Sunday, 28 February 2010

Which photo to use?

I haven't decided which photo to use for my photo a day tag book (yes, I'm still up to date with this project and will be printing out March's tags tomorrow :)
I've wrapped a couple of baby presents I need to post and the quilt is ironed and waiting for it's tissue paper and box then I can post it too. Looking at them like this, I quite like the bottom photo - any comments?
It's been a very quiet weekend here. Emily is still not feeling 100% and now has a streaming cold as well as the sore throat :( Might well be another day off school tomorrow if her temp doesn't come down. Also Theresa, if you read this, I hope you're feeling better soon and call me if you need any help.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

It's finished!

After sewing most of the day, the quilt is finished. It's turned out to be a pretty little quilt and hope the recipient is going to get lots of use out of it. My one wish for all the quilts I make, is that they are used lots and not put away in a cupboard or drawer. Now to start looking for the next lot of material ;o)

Friday, 26 February 2010

From my back door this morning ...

This is what it looks like outside ;o) We have big black/grey clouds which are blowing briskly across the sky
No rain yet, and long may it last!
Two kittens starting to explore the outside world. We are letting them go out during the day but they stay in at night (for now).
Bellatrix deciding where she might want to go this morning (Mac had already gone!)
Spot the kitten ;o)
And having procrastinated long enough, time to go and get on with the sewing. Sandwiching it together is probably my least favourite part of the quilt making process. I didn't do it last night so time to do it today! What are you doing today? Anything interesting? Any craft projects?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Thursday in a nutshell

This morning when I came downstairs I found this on my laptop! If you click to enlarge the photo you'll see they were for me from my son, Hugh! It's the first time he's ever done something like this for no reason and that makes them even more special. When I thanked them and asked why he'd bought them he said he'd seen them and knew I liked them so he bought them for me. What a great way to start the day (though I will just add that the packet is still sealed, if I open them they'd soon be finished!) Emily came down ready for school but I could hear her voice sounded a bit hoarse. When she tried to eat breakfast she started coughing and said it felt like something was blocking her throat. I felt her glands and they were swollen and she said when she tried to swallow her throat hurt. She also had a headache and the cough hasn't gone away.
I kept her off school and she spent most of the day in bed. And yes, I did leave her and go and have a coffee but she was happy for me to go and Hugh was here if she needed anything ;) She's still not feeling right and, after speaking to a few people and hearing they've had the same thing, I have a feeling she may not be back at school tomorrow either.
A photo of the kittens, just because they're cute! They're sitting on the step here watching Emily take their bowls to put food in them! ;o)
This afternoon/evening I went to Emily's parents evening. She had done well with getting appointments at regular intervals and I actually finished slightly ahead of time after being able to see some teachers before my slot because they were between appointments. All I can really say is I'm a very proud Mum! The teachers all gave glowing reports and are more than happy with the work Emily's producing. In some subjects she's already reached her target grade for the end of Year 9 (she's in Year 8) and they are expecting her to do very well. I also found out tonight that her English teacher has put her name forward as Key Stage 3 Pupil of the Month! (Key Stage 3 is Years 7 - 9) Well done Emily, we're so proud of you!
And finally, a photo of Cloud who looks a bit like a naughty schoolgirl! When I took her to the vets last week I was told if she started licking herself again, to put a shirt over the area she's been licking so she can't infect it again. This morning we noticed she had started to lick it and Emily said she'd find a shirt for her. When I got home, this is what she was wearing ;o) - I had to take a photo lol!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Lovely weather!

We've had really grey wet weather virtually all day today :( but it has been good weather for staying at home more. I got my washing and ironing done first thing, worked out my food for today and have been pointing it as I go. The weight watchers habits do come back quickly :) but I think what's shocked me more is how much I've obviously been picking and not even realising I was doing it. I've stopped myself today and I'm not hungry, it's purely habit! I've had my usual cereal and light soya milk for breakfast; a kiwi fruit mid morning; jacket potato with tuna and extra light mayo and salad for lunch; plums this afternoon and tonight low fat sausages, pasta, arrabiata sauce with extra vegetables and the rest of the salad from lunch. It's a lot to eat in a day but all counted for and with a couple of points left over.
Cloud and I went for a walk along Forest Way just before lunch but I forgot to take my camera with me. Though to be honest, it was miserable and I probably wouldn't have taken many photos in the rain. Unfortunately, with Cloud being a little white dog and close to the ground, she came home with a wonderfully muddy tummy! She didn't enjoy being put in her cage to dry off a bit or the brushing she got later to try and get some of the mud out of her fur. I guess that's the downside of going for walks in this weather!
This afternoon I have finished sewing the quilt top together. I'm hoping to get it sandwiched with the wadding and backing fabric tonight so that I can start the quilting tomorrow after my coffee morning.
Won't be much more happening today and I need to go and get started making the dinner. Have a good evening.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Sewing and other randoms

