Monday, 29 November 2010

White out on the slopes today....


Schools closed again tomorrow....

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The snow just keeps on snowing...

I know I'm going on about it, but this amount of snow at this time of year is unprecedented.  It's been a day of sub zero temps, blizzards and very little day light - this photo was taken at 2:30 in the afternoon, and the street lights have already come on! On a cheerier note, I made myself a new snow hat last night whilst watching a few episodes of Lost (season 6) on DVD - modeled in the above photo with my littlest boy who was so keen to get in on the photo shoot, I found the pattern on A Beautiful Mess blog.  It's basically a hood, with some plaited ties to keep it close to your face and nice and cosy, which indeed it was.

Speaking of cosy, look what I baked today:-


English Muffins of all things! I have never attempted these before, but they looked pretty easy in the new baking book I received for my birthday, and as son number one loves anything that can be toasted I gave them a whirl and they turned out a treat!


Here's the simple recipe for anyone who fancies giving them a go:-

English Muffins

450g / 1 lb white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 sachet of dried yeast
250 ml /9 fl oz lukewarm water
125 ml/ 4 fl oz natural yogurt
40g/ 1.5 oz semolina (or polenta)

Mix flour, salt, sugar and yeast in bowl.  Add water and yogurt and stir until dough begins to come together.  Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5-10 mins until smooth and elastic.  Shape dough into a ball and cover with damp tea towel and leave to rise for 30 -40 mins.  (OR YOU CAN CHEAT LIKE ME AND USE THE DOUGH SETTING ON YOUR BREAD MACHINE!)

Knead dough on a floured surface, then roll out until it is 2cm / 3/4 inch thick.  Cut out rounds with a biscuit cutter and sprinkle each round with the semolina.  Transfer rounds to a baking sheet, cover and leave for 30 mins. 

heat a griddle or large frying pan over a medium heat - add muffins and cook for 7 -8 mins on each side until golden brown.

Delicious buttered hot straight from the pan, or toasted with scrambled eggs as we did for tea tonight.

Friday, 26 November 2010

And the Winner is...........

Apologies for the delay in posting the winner of my robin giveaway - Schools closed early (due to severe weather) so the boys and I have been out playing in the snow this afternoon and ended the day meeting Mr Northern Hi-lights in our local Curry House for tea and a few pints of Kingfisher.  So, there's been quite a bit more snow since the last post, I reckon there is about a foot of snow on top of my little car now - very beautiful though when the sun comes out..


And so onto the winner, drum roll................


yeah! well done Bonzogirl - send me a message with your address and I will get him posted off to you.

Hope everyone is staying warm and cozy - have a lovely weekend x

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Winter has Arrived...!


It's been snowing...this is the view from my front door this morning - Scandinavian weather front blowing across the North sea apparently.  The school was still open much to the boys disgust this morning, and much to my delight as it's my day off!  I did a bit of token house work, tidied up the breakfast dishes, put away some washing, swept the floors etc..and made a pot of broccoli and stilton soup,


and now I'm going to sit down for a whole 2 hours with my coffee and tunnock's teacake..


and make a start crocheting this:-


P.S - Happy Thanksgiving Day to all American friends!

Brilliant crocheted Turkey from Knotbygranma's Etsy shop.

P.P.S - Don't forget my Robin Giveaway closes tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Keep Calm....

I can be in denial no longer - Christmas is on it's way, and early festivities are racing into our lives if I like it or not. I have just been sitting over lunch filling out our Family calender - December is looking choka block.. School concerts, School Christmas Dinner and Parties, Cub Scout fayre, panto and party, work nights out, mulled wine with friends, more nights out with friends, Christmas shopping, food planning, cards to write......yes I'm panicking...... must start making lists....planning....organising....
I'll start tomorrow, no , Thursday my day off,  and in the mean time I will carry on blissfully unaware that it is December next week and I shall leave you with some pretty images from Living Etc's December edition.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

Chillaxing...

I'm officially having a lazy weekend, something that doesn't happen too often round here I can tell you.. Its been raining for 2 days, and I have to admit I did a little dance for joy when I heard that all Under 9's football training/matches were being cancelled this weekend due to a water logged pitch. So, a long lie today followed by a lazy breakfast and a trip into the 'big town' (Aberdeen.). We went to see then new Harry Potter film - Deathly Hallows, which was great - sad in places, but I won't spoil it for you.!


