Monday, 30 May 2011

Campbelltown Pottery has returned, I can feel that eye twitch starting to ease off...
Just thought I'd share with you the unusual medal the runners got for completing the Mull of Kintyre half marathon race- apparently the local potter produces a new design every year.

nice touch..

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Joy of baking

It's just me and the boys this weekend - Daddy NH-L's has gone off to the Mull of Kintyre to run a half marathon (as you do). Everyone's tired, so without Dad here to drag us out on walks/bike rides etc.. we're having a lazyish weekend (i.e me lying horizontal reading my book whilst the boys play/argue football in the back garden) I did get up at one point to bake some biscuits (read, no food in the cupboard desperation baking) 
Have you discovered Joy the Bakers blog? Here is a woman obsessed with peanut butter and chocolate, which suits me fine - she is also very funny and posts some great recipes (pictured above are Joy's Chocolate ginger biscuits - recipe here)
Hope you are having a great weekend

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Small Pleasures..

 A clean and tidy livingroom
Quiet House to myself for an hour (footie practice)
Chilled glass of wine
For once, my own playlist on in the background...
An unexpectedly pleasurable Thursday evening...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

the beginning.....

Thank you for all your encouragement regarding my new adventures in printmaking - and now I'd better come up with the goods so as not to disappoint! To get the ball rolling I think I'm going to start with some basic lino cutting. I was delighted to be able to borrow some equipment from work, and I will begin with a few sketches and try to produce a simple stamp. A quick search through Flickr provided some great inspiration.

Flickr - Memi the Rainbow
Flickr - Memi the Rainbow
Flickr - Girls are Crying

Flickr - Girls are Crying

Really though, there is too much 'out there' to inspire and I usually end up spending all my time looking at Flickr etc..what I need to do now is switch off the laptop and focus!!!

Monday, 23 May 2011

New ideas

I've fallen a bit out of love with crocheting at the moment, it's just not doing it for me right now, so I have been searching around for other crafts and creative ideas to try my hand at.  This months Country Living magazine featured an artist based in Orkney (Sarah Johnston) who screen prints wonderfully bold motifs onto fabric.

visit Sarah's website at Marram Studio's

A couple of years ago I took a night class at our local Art school on printmaking - I loved using all the vivid inks and ancient presses, and found the processes very rewarding, but have never tried my hand at screen printing.
Last week I ordered this book from Amazon

It's a very well illustrated book, containing lots of ideas for simple printing from home.

You really can't beat a brand new craft book in my opinion to get those creative juices flowing once more.  Now to go and dig out those cutting tool's I'm sure I have somewhere...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Curried lentil soup for lunch today (and a good excuse to showcase my new olive wood ladle!).  I have to admit to mostly only making soup in colder weather, but recently I have been coming round to the idea that it is a useful and filling lunch whatever the weather and  (another veg portion) when time is short. 

My place of work is only a ten minute walk away, so on work days I consider myself very lucky to be able to come home for lunch - there is something so nice about opening the front door to an empty, quiet house. Soup ticks all the boxes on the working lunch front - I never bother with a recipe, for this particular soup I fried an onion with some chopped up corguette, added a tablespoon of curry paste, red lentils and stock - you could always add some coconut milk too if you wanted - souper delicous! What's your lunchtime staple?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Quite Right!

This cheered me up today, as the 'housekeeping' at the Northern Hi-lights household goes from bad to worse!
Available  at Lettergirl's Etsy shop, found via Rich Inner Life blog

Monday, 9 May 2011


I love this idea, simple yet genius

See d.Sharp Journal for full tutorial

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Thanks Jo...

My Bloggie friend Jo of Pangaloon has very kindly sent me a versatile blogger award. I have been following Jo's blog for a while now and am impressed at how it has grown and evolved over recent months. Jo's encouraging and warming comments on my blog make my day.  One of the rules of accepting the award is to pass the award onto seven other, and also to share 7 interesting facts about yourself.  Now, this second rule has sent me in a tizzy as I really don't think I have 7 interesting facts, but here goes...

I only learnt to crochet about 5 years ago, and really regret not possessing this skill when I was pregnant and my boys were babies - think of all those missed opportunities!

I am now partially deaf due to a virus I caught a few years ago..

I like eating ReadyBrek with cold milk and honey for my breakfast

I am a bit of a techy nerd and enjoy making spreadsheets for things!

I met my now husband on my first day at University in Edinburgh aged 18, and we have been together ever since - we are opposites in so many ways but compliment each other perfectly.