I have spent most of the afternoon sewing. When I'm quilting one of the things I find most important is to iron often. I sew the squares into rows first and then the ironing begins. As I'm ready to sew rows together, I iron the seams of joining rows in opposite directions so there isn't too much bulk. After sewing the first two rows together I iron again, add another row, iron again and so it goes on until all the rows are joined.
I have now reached the stage where all the rows are joined and it's time to cut the borders to size. As I'm not always happy with squaring my quilts, I am busy reading my quilting go to book (Rotary Magic by Nancy Johnson-Srebro). I love the colour combination in this little quilt, it's so fresh and light. I'm so glad my SIL likes it too!
While sewing this afternoon I had my iPod on shuffle for background music. This evening I was listening to Michael Buble - I do like his voice! I love mellow music - Jason Mraz, Joshua Radin and Jack Johnson to name a few. A couple of days ago I was looking for my Savage Garden CD and found a few other older CDs that I've added to my iPod as well. Now really showing my age, I added some John Denver, R.E.M, Wilson Phillips and Chris de Burgh. I can't listen to all of it but there are still some songs that I really like. What sort of music do you like listening to and are there any oldies that you still enjoy?
Sag Aloo with added onions and peppers (dinner last night)
My healthy eating hasn't been going as well as I had hoped and I have decided to go back to doing the Weight Watchers plan. At least then I know I can still have a little of what I like so long as I count the points. I'm starting on the points tomorrow and because I've done WW before, I'm hoping it'll soon feel normal again. I've also realised I need to write out a menu plan for myself; not just what I'm going to have for dinner but what I'm going to have for lunch too. My breakfast is generally the same; Special K, fruit and light soya milk. If I have the menu written out I'm more likely to stick to it.
After Jon woke me just before 5am this morning to say he was on his way to work I didn't go back to sleep until about 5.30 and then my alarm went off at 6! I should have just got up at 5 - now I'm feeling really tired and think I'm going to have an early night.
More sewing tomorrow - hoping to get the quilt top finished and sandwiched together so I can start on the actual quilting. Have you got plans for tomorrow?

Monday, 22 February 2010

This afternoon ...

After I'd finished unpacking the shopping today, I headed back into town and met Claire for lunch. She'd left her umbrella at Spoons over the weekend and got absolutely soaked walking in to work from Craig's this morning. I made a point of parking behind Spoons and went in to ask if her umbrella had been handed in - fortunately it had! We went to Neros for a panini and then into WH Smiths for some wrapping paper and padded envelopes. Once I got home it was time to start on sewing the quilt together. I love watching it growing row by row.
Not as impressed with the quilt, Bellatrix sat looking outside having wishful thinking
Then it was Mac's turn ;o)
For the most part Cloud stayed nice and warm in her basket or came and lay at my feet.
I had used my other camera today - just trying it out again - and when I downloaded the photos I found this one with Wallace in :o( He was such a big part of our lives and we do miss him. Such a sweet dog xx

Sunday, 21 February 2010


While in Dorking yesterday, I did manage to take a few photos. We park in a car park behind this church and then walk up past the church, through the little passage to the High Street. Looking back yesterday the sky was so blue! A lovely crisp clear day but sleet was predicted for later in the afternoon.
The walls of St Martins church and the steeple/clock tower are made of flint (or is it covered with flint?). There are a few flint covered buildings so I presume, not knowing much about the geography of the area, it must be or have been locally sourced.
Dorking High Street. The Quilt Room is further down on the right hand side. There are some different shops in Dorking and one of the ones I enjoyed looking in the last time I went was a cookery shop which seemed to stock everything you could possibly want.
Walking back to the car park we pass this street with nicely kept houses, which are just one road down from the High Street.
Today I cut out the squares for the quilt and laid them out to get an idea of what the completed quilt would look like. I don't think the colours in the photo are quite right but it gives you the basic idea. Now I'm looking forward to sewing it all together! I always think cutting it out is the worst part and after that it comes together fairly quickly. I hope to have this finished by the end of the week.xx

