Monday, February 18, 2019

Blossom and baking

The almond blossom came out in full whilst we were away, always stunning
Now though it has been replaced by the leaves


Rebecca found a recipe on line for chocolate chip cookies, which she made and they were delicious and certainly didn´t last long.
Inspired by her, I made some too, but as chocolate chips are difficult to come by here and expensive when you do, I used block chocolate and just chopped it up, some bits were a little larger, but that just made them even nicer in my opinion as they melted and turned gooey. We both cut the sugar by half and I had to cut the chocolate by 30g and used what I had, still came out yummy.


There were several bread crusts left over so I used these to make a bread pudding, but added a little more spice

I treated myself to a browse in the newagents whilst away and bought a couple of  card/paper magazines. One was quite expensive, but it did come with a book of decoupage pages and loads of different coloured pages, along with sheets of stamps. With lots of ideas to encourage you and also very useful web pages to explore in the end I think it was worth it.



This one was half the price, but still had templates and stamps, enough to explore and play for a while


When we returned on Thursday evening I was in time to place my grocery order online, in fact I could have got it delivered Friday, but decided Saturday would do. It´s great to order all the water and heavy goods without having to shop for it and then lug it back and the guys are so accommodating. So I think it´s turkey curry tonight

take care
xcx



Saturday, February 16, 2019

Home again, home again

Home again, home again
We have just returned from a weeks stay in the UK, brrr it was chilly but at least we didn´t have very much rain and of course there is the central heating.
We had booked this trip way back in November and managed to get flights for a very good rate

It was nice that Chris accompanied me this time, as we were staying at MIL´s in Woking we headed to Gatwick. The first couple of days were spent helping Mum sort out various areas that had become over loaded again and I spent several hours sorting out a huge pile of clothes by her bed, no where for them to go so I put them into relevant piles, but at least she could see what she had. Mum does like to be coordinated, even down to her watches and loves clothes, only trouble is she buys more without letting go of some of the older ones. I also found 11 handbags buried amongst it all so added these to her collection. I don´t think I even have half that amount of bags. I do tend to keep all sorts in my bag and really can´t be asked to keep swapping bags, anyway I treated myself to a lovely Desigual bag last year and it goes with practically everything.

One of the reasons for the trip was to surprise Chris´s brother on his 60th birthday
The meal was held at Bartons Mill in Old Basing, a beautiful 17th century mill, still with its mill workings and in a very pleasant setting. We met up with Rebecca and Antoni there which was lovely and had a very enjoyable evening.



The other reason we had booked so early was because the Sunday was supposed to have been Rebecca´s baby shower, which obviously didn´t happen, but we spent several hours chatting and showing Mum their new house, before Chris took his Mum back as I was staying with Rebecca until Wednesday evening.
Chris was busy searching for old photographs ready for a compilation for Mum´s 90th birthday, oh my word, the good old 70´s!


This was Chris back in 1974, I´m glad his taste in clothes has changed for the better lol

He also found the family projector and films going back for years, including clips of both of us in 1971 when we were very young teenagers, playing piggy in the middle with his Mum. Nostalgia or what!

It was so lovely to spend time together, chatting and catching up and collecting real hugs instead of virtual ones and as she had taken holiday we spent all our time together.
There were a couple of prearranged appointments which were extremely emotional, draining and challenging but I was so thankful that I was able to be there to support them both and give Rebecca hugs and cuddles. 

Chris and Antoni went off to see the Reading football match on the Wednesday evening, which they thoroughly enjoyed, even more as they won.
Then all too soon it was all over, having to say our goodbyes with lots of hugs, then just one more before driving back to stay with Mum that night as our airport taxi was quite early.

The return flight was late, not that it mattered really but Chris did have a window seat and took some rather spectacular shots, especially over the Pyrenees, at least the flight was smooth unlike the outward journey which was extremely bumpy.