I have been reading the BEANO since I was around 6 years old and am still an avid fan

I am a reluctant runner, forcing myself out for a run 2-3 times a week, today my 30 minute run around a forest with a friend turned into an hour and a half as we got lost - Nightmare!!

There are so many blogs around that I love to follow, that choosing only 7 is a bit tricky, so here are 7 off the top of my head, in no particular order - I am so thrilled that people take the time to stop by my blog, and the rush of a new comment cannot be beaten!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Party Talk

I picked this book up today at our local second hand book sale.  Children's books are only 10p each, and I ended up coming home with 11 in total!  Flicking through this book today has made me nostalgic for the 70's house parties my mum would host for me and my sisters when we were little girls, We would dress up in our floor length party frocks and play games such as the non-politically correct 'pass-the-parcel' (you know what I mean, it bugs me now when i go to a party and the music is staged so that each child gets a 'go' plus a sweetie) and eat hot dogs and pickled onions on cocktail sticks with jelly and ice-cream for pudding (from a rabbit mould that would never set!) .
Some of the games in this book are great, bringing back lots of memories
I'm sure we used a Mars Bar for this game...
Still a family favourite in this house...
Our youngest is obsessed with this game, never quite as good with only 4 people!
Whilst I'm talking about parties and the likes, Birthday season is well and truly upon us right now, with one or both of my children coming home with a party invite on a weekly basis right now.  I have a question - how do you feel about buying gifts for countless parties? (including joint ones, class kids you don't know etc..) and how much is reasonable to spend?  Generally speaking for a typical class party I try not to buy toys, sticking to books or sports equipment etc.. if there is an offer on I tend to buy a couple and put away and try and stock up a 'present drawer' with immaculate 2nd hand books etc..  I like to think of this as smart buying and am proud of my frugleness. It kind of disgusts me when I see parents fill bin-bags with presents of 20 plus gifts for one individual child - we live in an affluent area where parents feel pressure to spend a certain amount on a gift, whether they can afford it or not - an example - yesterday I was standing in the playground waiting for my boys to finish school - a parent approached me and asked if I had sorted out a present for a particular party this Sunday(a joint one) apparently a group of the mothers had decided to club money together and buy said child vouchers - "£20 would be fine, thank you very much" ...Now, I was kind of caught on the hop, I had been working all week and this was the first I had heard of this arrangement.  The mother, seeing my flustered face, back-tracked saying I probably had something else organised, she had been told that 'I like to do my own thing'.!(ok, so I obviously have a reputation!)  I was polite and declined her offer, because personally I think £20 is an obscene amount to be spending - that's £160 per child !!
What do you think?  Am I being mean? Personally speaking I cannot afford to be forking out £10 for every party my child gets invited to - Am I the only person who thinks parents should politely ask guests not to bring gifts, just themselves? or a donation for a charitable cause?

Rant over......

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Hip to be Square?

Car journeys can be useful crochet time, particularly at the moment when my 'sit down' time after putting the kids to bed is getting later and later (Cubs, football, lighter nights, extended supper time and stories) and I've barely time to have a quick cup of tea let alone crochet, before its my bedtime!

Travelling back home on Monday I managed to finish off my square doily.  I used a pattern in this Japanese crochet book, a ball of blue 100% cotton and a size 2.5mm hook. 
The pattern was a repeat of 3 rows with a decorative edging, and given the size of the hook, made up pretty quickly.  This time I used a diagram to follow the pattern, which was relatively easy to do once you got into the swing of it, giving me a bit of confidence to pursue further Japanese patterns in the future

Not quite sure how I will utilise my new doily - I never really saw myself as a doily kind of person, but  I think I may be a convert...

Monday, 2 May 2011

May Day Weekend

Just back from a perfect weekend away with friends at the beach.  We headed North in the caravan to Sandend near Portsoy (North East coast of Scotland) and have had the most fantastic time .

A boy heavy weekend, with not a girl in sight (except the mums) meant lots of non-stop action..

I did managed to sneak in a bit of reading and a tiny bit of crochet on the journey home (finished my square doily!)

Not sure if my beloved Kindle is particularly beach compatible as there is now sand in every crevice!

On Sunday we visited the pretty harbour town of Cullen (of Cullen Skink fame) for fish and chips and a mooch around...

This morning before we left for home, I picked up some smoked haddock from the local smokery

We have been so lucky with the sunny weather and are starting May windswept and every so slightly sun kissed...