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Fun day :)

This morning before feeding the kittens I opened the door to let them go out for a little while (trying to get them used to the garden). Mac ventured out as far as the flower bed and had a sniff around. Bellatrix wasn't keen to go out and decided to stay in the kitchen.
It wasn't too long before Mac decided it was much warmer inside and headed back indoors.
I can't say I blame him, this was the ice on the table outside and the temperature on my computer was showing -3C.
Emily and I left home around 9am and headed out to The Quilt Room in Dorking. I have a quilt to make and needed to find some suitable material. What do you think of this little selection? The Quilt Room have moved premises and (I may be wrong) the new shop feels smaller than the previous one and the selection likewise, wasn't as good as the last time we went. However, that said, I think this quilt could be very cute when it's finished. Will keep you posted.
Our next stop was St Marcus Fine Foods in Redhill which is a South African shop. We'd run out of curry powder and nearly out of peanut butter and, seeing as Redhill isn't that far from Dorking, I decided to kill two birds with one stone this morning. When we got there the first thing we noticed when we opened our doors was the smell of boerewors (which translated means farmer's sausage) cooking on the braai (barbecue). They were making and selling boerewors rolls but we didn't buy because we were getting boerewors for ourselves anyway and that's going to be dinner tonight. Needless to say we found a few other bits and pieces while we were there too ;o) -South African shops always bring back memories. (And I forgot to take photos!)
We got home just after 1pm and left again just before 2 to meet my friend Pam for a coffee at Neros. Pam had been at the same coffee morning as me on Thursday but we didn't get a chance to chat, so arranged to meet today as well :o). Emily came too and had a hot chocolate with cream and a chocolate cupcake. They looked yummy so I had to take a photo; mine didn't look as good. Now after that quick summary, time for me to go and start cooking said boerewors.
Enjoy your evening/weekend
PS I also ended up buying some more wool because I really enjoyed knitting the last little cardigan and can think of at least two more I could make.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Friday again!

I had said we were going to have a quiet day today and that's exactly what we did. We stayed at home most of the day, Emily made a start on some school work to be handed in in March and I got on with my knitting (as well as doing housework, washing, etc.) The little cardigan I started yesterday is now virtually finished, just the sleeves to sew up and a button to sew on. I also need to give it a light press then I'm done! It was fun to knit and I couldn't get over how quickly it came together. The little album and photo frame arrived in the post today from Ruth. Each Saturday Ruth has a Pink Saturday give away on her blog "Everyday Life of a Suburban SAHM" and the names of people who left comments go in the draw. I always tend to leave a comment but have never expected to win. Last week I did win :) and this was my prize. Thank you Ruth, they are lovely! xx

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Busy knitting

This morning I met up for coffee with friends and popped across the road to have a look at the wool. I had been thinking of crocheting a granny blanket but the wool I liked was £4.50 per 50g ball. I can't afford that at the moment so decided to see what knitting patterns they had. I found one I liked and loved this green baby wool. I got started this afternoon (while watching some ER) and have continued this evening
You can see a peek of the pattern here and the sleeves. This pattern is different to any I've made before in that you knit the sleeves to the armhole cast off stage and then put them on a holder. I'm now knitting the body of the cardigan all in one piece and the sleeves get added in at the appropriate place and then you shape the raglan all in one go. Not quite sure how it works but will find out soon enough :) Thanks Jane for getting me started on knitting again and Ruth for getting me watching ER. I'm thoroughly enjoying both at the moment :)
Emily also thought about starting her scarf again. She wasn't happy with her current one because the edges weren't neat. I started a knitted one for her but she doesn't know if she wants to carry on with that or whether she wants to go back to crocheting (hence both crochet hook and knitting needles are out). I think this afternoon reading her book won out instead!
And finally, a couple of days ago I walked in to the kitchen and saw this reflection on the ceiling. It looks like a crystal heart - had to grab my camera and get a photo.
Looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow :)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Busy afternoon