We had a welcoming committee from the furries who curled around our legs purring loudly, but then I saw their food bowls were empty, so maybe that had something to do with it lol

It was lovely to see everyone and certainly to be with Rebecca and I miss her terribly, but there is something about going home, to your own space, comfortable around your own things, knowing where everything is, in a safe environment that you have created and can relax in.
Now I can tick the days off before Rebecca is out for a week to see us in March, as she says she is coming home aww.

Hope you all enjoy your weekend what ever you do
take care
xcx 


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Guitars

Firstly, sorry about all the únknown´ status appearing, it seems my new phone settings have taken over my previous ones, which I think I have sorted out now??!

Rebecca was informed that she had holiday days left over which must be taken before 1st April or lose them, so it looks like a trip over is planned for a week in late March, Yeah, can´t wait

Chris bought a new guitar several months ago, an electric one this time, a Gibson Firebird,
yeah I know, doesn´t mean much to me either, except he loves it and it does sound brilliant.

It was this that I think inspired him to make some, but in 1/12 scale
Being crafters, I´m sure we all keep all manner of items just in case because one time they will come into their own, guilty? I certainly am
In this case it was some extremely fine gauge wire that I used to use back in my days of running the family electronics business. This wire was used to make ultra fine, precision, strain gauges (wire wound coils) in fact they were used in the new London bridge.´(We are talking many years ago for this item)
Once he had  cut, sanded, ánd prepared, came the moment of ´do you have any wire?
followed by, ´wow, where did you get this?
Headpins with a tiny blob of paint acted as tuning pegs, a lot of fiddle value (but 1/12 scale can be)




This prompted a visit to Gata de Gorgos where we have an acoustic specialist Spanish guitar manufactuer. It is a family business with about 3 generations all working on the guitars, everything is hand crafted and it is a months worth of work in each guitar.  He thoroughly enjoyed his visit but unfortunately didn´t take any photos. 

Enjoy whats left of the weekend
take care
xcx
  

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Easy peasy

My parcel arrived, quite quickly too as it was sent by Amazon es not uk.


I also bought some coloured paper, so having done a couple of practice runs using white, I used this pretty green

Really easy to do, just have to make sure of accurate cutting
A little glue and a sweet little envelope appears
I also found these lurking in the drawer and pulled them out thinking little embellishments

I am sure some fun will be had playing about

Unbelievable that these peppers have ripened on the plant in January in the courtyard and there are several green ones following along with a few chillies


Cats always seem to find inappropriate places to sleep, whether its a tiny box or your best jumper
but these three take the biscuit, freshly laundered washing just brought in from the garden, hardly had time to turn round before the word was out and they were getting comfy and fast asleep.

take care
xcx

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Paper trails

I am trying to take advantage of the sunny days as we have them, when the wind is in the right direction which means our Naya is really warm and a sun trap, even getting up to 18 some days. I start off with several layers, gradually peeling them off and pulling my sleeves up. 
I sit just away from the table, as today, when I was trying to pick up stitches for the armholes of the purple jumper, when I realised that I was getting ´driver´s arm´, quite a marked difference from lilly white to a gentle tan. Now I am not a sun worshiper, as in I can´t be asked to sit or lay in the sun doing nothing just to resemble being a lizard, but I think I may have to shift sides to even up the brown bits.

A couple of days ago it was just not possible to do this, so having seen Fee´s post 
http://www.feeslittlecraftsstudio.com/
I decided to have a play.
Rebecca and Antoni had left a couple of little pressies each the last time they were over for us to open for Christmas, well as Christmas didn´t happen I had mine when I got back, this was one of them


Absolutely brilliant, so many blades, very easy to change system with the stone to resharpen the blades as and when.
As I am not really into paper craft as such, apart from a butterfly stamp we used for our wedding decorations and saving bits n bobs, as you do, I didn´t have pretty papers or paper embellishments, but I did have some card.


First attempt at box making as Fee describes in her tutorial
Except I forgot the belly band!

