couldn't get into it.  Someone recently suggested I try, 'The Wee Free Men' so after having it sitting around for ages, I'm giving it a go.  I'm still not sure to be honest!
The audio book I have on the go is called 'The Garden of Evening Mists' by Tan Twan Eng.  I am very excited to say that I chose this from my library's free audio book service which has been going for a while but I have been unable to access.  They have updated their system and it's now easy to use.  I am really enjoying this so far, it is incredibly atmospheric.
I also just finished listening to 'The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year' by Sue Townsend.  'Nuff said!!
Gaby and I started listening to this at the weekend......
.....I love Jacqueline Wilson's books.  We found this and more whist having a mooch around the charity shops the other day.
I was really pleased with myself until I got home and realised that I got rid of the cassette player in the kitchen!  We do have one in the house, just not where I'm usually listening to books, but they were a bargain!
I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along

Monday, 12 November 2012

Back Again! ~ Sophie

Half term finished,  poorly children all back to school, new laptop purchased.  Finally a bit of time and decent equipment to actually post on our blog :)
So a few little random things we've been up to....
Going to see Gaby's favourite author, Darren Shan, talking and signing his new book, 'Zom-B' at our local Waterstones....
Using up my mum's blackberries.  I made jam and blackberry vinegar this year (and crumbles of course)!
I have got into the Lifebook course I started at the beginning of the year again and have also joined another Art Journal/Mixed Media Group, Wild Soul Arts.  I don't know why as I'm really behind with Lifebook, but it seems like my sort of place!  Here's a few random pages I've done this year. 
 This is the first 'art' I've done since leaving school so my confidence is not great but I feel like I've learnt a lot already.  I'm definitely going to sign up for next year's course and maybe some other online courses too.  I'm enjoying it a lot.
We have started having whole days respite for the boys so in half term we went to see 'Skyfall'.  I think this is the first time I have seen a James Bond film at the cinema since I saw 'The Living Daylights' with my Granny when I was about Gaby's age.  We all enjoyed it and it's nice to have a longer day to do things. 

As usual, I also have several different knitting, crochet and patchwork projects on the go as well as reading 5 different books at once.  Hopefully this laptop will last and I will be able share them soon and keep things here more up to date :)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Doodle Card

A little doodle birthday card.  Not much going on here, we are all still poorly. 
I have done several of these cards now, inspired by one of the mini lessons on the Life Book course I'm doing.  I find them quite relaxing to do while the kids are all home as not much equipment is needed.  More may get done over the next few days as it looks like it's going to be a rainy old half term.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Be A Warrior.....

I love this. It sums up why I do yoga :)

I haven't been able to go to my classes this week as the children and I have had a nasty bug...and then they got another nasty bug.  I really miss it when I can't go.  It's fair to say I can become a little obsessed.  My first big yoga obsession happened when my twins were babies and I used to do Barbara Currie videos whilst they slept and Gaby was at playgroup. I probably should have been cleaning the house but there's no fun in that! I wanted to be bendy! Now I just want to relax and stay healthy.  It works so I keep going when I can. 

Last week, I started a Tai Chi class. I really enjoyed it and will be going back, bugs permitting.  A possible new obsession.....?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Veg Box Pesto ~ Sophie

Last month, Carers UK pointed me in the direction of a competition on a new Carers forum, Carewell. ( The prize was a month of organic veg box deliveries from Able & Cole.  To enter you had to share a recipe on the healthy eating message board.  I thought it would be daft not to give it a go, so I shared my Roasted Veg recipe and was lucky enough to be one of the winners. Yay!

We have just received our last box. I am not one for advertising on blogs, but I have been really impressed with the boxes!

Today's box contained the wonderfully green cavelo nero and a great recipe for making 'Magical Green Pesto'.  The recipe is available online at

I've been quite determined not to waste this lovely free veg, and as a result we already have quite a bit of soup in the freezer! This pesto recipe is also freezable, so I thought I'd try it out.  The colour is fantastic...

I now have 3 pots in the freezer, plus enough left for a snack......

it's delicious and very easy to make :)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Knitting More Green Stuff ~ Sophie

This is a bit of a test post on the iPad which suddenly seems to be letting me type posts having not done so in the past.  We have been without a PC for a while, which is why there has been a lack of posts here! A lot has been happening this year, good and not so good.  Bad stuff is that I had to make the sensible decision to hand the allotment back after my wonky hip got worse, but the good news is that this has made me get back to yoga class which I am loving.  We are also having a lot of stressful issues to deal with with our sons so yoga is of huge benefit to me in that respect too.  At the moment it's all about the knitting, yoga and reading so I'm going to link this to Ginny's Yarn Along. 