We had a bit of running around to do today
I was up fairly early to take Hugh to the station by 8am. He was meeting the editor of the website he's writing for and they were going to meet a couple of games designers. It was an all day affair and it sounds like he had a good day. It was all new for Hugh and good experience.
Claire had the day off and went to Crawley in the morning to pick up something for Craig. As is always the case when she goes to Crawley, she did a bit of shopping too. Today it was new jeans and a dress. Still made it back to EG by 12.30 - not bad going
Emily and I had a quiet morning at home before dropping a camera off at a friend's work place, then heading into town to meet up with Claire. We had a quick lunch at Starburger before going in to town to do a few things.
From town we headed straight over to my sister Kay's for her birthday tea and cake. Unfortunately I didn't take my bigger camera with me and just had my point and shoot. I'm really not happy with the photos I'm getting with it and as a result don't have many to share (and even those I have got aren't brilliant :o( ). When we got there both Tyler and Alyssa were asleep so we had to wait for them to wake up before lighting the candles on the cake.
Once Tyler had woken up properly he was only too happy to help his Nan blow out the candles.
Alyssa gets bigger by the day and I can't believe she'll be four months old on the 25th. Time flies! She's full of smiles at the moment and I just love the way she tries to "chat" to you. So sweet.
And finally, one of my two beautiful girls, Claire and Emily. To give you an idea of the problems I'm having, Emily was wearing a purple sweatshirt! I guess you wouldn't have realised that!
We left Kay's in time to get Emily to the Orthodontists. She'd had another two brackets come off since we were last there so they had to fix on new ones again. She's been told she has to cut her food into tiny pieces so that she doesn't have to chew too much! What fun! She's also not impressed that she has to have a tooth removed when she goes to the dentist on 01 March.
We had a enough time to watch the latest episode of Glee, and for me to get Jon's dinner in the oven, before we headed out for haircuts. Mary cuts our hair at her house and we usually go in the evening. Claire had the most cut off while Emily and I just had our fringes trimmed and ends neatened. I'm still growing my hair - can't believe I've made it this far. It's now just past my shoulders and I'm hoping by summer I will be able to tie it up (without looking silly!).
Congratulations to Steve and Vicky (Jon's nephew and his fiance) whose baby girl, Tatiana, was born today, weighing 6lb 12oz.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Pancakes have been made :)

We had our pancakes for dinner and most of the stewed apples got eaten. There's still a little bit of batter left for me to make some for Hugh when he gets home (if I'm still up - otherwise I'll make them and let him microwave them to heat them up again). I can't believe I didn't remember to take photos before everyone started eating :( This photo was taken while I was making some for Craig (Claire's boyfriend) when he got here. xx

Valentines Day

Emily had been going to do homework this morning and I was going to do two baskets full of ironing :( Instead, we went to Crawley to see Valentines Day :) I couldn't get over how many famous names were in it! It was a fun movie with a feel good ending. We enjoyed it and came out smiling - despite the cold, grey, rainy day! :)
Emily has made a start on her homework but I haven't started on the ironing :os - it might have to wait for tomorrow morning as I'm about to go and feed the animals and then make a start on getting things ready for pancakes tonight. Are you having pancakes at your house? What do you like on them? We're pretty boring here, tend to stick to all the sweet things - sugar, cinnamon and sugar (with or without lemon juice), chocolate spread. I'm thinking I might try some stewed apples tonight as well and see how whether they get eaten.

Thought of

Claire gave me these this morning - beautiful little post-it notes.
She says as soon as she saw them she thought of me :). Aren't they cute! I don't know if I'll ever want to use them - might just keep them, they make me smile!
Thank you Claire, I love you!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Half term starts :)

Monday morning means weekly Sainsburys shop. I asked Emily if she wanted to come with me but she wasn't that keen (can't understand why not! lol!). She said she'd rather stay at home and watch Harry Potter DVDs. She started yesterday and got through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd DVDs so today she was starting on the 4th. She goes through stages of reading or watching different series. Mum and I stayed for our weekly coffee and chat before heading home to unpack the shopping. I think it's our delaying tactic ;) This afternoon Emily and I have both done some crocheting though we are easily distracted by these two. These photos were actually taken yesterday but could have been taken today too. Emily was having great fun wriggling wool in front of the kittens for them to catch and play with.
Not me! It must have been ....
.... Mac!
Click to enlarge the photo and you can see his claws out as he holds down that piece of wool.
We've been enjoying a quiet start to the half term break but have got a few things lined up for later in the week. Nothing terribly exciting (except tea and cake for my sister's birthday on Wednesday) but I'm hoping we may get to see Valentines Day at some stage.