Monday, 14 December 2015

Scandinavian Wreath Ta-Dah!

Hello there. Are we all enjoying the run up to Christmas? E's term ended last Friday, so we've now bought and erected the tree. The latter was easier said than done as none of us had noticed the rather wonky base which had to be sawn off in order to make it straight enough to fit into the stand - much unfestive cursing ensued! Then there was the usual 'let's wind Mummy up over the tinsel' moment - hate it, hate it, hate it. Grr!

Moving on .............. I managed to get my Scandinavian wreath finished. It took me quite a while as each of the leaves, hearts and stars had to be cut out, backed with wadding and sewn on the machine. Then they were turned inside out, blanket stitched around the edge and individually sewn onto the ring. It was actually quite an enjoyable job as I could have a quiet stitch in the evening whilst watching old Agatha Christie films.
Anyway, here it is:
A close up of all the blanket stitches - I can now do it automatically, without my usual 10 minutes of trying to work out where to put the needle next when I start off!
I didn't want to hang it outside in case it got wet and the only hook we have on a door is in the kitchen, which wasn't ideal either. In the end, I put one of those suction hooks on the dining room window and hung it there. Sorry the photo isn't the best:
Other happies this week:
Having a quiet baking moment while the rain poured down outside:
 A trip to the farmers' market:
 My new calendar holder. I have my 'working calendar' (ie. the one with all the family appointments etc. on) in the kitchen. This one is in the hall near the desk so I can remind myself of the date without having to try and squint at the tiny numbers on my watch!
 Our delivery of logs in the new log store. I still can't work out why R ordered the extra large one, but it looks quite cosy tucked in the corner near the side gate:
 A book of Christmas piano music from the library:
 Marveling that we still have roses in December:
 ....... and the odd Californian poppy:
 The first mince pies of the season - sadly, not home made, although we may get around to baking some at some point:
 The Christmas tree - we never manage one of those tastefully decorated, colour coordinated affairs - my favourite decorations are the ones the girls have made over the years: 

Anyway, that's all for this week. I may not get another chance to post again this side of Christmas. If not, can I take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderfully relaxed and peaceful time. I'll still be popping by your blogs to see what you are all up to if I get a moment.

Merry, merry and all that.
Toodle Pip for now. x

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Chucks, a Birthday and a Belated Ta-Dah!

Hello there and a happy December to you all. I can't quite believe that it is December already - is it just me who thinks it was only 5 minutes ago that we started 2015? Tempus certainly does fugit as you get older. Thank you so much for your supportive comments about my mammogram; they were much appreciated. All went well - it was mercifully quick, if a little chilly, and the all clear came through yesterday - Yay!

Sadly, we lost one of our Pekin Bantams a few weeks ago. Harriet died at the age of 10, which I don't suppose is a bad age for a chuck. She was a great character and we shall miss her dearly. Fortunately, it was very quick - she didn't seem ill, so there was no prolonged suffering, she just died peacefully in her sleep. We should all be so lucky. Phyllis, her little soulmate, missed her terribly and went into a decline, refusing to get up in the morning and therefore not eating or drinking. More for Phyllis than for us, we purchased a couple of new chucks from a local Pekin breeder and here they are:
Meet Brenda and Penny - named by L. Brenda after Baroness Brenda Hale, Justice of the Supreme Court and one of L's heroes, and Penny, well because 'Henny Penny', you know! We sneaked them in with Phyllis at night and the following morning she was downstairs, pecking around and eating quite happily again. I think the new chucks were what is politely termed 'table hens' - ie. each had little defects when meant that they weren't suitable for showing - Brenda has a sooty bit around her neck and a toenail missing and Penny has an oddly shaped cushion. At least with us they aren't destined for the pot! Harriet was buried by the bench near the river, where she liked to sit and have a cuddle. RIP sweet chuck.

On a happier note, this week was L's birthday. E had managed to get tickets to see Radio 4's 'John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme' being recorded in London. R and L were in London anyway that day, so when E finished school we just hopped on a train to join them. The recording was excellent - they are such a talented bunch of people. Jason Hazeley (he of the Ladybird books for adults fame) stepped in to play the piano and was brilliant and John Finnemore can do no wrong in our eyes.
We also had an Ethiopian meal here:

The food was lovely. Served on and with pancakes called injeera - a type of sourdough flatbread with a spongy texture. It was surprisingly filling. The types of food were an interesting mix too - felafels and chana dahl - we all enjoyed it and would definitely have it again.

 Back home there was cake!
 Other happies this week:
Fergus now has 3 girlfriends - one was too quick to catch with a photo:
 Finally finishing my Summer Primitive Stitching -yes, I know it's December!
Here are all 4 seasons, now I just need to hang them. I decided against making them into cushions in the end, only because I thought they would need washing at some point and I didn't trust the calico not to shrink. The chicken in the summer one has rather long legs but Google assures me that there are long legged varieties, so I'm going with that!
 A walk in the woods with a friend. It was rather muddy!

Lighting the advent candle over breakfast:
And lastly, a little festive make - a Scandinavian fabric wreath. If I manage to get it finished in time for Christmas 2015, I'll let you know. It is quite slow progress though.
That's all for this week. We've got a load of logs being delivered today, so then the cold weather is welcome to do its worst. Keep warm and enjoy the rest of the week.
Toodle Pip for now. x