Second attempt, getting there! 

Except the butterfly punch was broken, so call for help, no point in having an engineer in the house if you dont call on their expertise. There was a time of well this has had it, unless I......drill through here, put pins in there and..... well he did, and it worked, yeah!!



Long way to go, but after cutting the boxes I had left over card so made a little gift tag


Yeah, I know, no where near the wonderful creations card people make, but we all have to start somewhere, I´ve got some Angelina fibers somewhere, have to hunt them out
I even had a thought of using the glue gun to make some of the embellishments, so using waxed paper, drew the shape and tried to trace........... Ah yes well, it seems gone are the days when I used to use a 00 nozzle for icing cos as you will see this did not turn out well

Not wishing to blame my tools, but it was not really controllable enough, any way, nothing lost, rather frustrating really with the way my gun (mis) behaved

However, I did splash out!! MIL gave me some money and instead of it getting buried amongst usual finances, I decided to buy an envelope maker
So along with a pack of paper, I had 2p left of my money and they delivered to Spain, win win

Just have to be patient
take care
xcx




Sunday, January 20, 2019

WIP´s


We have done really well clearing the garden area, but I have had a couple of days rest as stupidly I had balanced the garden stool rather precariously and as I tugged at some of the roots they tugged back and I fell backwards off the stool, landing on my back on the edge of the stool, lesson learnt!

We had quite a successful trip to the Ondara shopping centre on Wednesday, getting one of my sim cards cut down to fit in my new (second hand) phone, I popped into one of the shoe shops and managed to find another pair of ankle boots, exactly the same as the ones I already have, which are quite comfortable and much tidier than the old ones. They were priced at 29.90 which I thought a reasonable price, but at the checkout they came up as 24.90e so even better.
Whilst I had been away there had been a few casualties on the wine and tumbler glasses front and I bought 6 wine glasses for 7.50e and 6 tall tumblers for 4.50e, not bad.
We were hungry so decided to have lunch at Maria´s as a treat, they always have pot plants on the tables, usually orchids, but these were outside in a large tub and looked so pretty.

I am really pleased with my new phone, it is a Motorola one, which doesn´t quite sing and dance but is far superior to my old one. I usually get Rebecca´s cast offs but this one was only 8 months old and I gave her the price she would have got if she had sold it on which was really reasonable. I certainly wouldn´t have bought one that expensive new. The camera is really good too and has added things like note book etc and it charges really fast and keeps its charge too, unlike my previous one that kept catching me out with low battery readings.

On the knitting front, I finished off a baby blanket I had started and will just put it away until its needed.


Last year I had started on a short sleeved jumper using aran weight, but it was really difficult to knit in the hot weather so abandoned it in favour of different projects. It is a really simple design, one colour, stocking stitch, which did get a bit tedious, but I am now on the neck and armhole edges so on the homeward stretch.


I am having to use circular needles as you can´t get straights around the curves. It´s good to finish a few WIP´s

Hope you have all had a good weekend
take care
xcx

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Lady at work

Can´t settle, don´t feel creative, so next best thing, tackle the garden
We all know how gardens can run away with you, but ours seems to have galloped off running amok

First to tackle was the rose garden by the pool. I learnt very quickly that pruning takes place so much earlier than in the UK. I forgot to take a before picture, but I´m sure you can see by the piles of weeds and clippings how overgrown it had become. In fact we have one rose already in flower.



Finally finished except I can´t find the photo lol
Then moved on to tackle a very invasive plant, its all top growth with loads of dead wood beneath
There is actually a 2/3 foot bed underneath that lot

We have some large builders sacks which are very useful, three filled so far plus a couple of wheelbarrow loads

Moved the bench with its back to the pool and now I can sit and view the Med



Much warmer today, so after a nice cuppa in the Naya, it´s back to work.
Luckily we obtained our fire licence from the Suma office, so hopefully with a controlled bonfire most of the debris will disappear.

Take care
xcx