I just finished knitting the 'Hogwarts Express' shawl.  I am really pleased with how this has turned out and as I have never done any cable knitting before, I feel like I've learnt something too.

I've now started on a sleeveless wrap thing. I loved the colours of this yarn when I saw it knitted as a cardigan in our local wool shop, but I'm not so sure now - seems a bit 'old lady' so far.  I will see how it goes.  I'm reading 'Engleby' by Sebastian Faulks.  After a false start with the audio version from the library, I've now got a paper copy and am enjoying it so far.

Monday, 23 July 2012

School projects ~ Gaby

Long time no see! I have had hardly any time to write a post in ages because of a school project I have been doing recently. My topic, dyeing materials. I wrote and tried different techniques with the help of my granny and created a project with instructions and details of what I did. I also included different products I made with the textiles that I dyed. After this we had a celebration evening where we presented our projects to our parents. A couple of weeks after this we had a celebration day at Kilve Court. It was really fun and I can't wait till next year!

Here's some pictures of my project.....

Strawberries and Cream Cake ~ Gaby

Today I have made a really delicious strawberry and cream cake that was simple to make. Here's how I made ours: 

1. Make a plain sponge cake with a 6636 recipe (6oz butter,6oz sugar,3 eggs and 6oz self raising flour). 
2. Whip cream and half strawberries. 
3. When the cake is cooked and cooled, put the strawberries on first, then the cream. 
4. Decorate with strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar.
5. Enjoy your scrummy cake!!!!?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Owls and Vampires ~ Sophie

A little post linking in with  Ginny's Yarn Along today.

I have started some knitting now the house is nearly back to 'normal' - I haven't been able to get to my craft drawers very easily and was starting to get withdrawal symptoms!  I am supposed to be using up my yarn stash but we are now six months through the year and this is getting more difficult.  Trying to find patterns that I want to knit in the yarns that I have is becoming increasingly difficult but this is, I think, a good thing.  There is no excuse to hold onto it all any more!  I've made a decision now that a lot of it has to go and obviously this will make room for lots of nice new yarns that I want to knit and crochet stuff with :-) 

The knitting I've started is a scarf/shawl called 'Hogwarts Express'.  Being a bit of a Harry Potter obsessive, I was drawn to the name but also, it has a border of owls which I like and I have a suitable amount of the right weight wool which I bought in a charity shop a couple of years ago - I loved the colour.  

Reading-wise, I finally got around to updating the iPad so I'm able to download audio books again. I will be starting 'Dead Reckoning' by Charlaine Harris,  book 11 of the 'True Blood' series, tonight whilst pottering about doing tea.  I feel like I've been reading this series forever now but I enjoy them and I have a (self-imposed) need to stay ahead of the T.V. show because although I like that, the books are, in my opinion, much better.  I feel the same about Harry Potter!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Good Stuff is Happening Despite the Storms ~ Sophie

I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along today.

We've been having a pretty awful half-term here weather-wise.  But, as the title suggests, good stuff has been happening too.  I got offered an allotment!  Today, we ventured out into the wind and rain to the library where I picked up the books above.  I also have this book...

...which was a birthday present. I will be pouring over all these and making some plans over the next couple of days.  I don't particularly want the allotment to be really low-maintenance but I know there will be times when I have less opportunity to get over there so I thought it may be worth seeing what was suggested here.

My crocheted coasters have been on the go a while.  Thanks to my lovely mum, we've been having a few kitchen alterations - the other good stuff - so I've been making these for when it's finished.  Which hopefully will not be too long now.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Garden Ramblings ~ Sophie

This year seems to be rushing by and what with illness and weather I had just not got myself together with the plans I had for the garden.  I didn't start any tomatoes, shock horror!  I am a bit fed up about this as I have been experimenting for a couple of years with the best way to grow them in our little, quite shady, garden.  Last year, I sowed the seeds very early, transferred them to raised beds under tunnels and positioned them slightly higher.  This seemed to do the trick - or it could have just been a good year for tomatoes, who knows?!  I may buy some plants this week, but because I've always grown them from seed, it feels like cheating!