I am now relaxing at home with a glass of wine, on my NEW leather sofa! Well, new to me anyway - has to be one of my best thrifted items to date- £40 from our local Charity shop and I am loving it.  It has a nicely worn look to it and goes perfectly in our living room.


I'm struggling to get decent photos right now -daylight hours are sparse and for some reason the ISO setting on my little camera is making my photos blurry (any ideas why?) but hopefully the sun will be out on Monday (my day off  work- yippee!) and I can get some nice shots of WIP's.  Hope you are relaxing too this weekend - remember to enter my Robin Giveaway if you haven't already!

Friday, 19 November 2010

TGI Friday ! ♥ Robin Competition ♥ !

Thank you for all your supportive messages re:disappointing craft fairs, I agree with all comments, and in a way these small failures make me even more determined to keep crafting and rejecting the mass produced. 

As a way of thanks to all my lovely blog readers, I'm having a Friday give-away, this little robin (hand-picked - he's my favourite) could be winging it's way to you just in time to be hung on your Christmas tree!

I will pick a winner at randon next Friday (26th Nov), so leave a comment telling me what you are crafting for Christmas ♥♥

Monday, 15 November 2010

Our Weekend in Pictures


Craft fair = huge disappointment. Only 4 robins sold in total! Could not understand why absolutely none of my Mother in laws beautiful hand knitted cushions sold - wrong kind of sale perhaps? Too many other stalls selling cheap imported stuff? Too many people after a bargain?  We had to drop our prices drastically to be a bit more in line with some of the other stalls (Christmas stockings knitted by a group of ladies at the hospice being sold off for 50p and arran baby jumpers for £5- just to 'shift' them apparently!)  A real shame to see hand made items made with such love and care being so under-valued....we won't be rushing to do another one any time soon.  The stall looked pretty thought, even if I say so myself...


..and afterwards a cosy supper with G&T's,  a welcome treat


About 11 or 12 years ago, before marriage and children, we spent a happy year living by the sea in Ayrshire and we always enjoy returning there for a visit and a walk along the beach, gazing at the isle of Aran over the sea..


..and these days it's always followed by a play in the park at Culzean Castle.



A lovely weekend - nice to get away and enjoy some fine Winter weather, laze in front of an open fire and enjoy delicious food and drink in the company of loved ones.  Back home again today and the Grampian hills were looking resplendent in the clear Winter sun.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Birds of a Feather


The last couple of days I have been trying to pull together and finish off all my crochet bits and bobs that I have been making for a craft fair being held this Saturday in aid of Ayrshire Cancer Support (Cathcart Church Hall 2-4pm if anyone is in the area).  I shall be sharing a table with my mother-in-law, Cathy, who has been busy making beautiful knitted arran cushions.  I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself this week, struggling to finish off crochet projects as well as go to work and keep the household ticking along. I'm finding myself to be exhausted by evening, which is usually my main crochet time, so things have been slow.

 
It's my Birthday this coming Friday, I shall be at work all day and then we are packing up the car and driving South to Ayrshire straight after, so no time for any R&R, or so I thought - today a very good friend has surprised me by organising a 'Birthday lunch' during my 1 hour lunch break - I am to be picked up by car, taken to my destination and then returned to school again. I am really touched by the thoughtfulness and kindness of friends, which has bolstered me out of my slump.  Now, moving on from my self indulgent moan...... I have made a clutch of Christmas robins for the sale, they are very cute and jolly, and I am hoping they will sell well (free pattern here)

Also completed a cute little Koala (pattern taken from the book 'Amigurumi Two') last night - this particular toy has taken me forever to get finished, not quite sure why...

Hopefully he'll go to a good home this weekend, but if not, I have at least made an early start on Christmas presents!

Monday, 8 November 2010

A Pixie Peg Christmas


A blatant plug for my big sister Jill's (check out her blog too) Etsy store - Pixie Peg Crafts.  All her felt decorations are hand cut and made, and I have decided will look lovely adorning my home this Christmas.  I have already put an order in for a couple of angels, and a one of her quirky toadstools:-


My Mum and Dad are heading North for a visit in a couple of weeks, so luckily for me they are able to hand deliver one of Jill's  beautiful Twisted Willow wreaths for me. I love the fact that many of the items Jill makes are made from natural materials foraged from woods and hedgerows in her local Northumberland area


We will defiantly be having a Pixie Peg Christmas in the Northern Hi-lights household!!