Friday, 30 May 2014


Guess my 'new thing' for this week! I've been wanting to create collages for some time now - there are such lovely ones to be seen in Blogland and I've been terribly envious. When I mentioned this online, Gillian was kind enough to direct me to Picmonkey and I've been having a little play:

See my collage!

It may not look much to you but to a complete technophobe like me, it's my Everest! I'm so proud.

Now with 'Colour Boost'!

This is going to be so much fun. I need to have a bit more practice when I have more time but I am going to enjoy this week's New Thing!

Anyway, better get back to GCSE revision support mode. Toodle Pip for now. x

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Turkish Mezze

My 'New Thing' for this week was to attend a cookery class at a local school. The theme was Turkish Mezze and, having visited Turkey last Summer, I was keen to recreate some of the delicious food we tried there. There were 5 of us in the class, along with the teacher, Oz, and her assistant.

First, Oz did a demonstration of the mezze we would be making: Hummus, Hummus with coriander and chillies, Sigara Borek (shallow fried filo rolls filled with feta and parsley), Pancar Ezme (a beetroot and yoghurt dip with garlic, zahtaar and spring onions), Cacik (a Turkish Tzatziki) and Piyaz ( a butter/cannelini bean dish with pomegranate, onion, tomato, sumac and chillies). Then it was our turn!

Some of our ingredients:

Turkish Delight, in case we got peckish!

Beautiful Turkish dishes:

Beads to ward off the evil eye whilst we were cooking!


Coriander Hummus

Cacik (pronounced 'jajuk')

Pancar Ezme

Sigara Borek

Back  home I made a quick batch of pitta bread to go with it:

It was delicious and I'll definitely be making these dishes again.

Other things this week include:

Dusting off  my bike, 'Bernard'. I think the wicker basket may need a bit of crochet loveliness!

Starting on the ripple blanket for L's birthday:

A quick trip to Oxford to deliver the 'Manley Blanket' for J. There was a 'Geek is Good' exhibition on at the Science Museum - note the glasses on the statues!

Colourful punts, seen from Magdalen Bridge:

Fantastic sock wool made by the West Yorkshire Spinners. They are inspired by British birds. From the top: Pheasant, Owl, Blue Tit and Bullfinch.

We have a pheasant, Fergus (!), who is living in our garden at the moment. The yarn really does produce Fergus in sock form! (See above).

So, naturally, I  had to buy a ball. Now I just need to add 'knit a pair of socks' to my list!

Finally, a trip with L to one of our favourite lunch places in Oxford:

Fried tofu with chilli and peanut sauce:

Thai Red Vegetable curry, Green Papaya Salad and Egg Fried Rice - Delicious.

I hope that Half Term is going well, despite the rain. Toodle Pip for now. x

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Manly Blanket Ta-Dah!

It's finished! The 'Manly Blankie' is finished at last and, although I was a little unsure about the colours to begin with, they grew on me and I'm really rather fond of it now. I just hope that J likes all the purple added to his requested green and blue! So, here are the photos - apologies in advance; after all the glorious sunny weather we've been having, I finished it on a really murky day and wanted to take the photos before wrapping it up.

The 'standing on the coffee table' shot.

Close up of all its manliness!

Close ups of the border...

On the bed to give an idea of size.

A corner shot...

Folded on the bed ...

With its 'Blanketty Buddies' ...

The 'Draped Shot' ....

... and back to the Ta-Dah!

Do you think it's manly enough? I really hope so; if J hates it, it can always become a car blanket for picnics! Many thanks once again to Lucy at Attic24 for the pattern and Jacquie at BunnyMummy for enabling it to lie flat - any kinky bits are entirely my own fault!

Other things this week include: 

 More applique panels for 'The Fifty Quilt'

I have to confess that Genevieve and I are now really enjoying zigzagging!

And, to cope with the continuing GCSEs, lots of these ......

'Keep Calm Cookies'!

Toodle Pip for now. x

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Lavender Cushion Ta-Dah!

In the flower bed under our front window grow quite a few lavender plants. I always mean to harvest some to dry but can never quite bring myself to chop the flowers off when they are blooming their little hearts out (other than to make lavender biscuits, then I have no qualms whatsoever!). When I wrote 'make lavender bags' on my Fifty List, I thought I was going to have to be brave and bring out the secateurs. Then, GCSEs loomed large and a friend of mine, whose daughter took her's last year, recommended lavender room spray as having a calming effect. I'm not that keen on the smell of air freshener but I'm all for a bit of calm, so, being too early in the year for our own lavender, I got on the internet and ordered a bag from Amazon.

It also meant that I could have another little practice on Genevieve! I promised a photo of her wearing her new 'forgive me for exiling you to the loft for 5 years' coat. Here she is (please excuse the washed out photos) ...

With the coat:

.... and naked!

A quick trip to a charity shop resulted in an old pillowcase and a table cloth (use as yet undetermined but it was pretty!) Once washed, I set about the pillowcase with the scissors:

... and did a bit of embroidery on some felt, which was surprisingly tricky. Normally when embroidering writing - who am I trying to kid? On the ONE occasion I have embroidered writing for one of my quilt panels (!) I drew it on the fabric first with a pencil. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that with the felt as it wouldn't show up properly and was too rough on the fibres, so this time I had to wing it and it was a little bit pants!

 Then Genevieve did her stuff and R helped me to fill the bag with lavender through a paper funnel before I hand sewed the gap and ........


 Admittedly, it's more of a small cushion than a bag but I was quite thrilled with it and E has kept it next to her whilst revising, hung it on her bed at night and hugged it in the car, all the way to school for her first exam!

She also had a lovely surprise when we got home afterwards - the postman brought a parcel of 'good luck' presents from L:   A T-shirt from New Look, some mint and orange Matchmakers and ..............

A toy red blood cell! (Her first exam being biology)

She really is the best big sister and who could fail to be cheered by a cuddly red blood cell?!

Anyway, 2 exams down and only 24 to go ........ I think I need to go and have a sniff of that cushion!

Toodle Pip for now. x