After a couple of weeks of better weather, I now have planted,

runner beans
a raspberry plant (just given to me, will see what happens!)
swiss chard
onions - 3 have grown lol!

I'm also going to put some french beans in pots in my mum's garden this week.  I've decided I need twice as many of both french and runners as I had last year.

My herbs which I started from seed last year are looking quite good.  These were...

lemon balm

In the picture below, the darker mint is a chocolate mint plant which was a present and smells wonderful!  I need to sort the other mint plant out as it didn't do much last year and I use it quite a bit.
 I've also got basil and oregano starting up in the 'attic greenhouse' (Gaby's room!).  I will probably keep my basil plants on the kitchen windowsill as I find this works better for me here, more sunshine :)

In other exciting garden news (for me anyway !), I have a flower coming on this Agapanthus plant which I rescued from our boys a few years ago.  After it had been unearthed on several occasions, I popped it in a pot and it's not done much since - until now whoop whoop!!

The weather has been so nice that even Willow has been outdoors, which is quite rare....

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Yarn Along

I often go over and look at Ginny's 'Yarn Along' at Small Things on a Wednesday.  It's nice to see what others are knitting and reading (although I don't really need to be tempted into buying more books right now)!  I have been thinking about joining in for a while so here goes................

I was lucky enough to receive Loani Prior's 'Really Wild Tea Cosies' for Christmas.  I love nearly all of the patterns in this book, they are such fun.  I have started with the 'Coral Punk' and it's going to be for my mum because she gave me the book! 
 (Apologies for the really poor quality photographs today, I can't work out why they are like this, I've tried in several different lights?!)

I have to make about 50 of these coral tentacles. I'm over halfway now.  Although the pattern is straightforward, it's taking me some time as I find them fiddly and get achy fingers!
As for reading, I always have far too many books on the go at once. I also often have an audio book to listen to whilst knitting or doing crochet.  I've been listening to 'The Hunger Games' trilogy, but ended up buying the books for Gaby so I've been reading the paper version of 'Mockingjay', the 3rd book.  I've loved them all. 

The other book in the picture, 'Fire Dreamer' by Beth Webb, is the second in the Star Dancer series.  I am really enjoying this series although I originally bought the first book, 'Star Dancer' for Gaby.  She was rather absorbed in all things Twilight at the time so I gave it a go myself and got hooked!  I will definitely be finishing the series.  More information about the series and Beth Webb can be found on her website -

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Decorative Name Board ~ Gaby

 As part of my New Years Resolution, I said to myself that I would decorate my room again for more of an 'older girl' look. My first idea was to use the letters in my name (G, A, B and Y) and make a decorative pattern on them. Lucky for me at a craft centre I found some 3D letters which Mum later bought for me.

To make the board I used,

  • Wooden board
  • Paint
  • Gel medium (Cool craft glue)
  • Card letters
  • Tissue paper

  First I painted the board a nude, salmon colour and let it dry. Then I stuck the tissue paper to the letters with the gel medium. After everything is dried stick the letters onto the card et voila!

iPad Stand ~ Sophie

Finally we have a working laptop again!  Hopefully our posting will be a bit more regular again now.

Over this weekend, I decided to make an iPad stand.

I saw some like this on Pinterest a while ago, and with a little Internet searching, I found a pattern for one at

Now when I say I found a pattern, that doesn't mean I followed it very well.  I am a bit of a nightmare when it comes to making these kind of things using my sewing machine.  I tend to do it all by eye, no pins, little measuring and just go for it!  This doesn't always work out for me, but this time it did :)
I'm really pleased with the results and I'm finding it very useful. I spend a lot of time bent over the iPad either when following recipes online or watching TV shows on iPlayer whilst getting on with other stuff in the kitchen.  It was only a matter of time before an accident occurred with me propping it up on tea towels etc. and this has made things a lot easier.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Cake For Breakfast ~ Sophie

I'm sitting in our 'sun' room and this is what I see right now....

I don't think there's any sign of the rain stopping today but I love it like this.  I like being out in it and I like being inside, where I am right now, listening to the rain pour down on the roof, with a cup of coffee and a slice of spiced apple cake. 

This boring looking cake is one I bake far too often.  It's a really quick and simple recipe and it's all too tempting to throw one in the oven on a Sunday when there are old apples looking at you from the fruit bowl, which of course is what happened yesterday. We love it warm and sometimes there's even some left to eat cold for breakfast the next day :)

The recipe is from BBC Good Food.